Monthly Archives: October 2015

Thus I Fight

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Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:26-27)

We, as Christians, are all surely in a fight for our faith and for the faith of others. This fight has to do with whether or not we will continue to be witnesses of character and virtue that will be above reproach. Our example matters. Think of the acronyms that Paul uses for this. We are in a “race” and are all running to win the prize.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

There is a crown on the line for each one of us. Whether or not we earn this crown and get to wear it for all of eternity will depend on how we ran the race of life. Did we run the race to just finish, barely squeaking by, or did we run full bore with passion and perseverance in an all-out effort win it? The only way to win the race is to remain temperate and self-controlled in our daily life. We are called not just to preach the Word but to live the Word, for if we preach the Word and not live the very thing we preach we will not find ourselves at the head of the pack when we cross the tape.

You, therefore, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? (Rom. 2:21)

I do not fight as one who “beats the air.” I am not looking to miss the mark. What’s the point of putting on the gloves and fighting if I am not hitting my target? My target must be to practice what I preach. That will truly be the winning move in the race and boxing match of life. Then I am competing according to the rules.

Are these analogies meant to make us feel burdened and weighed down by commandments we can never achieve? No, of course not. We just need to “get in the game” and “put on the gloves” and God’s grace will win the battle. The battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chr. 20:15). He is just looking for your willingness to step into the ring and give it your best. Put on the gloves and never stop training. After all, it truly and surely is “a good fight”!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

What Is God Like?

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He will forgive and give eternal life to those who put their faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 2:36; 3:16-18)

He will judge and reject those who reject His Son, Jesus Christ (John 2:36; 3:18)

He will forgive us only if we forgive others (Matthew 6:15)

He wants everyone to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9)

He takes no delight in the death of anyone (Ezekiel 18:23)

He wants everyone to experience life to the full, the “abundant life” (John 10:10)

He is kind to the unthankful and wicked (Luke 6:35)

He will not allow those that do wrong to go unpunished (Exodus 34:7)

He is a consuming and devouring fire to those who continue to rebel against Him (Heb. 12:29)

He gives second chances (Micah 7:18)

He is slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 86:15)

He hates evil but loves good (Psalm 97:10)

He is holy and righteous in every way so He commands us to be the same way (1 Peter 1:16)

He doesn’t look at our physical characteristics or appearance, he looks at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7)

He will move the heavens to help us (Deuteronomy 33:26)

He wants to be close to us, but requires us to make the first move (James 4:8)

He hears us when we cry (Psalm 34:17)

He cannot lie, He is altogether honest and truthful at all times (Hebrews 6:18)

He has a special place in His heart for widows and orphans (Deuteronomy 10:18)

He does not willingly hurt people or cause them sorrow (Lamentations 3:33)

He is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6)

He cannot be tempted nor does He ever tempt us (James 1:13)

He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle but will provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13)

He gives wisdom to those who ask in faith without any doubting (James 1:5)

He cares about the birds of the air, how much more does He care about you? (Matthew 6:26)

He won’t let even a sparrow fall to the ground without His approval (Matthew 10:29)

He knows you so well that He has numbered all the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)

He wants us to cast all of our cares upon Him so He can lift our burdens (Psalm 68:19; 1 Peter 5:7)

He is close to the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)

He is pleased when you believe He will reward you when you diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)

He will not answer our prayer if we have selfish motives in our heart (James 4:3)

He will answer our prayers speedily but according to His own will which is always best for us (1 John 5:14)