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Posts Tagged ‘Christian life’

Here are few links for your Sunday afternoon web surfing pleasure:

A nice blog with quotes to help your mind be gospel focused.
C.J. Mahaney is still writing about time management and Biblical productivity. This post links to all of the other post in the series.
This atheist seems to have a better idea of why we should share the gospel than many Christians do.

Have a blessed Lord’s Day!

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Jesus taught that how we live on earth has bearing on what we will have in heaven.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Mat 6:19-21 NASB)

Now, this is a bit controversial, and I thought like a lot of people until I read works by Randy Alcorn and began looking at the Scriptures more closely. Many have the view that when we all get to heaven, we will all be the same. We will all have the same reward and the same level of knowledge. While we are all saved by grace, their are different levels of reward in heaven based upon the way we live our lives here. We will not be condemned for our bad works, but our works will be judged. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
(1Co 3:12-15 NASB)

So, we see that there will be a difference.  How we live and minister now will have eternal consequences.  Therefore, we should approach decisions and life asking if what we are doing or may do will have lasting, eternal significance.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember who exactly said it, but someone once pointed out that there are three things that will last for eternity: God, His Word, and the souls of people.  In as much as we invest our lives in those three things, we have invested our lives in something of eternal significance.

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For the next few posts that, I want to write about having an eternal perspective. Randy Alcorn has written extensively on this subject. His ministry’s website and his blog are great resources for further study and thought. His book, Heaven, has helped many grow in their understanding of how thinking about eternity can help them in living the Christian life in the here and now. While I am not certain of everything in the book, I can not deny the plausibility of anything that he writes.

I’ve had a couple of people express to me the fear that heaven will be boring. These verses (and many more in scripture) make heaven sound anything but boring. In fact I believe that based on these verses not looking forward to heaven or thinking it is boring is a sin that cripples our service and worship. Notice the verses in bold type:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
(Heb 12:22-29 NASB)

When we meditate on all that heaven will be, the price paid to open the door for us and the glory of God that we will know there, it will stir us to have greater gratitude toward God. Our living will be an act of worship as we obey God with reverence and awe.

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I have to make a confession. In general, I don’t use my time well. I have those burst of organization and time well used that last a few weeks or perhaps a couple of months, but in general, the course of my life reveals a poor use of time. It would be easy to blame it on the overwhelming demands of a million calls on my attention, but it really comes down to this fact. I lack discipline, which I define as the ability to focus on the most important things needed to accomplish the most eternal objectives while avoiding distractions. The problem is that I enjoy the distractions and the escape. I am self-centered and in the guise of needing down time or time to recharge my batteries, I can escape into my own little world and do very little of eternal significance.

C.J. Mahaney has written a great series of post on his blog about redeeming the time. I found it very helpful and the links are below.

Are You Busy?
Confessions of a Busy Procrastinator
The Procrastinator Within
Just Do It
In All Thy Ways
The Sluggard
Time. Redeemed.
Roles, Goals, Scheduling
Roles (Part 1)
Roles (Part 2)

These posts have been very helpful in getting me pointed in the right direction. I hope they help anyone who sees this post as well.

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It is college football season, and it is interesting to observe people’s behavior this time of year, mine included. It is amazing the degree to which people identify with their favorite team. People identify with their teams accomplishments to the point of saying, “we scored” or “we won.” A slight of the team in the media or disrespect toward the coach is taken personally. When the team wins, fans feel joy. When they lose, fans feel depressed. It is an incredible sense of personal identification.

Some may bemoan that those of us who are believers do not identify with Christ that much. It is a sad thing that we don’t, but what truly amazes me is the degree to which He identifies with us. When Paul had his Damascus Road experience, he had his earliest lesson in the church being the body of Christ. Paul engaged in persecuting believers, and Jesus asked him, “Why are you persecuting me?” Our Lord identifies with us to the point that when someone kicks us for our faith in Him, it is the same as kicking Him.

I don’t want to suggest that Jesus’ identification with us is the same as a football fan painting his body gold and black and wearing a pom-pom on his head. However, I think we can begin to understand the depth of His identification with us some what, yet knowing that it goes deeper and is based on His grace and unconditional love and not our winning or losing. So next time you watch a college football game, take a moment to worship Jesus.

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As I have been reading Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, my understanding of one key in overcoming sin has increased. Particularly in dealing with sins such as worry, anger, impatience and frustration, faith that God is in control of all details of our lives in invaluable. If I trust that God in His sovereignty allows all situations in my life, I will be less frustrated by them. I will be less likely to lash out in anger at anyone whose actions may interfere with my plans or goals. Daily contemplation of God’s goodness and sovereignty plus great faith in both are essential in the fight against sin.

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David wrote Psalm 60 during a time of war. David saw it as a time of God’s discipline of the nation. He accepted what was taking place as being from the hand of God and prayed for restoration.

Verse 4 is a beautiful word picture. In the midst of the battle, God sets up a banner that those who fear Him can run to. There they are safe from the arrows of the enemy. They are delivered. In verses 6-8, God asserted His sovereignty over the nations neighboring Israel. All nations will bow to Him someday and come under His rule.

The Psalm concludes with David pleading for God to go with them into battle. His words contain the truth that vain is the salvation of man. Only God can truly deliver us and give us victory in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

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