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Something about second to the last days (aka Day 4)

open door

An Open Door

In Acts 16:29 the jailer in charge of Paul & Silas’ cells called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas right after a strong quake that practically broke every prisoner loose. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
The jailer wouldn’t ask this if Paul & Silas weren’t consistent in their business, even in their prison cells. The jailer knew what they were about — and it was to spread the good news — that Jesus died for him, for his salvation from eternal damnation brought about by sin.
Perhaps the message was already shared once (or even many times) with the Jailer before this earth-shaking situation. It was possibly only during this particular situation was when the Jailer’s heart became open to this good news. How about you, do you have a friend who has shared the good news to you? How did you respond?
Let’s not wait for a violent earthquake to happen just to shake you off your inner prisons, listen to what the Lord is telling you this very moment. He has been knocking at the door of our hearts.

Heart Versus God

“If it feels good, go ahead!”

“If it feels right, then yeah by all means do it!”

Do these statements sound familiar?

Problem with this thinking is that there’s no absolute truth to these situations. To those who subscribe to this type of thinking may easily argue that “it may not be good for you, but it’s totally fine for me.”

What does the Bible say about the human heart?  While the world says “follow your heart”, the Word says “your heart is deceitful“. In other words, we’re not supposed to follow our own hearts, since we’d easily become wayward and it would be a step away from God’s heart.

One example of this is when Saul decided to disobey God by following his own heart, and in so doing was on his way to being replaced as king of Israel.

Even king David, who is better known as “one who is after God’s own heart”, thought that he deserved a “break“. Or perhaps he was saying to himself, “I deserve to be happy, after all, I am king.” The moment he followed his heart, he was deceived into thinking that he can do things on his own terms and outside of God’s will and purpose for him. When he listened to his heart, he thought that he could easily fix problems on his own without seeking God’s guidance. It certainly led him to a series of sins that he would soon deeply regret. Even if people don’t find out or worse – if people actually agree with you in your wrongdoing, God knows.

What should we be doing then? Let us guard our hearts and be a people after God’s own heart.

Do you feel that you need a break? Get down, pray, and talk to God. God is not limited. God is not stingy. When we follow our heart’s pleasures and not His pleasures, we end up despising God. Let’s not despise the reading of His Word.

David repented when he heard God’s warning through prophet Nathan’s story.  Be alert of those little compromises that we slowly and seemingly build into something we suddenly become “proud” of. So watch out! Guard your heart and let’s have the same attitude of repentance (David’s example) and not of arrogance (Saul’s example).

God’s level of love differs from the way we love. God’s amazing love is just awesome, He is a God of restoration.

Do you believe in the saying “Follow your heart”?

A to Z not just the ABC

Thriving is not just about salvation, but a saved life moves forward in the process of  sanctification in Christ Jesus. This means that the gospel forms part of the ‘starting line to finish line’ of our Christian life and not simply put off as just the start. Healthy growth then means that given the proper conditions, one’s life may then be called a “thriving” life.

In Romans 8:1-2 it reads, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.Now means something new – something that is not of the past. The change that brought the now is Jesus. There are two types of law that are seen in this passage: the Law of the Spirit of Life or the Law of Sin & Death. So what’s the difference?

Take for example this analogy the Law of Drag & Gravity taking the place of the Law of Sin & Death while the Law of Thrust & Lift taking the place of the Law of the Spirit of Life. Now ask the question: can you fly? Or more appropriately ask this question: can airplanes fly? Yes, but how? Airplanes can fly even in the presence of drag & gravity because of thrust & lift. Our lives are thrust forward in Christ and we experience lift in Him as well.

“No Condemnation” doesn’t mean it’s a pardon. Remember that the punishment still had to come to pass for those who have put their faith in Christ. Christ being the one who had paid the cost in our behalf! What then shall our response be? The proper response then is conviction. We must not only be convicted of sin, but be convicted of righteousness as well. It’s not just about what you’re not supposed to do, but also what you ought to do. Condemnation is separation. Conviction has the opposite effect.

Thrust — Now since we are His children. God goes way beyond the Judge-Subject relationship! This is what makes us move forward. Have you tried jogging by yourself? Compare the experience when jogging with someone, or perhaps jogging with a friend? Now imagine yourself jogging with someone you love… that definitely changes the game.

Notes from “Thrive: Old or New”, part 3of4 of a message series about knowing more about the lasting effects of what Jesus did on the cross: a life of victory over our sin & living a full life according to God’s ways

Questions to think about: If you were to write a rule that the whole world gets to obey, what would it be and why?