Nothing Fancy

www.bible.com/1713/rom.10.10.csb

Aren’t you glad that God didn’t say, “You have to cross the deepest ocean, climb the highest mountain, and cross the widest desert before you can be saved”? Aren’t you glad that God did not set the price of salvation at $100 Billion? Or that God didn’t say “like and share with a million friends” before you could be saved? Aren’t you glad He said none of these things, but to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and confess Him before men?

Coming to Christ initially is nothing fancy. It is simple faith and the confession of your lips. But that faith may make you some amazing things, like cross an ocean, a desert, or scale a mountain for Him. You may give billions for the sake of the name, even to like and share with millions more. But none of these great works come from a need for Jesus. They come a love for Him.

I never thought u would still be blogging like this every day, but now I am drawn to it because of the time I had here thinking about the Word and am always amazed at how well the Bible does together as a whole. I love sharing with you everyday. And I hope you get something out of it too.

God bless you, and thank God He asked for nothing fancy when it came to your salvation.

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Am I Better Off Not Knowing?

www.bible.com/1713/mat.8.10.csb

The people that Jesus was born into knew the Scripture since childhood, at least until the age of 12, when only those that showed an aptitude for Scripture were allowed on i their education. Others went to work in the trades. So in all if Israel’s, everyone was expected to be familiar with the Scriptures, if not have them memorized

Enter the Romans, of whom Jesus is referring here. This particular Roman has demonstrated greater faith because he trusts that Jesus can heal on his request, and that without even touching the subject of his healing. Somehow, this one thing impresses Jesus. That by itself deserves some discussion. Jesus marveled at this. It is often that others marvel at His words, but here He is, marveling at this Roman. Wow.

So back to my point. Everyone in Israel was to be familiar with the Scriptures, and all Jews attended synagogue (which can be reasonably assumed, though there were probably some who did not). Yet in all this cultural faith, Jesus found one outside of it with greater faith than these. And maybe that’s why. All of these Jews are practicing a cultural piety without any of its substance. This man comes from a different culture and finds in Judaism, and especially in this Rabbi, something to believe in. We don’t know what else happened to him, but we have this complement from Jesus, which is a lot.

Let me challenge you today to rise above your cultural piety, your going to church because you always have, and practice. personal faith that challenges you. Going with the flow doesn’t impress Jesus. Personal faith and practice does.

May God be with you on this Saturday.

Righteously Unshaken

www.bible.com/1713/psa.55.22.csb

James Bond made famous the line “shaken, but not stirred” when ordering his vodka martinis. I’m not really sure what overall difference it makes, but apparently that was an important character trait for him.

When it comes to people, however, I think we would rather be stirred that shaken. To be “stirred” lends itself to a sense of spirit and activity, as in a person stirred to action or a person stirred emotionally.

To be shaken on the other hand feels more dangerous. A person shaken is a person who has endured trauma and is suffering the effects of it, such a being shaken after a tragedy, a person saying they feel shaken after a loss.

The Lord promises protection from being shaken for those who trust in Him. That’s because those who trust in the Lord and cast their cares on Him have a deep and abiding trust in the person of the Almighty, the King who rules from heaven but is personal to each of us. Can you tell the last time you felt shaken?

Recently, as I’ve remarked before, we have been going through changes in our hospital. After some of the employee transfers and dismissals, people have been left feeling a bit shaken. It hasn’t been easy, but trust in the Lord allows you to look beyond your present circumstances into the eternal. God sees all, and has already prepared for you for events to come. Though you feel the bottom has dropped out, God has already prepared a place for you to land. We have only to trust Him. And believe me when I say I preach as much to myself as all of you. I’ve needed this kind of trust lately, and it has helped me in my faith. Why? Because I don’t listen to the sweet soft words in season. Some of us have to learn the hard way. (Sigh!)

Take this verse to heart. Write it on your mirror. Make it personal to you. God cares for you, and He will not let you go lightly.

May God bless you today.

Right Between the Eyes

www.bible.com/1713/mic.6.8.csb

Have you ever earnestly prayed for something, begging God for an answer, not get an answer, before some more, get nothing, and then open up something innocuous like a Bible app, and suddenly, God is speaking to you? Yeah, well, you’ve pegged my day today.

What does God want from you? He hasn’t been silent. In fact, He told Micah centuries ago in another language what He wants. Act justly. Love faithfulness. Walk humbly with God. Can you handle that?

