Tag Archive | Christ Jesus

July 28 Verse

 

Philippians 3:14

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

 

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Put Your Faith Where Your Action Is!

 

Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth 
Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead – (James 2:17, NIV).

Friend to Friend
I remember a time, back in 1993, when I was swept up in the whimsical world of wedding planning. Every detail mattered. I was excited to be marrying Brad Smith and I wanted our wedding day to be a magical springboard to a life filled with amazing adventures and deep years of God-centered love. From the cake choices – to the dress choices – to the music choices – to the guest list choices – to the bridal registry choices: I was all about the business of wedding prep!

The bride of Christ is purposed to be all about the Father’s business – to prep for eternity by making choices to bring Him glory throughout our days; to intentionally worship the Lord through our service. As daughters of God, we are called to connect our believing to our behaving; our convictions to our conversations; our lip-service to our life-service.

The Biblical mandate for each believer is this: put your faith where your action is. “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17).

Hear me out here. Service is not the key to gaining salvation. Salvation comes by faith in Christ alone (Romans 10:9-10). Service is, however, essential for the believer as a response to her salvation. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

No matter who you are or what your platform is in life, the truth remains that whatever you do and say is being watched. Everyone emanates something. A radiant Christian woman – a radiant bride of Christ – emanates the saltiness and light of Jesus through her life; displayed through the things she does and doesn’t do. Through things she says or doesn’t say.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16, NIV).

Today, I pray that you are spurred on to be a woman of action for Christ – no matter what the circumstances of your life or the complexities of your relationships may be. From your word choices – to your tone choices – to your television choices – to your music choices – to your service choices – to your activity choices … be all about your Father’s business. Go in His strength, and put your faith where your action is.

Let’s Pray 
Holy Father, I pray that You will help my actions to line up with Your perfect will. Help me to be Your hands and feet to those around me. Shine through my actions so others might be drawn to Your healing hope.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
What does your life radiate? What are your actions saying about your faith? Are you salty for Christ in what you do and say? Spend a few moments reflecting on this and then spend some time in prayer.

How can you serve someone today? Perhaps God is leading you to bless someone in your household … or someone in your church … or someone in your neighborhood.

Could you reach out to a single mom, a family member, a widow, or a hurting friend? Ask God to direct you to opportunities to put your faith into action in the lives of others.

Got some great ideas about this? I would love to hear about them! Visit my Facebook page and tell me all about it: http://www.Facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic.

More from the Girlfriends 
Trust me, friend, in no way am I trying to place the burden of “you-must-do-more-things-in-order-to-please-God” on you. I just want to encourage you to make the most of every choice and every action. If you are drained and weary and can’t imagine being able to give anyone anything right now, get alone with God. His presence and His Spirit will strengthen you for each moment.

NEED HELP in putting your actions where your faith is? Gwen’s book, Broken Into Beautiful, will take you by the hand and shows you how God delights to transform lives. Yes. Even yours!! To order the book, go to Amazonor visit the store on Gwen’s website: www.gwensmith.net.

 

The joint heirs and their divine portion

 

‘Joint heirs with Christ.’ Romans 8:17

Suggested Further Reading: Galatians 3:23–4:7

The apostle has proceeded through a simple but exceedingly forcible train of reasoning till he gains this glorious point—‘Joint heirs with Christ.’ He begins thus—‘Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ This is a fact which he takes for granted because he has perceived it in the hearts of believers. We do cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ From this he infers that if God has given us the Spirit whereby we call him ‘Father,’ then we are his children, which is plain, fair, and clear reasoning. Then he adds—‘If children, then heirs’—though this does not hold true in all families, because all children are not heirs; frequently the first-born may take all the estate; but with God so long as they are children they have equal rights—‘If children then heirs.’

He goes on to say, ‘Heirs of God;’ for if they are heirs they inherit their Father’s property. God is their Father; they are therefore God’s heirs! Well, but God has another Son, one who is the first-born of every creature. Exactly so, therefore if we be heirs, as Christ Jesus is the heir of all things, we are ‘joint heirs with Christ.’ I think you will see that, like links in a chain, these different truths draw each other on—the spirit of adoption proves the fact of adoption; by the act of adoption we are children; if children then heirs; if heirs, heirs of God; but since there is another heir, we must therefore be joint heirs with Christ Jesus. Blessed is the man to whom this reasoning is not abstract, but experimental. Happy is he who can follow the apostle step by step.

For meditation: Christ has been appointed ‘heir of all things’ (Hebrews 1:2). His joint-heirs inherit, among other things, the earth (Matthew 5:5), everlasting life (Matthew 19:29), the kingdom (Matthew 25:34; James 2:5), salvation (Hebrews 1:14), the promises (Hebrews 6:12), righteousness by faith (Hebrews 11:7), and the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). Are all things yours in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:21–23)?

Sermon no. 402
28 July (1861)

 

Being the ultimate example

 

1 Tim 1:16:  “But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life” (NLT).

Kids learn some of the most important lessons by watching the most influential people in their lives – their parents.  They learn by watching your example, in good times and bad.  And, in the bad times, when you act with anger, ridicule, condescension, selfishness, etc, you have an extra opportunity to model the humility that results from confession and repentance, and the mercy and grace that comes from being a child of God.

As your children grow, they will see you are not perfect.  Hopefully, they will seek the source of perfection in the only place it can be found, God.  You show them the way by demonstrating your response to imperfections – present them to God with a grateful heart, knowing His mercy and grace wipe the slate clean.  What an opportunity to communicate the Gospel message to your kids in a practical, real life manner!

Be an example of God’s patience, mercy and grace; your kids are watching.

 

Salvation altogether by grace

‘Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ 2 Timothy 1:9

Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 2:11–22

To say that we save ourselves is to utter a manifest absurdity. We are called in Scripture ‘a temple’—a holy temple in the Lord. But shall any one assert that the stones of the edifice were their own architect? Shall it be said that the stones of the building in which we are now assembled cut themselves into their present shape, and then spontaneously came together, and piled this spacious edifice? Should anyone assert such a foolish thing, we should be disposed to doubt his sanity; much more may we suspect the spiritual sanity of any man who should venture to affirm that the great temple of the church of God designed and erected itself.

No: we believe that God the Father was the architect, sketched the plan, supplies the materials, and will complete the work. Shall it be also said that those who are redeemed have redeemed themselves? That slaves of Satan break their own fetters? Then why was a Redeemer needed at all? How should there be any need for Jesus to descend into the world to redeem those who could redeem themselves? Do you believe that the sheep of God, whom he has taken from between the jaws of the lion, could have rescued themselves? It were a strange thing if such were the case. We cannot believe that Christ came to do what the sinners might have done themselves. No. ‘I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me;’ and the redemption of his people shall give glory unto himself only. Shall it be asserted that those who were once dead have spiritually quickened themselves? Can the dead make themselves alive?

For meditation: The Greek usually translated ‘save yourselves’ in Acts 2:40 should be translated ‘be saved’ as found in other places in the New Testament (cf. Acts 2:21,47; 4:12; 16:30–31; Ephesians 2:8). Have you been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18–19) and built into God’s church (Ephesians 2:22; 1 Peter 2:5)?

Sermon no. 703
25 July (Preached 29 July 1866)