Not a Sermon only a Thought

The Outcome of Discouragement

Psalm 40:1-3

Discouragement is a common problem. As we saw yesterday, it may start with a divided mind but can easily turn into blaming others and wallowing in anger. Sadly, its effects don’t stop there.

For one thing, if you regard the one who disappointed you as the cause of all your troubles, you might distance yourself or even end the relationship. On top of that, when disappointments are allowed to build up without resolution, your sense of self-worth could be damaged. This could deliver a blow to your ministry and interactions with others, since no one likes being around critical, negative individuals.

A dangerous drift in your spiritual walk is the ultimate consequence of discouragement. God will seem distant, uncaring, or perhaps even absent because you’ve built such high walls around yourself. Things that were once cornerstones in your life—like worship, Bible study, and prayer—easily fall by the wayside. Before long, you will be surrounded only by your disappointments and negativity, unable to see anything of positive value at all.

Discouragement can eat away at a believer’s relationships and productivity. Don’t allow disappointments to build up and take such a toll on your life. Psalm 40:2 is a wonderful reminder that the heavenly Father can lift you out of the “miry clay” and “set [your] feet upon a rock making [your] footsteps firm.” Let your discouragement motivate you to turn to the Lord, the one who can “put a new song in [your] mouth”—a song of praise to Him (v. 3).

Certainty About Salvation

1 John 5:13

One of the main reasons many Christians fail to serve God joyfully is their uncertainty about where they stand with Him. They don’t understand the basic nature of their relationship with the Lord and, as a result, hold back from dedicating themselves fully to His service.

You probably have seen similar types of hesitancy played out in day-to-day life. For example, perhaps you’re acquainted with a man and a woman who are known as the “on again, off again” couple—the pair who seem to dance around the idea of relationship but somehow never quite seem able to commit. It’s difficult to make that life-changing decision when you’re not sure how the other person feels about you, isn’t it?

The same thing holds true in your life of faith. No one wants a spouse—or a Savior—who might leave at any time, for any reason. No, we want certainty. And when that is missing, the whole context of the relationship is out of balance.

The apostle John was surely thinking about this as the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the beautiful word of encouragement we find in 1 John 5:13. What was his purpose in writing? “That you may know that you have eternal life” (emphasis added).

John was writing to bring certainty to uncertain believers. He wanted them to know that there was no “off again” time for anyone who had engaged in a relationship with the Father. Because God is your constant companion, you can trust that He is faithful—eternally.

Saved and Sure

Hebrews 11:1

To help you understand the concept of “saved and sure,” here are three truths that indicate what the Lord wants for all people:

1. God wants everyone to be saved. He calls all men and women to Himself, but there must be a response to His invitation. When we answer His call to salvation, the Father makes us part of His everlasting family (Rom. 10:9-13). If we decide to reject the Lord, however, then we will eternally remain outside of His redemption plan for mankind.

2. God wants everyone to be saved by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares that our salvation is 100 percent the work of the Lord. It is His plan, His work, His gift. We have no responsibility whatsoever, other than simply receiving the free gift that He lays at our feet.

3. God wants everyone to be saved by grace through faith and sure of salvation. Lack of certainty can absolutely destroy faith. If you are not sure that you are saved, then the devil will use that seed of doubt to plague your spirit every time you feel you have done something unforgivable. In the Lord’s eyes, though, there is no such thing as unforgivable. He has already established the plan by which every one of us can join His eternal family, and He wants us to have confidence in our salvation.

Passages like John 3:16, 1 John 5:13, and Ephesians 1:13-14 all point to the complete certainty with which we can embrace our salvation. Does your faith fluctuate with your feelings and circumstances, or is it firmly grounded in Scripture?

For years Swaggart proclaimed that he was saved through grace and faith. Yet what caused him to lose his church was his actions. This proves that it is one's actions which matters. To go through life thinking that you are saved by the grace of someone who showed little or no graciousness when he had the chance is foolish.

