Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Marks of the Faithful

Chuckle: "Two things you should never enter into prematurely: marriage and embalming!!"
Quote: "Our prayer will be most like the prayer of Christ if we do not ask God to show us what is going to be, or to make any particular thing happen, but only pray that we may be faithful in whatever happens." --Fr Andrew
"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done" (Colossians 2:6-7 NLT).
"J. B. Gambrell was a great Texas hero in pioneer days. He once referred to a dog's territory, which was limited to the area around his master's wagon. Since the wagons rode high off the ground, the dog could run along underneath the wagon as it traveled. Gambrell said, 'I would never have a dog that ran under someone else's wagon.' That was his rather homey way of saying that faithfulness is a necessity."
We can all understand Gambrell's point. When we list the desirable characteristics of a person, faithfulness will likely be high on the list. In our larger lesson (Col. 2:1-7), Paul admonished the Colossian Christians to show several characteristics, or marks, of their faithfulness to their Lord.
1. Helping others grow in their faith. In Col. 2:2, Paul expressed his desire that their hearts might be encouraged and comforted. All Churches should be encouraging, comforting, and unified communities, committed to carrying out Christ's mandate. Our faithfulness will encourage others as they see Christ in us. A mark of faithfulness is strengthening one another so that the church is filled with courage to deal effectively with any situation.
2. Loving others. Paul prayed that the Colossian Christians would be knitted together in love. "Anyone who loves other Christians is living in the light and does not cause anyone to stumble. Anyone who hates (does not love) a Christian brother or sister is living and walking in darkness. Such a person is lost, having been blinded by darkness" (I John 2:10-11 NLT). Love for other Christians is a distinguishing mark of followers of Christ.
3. A disciplined life. Faithfulness to Christ and his Church will be demonstrated by our disciplined and purposeful lives. We will not serve the Lord and others only when it is convenient, but we will sacrifice our own desires for the good of other believers. We will be steadfast and firm in our convictions and in our service to our Lord.
4. Growing up in our faith. Receiving Christ as Savior is only the beginning of life with Christ. He desires that you continue to follow His leadership and grow by being rooted in Him, built-up, and strengthened in the faith. "Elton Trueblood spoke of a 'cut flower civilization in which we are like cut flowers in a vase. They are beautiful and brilliant, but they never grow and prosper because they have no roots." You can live and grow in Christ by, (1) Submitting your life and will to Him; (2) seeking to learn from Him, His life, and His teachings; and (3) recognizing the Holy Spirit's power in you. Then faithfulness to Christ and to others will result.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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