Showing posts with label Sacrifice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sacrifice. Show all posts

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Choosing One Day Of Rest

We are often reminded that God rested the seventh day after he created our world and Adam and Eve. How often do we follow his example and the admonition of the scriptures? We should be more pro-active in enjoying a day of rest each week because the spiritual blessings are many.

It is good to have one day per week when we totally wind down. A day when we don't do all of the stuff that we usually do becomes a day of renewal. Christians feel that Sunday is that day. We use that day for special worship-of-God activities, special Sunday meals and peacefulness.

Some people have to work on Sunday, so they choose another day of rest. Some Christians choose to set apart Saturday for special worship and renewal. It's not so much the day but the obedience to God and the scriptures that blesses us. 

Like with fasting, our minds are brought back to the knowledge, every hour of that chosen day, that we are honoring God through sacrifice. Throughout that day when we think of things that we want to do but shouldn't, we are reminded that we are sacrificing and that Jesus Christ sacrificed for us. We draw closer to God on this day of rest.

Whatever day you choose, be sure to do something different than what you usually do, something restful, peaceful and calm. Cultivate serenity, tranquility and elevated worship. Use it as a prayer-building day. Be refreshed, restored and renewed one day per week, not just spiritually but physically as well. The blessings will be abundant!

Hebrews 4:1-11

Deuteronomy 5:14 

Exodus 20:10, 23:12

Genesis 2:2-3



Friday, August 12, 2022

Loving & Letting God Repay

Don't hate and don't retaliate. We don't know the reasons why God allows us to suffer unfairness, mistreatment, harassment, persecution and other types of attacks, but he always has a plan for us.

The Word encouragingly tells us that all things, not some things, all things work together for good to those of us who love him, who are the called and always according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 We also understand that the good will of God towards us, while primarily for the World to come, is also for our present place of habitation. Luke 18:30

It is Our Father's will that some of the good that is built through trials and tribulations come to us during our present, earthly life. All things work together for good but some we will receive after we leave this dying world. In Hebrews 11:13-17,39-40, we read a summary of faithful Believers who journeyed through a life of commitment to God but left this world not having received the promise despite all that they endured.

One thing is sure. God does not and cannot lie. Every jot and tittle of his Word will come to pass. Matthew 5:18 We can have faith that none of our endurance, suffering, sorrow and tears will be wasted. If we are faithful to God and determine to not hate those who show hate towards us, and not retaliate against those who are malicious towards us, we will eventually receive good through their ill will and hurtful actions.

So we, as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, choose not to hate and not to retaliate in thought, word or deed. We choose to love (with God's love because our flesh cannot love with purity) and let God handle the repayment and vindication against those who offend. I will repay, says Our Father regarding those who are on a mission to malign others. Romans 12:19-21 Our rewards, both here and in the New Heaven and the New Earth, are worth waiting for through Godly endurance of all that he allows. We choose to love and let God.





Sunday, February 27, 2022

Should I Be In This Relationship?


All Christians are at various levels of growth, though we are all sisters and brothers in Christ. However, just because a person is a Christian doesn't mean that what they have to offer in association with you is pure, edifying, honest, worthy or supported by God.
When the Bible says "How can two walk together unless they be agreed?", that can pertain to Christians also. It's not only a matter for Christians in association or relationship with non-Believers. It's important to consider between Christians, especially when it comes to young Christians and those who are more experienced and advanced. We should always be asking ourselves what is a Christian Relationship in reference to our upward walk? 

Just because someone says that they are a brother or sister in Christ does not mean that they would make a good friend, spouse, business partner, spiritual mentor or other. Some Christians are constantly growing and some Christians never grow up in Christ. Many Christians want to grow and many do not. It's an individual choice which means that all Christians are not compatible.

Babes in Christ and those who refuse to submit themselves to God's requirements for growth are still carnally-minded. They are still operating in the ways of death. (Romans 8:6) Whether they will choose to grow in Christ Jesus always remains to be seen.
When it comes to romance and dating, new Christians have not yet had time to develop pure Christian dating principles. It is difficult for them to receive and understand the necessity of Biblical dating principles because they haven't yet had time to absorb enough of the Word of God to begin to manifest their transformation. Others have chosen not to eat and drink the Word daily. In doing so, they have chosen not to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. (Romans 12:2) Maybe they will later but again, maybe they won't.

We are experienced in Christ. We are advanced. We should not be embracing into our lives everyone who identifies as Christian. Wisdom and common sense tells us that we should be applying Matthew 7:20 and 1 John 4:1, in one way or another, to all of our relationships and potential affiliations. Evaluation takes time. The more the potential for our Christian advancement to be compromised the longer that evaluation should take. That means watch and wait before we embrace connections.

You say that as an advanced, growing Christian you can help the babes to higher heights in God. There is some truth to that because the Scriptures encourage the strong to help the weak. That thinking with undisciplined, unwise actions, however, is how many growing Christians have downfalls. Those downfalls become harder and harder to overcome.

