Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Patience and Endurance 

Reading: Colossians 1: 9-14

The Colossian church is doing well.  Paul recognizes the growth of their faith and how this is leading to a growth in numbers.  He is proud of this little church that he planted that is continuing to share the gospel.  Paul also hopes and prays for more.  His prayer for them is that they continue to grow in knowledge, that they find strength in God, and that they would have great endurance and patience.

The things Paul hopes and prays for the church in Colosse are the same things we should all pray for for all of our churches.  All churches should be sharing the gospel with the lost in their community to help more and more people to come to know Jesus Christ.  All churches should be filled with members living lives worthy of the Lord, loving and serving all their neighbors.  All churches should be leading their members in spiritual growth.

But in reality, to constantly be focusing on evangelism and growth is difficult.  Sometimes it seems like we are not making any progress.  Sometimes it seems like there is no end to the road.  This is precisely why Paul prays for great endurance and patience.  Paul has been out on the road for a long time, constantly going from one place to the next.  He knows the need for patience and endurance for the long haul.  So he names this need and lifts it in prayer.  It is our need as well.

For the person we have been reaching out to who has not quite said ‘yes’ to Jesus, for the person who seems to desire a relationship with Jesus yet keeps sliding back to old habits, and for the many others who do not have a relationship with Jesus for one reason or another, may we continue to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.  May the Lord our God fill us with great endurance and with great patience, so that all may come to know the redeeming love found in Christ. 

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Walking by Faith

Paul reminds us that we walk by faith and not by sight.  Envision with me, just for a moment, your feet walking along a stony path.  See just the bottom of your legs and your feet and the path.  Hear the sound of the rock underneath your feet.

What is it that you see and hear?  Are your feet moving right along, steadily crunching the gravel as you stride?  Or are your feet skipping along making a scuffling sound in the stones?  Or are they moving haltingly and unsteadily, offering up an uneven pattern of noise?  Or are your feet still, making no sound at all upon the rocks?

Depending on how our lives are at the present moment, we may be breezing along the path, at a standstill, or somewhere in between.  For a season our walk of faith might be steady, but at other times it is not.  Life can distract us, disruptions can halt our progress.  Peaks and valleys come and go, but we always must keep moving forward in faith.

In faith we do continue to walk forward, ever seeking to draw nearer to He who stands at the end of our path – Jesus Christ.  By keeping our eyes on Christ, we can always move closer whether we run, jump, skip, walk, or barely move forward.  At times the next step may seem unclear or unsure, but we know by the faith in our heart that He is there, ever calling us along our journey of faith.

Scripture reference: 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10

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Warning: Work in Progress – But Not Alone!

Each of us is a work in progress.  Some may be a little further along in their faith journey and some a little less.  But all of us must realize that there is still work to be done , still growth to experience.  All must heed Paul’s words found in Romans 3: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Even though we constantly fall short, God also always pursues us.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are made aware of our sin.  When we confess that we have sinned and made an affront to God, it is the same Spirit that leads us to repentance.  Each time God blots out our transgression and remembers our sin no more.

The unending supply and depth of God’s love and mercy is amazing.  The constant presence of the Holy Spirit seeking to work on us confounds understanding.  It is like God cares for each and every one of us as if we were each His only child.

Each of us is not yet what we will be.  And each is not what we once were either.  Through the constant cycle of sin and repentance we are slowly made more and more into the image of Christ.  Apparently God has a very high level of patience as well.  As we continually say, “Lord, have mercy” we are acknowledging God’s sovereignty.  We cannot succeed on our own.  Only through God can we continue to run the race.  It is in this weakness that He is made strong.  This day, may we each come to fully rely on God, our redeemer and sustainer.

Scripture reference: Psalm 51: 1-5