Act justly – be just and fair in your actions with others. Pay what you owe. Give according to service rendered. Even be generous if you can. Put in your hours as you have been paid for and agreed to. Be a good employee.

Love faithfulness – be loyal, don’t betray a confidence, enjoy faithfulness to your spouse, your friends, even to make new friends. Treat others well.

Walk humbly before God – Remember Who is running the universe. Remember who makes the rules and has the power to take you home at anytime. Respect His rules, His Word, and His time. Everything is the Lord’s. Every person is the Lord’s. Treat them accordingly.

I hope you needed that. I sure did. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I don’t need a special message from God. He’s already sent it.

God bless you today.

Believe

www.bible.com/1713/gen.15.6.csb

While I see this word posted and repeated around Christmastime, I don’t think it has the same effect. Then it’s belief in a diminutive elf-man called Santa Claus and the whole mythology that surrounds him. No, that’s not saving belief.

Abram believed God and it was credited to his account as righteousness. Abram was granted some credit for his faith in God. I think we all do today, but we also have more knowledge than Abram did, namely of His Son Christ Jesus.

Belief in God is the beginning of faith in Jesus Christ, which Jesus credits toward salvation. You must believe if you are to be saved at all. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Just a thought for a Monday morning. Trust God. Exercise your faith in Him. He loves you and will send you exercises. 😁

God bless.

Strength for the Journey

www.bible.com/1713/isa.40.31.csb

Looking at this verse I came to a revelation. Trust isn’t passive. When you look at the verbs this verse uses, it begins with “trust in the Lord” and then continues with three action verbs that describe this renewal of strength. The first is “soar” as if in active flight. The second “run” as in rapidly moving across land, and third “walk” at a slower pace, but still moving. All of these verbs suggest movement. Trust is not passive, something you receive. Trust is active, and calls for movement.

Trust requires exercise.

How do you exercise your trust in God? You can do things He has told you He would equip you for. You can volunteer at church and trust that God will provide with ability to fulfill it (like kids ministry). Or you could witness to others, with the confidence that God has already prepared hearts to receive the gospel. You could practice your faith before others, trusting God to give you a ready defense in that hour you are questioned about it.

Passive faith is never tested. Passive trust stays in the shadows of our life. “Faith without world is dead” said James many years ago. He’s not wrong. If people can’t tell you are a Christian by your actions, don’t bother telling them. That’s where hypocrites come from. Don’t be a hypocrite.

God bless you today. Exercise your faith. Be strong!

Easy Enough to Say

www.bible.com/1713/jhn.14.1.csb

You are familiar with the saying, “easier said than done.” That applies to a lot of things, like parenting, getting a job, or finishing your degree. In fact, I think it applies to just about anything. So too it applies to our walk with Jesus. This verse really encapsulates what it is to be a Christian. It is far easier to say “I believe in Jesus” than it is to live that way. Easier to say “Jesus is Lord” than to actually let Him be Lord of your whole life.

Now there are tough words to say in life, like “Will you marry me?” or “It’s cancer.” You don’t say or repeat those words often. They are so hard because of the implications behind them. It used to be the same was felt about “I believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God.” It was a once in a lifetime statement of faith preceding baptism and pointed out to the world that you were walking the path of faith. But for the sake of making converts, the bar has dropped to mere assent of Faith. “I agree with Jesus!” Baptism is not longer once in a lifetime, but once as often as you come to a fresh understanding of your faith and brokenness. (No, I don’t agree with re-baptism, but I can’t deny someone who feels a real need to do so.)

Living out your faith ought to be loved with the full implication of the words which precede it. That said, I don’t know of many who actually succeed, including this author. I think it becomes a matter of maturity the closer we get to that ideal, and is not easily apprehended by the novice. We find from time to time that we didn’t understand the commitment we made when we first come to Christ. That’s called maturing. It doesn’t need rebaptism so much as fresh commitment to live up to this new understanding. Willingness to live out our faith requires time and energy. We ought to find ourselves even more committed and more willing to pray and read and fellowship than we did before. We ought to see more opportunities for sharing our faith and making an impact for the kingdom. Why? Because Jesus is Lord. He is Lord of all things, not just just those we surrender to Him.

Following Jesus is easier said than done, but nothing worth doing is easy. And this is certainly is worth doing.

God bless!