Work of Faith, Labor of Love, Enduring Hope

1 Thessalonians 1:3We continually remember before our God your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Work, labor and endurance, without faith, love and hope are meaningless and unfulfilling.

My Advice – Make sure you give your life to a purpose you love, that increases your faith, and that leaves you with hope.

Just As You Received Him

Colossians 2:6-7So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – How did we receive Christ Jesus? By faith. How then are we to live in Him? By faith.

My Advice – God saved you for a purpose, that you might continue to live out your life with Him is faith. Do it with thanksgiving.

Worthy Conduct

Philippians 1:27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – All too often we compartmentalize our lives into the spiritual and the worldly. In spiritual situations we conduct ourselves as a Christian should. In other situations, our behavior may not be grossly improper, but also not altogether consistent with our Christianity. This should not be. We are who we are wherever we are and should conduct ourselves appropriately.

My Advice – No matter what situation you find yourself in, whether at work or with friends, ask yourself if what you are doing is consistent with your profession as a child of God.

Worthy of the Calling

Ephesians 4:1-2 –  I urge you to live a life that is worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.  (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Of course, we cannot really live a life that is worthy of our calling, because we were not worthy. Christ’s blood made us worthy. But that does not mean we should not make the effort.

My Advice – As you make choices in life, ask yourself if it is a choice that is worthy and that is consistent with your calling.

Life in the Body

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Galatians 2:20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Our life is not our own to live any way that we choose. We were bought with a price and should live our lives for the one who bought us. The unfortunate reality is that we are able to choose how we live, and we often make wrong choices.

My Advice – Live a life of faith. This is how you give to God. He gave so much for you.

What Is Truth?

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Isaiah 5:20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (NIV 1984)

Jack Ryan: You’re going to jail, pal!
Ritter: [seeing Ryan holding a piece of paper] What is that? What is it you think you have there?
Jack Ryan: You broke the law.
Ritter: You are such a Boy Scout! You see everything in black and white!
Jack Ryan: No, no, no! Not black and white Ritter, right and wrong!

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 film based on the book of the same name by Tom Clancy.

2 Timothy 4:3I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (NIV 1984)

Turner: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 film about a bookish CIA researcher who finds all his colleagues dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

John 18:37Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV 1984)

Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?”

From the trial of Jesus Christ, circa 33 AD.

My Musings – If there was any time we needed Continue reading “What Is Truth?”

What’s On Your T-Shirt?

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Matthew 28:18-20Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – My dad did not originate the saying, but he liked to quote it “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I wonder what makes some think the mission statement in Matthew 28 is broken and needs our “fixin’?”

A disciple is someone who follows another person or another way of life and who submits himself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader or way.(1)  This begs the question: what would make someone want to follow and submit to Jesus?  And then, how do we make disciples?  How do we fulfil our co “mission” statement given to us by Jesus?

People need to hear from us the teaching of Jesus (what we say) and see in us the life of Jesus (what we do).  It takes more than a program, t-shirt, bumper sticker or coffee mug to communicate the Gospel.  It takes a life that is transformed.  If people do not hear and see the Master in what we consistently say and do, how can they possibly become a disciple of someone that we claim to be a disciple of?  If we are not faithful in our  representation of Kingdom living, how can we possibly expect others to want to be subject to its King?

My Advice – We cannot make disciples if we are not disciples ourselves.  What we say and what we do must be in agreement and must be a reflection of Christ.

  • John 10:27My sheep listen to my voice [what we say]; I know them, and they follow me [what we do]. (NIV 1984)
  • 1 John 3:18Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (NLT 2013)

(1)Helm, P. (1988). Disciple. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 629). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.