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Archive for the ‘Maturity’ Category

Faith Is Not Enough!

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Simon Peter … to them that have obtained like precious faith with us … Add to your faith … virtue…knowledge …temperance … patience … godliness … brotherly kindness … charity. For if these things be in you … ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful … but he that lacketh these things is blind…” — 2nd Peter 5:1-10

Faith in Christ, alone, makes us his but it isn’t all he wants to accomplish. God’s intent is not to just take us to heaven, he wants to do something with us here.

There are several additives listed but one that gets easily overlooked is “Brotherly Kindness”. It can’t be done when alone. Being kind to brothers, sisters, neighbors, or anyone can’t be done from the prayer closet.

Isolation is the goal of our culture and time in history — living in our own world the way we want, content to be left alone, perturbed when others try to enter. That’s the flow of the river we swim in and the current carries us along without us realizing…its not spiritual it’s cultural, just going with today’s flow.

We must choose to come out and interact with people, especially people of faith.

If regular church attendance, mingling and interacting with people who are different, is not on the agenda; if letting people we don’t know well in is not our style then it will blind us to God’s purposes and stunt our growth!

Don’t let the stream of our culture prevent the embracing of God’s desires and blessing. Reach out and show brotherly kindness.

— fritz.

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“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” — 1st Corinthians 6:2

Our future is NOT sitting around heaven on a cloud eating bon-bons and strumming on harps into eternity — we’ll have a job to do!

The apostle Paul wrote that the saints were destined for leadership positions in Christ’s coming kingdom. The apostle John, too, wrote of the vision he saw of Christ’s followers living and reigning with Jesus on the earth for a thousand years. This isn’t a new idea, the Old Testament is filled with references to “the saints'” (not the football team) leadership role. See Psalm 149 as an example. The Old Testament term, “Saints”, according to Paul, actually refers to even the most insignificant feeble follower of Christ.

No good company puts someone into leadership without training, so why would God? And where are we going to get that training but in our jobs and doing what we are doing now. It’s not just busy work until Christ returns, I’m learning a lot about people and life. Not all of it is pleasant but all of it is a learning experience!

I believe this is exactly why God doesn’t just take us to heaven the moment we give ourselves to Christ.

We enter God’s Leadership Training program.

— fritz
Related posts:
Our Future” – June 21, 2012
Recognizing Value” – June 14, 2012

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John Ortberg

“The growth of the disciples looked something like this: First they had faith in Jesus; then they began to have the faith of Jesus. Their mental maps began to look like Jesus’ mental map. — John Ortberg1

John goes on to say that the deepest conviction of the followers of Christ is boiled down to one sentence,

… his disciples realized that Jesus is the Savior of the world—that he really is the revelation of God himself—and therefore they trusted him with their eternal destinies as well. Elton Trueblood wrote these words, and I think they are profoundly true: “The deepest conviction of the Christian is that Christ was not wrong.

That’s really what it comes down to, experiencing Christ in living enough to decide to believe him, to take up the faith he had.

Related Post: “Mr Monk’s Gospel Lesson” – May 14, 2010

1 Ortberg, John (2008-09-02). Faith and Doubt (Kindle Locations 715-719). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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“I’m disappointed…I always had the idea as a child that adults were pretty much the people they wanted to be.” — John Ortberg

The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg, 1997 Zondervan

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A.B. Simpson D.D. 1843 - 1919

“”Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word;

Once His gift I wanted,
Now the Giver own ;

Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.

All in all forever,
Jesus will I sing;

Everything in Jesus,
And Jesus everything.”
— A.B.Simpson D.D.

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[Felix] hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.  –  Acts 24:26

A curious story – Paul was unjustly thrown in prison and brought before governor Felix, who saw no fault in him but wanted a bribe for his release.

Felix couldn’t say so, of course, but everyone knew it – that’s the way things got done.

But Paul was content to stay in that awful environment, meet with Felix and the other prisoners as often as they asked, then finally be passed on to do the same for someone else.

Why?  It doesn’t say, but I think Paul trusted that Jesus hadn’t abandoned him but was with him in that prison.  And when God is with you what difference does it make where you are. I think Paul resolved, as an act of faith, to not live for himself, even in putrid surroundings, and to not manipulate the system to get what he wanted.

Lesson: We sometimes find ourselves in unhealthy and unpleasant circumstances, not because we are outside God’s will but because we are in it, and letting some opportunities go is the right thing to do.

Sound Bite: When God is with you what difference does it make where you are!
– fritz

Related Post: Not a Prisoner of the one who Owns the Chains (May 8, 2010)

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Maturity

Maturity – knowing what not to say and not saying it.

“If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” – James 3:2b

-fritz

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