Friday, March 22, 2019

DOES IT MATTER HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES?

“Then Jesus said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it.’”  (Matthew 16:24-25)

As Christians, it does matter how we live our lives... Once we accept Christ into our lives to be our Savior, God through the Holy Spirit immediately begins working in us so that we will have the power to live for Him. However many Christians, including us, often find ourselves struggling to live righteously because instead of relying on God’s power, we try to change from our previous lifestyles on our own.

Properly living the Christian lifestyle may also be difficult to some because we are not fully seeking and thirsting after God with all our hearts. To live God’s way we would be forced to deny ourselves many of the things that we may enjoy. We would have to stop being self-centered and commit ourselves to following God, His Word and His commandments completely. We would not be able to just live for Christ sometimes or for only certain parts of the day, but all day, every day.

-- Danita Evangeline, Danae Mary Louise, Daniqua Grace, and Danyelle Elizabeth Whyte from their blog virtuousgirls.wordpress.com 


#4551

Thursday, March 21, 2019

DABBLING IN DISCIPLESHIP

“TO DABBLE: to undertake something superficially or without serious intent.” Most of us dabble at an endeavor from time to time. I used to dabble at stone polishing. I purchased rock tumblers and the various grits for each stage of the process. I polished batches of rocks for a couple of years. But over time, I lost interest. I could take it or leave it, and I pretty much left it. …. When we dabble, we spend time on something that really doesn’t affect or change us.

…Religious dabbling is alive and well among us. Some forms of church shopping today are little more than “dabbling” at discipleship. ‘Let’s see what this church can do for me and mine’ is not all that far removed from ‘let’s see whether Jesus will perform a sign for me’ [as Herod did in Luke 23:6-12]. Perhaps even more critical, some forms of faith involvement are little more than “dabbling” at discipleship. ‘As long as we don’t scratch beneath the surface of my life or the status quo around here, as long as all this “religious stuff” is not taken too seriously: everything will be all right.’

But will it? And will we?

Dabbling is all about keeping things on the surface. Discipleship goes deep into our world and into us. Dabbling is all about the momentary piquing of our curiosity before we move on to the next oddity that attracts -- or distracts -- our attention. Discipleship is all about fidelity that keeps faith with One whose presence is steady and whose call is demanding. Dabbling leaves us unaffected. Discipleship intends to change us at the core. Dabbling naturally leads to mocking the committed. Discipleship inevitably calls to living committed.

Which will it be for us? 

-- John Indermark in “Gospeled Lives”


#4550

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

BECAUSE GOD IS GRACIOUS

“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”  (Psalm 145:8 ESV)

The two great features of Protestant theology are its doctrines of justification by faith and the law as the rule of life.  This is a synthesis of New Testament grace and Old Testament ethics.  With this synthesis, Protestants have solved the problem of finding a gracious God, but they have not solved the problem of finding gracious neighbors.  They can fellowship with God because He is gracious; but they find it difficult to fellowship with one another, because they are not so gracious.

-- Robert D. Brinsmead in “Justification by Faith” 


#4549

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

THE GIFT OF GRACE

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23 NLT)

Without question, grace is at the core of the Christian faith. The word ‘grace’ is one of the most profound words in the New Testament. It is full of meaning and message. Interestingly, the New Testament does not define grace, but rather simply points to Jesus as the embodiment and demonstration of God’s grace in our world. The Gospel of John proclaims; “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 RSV) One preacher called grace the shorthand word for the whole gospel. It captures the essence of God’s attitude and relationship with us.

The word translated ‘grace’ in the Greek is ‘charis’, from which we get the word ‘charity’, but it literally means ‘favor.’ Grace is the unmerited, unearned, and underserved favor of God. The gospel message is that God gives His grace through Jesus Christ to persons of every age, time, and station, who have done nothing to deserve it. It is a gift and can only be accepted. 

-- James W. Moore and Bob J. Moore in “Lord, Give Me Patience!... And Give It to Me Right Now!” 


#4548

Monday, March 18, 2019

THE GOSPEL IN A NUTSHELL -- JOHN 3:16

FOR GOD -- The Greatest Deity
SO LOVED -- The Greatest Caring
THE WORLD -- The Greatest Company
THAT HE GAVE -- The Greatest Gift
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON -- The Greatest Perfection
THAT WHOSOEVER -- The Greatest Invitation
BELIEVES -- The Greatest Simplicity
IN HIM -- The Greatest Attraction
SHOULD NOT PERISH -- The Greatest Promise
BUT -- The Greatest Difference
HAVE -- The Greatest Certainty
EVERLASTING LIFE -- The Greatest Possession

-- Source Unknown 


#4547