About Me

What should I say? I hope by reading my blog you come to learn who I am. I always want Christ first in my life. I want to consistently show the fruit of the spirit in my life. I want others to be blessed by what I go through and learn from it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Take Some Pictures

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

Every Wednesday, I attend a small group through my church, and we are currently working our way through the book of James, I believe I've referenced this group before. We rarely get through more than three or four verses in the hour and a half meeting time, but I love it, we really get into the verses and see how they apply to our life.

This week, one of the verses we talked about was the one above; we spoke about reasons for ministry or reasons for standing firm. We talked about how it can sometimes lead to a "carrot on a stick" mentality; we do good, and stand firm to receive the reward. I believe that a Christian that is standing true will actually be the reverse of that, we receive the reward because we stood firm.

What's the difference you might ask. The difference goes to your motivations. I'm not staying truthful to God through my current trial because I think He'll reward me for it later, because I'll get a bigger mansion in Heaven or a snazzy looking crown for it. I do it to please God, to glorify Him regardless of the reward.

When you love someone, you want to do things that please them, things that make them happy, not because it will get you a reward, but simply because it will please the other person. In my opinion, this is a very simplified definition of sanctification. Another simple definition of the term sanctification (and one that's more Biblical in my opinion) is that it is the process of our faith working itself out in our life. It is the fruit of the Spirit manifesting in us, because our faith is growing and taking over more and more of our life. And eventually, we can see the result of that fact. As we maintain out faithfulness, and persevere through trials, we can see how God has blessed us.

My screen saver is a slideshow of pictures from the last several years, well over the last decade. I have it there to remind me of the good times I've had and how God has blessed me, not surprisingly, they are mostly from times when I've been in ministry. Let me encourage you to take some snapshots of times when you can see how God's helped you though a difficult time, maybe they can be actual photos, mental snapshots, or even written notes reminding you of when God has been faithful. Remember Psalm 85:15 "But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."

Today's hymn is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

1. "Great is Thy faithfulness," O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
* "Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!
2. Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

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