Survival

Faced with dissention in your church? Faced with neighbors or co-workers who actively look for something negative in your life because you are a believer, a follower of Christ? Faced with your own doubts about your faith? Not to mention dealing with the doubts created by the myriad of deception in the social, political, and religious arenas, and the ongoing nightmare some of that has become.

Can you look at yourself and ask, am I too focused on myself? Can you answer that question, and if the answer is yes, can you do what it takes to renew your mind to that rich and joyful heart you had when your focus was on Jesus?

Not alone; no we can’t do it alone. We need the Bible’s instructions and encouragement and we need the Holy Spirit to guide us through renewal, strengthen us, love us back to that first love. We need to trust God to put people in our lives that will stand beside us in our journey of faith.

Survival may seem a little dramatic, because so much of the world view can, and has shaped how we view things. But you are worth the sacrifice Jesus made, or He wouldn’t have made it. We were warned about these difficult times, so move toward survival. Your reward awaits you – life eternal with Jesus.

Take the time to read Romans 12. Read it, absorb it, keep reading it until it wraps itself around you like a comforting quilt, and then go live it. And rejoice in the changes you experience.

A Living Sacrifice

​I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Gifts of Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12 (ESV)

One of those days

Have you ever had one of those days where there isn’t anything really wrong but something doesn’t seem right? So you pray, and you listen to God’s Word, and you pray some more, and because you wonder if it is caused by a lack of sleep you lie down. But you don’t sleep. You think about what needs to be done. You think about people dealing with difficult things. And you pray. And you think some more. Finally, you think about how you’re putting off writing and doing things around the home that need to be done.

You also think about how gracious God is through it all, and how for the last few days, foremost on your mind is praising Him. You think about how you want to share the joy He brings to your life, and not always focus on the studies that are so helpful, but can sometimes feel so burdensome…

And, that has been my day as I sit down at the computer six hours later than usual. And my choice for the blog is not a study, but just this collection of random thoughts, and an old song that makes me smile and tap my feet.