Keep seeking the things above

Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. —Col 3.1

When we obey the Good News, God places us together with Christ. In immersion, we are raised with Christ and he gives us life. In the verse above, Paul wants us to live up to the life which we’ve been given. This level is where Christ is, the level of God.

How do we seek the things above? The two chapters that follow develop the answer to this question. It requires a vigorous mind control, an unrestricted killing of all that belongs to the earthly nature. It is necessary to clothe oneself with Christ’s qualities, love above all. Continue reading “Keep seeking the things above”

In whom can we trust?

Human beings disappoint, so we become wary and find it hard to trust. Politicians aren’t the only ones who fail to carry through with promises. Friends, colleagues, and family members also let us down.

For the latter groups, we need large doses of forgiveness and, sometimes, confrontation about their perfidy, in order to give them opportunity to change.

Looking inward, we discover we ourselves have also made promises that we couldn’t keep or that we decided to disregard.

So the following truth about God and his word provides us hope. Continue reading “In whom can we trust?”

How can the Lord be ‘God of gods’?

Four times in the NET Bible the phrase “God of gods” is used, all of them in the Old Testament. One time it is used by a pagan king, but the other three are used by Moses, one of the psalmists, and an angel. The four passages are in Deuteronomy 10.17; Psalm 136.2; Daniel 2.47; and Daniel 11.36. (The NASB, ESV, and NIV also record the phrase in these four passages.) Continue reading “How can the Lord be ‘God of gods’?”

Generations come and go

Don’t be alarmed at prophets of doom, be they political, social, or environmental. Politics has always been dirty and dishonest. Social movements have grown and died. Environmentalists are not dispassionate scientists reading objective data.

Observers have divided the generations into baby boomers, generations X and Y, and new tags are invented every few years. The upcoming generation causes concern, and always has. The human being is a worrier at heart. Continue reading “Generations come and go”

God doesn’t always need to work a miracle

The proclamation of the Good News of Christ should have convinced the Jews, since they were waiting for the Messiah, possessed the Holy Scriptures which spoke of him, and witnessed the Lord’s miracles. But no! They killed him and would have done the same with the apostles. The members of the Sanhedrin “became furious and wanted to execute them” Acts 5.33.

They did not kill them only because God acted. Do you want to see what he did to save the Twelve? Continue reading “God doesn’t always need to work a miracle”

Take action

A good brother wrote that we must “move beyond the hypothetical and create the reality.” No what-ifs.

Take action. Do something. (Actually, do the will of God.)

Discard the hypotheticals and the possibilities and the fears and the imagined blowback.

Read and discover the truth.

Act upon it.

Use it.

Take it live.

Plunge into the grace of God.

Declare all the things that God has done, Psa 73.28.

Depend on the power of God’s Spirit. Launch yourself out into the deep, Lk 5.4.

Dare to believe that God will keep his promise to perform great things through you.

Speak. Touch. Serve. Live to die for Jesus, and die to self for God.

Take hold of God’s hand.

Strap his shield upon your arm. Wield the spiritual sword. March forward to win a soul, to rescue a life for all eternity.

And in so doing, save yourself. Faith-only potatoes rot. God preserves forever the moving, breathing, serving follower of Christ.

Be one of his.

Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” Lk 13.24.

‘Change your mind:’ be happy

Here is Zerr‘s comment on Pro 15.13, “A joyful heart makes the face cheerful, but by a painful heart the spirit is broken.”

“This verse is a statement of facts known to almost everyone. It may be asked why take up space in the Bible with something everyone knows. It is for the implied advice it contains. It should always be our desire to be pleasant in mingling with other people, and to that end we should cultivate a cheerful mind. If we imagine there is nothing about which to be cheerful, just “count your many blessings” and you may be surprised at what the Lord has done for you, and change your mind.”

NET Bible notes C.H Toy’s observation that “a cheerful face shows a courageous spirit.”

It takes courage in the Lord to have a joyful heart as one surveys the ruin that man has made of this present world.

What could have been, what still can be

Recently, I asked our Bible reading group what was the worst thing that had ever happened to them. Some of them mentioned the death of loved ones. According to a stress chart, death of a spouse and divorce are at the top of the list.

One devotional writer noted, “On 10th September 1819, Canadian hymnwriter Joseph Scriven was born. The accidental drowning of his bride-to-be the night before their wedding led to a life of depression; yet he also authored the hymn of comfort, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus.'” Continue reading “What could have been, what still can be”