The greatest need of the church today is maturity. The most important goal of every Christian, therefore, should be to grow up into Christ (that is, become like Him in all things); for the church through whom God will reap the end-time harvest and execute His final judgments will be a fully mature one and nothing less.
“So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine . . . Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”
—Ephesians 4:14–15 AMPC
Faith is a choice, a decision. It often looks like a simple and inconsequential decision, but the truth is that it activates a mighty force, a power great enough to change every circumstance and create new realities. As you read the post below, I pray that you will be encouraged and emboldened to exercise your faith in God, to trust in Him rather than not trust, to believe that He will fulfill His promises to you rather than the contrary. Remain blessed!
“ But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39
While getting ready for work this morning, the Lord dropped these words in my spirit. Specifically; “We are not of them who draw back unto perdition.” It kept on resounding within me and I had to quickly look it up. I needed to read the couple verses prior to really gain an understanding as to why I am not of them who draw back unto perdition. I love the Gods Word translation that says: “We don’t belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved.”Hebrews 10:39. To draw back here, can speak of drawing back in faith, drawing back in our hope and our confidence. If our hope is in Christ, the scripture is…
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I am blessed to have been born to my dad. He was a model father in many ways. He was caring and patient and was a father who paid attention to his children’s affairs. During our childhood, he spent quality time with us and mentored us through his wisdom and knowledge. Daddy provided for us: food, clothing, education, opportunities to develop our abilities, and fun experiences. Even during our adult years, he surprised us on several occasions with generous gifts.
Toward others, Dad was also generous. He was a giver and had a large heart. He was a man who valued people, whether or not they were his relatives, and was willing to invest his resources in developing their abilities.
Dad was talented and intelligent; he was also disciplined and focused, attributes that enabled him accomplish much during his lifetime.
When I think about my dad, several words come to mind: patient, caring, friendly, creative, giver, planner, achiever, problem-solver, people and community builder . . .
But if these words were all I had to say about him, I would be most sorrowful. Thankfully, I can now add that to God’s glory, Daddy also gained Christ in a very genuine way before he departed this world. The Bible says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) My Dad had many privileges and accomplished much, but all that would have profited nothing if he had lost his soul. As many in his community know, he was a religious man who was active in his local church. But I do not believe he had a personal encounter with the Lord for many years. As his family, we prayed for that encounter. We wanted him to experience salvation through Christ in the way we had. We wanted to see him full of the faith, peace, and joy that attend those who have a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
God manifested the answer to our prayers in the latter part of Daddy’s life. In fact, what seemed to be the most trying days of his life became his most spiritual. In his final weeks, he repeatedly confessed, with understanding, his faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. His eyes opened to the fact that unless a man becomes born-again, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God. He saw visions and, we believe, received ministrations about his home going to glory. He delighted so much in hearing the Word of God and in partaking in worship and communion. Indeed, those times of worship seemed to be the highlight of his days. We could see that his spirit was hungry, and our faithful God surrounded him with genuine, God-honouring Christians, who ministered love and spiritual food to him.
The end of Daddy’s life was filled with answered prayers. Because he encountered Jesus Christ clearly and truly, I can say, “Daddy, sleep on until we meet again.” And the joy of that reunion will be unspeakable, free of pain and suffering.
Glory be to God forever and ever!
Who can afford to pay the price for his or her sins? Many realize that they can’t and have identified with the price the Lord Jesus Christ paid through His death.
But, dear brother and sister in Christ, do you know that when you refuse to forgive others for offences against you, you forfeit the pardon you received through Christ? Can you afford to bear God’s punishment for your sins? If not, then forgive — unconditionally.
The Lord Jesus Christ taught clearly about this issue because He did not want us, having received God’s forgiveness, to lose it. He said:
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings” (Mark 11:25-26)
The Lord also taught us to pray: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).
I don’t know about you, but I can’t bear God’s wrath for my sins — for the wages of sin is death — therefore, I need His forgiveness continuously. Because I cannot afford to be without His forgiveness, even for a nanosecond, I continually ask Him to help me swiftly forgive those who offend me, and to do so without conditions. After I’ve forgiven, I turn to Him to heal my scars, which He does faithfully.
As I read Jesus’ sermon on the mount today, I was reminded of the weightiness of unforgiveness and I prayed: “Lord, help me to always forgive.”
May God help all who bear His name to do so. In Jesus’s name. Amen.