Partners in Ministry

Acts 20:1-6

No one can dispute that the apostle Paul played a foundational role in the establishment of the early church. We generally think of him as the man who took the gospel to the ends of the civilized world of that era. But Paul never worked alone. Throughout the book of Acts and the Epistles, we catch glimpses of people who partnered with Paul in ministry.

In today’s reading, we meet a small missionary team—including Luke, the author of Acts—who accompanied Paul as he journeyed through Macedonia. Although we know little or nothing about most of them, each played an important part in the formation of the church. From God’s perspective, there are no insignificant people or ministries in the church of Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Paul likens the church to a body, whose health depends on the proper functioning of all its various parts. The Holy Spirit gives each believer a special ability for service within the church. Although people like Paul, who have a more visible role, may seem more necessary, in reality every believer is essential. Behind-the-scenes services rendered by less visible people are never forgotten by the Lord.

To God, the issue is not who sees our service or knows what we’ve done; He’s interested in our obedience, attitude, and motive for serving Him. He doesn’t want us wallowing in self-pity or low self-esteem because our work isn’t noticed or appreciated. Instead, we should aspire to glorify the Lord and be faithful in whatever we do, knowing that He promises to reward our service and will not overlook our obedience.

Keith posted:

 

No one can dispute that the apostle Paul played a foundational role in the establishment of the early church.

 

 

Same thing I have been telling you all this time. You finally ketch sense. Well, better late than never.

Partners in Suffering for Christ

Acts 19:23-31

In the book of Acts, Paul stands out as the most prominent preacher and apostle. That’s why we tend to pass over the names of other individuals who are mentioned only briefly. An example is Aristarchus—one of the men dragged into the theater of Ephesus during a riot. Paul was the target of the dispute, but Aristarchus was also on the receiving end of the hostility.

>Who was Aristarchus? Though not well known, he is actually mentioned five times in the New Testament. We know he was from Thessalonica and that he joined Paul on his third missionary trip as the apostle was going to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). The next time he showed up in Scripture (Acts 27:2), he was boarding a ship with Paul, who by that time was a prisoner on his way to Rome. At sea, Aristarchus and Paul suffered through a great storm that resulted in shipwreck. The last mentions of Aristarchus are as a fellow prisoner with Paul in a Roman jail and a fellow worker (Col. 4:10; Philem. 1:24).

Almost every reference to Aristarchus involves suffering for Christ. Yet this isn’t a popular concept today. We want a Savior who will make life easy, comfortable, and prosperous. But that’s not the message Jesus preached, nor is it the example Paul and Aristarchus set. As the apostle wrote, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).

Although most of us probably won’t experience the hardships Paul and Aristarchus suffered, we must be willing to stand for Christ in the face of rejection, ridicule, misunderstanding, discrimination, and even hostility. Are you willing to suffer for Christ?

Actually Paul is mentioned so much because he is the real founder of Christianity. If there is no Paul, there is no Christianity. Prior to Paul colluding with the Romans, the people living where Paul did were Jewish. Those people knew nothing of the Greek Sun god that Paul used to create his son of God concoction.

ksazma posted:
cain posted:

Yall still deh pon dis stupidness?    heheeee

It is all entertainment for me as I have no problem with if someone believe in God or not or what they choose to believe. I am not sure what it is to the good brother though.

Bai, you contributing to the man "cut and paste". By the time he is done with you, GNI will have a complete bible. We can do research on the bible by just referencing this GNI website. The man is a typical seminary college graduate. They do no see natural phenomena.

Don't worry Skelly. The man will never post every every part of the Bible. There are parts that no Christian preacher will inform others of. They are trained to limit their preaching to only what they think are selling points. Think about it. Have you ever heard a preacher talk about the whoring sisters or Rueben having sex with his stepmother on the rooftop? If "all scriptures are from God and is profitable for instruction ......,", why they never instruct their listeners about those scriptures? Are they more holy than the Lord of Hosts?

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