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Category: Devotional (page 20 of 28)

Self Control and Endurance

A lot of times I wish there was an easy way to become like Christ.  It would be great to take some pill or some class and immediately be sanctified completely.  Sadly it is not the case.  Sanctification (the process of becoming like Christ) does not happen all at once, nor is it easy.

You see, no matter how you cut it sanctification requires self-control and endurance.  It means denying yourself daily and following Him. It means overcoming temptation and living as an instrument for righteousness.  And it means doing this for the long hall.

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God Chose Us!

Ephesians 1:3-14 is one long, meandering sentence, in the Greek.  It is full of modifiers and qualifiers, but has one central message that we cannot miss.

The subject of the message is God.  He is the one doing the action throughout these verses.  It is because of His graciousness and the glorification of His person that He acts.

The verb is chose.  In Christ and because of His grace and love God has decided to choose.  He chose people for salvation. He chose people, who are in Christ, to receive all spiritual blessings.  He chose for those in Christ to be His glorious inheritance.

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Sistine Chapel and working together

It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.  Going into this open room and looking overheard at a piece of history was awesome.  To think that I was standing and looking at something I had only read about.  Something that was a legitimate master piece.  These were my feeling and are my feelings as I think about the time I visited the Sistine Chapel.

It is hard to imagine one man doing all this himself. The time, energy, and effort that Michelangelo put into this project is clearly seen.  Yet, I think we forget that he truly didn’t do this alone.  Yes, he was the designer and painter, but there were others working along side him.  They mixed paint, prepared plaster, and did other jobs that allowed Michelangelo to do what he does best, create a masterpiece. However, without the help there would not be a Sistine Chapel.

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Jesus Is Lord

Paul writes in Romans that we confess we the mouth that “Jesus is Lord.”  This was a powerful statement.  In the First Century people swore allegiance to Caesar by saying “Caesar is Lord.”  Thus these early Christians were making it clear who truly reigns. The phrase also had a personal factor as well.  By declaring Jesus is Lord you are removing yourself from that position.

“Jesus is Lord” though is more than a slogan that we say.  Jesus is Lord is an oath of allegiance to Him.  This oath means that we will live for Jesus.  That our lives will show that confession to the world. Jesus is Lord means that we are dedicated to doing what He says (Luke 6:46).

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Grasped by God

I’ve been reading the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer lately (will post a book review of it when I finish).  It has been an interesting read with the best parts being the quotations from Bonhoeffer himself.  One of my favorite so far has been Bonhoeffer’s describing how true discipleship cannot happen unless you are grasped by God.

The point is that discipleship is not following rules or being moral, but discipleship is being grasped by God and believing that sets your life into a new agenda.

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