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Keep on truckin’

2 Peter 2:5 – “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly”

Let’s talk about Noah for a bit. 

Noah was 500 years old when he began building the ark and preaching repentance. He was 600 years old when God told him to get on the ark with all the animals. For 100 years Noah preached and explained things to the people. I mean, it’s not like he could hide building a boat of that size nowhere near the water! One hundred years of preaching and pleading and instructing and only 8 people got on the boat. Eight. 

Can you imagine?! Can you wrap your brain around working that hard for that long only to have 8 people believe as you do? 

We get frustrated when the one person at work that we invite to church doesn’t show up when they say they will. We get upset that people are falling away from church services to do other things. We don’t understand how people can drive by our place of worship and see all those cars around the place and not want to stop in and be a part of what we are doing. 

We need to be faithful. We shouldn’t let the poor choices of others dictate our faith. Just because others are making bad choices doesn’t mean that God is any less powerful. It doesn’t mean that He cares for us or them any less. 

It means that we are not robots that He controls. We have a choice and the free will to make that choice. He wants us to serve and worship Him because we want to, not because we have to. 

That’s why just like the people of Noah’s time had a choice, we have a choice. We can let the world drag us down and rain on our parade or we can chose to dance in the rain. We must keep going. 

Noah could have given up. He could have thrown up his hands at year 50 and said, “That’s it! These people won’t listen and I look like a fool!” But he didn’t. He kept on following God and doing exactly what He said to do in spite of how crazy and weird he looked. 

What about you? Are you ready to give up? Are things going south in a hurry and you are holding on for dear life? Well, keep on holding. It may seem that your world is falling apart, but it’s actually falling together. (I heard that in a song the other day.)

I’m not saying anything you don’t already know – but life is tough. Things aren’t fair. People will let you down. 

But life is good when you are following Christ. When He is the reason you wake up in the morning and He is the reason that you keep going – well, life can’t get much better than that, can it? 

Let me encourage you today to keep on truckin’! Keep on keeping on. Dance in the rain and keep doing what He leads you to do. 

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Move it! Move it! Part 6

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today, we are going to look at brotherly love. This is the “philadelphia” kind of love. It is a “fraternal affection”. It is caring for one another. It is having compassion upon your fellow man, especially in the body of Christ.

Romans 12:10 – “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Paul was speaking here to the church at Rome. He is encouraging them to love one another. Why? Why would Paul be led by God to remind church-folk to love one another? Because outside of God, this is an impossible feat to accomplish genuinely. We can never truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ without His help. We cannot be in unity without Him. Psalm 133:1 – “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”

You might ask, how do we learn to truly love one another? 1 Thessalonians 4:9 – “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” God teaches us. He shows us how to love our family. He changes our hearts to be compassionate towards one another. Once again, this compassion is active. It grows. It changes. The longer we know someone, the more we should care for them. Is that always true?

Do you love people more and more each day? Truthfully, I don’t. Sometimes people get on my last nerve. Sometimes I just have to walk away. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. Even Jesus had to remove Himself from those He loved just to think straight. But He didn’t remove Himself to go and do something selfish. No, He removed Himself so that He could pray and draw closer to God. That is brotherly love in motion.

Let me conclude by saying this: Hebrews 13:1 – “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” We are given no respite from this command. We are given no time limit or deadline for this command. It is ongoing. It should keep growing, as should our faith. Loving each other will grow our faith because without faith in Christ, we can’t truly love in the first place.

So today, princess, people are going to grate on your nerves. People are going to rub you the wrong way. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are going to fail you. But remember, we are commanded to love no matter what. We are encouraged to lean upon Him and learn from Him how to truly love one another.

Move it! Move it! Part 5

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Godliness. Now, doesn’t that sound like an unattainable word? How could I possibly act godly?

Let’s look at its meaning. My study Bible has the best definition I could find: “A genuine reverence toward God that governs one’s attitude toward every aspect of life.” I like that.

It is funny how God works. Last night at our revival service, the speaker spoke about being genuine. And here this morning, God is once again reminding me to be genuine.

Godliness is truly respecting God, His place in your life and the control that He has upon your life. It is not walking around with your nose in the air, thinking you are better than everyone else. No. Quite the opposite. It is knowing that you are no better than everyone else but rather blessed by God that you are called His.

Notice how the definition goes back to attitude. I can not tell you how many times I have been reading the Word and attitude jumps off the page. Our attitude is so vitally important to every aspect of our life. It can make or break a situation. We cannot grow properly if our attitude is out of whack. We cannot service properly if an attitude of pride has found its way into our thoughts. Attitude is a game maker or a game breaker.

Our reverence to God, our respect of God and who He is, should affect our daily attitude. It should make us want to genuinely serve Him. It should make us want to repent immediately every time we sin. It should make us desire what He wants for us in our life more than what we want.

Godliness is not unattainable. It is not unrealistic. It is another tool to grow. Another opportunity to draw closer to Him. Another way to show Him you love Him. It is a penetrating trait that can make you move. And moving is what it is all about.

Move it! Move it! Part 4

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today, we are going to look at perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to keep going. It is endurance and strength. Things we all need on a daily basis, especially when you have the first week of school, golf practice until 6 and revival at 730. It can make a body weary. But God gives us the ability to keep going if we are faithful to Him.

Acts 20:24 – “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Here is the reason we keep going. We must be determined to spread the Word of God and show others Him at work in us.

James 1:2,3 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Well, here it is. How to grow faith through perseverance. It’s not pretty, is it? No one wants to face trials; let alone do it with joy. Yet, this is where we find ourself. This is where we grow. This is where we learn. This is where we find joy.

Perseverance is not something you come by easily. It takes hard work. It takes action. It takes sacrifice. But it is worth it. You draw closer to the One you live for. You find peace in turmoil. You find joy in trials.

I hate the unknown. I don’t like not knowing what is going to happen. That has been what I have been facing these last few days. I don’t know how I am going to do it all. I don’t know how I am going to handle school, work and after school activities. And until I get it figured out, I tend to be a bear and not a cuddly one. I need to trust more. I need to persevere in a more Christ-like way.

So princess, look at how things are going in your life today. See if you have areas of perseverance that you could improve. Don’t fret. And don’t worry. Just cheerfully endure and let God hold your hand.

Move it! Move it! Part 3

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Self-control. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Well then, why do we have such a problem with it? Why do we have people blaming other people for their problems when 9 times out of 10 it is an issue of a lack of self-control more than anything else?

Part of self-control is personal responsibility. As a society, we don’t want any part of that. It is way easier to blame someone else.

Self-control is being able to control one’s self – your actions, your choices, your words. It is being able to walk away from things you know you shouldn’t eat. It is not saying every thing that runs through your brain. It is choosing to be different and not acting like every one around you.

There is a purpose behind self-control other than showing someone else that it can be done. 1 Peter 4:7 – “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” Our prayer life is affected by our ability to be self-controlled. Our growing faith is affected by our level of self-control.

Time is growing short. Our opportunity to grow our faith is coming to an end. Being unable to control ourself is unacceptable. We MUST decide to allow God to move in our life. We MUST allow Him to guide us in the area of self-control. We MUST get active. We cannot live in dead faith any longer.

Decide today, princess, that you will let God guide you down the path of self-control. That this week will be different. That this week you will make choices that show that He is in control of things happening in your life. And prove to yourself that you can have self-control – don’t eat that donut!😊

Move it! Move it! Part 2

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today, we are going to look at knowledge. In the Greek, the word used means “knowing”. It comes from the word meaning “to know absolutely”.

So what about knowledge? You may be thinking, “I’ve gone to school. I have various degrees. I have knowledge.” You have the knowledge of man and of this world. I have that as well. But this is not the knowledge we are encouraged to have. Now, don’t get me wrong, if this is the path God has led you down, to get knowledge via an education, get to it. But don’t neglect the most important knowledge available – that from Jesus Christ.

True knowledge begins with God.Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” There are people who will not choose to know God. They have no interest in Him. But blessed are the ones who choose Him.

Knowledge will guide your actions. Proverbs 13:16 – “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.”

Knowledge will control your tongue. Proverbs 17:27 – “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”

Knowledge will protect you. Ecclesiastes 7:12 – “Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.” The things this world has to offer can only help you so far. It will do you no good in eternity. Only the knowledge of God will sustain you not only through your journey in this world but also through your eternity with Him.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the benefits of knowledge. How do I get in on this knowledge, you may ask. The Bible. Read it. Study it. Pray over it. Ask God for knowledge. Ask Him to show it to you; to lead you to someone who can teach you. It is there for the grasping. All you have to do is ask. Matthew 7:7 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Today, princess, decide that you are going to add to your faith by choosing to get into the Word and gain knowledge. It will never steer you wrong. It will always lead you down the path that leads home.

Move it! Move it! Part 1

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Hold on, princess. This could be a long ride!

First of all I want to say this. When I read my Bible, I typically read NIV. However, when I read verses like these, I go and get my Greek to English New Testament and see what the original language has to say. Sometimes NIV is closer and sometimes KJV is closer.

That being said, let’s get down to business.

Let me give you the literal translation of verse 5 – “But also in this very thing, having brought in all diligence, fully supplying in your faith (with) virtue; and virtue (with) knowledge;”.

If you go back and read the verses before this one, you will see that God has given us many promises that allow to participate in His divine nature and to escape worldly corruption. In other words, He has given us a chance to walk with Him and keep away from the sins that we easily fall into.

But also in this, He wants us to grow. (Remember yesterday’s blog) He wants us to make an effort to nourish our faith. Remember Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Faith is believing Jesus is who He says He is and believing that He has done and will do what He says.

We are to add to that virtue. What is virtue? The NIV calls it goodness. Dictionary.com defines it as “moral excellence; goodness; righteousness; conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness.” In the 1812 Webster’s dictionary it says that virtue is “voluntary obedience to truth.” Wow! That is profound!

So what does this tell us? We are to nourish our faith in Jesus Christ by choosing to do what we know deep down is right – we are to choose to follow the truth. This will put us into action and we will grow. Our faith will be active and growing, not dead and fruitless.

Princess, we are going to look carefully and prayerfully at these verses over the next short while. God has laid it on my heart that we need to be active. Our time on this earth is growing short. His coming is coming up quickly. We need to be ready. We need to share and show Him to others around us. Get out there and grow, honey! Time’s a wastin’!