“Run With Perseverance”

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,— Hebrews 12: 1 NIV

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

With all the “busyness” we are involved in each day, it is very easy to become fatigued. We rush here and there, doing this and that. This is the time satan is most likely to choose to attack us. All the “doing” leaves us tired and open to his attacks. When satan attacks us, we lash out at those around us. At the end of the day, sit down and evaluate what you have accomplished. Have you given of yourself and your time to help others? I know, you wanted to but you just didn’t have time. Do you want to do better? Then try this. Spend the first minutes of your day with Jesus There is nothing that will refresh us more than spending some downtime alone with Him. In Luke 3:5, we are told that Jesus fills the valleys, lowers the mountains, makes the crooked roads straight, and He makes the rough roads smooth. (my paraphrase) Your day will be better and you will be ready to keep on keeping on and you won’t even want to quit.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-09-2019

Purpose, Plan, Complete

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You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. – James 5:8 ISV
 
God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:

 

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26, 27 NIV

For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time.  We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth.  We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others.  We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus.  This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested.  This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory.  The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven.  Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,  “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Perseverance Brings Rewards

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35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! ​-Hebrews 10:35​
As Christians living in the “free” countries, we need to be very thankful that we do not have such memories of persecution as the writer of Hebrews has listed here.  At the same time, we need to be cognizant of the fact that our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in other nations are enduring these kind of persecutions right now.  We need to suffer along with them as they are beaten, driven from their homes and imprisoned under false charges. Some of them stay in prisons for years awaiting a trial date and suffering things that we can’t even imagine.  We need to be faithful in supporting them in our prayers and other ways that are available to us.  These brothers and sisters have beautiful testimonies of how God strengthened and sustained them through these times. The ones that were not executed speak of the joy they received because they were counted worthy to suffer with and for Christ. They have and are persevering and their reward will be great.  We also need to be cognizant that such times are approaching for us in our own “free” countries. When we go through these times, are we prepared to “count it all joy”?  Will we persevere and be awarded crowns in heaven to cast at our Savior’s feet? Or will we stand before our Lord empty-handed and receive few or no crowns to cast at our Savior’s feet?

 

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 NI​V​

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-14-2018

Perseverance Brings Peace and Protection

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23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. – Hebrews 10:23 NLT
God did not promise us that the way would always be smooth. In fact, Jesus told us just the opposite that we will have troubles in this world. He also told us that in Him we could have peace in the middle of all the troubles.
​33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NIV

We have our God living inside of us to assure us that we can never be alone,  He is always with us. God is faithful to fulfill every promise He has ever made.  As Christians, we have a hope that no other belief system has.  All the other so called gods and leaders are dead.  Our God is a living God who has eyes to see, hears to ear and hands to touch and heal. Even more than that, He has a heart overflowing with love for His children. Because He has this incomprehensible love for us, He watches over us constantly. He speaks to us and carries us through the hard times.  He doesn’t always deliver us from trouble as quickly as we would like but, He always delivers. Don’t talk to God today, talk with Him. After you have praised and prayed, listen for His words to you. He wants to hold you, love you and shelter you under His wings.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday. 
— Psalm 91:4-6 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-13-2018

Persevere – Finish the Race

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You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.
– Galatians 5:7-8 NLT
 
The new converts had started off “on fire” but now they were being hampered by those around them. Let each of us think back to the time that we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Now, let each of us compare our enthusiasm and boldness for telling others about Jesus then and our enthusiasm and boldness for doing that now. Who or what “cut in on us” or kept us from spreading the Good News about salvation. Was it the mocking of “friends” or the cares of this world that hampered us? Are we more concerned about other people’s opinions of us than we are about what Jesus thinks about us? Does it even matter if we tell others about Jesus and His mercy? Do we think that Jesus isn’t watching? Or do we do the things we do and act the way we act because we know that Jesus will forgive us but our family, friends and neighbors might not? That kind of thinking does not come from the Holy Spirit.
1​ ​Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us​.​–Hebrews 12:1​ (​NIV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-14-2018

Whether By Life or By Death

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8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. — 2 Cor. 1:8-11 NIV

When we read these verses​, we need to consider our brothers and sisters who live in places where persecution and imprisonment are still common practice today.  They need our prayers and our encouragement on a daily basis.  There are numerous testimonies from these Christians about being able to endure their harsh treatment because they received cards and/or knew that other Christians were praying for them daily.  They, as Paul, have learned to rely on God to deliver them from deadly perils.  Until recently we, in the free world, have not been subject to such unfair and brutal treatment.  That time has passed and we are being tested here in America, as well as other so called free countries. Christians are being ridiculed, beaten to death and imprisoned for refusing to deny their faith and their beliefs.  We need to pray and encourage each other daily.  Our hope is still in Jesus Christ.  He is our Redeemer, our Savior and our Lord. There is no other God that is capable of loving their followers and delivering them from every situation. We need to understand that some times that deliverance includes physical death. But we need to count it all joy and say along with Paul:

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. — Phil. 1:20, 21 NIV

Post 09-13-2015