Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Needful Things – Part 1: The flag Under Which You Serve

This week Michael writes that we live in a finite world where there are many losses in a lifetime. The older we get the more losses we experience. We lose loved ones, friends, possessions, and jobs. While there are many things that cause us to suffer in this life, “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28. We can either look back on our lives with regret or with thankfulness for the lessons we have learned. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation works patience, and patience experience, and experience hope because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit which is given to us – Romans 5:3-5.  Sometimes the times of greatest loss are the times of the greatest deliverance. In Matthew 10:39 Jesus said, "He that loses his live for my sake shall find it."

In John Chapter 6 the question is, "is Christ sufficient?"  If we're needy, what is it that we really need? Needful things. The context of John 6 changes the upbeat mood of the story from those who followed Jesus as the "rock star" of his day, to a more somber mood that Jesus' true purpose was to be crucified and for God to raise him from the dead to pay for our sins. Your attitude about life will determine the flag under which you serve. What is the cost of following Jesus and what will life be like as a follower of Christ? Many of His followers forsook Him when Jesus told them about His suffering and death. Jesus warned about the impending crises that His followers would face. In Matthew 24:9 when His disciples asked Jesus about the signs of the times, He answered that they would have to pay a heavy price ... that they would be persecuted and martyred for being His disciples and hated by all nations because of Christ. There is always a spiritual battle behind the earthly battle. The flame of the spirit of the church of God has been fueled by the blood of Christian martyrs throughout the history of His Church. What's important is that the “gospel of deliverance” is spread. However, in the last times, many shall fall away from the faith and false prophets shall deceive many – Matthew 24:11. The one who stands firm to the end shall be saved – Matthew 24:13. He who endures shall be delivered. Jesus set the bar so high that no one could follow ... that salvation would not be through our own futile efforts, but only by His grace alone, by faith alone, through Christ alone. The key to deliverance is that even though there is suffering in this life, Jesus Christ who knew no sin sacrificed His life on our behalf so that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him. For I have been crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me – Galatians 20:12 ...  therefore, my life is hid with Christ in God.

Let's continue this message on "Needy Things" by Michael tomorrow.
In Christ, Brian

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