Straight Talk – 2 Chronicles 13:18

Straight_Talk“The Israelites were subdued at that time. The Judahites succeeded because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors” (2 Chronicles 13:18, HCSB).

We spend a lot of time and effort trying to understand what God is saying to us through His Word, the Bible. Sometimes the Bible actually makes it real easy for us to understand what it is saying and how to apply it to our lives.

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Living for the Future in the Present, Part 2 – 1 Timothy 6:11-12

FightTheGoodFIght“But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, HCSB).

In Part 1 of this meditation Paul instructed Timothy to use this present life as an opportunity to prepare for eternity with God by becoming more like God. To accomplish this, Paul told Timothy to train himself in godliness through disciplined, rigorous practice in personal devotion and service to God.

Now Paul tells Timothy that he should fight for the faith and take hold of eternal life!

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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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Think Carefully About Jesus – Hebrews 3:1

thinking_man“And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest.” (Hebrews 3:1, NLT).

The Hebrews writer is preaching about Jesus to people who are already believers. According to the Hebrews writer, Christians should give careful consideration to Jesus.

But haven’t we already done this when we believed and received His salvation?

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Fragile Faith – 2 Corinthians 4:7

hanging-on-limb“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT).

We’ve all heard the amusing story about the man who falls over a cliff and grabs a branch on the face of the cliff to break his fall. As  he is hanging from the branch, he calls up toward heaven, “If anybody is up there, help me!” Suddenly a voice booms down from heaven, “LET GO OF THE BRANCH!” The man hanging from the branch thinks about it for a moment and then calls out, “Is anybody else up there?”

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Faith and Faithfulness – Ruth 1:16-17

Ruth_Gleaning_Grain“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!'” (Ruth 1:16-17, NLT).

Ruth was a foreigner from Moab who married into an Israelite family from Bethlehem.

The Israelite family had moved to Moab during a severe famine in Judah. All the men of this Israelite family died in Moab, leaving behind three widows—Ruth, her mother-in-law Naomi, and her sister-in-law Orpah.

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Faith Worth Fighting For – Judges 3:1-2

boxing-silhouette“These are the nations the Lord left in order to test Israel, since the Israelites had fought none of these in any of the wars with Canaan. This was to teach the future generations of the Israelites how to fight in battle, especially those who had not fought before.” (Judges 3:1-2, HCSB).

All the various nations that remained in the land of Canaan after the Israelite conquest were intended to serve as a test for God’s people.

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Holy Slavery – Luke 17:5-10

Waiter“When you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.’” (Luke 17: 10, HCSB)

Slavery in the first century Roman world was much different from slavery in early American history. Roman slaves were either taken as the spoils of war or were slaves because they sold themselves into slavery, called bond-servants.

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Your God Is Too Small – Luke 8:53-55

God-in-a-box“But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, My child, get up! And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up!” (Luke 8:53-55, NLT).

In Luke 8 Jesus calms a storm, commands a large number of evil spirits to come out of a man, heals a woman who suffered from a bleeding condition for twelve years, and raises a little girl from the dead!

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