Thursday, March 28, 2024

What We Do that Lasts

What We Do that Lasts
by David Brenneman 

‭"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." 2 Timothy 1:8-14.

Everyone doesn't want to be forgotten. Either while living in this life or after they've entered into eternity. The desire is to not be forgotten. I can remember a song from long ago called "Remember Me". Then there's one of Glen Campbell's last songs that was along the same lines, "I'm not Going to Miss You.".

We want, at least on some level, to be recognized as having value.  

We work many years and we want our experience to amount to something. 

Yet...we are really called to die to self and live to Christ. It's not about the things the world says is important. The world promotes self-centered living. The world sugar coats idolatry. The world sugar coats adultery. The world sugar coats every single kind of sin mentioned in the Bible. 

The harder part is the recognizing of these and being intentional on turning from them.

Paul wrote "Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."

We are admonished to stand firm. 
We are encouraged to set our minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are of this world.
We are encouraged towards obedience in Christ Jesus. 

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16.

In the book of Jeremiah there's much said about how the children of Israel had gradually turned away from the Lord. Of how they put their time, energy and effort into idol worship willingly.

How often are we recognizing that the same temptations greet us each day as it did them?

We are just as easily tempted as any other human beings in history towards things that do not last nor do they matter in light of eternity. 

How important is it to you and I that we are found by Jesus doing what we were called to be doing in Him?

How important is it to weed out the seeds of idolatry, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing from our hearts?

How important is it to us to magnify Jesus and have there be less of us seen?

When we get dressed...maybe put on a hat. Are we pointing people to Jesus or to idols?  

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all." ‭Philippians 2:14-17.

Do you at all consider living a life that is proving you to be children of God innocent and blameless, above reproach? Isn't a life lived like that a life that lasts?

The world suggests we be all we can be. To go get what you're owed. To go get whatever you want to make you happy.  

We shouldn't so easily forget that we are saved by grace. God's unmerited favor. That without Christ we were deserving eternal separation from God.  

We shouldn't forget that eternity is on the line for everyone around us. Paul surely got this. Paul's concern was heavily on all the churches planted. Warning them of the wolves in sheep's clothing that would come in among the sheep. 

To take up our own cross, as Jesus didn't suggest but rather commanded us to do, means more than most people are considering. 

Preferring one another above ourselves. What lengths would you go to concerning this truth?

If we indeed want to leave a real mark on this world we need to but a greater effort into whatever God's Word says to hold fast to in our lives.  

When we get to stand before Jesus...our deeds will out us as to who we lived for. Our thoughts and intentions are always laid bare before Him with whom we have to do. We cannot stand on excuses. That's why a person who defends themselves has a fool for a client.  

How serious do you take the Christian life? Hmm?

Do you want to be remembered as one who loved Jesus? King David was called a man after God's own heart. It had everything to do with his love of God. What God wanted for him and of him was more important than his own self interests. Read through the book of Psalms.  

Consider your ways says the Lord.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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