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
Thought: “More men and women than ever began to believe in the Lord. As a result, people carried their sick into the streets. They placed them on stretchers and cots so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of the sick people as he went by. Crowds from the cities around Jerusalem would gather. They would bring their sick and those who were troubled by evil spirits, and each person was cured.” (Acts 5:14-16)
Do we not realize that God is STILL in the healing business? Do we not realize that Jesus STILL intends to use HIS Church to reach the broken, sick, and hurting? God, being the same yesterday, today, and forever IS still using US to fulfill the mission. Reaching the lost, helping those who hurt and need hope.
Prayer: “Jesus, what wonder you’ve given me in the Holy Spirit. Not some impersonal energy or vague force, but Your life, Your very presence in me. Thank you for the peace, power, gifts, and all Your blessings the Holy Spirit pours out in my life. As You make me share in all Christ’s blessings, MAY I SHARE THE MIRACLE AND WONDER OF YOUR LIFE WITH ALL. (emphasis mine) Amen. (Heidelberg Catechism 53)
Blessings Pastor Robert
“All the believers were ONE in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything the had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 4:32-35)
“Generous God, Your Spirit dwelling among Your people, working Your salvation deep into our daily lives, is a thing of beauty—powerful grace, freely flowing forgiveness, lavish giving. Continue to make us full players in Christ’s redemption story through the Holy Spirit. Amen.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 29)
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
Here’s a more penetrating question for each of us. To what degree are our lives and relationship with Him a great contradiction as well? In how many areas and ways do we call Him Lord, yet disregard, disobey, and even defy His will and direction for our lives? Where has He spoken His purpose to us, and we, for whatever reason or justification, told Him, “Never Lord?” Where are we doing so now?
I think we are most prone to this sin, and yes, it is sin, when Christ leads us to a place far outside our comfort zone. He requires of us something out of our ordinary experience. Something we were sure He never would. I have lost track of all the times I have heard believers say, “I don’t think the Lord would do that.” I’ve said it myself. Surely that mindset was upon Peter. The Jews had very strict dietary regulations and boundaries. He could not envision the Father ever taking him outside of them. Yet He did. Where are the self-made boundaries that we’ve set up in our lives that put a limit to just how deep our obedience to Him will go?
Where are we living “the great contradiction?”
Christ meets us where we are, and where we are is filled with contradictions. Growth in grace is a process of those contradictions being removed, one contradiction at a time. Do you welcome that? Or, do you go on living “the great contradiction?”