Turning Things Around in the World

2 Timothy 2.25-26 encourages, perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.

The world is going crazy because people are increasingly doing crazier things. Granted, 24-hour negative news brings to our attention more crime, more violence and more human atrocity than we ever had before but still, does it seem like the world is running amok at a greater rate than ever?

The world has been in tough places before. It would have been hard times to be on the wrong side of Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan. It would have been hard times during the black plague. It was hard times during both world wars. It is hard times for those living wherever ISIS rules or seeks to rule.

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Our Choices Have Consequences

2 Thessalonians 1.8 observes, with flaming fire He will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

The next verse says that God will then send to eternal punishment all of these same people. In a word Christianity defines this place of eternal separation from God and eternal suffering as hell. Hell is no longer an accepted place among people.

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What is the Goal of YOUR Religion?

Philippians 3.10 claims, my aim is to know Him, to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings, and to be like Him in His death.

What is the goal of your religion? To get to heaven? This was not the goal of arguably the greatest Christian who was not also God. Perhaps the secret to his Christianity was the fact that he made his understanding, practice and experience of God now, not future.

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Getting God’s Help

Ezekiel 8.6 observes, son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations that the people of Israel are practicing here, to drive Me far from My sanctuary? But you will see greater abominations than these!

This snapshot into the life of Israel records them fasting and praying seeking God’s mercy and favor for changing their miserable situation. Difficult times has the affect of moving us to prayer. Israel was trying to market themselves to God as penitent, faithful and obedient.

Yet God sees all, not just the religious show we put on for Him.

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God’s Goodness is Worth Sharing

Psalm 40.3 records, He gave me reason to sing a new song, praising our God. May many see what God has done, so that they might swear allegiance to Him and trust in the LORD!

I have been a part of the ministry of CBMC for nearly 30 years. I have worked vocationally for the organization for the past 21 years. The reason I love the ministry so much is because it’s process for making God known is so simple and so effective.

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It is Difficult to Be Faithful

Judges 14.17 describes, she cried on his shoulder until the party was almost over. Finally, on the seventh day, he told her because she had nagged him so much. Then she told the young men the solution to the riddle.

Nagging has a way of wearing us down. That explains why children use it most often because it is so effective at moving their parents to give them their way. God rewards faithfulness and even warns that only those who remain so until the end will be rewarded. Faithful until what end? Ours or the world’s I suppose.

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Who Is Willing to Suffer for Jesus?

Acts 5.41 records, they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.

The Church was able to grow from a handful of believers in Jesus into a world wide religion because it has been willing to suffer dishonor for the proclamation of Jesus as the only God and Savior of the world. When the Church has lost influence it has been the result of those who profess Jesus as Savior privately being afraid to do so publicly lest they suffer for proclaiming His ways.

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How To Contend For The Faith

Jude 1.3 describes, I encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

Christianity is a manly business. It has always been embraced by the courageous, both male and female. Even today, those who love Jesus as their true God are suffering death, torture and abuse from ISIS wherever IS is in control.

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Christianity is a Marathon and not a Sprint

Hebrews 10.36 encourages, you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.

Endurance is one of those qualities we admire in others but struggle to manifest in ourselves. We see the marathon runner and we marvel at their endurance then say they are crazy to train then run that kind of distance. We hear the testimony from the mountain climber and wonder what it would be like to stand on the top of the world only to hear of the cost and dismiss it as too hard.

Endurance is modeled by the few but desired by the many.

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The Purpose of our Suffering

Hebrews 2.10 describes it was fitting for God, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

How do we test our strength? We test our strength by lifting as much weight as we can or running as far as we can or enduring whatever we attempt as long as we can. Strength is measured against resistance. While it takes resistance to build strength, endurance and perseverance we usually avoid those things in life because they are hard and they hurt.

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