Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do Not Grow Weary

I have such amazing girl friends! My friend, Abby, started an email group with a bunch of girls (myself included) and every day, someone writes to remind everyone to do their devotions. Then the rest of the girls write back and affirm or deny the action. Yesterday, she wrote a little note to all of us to check out Hebrews 12: 1-3. I did and verse 3 really stood out to me; verse 4 went along with it:

"3Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."

Do you live with people who don't encourage you? Do you find yourself trapped in the company of those who don't build you up? Do you feel discouraged or worried? Are you sometimes tired with the trials and the temptations that God puts you through? Do you find that you are always working on something: faults, habits, convictions?

Every time you feel this way, think of this: Christ went through so much more. And He went through it so that you could be strong and courageous. You haven't had to shed your blood to live a Christian life. He had to because He's perfect and God's will is perfect.

Another Scripture that I'm planning to put to memory and enter to my letter box is Proverbs 3:11-12:

"11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights."

If you are learning, and God is teaching you, He loves you! Isn't that encouragement enough to make you joyful when you feel weary?

One of my church's former pastors (http://cafebiblia.com/?page_id=2) came to speak at my church this past Sunday. He spoke on redemption, using Ephesians 1. It reminded me of a study he did a few years ago on Philippians. Chapter 2:12 says,

"12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling..."

What does is mean to work out your own salvation and make sure you are really saved? This past Sunday, my pastor said some things that really made me understand this. He asked a question: How do we know we are sealed with redemption? He told us to reflect on our lives: do we enjoy spending time in the word? Do we find ourselves wanting to sing and talk about Christ and His gospel all the time? Do we feel the urge to pray all the time? When we read our Bibles, do we really understand it? Are we convicted when we read His word? Do we see ourselves needing to constantly work on our sinful nature and we find we need to be so dependent upon Him? If the answers are yes to all those questions, you can be sure that you are sealed. And if the answers are yes to all those questions, you may have felt weary or fainthearted. But don't be weary, because these trials and temptations come only to those who have been redeemed!

Lastly, my pastor gave us a list of things to remember:

1. Be amazed that God would care this much for you.
2. Take time to take note of the Spirit's work in you life.
3. Rejoice that your redemption is permanent.
4. Be thankful and hopeful in the face of trials.
5. Don't give up and let down your guard in the face of persistent sin.
6. Long for your full redemption and possession of heaven!

Thank you Pastor Craig, and Abby! :)


Jay said...

Great post, Lydia. I especially like the idea of being amazed at how much God cares for us. As is the case with almost any relationship, Christians can sometimes lose the wonder of how amazing it is that the Master of the Universe would bother with us. We must never allow that wonder to leave us permanently!

Lydia said...

Amen! I continually find myself amazed with God. Unfortunately, I think that I tend to think that God's amazing for each new thing I learn about him, and then I forget about that aspect of his amazing-ness. I have to remember to be continually amazed with each and every aspect.

Note: this is why I love science ;)

Lydia said...

Dr. Wile, have you ever watched Louie Giglio's "Indscribable"? If you haven't, it's really worth the half hour to watch. It's on Youtube. I was very much amazed.