Friday, May 24, 2013

Become Holy For Christ

As an important Christian leader, Apostle Peter wrote to the churches in Asia Minor addressing their persecutions.  

He explained that suffering tested their faith, so they needed to prepare for action, be self-controlled and set their hope on Christ Jesus.  

Peter challenged them to become holy by ridding themselves of all malice, deceit, envy, hypocrisy and slander, while becoming peaceful, gentle and submissive to all.

While Christians are still persecuted for Christ, this oppression should not be a needed reminder to gain holiness.  Any Christian can become self-controlled, peaceful, gentle and submissive.  

Why a Christian would want to stay a malicious, deceitful, envious, slanderous hypocrite is a question that can still be asked today.  Christ still calls us to set an example for this fallen world and not to be just a part of it.  He is available 24/7 to facilitate this holy change, so ask to rise above the world and not to just wallow in the muck here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spiritual Maturity Requires Self-discipline

Apostle James wrote to the churches about joyfully accepting their trials because these tested the faith, developed perseverance and promoted spiritual maturity, so they could enter heaven.  

Followers needed self-discipline in speech and behavior to respond thoughtfully, listen carefully and avoid worldly influence.  If God did not answer their prayers, they needed to stop asking with selfish motives, like pleasure, gain, ambition, fame, coveting, anger, impatience, etc.

If Christians want spiritual maturity, they need to develop the incredible self-discipline and obedience that the Lord teaches.  

Only in a personal relationship with the Trinity can humans transcend the physical and worldly distractions to spiritually prepare for heaven.  Luckily for us, help is only a prayer away. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Christians Must Stand Out

The letter to the Hebrews was to verify the authority of Jesus Christ and how His sacrifice was always the plan for humanity's salvation.  

The believers needed a sincere faith, so they could love each other, do God's will, fight their sin nature and persevere against persecution.  If they fixed their eyes on Jesus, they would leave the material world behind and welcome their tests of endurance.

What great advice!  All Christians should acquire a sincere faith to overcome this world and prepare for the next life.  

If spiritual maturity was the goal of every Christian, then we would stand out from the world and set an example for others to follow.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Follow The Lord's Truth

Apostle Paul wrote kindly to Philemon and gently reminded his dear friend about his responsibility as a believer in Christ Jesus.  

Philemon's slave, Onesimus, had to run away and find Paul to learn the Gospel.  Paul said how he prayed for Philemon to share his faith with others and when Onesimus returned, he must treat him like a brother in the Lord.

The letter Paul wrote to Philemon is a great example of Christ's love in action.  Paul loved his friend but did not approve of the way he treated his slave, so this problem was very diplomatically pointed out.  

When Christians truly follow Christ's lead, they become loving, fair and confident in the truth.  The real truth is not what the world says, but what the Lord declares, which are usually opposites.