Reaching for it ALL

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Have you found that it’s so easy to give up on challenges and yet so hard to hang on as if your very life depended on it?  And you know, it does.  But challenges cannot be handled well until we know the One who brings all of life together with clarity and meaning.  This insight comes through Jesus’ brand new value system guiding us in every circumstance that comes our way.  The foundation of this system is faith, belief in a power that can never come to an end.  With faith we can see beyond the world’s way of looking at things to discern the eternal values of God’s kingdom.  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure a man discovered in a field.  In his excitement, he sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field- and get the treasure too!”  Matthew 13:44 LB

Have you discovered that we can be deceived by the temporary benefits of wealth, popularity, and achievement and unable to see the long-range benefits of living in God’s kingdom?  For example, isn’t true wealth found in Gods exorbitant grace?  With it we have the ability to cope no matter what happens.  If this is being rich by God’s standard count me in as a faith mogul.  The man in this parable is wise enough to understand that there is a price to be paid for the precious treasure of new life, starting with full forgiveness and living love.

What would you give in exchange for faith?  “But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile- now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone.”  Philippians 3:7 LB  This incomparable treasure cost the man everything.  Where did we get the idea that the greatest treasure would not require the greatest sacrifice?  For every person who turns from this world’s values and seeks God’s kingdom there is a profound increase in the ability to see the real world through the wisdom of God’s Word.  It’s understanding that all we receive by faith we never lose.  Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” John 10:10 LB

The more we live in dependence on Jesus the more life makes sense because someone else carries the worries, fears, and burdens.  “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 KJV  Today the search has ended.  The journey for truth is over when we acknowledge the greatest treasure, none other than Jesus, the One who can give it all.

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The Pursuit of Power

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Faith in Jesus is unbelievably powerful.  Warning!  Believers may experience a multitude of explosions of resurrection life.  This dynamic Christian life continues to inspire and move us toward maturity.  In Matthew 13:33 our faith is compared to yeast.  It starts out small but quickly spreads.  Although yeast might seem to be a minor ingredient, it multiplies until it has affected the entire loaf. Let’s take a look at how faith grows through a relationship with Christ.  It’s truly phenomenal that when we reach out and receive God’s help we are guaranteed to move forward, developing Christian character and the ability to make good choices.

Our greatest support for the challenges we face is the mighty Holy Spirit who is a very determined helper.  Jesus declared, “…I will ask the Father and he will give another Comforter and he will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth.”  John 14:16,17 LB  The Holy Spirit is the presence of God within us, helping us live as God wants.  “…Out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.”  Ephesians 3:16 LB   What a terrific start!  Here are abundant resources that far outshine any talents we may have.

Romans eight asks this compelling question.  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”  Romans 8:35 KJV   This is an unshakeable love that gives us warmth and kindness every moment of our existence.  It is also a love that teaches us righteous standards, leading us to excel in every area.  “…We never give up.  Though our bodies are dying our inner strength in the Lord is growing everyday.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 LB   Yes, faith and love give us real staying power.  Whether we are experiencing fatigue, pain or discouragement we need never despair!  Our very real weaknesses cry out for Christ’s resurrection power which is immediately available through the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Jesus’ extravagant love left us a very special gift.  “I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart.” John 14:27 LB  Despite continual inner struggles such as temptation to compromise, fears or doubts, the peace of God desires to reign in our hearts and offer comfort in place of conflict.  Do we have enough faith?  You bet!  That same trust that brought us to a saving faith in Christ now is waiting to grow and reach every part of our life.  “…I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him.” Ephesians 3:17 LB   All we need is a small amount of faith and confidence in a big God to change us and the world.  Since he will never leave us we are free to enjoy life, relying on him to guide us through our amazing life journey.

Click here to read another blogger’s post about how the love of God can overcome church hurt.