Passage: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Acts 5:1-5)
Thoughts: Justified by our faith in God through Jesus Christ, we are able to stand. Yes? Yes in the “hope of the glory of God” which does include suffering! God does not leave us alone in the sufferings. God goes before us, Jesus walks beside us, and His Holy Spirit walks within us SO WE MAY be able to Persevere in the trials that come our way in this life. The ability to persevere in His strength and grace builds our character and this very growth increases our hope. Yes?
Prayer: “Three-person God, You are a wonder. God the Father our Creator, God the Son our Deliverer, God the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier. United and yet each unique, sole God but not solitary, three and yet One. Thank you for this mystery; that at the heart of the universe is a communion of love. Amen. (Heidelberg Catechism 24/25)
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Blessings Pastor Robert
This weeks’ message from Rev. Norman Shaw takes a look at “Holiness” as one of the “5 Characteristics of a Christian.” He points out that this series of messages are not a “how to” manual, rather an exploration of what characteristics should be found in us as Christians.
You will find this message to be a blessings, challenge, and an encouragement to you as you “Journey with Jesus.”
I invite you to like this post, leave a comment or prayer request (I would love the opportunity to pray with you). Also, I invite you to like the video on YouTube and to subscribe to the Keswick Chapel channel.
Blessings to you,
Pastor Robert Wallace
Source: Love is moving
“Sometimes we want God to use us to do “big things”… but I am finding the greatest joy in doing the smallest of tasks.” ~ Julie Harris
Are you and I willing to be used by God for His glory, regardless of how “big” or “small” the opportunity will be? For that matter, beyond the opportunity to serve and in that give glory to God alone, are we willing to go and serve?
2015, the newest frontier for everyone today is the same. What does 2015 hold in store? What new challenges and new opportunities await? How will you and I purpose to embrace all that 2015 has in store?
Make no mistake, life will happen and we must decide today to participate in the journey of 2015. Whether we get to today only, a few days or weeks or months, or the entire year… One thing is certain, we will either join in the journey or watch it pass by. As a child in Jesus Christ, you and I are called to embrace each and everyday of this journey!
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~John 10:10 God our Father expects us to live this life to the fullest and doing so means we participate and do so with intention.
We get to know right now that God is in this journey with us! He will provide for our every need and that regardless of what takes place this year, HE already knows what is in store for this year. He has already provided for every mountain, valley, and obstacle. He already knows the great heights of joy and the deepest of hurts and sorrow that we will face; these too HE has already provided the way for us to experience with HIS grace and strength.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
Make no mistake, God is already active in 2015. He is eager to fulfill HIS plan in our life and to see us fulfill His will for ours. “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
God calls us to enjoy this journey we call “life” and to do so means that we must actively participate in every aspect of what is to come. We must intentionally move toward all HE has for us this year seeking to be walking in harmony with HIS perfect will. The “Great Commission” calls us to, “… go and make disciples of all nations…” ~Matthew 28:19. The key word to focus on here is “GO”, participate in God’s plan.
The choice IS ours, participate or spectate. I respectfully submit to you that the great experience will be had in choosing to join in with God. Seek to walk in step, in harmony with God our Father to fulfill HIS plan to reconcile mankind to Himself! The glory and honor will all belong to HIM and we will get to enjoy the moments of victory along the way. 2015 will be filled with victories and losses, make no mistake HE will be in it all and go through all of it with you and I, such a great blessing!!!
In closing, I pray that you will experience the very best that God has for you. That you will know the depths of HIS peace as never before and that HIS blessings upon you will flow as rivers into the lives of those you encounter. Lastly, in my quite time this morning, the following poem stood out to me.
“He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o’er clouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on.”
–Nicholaus Ludwig Zinzendorf
Blessings and Peace Always,
Faith is declared to be a noun according to Webster’s Dictionary and yet it acts like a verb. Faith is used as a name and, as such, it makes perfect sense to be a noun. However, when we say he or she has faith or is exercising faith, this is an active statement for faith. Faith involves unquestioning belief, complete trust, and loyalty.
Unquestioning belief is the state of believing or having no doubt. This unquestioning belief is the driver of faith. The active part of faith is the state of being. We say, you exercised your faith today when you approached that individual and witnessed to them about the good news of Jesus. Your faith enabled you to share the Gospel through the action of faith. “What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” Romans 4:3 “Then Abram believed the LORD, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abram’s approval by the LORD.” Genesis 15:6 (God’s Word) In both cases his belief and faith are the same; the action of his unquestioning belief, his state of being, and having no doubt was faith.
Complete trust is a matter of being confident and having assurance in someone or something. How often do we display complete trust? The answer is daily: in things like the brakes on our car or truck; when we want to stop we simply put our foot on the brake pedal and press the brakes into action. We display our faith in each other in varying degrees, our spouse to be faithful or our doctor to know how to help us get well. “Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (God’s Word) Faith is the action that builds our confidence and assurance into complete trust.
Loyalty is dressed in the faithful adherence to the word of God. We learn as we grow in our journey with Jesus; faith is a companion who works along side us in our endeavors to fulfill the great commission. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time” Matthew 28:20b (God’s Word) Our best friend is Jesus and he has promised to be with us always! God faithfully adheres to His word. This faithful adherence of God is shown through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the remission of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us always…this is loyalty.
Because faith is unceasing belief, absolute trust, and devotion, we know that faith is a verb. Sure we are able to say, “Hello Faith, how are you today?” and calling her by name is placing faith in the context of a noun. When we then say that Faith displayed her faith in the word of God, faith was a verb.
Blessings and Peace Always
The majority of US citizens call themselves Christians and yet the importance of church outreach within the local community cannot be overstated. The disciples were not labeled Christian until they had been scattered due to Stephen’s death and the Good News was being shared in Antioch. (Acts 11:19-26) Whether they were called disciples or Christians it was the same to them because of their relationship with Jesus. Even though Jesus had ascended, He was still an active part of their lives. This has been lost somehow in our culture today and we need to refocus on the local community because outreach will enable us to give, guide, and grow.
By giving ourselves in service to our communities through different charitable needs, we will live out Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We will be able to learn about material needs and then be able to assist in meeting those needs. Many organizations working to meet local needs do not have the resources to have a permanent meeting place and making our church facilities available will aid in meeting the need for a safe and secure location for their meetings. We are able to give to our communities by reaching out in service, helping with needed material items, and through the use of our facilities.
Through active outreach we are able to help guide our communities. By living out our relationship with Christ, we will point the lost to Jesus. Sacrifice our time to stop and help regardless of our busy schedules will show that people are more important than things. Mentoring programs for children and youth are in great need and as Christians we should be involved to allow Jesus to work through us as a positive influence in their lives. Through living out our relationship with Christ, we will be able to guide our communities back to Jesus through sacrifice and mentoring.
Growth of God’s kingdom will become a result of our newly formed relationships. The knowledge we gain will help us to better understand the needs and challenges of our communities at large. Christ’s church, His body of believers, will grow stronger and shine brighter to become the beacon on a hill. Stronger relationships in the community and increased knowledge of needs and the positive impact on Christ’s church will all grow as a result.
Allowing Jesus to live actively in our lives in an ongoing relationship is crucial. Because church outreach will give, guide, and grow in the local community; the level of importance will be realized.
*This work was originally submitted for an assignment in English Composition. It is posted here for your consideration and response.*
Blessings and Peace Always,