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Jesus is the only way

Bible passages

Are you ashamed of the Gospel? – Romans 1:16 – from my journal.

 

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

 

Are we ashamed of the gospel? Consider the following points:

 

  • Do you actively talk about the gospel?
  • Do you avoid conversations about the bible, Jesus and religion?
  • Do you let other people’s thoughts dominate a conversation?
  • Do you feel it is important for you to talk to others about Jesus?
  • Have you ever started a conversation about Jesus
  • What are your thoughts on Jesus?
  • Do you wear a Christian T-shirt in public?
  • Do you challenge people who have evil on their tongue, or do you passively let their comments go by unchallenged?
  • When confronted with evil talk, do you clearly state: I don’t believe that?

 

The gospel is the power of God. A big statement. The gospel is God’s power in today’s world. In today’s world we are tempted by all sorts of powers like; shopping malls, pamphlets that are delivered to our homes, TV advertisements, TV shows, books, Internet, education, money, status, even the church. We have to ask ourselves; do we recognize the power of God in the gospel? Do we act as if we recognize the power of God in the gospel?

 

The power of God is our salvation as long as we believe! How do we view salvation? Is it something we don’t tend to think about? Is it something that is too far in the future or do you view it as: it won’t happen in my lifetime. Salvation is a choice we have to make today. It is the most important choice of our lives. Not something to be put off for a rainy day. But a choice for today.

 

Have I made this choice? Do I actively believe and act in Jesus? Or have I put this choice off for when I am older. We do not know when we are going to die, so whey are we gambling with salvation, God and the gospel? Now is the only time to make this choice, I have.

 

Do you honestly believe in the gospel of salvation? How are your actions? Joyce Meyer has said: “If you want to call yourself a Christian, then help someone.” Helping people is the fruit of believing in the gospel of salvation. A fruit is an automatic reply to the gospel. Helping others doesn’t mean you can buy your way to heaven; helping is a way of life because of your belief in the gospel.

 

So where does salvation come from? Us and our choices or God? It is obviously a God gift, this is why Jesus died on the cross to take away our sin (forgive them in God’s eyes) and give us the gift of salvation.

 

First for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

 

The Jews saw salvation in the law; they focused on the power of the law. The Gentiles did not follow or know of the law, so how were they saved? The gospel promises salvation for everyone who believes in the Gospel of Jesus.

 

It is like saying today it is both for the rich and the poor, for the churched and the unchurched, for the liked and the hated, for the employed and the unemployed, and the list goes on.


 

James 1:2-4

 

Patience

 

In the Amplified bible James 1:2-4 says:

 

“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in, or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be {people} perfectly and fully developed (with no defects), lack in nothing.”

 

In Joyce Meyers life point page 2060 Everyday life Amplified Bible, it says:

 

“James 1:2,3 teaches us that we should rejoice in difficult situations, knowing that through them God tests our faith to bring out patience. I find that trials do eventually produce patience, but first they bring all kinds of junk to the surface such as pride, anger, rebellion, self-pity and complaining. We need to face and deal with these ungodly traits before patience can come forth. The bible talks about purification, sanctification, sacrifice and suffering. These are not popular words; nevertheless, if we are to be Christ like in character, we must sometimes go through difficult circumstances to learn his ways. I struggle with this process for a long time, but I finally realise that God was not going to do things my way. He placed people and situations in my life that caused me to want to quit this whole process, and he did not want an argument from me. He only wanted to hear, “Yes, Lord, your will be done.”

 

Ok, there are dome big words here, so first let me go to the dictionary:

 

Purification – to cleanse or make pure. To make ceremonially clean. Clean, wash, freshen.

 

Sanctification – To consecrate, set apart or observe as holy. Purify or free from sin.

 

Trials – are they joyful. Well…No, basically my initial thoughts say they suck. But this passage is asking me to consider trials that come my way are a time I need to look at with joy. This is a complete turn around from my first thoughts.

The bible says it is a joy because it is a time of proving our faith (relying totally on Jesus) and it gives us endurance (a trait not well liked in today’s society) and patience, a trait I feel seems to avoid me when things don’t quite go my way.

The bible says let it happen (the trial) and let endurance and patience run its course (with a joyful heart) so that we may be fully developed in faith. The bible promises that we will lack in nothing.

 

So now we begin our self-reflection time:

 

  • Do I blow up with trials?
  • Do I remain angry?
  • Am I patient?
  • Am I able to endure trials?
  • Do I think about joy in trials?
  • Do I turn to Jesus in trials?
  • Can I choose to remember this passage for the next time I face a trial?

 

There are a lot of tough questions here, especially the last point. I realise that it is OK to say this in calm times, but when I blow my stack over something, will I actually recall this passage, in the anger, the shock, and the what ifs?

 

This for me personally will require a complete thought change on how I initially react to a trial. Normally my first response would be to quit, get angry and plan revenge. This passage is telling me: No, not that way. Try this way. We will see how this goes in the future. I will make a business card that says: face trials with joy, endurance and patience to keep in my wallet. Hopefully I will remember this card in my next trial.

 

Craig Mansell

Bible verse from the Amplified Bible from Joyce Meyer.

Life verse from the Amplified Bible from Joyce Meyer.

 


 

 

 

 

 

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