isn’t easy – I wish I could say that it is.Belief in God, commitment to following the ways of Christ is not
simple.It is challenging and brings
with it some disputes that will likely arise between you and others.
was well aware of what problems true faith might bring.What shocking declarations does Jesus
make?What is the conclusion in verse
comments from Jesus himself can cause some discomfort and even discouragement
in believers.Jesus – the one who says
to come to him when we are heavy-laden – has now said that his teachings are
not going to bring about peace.He has
introduced a sword – conflict – to the lives of those who will be committed to
him.He even goes into detail claiming
that members within a family will be at odds with one another, and that we should
not love our parents as much as we love Jesus.
disturbing, there is naturally quite a bit of truth in all this.And I also believe it may not be quite as
literal as we may at first take it.
we love Jesus over everyone else, even our parents?Of course.We should love God over all things.But that doesn’t mean we don’t love our parents or others in our family.
did bring peace to the world, in spite of what he says in verse 34.We have peace in knowing that God loves us so
much that Jesus was willing to die for us.But our faith can also be a source of dispute.
will be truly committed to the Lord and our faith it will mean that we must put
God and the good of His kingdom over everything and everyone else.This may cause some clashes between you and
loved ones.Others may want you to have
less faith and pay more attention to what is going on with them.Some may criticize your faith and want you to
be more like everyone else in the world.
be prepared for the occasional dispute and disconnect with loved ones.If we will be completely committed to the
Lord – which we are called to do – then there will likely be those times of
conflict.But this doesn’t mean we don’t
love our family and friends.It just
means we love God more.
take up our cross and follow Jesus.We
must take up our faith in who Jesus was and still is.We must take up our faith in the love of God
and move forward in complete commitment to God in all we do.
CHALLENGE:How will you take up your
This concludes the 10/2 Grow daily devotions
for this spring.We pray that all will
have a safe and happy summer. – Roger and Peggy
object at rest tends to stay at rest.Someone in our church commented about people who simply stop attending
church or avoid getting involved in church activities, that it may not be a
conscious choice to step away, but rather is the tendency to do less and less
because it is easier.
graduates face a new phase of their lives, we all are faced with choices.We can continue as we have been.We can re-energize ourselves and try out new
approaches and deeper faith.Or we can
fall into a sort of apathy and do less and less.
of us crosses the threshold of a new day we are faced with choices in our
lives.Some may choose to do those
things that are of no benefit to themselves or others.And they may claim that they have fallen to
temptation.They were drawn away from
what is good and helpful.
makes an observation about temptation in his letter to the Corinthian
church.What does he say about
temptation?What does he say about God?
face temptations of one kind or another.This is nothing new.Everyone is
tempted, and I believe the root of temptation and sin is selfishness.That is what is common to man.We all have a tendency to want to do whatever
satisfies and pleases us.
there is always a way out of any temptation.God will not allow the temptation to be so strong that you cannot resist
it.How is this possible?God is with you in all things and God is more
powerful than all things.Therefore, if
God is with you and you rely on God you will have the strength to resist
you may be starting a new stage in your life it is important for you to bring
part of your old life with you.As you
encounter new ideas, as you explore your place in life and in the world bring
with you the teachings you have received in the past.
face each new temptation, every lure that might draw you away from the faith
and into a life of doing the wrong things, harmful things, bring with you the
knowledge and conviction that you are loved by God and He is with you in all
things.Take with you the commitment of
being in a relationship with the Lord.He is with you to help you escape the temptations and lures of incorrect
DAILY CHALLENGE:What temptations are you facing now?How can you overcome the temptations that you are facing?
mid-way through my college education I moved out of my parents’ home and shared
an apartment with two other guys.We
were young and rebellious and seeking our way in life.One comment that sticks with me is something my
roommate often asked – “Will people say we lived together for two years and
came out with our heads together?”
time we were convinced that all of our conversations and ever-changing
convictions would result in enlightenment.We would emerge from this uncertain time as people who had a very clear
picture of the meaning of life.
ultimately I discovered that we were wandering around in the darkness of
ignorance and selfishness and human gratification.I did not come out of the experience with my “head
together,” but was more confused than ever.
