“I’d rather spend every Sunday of my life hanging on a cliff to rescue someone than spend more time sitting in a pew next to hypocrites that talk about what they will do to better themselves and the world when they get around to it.” – Shannon L Alder
Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 2; Psalms 83–84; Isaiah 30; Jude 1
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. -Jude 1:17-23
As I attempt to stand against the tide of culture and the temptations of the world, it is my honor to have good friends who share this journey. Those, who by the grace of God, fight the battle to stand among the righteous, endeavoring by surrender and perseverance, to win the race for the greatest prize in all creation. So it is to my fellow bible journal.net writers I say, “thank you!” Each of you hold a special place in my heart, among others with whom we share this journey of faith.
This is a remarkable journey. Amidst the delusions of life, my faith in Jesus Christ stands out as a metaphysical and experiential reality of Divine proportion. Life is but a series of existential crises for us all. Thankfully, God has not only spoken the universe into existence, but he has also placed His profound truth in the hearts of all people, to be discovered and responded to through His revelation in nature; law; and powerful examples from others (Psalm 19). God offers a complex, yet simple, written history of His plan for the restoration of a fallen world. Truth is offered to all and begins with the desire to know who God is; and is bound in the decision to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. These two things don’t always happen at the same time, as I can attest.
What is remarkable, is how God’s plan is tailored specifically for each of us. It is a plan based upon who we are, and upon who God is. It is a plan that challenges us to become the “people we were designed to be” (Jon Harris). In the process of pursuing this plan, as we learn to love God and others, we find supernatural joy and peace in our lives. As we live lives of faith, following the path of Jesus, we are transformed by God’s Holy Spirit, and it is in this transformation that we gain spiritual traction, moving faster into the arms of God.
It is extraordinary how common it is for believers everywhere to experience divine appointments; holy conversations; God’s perfect timing; peace that transcends all understanding; and a true and lasting joy. Interestingly, this common experience is still unique to the individual. Our precious identities are not lost in Christ, but there they are found!
Despite this truth it hasn’t always been easy for me to see it.
They say to the seers, “See no more visions !” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” -Isaiah 30:10-11
Yet beyond all the confusion, among the many voices that surround us, it is from the best examples of believers (above all) and acts of love from others who seek the light, that Christ is seen. This is the truest, straightest and most illuminated path to the richest fellowship with God.
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John14:6
So thank you to: Jillian Koch McGriff for your brilliant words and empowering faith; Jennifer Armstrong for your sharp mind and insightful teaching; David Lafrance for your open heart and amazing faith journey; Michael Somers for your wisdom, dedication and perseverance; Jon Harris for building people up through constant encouragement; and BJ Armstrong for your mighty faith, vision and leadership. Each of you have enriched me in countless ways in the past five months of writing. Thank you! May God continue to bless you and your families with wisdom, truth and power from His Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus. Amen.