Saturday, October 13, 2018

Complete Obedience

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:5-6(ESV)

Paul wrote these words to the believers at Corinth. Paul had concerns about the Corinthian Christians. “False teachers were a constant threat to the gospel and the early church.” (1.)
He had to repeatedly warn and correct the thinking of these new believers. 

“The church at Corinth was weak. Surrounded by idolatry and immorality, they struggled with their Christian faith and lifestyle.” (2.)

I see a parallel between the Corinthian church and the Christian church of our day. Paul ministered to a weak church while the modern Christian churches seem weakened.

By weakened, I mean the church may have fallen under the influence of the world. We have churches in other parts of the world who face persecution and continue to grow in strength and in number. However, we have churches in my nation that struggle because they have allowed the ways of the world to penetrate into their way of thinking.

Paul tells the Corinthian believers to take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

The Message Bible states this passage like this: We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (3.)

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are directed to filter whatever we see, hear, or think through God’s word in our obedience to Him.

In my devotional reading, I found that when learn and practice obedience, we are in the experience of sanctification.     
1.      Life Application Bible, (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers Wheaton, Ill. And Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. © 1988-1991 p.2091
2.      2. IBID
3.      The Message, Navpress © 1993-1996, 2000-2002 p.1596

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Walk in God’s Command

And now I ask you, dear lady-not as though I were writing you a new commandment but the one we had from the beginning-that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so you should walk in it. 2 John 5-6 (ESV)

The Apostle John penned these words to “the elect lady and her children”. He emphasizes the importance of the commandment that we love one another. He stresses our need to live it out before others.

The Life Application Bible gives a good explanation of John’s message. “The statement that Christians should love one another is a recurrent New Testament theme. Yet love for one’s neighbor is an old command, first appearing in the first book of Moses (Leviticus 19:18) We can show love in many ways by avoiding prejudice and discrimination, by accepting people, by listening, helping, giving, serving and refusing to judge. Knowing God’s command is not enough. We must put it into practice, walking in obedience to his commands.” (1.) (Emphasis is mine.)

In my prayer group, we recently had a discussion about displaying God’s love to others, especially those who struggle with difficulties that stem from traumatic events in their lives. We thought on loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.

We realized that when we love our neighbors, our Christian brothers and sisters, and even our family members, we are not to judge them. Loving them involves serving them, giving them an ear when they need to talk, and hugging them when they need reassurance.

John reminds us that we should truly love one another, obey God’s commands, and walk the Christian walk with Him beside us.

( (1.) Life Application Bible, New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1991 Tyndale House Publishers Inc. Page 2286 (Notes) 

Monday, October 8, 2018

We Will Be Made Righteous

For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience, the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 (ESV)

All Christian believers know the story of Adam and Eve. God created them perfect to oversee His beautiful Garden of Eden. God gave then permission to partake of the fruit of all the trees in that garden, save one.

This garden had trees that bore fruit throughout the year. They had enough to sustain them. However, a serpent also lived in the garden. This serpent beguiled Eve into taking a bite out of the fruit of the forbidden tree. She chose to share the fruit with Adam.

When God came looking for them at evening, they hid because they realized they were naked. When God asked where they were, Adam told Him, “We hid from You because we were naked.”
When God heard this, He knew what Adam and Eve had done. They sinned against God. They disobeyed Him. He banished them from the garden. They had to work hard for whatever they needed or wanted.

God entered the world as a baby. Jesus came to teach the people about God and His ways. Jesus told His Disciples that He would be killed. They didn’t know what to think. He promised them a helper, the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem that last time. He yielded to God’s will as he prayed in Gethsemane. When He hung on the cross, He took the sins of the world into his body. In doing this, Jesus Christ allowed the people, then and now, to become righteous. That righteousness extends to you and me.

How can we convey the message that because of Jesus’ obedience at Calvary we are deemed righteous in God’s eyes?

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...