Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

Tonight’s verse is written out to meet me where I am. This is not to exclude the men who stumble upon my little blog. Remember: God wants to meet each of us where we are.

[She] does not fear bad news; [She] confidently trusts the Lord to care for [her]. [She is] confident and fearless and can face [her] foes triumphantly (Ps. 112:7-8, NLT).

In our lives, we will face difficult days. All of us will, no exemption allowed. We will face difficult days, even more so as people who want to follow our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John (ch. 14-15), I am reminded of this message: Because I follow Jesus Christ, I can expect difficult days. Also, I can experience the Holy Spirit and His peace in every season of life.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17, ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (vv. 27).”

This is why I can experience difficult days, yet not fear those same difficult days (or worse days). Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, is the One with whom we have allowed our souls to be intertwined with. It is none other than King Jesus. We have allowed Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to enter our souls and to be one with.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have joined ourselves with our Creator in an unbreakable bond that lasts for eternity.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and allow Him into the deepest parts of my life. Although life is unpredictable, I can rest in knowing He doesn’t change. Although my health and relationships may greatly change from one season to the next, my God never changes His mind about me. He has chosen me to be His very own!

What have I to fear? I have Jesus Christ on my side. He is standing with me, giving me the strength to fight my Goliath’s.

While I may battle anxiety and fear, I have nothing to fear with God on my stand. Through this special relationship, I know Him and that He continues to hold me close through life’s difficulties.

This world may shake me to my core, but it cannot take away my faith in Jesus Christ. My foundation in Jesus Christ is essential. When I allow my life to be built upon Jesus Christ, I will be never find myself in “the wrong place” like I will – when I allow my choices and relationships to be built upon my own heart’s desires that often lead me astray.

Image by Roman Kraft.

In Christ’s grace I stand,


Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand (Rom. 5:2a, AMP).

Entrusted to Correct {1 Tim. 1:3-5}

textgram_1489616297Sometimes we just don’t act as we ought to, but this is why God has placed us in the care of shepherds – pastors and others who will guide us and remind us of His truth.

Apostle Paul knew that Timothy had some shepherding to do – right where he was. He needed to correct the people in Ephesus, and get them on the right path. This was the reason for Timothy’s stay in Ephesus.

There were men who were teaching others the wrong things about the Christian faith. As teachers we need to make sure we are teaching others the right things, because we are accountable and leading others.

The Truth

As I said when I left for Macedonia, please stay there in Ephesus and try to stop the men who are teaching such wrong doctrine. Put an end to their myths and fables, and their idea of being saved by finding favor with an endless chain of angels leading up to God—wild ideas that stir up questions and arguments instead of helping people accept God’s plan of faith (1 Tim. 1:3-4, TLB).

The Nudge

New believers were following these men of God. But, how they were being led astray! They were not getting the firm foundation of truth they needed, and so Timothy was being led to shepherd these people – and teach them the truth even if that mean correcting their leaders.

We are saved by God’s grace and His grace alone. Jesus Christ is what makes up the Christian faith, and these men were deviating from the truth of grace.

Be Careful

As Christians seeking to nudge other believers onto the right track, we have to be careful how we approach these situations. While it may be tempting to respond in haste, when others are acting outside of God’s trusted will, we are called to respond in love.

What I am eager for is that all the Christians there will be filled with love that comes from pure hearts, and that their minds will be clean and their faith strong (1 Tim. 1:5).

We speak up, because believers need to believe and cling to His truth. As we speak up, we have to remember it’s about defending the truth of the Gospel – which requires prayer and boldness.

For godly leaders, spiritual correction is difficult but essential. This is part of their call, as our shepherds.

The Ultimate Goal

As we are being led by the Holy Spirit, let us remember that the ultimate goal is to see others come to place their faith in Jesus Christ and to experience His unconditional love for them. The Holy Spirit wants to use us and the gifts He has placed within us.

As a shepherd, Timothy was being led to correct the leaders in Ephesus. But before he could lead others, he had to make sure that his relationship with God through Jesus Christ was his number one priority – which it was. Timothy was a man of faith and sought to follow the will of God.

How do we know that Timothy, a pastor and man of God, lived what he taught? We see his faith in 1 Timothy 4, as Paul encourages Timothy to continue what he is doing.

Seeking Holiness – Intentional Family

Seeking Holiness - A Study on 1 Thess 4

Last week, an unintentional post went through to kick off our study on 1 Thessalonians 4. So, today, we are going to be talking about intentionality. Not in learning to remember about a scheduled blog post. We are going to talk about intentionality within the family of God. Let’s review a statement made last week, shall we? You can view the post in the link above for the part 1 of the teaching. This is just to get us started.

“This group of godly men were calling upon the church of the Thessalonians, to help them along in their faith. Their goal wasn’t to cast blame, but to comfort the church to walk in the way of the Lord.

The Church is meant to be “one big happy family.” It is the real deal! While we may have dysfunction in our earthly families, this is not to be the case with our spiritual family. Jesus, in Matthew 19:6, reminds us that God has joined us together. Though He is speaking specifically about marriage, the same truth applies here as well. Only there is one phrase we can’t miss at the end of this verse – so let’s look at the whole thing.

“So they are no longer two, but one. God has joined them together, so no one should separate them (Mt. 19:6, ERV).”

We aren’t to be separated, as a church. God’s will isn’t for there to be division in the Church. This reflects the worldly ways, not God’s ways. In God’s kingdom, we can have relationships where what was broken – has now been reconciled! God can build bridges to the disconnect (or rough patches) in our relationships within the Church. He has come, so that we will be joined together. Just take a look at Ephesians 2:14, for a glimpse.

What God has joined together, let no man separate.” We need to consider how these relationships have been divided, and the restoration God wants to do in our relationships. God wants to bless through our relationships within the Church! It is made possible, because of our new foundation.

New Foundation

We are given a brand new foundation. Ephesians 2:19 reminds us that we aren’t strangers, but we are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Our foundation is built upon the truths God has given us and the love of our Savior. It is built on nothing else. We have been joined together, with Christ as our centerpiece (see Eph. 2:20). Without Jesus Christ as our foundation, our relationships would be shaky at best.

This is what makes the difference in our relationships within the Church. We need to remember Christ is our rock-solid-foundation!

Mutual Decision

In our relationships with our brethren (other Christ followers), there is a mutual decision that needs to be made.

We need to choose to allow others into our lives to speak His truth. We need to allow those relationships the space to be open about the contents of our lives – in order to work toward pursuing Christ all the more. Jesus is to be the foundation of our relationships within the family of God!

There are five questions to consider this week –

  1. How are we making an effort to build relationships with our spiritual family – those who have placed their trust in Jesus and are following Him?
  2. How are we allowing others into our lives to speak the truth of God?
  3. How is the truth they speak, lining up with the Word of God – the Bible?
  4. How are we pursuing honesty and unity in these relationships?

We need to consider the kind of relationships we have within the family of God. In the church, we need to reach out to other Christ-followers and make sure we are pursuing unity and speaking truth into one another’s lives. We can’t live in a place where we allow those relationships suffer, because we will not allow ourselves to be accountable to our Christian brothers and sisters.