Archive for April, 2012

TOP PRIORITY

“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).

Christianity has many important doctrines that offer theological moorings to our faith. While there is much debate as to the significance and priority of each, none is more important than the work of Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. It was preeminent in the preaching of Paul. For his audience then, and for you and me, it is the difference between life and death.

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FORWARD FAITH

“So they said to one another, ‘Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt’” (Deuteronomy 14:4).
The most challenging direction is forward.  Human nature desires to stay put or go back to what was.  It’s comfortable, familiar, predictable, and manageable.  The journey of faith and the call of God’s Spirit, however, beckons us to go forth, to be stretched, to embrace the tension of knowing and not knowing, to venture forward as Abraham–not knowing where he was going.  We are either moving down the road to faith’s final destination or blocking those trying to get there.

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GOOD COMPANY

“Then the officers shall speak further to the people and say, ‘Who is the man that is afraid and fainthearted?  Let him depart and return to his house, so that he might not make his brothers hearts melt like his heart’” (Deuteronomy 20:8).  
The negativity of bad company is a contagion waiting to spread.  It’s easier to be negative and see the bad side of things than it is to be positive and consider the possibility of things.  Surround yourself with possibility thinkers that challenge you to see the potential of what might be.

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A WORK OF GOD

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” Ephesians 2:4-5.
Consider our faith and the work of Christ in contrast to other faith expressions.  Every other world religion is a work of the hands; laboring to win the favor of God.  Ours, however, is a work of the heart; Christ having done for us what we could not do for ourselves.

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WORTH THE WAIT

“But if we hope for what we do not see, with patience we wait eagerly for it” (Romans 8:25).

Life is filled with things that test our patience. The apostle Paul had to wait patiently while sitting in a prison. Moses had to wait while wandering forty years in the wilderness. Jesus himself waited thirty years before beginning his ministry. Yet, what is discovered through patient waiting is that the end result is far greater than that for which we so impatiently longed.

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BEEN THERE DONE THAT

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, 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” (Hebrews 12:1).

Be encouraged. You are not making new footprints when it comes to the life of faith. Any battle that confronts you, others have been there. The temptation you struggle to overcome has already been a victory for someone else. The referenced witnesses are not spectators watching their successors, but everyday saints who were victorious and give witness to faith’s possibilities.

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WORSHIP HERE AND THERE

“And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory’” (Isaiah 6:3).

The members of the heavenly host are portrayed as regularly worshipping and praising God. Their worship, and the worship to which we should aspire, is dominated by a sense of God’s presence and His being the sole object of worship. It is only when He dominates your heart, soul, mind, and spirit that worship is truly accomplished. Anything else is idolatry.

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