The price of our freedom

We paused yesterday to remember with gratitude and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service for others.

The great virtue of sacrifice for others is exalted to the highest place in the example of Jesus (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:3-5). He loved us and gave himself up for us.

These words spoken by Jesus offer comfort and hope

  • “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17-18).
  • “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25).

Be sure to aid and pray for the comfort of those who were wounded in battles to defend our freedom. Pray also for those who feel most deeply the pain of loss at this time.

Take 3 minutes to be inspired by this great video!

Steve Cornell

 

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Discerning God’s Will

Wisdomforlife

Four Key Passages

Before focusing too much on finding God’s will for specific decisions, I recommend careful reflection on four New Testament passages. 

Carefully investigate what God has to say in these Scriptures: 

1. Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (NASB)

Discovering God’s will begins with the dedication of our lives to God. This dedication must involve two continual actions: Renunciation and Renewal. 

As we continually renounce the norms of behavior typical in godless culture (see Gal. 5:19-20 and Lam. 3:13-16), and renew our minds, our lives will be ordered consistent with…

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The Jury has returned with a verdict…

A Tension in the heart of Christ (and a comfort to those who grieve)“The Jury has returned with a verdict and it finds the defendant, God, …..”

We begin a new series this week at our Church – “Habakkuk – A prophet with a problem.”

It won’t be hard to identify with this man from the past. Look at his opening words,

“How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
 Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’
but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice?
 Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?”
(Habakkuk 1:2-3).

Is God on trial in the book of Habakkuk? It certainly appears this way. Have you ever approached God as if he were a defendant in need of making His case to you?

The deep struggles of this man are not unique in Scripture. It is not unusual for the heroes of the faith to complain to God about evil, violence and injustice.

  • The Psalmist, for example, was so disturbed over the prosperity of wicked people that it sent him into a state of despair where he even thought about giving up on faith in God. (see – Psalm 73).
  • Jeremiah questioned God about his justice, “You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts” (Jeremiah 12:1-2).

The struggles of this prophet are quite familiar to most people.

Questions addressed in the book of Habakkuk

  • Does God hear our prayers?
  • Does God care about the oppressed?
  • Does God intervene in tragic situations?
  • Is it wrong to complain to God?

Habakkuk reveals the intensity of his distress with the words, “How long? … I call for help…cry out to you.”

More posts will come as we move through this new series.

Steve Cornell

Join us – Millersville Bible Church – 8:20 AM and 11:00 AM 1940 New Danville Pike, Lancaster, PA.

Posted in Evil in the world, Habakkuk, Problem of evil, Theodicy, Violence, Wisdom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Stop fighting a fight that’s already been won

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight that’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
Wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
Wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed

I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

Posted in Defeat?, Depression, discouraged, Discouragement, Gospel-centered, Salvation, Security of salvation, Video, Wisdom, worship song | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why is final judgment based on works?

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Every passage of Scripture describing final judgment appeals to good works done in this life as the basis for judgment (e.g. Matthew 7:21-23; 25:31-46;II Corinthians 5:10;Revelation 21:11-15).

This seems to conflict with the repeated teaching that salvation is given as God’s undeserved gift and is “not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5).

So how do we reconcile works based judgment with the fact that, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Final Judgment 

Let’s first be clear about the fact that, “…people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

“It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
 every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then…

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Thorns of grace

Wisdomforlife

What do you do when circumstances don’t offer the thing we so badly want — the ability to be in control?

We try to control our health, our finances, our relationships, and our destinies.

We say, “I can handle this.” “I got this.” “I can do this.”

Sooner or later, however, we’re reminded that we cannot control all of life.

Repeatedly we face the powerlessness and vulnerability of living, suffering and dying in a finite, fragile and fallen world — a world where bad things happen — even to people we consider to be good.

Think about it

“God does not allow us to stay with the idea that we are strong. O, we may have that idea. But the Lord is going to disabuse us of it one way or another and it will be good for us and give glory to Him when he does so.” (J…

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Discontentment can sneak up on you

Answering the "Why?" of lifePeople who are discontent with their lives tend to spread dis-contentment to others. (notice the dis on contentment).

If you spend too much time with discontented people, you might feel pulled toward their negative perspective.

Let’s be honest about it

Discontentment can sneak up on us — especially when maturity of life gives way to a spirit of melancholy. This can lead to a life of dis-incentive and an overall loss of motivation.

Diminished hope easily converts into a deflated spirit of resignation that (if not careful) gradually becomes justified pessimism or even dark cynicism.

Run with positive, uplifting, and encouraging people!

Avoid the infectious poison of dis-contentment. Try to redirect negative people toward God-honoring perspectives on life. If they refuse to see things from a godly perspective be careful not to adjust to their outlook on life.

Run with people who run with God because God calls us to be extravagantly grateful!

  • “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
  • “…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

Moderately grateful people are not pursuing the will of God.

This is the same as a call to a life of extravagant love because, “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Corinthians 13:7). Another translation says, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (NLT).

A call to contentment and gratitude is a call to – “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us…” (Ephesians 5:2).

Be grateful and love extravagantly!

There’s nothing timid or boring about this calling.

Extra thoughts to encourage

  • “…the rhythm of divine renewal beats in the pulse of a purposefully grateful heart” (Ellen Vaughn, Radical Gratitude).
  • “Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder” (G. K. Chesterton).
  • “We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is ‘good,’ because it is good, if ‘bad’ because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country” (C. S. Lewis).

What are you thankful for today?

Steve Cornell

Posted in Calling, Complaceny, Complaining, God's Will, Grace, Gratitude, Love, Meaning in life, Meaning of life, purpose, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving, Walking with God, Will of God, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment