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Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Okay, folks, it’s on again.  It’s an election year without a doubt.  The political groundswell is up and running with a lot of fanfare, especially in those little local elections.  It’s here again.  Obviously, that means there will be a whole lot of hype.

What kind of hype? I believe that any of us who have lived through the longsuffering agony of election years in the past have some understanding of the grandstanding that usually comes along with such a period.  Political muscles are flexed, in particular by those who work for candidates in PR and publicity, offering an appearance by their candidate here and there for this worthy cause or that one.  Usually, these folks are more pesky than anything that the politician may say or do.  They work the nerves of some folks in the church and community who toil by the sweat of their brow to do good, only to have some cheesy photo op replace the goodwill that the good folks seek to do.

Let’s look at it beyond the media hype that can be generated by candidates rolling up their sleeves and pitching in to pass out food to needy families or to sit and read before a classroom of wide-eyed and attentive elementary school children.  Yes, the camera flashes snap and the video is rolling, but we cannot become caught up or thrown off by such media frenzy during such times.

Some of this can help despite all of the seemingly unnecessary hype that comes along with it.  Political campaigns have a following of dedicated supporters who fund and man such large scale and long term endeavors.  We can benefit from a candidate coming down with his entire entourage and offering some helping hands in the name of getting out there among the people to gain votes for themselves and increase the visibility of their own campaigns.  Believe it or not, these volunteers can provide the necessary manpower to boost our efforts to reach more and serve more.

Weigh your options.  If you truly cannot stomach some would-be politician coming to your event to make himself or herself appear to be on the same level as the people, only to run off to Washington or Sacramento, or just down to city hall, and never be heard from again, then don’t bother.  Don’t accept the help or the hype.  However, if you think that the partnership could shed some light on your cause and make the evening news, you may want to think it through thoroughly.

They want the hype.  They need it.  They want the media to come out and snap photos of them doing good in the neighborhood.  Their campaign desperately needs to be seen as something vital to the needs of the community.  When they come, they come with a whole lot of hype.  However, they can also come with a whole lot of help.

27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that—whether I command see you or whether I remain absent—I should hear that you are standing in one spirit, by contending together with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and by not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of their destruction, but of your salvation—a sign which is from God. – Philippians 1:27-28

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Do not merely listen to the word,
and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says.

– James 1:22 (NIV)

It is probably safe to say that most of want to do what god expects of us.  We can admit that we are at least willing to try.  I think that makes some reasonable sense based on my own experience.

We don’t always do right.

We don’t necessarily do any better.

God expects us to do better.  He 3expects us to do something with His Word.  He doesn’t expect us to just take it in and let it sit within us.  He wants us working on what He has for us to do.  Otherwise, we are headed down the right right track.

Do what God says and you’ll meet His expectation for your obedience every single time.

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“I more fear what is within me than what comes from without.”

Look at the history of Protestantism and you will find Martin Luther looming and lurking somewhere nearby.  See where he confronted the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church and faced the challenges of going forward in a faith movement as an enemy of the church.

Imagine the ridicule Martin Luther faced.  Think about the humiliation he suffered at the hands of other religious leaders.  He was considered a heretic.  He was made into an outcast.  Nevertheless, he held onto his faith.
Martin Luther was a man just like any other man.  Yet, he was a man of deep conviction.  He devoured the Scriptures and took them to heart.  He allowed the Word to guide him and direct him, even to the point where he abandoned tradition.

Look at what his enduring faith produced.  The entire Protestant realm of Christianity stems from Luther nailing those ninety-five theses to the doors of the church.  He founded what we call Lutheranism today.  He made history by holding firm to his convictions and not keeping with the status quo.  He made a major difference in religious history.
Let such a legacy influence your walk with Christ.  Live your life with such a degree of faith that you live without regrets.  Live a life full of enduring faith.  Let your faith speak and come to life by the way that you live for the Lord.
History will tell of Martin Luther’s storied life.  It will reveal his shortcomings.  It will teach us about his attachment to parts of Catholicism that caused divisions among his own followers.  It will show him just as vulnerable as any other man or any other Christian believer.  It will also share how he made his mark on history by making history by having enduring faith.


Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/martin_luther_2.html#KklbTLLCHD968kVp.99

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“A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.” – D.L. Moody

If you have faith, it should show somehow.

Your faith should be evident by what you do.  Otherwise, it is not faith.  It is rhetoric.

You have faith to lean and depend upon God.  You trust God when you have faith.  There should be something that you do that shows others that you trust God.  It should come out through what you do for the Lord.

“The whole being of any Christian is faith and love. Faith brings the person to God, love brings the person to people.” – Martin Luther

 

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Wizzley

“I pray, expecting an answer.” – Andrew Murray

 

The LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer. – Psalm 6:9

“Pray and let God worry.” – Martin Luther

You have some issues.  I mean, after all, your issues may require some serious attention.  To be honest, they may require more than you can offer.

Why not give God a chance?

He’s almighty.  He’s able.  He’s all-powerful.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, – Jude 1:24

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Just give in.  Just go on and give Him a chance.

