2 Cor 1:3-5 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
This is one of the verses that help us to understand how God comforts us and how by going through trials in our lives we are later able to help other in their trials. Our Heavenly Father is the God of ALL comfort, not just some comfort. He is the “Father of mercies,” who pours out His love on us. One verse says that He lavishes His love on us. We sometimes wonder why God allows trials in our lives. We wonder why He allows our loved ones to not get better and eventually pass way. It is so that we can have that experience and so that we can comfort someone later. When we say to one who has lost a loved one or is going through trials, “I know how you feel,” we, sometimes do not know. But If we say it in love, the person understand. But if we have experienced the same, we can be a person of encouragement like Barnabas in the book of Acts who was known as the “son of Encouragement.” So, let’s thank our Heavenly Father that He loves us so much and is always a God of all comfort.
All of us aspire to something. The Apostle Paul, in Phil. 3:7-14 had “holy aspirations.” Let’s aspire with him. In Phil 3:1-6 he recounts his life outside of Christ. If anyone had a “high class” pedigree, it was Saul of Tarsus. In Phil. 3:7 he tells us what his assessment is: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”
From Phil 3:8-14 Paul tells us what his goals are in Christ. In Phil. 3:8he wants to “gain Christ.” He wanted to find Him as a daily prize, one to treasure beyond degree. In I Cor. 2:2 he writes this: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
In Phil 3:9 he aspires to “found in Christ.” We are in Christ; we have put Him on in baptism (Gal. 3:26-27). We have the promised indwelt Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). He abides in us. There is “now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
Phil. 3:10, Paul aspires to “know Christ.” He want to become like Him who died for him (I John 3:2). His goal is to be “conformed to the image of the Son of God.”
His goal is to attain to the resurrection from the dead. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without it we have no hope because Jesus is still in the grave and cannot redeem us. Because He overcame death and redeemed us from our lost state, we have the hope that is a reality that we will live beyond this life with Him forever.
The promise that Jesus is coming back for His Church is another thing that Paul aspired for. He believed that Jesus would keep His Word and come again. Each generation of believers must believe in the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus.
Paul said that another goal he had was “to press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Jesus is coming again! We must be found ready. We must be found watching, waiting and working for Him. The Crown of Righteousness (II Tim. 4:8) is waiting for the Christian who is living in expectation of he return of the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:11-15)
Let’s set our goals with the Apostle Paul and strive to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus!”
Every person is committed to something. There are many areas of life where commitment is important. The Christian should strive to be the best citizen, best parent, best worker, etc. If we put Jesus first in our lives and are willing to live a life that will bring Him glory, He will bless us beyond measure.
We must be willing to take the Gospel to the lost and seek to strengthen the saved. We must be an encouragement to each other as we journey along our earthly pilgrimage. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, gives us this great teaching about Christian commitment. In Romans 12:1-2, we read, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
My fellow Christians, it is the mind that we decide how we are going to act. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Let’s allow Him to work in our lives. If we do, we will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!
-Larry Miles, Louisville, KY firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: I Kings 18:18-40 – Background Text: I Kings 18:1-17
This was a lesson I gave a few years ago in an adult class during VBS.
Introduction: Our faith is in a Person, not in doctrine, a church, traditions, these are important though! Believing in God and having faith in God is of vast importance to the Christian. In Heb 11:6 We read “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” . John McArthur writes of this passage: “impossible to please God. Enoch pleased God because he had faith. Without such faith it is not possible for anyone to “˜walk with God.” Rewarder. A person must believe not only that the true God exists, but that He will reward men”s faith in Him with forgiveness and righteousness, because He has promised to do so.” Continue reading