RSS

Tag Archives: Jesus

Running the Race of Faith

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.3Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children— “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; 6for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” (Hebrews 12:1-6, NRSV)

Live Cross-Eyed!

I still remember the shirt that said, “Live Cross-Eyed” on it with a cross and this verse, well part of this verse, Hebrews 12:2. In the version used on the shirt, which I am not sure now which one that was, it was translated, fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author, and perfector of our faith. Be cross-eyed in that all you see is the cross or the cross is the focus of what you see. Because Jesus was the one who created our faith and perfected it in his death on the cross.

Another way I have said this is to make sure that you see the back of Jesus’ head, if you look him in the eyes you are in the wrong place. We need to follow Jesus where He leads us and look to Him to show us how.

So are you focused on the cross or your own comforts?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Faith in Waiting for the Promises

13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16, NRSV)

Life is not about where we came from but where we are going. It is about why we are alive now on this journey and where our destination will be.

None of these, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, saw the promised land. They only knew the promise and saw it from a distance but never obtained it. Yet they lived their lives in a way that showed the trust they had for God.

They lived so that others would be drawn to the love they knew God has for them. Notice not had but has, because they are with God, as we will be. Life is not about making sure we don’t screw up so we make it. Life is about giving God’s love to others as God gave it to us.

Trust the promise and give it away like it doesn’t belong to you, because it doesn’t. God is giving it to you to use and help the world see God’s love.  So know the promise is true and trust it and live like you want to see everyone there.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Faith of Abraham

8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” (Hebrews 11:8-12, NRSV)

Abraham followed where God was telling him to go even though he really didn’t know where he was going. He knew God would never leave him and would always be there to guide him. Abraham understood he may not get it, but he trusted the promise of a land and a family. And Abraham believed this promise even though he was old enough that he should not have children. Even that being the truth, he knew the promise of God was stronger than that.

Do we trust the promise of God enough to leave everything behind and follow where God leads us even not knowing the way or where we will wind up? Can you faithfully do what God is leading you to do even when you don’t understand it, or know what is coming?

God promised a land and a family to all of us. Are you ready to trust the promise more than anything else?

Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and Issac all did along with countless others, are you ready to be counted with the faithful?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Faith Connects us to God

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. 4By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith. 8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” 13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 11:1-16, 12:1-2, NRSV)

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

When we think we know what the outcome will be, it is our own doing and our own making.

Hebrews 11 tells us of all of the times when people were led by God to something they could not see yet but believed what was told them by God. Noah didn’t see the rain or the flooding but built the boat. Abraham didn’t see the child or the new land, but he believed he would be a father and would have a new place to call home. Jacob and Isaac believe this too. As well as Sarah. and all of these died without receiving the promise! They didn’t see it in their lifetime! What makes us think we are more important or special than them to get to see it?

God wants us to follow in faith, knowing that the promise is true, not always knowing what is going to happen and accepting that and following where He leads us. Because His ways are better than ours.

I am reminded with this passage of the beginning to the movie, My Sisters Keeper  If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans…

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Made Pure Because of Christ

13Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. (1 Peter 1:13-21, NRSV)

Do not hold to your old ways but be made different by Christ. Do live life as you had looking out for yourself first, but look out for others first and know that by doing this you will show them the love that Christ gave to you and Christ, in turn, will refill your cup.

Because if we are filled with Christ we can not live the old life we had been living for the old has gone away and the new has come. That is what life in Christ does, it changes us to look at the other first.

Are you filled with the spirit and guided by His love to give grace and mercy to all of the world?

Do you live a new life in Christ?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sins Forgiven Through Christ

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. 4Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; 5but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: 6whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked. (1 John 2:1-6, NRSV)

So if you say that you abide in Jesus you need to walk the walk that He did.

And if you do not do as He did you are a liar and do not follow after Jesus.

Meaning you must love everyone where they are and forgive them for how they have wronged you.

You must lift them up and clean them off and send them on their way better than when you found them.

So how do you do on this? Are you a follower of Jesus or a liar?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jesus is the Lamb of God

29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34, NRSV)

How many times have you told the people around you about Jesus? And have a reason for knowing Him when they ask?

You see that is all John is doing here, proclaiming who Jesus is and how he knows that.

We are all called to talk about Jesus and to proclaim Him to the world. Jesus came to give us and all of creation new life and when you have that life it should move you to tell others about it.

So who have you told?

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,