I love how the Bible isn’t complicated when it comes to knowing how we tap into God’s power and peace.
Yes, there are some passages that we won’t fully grasp until we’re standing in the glory of heaven. But all that we need for a solid faith and a fruitful life is placed on the bottom shelf, so to speak, so that we might please God without being a member of the Mensa Society.
The Apostle Paul gives us another reminder of how we can have a Rock-solid faith with a simple array of choices.
“Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
Not made by others.
Not determined by circumstances.
Choices of our will, not somebody else’s.
WE determine if we’ll live with joy. This is not about happiness, an emotion based on the proportion of our wants and needs being satisfied. Instead, joy is the celebration of a certain, better future and the contentment of knowing we’re better off than we could be or even deserve to be.
We have the promise of salvation and the provision of God’s merciful blessings. That’s enough to produce a harvest of joy.
We determine if we’ll grow to maturity. For it’s up to us to drink the Living Water of scripture and to stand in the Sonlight and to seek fertile soil of a good, Bible-teaching congregation and to be refreshed by the divine wind of God known as the Holy Spirit.
Others can’t grow for us. It’s a choice we make to do the things that produce growth.
We determine if we’ll be encouragers. We all have the flaw of being ego-centric, meaning we naturally think of ourselves first. WE want people to encourage us and maybe we’ll throw a tidbit or two of encouragement their way. But this isn’t God’s way.
Others first. That’s God’s way. Let’s make sure it’s our way, too. Let’s look for ways to encourage others in all sorts of ways at all sorts of times.
And the fourth thing we determine is to get along with others. Paul wouldn’t have told us to do this if it happens naturally. It doesn’t. At least not with everybody. You know it and I know it.
Some people are just difficult. At least toward us. We sometimes are clueless as to why and the truth is that others sometimes really test our faith because of their attitudes and actions toward us. But that’s no excuse for not living in harmony and peace.
When we’re tempted to take somebody to the woodshed, it’s time to take that name and situation to the prayer room, asking to see what changes need to happen in us.
There’s no other way to have the harmony and peace that God wants among all in His family.
I want to be part of a joy-filled congregation. I want to be part of a spiritually growing congregation. I want to be part of an encouragement-focused congregation. And I want to be part of a harmonious congregation.
The best thing that I can do to have such a church family is to practice these things myself.
As I do, others will see the value of doing so themselves.
And our Abba Father in heaven will find joy in seeing His kids experience what He so desires for them.
As always, I love you
Read Full Post »