Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Serving in Secret

"Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."
(I Thessalonians 4:9-12, ESV)

Invisibility. Being unknown. In our day and age of viral videos launching people into world-wide fame, of competing social media sites, of seemingly incessant self-promotion, what does the daily life of a Christian look like? How do we interact with the availability or platforms to promote ourselves?

Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonians is to continue to grow in what they've been doing: they are to continue to love one another in brotherly love. And the way they are to do this is not to promote their good works. Their giving, their love, should be done in secret. If they do it to be praised by others, they will have received their reward. They, however, should serve in secret, and thus receive their reward from the One Who sees in secret.

Serve humbly. Without fanfare. Live quietly. Work simply with your hands. Your audience is God. No other audience matters. Be faithful, even if no one else notices. Do not be weary of doing good. The God Who sees all sees your humble and faithful service. Internet fame is fleeting, even if it lasts for years. Be faithful to the One Who matters. He is worthy of praise; He is worthy of your service.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Free from Guilt and Free from Sin

Dark the stain I cannot hide
Stain of my sin my guilt to prove
Guilt my own and foolish pride
Pride the reason for my sin

Light of God came shining down
Son of God my soul to win
Laid aside His heav'nly crown
Paid the price for all my sin

Love of God that lights my way
Love displayed on Calvary
Lamb of God my soul to save
Gave His life to set me free

Gone the darkness come the light
Gone the night the day begins
Gone the wrong my soul made right
Free from guilt and free from sin

Wash me in the Savior's blood
Make me pure without within
Cleanse my heart and set me free
Free from guilt and free from sin

Free from Guilt and Free from Sin by Don and Jaree Hall

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Immutable Love

Immutable love. Steadfast. Unchanging. Not here today and gone tomorrow. Everlasting. Doesn't change with the times, the circumstances, the weather, or moods. How thankful I am that God's love towards us is steadfast. The love with which He sent His Son to die around 2000 years ago is still the same love He demonstrates today. Times change. People change. Circumstances change. Our locations and homes and work and family change. But God never changes. His love is so amazing. So wonderful. So awesomely demonstrated on the cross. He loved us while we were still sinners. He cares for us even more than He cares for the grasses of the field and the smallest of birds. His love is so vast it covers the deepest and darkest parts of our lives. No sin is beyond the reach of His redemption. No need is so trivial that He doesn't care. We can cast everything on Him because He loves us.

May I live in the light of this love. May my life be an outpouring of love towards others because God has poured out such love on me. As the moon reflects light from the sun, so may I reflect God's love to those around me.

May I never become immune to His love. May I never cease to marvel at His amazing immutable love.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Wiersbe on Galatians

"When a Christian turns away from living by God’s grace, he must depend on his own power. This leads to failure and disappointment. This is what Paul meant by 'fallen from grace' (Gal. 5:4)—moving out of the sphere of grace and into the sphere of law, ceasing to depend on God’s resources and depending on our own resources."
(page 25, Kindle Edition)

"Certainly there is nothing wrong with obedience, fasting, or solemn times of spiritual worship, provided that the Holy Spirit does the motivating and the empowering. The flesh loves to boast about its religious achievements—how many prayers were offered, or how many gifts were given."
(page 75, Kindle Edition)

"It is not wrong to have standards in a church, but we should never think that the standards will make anybody spiritual, or that the keeping of the standards is an evidence of spirituality."
(page 123, Kindle Edition)

"Liberty + love = service to others. Liberty – love = license (slavery to sin)."
(page 129, Kindle Edition)

"The legalist might be able to boast that he is not guilty of adultery or murder (but see Matt. 5:21–32), but can anyone see the beautiful graces of the Spirit in his life?"
(page 134, Kindle Edition)

All quotes from Be Free by Warren Wiersbe.

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