grew older and more experienced I returned to the foundation of my faith.I returned to the things I had been taught in
church.And it was through examination
and prayer and study that I found a strong connection to God which is now
unshakable.I have my “head together”
now because of my strong faith in God.
passage is part of one of the letters intended to offer guidance to the young
believer, Timothy.What caution is
offered?What positive assurance is
not need to be young and inexperienced to be pulled away from our faith.The world offers temptations and lures to
young and old.There are a wide variety
of ways to look at the world and life, different views on who God is and
whether or not He even exists.Others
provide suggestions on what is suitable for eating based on religious beliefs.
what Timothy is told, and what we should also see, is that there are many who
will abandon the beliefs in Jesus and pursue strange and convoluted ways of
finding God and inner peace.We should
not be one of those who follow ridiculous teachings or superstitious practices.
to see that God has created all things to be good.And if we can remain firm in our connection
to the Lord, through prayer and study we can establish an unshakable faith in
the one true God.
DAILY CHALLENGE:What gives you confidence in the teachings of Jesus?
be both an exciting time and a frightening time when graduation rolls
around.It is exciting to know that a
chapter of our life is ended and we are ready to embark on yet another new
chapter.But with that can come the
uncertainty of what the future holds.What will we do?How will we do
it?Do we have what it takes?
same is true of our faith life.We can
rest comfortably in the familiar beliefs we have always held.We may even see our Christian faith as
something safe and simple.But that is
not where we need to stay.We need to
move forward in faith, grow in our relationship with God and dare to do holy
author of Hebrews offers some words of encouragement.What confidence should we have?Who guides us?
message on Mother’s Day was about the roots of our faith and mention was made
of all the people who have guided us in our beliefs.So many people, our parents and other
spiritual leaders from our youth, have helped to mold us into the faithful
people we are now.We are influenced by
the faithful who surround us in our lives today.
tells us to remember our leaders, those great saints of the faith who have
paved the way of our connection to God, who set an example of love and good
works in their lives.We should consider
the results of their lives, the confidence in God they held.And we should learn to imitate their ways, to
live as loving Christians in the same way they lived.
more than relying on the examples set by faithful ancestors, we have confidence
in our Lord.Jesus is the same
yesterday, today and tomorrow.He is the
greatest leader we can have, the best example on how to live and love.We must root our faith in the Lord.
as we face the uncertainty of the future whether we are a graduate or simply
moving ahead in our life, we must place our confidence in the teachings of
Christ.We must look to the exemplary
lives of our religious leaders.And from
all of these we can gain the confidence and knowledge, the ability, to move
ahead in our faith.We can grow into new
Christians with a new faith, a stronger faith, a deeper commitment to God.We have been shown how to be better
Christians, more confident believers.We
must live out our heritage.
DAILY CHALLENGE:What gives you the confidence to grow in your faith?
Did man really go to the moon? There are many people who believe it is a big hoax. That everyone involved in the space program, the media and the government were somehow convinced first to lie and then to maintain that lie for the rest of their lives. But WHY? Watch the Mythbusters video clip above to see at least one bit of evidence busted.
Today's reading is about the truth. Peter is already referencing the rumors that everything about Jesus was made up. But why? What purpose does it serve to make up a story that puts you in the line of fire of the Romans and the Jews? Who does it benefit to watch your friends and fellow believers martyred and tortured?
And that is precisely what Peter is experiencing. The other disciples (and very soon Peter himself) are dying just for sticking to their story.
In today's world many people still claim that Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection was just an elaborate hoax. That there is no basis in fact for anything that happened. That the witnesses were either suffering from mass hysteria or that they were all in on the lie.
But Peter reminds us that it wasn't something that they heard about or made up. They were eyewitnesses to the whole thing. They saw the majesty themselves. They heard God's voice when Jesus ascended into heaven. They saw him, touched him, ate with him, walked with him and it was real.
One thing that fascinates me about conspiracy theories is that EVERYONE has to keep the secret. Not one person can ever back down or get scared. And in all the years since the moon landings, no one has ever come forward and admitted the hoax. As a matter of fact, when astronauts are asked about it, they get pretty hot under the collar.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Do you believe the story of Jesus? Enough that you would stand by your story even in the face of sceptics? Even in the face of danger?