See, in our day, as in theirs, it is easy to learn about religion and play all the right games with church. This game is not what Paul had in mind. He was empowering his people to no longer live in the darkness of the world, rather to live in the light of God. Jesus has redeemed us to be light in this dark world, and it has nothing to do with us, it’s all Jesus. This portion of Paul’s letter makes a stand that he wants people to grow up in God, and be joyful in thanksgiving, so that we truly live into our real identity in Christ. Maybe these words are foreign to you, if you don’t understand where your identity lies. Maybe you need to realize that in Jesus, you are a new person; transformed for God’s good work in the world. This is what Paul is talking about.
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Paul the Apostle wrote a letter to a group of faith people he didn’t know, in a city where he wouldn’t visit, and wanted to encourage them in their faith. He wanted them to remember their purpose in Jesus, not getting caught up in superstitious practices of mysticism and emotional faith. Paul wants us to know, in our present culture, that we don’t need to fall victim to relativism of truth. Today, everyone’s truth is relative to their social culture and “their perspective” while missing the person of Jesus Christ. This truth comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is displayed in transformation of the soul while bearing fruit in spiritual maturity of faith. Don’t be dismayed by the distractions in the world, the politics that lead us into angry arguments, or taking sides on issues that divide people. Place your faith in Jesus Christ and trust that Jesus is enough for complete salvation. Our purpose is to share this Gospel with others. Don’t forget your purpose.
Now the spirit of fear is real, but it’s false, in the sense that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God did not give us that spirit of fear, or timidity. Young Timothy was pastor of a church and needed encouragement to be bold in his faith. Where do you need to be more bold in your faith in God, rather than being defeated by a spirit of fear? Is your mind captured by fear of something, someone, some loss, or rejection? God hasn’t given you that fear. You can overcome fear by naming it, acknowledge it, take away its power by claiming it for God, and then trust God for the results. You live in a world where fear runs rampant around you, but fear is a liar. You can claim your life for God and give your fear to Jesus.
When we compare our lives to someone else, or compare our things to other things, or when we compare our skills to other people, we often come out on the short end of the deal, and feel awful. We might also compare to others, and come out ahead, which is pride. So, either way, we lose. God didn’t design comparison. It came from the devil’s mouth. He compared the first humans to God himself. “You can be like him”, he said. How has comparison slithered into your life, and how does it wreak havoc?
We forget that Jesus appeared to women first, at the empty tomb, not to the men. We forget that the first evangelists of the resurrection of Jesus were women, not men. We come to this scene in the Bible and we bring our expectations to it, since we’re removed from it by 2000 years, but if we put ourselves in the scene, our expectations wouldn’t match what really happened. Join us as we visit the scene of Jesus’ resurrection and see that God does so much more than we could expect or even imagine. HAPPY EASTER 2019.
Luke 19 in the Gospels, is a description of how Jesus the Messiah walked from the Mount of Olives to the city of Jerusalem with people praising him as God. He rode on a donkey which had never been ridden on, and people worshiped Jesus as God. The religious leaders wanted Jesus to rebuke his followers for singing to him. He refused. Then Jesus told them they missed out on the work of God because they didn’t notice the time of God’s coming. Do you know what time it is? Have you recognized the timing of God, to send Jesus to earth as a ransom for your soul. God has made a way to know himself, through Jesus, His only Son. Don’t miss out on the timing of God in your life. Don’t let pride get in the way of you recognizing God’s salvation.
Following the pattern of John 1:34-46, we see that Andrew found his brother Simon (Peter), and told him what he knew of Jesus, and brought him to Jesus. We are adapting a biblical principle of FIND, TELL, BRING to share our faith with others. You will learn to help people find and follow Jesus when you find someone you love, tell them what you know of God, and bring them along in their faith. We want your experience of sharing God with others to be a simple and friendly as that.