Carried On To Completion

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My Musings – “I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Really?  Well, family  certainly.  Friends, possibly.  Partners in the Gospel?  Well, maybe not every time.  But you see they don’t always share equally in the partnership.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”  With joy?  All, all, always?  Well maybe not all my  prayers.  Maybe not all of them.  Maybe not always with joy.  But you, know, some times they disappoint me.

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”  Confident?  But you don’t know them like I do.  They’ve wandered.  They’re inconsistent. They’re far from complete.

Always Thankful – We have the family, friends and partners in the Gospel that God put in our lives.  And He put us in theirs.  If we are not thanking God every time we remember them, maybe it is us who are not sharing equally?

Always Pray With Joy – In all our prayers, if we don’t pray for them with joy, maybe we aren’t as thankful as we should be.  If we were, wouldn’t we always be joyful when we prayed for them?

Confident of Completion – If God did begin the good work, He will bring it to completion.  If we lack confidence in this we are focusing too much on the wandering and inconsistency and not enough on the “author and perfecter of our faith.

My Advice – Always thank God when you remember the people in your life.  They are a gift to you and you are a gift to them.  Pray with joy in all your prayers for all the people in your life.  They may not always make you happy.  Don’t let those periodic lapses and disappointments rob you of your joy because of them.  Place your confidence in God. That He will complete what He started in their lives.  Don’t let their temporary detours cause you to lose confidence in their ultimate destination.  Be encouraged.

Read the text again.  Wouldn’t you like to have people in your life that are like Paul?  Then why not “do unto others what you would have them do unto you?”  What would our family, friends and Gospel partnership relationships be like if we did?  Talk about thankfulness. Talk about joyfulness.  Talk about confidence.  All wrapped up in a passion for Christlikeness.

Today’s musing was inspired by Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s sermon “Fueled Relationships” on September 8, 2019.  Check it out at https://www.fbcsycamore.com/sermons.  If you live in or are visiting the area, come and join us Sundays at 10:30 a.m.  We’d love to be partners in the Gospel with you too.

 

 

Focused Attention

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My Musings – He’s watching and listening. Nothing escapes or distracts His attention.  So when things appear to be going amiss, we need to ask ourselves why that might be.  Have we wandered where we do not belong?  Is there something He’s trying to teach us?  Has He got something better planned? It certainly is not because He has not been paying attention.  He is well aware of what’s going on.

My Advice – Maybe its time for us to keep our eyes “on” Him and our ears attentive to His “voice.”  Of course, it’s always time for that.

The Assurance We Have

1 John 5:14-15 This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – The problem is we often do not ask for things that are according to His will. The “secret” to asking for things that are His will is to know what His will is. The “secret” to knowing His will is live our lives so closely to that of Christ that we take on the “mind” of Christ. Then a strange thing happens, we only want and ask for things that are His will.

My Advice – Live your life in such a way that you only want what God wants.

Joyful Prayer in All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – If we continue in prayer, through the good times and the bad, if we thank God for the good and thank Him for being with us in the bad, we can learn the secret of being joyful always.

My Advice – Don’t let the pursuit of happiness be your primary motivation. It will disappoint you because happiness depends upon circumstances. Rather let the pursuit of joy be your motivation. You can have joy despite the circumstances.

Not A Blank Check

John 15:7 – “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – This is no blank check to ask for things out of greed or that are otherwise self-serving. If we remain in Him and His words remain in us, we will be so closely in step with Him that the things that we ask for will be His will.

My Advice – This is the “secret” to being successful by God’s standards (and there can be no better standard). You would be wise to follow the advice that Jesus gave.

But Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Mark 1:35 – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – This needs to a regular practice for believers. We need alone time, where there are no distractions. Distractions can come from our environment (went off), others (solitary), and our daily agenda (early).

My Advice – You need to spend time with God each day. The mornings are best, since they get you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day.

Time to Fall Back?

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Psalm 145:18The LORD is near to all who call on him.  (NIV 1984)

My Musings – At times, He seems distant to me, most likely because I have distanced myself from Him, not because He does not want to be close to me.  At times, my prayers seem to go no further than the ceiling, but that does not mean that He is not listening.  At times, I feel so empty of Him, but that does not mean His Spirit has departed from me.

My Advice – If you feel the same at times, ask yourself what I ask myself – “who moved?” Like the prodigal, we may have fallen, but we can “fall back.”  We can return.  Like the prodigal’s Father He’s watching for our return.