Enoch Walked

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The sermon series at church this month is titled “Running the Race”. It has paralleled my readings in Britt Merrick’s “Big God” very nicely. I though Merrick’s piece on Enoch was especially good:

Enoch

Voluntary. Steady progress. Finding a good pace so that you don’t sprint ahead of God and then wear yourself out. Not being “dragged by God” – LOL – but surrendered and engaged. Love the imagery!

We Are So Weak

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Ray Comfort tells a story in one of his books that goes like this: A man leaned over to a woman seated next to him and asked, ‘Would you go to bed with me for a million dollars?’ The woman answered, ‘I would think about it.’ He then asked, ‘Would you go to bed with me for one dollar?’ She widened her eyes and said indignantly, ‘What kind of woman do you think I am!’ He replied, ‘We’ve already established that. Now we’re just negotiating the price.

Ladies, every day of our lives Satan is trying to “negotiate the price” of our moral and spiritual compromise, and he’s banking on succeeding with his negotiations.

Why? Because he already knows our flesh is weak. He already knows what lines and excuses work on us. He already knows we’re not inclined to “count the cost” when pain, loss, financial challenges or adverse circumstances enter the sphere of our lives.

Satan already knows we’re inclined to worldliness because he knows we find cultivating holiness boring, tedious or just downright unenjoyable. He already knows we’d rather watch some titillating TV show, catch up on everyone’s FB posts, read a juicy new novel on our Kindle or play Candy Crush – anything – rather than reading our Bible, praying for people, doing Bible study or memorizing God’s Word.

He already knows going the “extra mile” is hard for us because we’re not naturally disposed to sacrificially serving people, forgiving offenses, giving our money away, or renouncing our “fun” bad habits and immoral behavior.

So, never forget that Satan is always trying to wicker a deal to negotiate your price, unless, of course, you decide from the get-go that you cannot be bought.

*Guest blog by Susie Walther, http://www.thewellbible study.org

Waiting on God

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“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will Waiting-for-you-under-dark-skycertainly come, it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3
I have been hanging on to this verse for a long time.  I am very bad at waiting.  Impatient.  I am the one who is prone to running ahead of God, of wanting to help Him out.  In My Utmost for His Highest recently (3/11) Oswald Chambers reminded me, “We cannot attain to a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes itself… Waiting on the vision that tarries is the test of our loyalty to God… The only way God sows His saints is by the whirlwind.  Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does.  If you select your own spot, you will prove an empty seed pod.  If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit.  It is essential to practice the walk of the feet in light of the vision.”  And so we wait.  I wait.  And I keep walking in obedience.

The One Thing

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What ONE THING could you do this next year that would really change your life?

Is there ONE THING that God is calling you to do?  That you need to do?  That you must do?!

Did you know that there are some things that can actually KILL you if you don’t change them in your life?

That ONE THING is different for every one of us.  What is God talking to you about?

Do you need to break a habit?  Get out of debt?  Get out of a relationship?  Or restore a relationship?  Get some exercise? Lose some weight?  Quit smoking?  Quit drinking?  Go to counseling? Sleep more?  Spend more time with your kids?  Get a job?  Quit a job?  Read your Bible daily?

Ask God what is the ONE THING He wants you to do this next year.

Then DO IT.  Don’t get distracted.  Don’t get sidetracked.  Keep at it.  Stay on the narrow path.  Tell someone else and ask them to hold you accountable.  12 months from now you be so glad.  And so will everyone else in your family.

* Andy Stanley did a fantastic 40 minute video called “This One Thing” that we watched in our small group last week.  I highly recommend it.  You can watch it here:  This One Thing

Details TBD.

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She was talking to me…. Guest blog by Liz Hile, www.thewellbiblestudy.org Justdoit

“If you’re like me, sometimes you get a little frustrated that God doesn’t reveal His plan for your life to you in a tidy little 5-10 year prospectus.

Maybe you’ve read that God has good works he’s set aside specifically for you to do, but you’re still waiting on the memo that details what those things are!

In Judges 13, it seems that Samson’s dad felt like that, too.

You see, an angel of the Lord told Samson’s mom that Samson would be a Nazirite and gave her special instructions to follow. Samson’s dad prayed for the angel to return so that he could get some more specific details. He asked, “What’s Samson’s life gonna look like? What will his mission be?”

