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Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Philippians 3:4-14 contrasts the Law of Moses (especially its austere observances) with God’s grace. It tells us what we charge to do, such as putting old lives abaft us and apperception on our new lives with Christ. Adroitness and a appropriate accord with God are added important than austere acknowledgment of the Law. God generally calls us to accord up something that is important to us so we can abound afterpiece to Him in faith. What we accord up pales in allegory to what we gain-eternal life.

The Jews in Philippi claimed that assertive rites of Judaism were all-important for salvation. Paul acclimated his own accomplishments as a Jew to altercate that these claims were false. His abutment with Christ, like our abutment with Christ, was accessible alone because God gave Christ’s appropriateness to Paul and to us so that it was reckoned by God as His own. Accepting is the assurance on and assurance in Jesus Christ for the all-important affirmation to access God’s kingdom. That affirmation is the appropriateness of Christ, which God gives to every believer.

Those who acquire aplomb in the beef in any fashion-but abnormally humans who are apprenticed by administrative beliefs-are clumsy to rejoice in the Lord. Legalism drains the accepter of the joy of the Lord, and with that joy, the ability for basic adoration and alive account is depleted.

If Paul had bootless to accomplish accepting with God through all his affiliated and becoming virtues, again he articular that no one could ascend up to God on his own merits. In fact, all that Paul had able accepted to be barrier blocks to his accepting by God. This is generally accurate for those who are apprenticed up in legalism.

The abandon to accomplish choices brings responsibility. All of us acquire fabricated poor choices at times, and we acquire had to ache the after-effects of these choices. The acceptable account is that no amount what poor choices we may acquire fabricated in the past, there is consistently accomplishment for a bigger future. God knew that we would accomplish some bad choices, but he loves us so abundant that He beatific Jesus to pay the amount for our sins and to accommodate a way for our accord with him to be restored.

If we wish to become citizens of addition country, we acquire to go through a action of naturalization. There are several requirements, including demography an adjuration of adherence to our new country. We become citizens of Heaven the moment we are saved. There is no analysis or action involved, because Jesus already did aggregate that is necessary. All we acquire to do is affirmation His action in faith. That is not the end of our salvation, but alone the beginning. If we become a aborigine of addition country but do not vote, pay taxes, plan or do annihilation to accomplish the country bigger we are poor citizens indeed. A Christian who does annihilation for the commonwealth of God is a poor aborigine of heaven.

Too abounding of us as Christians acquire not appointed this freedom-bringing truth. We accumulate one bottom in the law area “doing” prevails, acquisitive that our accomplishing will advance to our getting righteous. We overlook that we do not strive to reside in the Spirit to be in the Spirit. It is the reverse. Because we are in the Spirit we reside by the Spirit. Because we acquire accustomed the appropriateness of God, we do accomplishments of righteousness. We do these accomplishments not to get in appropriate accord with God, but because we acquire already been justified by faith.

The Christian activity is a journey. It is a action of advance in which we “lay hold” of the adequateness of that which had been accustomed us. We are Christians; we acquire to now become what we are. We acquire been saved; now we acquire to plan out our conservancy with abhorrence and trembling.

Paul accepted that he had a lot of allowance for growth. And if he did, so do we. Too abounding of us acquire the attitude that we acquire accomplished growing in faith. We should acquire the aforementioned attitude as the abundant cellist Pablo Casals. A adolescent anchorman asked him one day, “You’re 95. The apple considers you to be its greatest cellist; and still, at 95, you convenance six hours a day. Why?” Pablo Casals replied, “Because I anticipate I’m authoritative progress.”

If we acquire developed brackish in our airy lives, we charge to ask “why?” Are our airy lives stunted? Why are we not growing? Why are we balked in our airy progress? What are our barriers to growth? If we are accommodating to acquire that we charge to grow, again analyze the barriers that are befitting a lid on our airy lives, and finally, by God’s grace, accord with those barriers and abolish them, we will activate to columnist on and grow.

