Christ calls us to come and follow. We don’t get the whole picture in one sitting. It’s what we want, but it’s not his way. Continue reading “Slow walk to maturity — filling our minds with Christ”
Coming through Hebrews 11 and as we turn into the main point of Hebrews 12, I can hear the author of Hebrews fairly shouting: “Quit being so lazy in your faith!” Continue reading “By faith”
Christmas is that powerful reminder that an event that goes completely unnoticed by the world raises up what is eternal. Long after Caesar Augustus. Long after Herod. There is still the Kingdom of God. Continue reading “Turns out the Church will be just fine”
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. — Heb. 10:23
We can forget what we have in Christ. We can be distracted from the promises. We can be attacked by the enemy, who wants us to fail in the promises given. The call is to PERSEVERE. “Getting” a promise isn’t the same as gaining a promise. Gaining a promise isn’t the same as holding on to victory. The enemy still wants to steal.
Every day, be reminded of his great and precious promises. Every day, give thanks. Every day, lay out those claims of God and be refreshed in HIS provision. The enemy wants you to forget. Be reminded of the great and precious promises… and GRIP THEM with tenacity! The enemy wants to steal. Jesus wants to pour out his abundance.
Stay reminded every day of the gifts and promises given to you!
We need the tie of generations in the faith because each generation can demonstration the depth of faith that is possible. We can observe that in the generations that came before. We can learn from them.
When we demonstrate the depth of faith, a faith that cannot be shaken, and demonstrate the faithfulness of God, we can then explain that to the next generation.
Two things are needed:
1. This generation (and insert yourself and that particular generation here) needs to demonstrate that to the next generation, and then help explain that to the next generation.
That means, get to know someone younger and INVEST in them. They want the opportunity, even if they don’t know how to say it.
I meet with younger students and work to pour into them the incredible faithfulness of God. When they’re ready to go win China NOW for Jesus, I remind them of the long walk of obedience in the same direction that needs to be the foundation of their lives.
It’s work. I learn to communicate better. I learn to listen better. I don’t always get it right. But I work at it.
2. The generation coming up needs to listen.
Watch and observe. Don’t just ask questions and wait for the “fill in the blank response.”
I have a spiritual father I meet with from time to time and I don’t ask ONE question. I just let him talk. Whatever God is guiding him in that day is what I want to hear. There are times I have a specific question, but I’ve watched him over the years. I have learned from his example over the years. I don’t always need to have a question.
Let’s observe from one another the faithfulness of God. We will then find that ANCHOR for our soul that carries us on in the journey with Christ.
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb. 6:17-20)
Abraham passed this soul anchor on to the next generations. We have this soul anchor passed to us. Let us be so anchored to Christ that we can faithfully demonstrate the beauty and power of the Kingdom to the next generation.
If there is one thing I try to maintain in communicating the gospel, it’s this: following Christ isn’t for the lazy. We keep making it too “easy” to think about being a part of a church, or being a “Christian,” but we aren’t doing people any good in making Jesus a friend to “hang out” with and have a good time.
Hebrews tells us a different story. By the time you get to the end of Chapter 10, you read sentences like:
“It’s scary to fall into the hands of the living God!” (v. 31, Common English Bible)
“But we aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed.” (v. 39, CEB)
This is not for faint of heart!
And this is the question that truly needs to be asked of us as the people of God from time to time: What sort of people are we?
Are we driving people to an emotional experience so Jesus is just your buddy you “hang” with?
Are we allowing people to think they can hang out with cool friends in a place called “church” that looks more like a coffee shop for an hour, then get back to their “other lives?”
What sort of people are we?
Do we know the FAITH of Christ in our lives? Do we know the cost of following Christ?
33 Sometimes you were exposed to insults and abuse in public. Other times you became partners with those who were treated that way.(CEB)
The need for our lives as believers is to understand we’re not here for the fabulous lattes. We are here because of a fabulous Savior who call us to endurance (v. 36).
Let us not be people who shrink back. Let us be the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved (v. 39).