Uncategorized

Keep Going from Gospel Goodness

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” (Hebrews 6:10 ESV)

When the good news of Jesus gets ahold of you it is meant to radically change how you live. Instead of selfish pursuits we actually turn outward to extend love to others as a reflection of the love we have received in Christ. Now, we don’t do this perfectly. We still war with our flesh that demands it go first, but the spark is there igniting the fire that will burn for others.

To encourage this care more and more we are told that God sees it all. While our works do not save us, God does not disregard them. They don’t earn us relationship but they certainly please the One who extended us the grace that is our basis for love and effort. It is a life of glorifying God and he notices.

Today we can be encouraged that God is paying attention to how the gospel fuels our love for others and the works we do for his name. It is worship to press into our faith in Christ that we might be equipped to love. Let’s worship today.

Discipleship

Divinely Established

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 ESV)

The church has been given a challenge to stay awake and not be swayed by those that desire to lead them away from the gospel. Instead stand firm in the truths of the good news of Jesus that was proclaimed to them, and in which they believed.

Paul then prays for them, and it is a prayer for us too. That Jesus would comforts us, give us peace, and establish us, keep us firm, in every work and word he has given.

This is the inclination that drives everything of our world. To gain some sense of comfort and to understand peace. For some that means control and harm to people; for others it means the avoidance of any conflict or hardship. For the Christian however, this is peace in the midst of violence and the hardships of life as well as the good times.

And it is sourced in the love and eternal comfort and hope we received by grace in Christ. So the cross of Jesus was not only about solving a cosmic spiritual problem, it was also about equipping us to live comforted and looking to the hope we have in him. This is what Paul is praying would increase in the church.

In this living then we accomplish the good works that Jesus has prepared for us. We proclaim the good news of forgiveness and purpose to a world wandering without direction. We share the peace we have been given.

So today, let us be reminded of the eternal comfort we have in the grace of Jesus. May God increase that sense in us and may we we rooted and firmly established in this hope as we live our everyday life and speak words of grace to others.

Uncategorized

Looking and moving forward

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” Philippians 3:12-15

This week I have had more than one conversation about moving toward Christ and his promise over and above looking back and analyzing sin and brokenness in the past. We are called to repentance, confessing and turning from sin, and then a life of belief that has us looking and moving forward in our faith which in turn makes us more like Jesus. Too often we can come up with cute strategies to conquer our lives. And in these strategies we confuse the work of grace with our own effort and can become critical of past decisions when we are called to look forward.

This happens because we don’t proclaim the gospel. You can not preach the gospel of grace and leave people thinking they have to strive and correct their lives on their own. You can however, preach works and effort and behavior and leave people discouraged and thinking they have to strive and correct their lives on their own. I think this grieves the Holy Spirit and if we find ourselves in this mode we should repent and look forward at the promise of Christ – completion in him.

Hear the words of Paul clearly: “I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” We press on, we look forward and we move forward toward the prize we have in Jesus. Be about this.