Lone Survivor

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (MSG)

 

We should train hard to strengthen our spiritual life so here are four priorities that are essential for the development and maintenance of a sound spiritual life…

 

Priority #1: Decisiveness

 

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 1 Timothy 4:7

 

Priority #2: Dedication

 

Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. 1 Timothy 4:8 (MSG)

 

Priority #3: Discipline

That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10

 

Priority #4: Destination

 

Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation. 1 Timothy 4:15-16 (MSG)

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Simply the Best Spiritually

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

 

Four ways we can enhance our spiritual life…

 

  1. Take a Sabbath rest

 

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. Genesis 2:3 (NLT)

 

Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:30 (NIV)

 

  1. Reduce worry in your life

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

 

  1. Seek to be restored

 

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

 

  1. Reflect on spiritual things

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

 

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Do I Wonder Enough?

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. Luke 24:2-4

Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Luke 24:12

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” Oswald Chambers

 

Three Things to Remember about Faith…

 

  1. Faith is never proven

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

 

  1. Faith comes from remembering

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

 

  1. Faith comes from wonder

 

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58

Miracle Of Healing

Key Thought: God heals, but he doesn’t heal everyone all the time.

 

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-8

 

Three reasons Jesus didn’t perform a miracle…

 

Reason #1:  Jesus refused to perform miracles to prove himself.

 

The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.  He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” Mark 8:11-12

 

Reason#2: Jesus never performed a miracle that interfered with God’s ultimate plan.

 

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:53-54

 

Reason #3:  Jesus didn’t do miracles where there was no faith.

 

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58

 

Example #1: “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” Mark 5:34

Example #2: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19

Example #3: “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Mark 10:52

We need to understand this truth…

Our faith isn’t based on what God does; our faith is based on who God is.

Use Me

“What a huge harvest!” [Jesus] said to his disciples, “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:37-38 (The Message)

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

 

Three types of people God uses most often…

 

  1. God loves to use the insecure.

 

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10

 

 

  1. God loves to use the unlikely.

 

Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)

 

 

  1. God loves to use failures.

 

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. Luke 22:60-62

 

Key Thought…

 

You will have to step out to find out what God wants to do.

Holy Living in an Unholy World

Christianity – Christ = Religion

 

So if we want to live authentic Christian lives – if we want to live a holy life in an unholy world, there are three things we have to be willing to do.

 

We have to be willing to…

 

  1. Stop dating God

 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

 

  1. Get out of the greenhouse_

 

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

 

  1. To run into the burning building

 

All the people, experiencing the thunder and lightning, the trumpet blast and the smoking mountain, were afraid—they pulled back and stood at a distance. The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Exodus 20:18, 21 (The Message)

There’s Got to be More

The definition of religion: the belief in a god or in a group of gods. : An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. : An interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.

 

If we are to have authentic faith, this is essential advice:

 

  1. _DWELL___

 

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

 

2.__DEVELOP__

 

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God… 2 Timothy 2:6

 

  1. __DELIVER____

 

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. 2 Timothy 1:9