Nothing in All Creation

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Imagine waking up every morning to this verse echoing in your head. It’s two powerful verses to be sure. And both verses help us realize that there’s nothing–nothing–we can do nor is there any power in this world that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus.

Wow! Just wow!

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Giving

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret…” Matthew 6:2-3

Giving to the needy is a very important part of the Christian life. The point of what Jesus is saying in this passage isn’t even about the giving. It was assumed that all of his Believers would give to the needy. It’s the motive behind the giving. Why do we give? To impress others? To help others? Because it was commanded?

A preacher friend of mine said that when he was a teen forty years ago, he saw an older gentleman drop a $50 bill into the offering plate. He knew it was a fifty because the man straightened it out and folded it lengthwise before dropping it into the plate. As a young boy, my friend was impressed. He paused and said, “Impressing me was the only reward he would ever receive for that gesture.”

Giving is important. The motive for our giving is perhaps even more important.

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The Cost

If anyone comes to me and does not have his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27

Very strong words.

Every day we’ve got to count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. The “cross” our Brothers and Sisters in Asia and Africa must carry is extremely heavy. Our spiritual relatives in Muslim countries know what the cost of following Christ is. Sometimes it means their certain death.

Every day we must remember who we are and who He is. Our suffering relatives in foreign lands are also depending on us to remember them in prayer.

How would it transform our prayer lives if we spent two minutes –120 seconds–every day helping our persecuted friends lift the weight of persecution from their backs? Would we complain less about our very comfortable lives and be more concerned for them?

And isn’t that what it’s all about anyhow?

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Faith in the Son of God

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

I live by faith in the Son of God. Our walk is one by faith and not by sight. It’s easy to forget that in the heat of battle called life.

A number of years ago a movie came out that my family still talks about, What About Bob? It featured Richard Dreyfuss as a psychologist with a book titled “Baby Steps.” He encouraged all his patients to take his advice and do thing by simple baby steps. Nothing major, just small, seemingly insignificant steps in the right direction.

Our faith journey often resembles that, a little at a time. Some times are steps get larger as we’re encouraged by our progress in the smaller steps. Sometimes we fall down. We get right back up and do it all over again. Some days He tells us to take giant steps or to run.

What does a baby step of faith look like?

  • Encouraging someone who needs it even when you don’t have time to do it.
  • Visiting someone in a hospital
  • Taking over for an afternoon for an overstressed mother.
  • Housing a missionary family during furlough
  • Deciding to adopt an orphaned child (this entire process will involve many steps of faith)
  • Taking that job that doesn’t pay as well but is closer to home.

The list is endless.

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Christ Lives in Me

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Christ lives in me. Christ lives in me. The reality of those four words should radically change our lives. Daily. Here’s why:

If Christ lives in me:

  • What should I fear in this world?
  • How shall I conduct my business?
  • How should I use my tongue?
  • What should my thoughts be?
  • How should I view myself?
  • How should I view others?
  • How should I speak to the ones I love?
  • Is there any room at all for gossip?
  • How should I look at the world?
  • How should I view end times?
  • How should I pray for others?
  • How should I love others?
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