Friday, May 23, 2014

Now For This Very Reason, Faith Sweats

"Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love."  
2 Peter 1:5-7

Right before Peter wrote these God-breathed words, he'd just finished explaining how the child of God has been given the gift of faith; that the child of God is wrapped in the righteousness of Jesus Christ; that the child of God has been given power to image Jesus more and more and this power is activated through the knowledge of Jesus Christ; that the glory and excellence of Jesus called us to salvation; that by the glory and excellence of Jesus we have magnificent promises, and, we've been made to partake in the nature of God and this has caused us to escape the decaying world system.  

To be brought from spiritual death into eternal life through Jesus Christ is amazingly breathtaking, isn't it?

The person and work of Jesus on our behalf, that He would give Himself to save us, calls for a correspondingly amazing response on our part and the Holy Spirit through Peter gives us seven qualities of which we are to increasingly supply - with constant, maximum effort.

Moral excellence - high moral, godly standards.

Knowledge - of God and His Word.  (Requires being in the Word.)

Self-control - holding our passions and appetites and desires under control.

Perseverance - having patience and endurance in doing what is right, without giving in, giving up, or complaining.

Godliness - honoring and adoring God with proper thoughts, actions, and feelings.

Brotherly kindness - having a fervent practical caring for others.

Love - seeking and supplying the highest good of another at the cost of even our lives.

How hard is your effort?

Where can you increase?

Not so Jesus will love you.  You are greatly loved and the love Jesus has for you will never stop and will be as great and as vast as it is now, throughout eternity.  

Put forth the effort, because of His great love for you.  God is glorious and wonderful in loving us and redeeming us.  Our response is to magnify His worthiness by being...

...just like Him.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"In My Father's house are many dwelling places;
if it were not so, 
I would have told you;
for I go to prepare a place for you.
If I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again
and receive you to Myself,
that where I am,
there you may be also."

John 14:2,3


"Sing for joy in the LORD,
O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the LORD is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness."

Psalm 33:1-4


Sometimes it's fun to put different truths of scripture together...and think about them...and rejoice in them...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Living Water

Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

John 4:13,14

Yesterday my lead campus pastor, Pastor Bubba, preached out of John 4.  You might think like I did when I first heard his name, that this is a nickname, but we learned yesterday that Bubba is his given name.  It's on his birth certificate.  His young parents agreed - when his mother was pregnant, that if he were a boy, his father would get to name him and if he were a girl, his mother would get to name him - no arguing from the other half.  Bubba was a boy and having been born in the south and having a mother who kept to her word, Pastor Bubba proudly bears his name!  

Pastor Bubba stands at the door, every Sunday, greeting us warmly with a smile and a hand shake on our way in and he's there, saying good-bye to us with a smile and a handshake, on our way out.  The love of Jesus Christ splashes all over us each week, through Pastor Bubba.

Jesus is the Living Water.  When we drink from Jesus Christ, we will never thirst.  The water springing up from Jesus, who is eternal, is eternal life.  He is all satisfying, refreshing us daily with His abundant grace and lovingkindness and mercy and peace.  Satisfaction begins with Him and once begun, never ends.  When we share the good news of The Living Water in our place we are offering the only source of true joy and fulfillment.  True joy and fulfillment is knowing our sins are cleansed and forgiven - that we don't have to work for God's favor  because we are accepted and loved by God because of the love and sacrifice of the Living Water, for us.  When we look to anything else other than Jesus to satisfy, we will come up thirsty, again and again.  The blessing of complete satisfaction in Christ begins to flow with our repentance, with our turning from sin and from those things which don't truly satisfy - which ultimately take us down the path of misery and destruction.  When we drink from any other source other than the Living Water, we are dipping our buckets into a well of hot, gritty, desert sand...but when we drink from Jesus, we are dipping our buckets into the sweet, never ending, delightful presence of a loving, forgiving, Savior.