Thursday, November 25, 2021

Proper Navigation

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Colossians 1:9-10 (NKJV)

In the past, explorers traveled by ship to distant destinations for trade, exploration, and even to bring the Gospel to others.  When traveling by ship, one thing that was always important was proper navigation.  If the captain and the other sailors on the ship did not know how to correctly navigate their way through what were sometimes dangerous waters, they would not only never reach their destination to do what they needed to do, but they could suffer shipwreck along the way.

What is true about finding the way to go naturally is also true spiritually.  We need to know how to properly navigate our way through life to find the right way to go and to avoid unnecessary problems, and God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to help guide us.  If we do not understand how to properly chart our course in life, we may suffer shipwreck along the way and never reach our destination of doing what God has called us to do, and having the things God has provided for us through Jesus.

As Paul prayed in Colossians 1, we need to not only be filled with the knowledge of God's will, but we need wisdom and spiritual understanding as well.  God will fill us with the knowledge of His will, and give us the wisdom and spiritual understanding we need, through His Word and by the Holy Spirit, so that we can properly navigate through life.  It is vitally important for us to understand proper spiritual navigation, and to learn to follow the Word and Spirit to properly chart our course in life.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Past Tense, Present Tense, Future Tense

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Understanding grammar is important, especially when learning a language, and one of the things you learn about in grammar is the various tenses of past, present, and future.  Past tense is of course something that already happened, present tense is what is happening now, and future tense deals with what will happen sometime later.  How these things are expressed in each language can vary, but to be able to communicate correctly you have to understand the proper use of tenses.

Past tense, present tense, and future tense are not only important in a language, but it is an important concept in Christianity as well.  If we do not have a proper understanding of what God has done for us through Jesus, which would be past tense, then we will not have a proper understanding of our present situation, and of what is coming in the future.  However, if you talk to some Christians, they put some things that are past or present tense into a future tense. 

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it talks about someone who is in Christ, present tense, and that the old things have passed away and all things have become new.  We are now a new creation in Christ, this is not something that we are looking forward to in the future.  So often, Christians talk and act like all of the things provided in the past through Jesus are waiting for us some day in the future, but those things belong to us today!   We need to understand everything that God has done for us through Jesus and recognize who we are in Christ as a present tense reality.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Always Profitable

"For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."
1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)

When you grow up in Wisconsin, like I did, you have some clothes that you will only use in the Wintertime and some clothes you will only use in the Summertime.  For example, in January, a Winter coat is essential, but you don't need to wear it in August.  Or, if you have a pair of sandals, you could wear them in July, but you would not want to wear them in December.  So, there are some things that are only useful at some times, but something like shoes are useful items of clothing for every season.

Just like there are some types of clothing that are only beneficial at some times during the year, and some types of clothing that are useful year-round, there are things in life that are like that too.  As Paul pointed out in 1 Timothy 4:8, bodily exercise is good, but it is only useful in this life, while godliness is useful in this life and in the life to come.  There are a lot of things we can do in our life that have some benefit, but a life lived for God is something that has present and future benefits. 

The word godliness in 1 Timothy 4:8 means, piety, towards God, and reverence.  What this is telling us is that living a life that honors God, a life that puts godly character in first place, a life that is based on God's Word, is something valuable today and in the future.  While things like exercising our body are good and helpful, doing things that honor God and are based on His Word are even better!  By living a godly life today, we are putting ourselves in the place where God can work in our life, and we are laying a good foundation for the world to come.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Just Waiting?

"And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated.
He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword.  The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder."
2 Samuel 23:9-10 (NKJV)

There are a lot of people who, when they face a challenge, wait for someone else to do something or something to happen to make a change in that situation.  So many times, it seems that people wait for another person to take a stand, for their local church to do something, or even for the government to do something.  While all of those things could happen, what if we looked for what we could do about the situation rather than just waiting for something to happen?

David's Mighty Men in the Old Testament are amazing to read about.  The story of one of these men, Eleazar the son of Dodo, has always been one of my favorites.  When he was faced with the enemy, and others ran away, he attacked!  Instead of waiting to see what the Philistines would do, instead of waiting for someone else to do something, Eleazar attacked the enemy!  We can be the same way in the things we deal with in our life; we can wait to see what happens, or we can be proactive and do something.

When we know who we are in Christ and we understand our God given authority, we don't have to just wait for something to happen.  We need to look to God's Word and the direction of the Holy Spirit to see how we can pray, or take a stand in faith, or do something in some way with what is happening in our life. The next time you are faced with a challenge, don't run away, and don't just wait for something to happen, act on God's Word and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to make a difference.