Tag Archives: imitate God

The Church We Strive To Be

The three names “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus” are the Roman forms of the names for Saul of Tarsus (see Acts 13:9), Silas (see Acts 15:22,27,32; 1 Pet. 5:12), and Timothy (see Acts 16:1-3). The Church at Thessaloniki is located in an area that is predominantly Gentile in its culture. When Saul took on the name of “Paul”, he abandoned his Jewish privileges in order to reach out to the Gentiles in the name of Jesus. The name “Paul” in the Greek actually means “a little one”. The Apostle Paul did great things for Jesus because he minimized himself, but maximized serving the Lord. Paul was “little”, not “big” headed. Paul wrote of himself in humility, saying …

1 Corinthians 15:9 … I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Paul the Apostle not only minimized his office as Apostle, but also wrote:

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Though Paul considered himself a “saint” (the Greek ἅγιος hagios, which means “a person set apart for God’s use”), he considered himself to be “less than the least” of all the Saints. On the other hand, when Paul considered his brokenness as a sinner, he wrote:

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Paul did not see himself as someone “special”, but as a terribly broken person. His acceptance of his brokenness made it possible for God to use him in a mighty way. When we humble ourselves, Jesus can do great things for us. As the Apostle addresses the Church at Thessaloniki he says:… Continue reading

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Justification Leads To Sanctification

Salvation can only be achieved – not through our works – but through the finished work of Christ. But once saved by justification, the Christian is to actively participate in his or her SANCTIFICATION. Once saved, we are not what we were. Before we were saved, we belonged to ourselves (or so we thought). Once saved, we belong to God. God is our Father. Jesus Christ purchased us by His Blood. Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for us.

We are not what we were, but are now – by the Blood and Intercession of Christ – SONS OF GOD.

As Jesus prays for His Church, He prays:

I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

Christian, you were GIVEN to Jesus. Christian, you BELONG to God. You are “not your own … you are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23)

Christians are both JUSTIFIED as well as SANCTIFIED. Pastor and Bible Teacher Chuck Swindoll wrote:

“{The Bible’s} message emphasizes the gospel to the lost and grace to the saved. … Just as the lost don’t understand the gospel, the saved rarely understand grace.”… Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source

So now we come to chapter four. Peter is preaching the Gospel in Solomon’s Porch (Acts 3:11). This is the exact same porch where Jesus told the Pharisees and Priests that He was the Christ (John 10:23), and the “Jews took up stones again to stone {Jesus}” (John 10:31). They could not kill Jesus, as it was not yet His time to be crucified. “Jesus escaped out of their hand” (John 10:39). But they tried to kill Him.

It is on this same porch – Solomon’s Porch – that Peter and John are confronted by (guess who?) the same curmudgeons that Jesus had to meet. The lost world despises the true Jesus, but desperately needs to Gospel!

Acts 4:1-2 And as they {Peter and John} spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

As Peter is preaching… Continue reading

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Live Graciously, Not Grudgingly

God does not want His children to carry grudges. He wants us to love Him, and love others.

When you carry a grudge, it doesn’t take long before the grudge is carry YOU. Believers in God are NEVER to harbor grudges. In the Lord’s Prayer – a prayer I say often, and I’m sure you all know, God tells us to pray:

Matthew 6:11-12 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

We who are blessed of God are to forgive. Recently in our country people have pulled down statues and monuments, attempting to get rid of our checkered past. God does not want us to do that. God wants us to forgive. … Continue reading

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Living With Surety (A Wednesday Devotional)

Death comes to all, and none of us truly know when we will have to “put off this my tabernacle”. Sooner or later it must come. To avoid being frightened of that time – for it should not be frightening to the Child of God – Peter says:

2 Peter 1:10 … brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

“Give diligence” or make sure you DO this. Make sure, first of all, that you are CALLED of GOD. Every person Jesus has ever saved, He has called. Jesus said:… Continue reading

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Aspire To Inspire

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk ye in Him

I hate most commercials I see on television. There’s an Aldi’s© commercial that is nauseatingly stupid, and a Smuckers© commercial that should be called schmuck. I like a few of the Progressive© commercials, and the GEICO© commercials, because they are usually humorous. Several years ago a commercial for a SAMSUNG© phone came on that was just beautiful! Listen to these words:

“Nobody ever set their sights on second place. Who aspires to be almost remembered? There’s a reason there are no giant foam fingers that say “We’re number 3″. No one wants to tell an average joke, make an underwhelming entrance, go out with a whimper. No one ever stood in front of a mirror with a hairbrush pretending to be the tambourine player. And there are definitely more kids dressed as Batman, than Robin. We all aspire.”

I’m not sure we all aspire. It’s a good thought… Continue reading

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Nobody’s Perfekt But God

We as believers work together with the indwelling Spirit to become more like Christ. We do this by imitating Christ is prayer, in Biblical study, and in doing good in a relatively bad world. Continue reading

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