A Few Words on the Sunday School Lesson Aim:
“That You will learn how to look to Jesus for eternal salvation and answers to everyday life.”
This week’s lesson, “The Way, The Truth, and The Life” is based on John 14:1-14. As I sat and meditated on the lesson aim, I realized that it portrays a common error that most Christians experience in their walk. We either
- Look to Christ for answers to everyday problems and neglect the eternal, or
- Look to Christ for eternal salvation and neglect that He can help with our daily problems.
Personally, I am able to truth Christ with certain areas of my life, but other areas present a problem for me. The major areas of our lives can be broken down as such (this is not an exhaustive list):
- basic needs (i.e. food, shelter, clothing)
- financial needs (i.e. money, jobs)
- social/relationship needs (i.e. marriage, friendships, associations)
- spiritual needs (spiritual growth, discernment)
- mental/emotional needs (peace of mind, level of happiness, love & acceptance)
Take a look over this list and ask yourself if you are allowing God free reign in these areas. Consider whether you have exercised childlike faith and trust towards God to handle these areas. If you find that you have not, ask God to show you the obstacle(s) that hinder you from complete trust in Him.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life: all that we need is in Him. He will instruct us how to live our lives in this world as we make preparation for the next. He will help us to walk in the light and to walk in truth. He is able to help us to experience the fullness of life that is possible in Him alone. Is Jesus your way? Is He your truth? Is He your life?
- Safe in His Arms (genesisone.wordpress.com)
- The Woman of Sumaria: Breaking Down the Barrier (shilohtemplecogic.wordpress.com)
- Jesus: “I Am The Way…” (steppingstonestochrist.wordpress.com)
- James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter (tylersheart.wordpress.com)
We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him]. (1 John 5:18)
We are bombarded by sin on every occasion. True, we could lock ourselves away and pretend to be hermits, but I don’t believe that would help us to carry out the Master’s Great Commission (See Matthew 28:18-20). So what do we do?
We have to come to realize that we are free from sin and that we have victory over sin. Most times, however, the battle against sin is not an external battle, but an internal battle. Our biggest enemy is the “inner me.” Yet, we do not have to fight the battle alone. We have One that watches over us and gives us the wisdom and strength to stand against sin in our lives.
When I am faced with temptation, the scripture that often comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 10:13,
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
When temptation comes and it is overbearing, ask God to provide a way of escape. I am a living witness that He will provide the way of escape. Yet, there remains one obstacle that each of us must face:
Will I take the way of escape?
We already have the victory; it is our responsibility to maintain our position and stand our ground.
“For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:2, Amplified)
Have you ever been praying or meditating on God‘s word and, suddenly, an ungodly thought comes to mind? It may be a memory or a feeling or fantasy… but either way, it is in opposition to your current task.
This is the law of sin and death that is at work within us. As long as we live in this earth, sin will never stop pursuing us. As a matter of fact, after we become believers in Christ, sin’s main objective is to take us down. Whether it is to steal our focus, misdirect our affections, or to draw us away — sin is always at work.
Don’t feel bad, though. It’s our flesh that is a problem. The Bible teaches that the Spirit of God and our flesh are at war with one another. They cannot co-exist because they cannot agree. The flesh wants what God hates and the Spirit wants what the flesh hates. Yet, we must understand that we are already free from the bondage of sin and death. Christ has defeated sin, death, and the devil and, through Christ, we have power to maintain our position victory. So, we must choose: serve the Spirit or serve our flesh.
An old Cherokee told his grandson:
“My son, there is battle between two wolves inside us all
One is Evil.
It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.
The other is Good.
It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, & truth.”
The boy thought about it and asked:
“Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quiety replied:
“The one you feed.”
Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). (Ephesians 2:5)
God takes great care in reaching down to the lowest pits of sin to redeem us and make us new creatures in Christ. How often have we taken time to realize who, what, and where we were before the King of Kings rescued us from the clutches of the Prince of Darkness? Personally, I was a hot mess before Christ came into my life. Maybe you, dear reader, did not have such an intimate relationship with the world and sin as I have had, but either way, we were all incomplete, lost, and dead in sin before Christ came into our lives.
Not only does Christ rescue us, further, He invites us into a warm, welcoming fellowship with Himself and the Father. He knows what we were then, who we are now, and what we will become. Yet, He still desires to commune with us as we seek after godliness and righteousness. He raises us up from the clutches of sin and death. Then, He gives us the power to live a victorious life against sin, death, the devil, and the world.
