Resurrection Reminder

Journal Entry // July 30, 2022

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore… because of our victory through Christ and the hoped for surety of the resurrection of Christ and those he has chosen, Paul gives us this encouragement to stand firm through all the days of life. We are not striving toward some lofty goal that may never be realized. No, the goal has already been secured and the resurrection of Christ is our perpetual sign of victory achieved. With our victory secured, we can focus our full attention on the journey toward Christ in heaven. Steadfast, immovable, always abounding – these are the pictures of a life with focused intentionality on walking faithfully and working hard for the glory of Christ. Every moment we experience is yet another opportunity to experience God’s good pleasure. Adversity, trials, struggles, persecution, and suffering are all the opportunities to live out the fruit of this verse. Our character is proven in these difficult moments. Our humility is strengthened in these trials. We better understand our dependence upon the Lord when he strips everything else away and proves to us that Jesus is all we ever really need. So take these moments and be steadfast. Don’t just bear with the difficulty and suffer through it. No, these are the times to draw close to Jesus and experience peace and joy on a spiritual level, deep within our heart and soul.

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Peace in Confusion

Journal Entry // July 28, 2022

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 14:33a

I have been thinking a lot about my present situation and feeling the pressure of being overwhelmed with the amount of high level of uncertainty and confusion. I know that in my prayers I have often cried out that I am confused. That my mind is unable to handle all of the different pressure points that are pushing in on me consistently. Confusion in my mind has been leading me to despair and to a lack of hope. This confusion is always pushing me to lose faith in the goodness of God. Yet, God is not bringing about confusion. God is bringing about peace. Where there is confusion in my mind, there is only the sin of pride. The Father offers me peace in this time of confusion. He is the Lord of peace. He is sovereign. He is working in my life to conform me to the image of Christ. His goal and agenda is not secret nor is it hidden for all things are from him and through him and to him.

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Dim Mirrors

Journal Entry // July 27, 2022

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 13:12

As I look out upon this world and see all of the challenges and difficulties that are present, I am tempted to groan in frustration or sigh in exasperation as I question the holy righteous plan of God. We are all deceived to believe that what we see here on this earth is all there is and that this present reality is the measure against the standard of good. We forget that we are looking into a mirror dimly. Paul did not have in mind a modern highly reflective and accurate mirror, but more likely a mirror made of polished metal. I want to take this dim reflection that I see and make it the accurate truth. The problem is that we now only know in part. We see things dimly. We misinterpret the workings of God as we view them from our self-centered humanistic standpoint.

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Be an Imitator

Journal Entry // July 25, 2022

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 11:1

I always find it challenging when I read this statement from Paul to the Corinthian church. Initially, I tend to start out thinking that I am unable to make this statement to anyone at the moment. I don’t really want anyone to imitate me, because I myself am not truly imitating Christ. I feel and see the huge disparity between the life of Christ and my own life. I see my sin looming so large and prevalent in my heart. I know the fear that has a tight grip on me. I understand my failure to truly love Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I see all this and I don’t want to have anyone imitate me. Yet Paul could tell this church to follow his example and life. Surely Paul was sinful and was afraid. Surely he had moments of doubt and worry. So how could he make this statement? Our imitation of Paul is in a life full of repentance and humility. A life of following after Christ. Not a perfect sinless life of complete obedience, but a life understanding our weakness and dependence upon Jesus for everything. A life filled with the grace and mercy of God.

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Sinning Sinners

Journal Notes // July 20, 2022

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 6:11

And such were some of you… We all need this reminder at times in our lives. A reminder that the blessing of God upon our lives does not mean that we are superior to anyone else. We can all get so caught up in the chaos of this world and the absolute anarchy against God that we see in those who hate the name of Jesus. We see a world that is working every angle to rebel against the commandments of God. It’s easy to see this and get angry. We want to be angry at sinners for being just that, sinners. Our self-righteousness wells up inside of us and we look down at the lost and get angry at them. We want to argue about politics and sports and patriotism and any other thing we deem important. We have little patience for the lost and rebellious because we have forgotten all that our Savior has done for us. We have forgotten that we too were once just like them. That we too were once enemies of Christ doing everything we could to rebel and break free from the righteous law of God.

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Foolish and Weak

Journal Entry // July 18, 2022

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; (ESV)

1 Corinthians 1:27

As I am reflecting on this passage in Romans, I keep coming back to this verse and the implications it has on my thoughts about my goals and what I think I deserve in this life. The very reason God has chosen me is that I am foolish and weak in the eyes of the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean I am actually foolish or actually weak, but in the eyes of the world around me that is exactly what I am. My wisdom that comes from the Lord is as foolishness to this world. The humility and dependence that Jesus is teaching me is seen as nothing but weakness to the world. God chose to instill within me these qualities that are scoffed at by the world. He instills these qualities to shame those who claim to be wise and strong in the world… for the glory of God alone.

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