Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Running a smart race

Scripture Read: Heb 12:1 NASB  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance – (impediment, burden) - and the sin which so easily – (without difficulty; won easily) - entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) — 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Heb 12:1 NET Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us,

Application:  Father is this where we have been for far too long?  This can even make someone question if they are in relationship with You. Many know they love You and want to bask in Your grace but they find themselves struggling with sins they believe should already be conquered. As we consider this verse - we need to get this truth into us – so we can finish well. Two phrases are very powerful in this section – “so easily” – the NET paints a good picture – the sin that clings closely – how true this is! & “entangles us”. Some questions we need to ask ourselves – Do I let sin win easily and that has prevented the action toward progress that I say I want? What does my life look like? What do I think it should look like?  We need to become what we should be – but how? – Only You can guide us there Father. Oh Dad we so love our life with You yet we hate so much when we awake from giving into sin. We want to be so awake that it only wins after a hard fight. Lead us into a consciousness that keeps us from being lazy about sin. Father it will honor You and we know in the end we will have Your joy and the regret that our flesh will experience because it does not get what it wants will fade fast. The regret we sense when we sin lasts all day – empower us to choose to make our flesh regret rather than the inner man. Life can be loved when we are walking with You. We love You Father. Perhaps we should meditate on this verse throughout the day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Real trust or just talk?

Scripture Read: Romans 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

Application: Waver - διακρίνω diakrino In R. 4:20 Abraham has a divine promise which far exceeds the possibilities of natural fulfillment. He is full of the fact that God will make a reality of this promise. Here the emphasis obviously falls on the unreserved nature of his confidence. He trusts with his whole heart, and overcomes everything that might impede this trust. One might almost translate: “He was not inwardly divided

Unbelief - Lack of belief or trust

Grew Strong - ἐνδυναμόω endunamoo – rooted in dynamo – “boom!”

Assured - πληροφορέω plerophoreo The meaning “to achieve complete certainty” is undoubtedly attested in Romans, 4:21: Abraham’s faith is completely certain of the full agreement between God’s promise and His power, which can call into being things which are not, awaken what is dead to life, and give Abraham a posterity. Because the faith of Abraham in R. 4 is a model for the faith of Christians, justifying faith, based on confidence in God’s promise and creative power, is a faith which is “fully certain” of God’s act, a faith in the new life which is given to the Christian in justification

As we ponder the faith of Abraham – We must learn to separate our trust from our lack there of. We must be willing to ask ourselves the hard questions. Do we believe God can and will do what He has promised to do? – Many times the answer is “yes” in our thoughts – but how true are those thoughts? Do our actions betray our true thoughts? We should not want to be inwardly divided. We should want the power that God is willing to supply us that will enable us to trust Him. The first place to look is our actions. Talking trust is easy, but living trust is proof! Are we living in such a way that our actions show that we are trusting the Lord? We need to look at our actions and question if they reveal a real trust or just an attempt! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just as we are – or maybe not!

Scripture Read: Romans 4:9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised. 13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist

Application: Two issues jump out at me – first the fact that God began with Abraham right where he was. He did not have to become something first (works) He was required to have a change of heart and mind. He had to agree that God was the One to be trusted and rely solely on Him for his future (faith) This is obviously how salvation works – but isn’t that the principle for how it all works. Do we work too hard trying to change ourselves?  Instead we need to trust Him and believe He will change us (practical sanctification)  What about “work out your own salvation” ? That does not change this principle – change takes sweat – but it must first begin with trust. The other issue is that the same word is used in describing how God makes us His own.  Being & Exist: “even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist:  εἰμί eimí; In Rom. 4:17, “those that are not as those that were” (a.t.), meaning things existing and things not existing. Whatever combination of what we are and what God adds – He calls it into existence. It is what He wants us to be from what we could not be without Him.  Thank You Father for Your great love – Call us into the saints You desire us to be. We want to be that saint Lord but only You can create it – Help us to follow willingly.