The angel’s response makes me laugh, “All that I commanded her (Samson’s mom) let her observe.”

It’s just like us to over-complicate things, isn’t it? God may not show us right away where we’re going, but He makes it very clear for us how to get there: just follow and obey. Do each day what you already know you should do – repent, be baptized, pray, serve, love, give, forgive, teach, make disciples, etc., and that’ll put you on a sure path towards greater revelation of God’s will for your life. When we love God enough to do what He’s already made plain in His Word, we can be confident that He will reveal even more of Himself to us (John 14:21), including His dreams, His vision, and His plans.

So, instead of getting frustrated about the murkiness of the future, let us patiently live out what God clearly wants us to do today.”

Apostasy aka the Slow Fade

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“One of the scariest words in the Bible is apostasy, which can be defined as a slow fade or when you face the Cross, but are walking backwards from it, believing that you’re actually following Jesus just because you know it’s there.

The Bible talks much about apostasy in the form of warnings and prophecies, but we don’t hear much about it in our pop Christian culture. We’ve got lots of talk about grace, “decisions” for Christ, health and prosperity, politics, and songs about Jesus living to rescue us 24/7 and mend our broken hearts, but not a whole lot on apostasy.

That’s truly frightening since only Christians can become apostate. The typical weekly spiritual intake of the typical American Christian practically guarantees a slip and slide into apostasy:

We sit through a 20-30 minute sermon once or twice a week, which alone can never bring us to maturity in Christ or help us discover and fulfill our spiritual purpose on earth.

We extend our hands during the “Grip and Grin” on Sunday mornings, which isn’t meaningful, Christian fellowship.

We listen to Christian music during the day, and as comforting and encouraging as that is, music cannot conform us to the image
and character of Christ.

We read through a devotional or Christian book whenever we have a little extra time, which will never be enough to sufficiently
renew our minds in the Truth and overcome the lies already embedded there.

So, if you want to prevent morphing into a religious person who possesses a “form of godliness that has no power,” (2 Timothy 3:5) you’re going to have to live spiritually harder than that. You’re going to have to do the hard work of developing a transformational devotional life in the Word of God, practicing obedience to Jesus Christ (actually doing what He says), and submitting to honest accountability with a sister in Christ running the race faster and harder than you. Begin doing that and it is less likely you’ll wind up a spiritual statistic of the slow fade.”

– Guest blog, Susie Walther, www.thewellbiblestudy.org

   … These are my sisters – who are running the race faster and harder than me…  Thank you for modelling how it is to be done!!

Sinking, Floating, and Sin

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“I read an illustration by J. Oswald Sanders a long time ago about what it means to be in union with Christ.  It goes like this:

I have in my hand a piece of lead.  I hold it over a pool of water, and relax my grip. The lead is drawn irresistibly earthward and sinks to the bottom of the pool. It has been mastered by the law of gravitation. I take the same piece of lead, attach it to a piece of wood and drop it into the pool. Now it floats. No change has taken place in the nature or tendency of the lead, nor has the law of gravitation ceased to function, but through its union with the wood, it has been mastered by a stronger law, the law governing floating bodies, and has been emancipated from the downward pull of gravitation.

I know you know that you’re that piece of lead in this illustration and that sin, like gravity, will sink you every time if it were not for that piece of wood, representative of Jesus Christ, possessing a power stronger than gravity.

However, knowing that doesn’t emancipate you from the downward pull to the bottom of the pool of life – staying attached does, and you stay attached to Jesus Christ by first choosing to repent – i.e., in keeping with this analogy, you recognize that the piece of wood in the water next to you is your only hope and you forsake everything to grab it!

Then you mustn’t lose your grip by doing stupid stuff like grieving the Holy Spirit by sins of commission or quenching Him by sins of omission. You’ve got to hold on tight by choosing to read and apply God’s Word, memorizing it and cultivating a life of prayer.

And should you try to slip off and start sinking to the bottom, it sure does help to be surrounded by women who will try to rescue you, women who don’t merely talk about what holding on and being attached means, but who are attached to Jesus Christ through the power of the Spirit evidenced by floating.

Oh, may God grant us the sense to be the kind of woman who actually holds on.”

– Guest blog, Susie Walther, www.thewellbiblestudy.org Susie Walther