WHERE’S YOUR FAITH?

The Second Sunday in May

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August 2014 • On Our Way

August 9, 2014

     What is our value…our worth? Well, physically the sum of our parts really isn’t worth that much, really! Collectively—now that’s a different story—a story that begins with man being formed from the earth’s dirt and receiving the infilling breath of God to become a living soul. From that time forward our value should be estimated through the eyes of God. For example: What value would you assign to a pristinely restored vintage car? The ultimate answer is whatever some person would be willing to give or redeem it for. You see, through God’s eyes He valued you and I so much that He was will to give His only Son! He purchased—redeemed us—through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ at a great price. With that stated, I find it equally awesome that God knows my name. Isaiah 43:1 says: “…thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” For many of us the most logical response to the awareness of our great value is to submit our obedience to the one that redeemed us, yet we still stammer along not sure which step, what turn, or how far on our way through this journey we rush into the welcoming arms of Christ!

     Our decisions have a great deal to do with how much progress we make on our journey. The first great decision is to heed to the call to REPENT—to realize we are sinners and that we need a redeemed, and that redeemer is Jesus! To make the decision to turn away from our sinful nature and seek after the regenerative power of God’s grace is a step in the right direction. As that decision is made we quickly find ourselves being challenged by the knowledge and wisdom found within the pages of God’s Holy Scriptures. This knowledge builds within us a courage and conviction that presses us forward to realize that we are bondservants of Christ. In Philippians, Paul reveals the results of a rightly focused child of God. In Philippians 1:21, Paul makes a profound announcement that should awaken the mind of every follower of Christ, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The consecration of this servant of Christ is to know that he wins either way! If the servant of Christ lives then it is for the fruit of the spirit (v. 22) to reach others with the saving power of Christ, mend the broken hearted, set free the captive to sin and comfort the down trodden. Accordingly, Paul clarifies for us that we are not left here to fill OUR garages with bigger and nicer toys and belongings but to bless others! The hard part at this point is to decide which we would prefer—to be with Christ our Redeemer receiving the promised rewards of eternity, or stay here and participate in doing more for Christ thereby making a difference in lives that God intersects us with.

     Further down in that passage Paul digs a little deeper into our pride and concentrates on our focus. What are we focused on? Paul writes: “Nevertheless to (remain) in the flesh is more needful for you.” (v. 24) Our focus seems to be on how this all benefits self. Is the fruit of our labor going to be reflected in what is worn, driven, occupied, or spent? Our journey must be spent with our concentration being on how I can benefit others by God’s grace through me! When we understand our commission—our calling to that of a witness to the sovereign Redeemer, Christ our journey becomes more about the opportunities around us and less about the stress of our existence. I have often heard church leaders and others say I HAVE TO teach this study, preach this message, go to this place, or do that thing. When we realize we don’t “have to”…we get to do these things.

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