“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) This comes in the middle of the Lord’s prayer . . . in the garden of Gethsemane. The part most of my pastors have focused on is where he prays for unity. I’ve seen plenty of churches’ pastoral staff water down the truth and ignore doctrinal disunity in the name of unity. We seem to think being one means ‘the more the merrier!” Uh, no, it means those who are in your pews being of one mind and in one accord. We can’t have that unless everyone in the local body is functioning together,
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) It is so easy to read this verse and think about all of “those people” who don’t understand the things of God, or rather who call our own doctrinal beliefs, personal convictions, and religious practices silly or flat out wrong. But I believe the Holy Spirit today is redirecting us from “those people” to “us people.” We each have a body. We live in sinful, broken, corrupt flesh, in an
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28) Paul and his ministry partners declared publicly, in speech and in writing, the praises and glory of the name of Jesus Christ, but the word proclaim also can mean to show by giving an outward indication of something. In this day and age, the silent witness of how we live our lives is often as important, if not more, than the words we speak. I pray none of us are afraid to speak the name of Jesus in public, but I pray also that
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) This gem comes to us when God sends Samuel to anoint a son of Jesse to be king instead of Saul and doesn’t tell Samuel right away which one. Samuel sees the good, kingly looks and height of the eldest, and thinks this must be the one God has chosen to be king. We do this today.
“ Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1) This verse refers back to Hebrews 11 and the “hall of faith,” which commends the saints who persevered and fulfilled God’s calling on their lives despite adversity and without seeing any sign of the promise being fulfilled in their lifetimes. Now Hebrews 12 depicts them as spectators to ancient Olympic games, all past winners who ran the race and finished well, who now are in the stands