Walking in the Light: Getting a Tan or Getting Sweaty? – 1 John 1:7

walking-in-the-light“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, HCSB).

There’s a saying we use quite often in religious circles to describe one’s spiritual transformation. We say “I’ve seen the light.”

In this verse the Apostle John clarifies that being a disciple of Jesus is not just a matter of seeing the light but rather walking in the light.

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Calamity’s Cause – Lamentations 3:37-42

Handling-Problems-Good-Morning-This-Is-God“Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us” (Lamentations 3:37-42, NLT).

The book of Lamentations is attributed to the prophet Jeremiah. The context for the book is the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

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Hold On! Part 2 – Hebrews 12:28-29

HoldOn“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29, HCSB).

In Part 1 of this meditation on grace, we saw how the Hebrews writer assembled an argument showing that God’s grace demonstrated to us through Christ is superior to the Old Testament law and temple worship because Christ was its culmination.

So, the new covenant is superior to the old because now we enter into God’s presence through a relationship or covenant based on receiving His grace through Christ (what the Hebrews writer called approaching Mt. Zion), not on adherence to the law (what the Hebrews writer called approaching Mt. Sinai).

When we receive God’s grace through believing in Christ as our Savior, we must hold on to it! And then, the grace of God becomes the source of our strength for serving God and His Kingdom.

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Hold On! Part 1 – Hebrews 12:28-29

HoldOn“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29, HCSB)

Have you ever walked over some rocks that weren’t firmly set in the ground or on a wobbly platform or a floor with rotting wood. Or maybe you’ve been in an earthquake where you could feel the actual ground beneath you moving.

Whenever our footing becomes unsure, our first instinct is to grab something that seems more stable and hold on.

The Hebrews writer points out that in the past, in the Old Testament, when human beings encountered God it was a terrifying experience. When the law was given on Mt. Sinai, even Moses was terrified and trembled at God’s appearance (vs. 21).

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Heavenly Discipline – Hebrews 12:10

discipline“But he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10, ESV).

Just as our earthly parents disciplined us and we respected them for it, so God disciplines us and we should respect Him as well.

God’s discipline proves that He considers believers to be his children.

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The Road From Faith to Faithfulness, Part 2: Happy Endings – John 4:46-54

Faith_Sign“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).

In Part 1 of this meditation I compared and contrasted the predicament of the royal official in this story imploring Jesus to heal his dying son with my own pleas for God to heal my dying wife of terminal cancer.

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The Road From Faith to Faithfulness, Part 1: The Destination – John 4:46-54

Faith_Sign“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).

While Jesus was in Cana of Galilee, a royal official from Capernaum approached Jesus and asked Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son who was dying. Rather than accompanying the official the twenty miles to Capernaum, Jesus declared the boy was healed: “Go, your son lives” (vs. 50) and the man believed the words that Jesus spoke and returned to Capernaum on his own.

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