Sunday, June 18, 2006

Standing before Him

Being faithful is the cry of our heart. I have been encouraged lately by the idea of seeing the continuity of life. We don't "live" here on earth, and then "die" and go play a harp on a cloud. Eternal life has already begun. We walk with Him in His purposes by faith, and we will one day experience that in a clearer, fuller, deeper way. And we live in the hope and expectation of His return. How did He teach us to pray? "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven." The heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 are said to have been looking for a better country. The wise virgins kept oil in their lamps. The wise stewards were able to give a return on the talents they had been entrusted with. How will we invest our time and money today? In temporal things that will someday burn in the fires of judgment... wood, hay, and stubble? Or are we living with eternity in mind, spending our time and money in a way that will bring a harvest of gold, silver, and precious jewels? I don't want to stand before the Lord with only ashes as my offering of gratitude, the fruit of my earthly life. I want to hear one thing when I stand before Him... "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master."

Just a short ramble....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Paul on grace

A collection of Paul's thoughts...

For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."...Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. …What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. …Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death… "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."…It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. …You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? … For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." … But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh... For... to live is Christ and to die is gain… Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, … whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, …forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. … our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;… the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority.