Saturday, August 19, 2017
Well, daily blogger issues. Exploring other platforms will post a link when I switch.
Patience and Hope
Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience
- James 1:2-3
What a strange command this is, to count (perceive, think) it a joyful thing when difficult and dark trials come your way. Trials, by their very nature, cause pain. Why would we be joyful to find ourselves in the middle of such an ordeal?
Thankfully, James gives us the reason for the command so that we can better understand and appreciate it. Know this, James says: this test of your faith is working (present tense) patience in you.
What is so great about patience? A good question, since James seems to think that, if we trade comfort and painlessness for trials and patience, we come out ahead. What makes patience so precious or valuable that it is worth the pain we have to go through in order to get it?
Simply put, patience means contentment with one's current situation (see verse 4).
Now there are many people who have good health, plenty of money, popularity, and everything else a person might think of as the key to happiness -- and yet they are miserable. Why? Because they have not found contentment.
On the other hand, we find men and women in the New Testament who are perfectly happy in the midst of miserable circumstances. Paul and Silas sing in prison, John rejoices in exile on Patmos, the apostles are thrilled to suffer for the sake of Christ.
Why? Because these saints learned to wait on God's perfect timing, wisdom, and power to accomplish His perfect purposes. This gave them total contentment, a patient and joyful spirit, even in the worst situations.
Are you neck-deep in a trial of your own? Count it a joy to learn contentment in the school of Christ.
Friday, August 18, 2017
If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother
- Matthew 18:15
Jesus here gives the prescription for offenses within the body of Christ. Do you believe His medicine is effective? Will you apply its healing power to your life?
If a member of the body has injured you in some way, Jesus says to speak with him or her about it in private. Do not broadcast the injury around the church. Do not try to gather a group of people "on your side" within the church. In fact, do not bring it up with anyone else at all!
Tell him his fault between you and him alone. That is the first and necessary step toward genuine reconciliation and peace within the body. If this labor does not work, Jesus gives further instructions in the verses that follow.
But before moving on to the next "step" of discipline, consider this first and foundational admonition carefully. Have you spoken to the offending person, in complete privacy? Was your goal to gain your brother or sister, as Jesus clearly intimates it should be? Or were you simply seeking to offend someone in return?
Do you believe the Great Physician knows how to heal His own church? Then apply His cure liberally to your own heart and friendships and see its marvelous power to restore, refresh, and renew the body of Christ.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ
- Galatians 6:2
To bear each other's burdens means to emotionally, financially, physically, and -- most of all -- spiritually support one another in times of need. Are you ready for such a commitment?
The church of Jesus Christ is not a social club or fraternity. It is the family of God, committing to one another that we will grow together, rejoice together, and hurt together as a body. No member of God's family should ever have to bear grief, or pain, or problems on their own.
Interestingly, Galatians is the New Testament's preeminent work on grace versus law. Paul is writing to the saints in Galatia and warning them against the bondage of legalistic, works-based attempts at salvation. Yet, in that very context Paul declares the need for us to "fulfill the law of Christ."
Which is it, we might ask? Law or grace? It is the law of Christ, because of the grace of Christ. Because of Christ's sin-bearing, yoke-sharing ministry to us through grace, we are to bear one another's burdens and reflect our Savior. We are to fulfill the selfless law of Christ's grace, which Paul has already summed up for us in the single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself" (5:14).
Do you grieve when you lose a loved one? Then you can help bear your neighbor's burden, as if it were your own. Do you struggle with discouragement? Then love your neighbor as yourself and give the same encouragement that you yourself would desire in the same situation.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Testing 1 2 3
Every time I try to post about our Silver Wedding anniversary, it crashes ....every time no matter what day I try.
So today after successfully posting this test message and then a subsequent crash of new post, I decided to edit my test post lol.
Silver Looks good on us!