Some Christians will never be compatible with us. The inability to accept this can lead to discord, disappointment, emotional exhaustion, sorrow, loss, tragedy, the undermining of our Christian faith and more. None of it is necessary if we accept the truth and value the riches of our growth, rather than the lure of compromise. 

Understanding this should also impact our Christian business relationships definition. We should always be measuring our business alliances with the ruler of God's Word and our advanced knowledge in Christ. As you well know, growing in Christ is often a lonely life. While we can look forward to rewards, even here and now, it's not easy to take that journey and stay in the path. It takes:

  • becoming more spiritually-minded everyday,
  • learning to crucify the flesh,
  • being purged and pruned by the Holy Spirit,
  • being cut by the Word of God,
  • learning to resist the devil,
  • learning how to cast down imagination,
  • learning to deny ourselves at times,
  • learning to be moderate in all things,
  • learning to walk humbly,
  • learning to not think more highly of ourselves than we should while being thankful and grateful,
  • letting God have his way,
  • learning to recognize God's will,
  • being obedient to God's will,
  • continually giving more over to God,
  • suffering with Christ in all the ways that God ordains,
  • and more wonderful things like that.
I know you get that I'm saying those last few words with tongue-in-cheek, with a little humor sprinkled in but they are oh so true. For those who want to go higher in Christ in this world, who want more of God, who want to live a life of storing up riches in Heaven where the moths and rusts of this fallen, dying world cannot corrupt them and steal our rewards, it is the desired way. Being purged by God is welcomed. It can be exhausting but we'd rather be exhausted for The Kingdom than exhausted for the world, the flesh and the devil, like we were in the old days.
Many accept Christ but never take the first step onto the narrow path of transformation and renewal. Many think they have given it all over to God. Many know that they have not. However, in their secret heart, the minute that a spiritual offense comes, the minute that they suspect that God wants more from them, they choose not to move forward. There is no compatibility with those who do not want to grow in Christ and those who are. Good Christian friends are those who are on an upward track of continual growth, similar to ours.
Those who don't want to grow think that those who are growing are fanatics and over-doers. They are still blind and conceited and will try to undermine the growing Christian and convince us in subtle ways that we don't need all of that. How do we know? We were there once! We may not have consciously tried to undermine other Christians, but we had thoughts of not needing all of that that an advanced Christian displayed. They were spiritually beyond us. 
Don't allow your hard-won development and maturity in Christ to be compromised by not recognizing the difference between you being sold-out to Christ and someone who is not. Don't be brought down by anyone who, by virtue of their lack of growth, is still dabbling in the dark places from where you came or who simply doesn't want to go higher in Christ.

Be friendly with care, mentor with care, relate with care, exhort with care, partner with care, share with care, be compassionate with care, join with care, contract with care, remembering always that the Bible makes it plain. Two cannot walk together unless they are agreed. (Amos 3:3) That goes for any association that we have or could have in this world, whether it's with one person or fifty. 


  

Monday, July 9, 2018

Resting In Obedience


Jesus decides to wash his disciples' feet to illustrate a principle.
As Christians, when we finally get it we then try to do too much. In John 13:5-10, Jesus begins to wash the feet of his disciples. When he comes to Peter, the disciple in his ignorance rejects Jesus' humble service. When Jesus explains to him that in allowing his teacher to serve him he is acknowledging that they are one. He is showing that we can rest in obedience. Peter, however, goes overboard.
Jesus humbly begins to wash the feet of his disciples.
Peter enthusiastically says that if that's the case, he then wanted Jesus to wash his hands and his head! While it is commendable that Peter was so committed to his relationship with The Savior, all of that was not necessary. In the Christian walk, God shows us often that much of our activity is not necessary, and that we can rest in obedience. He explained to Peter that to be clean for the purposes and point that his Lord and Master was making meant that only his feet needed to be washed. 
Peter's ignorance causes him to reject Jesus' ministering.
There are deeper messages in this passage. For now, I will say that we as Christians try to do too much. The too much is what we perceive as pleasing God, or being a part of God's kingdom. We work hard to think of ways to please God. This is a form of orchestrated sacrifice. The best thing to do is to expend our energies towards learning how to better hear the still small voice of God's Spirit. When we hear what he is saying to us, we can then rest in obedience.
Peter goes overboard in his acceptance of Jesus's ministering.
When we are more experienced in discerning his guidance we can better obey his voice. The Word tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice. When Peter accepted the ministering to him in the way that Christ was determined that it should be done, that was the better way. He suppressed his desire to sacrifice through unnecessary activity. He obeyed his Master. We too can rest in obedience.

Then Samuel said,
"Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience?
To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice.
To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams."
I Samuel 15:22 (GW)




Click this link to visit


Draw Nigh To Hope


for more insight into Christian growth


and resources for living a life devoted to God.



Images: FreeBibleImages.Org