“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

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

Keep On Keeping On!

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“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. – John 16:1 NLT
 

Jesus is warning His disciples and us that there will be times when the path will not be so smooth. There will be times when we are mistreated and offended for the Gospel’s sake, but we need to press on. Paul thought he was doing a service for God when he was persecuting and killing Christians. He was walking in darkness but he encountered a powerful Light that changed his life. As long as Jesus was here with the disciples He knew that He would be the target for all the abuse. But now that He was leaving, He knew that He had to reinforce the things He had been teaching them. We need that same encouragement every day in our lives. It is easy for us to become frustrated and want to give up, but we have a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother. He is always with us. As Paul learned after his life-changing event, we must suffer with Christ. There is a cross for each of us to bear. But we must remember and hang onto the conclusion that Paul came to in his journey.
18 The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. 19 Everything God made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.Romans 8:18,19 NCV
6 God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes againPhilippians 1:6 NCV

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

Post 11-14-2017

The Pause That Refreshes

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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

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 01-14-2017

Not Yet!

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Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. — Acts 1:4
Sometimes when God first starts to reveal our part in His plan, we want to start “doing” right then.   There are times that we should move instantly because it might be the only chance we have to witness to a particular person.  But if God is calling us to do a work that requires coordination and acceptance by others, we may have to wait while everyone else involved gets lined up.  God never sends us unprepared.  Jesus was tested for forty days before He began His ministry.  Saul spent years in the desert becoming Paul.  David spent years fighting battles, running from Saul and was anointed three times before He actually took the throne.  Preparation requires patience, prayer, persecution, perseverance, provision and power. There are usually people who disagree with what we think God has called us to do and/or the methodology we use to do it.  We must not only be patient with God but with others involved as well.  We must endure the negativity and the discouraging remarks.  If we persevere, God will give us the provisions and the power.   God had prepared the disciples to “go and make” but now He has commanded them to “wait”.  Waiting can sometimes be the hardest part.  But success will only come if we adhere to God’s battle plan and His timing.  We must wait until all the ifs, ands, buts, perhapses, and maybes are gone.  Then when the Commander says “charge”, we will be successful in the war.
 

14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
— Psalm 27:14 NLT

Post 06-10-2016

 

Prayer, Praise, Patience

even-smaller-bug-light110 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. — James 5:10, 11 NIV

​God changed Abram’s​ name to Abraham which means “the Father of a multitude”.  With that name change came a covenant promise that he would be exactly that.  He and his wife Sarah waited many years for this to happen.  God gave Joseph a dream that he would be a great leader and his family would bow down before him.  He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery and put into prison before that dream came to fruition. Job had it “all”,  but God allowed satan to take it all from him and even allowed him to attack Job’s body as well.  Job stood firm in refusing to blame or curse God and in the end, God gave him twice as much as he had before.   Just as God had a plan for Abraham, Joseph, Job and the others, He has a plan for each of us.  Today, we live in a world of “it’s all about me” and “I want all of this and I want it now”.   We need to understand that none of us will wait as long as any of these people did to receive what God has promised us. We need to persevere in what we are now and where God has us now if we want to receive the blessings God wants to give each of us. We should do this with praise and joy because what God has in store for us is beyond our imagination.
 

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 NIV

 

Post 12-05-2015

Study Diligently, Study Intelligently

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5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. — 2 Peter 1:​5​-11 NIV
​If we put in the time studying the Scriptures and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we will add all these things to our faith.  As we learn God’s Word, we will be able to access more and more Godly wisdom and power.  These attributes of Jesus will not only confirm our calling but will also makes us effective and productive disciples of Jesus. If we don’t spend the time we will never be able to see beyond our fleshly desires, thus appearing nearsighted and/or blind. Then we will not be able to lead others to Jesus Christ, which is the ultimate goal of any calling that God has placed on our lives. Unless we continue to study the Word, we will soon forget that we have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.
So, we need to be diligent and we need to be smart. 
Study the Scriptures
Meditate on the Scriptures
Always pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Repeat the story and rehearse all the blessings God has given us
Tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us 
Then others will say about us the same thing they said about Jesus.

52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. — Luke 2:52 NIV

Post 07-25-2015

Total Access To Wisdom and Power

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.—1 Cor. 1:22-25 (NIV)
​The Jews wanted to see miracles to prove the truth of the Gospel. Jesus had performed many signs and wonders but they still refused to accept Him as the Messiah. When the Pharisees had requested a sign, Jesus answered them:
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah–Matt. 12:39 (NIV)
They had seen that sign because after three days, Jesus arose from the grave. We are not saved by signs, miracles or wisdom, we are saved by grace through faith. Head knowledge has to become heart knowledge before we receive saving grace. The power that resurrected Jesus from the grave is more powerful than any earthly force and is still available to each of us today. The foolishness of Jesus Christ is wiser than anything in the world and it is still available to us today. We just need to persevere in our faith and ask the Holy Spirit to grant us wisdom.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.—James 1:4, 5 (NIV)
Post 04-26-2015