Friday, July 17, 2009


James 1:2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does

Hebrews 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

The Lord is very clear with us that it requires patience and perseverance to do what he requires us to do. This is at the very heart of the problem with OSAS "once saved always saved." As with anything else worthwhile in life, our faith will be tested over time..Time tests every worthwhile intention you have on this earth it doesn't matter what that is. We must run in a way that we do not grow weary. Our faith must stand the test of time. Standing the test of time is a really really tall order for a world and people who love instant gratification in all things.

It is not easy to stick with things for long periods of time unless you are truly committed. You have to really want what it is you have set your sights on or time will expose your lack of desire and will to get whatever it was you thought you wanted. In the end we will know who really wanted Jesus and the Father because time will have tested those people. They will have finished what they started and will receive the appropriate reward for their patient faithful endurance.

It is clear to me that this calling is more like a marathon than a sprint. In our own power there is no possible way we could make it through the narrow gate that leads to life. The narrow gate is Jesus and he warns us as an act of love. I know that as a father to my children I do not enjoy warning and chastising my children but I do it in love so they can spend more time enjoying the benefits of obedience in our house instead of time in punishment. Warnings are an act of love. The goal of what we are doing is to make it through the narrow gate that leads to life. We are give the promises of rich rewards and dire punishments to steer us directly into the narrow gate that only a few find (matt 7:13-28).

Today I want to encourage you to renew your committment to patient endurance and perseverance. Only the Lord knows how many days are left before he comes to get us so we need to be able to wait however long it takes for him to get here. The Lord made so many promises to us and they are all rock solid truth that we can stand on for everything we want or need in this life. The only way we take delivery on the promises though is through faith and patience. Our faith will be tested for everything we ask our Lord for in this life. The highest and most valuable thing we should be believing delivery on is the salvation of our souls. We can have complete assurance that we are saved but NOT through a a 5 second teary eyed "decision" made sometime in your past. That guarantees you nothing. The bible is very clear that the Holy Spirit testifies with our Spirit that we are the children of God. There is no need to invent false doctrines in order to be assured of our salvation. Here are two places we are assured of our salvation:

Romans 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God

Notice there's nothing in the assurance above about a one time decision..."being led by the Spirit" is an ongoing endeavor not a one time event. We must be patient in faith, being led by the Spirit of God, seeking his counsel and wisdom in all things and in due time we will inherit the promises. Lay hold of the Lord's promises today and start praying them back to him in faith. This brings glory to him and life to you. We live in some tough days but we are not without hope..we have promises of both temporal help as well as eternal salvation. If we will committ ourselves to walking in daily communion with our Lord and doing what he says to do, then we can expect to be provided for in ways that the world cannot imagine. Consider promises like this:

Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.


Psalms 37:25I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

26They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.

Notice the word used in both instances NEVER....a spring whose waters NEVER fail and I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken. Never means not even once. Only an all powerful all knowing God could deliver on promises like that. He is able to deliver on promises that he will NEVER forsake you, not even one time. There are great rewards in this life and the next for those who will patiently and faithfully lay hold of our God's promises and do things that please him.

done for today, going camping this weekend so no post tomorrow or sunday. Love, grace, and peace to all of you who are "in Christ."