The thing that amazes me is not that we accepted His invitation, but that He desires our company.
- In Christ (tomakechristknown.wordpress.com)
- Are You Walking Responsively? (compassiondave.wordpress.com)
- Embracing our new birthright (ilifejourney.wordpress.com)
I was going through some old papers and I found this old devotion from 2006. It is from “A Week-day Devotional” by Dick Innes of ACTS International.
Forgetting those things which are behind… I press toward the goal” (Phil. 3:13, NIV)
The story is told of two monks who had gone a day’s journey. During the day, the weather had become very nasty. On the way home that evening, they had to cross a flooded fjord where a woman who needed help to get to other side was waiting. Seeing her dilemma one of the monks picked her up and carried her across.
Later that evening, the monk who didn’t help the woman condemned the one who did saying, “You were wrong this afternoon helping that lady. You know that in our order we are to have no dealings with the opposite sex.” To which the other monk replied, “I carried her only across the stream. You are carrying her still.”
When we carry hurts, grudges, resentments, guilt, gried or any unresolved issues from the past and fail to let go of them, we contaminate our present relationships with them. As another said, “Every unshed tear [and unresolved negative emotion] is a prism through which all of life’s hurts are distorted.”
True, we are to forget the past but we can’t until we resolve it. Repressing hurts isn’t forgetting them. All it does is bury them where they will take root, gather interest, and come out in other damaging ways at a later time — either emotionally, relationally, physically, and/or spiritually.
We need to get all of these pains off our chest, express them in creative ways, forgive whoever has hurt us, and then let go of them. Only then can we truly forget those negative things which are behind and get on with our life free of these encumbrances.
Suggested Prayer: “Dear God, help me to resolve any and all unresolved issues from the past and let go of any hurt, anger, grief, fears, and resentment so I won’t take these things out on others, and so I will be free to fully live and fully love. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name. Amen”
- The Root of Bitterness- by Pastor Mike Castanares (mynewbeginningschurch.wordpress.com)
- The wounded, forgiving heart (murmursofmyheart.wordpress.com)
- The Forgetful Servant (sharinhislove.wordpress.com)
Today, May 9, 2012, we honor a very special woman of God: The first lady of Shiloh Temple COGIC, Evangelist Angela Sanders, also known as “Lady A”!
Lady Sanders is a woman who is always willing to give of herself, her time, and her resources. She has a way of making feel like you are the most important person in her world. She is a Proverbs 31 woman. She represents the woman of 1 Peter 3. She is praying woman. She loves from the depths of her heart. She is kind and expressive. And she loves her God.
Anyone who has come to know her knows that she is always joyful and radiant. Even when the cares of life threaten to weigh her down, she is always able to find a “Hallelujah Anyhow” praise. She is a drill-sergeant in the army of the Lord, challenging and training Christian women to be bold, faithful, obedient, courageous women of faith.
Lady Sanders, we honor you and salute you. We thank you for yet holding up the blood-stained banner and giving us a model of what it means to be a sanctified soldier in the army of the Lord.
We love you and pray that your birthday and everyday is blessed!
“And you [a]are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].” (Colossians 2:10, Amplified Version)
Many Christians do not experience the fullness of life that Christ offers. Consider the wonderful benefits that He offers: a sound mind, the ability to love the unlovable, unspeakable joy, the ability to boldly approach the Father for grace, the power to forgive, peace that surpasses all understanding, the power to rebuke the devil, etc. This is only a brief list of what we have available to us through Christ.
In America, we live in a market-driven society that is very materialistic. Commercials, advertisements, and the media are constantly reminding us of what we don’t have. If we fall into the trap of trying to “keep up with the Jones'” we will find ourselves feeling empty inside. We don’t need more clothes, better clothes, more money, bigger houses, newer cars… All we need is Christ. When Christ is the object of our affection, we will experience a level of satisfaction that cannot be compared to anything or anyone.
We can enjoy the fullness of life when we focus all of our attention upon Christ. This is not to say that we will not have problems or that we will not experience lack. That is far from true. Yet, we can have peace and joy in the midst of whatever we go through. We serve an awesome and victorious Savior. He is Lord of all and all things are under His feet. Therefore, we can stand confident and strong, knowing that Christ is more than enough.