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Archive for the ‘Confidence’ Category

John Ortberg

John Ortberg

“The central promise in the Bible is not ‘I will forgive you,’ although of course that promise is there. It is not the promise of life after death, although we are offered that as well. The most frequent promise in the Bible is ‘I will be with you.'”

– John Ortberg, God is Closer Than You Think pg.16

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SharedCar3Yesterday I had a conversation with our Son about the car. He was incensed we would put our car he drives in the shop without providing another for his use. I tried to explain it was my job to administer our shared resources for the good of all — which means sometimes he has to wait and/or find alternatives to the places he wants to go.

Reasoning did no good, I guess because it combined two words: “Him” and “Wait”.

Today God had a conversation with me about almost the same thing. This world, everyone and everything in it, is a shared resource. It’s his dirt, he must administer those resources according to his wisdom and love — which means sometimes I have to wait and/or find alternatives to get me places I want to go, trusting that what I really need he will provide.

Sharing resources requires patience, a positive attitude, and perseverance.

— fritz

* Get your own dirt. April 27, 2012

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workerKnowing how something is built is not the same as knowing how to build it.

Part owner of a construction company years ago, it was my job to know how walls, ceilings, and floors were constructed and to know when these were built according architectural specifications; but to actually do the building was totally different. Building skills are only learned by building.

Likewise, the Bible tells us how to be godly but learning how to do it comes from experience. As a young preacher I knew a lot about how following Christ was done but I am still learning how to do it.

Jesus said,

“Here’s what I propose: … If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously… love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer…If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? … You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.” (Matthew 5:38-48 Message)

There are things we must learn how to do if we expect to be of service to Christ.

How are you going to learn how to “turn the other cheek” unless someone slaps you? How am I going to learn how to love my enemies unless I have enemies? How are you going to learn how to pray for those who spitefully use you unless you have a boss that throws you under the bus or co-workers that spread malicious gossip? How am I going to learn how to trust God to provide unless I sometimes lose my job or go through difficulty?

We say, “God why would you let me get slapped in the face?!”, when all God is doing is teaching how live for Christ instead of just knowing how living for Christ is done.

– fritz

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Jesus “was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? — Mark 4:38

Jesus was accused of not caring three times in the New Testament.

One of those occasions was after he had spent the whole day preaching. He and the disciples were headed to the other side of a the lake when a storm started to capsize the ship.

Many of the disciples were experienced fishermen so they did what they knew best — they bailed water. But it was too much for them and they were sinking. Not Jesus, he was sleeping. They thought if he cared he would be frantic like them, after all if the ship sinks he goes with it — maybe not! Maybe he would walk away and leave them drowning.

It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t care, it was that he trusted his Father. That trust is at the heart of why this story is in the Bible. He peacefully slept while all around was in turmoil because he knew that at the right time the Father would show him what to do, even if it was strange, that it would work, and they would all be ok.

Panic never solved anything in a good way. Trust, rest, calm action when prompted — that’s what God wants us to learn through the storms.

— fritz

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Sennachrib

Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, the LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? — Isaiah 36:18-19

The Bible tells of when a foreign king came to conquer Jerusalem under the reign of king Hezekiah.

Hezekiah was a good king and trusted God, encouraging his people to do so, too. The enemy tried to get them to give up by blurring the lines between their faith and that of others, saying they are all the same and all just as weak.

The same mantra is heard today — trying to get us think all faiths are the same, just as potent, just as weak.

They are not.

The Bible tells of God’s secret place, unknown by many.1

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty … Surely he shall deliver thee … – Psalm 91:1-2a

That secret place has always been in Christ. The Old Testament saints trusted in the coming Christ who would save them, just as we look back to that same Christ who saves us. As Jesus said,

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. — John 8:56

Ours is a living faith in the living God and his Christ

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. — Revelation 11:14-16

— fritz

1. See Also: A Secret Society (but Anyone Can Join) — March 12, 2010

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Some think the best we can hope for is to live the best we can then find out later if it was good enough.

The Bible says God intends something better than that.

My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life” – 1st John 5:13-15 (Message Bible)

If God wants us to know we have eternal life, why be satisfied with guessing?

— fritz

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