Monday, December 16, 2013

How Deep is Your Comittment?

Hebrews 11. This chapter is well known for  certain verses such as, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen" and "Without faith it is impossible to please God".  However, tonight I decided to dig deeper and I read through the whole chapter and boy, was I amazed by what I read.

This chapter names some very influential people in the Bible who exhibited some crazy faith. Among those named were Noah, Moses, Abraham, Rahab, and the list goes on. Many of these same people endured some harsh/trying times while keeping their faith and being obedient to God.  They were beaten, made fun of, placed in prison and even put to death. However through it all they remained faithful.  The part that really blew me away was v 39, "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised...". I know what you are thinking. You mean to tell me they went through ALL of that and did not even receive the promise? Some might say, Oh heck no. I'm not about that life. However, their actions are truly commendable. How so you may ask. Well, as it states they did not receive the promise BUT they died fighting for others to receive the promise.  They did not grow weary in well doing.  They remained faithful to One who promised.

Just because they did not receive what was promised does not mean they did not see the hand of God at work in their lives.  Verse 33-35 says, "... who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection".  This clearly shows us that the power of God can be manifested if only we are obedient to His will for our lives.  When we demonstrate that we have an unshakeable faith in God, He in turn shows up and rewards us.  I'm sure this all propelled them to be even more faithful.  They were committed to God. We have to ask ourselves that question.  How deep is our commitment towards Christ? Would we obey His command if we knew we would not inherit what was promised at the end? Would we give up in the midst of it all because it seems like the promise is never going to come? Today I encourage you to obey and have faith like these courageous men and women mentioned in this chapter and throughout the whole Bible.  Keep pressing forward remembering that He who promised is faithful.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Clothe Yourself

"12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."Colossians 3:12-14
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This portion of scripture talks about how we as believers should behave among each other. Some of the characteristics mentioned were humility, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, etc. It is important that we show each other all of these things and more because we are the example for those outside the four walls of the church. 

If we have no compassion for each other how can we show it to those who really need it? 

If we can't forgive our brother or sister for something they may have done to us, how can we preach forgiveness to the visitors?

If we are not accepting of the flaws of our fellow brothers and sisters how can we accept and embrace the flaws of those coming in searching for something more??

If we can't display humility among those who have seen our transformation from what we were to what we are now, how could we possibly demonstrate to visitors that it's a humble and broken heart that God looks for and desires to make whole again?

Portraying  these characteristics amongst the church folk (or among anyone for that matter) may be difficult sometimes. But as Paul says in verse 17,  we must strive to remember that ALL we do is unto God.