When praying through adversity, your circumstances will often appear to be getting worse before they get better. God always operates on His time schedule. When trouble lingers for a season remember that God will not forget you in your time of need (Hebrews 13: 5-6). Continue reading »
(Click HERE for part 1 in this series)
Everyone who has claimed victory in life has learned the value of being persistent. Anything of value in life will cost you something. You cannot grow your faith on a second hand experience. There are some things you have to fight through, battle against, and endure before you realize victory in Christ. Continue reading »
INTENTIONAL CHRISTIANITY THOUGH ADVERSITY
The pursuit of Christ is full of pain and suffering (John 16:33). God uses adversity as a tool to skillfully craft the character of Christ inside your heart and mind. Continue reading »
Why go to church?
There are many reasons to be involved in our local church but let us focus on one… we all want to be known by God as an active and faithful servant in His Kingdom. With the Rapture of the church (I Thessalonians 4:16-17) fast approaching, we need to be in a constant state of spiritual preparedness. No Christian who believes the Bible is True wants to be caught off course pursing selfish pleasures and treasures.
Hebrews 10:23-25,” Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
It is important to develop meaningful relationships with people who understand how to exercise Biblical integrity. A mature Christian is not someone who has attained Godly perfection but has learned how to walk in the perfection of God’s grace that was provided through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. A Christ centered community will greatly encourage you to grow deeper in your relationship with God, will help you move beyond your sin, failures and insecurities, and will encourage you to accomplish the calling and purposes of God upon your life. You can also help others do the same.
Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
There are many people who go to church out of obligation, religious duty, or in an effort to earn the favor of God, their parents, or others. Going to church does not make us a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes us a Happy Meal. Worshiping God is more than a place we go physically. Worship is a God centered response to every circumstance and temptation we encounter. We can fool other people most of the time but we can never disguise our motives before God. If the condition of you heart is corrupted by sin and self- absorbed behavior so will be your actions, conversations and behavior.
Psalm 139:2-4, ”You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”
Personal Spiritual maturity is propelled by being a part of a church that focuses on preaching the entire Word of God and knows how to demonstrate the love of Christ.
II Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
No one knows the date or time when their life on earth will end. Each individual has to make a choice to accept God’s salvation plan through faith In Jesus Christ or reject it. Although spiritual growth is an individual commitment we make to God,…a Bible teaching, Christ centered church gives us a place to be planted and rooted in Godly fellowship. Being involved and committed to Godly fellowship will help keep our personal journey with God on track. God has not called us to be undercover secret agents that work alone. He has called us all to be a part of the Body of Christ.
Thanks, Rob! As we continue into the Easter season…if you’re one who only attends Church on holidays such as Easter, I strongly encourage you to find a church home to attend on a regular basis. Just like Rob said above, as Christians, we all need the fellowship of like-minded people for encouragement and even accountability. It’s true, you can worship or “be spiritual” anywhere, but your physical presence in a church provides you with the opportunity for growth in your walk with Christ.
Until next time…
I can’t believe it’s been two years since I had Rob write a post for me! I’ll definitely make sure he does more in the future…
Here’s Rob’s Rhetoric…
Prayer Power is Better than Will Power
Prayer is the most important element of an effective Christian. Prayer is the difference between accomplishing our best and God’s best. With much prayer there is much power, with little prayer there is little power. Prayer is more than outlining our agenda to God. It is about developing a relationship with God so we play a part in His eternal plan. God has not called us to safe comfortable places and to do easy things. He has called us to go into dark places to be a source of light to a hurting and lost people.
We cannot experience victory in life by exercising our own wisdom alone. Spiritual maturity is not attained by reaching a specific destination. Spiritual maturity is a process. It is a journey that is traveled by faith and not by sight. The journey does not end until God decides that it is over.
We are not capable of removing every challenge that confronts us, but we can pray to the one who can. It is never too late to start praying and always too soon to stop praying.
Mark Batterson says, “When you start praying regularly, you will find irregular things happening on a regular basis.”
A consistent prayer life keeps our heart sensitive and open to what God wants to accomplish through us and in us. Prayer keeps our focus on what is right about God and our focus away from what is wrong about us.
Without a relationship with Christ the best we can hope for is to learn how to cope with our problems. Jesus placed the Holy Spirit within us to comfort us in our struggles, to teach us the truth about God and to empower us for victory. Our circumstances should not control our attitude and response to life. Our relationship with Christ should determine how we react to our circumstances.
Our job is to trust God at His word, not to reason with Him or try to understand Him according to our own logic and wisdom. Frustration, fear and confusion occurs when we attempt to manipulate our own circumstances without allowing God to be in control. Prayer helps us release the stress created by this world and opens our heart to receive the peace of Christ.
John 15:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.