We Can Never Graduate from Grace

https://www.afa.net/the-stand/family/2018/09/we-can-never-graduate-from-grace/

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Speaking the truth in love

https://frankking.net/2018/08/thoughts-on-speaking-the-truth-in-love/

True Love Expressed

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

Can any of us remember the first time we used the word love? I can’t remember the first time – because – like my grandchildren – it was probably to a relative – like my mom or dad – when I was a wee lad. I love it when my grandchildren say – I love you Pop. I tell them I love them every time I see them.

Can we remember – in our teen or older years – the first time we used the word love? Maybe it was in reference to a singing group or singer? Something like – I love Stevie Wonder or the Beatles or Steppenwolf. Maybe it was in reference to a TV or movie star? Something like – I love Elvis Presley or John Wayne (I’ll let our younger readers have a moment to Google the above mentioned persons and groups).

Can we remember – in our teen or older years – the first time we used the word love? Maybe we can remember the first time we told someone we really liked that we loved them? It might have been our first encounter with the opposite sex. It may have been short lived or lasted even till today or a lifetime.

Can we remember the first time we told Jesus we loved Him? For many – their conversion was a life-changing event. Even if they grew up in the church – that moment when they acknowledged Christ as their personal Lord and Savior was life changing. I can remember my conversion moment – it was powerful and yes – life-changing.

Here is today’s passage in partial context. 1 Peter 1:13–25 – 13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

During this time of political unrest – even theological unrest – we must continue to tell people – when appropriate – that we love them. We also need to remember to express love to all people (loving hearts and attitudes). I would suggest that hitting the love icon on social media is a weak expression of love.

When we do not express love – walls go up that will hinder us from reaching people for Jesus. Remember – our witness extends these days to social media. As my wife often reminds me – our task is to help lead people to Christ not help them to support or reject the #POTUS or any politician. Let our love for Jesus be sincere and let us deny self and show love to all – sincere love that goes beyond a person agreeing with us or not on their support or rejection of the current #POTUS or his policies or other politicians and policies. We might be far left of far right in our political and even theological views but we can still express love to one another in Christ. True love expressed for one another will go a long way in keeping us connected – even as we disagree.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

Comment at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/true-love-expressed/

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Don’t Run the Christian Race Alone

Living for Christ in a fallen world is hard.

Search the whole of Scripture for metaphors and analogies comparing the Christian life to something easy like a picnic or a leisurely stroll around the lake and you’ll come up empty-handed.

What you will find, however, are comparisons to fighting (1 Timothy 6:12), to warfare (Ephesians 6:10-20), and to running (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

The book of Hebrews was written to formerly Jewish new believers and was encouraging them to press on by faith in the Christian life, even as it became difficult. To drive this message home, the writer compares the Christian life to running a race, and he tells them how they can run this race with endurance:

In Hebrews 12:1 we read:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

This is such a great metaphor. Running a race is an active process, not a passive one. It’s challenging. There’s a reason that the Christian life isn’t compared to a summer picnic or a quick stroll around the block.

A race is hard. And when you’re in it the race becomes your chief occupation as all other concerns fade to the background.

Continue at: http://reasonabletheology.org/dont-run-the-christian-race-alone/

‘Where Two or More are Gathered’ Doesn’t Make a Church

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/chorusinthechaos/where-two-or-more-are-gathered-doesnt-make-a-church/

The Four People Every Minister Needs in Their Life

May apply to all of us.

https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/328333-four-faithful-friends.html

Stop Waiting for God to Tell You What to Do

There are plenty of sincere people who are just floating right now, looking for God to give them a place to land.

I have friends who are working in jobs that just aren’t the right fit. Either the work isn’t in their skill set, their coworkers are difficult, or the vision of the employer is contrary to their values.

And there are people who feel that they aren’t doing what they are supposed to do — with hearts set on digging wells, or feeding orphans, or helping the elderly.

Justin Zoradi, writing for Don Miller’s Storyline Blog, talks about a friend who spent his days faithfully bussing tables. All the while, he was waiting for God’s call, sincerely believing there would be a sign, a voice or a clear indication of what his next step should be.

“I don’t think God works like that,” Zoradi writes. “Your purpose in life will never be written on the wall. And it will never be revealed to you in full.”

“You want to do meaningful work? Stop sitting on your hands waiting for God to tell you what to do.”

More: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidrupert/stop-waiting-for-god-to-tell-you-what-to-do-2/