Haters will show up!

When you do what God tells you to do, haters will show up.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 

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Service to God

“This is why God chooses people not merely to salvation but to service. Every saved man or woman or child is intended by God as a messenger and worker to make known God’s grace and power to others” (page 19, Baptist Beliefs)

E. Y. Mullins, Baptist Beliefs, 2009 by Judson Press, Valley Forge PA, 1912 by Baptist World Publishing Company, 1925 Judson Press, Revised 1991.

The Crown of Righteousness

2 Timothy 4:1-8

Verse 8 – Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day –  and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 

Death does not devour Believers. It is the passage to good hope! Death is the last struggle of life, but it is also the passage to victory through Christ, Jesus. It is the passage to the Crown of Righteousness.

“Saving Faith”

E Y Mullins in Baptist Beliefs (1912) says “Saving faith includes belief and trust: belief of the facts and truths of the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation.”

Jesus, healed ten of Leprosy (Luke 17:11-19), but only the Samaritan came back to thank him. “He (Jesus) said to him (the Samaritan), “Rise and go: your faith has made you well.” (Luke  17:19)

As the Samaritan’s faith in Jesus saved him from the leprosy, only our faith in Jesus Christ provides us eternal Salvation.

 

The Good Shepherd

In John 10:1-21 Jesus tells the story of the Good Shepherd and the sheep. He tells this story to offer the difference between a good shepherd and Israel’s false shepherds at that time. Jesus spoke of a good shepherd entering by the gate, of calling his sheep by their name and their knowing his voice. Jesus knows us and He knows that we belong to him. What do we know? As Christians, we must be able to distinguish the good Shepard’s voice from the impostors, the false shepherds, the hired hands.

References: NIV Study Bible, Zondervan

Jonh: LifeChange Series, NavPress

Thinking of Spring

Is it a coincidence that Easter is in the spring?  Of course not!  The symbolism is staggering.  The rebirth of the land; flowers, new leaves, planting season… the proverbial spring lambs and chicks, birds nesting… Ah, Spring!

What is the symbolism to a Christian?  The resurrection, the “born again” experience, (necessary for believers) and baptism, are all symbolic of the righteousness of Christ and fulfillment of God’s promise.  What we do with this and how we view the promise is up to us.  Our free will is constant in our walk towards Christ.  Sanctification is a continual process, one in which our participation is not just needed but required.

How are we sanctified?  This process of growth is a willful freeing of ourselves from the world around us and our daily immersion in things of God.  Sanctification comes when we read God’s Word, when we pray, when we study and council with other believers. It is the work of the Holy Spirit.  It comes when we stop struggling against a habit or a thought and turn it over to God.  It is the place we stand, when we are in that valley experience, and still cling to the truth that God is with us.  Sanctification and spring, each comes in their season, each comes with a predictability that blesses us with abundance.

It is for that abundant life, the renewal of the earth and our spirit, that we wait.  We are told in scripture to wait on the Lord, to walk, to run, to sit, to stand and most importantly to know.  Do we?  Do we, through sanctification, renew our spirits, rejoice in the spring time of our lives that comes when we look, and see, and know that God is?  He has given us so much and in this season of new hope, let us look at the abundance around us.  Along with the new buds and spring flowers, do we see, with joy, the gifts that are around us?

We are wealthy beyond our dreams.  Look around.  Is that house, big or small, a blessing?  What about the clothes you are wearing; the job that you have, can you see the blessings the abundance that you live in every day?

Look at the people in your life and see how abundant they are.  Friends, family, brothers & sisters in Christ, each bringing who they are to you, to fill you up with their love and joy and needs and opinions and pain.  If they allow you to know them, if you strive to know them, you will be sanctified.  Christ came knowing all of us.  He knows our every need and he sees us as we are, can we do less?

Be sanctified and with each step you will be given the abundance of a life full of God’s gifts.  Be sanctified and the pain that you suffer today will be the gift you can give to another in the future; help them understand and show them God’s grace.  Be sanctified and rest in the abundance of this very moment.  Rejoice in today, tomorrow and in the eternal abundant future with Christ.   Look, see and rejoice!

Our Goal is to Please Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:6-9 – Words of inspiration and comfort.

“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”