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Do yourself a favor and read this Bible passage below both before and after you read this post, then try to keep it in mind as you go through your day.  May God ever show His presence in your life today. 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

2 Corinthians 4:8-12  (NIV)

Have you ever been down? You know what I mean.  You’re here in every sense of being present physically, but your mind and heart are wrapped up in so much other stuff that neither one of them is really into where you stand.  You have things on your mind and bogging you down.  Your heart is heavy with grief or misery, even some other feeling that you just cannot seem to explain.

You are down.  Yet, there is good news still.  You are not defeated.

Paul was trying to share that with the believers at Corinth.  He wrote it so eloquently when he penned the words: We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  This life may become a drag at times, to paraphrase him, but we have more life in the death of Jesus that should be springing forth out of our every move and action that we cannot afford to become consumed with this life.

Yes, we do get down.  We do feel depressed at times.  It’s part of the ups and downs of this life.  We just have to remember that we are not defeated.

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Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavored

to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate;

the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back: but I beheld
in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him what he did there.
. . .  Fear followed me so hard that I fled the next way, and fell in.
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Bunyan’s protagonist is aptly named Christian.  He struggles with which way to go and who to listen to as he searches his way through life.  That may sound familiar to many of us as Christians.  We have spent some time trying to find our own way and the help of others have sometimes led us astray.  That appears to be nothing new.

Pilgrim’s Progress is a book full of symbolism.  Yet, it is a tale that should resonate with most of us.  It should remind us of our constant struggle to stay on the right path.  Through this christian classic, we should remember that life is full of dangers ahead and just around the bend.  It may not simply be the things that we encounter upon the road itself.  It may be the danger of the very people who cross our path along the way.  We may do well to not listen to some of the folks who seem to know so much and cause us so much trouble as we follow their lead.

Paul wrote it this way: “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV).  Don’t simply look into what people say and take it as gospel.  The Bible warns us of false teachers and their twisting of the Word of God for their own benefit and gain.  Learn to discern the truth based upon your understanding of the Word and the urging of the Holy Spirit. 

Even in his letters from prison, Paul is careful to state: It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains” (Philippians 1:15-17, NIV).  Jude urged the believer to “contend for the faith,” while John shared that we should imitate and do “what is good.” We cannot spend a lot of time following behind this manipulators and workers of evil.  We have to focus on the good that comes from God that produces love and peace, even joy and forgiveness.  If we do as He has said for us to do, we will uphold the truth that comes from Him and he will destroy that which defies His Word.

Be careful to hold onto the Word of God as truth.  Otherwise, when you least expect it, you will find danger ahead.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. – Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)

On the Day of the Lord, the Lord will judge the people.  He will come in his glory “and all the angels with Him,” sitting up His glorious throne.  At that time, He will judge the works of us all as believers.  Here, in the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that He will have all the nations gathered before Him.  I do not mean to offer a deep discussion on or explanation of eschatology, but I must share that the sheep and goats are of the Lord’s flock.

The Lord will separate each of us based upon our attitude and actions related to the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry and others.  He will pass judgment on how well we loved our neighbor.  He will not measure our actions based upon something that He has hidden from us.  He is a righteous judge.  After all, He is the Good Shepherd.  He will separate the sheep from the goats.

Which side will you stand on when the Lord judges the ways of men? Will you be among the sheep? Or, will you be among the goats? Will you be on the right or the left? Which will it be?

Take into consideration the entire chapter 25 of Matthew.  Consider how well you are preparing for the Lord’s coming day.  Read it and the prophecies related to the day of the Lord.  Read up on Joel and Zephaniah’s prophecies about the day of the Lord.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 (KJV)

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“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so. . .” – Psalm 107:2

We who have been saved by the grace of the Lord need to say so.  We need to share about the Savior and the salvation that He offers us.  We owe Him at least that much for all that He has done for us.

As we move towards Easter and the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection, let us recall all that He has offered us through His saving grace.  He has not only risen.  He has bought us with a price through His precious blood.  He has brought us into a right relationship with God.

Say something about the Savior through the way you celebrate His resurrection this year.  Share your testimony with others.  Don’t let this year go by with you simply blending in with the world rather than standing out by saying something about the Savior.

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“Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.”
Mahalia Jackson

Faith is expected to be on display.  In one way or another, believers are expected to somehow show that they truly believe what they profess and proclaim.  We are supposed to walk and live by faith.

One way to show your faith is to show it with your appearance.  T-shirts or buttons can show your faith in Jesus.  Your accessories can have inspirational images or messages.  Even your car or truck can display your faith with window decals, bumper stickers or personalized license plate frames. 

This Easter season, Life Path Ministries spreads the Gospel message through our Spread the Love Campaign.  Join the movement and get on board with your church or ministry, even your small group, and spread the love with other believers during the week leading into Easter Sunday.  How could we expect people to show up on Easter Sunday if we never show, share or spread the love of Christ? Check out the Love Your Neighbor t-shirts and buttons that we sell on Zazzle through Life Path Ministries.  These are examples of how you can get others to show it more than they say it.

Read more inspiring quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_faith.html#ixzz1oelnL700

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