Archive for July, 2011
“ But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Do we live and act as victors? When others look at us, what are they seeing? Being a victor in Christ Jesus is a reality to be lived and shown in both our attitude and actions.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
This summation of the Gospel reminds us that the Good News casts everything in a different light. All of our fears, anxieties, uncertainties, and negative emotions have been transformed into positive assurances.
Could anything possibly be more important?
“forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).
The challenge each day is to never settle for what or where we are; always reaching for the possibilities that the Lord sets before us; never settling for past accomplishments and victories. When our memories become more numerous than our dreams we have stopped living. The God who is making all things new will never bring back the good old days. What he promises is better new days.
“Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
There is no more haunting phrase than “What might have been.” It has to do with unrealized potential. What’s holding you back today? What is encumbering your progress—A relationship? A habit? Something that’s not necessarily wrong, but is impeding your development? Or perhaps it is a known sin that continues to entangle you. The journey of faith is a race of endurance. Exercise your faith and sweat out your encumbrances and entanglements.
“All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes” (Job 14:14).
Are circumstances prevailing against you? Wait! Have doubts and questions of God’s faithfulness crept in and darkened your thinking? Wait!
The passing of time brings a new understanding. With time you are better able to see God’s hand at work. A genuine faith will stand the the test of time. Your circumstances and doubts will not. Keep watching and waiting.
“Worship the Lord in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth” (Psalm 95:9).
To truly worship, we must clothe ourselves in humble righteousness; a righteousness accomplished in and through the life of Christ. It is not of our own doing. You can go to church in the finest suit or dress, but they are but filthy rags when they cover a heart that is out of touch with the Father. Who weaves the fabric of your heart is far more important than the clothes you might wear.
“In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, for You will answer me” (Psalm 86:7).
While the Lord will certainly answer your appeal in the day of trouble, a greater and more significant truth is that our Heavenly Father longs for a daily, constant, and unbroken fellowship of prayer with his children. In fact, the more intentionally we seek to abide with him each day in an uninterrupted spirit of prayer the better we understand his answer in our day of trouble. Don’t be a 911 Christian, calling on the Lord for your emergency needs only. When that day comes, you will long for a friend not a stranger.
“What is man that You take thought of him” (Psalm 8:4)?
That our Heavenly Father is thinking of us means that we are held in a very advantageous position. The word thought means to mark or single out. God has marked and singled you out as an object of his favor; a beneficiary of his love and affection. What a thought!
Torrents of water run downhill along paths of least resistance and vulnerability. Such is the nature of conflict. Once it starts, it goes rapidly downhill and ventures into areas farther and farther away from the original source. Measure your battles judiciously. There are but a few hills worth dying on; recognizing that most conflict is over preferences and rarely principles.
“But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head” (Psalms 3:3).
When being bombarded by the incoming of life’s hardships, our tendency is to look down and take cover; a position of defeat and hopelessness. God’s providential care, however, offers not only sufficient protection from the flaming arrows, but He keeps our head lifted that we might keep looking to the mountains from whence our help comes (Ps. 121:1).
We are victors in Christ Jesus. Keep your head up.