pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Day by Day

Reading: 1st Corinthians 1: 26-31

Verse 30: “Christ Jesus… our righteousness, holiness, and redemption”.

Paul opens the passage today with a great challenge: “think of what you were when you were called”. Ponder that for a minute. Think back to who you were and what your life was like before you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior… While the “then” to “now” transformation is probably significant, the great truth of our journey is that the change continues. On our journey of faith we are never “there” so God is always at work, seeking to make us more and more like Jesus Christ.

Paul sees the church in Corinth just like most of us see our churches. Yes, we might have a few movers and shakers, but overall not many are wise, not many are influential, not many are of noble birth. Most of us are just regular people. All of us are just trying to be faithful and obedient in our daily walk. Paul speaks of God choosing the foolish and weak things – things we don’t usually like to associate too much with. Wise, influential, noble, foolish, weak – he is speaking in terms the world uses. Weakness, for example, is shunned in the world but in faith recognizing our weakness leads us to trust God more than in ourselves. If we are foolish in terms of our faith, we see that we cannot figure it all out on our own. Instead we turn to God for guidance and direction. When we know we need God, we do not boast in our own talents and abilities. Leaning into another for help and strength is not what people of the world do. That’s why the cross is foolishness to do many people living in the world.

As we continue our journeys of faith, as we walk more and more in faith, we live into verse 30 more and more. Verse 30 reminds us that Jesus Christ is our “righteousness, holiness, and redemption”. As we follow longer and closer, we live lives that are increasingly righteous and holy. We are not faultless, we still stumble from time to time. But we do walk better the longer and deeper we pursue Jesus Christ. And Jesus ever redeems us. In the day to day, he redeems us when we fail and when we stumble. Working ever towards perfection, we await the day of our final redemption – the day we stand in Jesus’ presence in glory. That’ll be the day! Until then may we walk out our faith day by day, bringing Jesus Christ and his love to the world.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the long walk. Looking back at where the journey began, I can see the change you wrought in me. But it was not an A to B journey. There are moments day by day and in even smaller intervals – moments when I had to choose you over self and other interests. Even when I was selfish and disobedient, you have remained faithful. Thank you, God. Please continue to have me as one of your own. Lead and guide me always and forever. Thank you for being my all in all. Amen.


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Focus in on God and Good

Paul encourages us to stand firm in the Lord and to rejoice in the Lord.  He directs us to go to God with our prayers and petitions.  This brings the peace of God upon us.  Paul also reminds us to do our part – to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, admirable, and praiseworthy.  Simply put, he calls us to focus in on the good.

How we look at the world really affects how we live our life.  For example, if one spends a lot of time complaining, then life is generally unhappy and what they focus on is dominated by bad thoughts.  Loving God and neighbor is a difficult task when all are against you.  On the other hand, when one focused on God and all the good in the world, then life is generally happy and content.  “Life” still happens but the issues and situations carry less weight because God carries the bulk when we focus on Him.

Also, as we fill our minds with what is true, noble, right, … then there is less time for evil or impure thoughts.  As we focus in on the good and God, then He guards our hearts and minds so that our energy and efforts dwell on God and His plans for us in the world.  And the God of peace will be with us.

Scripture reference: Philippians 4: 1-9