Saturday, December 14, 2019
What it is and what it Isn't
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
There is much satisfaction in finishing something you have begun! The success of a race is determined not only by how well you begin but also by how well you end. Many athletes can begin a race impressively, but if they stumble or are injured or lack the stamina to finish, their good start is useless. Paul rejoiced that he had not only begun the race; but he had also finished it. His prize was a robust faith in God and a life filled with God's powerful presence. The Christian life is not easy. Some mistakenly assume that once they become children of God, their struggles are over. Many Christians begin their walk with Christ enthusiastically; but as the pressures mount, they lose heart and abandon their pilgrimage. Paul described his Christian life as a battle. There were times when he struggled, and only through perseverance could he continue. It may surprise us to know that the great apostle had to struggle at times to be faithful to God. Paul faced persecution, misunderstanding, betrayal, and death threats. His Christian life was anything but easy, yet he persevered. Your faith in God is not proven by beginning the race but by enduring to the finish. Publicly announcing your commitment to Christ in your church does not compare with a lifetime of devotion to His cause. Use Paul as your model. Live your life in such a way that you can one day conclude, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!” Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Blackaby writes of what the Christian life is like. There are those whom I know who seem to effortlessly go through that life. Still others are just making it and then there are those that the media seems to think shouldn't be mentioned, that are dying because they came to Christ.
For them they are indeed like those in the early days of the Church. Beheadings happen today. People choosing to accept the free gift of Salvation are sold by family to strangers because to them they have betrayed their god. Women being sold into sex trafficking all by family and so-called friends simply because they are now a Christian.
Making things more complicated we live in a nation here where the truth is forbidden to be spoken in the media. Lies must be accepted as the truth. Consider we now have advanced motion picture science to the point where you can be watched something that looks so real that you would believe it if it had the caption of "Breaking News!". It happened. A man created a very lifelike video of a damaged passenger plane making an emergency landing with that caption and people by the thousands believed it.
We also need to recognize the truth spoken by one of their own. A very much irritated, irrationally speaking, reporter yelled at a person asking a question. "It's OUR JOB to tell you what to think!!"
So what is the truth about life in Jesus? It's different, will at times be difficult, but you will never be alone in it. Many of the first Apostles were martyred. Look at Paul's description of his life.
In its own sense "The Matrix" is very real between the physical world and the Spiritual. People are blinded by lies. Small ones and great ones. Believer's are increasingly being told to sit down and shut up. They are being sued for living the life that they have in Christ. In many countries to become a Christian means within 48 hours you could already be dead and find yourself in the presence of Jesus. Satan is a very very sore loser. If God values it, he wants to devalue it. Not just devalue but to commit atrocities against even the dead in order to try to provoke God.
But the reality is this. At the Cross, he lost.
Scripture could not be broken.
Think about that. In light of whatever you may think or not think about God. That ONE point should get you thinking.
Satan had 6 to 8 thousand years to prepare for it. Had one third of the host of Heaven that fell with him and he couldn't stop Scripture from being fulfilled.
That same Scripture says a day has been fixed, or assigned, the Day of the Lord.
A day is coming when all who are in Christ, both the dead and living, will be caught up with Jesus in the clouds.
A day is coming when the events of the rest of the Bible concerning the end times WILL come true.
Is your being right versus the Bible worth it? Are you living the life God intended for you as He intended or are you in any way living for yourself?
Living life means fully recognizing the truth as Jesus said it. The Bible is His Word. His will, WILL be done. You will face a time in your life when you must choose between Him or the world. If you choose Jesus I won't sugar coat it, you could face rough times. Jesus said it would be that way. You are never promised a life of prosperity. Those are lies of Satan. You were promised many things in Christ but that wasn't one of them.
Why do you think Jesus mentioned to a Church in Revelation to hold onto their faith. Because that is the one thing that the Spirit works through in you.
Open your eyes and see the real world.
Are you wasting time rather than learning how to walk closely with your Savior? Are things of this world more important than a right relationship with Jesus? Do you spend hours doing worthless things and give Jesus the leftovers? So tired in Church to stay awake to worship God?
Where is your passion? Is it in anything else but Jesus? Do you even speak to Jesus about more than being thankful for the food?
In the home of your heart, where is Jesus allowed to go? Do you really think He approves of what you do or did you ever bother to ask?
Have you done like the Pharisees and Sadducees and set rules and doctrines in your life that hinder the Holy Spirit from teaching you? Because they did. When we begin saying that God only works through a single translation or a single denomination we hinder the Holy Spirit.
We begin picking and choosing truth rather than accepting what the Spirit is wanting to teach.
Look at your life. If you indeed are a Christian, are you spending your time energy and effort on what you want or on what God wants?