Still maturing spiritually!

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Jan 302018
 

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

Kids are excited by their physical growth.

They’ll stand back to back and compare height.

Most children keep track of how they match up to their parents.

Adult believers may be finished with physical growth.

But they are still maturing spiritually!

And checking progress is still an exciting experience.

There are few ways to evaluate growth:

We know-

– our relationship with God-

– is growing when we can see our true nature clearly.

As the Spirit gains greater control of our life-

– we become increasingly aware of our own sinfulness and weakness.

We realize we can’t live the Christian life alone.

We know-

– our response to sin.

Conviction brings about immediate and genuine repentance.

Ignoring our sin is rebellion against God.

This type of disobedience halts spiritual growth.

We know-

– our relying on God-

– is deepening when we guard our devotional time.

Private moments of prayer and scriptural meditation must be a top priority for maturing believers.

Listening to the Lord and talking with Him about our needs enables us to stay connected to His will.

Spiritual growth should give us joy.

Why?

Because our spirit is looking more and more like that of Jesus Christ.

As Philippians 2:15 states, we don’t have to stand back to back with people of the world for them to see that we’re “children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.”

(PA)

Nov 142017
 

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7.

Have you prayed and prayed and waited and waited?
And still there is no manifestation?

Are you tired of seeing nothing move?
Are you just at the point of giving it all up?

Perhaps you have not waited in the right way!

“With patience wait!” Romans 8:25.

Patience takes away
worry!
His promise is equal to His presence!
He knows your need better than you do!!
His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all.

Patience takes away your weeping!
Patience takes away self-works.
The work He desires is that you “believe”. John 6:29.
And when you believe, you may then know that all is well.

“weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

Patience takes away all want!
Your desire for the thing you wish is perhaps stronger than-
– your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival.

Patience takes away all weakening!
Instead of having the delaying time, a time of letting go,
– know that God is getting a larger supply ready and must get you ready too.

Patience takes away all wobbling!
“Make me stand upon my standing” Daniel 8:18.
God’s foundations are steady.

When His patience is within-
– we are steady while we wait.​​

Patience gives worship!
A praiseful patience paves the way for a joyful worship.

“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Col.1:11,12. 

“Let patience have its perfect work-
– that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  James 1:4.

(PA)

Nov 132017
 

“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41.

When Jesus spoke about going the extra mile-

He wasn’t referring to customer service,

but to a Roman law imposed on the people.

The law stated that Roman soldiers could order any citizen-

– to carry their weapons or equipment for a distance of up to one mile.

No matter what you were doing, the law required that you drop everything and obey.

You can guess how the people felt about that!

So when Jesus said, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two,” the people weren’t exactly thrilled.

In today’s context-

– it would be comparable to having a very demanding boss who expects so much from you that at times it seems unreasonable.

Yet still you do even more than he or she expects even if it goes unacknowledged.

What Jesus was saying to Christians is this:

“Even if your boss is incredibly difficult, don’t just do the bare minimum.

Go above and beyond, even exceeding their expectations.

But be careful to watch your motives.
Don’t act in this way expecting a raise or hoping to be promoted; do it because you want to be a positive witness for Christ.”

Do it for the glory of God!

If you want to communicate a character and a lifestyle that is beyond the norm-

– if you want to be a positive witness for Christ,
– are you willing to go the extra mile?

The world is always surprised when people live that way!

(PA)

Nov 062017
 

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”James 3:6.

Gossip isn’t a popular subject-
– but it certainly is a popular activity.

Many people spend a great deal of time participating in idle talk about someone else-
– usually with the intention of injuring the individual in some way.

Unfortunately, believers are oftentimes just as guilty of gossiping as unbelievers.

But our Father wants us to see the practice for what it truly is.

The Bible includes gossip in a couple of odious categories.
Paul lists it amidst interrelated sins like deceit, malice, slander, and arrogance. Rom. 1:29-30.

Gossip is deceptive and defamatory-
– and it is accompanied by both cruelty and pride.

These are all characteristics of “haters of God,” according to the apostle.

In another passage describing ungodly practices-
Paul places gossip in the middle.

And of course, everyone recognizes the Ten Commandments, whose last decree is-
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” Ex. 20:16.

Gossip does not fit who we are as God’s children.

Just as you can’t have poison and pure water pouring from the same stream-
– you cannot have both God-honoring talk and gossip coming from a believer.

When evil words pass our lips, they are indicative of what we harbour in our heart.

However-
God is in the heart-cleaning business.

If we falter-
– allowing gossip and its cohorts, malice and deceit, into our lives
– we should pray as David did:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Ps. 19:14.

(PA)

Oct 242017
 

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“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).

Your personality is partly the result of the way you were parented.

Other factors are also involved, of course.
But parents have a bigger influence on their children than some like to admit.

Children from abusive homes, for example, usually suffer from severe insecurity.

They may struggle with anger in much the same way their parents do, repeating the cycle when they have children of their own.

On the other hand-
– parents who are kind and loving tend to pass on these traits to their children.

When you become a Christian-
– you are adopted by a Perfect Parent,
– a heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally.

You have nothing to fear from Him-
– because He watches over you with constant love and protection.

He is more powerful than any problem you will ever face.
You will not live in want, because your Father’s resources are unlimited.

As God’s child, then, your life ought to reflect His character.

The more time you spend with your Father-
– the more you’ll become like Him:
– loving, patient, giving, and fair.

As you grow in your faith-
His influence will come to have even more of an impact on you than your earthly parents do.

So don’t use imperfect parents as an excuse for not living up to God’s standards.

You do have a Perfect Parent-
– who will teach you how to be loving, forgiving, patient, and everything else…just like He is.

How much time have you been spending with your Father lately?

(PA)