Defeating My Old Nature

Speaking blessings into people’s lives does not come naturally for me. My old nature is ever-present to take over and tear down my enemies. My old nature is to defeat my enemies at all cost.

This is what makes Jesus so radical. He commands us to love and pray for our enemies. I don’t know about you but without Jesus’ supernatural grace and power I am incapable of such behavior. In fact, it is counter-intuitive to me:

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Love Doesn’t Have To Be Divided

Last night at our church our pastor began a study on the Book of Jude. Brother Dennis was recalling when they were expecting their second child and he wondered whether he could love the second one as much as he loved his first. He was addressing the benediction found in verse 2:

“Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 2)

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Reaping What You Sow

One of the toughest life lessons I’ve had to learn is that I will reap what I’ve sown. For someone who lived a life filled with sin, it has been a long and bitter harvest at times. Realizing that I am still paying for some of my youthful mistakes is a fruit never sweet to eat. Nevertheless, God can still use the bitterest of moments for my good and His glory.

While I cannot change reaping what I’ve sown, I can change my attitude towards the harvest. I can look at the damaged haul and use it as an example unto my children and grandchildren. The wisdom that I can share with others from the evidence of my own mistakes hopefully will keep them from repeating my sinful actions. It also gives me a chance to share a universal and unchanging truth from the Bible:

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A Life of Unfolding Stories

Yesterday our pastor Brother Dennis preached from Acts 16:12-34, teaching us how to praise God in our circumstances. He said that the Christian life is one of unfolding stories. When you look at the lives of Lydia, the fortune-telling girl, and the Philippian jailer, all which became Christians, then you see lives radically changed by their circumstances.

Too often Christians lament their circumstances in life, imagining that being a Christian means living your best life now. That may preach well at churches lead by peddlers of Christ, but it is not Biblical. In fact, the Bible teaches that the afflicted life is a learned life:

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