Monday, August 19, 2019

Make Every Effort, Be Diligent

5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5–11 (ESV)

“Make every effort” in verse 5 is a matter of giving all diligence. I note also in verse 10: “be all the more diligent.” When we get slack in our walk with the Lord, we may forget that we are believers.

The nearsighted person is unable to see things clearly unless they are close to the eyes. The spiritually nearsighted believer is unable to discern the things of God unless we keep close to Him. I wonder if we don’t all suffer with spiritual nearsightedness at times.

How is your spiritual vision? Are you diligent in matters of your faith?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Living by Faith Not By Sightlivebyfaith

We live in an environment that rewards narcissism and encourages a feel-good lifestyle. If it feels good and it does not hurt anyone else, do it. Look out for #1.

But the call of Christ is against the way of the mainstream:

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (ESV)

This is the path of faith not feeling. It may lead at times to places far beyond our comfort zone. But it is good to remember that such a path is filled with wonder and joy. The same Bible that talks about self-denial and crosses, calls us to rejoice!

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Phil 4:4

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2–3

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh 8:10

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Matters of Christian Faith

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Eph 2:8 (ESV)

Grace is the saving power of God come upon undeserving hell bound sinners but transformed in God’s love for God’s purposes and now bound for God’s heaven. The only thing we bring to our conversion is our sin; it is God alone who brings His salvation of grace through the channel of faith. Our part is to believe.

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 5:1

Those who believe are then justified as if we have never sinned. Our justification, our peace with God is not through our works but the person and works of Jesus Christ.

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1

It is not by our feelings or our works that we are saved, but by grace through faith. Faith is not a felling or work, it is a matter of believing in Christ alone for our salvation.

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Heb 11:6

Faith, not feelings, not works, but by faith we are become pleasing to God and can draw close to Him.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Let Us

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Heb 10:22–25 (ESV)

Let us. Two little words that remind us that although salvation is a personal experience of grace, it is also lived in community. Disciples are discipled in community. We are many members in one body.

Let us draw near with a true heart washed by faith in the water of the Word of God.

Let us hold fast what we confess to believe because we believe.

Let us encourage one another in the faith experience.

One negative “let us:” Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as some do.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Where Is God Who Gives More Grace?

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:1–10 (ESV)

Where is God Who gives more grace? Is He gone on sabbatical? Has He run out of grace and there is none left for us? No, never! He waits on us to swallow our pride and return to Him. Let us draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.


His grace is plenteous. There is much more grace then all our sin. Behold our Father waits for the prodigals to return, even now He runs down the way calling our name with arms stretched out to hold us. "Kill the fated calf" He cries," this my child was dead and is now alive!"

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Rom 5:10

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. Rom 5:15

17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Rom 5:17

20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, Rom 5:20

Monday, August 12, 2019

Streams in the DesertStreams-in-the-desert-2-PI

1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. 10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isa 35 (ESV)

Isaiah prophesied in the courts of the king of a time when the King of kings would reign forever. Then the streams in the desert will overflow in blessing upon God’s Chosen People.

But what about today? What about the church? What about you and I as we find ourselves far too often tempted in the wilderness? Where do we turn when our souls dry up as dusty dry deserted places?

There is a fountain, filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains