Pitfall #5: We do not understand the Lord’s discipline.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Hebrews 12:6). If you are in difficult trials, it’s not because God hates you or is being mean to you. He actually loves you dearly. If you are a believer, you are His child and He will discipline you. God’s goal in disciplining us is to destroy the sin in our lives and “that we may share his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). So, don’t look around at others and get discouraged because you don’t see them being disciplined as you are. Look to Jesus…You’re becoming more like Him!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Pitfall #5: We do not understand the Lord’s discipline.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Click here for the introduction of this blog series.
Pitfall #3: We do not understand how God’s strength is displayed.
God’s power is more evident in our weaknesses. An example of this is in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. To keep Apostle Paul from becoming conceited, he was given a thorn in the flesh. He pleaded with the Lord 3 times for it to be taken away. The Lord didn’t take it away because he said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul didn’t respond by saying, “NO FAIR, YOU TOOK THAT GUY’S THORN AWAY!” He actually said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” May we find strength in our weaknesses as we hold tight to God’s all-powerful hand.
Pitfall #4: We are only focusing on what we don’t have.
God told Adam that he could eat from every tree of the garden, but not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam & Eve were supposed to follow this command. However, Satan tempted them and they disobeyed God (Genesis 3:1-6). Many of us do the same thing. Even though God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17), we desire other things. We tend to be content with what we have as long as we don’t see anything “better”. Then all of a sudden, what we have looks plain, boring, out of date, unappealing, unsatisfying, etc. God knows that we need. The Word says to, “…be content with what you have…” (Hebrews 13:5b). Apostle Paul also talked about this subject in 2 Timothy 6:6-8, “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” Are you content today?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Walking is such a gift from God. Many of us take it for granted. Until now, I didn't know what it was like to have a child that didn't need 2 years of therapy to learn how to walk. Thank you Jesus for yet another gift of grace.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Pitfall #2: We are not focusing on what God called us to do.
God has given each believer spiritual gifts (I Peter 4:10). These gifts are used for the common good of the body of Christ and to care for one another (I Cor. 12:7, 25). If we are concerned with what other’s have and are doing, we miss out on allowing God to use us mightily through the gifts that He’s given us. No one (or gift) is greater than another, we NEED each other. If there is any jealousy or covetousness in your heart, you need to confess it, repent of it, and ask God to help you live victoriously in the gifting that He graced upon you.
(I’m currently in a Bible study on spiritual gifts; so if you like to know of some resources let me know.)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Then, however, Jesus totally changes the conversation and gives an explanation of how Peter would be martyred. Jesus concludes with, “Follow Me.”
You would think that the same disciple who had been following Jesus all this time, witnessing miracles, observed his death & resurrection would whole heartedly say, “I’ll DEFINITELY follow you.” But no, he looked around and saw John walking by and said, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
When I first read this, I was so convicted because I am so much like Peter.
God has given me my own ways that I must suffer for His glory and I have to constantly fight to not have a, “But what about him” attitude.
So, over the next few blogs, I will try to write about the 10 pitfalls of having a “What about him” attitude. The first one is below.
Pitfall #1: We take our eyes off our Savior.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us to, “Look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Once we start looking around, our focus gets off Jesus and we start focusing on our trials & on others. Peter had total trust in the Lord to step out of a boat and walk on water to get to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-31). However, as soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the wind, he was afraid and began to sink. Jesus then told him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Only looking toward Jesus will we find the strength, hope, & peace to follow Him and trust Him beyond our difficult circumstances.
Monday, July 7, 2008
How a Believer Can Have Lasting Joy
1) Joy comes from following God’s commandments & abiding in His love.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11
2) Joy comes from putting your trust in the God of hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
3) Joy comes from offering up sacrifices of praise to the Lord.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15-16
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. Psalm 71:23
Although people and circumstances will continue to change, we shouldn't fear, but continue to trust in the Lord (Psalm 112:7). Our joy must come from Jesus, the One who NEVER changes (Hebrews 13:8).