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Archive for May, 2010

You look around and think “WOW what is happening to my perfect little world?” Life was just be-bopping along. Sure we all have our little ups and downs it’s part of being human, living in this fleshly body and all, right? We worship God on Sunday, read our Bibles sometimes, pray at least over a meal or two and if an opportunity comes along where it is easy to share to Gospel we might. That’s the way a “Christian” does it in these times, it is the twenty-first century and in America we have our lives to live. Then why am I facing these fires and where did they come from? God through Zechariah in Zechariah 13:9 tells us “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” The fire comes from the Lord to show His people He is there and to see if they turn to Him. The refining fire of trials and tribulation upon Gods people causes the dross to be burned away leaving a shiny symbol of Gods love. This will be a witness to those around us that our God is sufficient for all our needs if we call upon Him. 

Paul writing to the church at Corinth says of his afflictions. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 

Then Peter gives us this encouragement in 1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 

When in the mist of the fire look up and know God is there perfecting His people. Rejoice that He loves you enough to purify you to stand in His presence one day. We are partakers through Christ of His suffering but in the end of His glory also. Let the fire burn the dross away so your life is more about Christ and His calling for you than your thoughts of this fleshly world. Look up not in. 

  

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  Romans 14 brings to light our sinful nature in how we interact with other believers. Whether they are in your local assembly or not Gods children were chosen by Him for His glory so our interaction with believers should be with that in mind. We begin with the “stronger” brother looking upon the “weaker” brother in a condemning way and the “weaker” passing judgment on the “stronger”. Once we are in agreement on the corner post of our faith, as there is only one faith, these other matters become trivial. Who eats what, how long is your hair, skirt or pants, home school vs. public school, ect.ect.ect. These have nothing to do with our salvation or place in heaven. They are all secondary issues, preferences, and Paul tells us that where ever you are in your walk with Christ it is important for each to be confident in his own mind of his convictions as God has revealed to him these things. Romans 14:12 tells us we will all give an account of himself before God. Then 13 compels us to stop passing judgment on our brothers and make a choice not to put a stumbling block before him. God has chosen his people and who are we to question his choice, so if you are the stronger you may need to voluntarily sacrifice some liberties God has shown you so not to breech the conviction of the weaker. If the weaker know that God passes final judgment so when looking upon another try not to impose your conviction on them.
• “Romans 14:23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    We are to do anything possible to not cause doubt of conviction in another believer. That doubt effects faith and as Paul says everything not of faith is sin. So we need to ask ourselves, “Am I the weak brother or strong brother?” Because we all fall into one of those categories at some time. No one is always the stronger or weaker. God reveals Himself to us at different times in different ways as we grow in His light. Can you think of an instance where you might have caused doubt of conviction for a believer? If so now is the best time to seek God’s face and ask forgiveness not only from God but the believer also.

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