Living your Life According to God’s Timetable

Timetable

Timetables and schedules are something we are all familiar with. They are designed to help regulate our time and routine. Following a timetable or schedule is a very important part of life as it keeps us focused and intentional in our actions. As important and helpful they are; timetables and schedules can also be a real headache. Perhaps you have an intense workload and the sight of a schedule stresses you out! There is also the stress of trying to keep your schedule and then something hinders you. Missing the train or failing to read the train timetable correctly can be costly. However, when it is all said and done (regardless of the positive and negative experiences) timetables and schedules are important. Continue reading Living your Life According to God’s Timetable

Love Recovered

© Thomas Kinkade ~ Streams of Living Water

Out of His great love for this church that abandoned their first love, the Lord Jesus offers the solution to their problem. This is a great act of grace and reveals to us His great care and concern for His bride (cf. ). This provides us with a good lesson on how to graciously confront sin.  Consider His counsel to the Ephesian church, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent” (). In this verse He provides them with a three-fold strategy to recover their first love: Remember, Repent, and Return. Continue reading Love Recovered

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Love Abandoned

 

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Love is a very important truth taught in the Scriptures. John wrote the profound words “God is love” () and this great love of God was put on most beautiful display when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross as a substitute for His people. The Scripture says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (). What an amazing demonstration of love! Christ died for sinners because of God’s great love for us. In addition to this, to those who are His people He bestowed even more love, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” ().

Because of this great love, the children of God have entered into a new life, because they have a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is expected and commanded of God’s people that they love their Lord and His people. Continue reading Love Abandoned

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

What is the Will of God? Principle 8: Submission

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After we follow all the principles we are to submit ourselves to God’s Providence. Even though God grants us great liberty in making any decision we want (as long as it conforms to His Word), we need to recognise that sometimes our decisions are not actually God’s will. What must we do then? We are not to fight or resist it, but rather we are to submit ourselves to God’s will. This is illustrated by what we read in . Continue reading What is the Will of God? Principle 8: Submission

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

What is the Will of God? Principle 7: Satisfaction

Delight

After you have carefully followed the previous six principles (Salvation, Scripture, ServiceSupplication, Seeking Wise Counsel, Sound Judgment), what is next? I believe that if the six principles previously mentioned are followed, then we can ask ourselves the question, “what is my desire?” If that desire is in line with God’s Word I believe we can act on it and be truly satisfied that we are doing the will of God. Continue reading What is the Will of God? Principle 7: Satisfaction

Life and Temptation

Temptation

Life is filled with temptations. These temptations can be small and they can be substantial. Temptation that you experience may be a real trial for you, but for others it may be merely trivial, and vice versa. What is it that causes such a struggle within us when it comes to temptation? It would be easy a natural tendency of people is to shift the blame away from themselves. We may blame the environment we are in, the upbringing we had or even our personality type. The problem with doing this is that we are wrongly diagnosing the problem therefore don’t receive the biblical solution. The reality is that there is a deeper and more potent source causing the lure to temptation. What is it? Before we consider some specific strategies on fighting temptation, I want to briefly consider the source and sequence of temptation from . 

THE SOURCE OF TEMPTATION
James makes it clear that God is not the source of our temptation. He cannot be tempted because He has no capacity or vulnerability to temptation (; ; ) and therefore He does not tempt (). So then, where does temptation come from? says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire“. He illustrates the source of temptation with fishing metaphors. Like a fish that is enticed by the bait and then lured away, we fall into temptation when our “own desire” drags us to the bait. The problem is within us (cf. ). Again, notice that the text says, “his own desire“. We all have different tendencies, which come from our different upbringings and personal choices in life. One person’s temptation isn’t always the same as an others. Nonetheless they are still real.

THE SEQUENCE OF TEMPTATION
Consider the sequence of temptation. In , James changes metaphors from fishing to gestation (“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death“). “Desire” represents the mother and its child is “sin“. The gestation period of a human is nine months, whereas the gestation process of temptation instantaneous. Once mother “desire” has given birth to her child “sin“, it grows, and if allowed to become mature it “brings forth death“. The apostle Paul said on the same lines, “the wages of sin is death” (). Sin should not become the object of our entertainment. The results of allowing our desires to conceive are devastating, and must be avoided.

James concludes this section with a firm yet pastoral warning, “do not be deceived, my beloved brothers” (). It is not God who brings such evils in our life; the problem is with our own desires. Though we may find ourselves in a difficult and trying situation, we are to inform our desires so as to trust God. In the words of the great puritan pastor-theologian John Owen,

Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before”.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.

And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.”

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Where are you Going?

Direction

Where are you going? Sometimes due to distractions and busyness it is easy for people to think about the immediate and not the whole. As Christians, it is important that in the midst of daily routines that we don’t lose perspective.

The Christian is on a journey. This journey has an ultimate destination that is glorious and will provide a state of eternal bliss and reward. This is all possible because of God’s grace putting them onto this pathway by means of faith in Jesus Christ (cf. ). In-order to reach that final destination, a journey must occur. The duration of this journey will not be the same for all, but the call to walk and the expectations of conduct are the same for all of God’s people. On this journey, the believer will have times of sorrow and times of rejoicing (cf. ). It is not an easy path to walk (cf. ), and there will even be times when enemies will do all they can to stop and thwart the journey.

John Bunyan brilliantly likens this journey to a pilgrim’s progress. The main character in his allegory (Christian) enters into a journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. It is with great excitement that he embarks on this journey, and yet discovers the many difficulties that are before him. Along the way he receives those necessary resources for help.

If you are a believer you are on this same journey. Your final destination is Heaven where you will be with the Lord Jesus Christ for all eternity. But this journey will not be easy and it is essential that you are preparing yourself to walk it in such a way that your conduct is honouring to the Lord.

The Christian is called to walk. The term walk occurs on many occasions in Scripture. In fact, on forty-seven of its forty-nine occurrences in the New Testament, it is used figuratively referring to one’s conduct or behaviour. The believer is placed on a journey and it required by His Master to conduct his life in a particular way. Your walk is with the view of going to that place where you will spend eternity. For this reason, everything you do here must conform to where you are going. We are to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” () as we await the day when we will be with Christ (cf. ).

Where are you going? If you are a believer it is Heaven. So walk in such a way that your life is a testimony to this reality.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Running Away from God

Running Away

A game many children are good at is “Hide and Seek”. The thrill of running away while the person who is seeking has their eyes closed. You look for a safe haven in which you will be able to remain while the seeker is searching hard. Sometimes a child thinks they are in great hiding spot, but the reality is they aren’t. Other times, they are and the seeker will never find them. Continue reading Running Away from God