Paul uses the agreement “count” and “counted” three times in verses 7-9. In this context, it agency “to appraise or consider.” Paul reminds the Philippians that the accommodation he fabricated 30 years afore autograph the Letter to the Philippians still has a authority on him-he still considers his antecedent assets as liabilities. The appropriateness of Christ is now the alone asset on his antithesis sheet. It afflicted him in a way that his own appropriateness could never do. Aggregate that Paul advised so important afore his conversion-his ancestor and Judaistic zeal-is now debris in allegory to what he possesses in Christ.

The sufferings Paul speaks of are those adventures of the accepter who is absolutely committed to Christ: affliction for the account of righteousness. Affliction generally draws us afterpiece to God in faith. God doesn’t celebrity in affliction or sorrow, but He uses them to advise us about His adulation and faithfulness. If affliction comes our vulnerability increases and we admiration area God is. We apprehend that we charge God, abnormally His acquaintance and His presence, or we will collapse. God consistently has something in apperception if He allows us to face difficulty. In times of difficulty, God is our adherent strength. If affliction strikes, the aboriginal affair we should do is about-face to God. The additional footfall is to action our charge to Him that we will abide focused on Him and not on our circumstances.

Philippians 3:11 is the alone abode in the New Testament to use the anatomy of the Greek chat for “resurrection.” It agency “out from the asleep ones.” Paul is speaking of the moment if he will angle afore the Lord; he does not wish to be empty-handed.

Christians who continued to accomplishment able-bodied will breed three things:

1. The conduct of focus-striving for the individual ambition (the one thing) until its completion, audacious by obstacles or the taunts of the crowd.

2. The conduct of forgetting-refusing to be bedridden or rendered conceited by the past.

3. The conduct of following-intensely advancing the calling of the Christian activity until accomplishment has been won.

Paul was not annoyed to blow on his laurels. He had to move advanced against God’s plan, purpose and prize. To apprehend agency “to lay authority of, cull down.” In abreast terms, it refers to a football amateur who runs anyone down from abaft and tackles him. This is how Christians should accompany righteousness.

We can’t abide on accomplished accomplishments. There is consistently added to apprentice and do if it comes to our activity in Christ. Privileges of bearing and accomplishment beggarly nothing, as Paul begin out. Each of his privileges became a array of accident because they were useless.

Knowing Christ agency if we apologize and acquire Christ as our Saviour, we are affiliated with Christ. He does something which we acquire by faith. It agency alive Christ’s afterlife and awakening as present and alive armament in our lives. Alive Christ agency alive the acquaintance of His suffering. We are aloft to new activity in Christ just like He was aloft up on the cross. We bless the liberating ability of His awakening through acclaim and thanksgiving. Alive Christ agency getting accommodated to His death. Christians acquire to die to sin. We acquire to canyon through afterlife to activity and acquire to crop our lives to a action of absolution the old being die so the new being can be born.

We acquire to never overlook that salvation, which includes awakening from the dead, is a allowance of God and we cartel not assume on all-powerful mercy. What absolutely affairs is the cost of the top calling of God. The amount of a basic accepting is a connected struggle. We were created by God to grow; we were recreated by Christ to abound and become our accomplished selves-the new conception we are in Jesus.

When we about-face to God, we acquire to set goals that accede with God’s plan for our lives, and that will aswell accredit us to acquaintance God in greater depth. How can we set these goals and move advanced with decisiveness? Paul suggests the afterward steps:

1. Believe and meditate on the promises of God.

2. Acquire a arresting admiration to accomplish a absolute goal.

3. Acquire the adventuresomeness to try, even at the accident of failure.

4. Choose determination.

5. Be persistent.

6. Humble ourselves.

7. Let go of the past.

In the Christian life, it can be a accident to alpha with or accumulate the accepting if things are traveling well. Hanging in through acceptable times and boxy times, and to be there for the continued haul, takes a 18-carat charge that is based on a abysmal acceptance that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, and that our lives are in His hands.

What are we afraid to leave abaft for the account of Christ? Is there annihilation befitting us from complete obedience? What is befitting us from base ourselves in attrition and accepting His absolution and the allowance of abiding life? Abysmal down, it ability not be wealth, but we apperceive what our idol is. We apperceive it because we are captivation assimilate it so deeply that it can’t escape our anchor unless we agreeably abandonment it to Christ.

As we reside and focus on Christ, our eyes should consistently be gazing advanced to what God has for us next. It’s abundant to bethink how God formed through us in the past, but it’s added important to apprehend how God wants to plan through us today. If we do, we will accept the acme of appropriateness on that day if we are aggregate afore God’s throne.

The Holidays Are Coming, The Holidays Are Coming!

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

First the British were coming. Then the Russians were coming. Nevertheless, afterwards fail, every year, the holidays are advancing again. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and New Years. All occurring during a five-week period. Year afterwards year afterwards year. There’s shopping, family, traveling, gifts, affairs and eating. And, oh, all the eating. We are active the dream here!

Now all that food, which we will absorb with abandon, does not abound on trees. Well, conceivably some of it does, but all of it needs some absorption afore it miraculously appears on your bowl in an comestible fashion. And area does this absorption occur. You estimated it, your kitchen! (Unless you’re frying a turkey in the backyard like I am this year in my new Costco 20lb turkey fryer).

Now added than ever, it behooves us to yield the time out of our active schedules to adore the anniversary season. We absorb added time in our kitchens than any added allowance in our homes, and this is abnormally accurate this time of year, if the kitchen becomes even added of the focal point of your home.

Throughout these abounding weeks, kitchens are not alone abounding with the absolute ancestors (including Alexa or Siri), they’re aswell chaotic with acceptable (and unwelcome) guests as well; helping, visiting, kibitzing, snooping, etc. With all the time spent in this haven in the average of your home, and all the humans milling around, association accept a addiction to apprehension what doesn’t plan well, in agreement of architecture and function, so it’s no admiration that added humans alpha to anticipate about adjustment during the holidays than any added time of the year.

Unless you’re absolute fortunate, no one is traveling to buy you a new kitchen for Christmas or Hanukkah. It’s just not advised a romantic, anniversary blazon gift, but maybe we should reconsider. What could say “I adulation you” added than a attractive new allowance to adapt commons for the family? Okay, maybe the “preparing meals” takes some of the affair out of it, but plan with me on this.

Wouldn’t it be abundant to accept abundant allowance to adapt next year’s anniversary delicacies afterwards bumping into anybody else? And abundant accumulator amplitude for all your spices, as able-bodied as places to put abroad all the dishes, glasses and apparatus afterwards the shiny, new dishwasher has fabricated them spotless.

If the anniversary draw you to the cessation that a new kitchen should absolutely be a antecedence for the new year, you can get the action started by creating a “wish list” for this allowance to anon be. It should cover aggregate that you would like in your new dream kitchen. Then accomplish addition account of what you absolutely accept to accept in case you charge to trim things, if account or amplitude don’t acquiesce aggregate from the aboriginal list.

Next step: go online to http://www.Houzz.com or http://www.pinterest.com or agnate sites and appearance what added humans are doing. If you see something that interests you, save it to a book or book it out and stick it on your fridge, so that you can appearance it to your kitchen designer. It’s easier and safer to appearance anyone a specific abstraction rather than aggravating to explain it, abrogation beneath adventitious for baloney of what you had in mind. This will ensure that your dream kitchen ends up searching like your dream kitchen and not your designers.

When the anniversary division is over, if anyone admired you abundant to affiance you a new kitchen, or you absitively to accord one to yourself, you’re now accessible to activate the absolute project. Gather up your lists, your pictures, your iPad, and acquisition a artistic artist who understands you and will be able to amalgamate all your account into a stunning, anatomic and affordable new kitchen just for you.