SN – 21 May 2022
Last week we were looking into …
… Christian faith (walk) reality check
… from the perspective of a Competency Based Life Assessment
… so as to ensure that we receive the Life Certificate of Completion …with honors
… with the focus being on God’s discipline , and how it is all for my good.
Psalm 118:18-21 (BSB)
– The LORD disciplined me severely , but He has not given me over to death.
– Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter and give thanks to the LORD.
– This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
– I will give You thanks, for You have answered me, and You have become my salvation.
… allowing God and trusting and persevering through His process, to finish His good work in me…
…allowing perseverance ( the testing of my faith ), guided by God’s wisdom, to finish the maturity & graduation process required to acquire the prize for those who love God – Crown of Life … James 1
Hebrews 12:10-11 (BSB)
– Our fathers disciplined us for a short time as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness.
– No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who have been trained by it.
Last weeks link can be found below…
Welcome to today’s Manna For Thought …
Where we briefly look into the aspect of our works and where it fits in, in this dispensation of grace
Be blessed as we continue to seek the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ…
We have looked at testing and trials as well as discipline …
…. as some of the pathways that God uses to direct us to Himself.
Today we look at my/our part in the whole process – our act(ion) of faith
…for faith without actions is dead!…James 2:14-26
… and we can’t please God without faith… Hebrews 11:6
Is it part of our labour to enter into the rest of God??
For salvation is a free gift received by grace through faith and not by works , so that none may boast… Ephesians 2:8-9
… but the action to prove that I indeed have faith is a validation process of my faith
(… as we explored previously)
So there is a striving process to it all…
… a validation of my faith to prove that I indeed have faith
… where I *strive lawfully* … 2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
… to do the will of the Father
… to find and enter through the narrow gate
… (that is through Jesus Christ, the only Way to the Truth of Life…into eternity in the presence of the Father)
… while fighting the good fight, finishing the race and keeping the faith … 2 Timothy 4:7
Running in such a way so as to win a prize… 1 Corinthians 9:24
… for an Imperishable Crown …1 Corinthians 9:25
… the Crown of Righteousness … 2 Timothy 4:8
… the Crown of Life … James 1:12
… so that we are indeed a Crown of Glory in the hand of the LORD, and a Royal Diadem in the hand of thy God….Isaiah 62:3
… as well as a Crown of Rejoicing for the people around us, particularly those who God used to be a blessing into our lives…. 1 Thessalonians 2:19
[ John 4:36 (BLB), Proverbs 11:30 (AMP), Daniel 12:3(AMP) ]
John 4:36 (BLB)
– The one reaping receives a reward and gathers fruit unto eternal life, so that the one sowing and the one reaping may rejoice together.
Proverbs 11:30 (AMP)
– The fruit of the [consistently] righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise captures and wins souls [for God—he gathers them for eternity].
– Those who are [spiritually] wise will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, [will shine] like the stars forever and ever.
Indeed we are told..
Luke 13:23-24 (NKJV)
– Then one said to Him, “ Lord, are there few who are saved? ” And He said to them,
– “ Strive to enter through the narrow gate , for many , I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
Matthew 7:13-14, 21 (NKJV)
– “ Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
– Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life , and there are few who find it.
– “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Luke 6:46 (NKJV)
– “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?
James 1:22 (AMP)
– But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].
Romans 2:13 (AMP)
– For it is not those who merely hear the Law [as it is read aloud] who are just or righteous before God, but it is those who [actually] obey the Law who will be justified [pronounced free of the guilt of sin and declared acceptable to Him].
With all the doing ( striving)
…. one must be careful not to fall from grace
… but ensure that the works done are indeed of (by) faith
… for without faith one cannot please God… Hebrews 11:6
Romans 10 (NLT) gives good insight e.g.
– 1. Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.
– 2. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal.
– 3. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.
– 4. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
– 5. For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.
Galatians 5:4-5 (NIV)
– You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
– For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.
The labour / striving is therefore to enter into the rest of God
Hebrews 4:10-11 (KJV)
– For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
– Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest , lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
– the approved works for the kingdom of God are those of faith
… for anything done without faith is considered sin…Romans 14:23
… while faith that is pleasing to God entails believing in God and in His ability to fulfill His promise (reward) for those who diligently seek Him…Hebrews 11:6
Therefore, *like Noah* ..
…we labor to enter into the rest of God ( the Ark)
… as Noah was striving by faith to please God through His act of faith in building the Ark
… despite circumstances looking to the contrary of what he was told to do and why he was doing it.
Abraham as well, against all hope (possibly struggling in his mind to reconcile what he was told to do…) believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.
Thank You Lord God Almighty …
… For Your Amazing Love, Amazing Mercy, Amazing Grace
… That You bestow into our lives each and every day.
Continue to guide us
… with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the Knowledge of You
… so that we can correctly divide the Word of Truth
… and not perish for lack of Knowledge & Understanding
… or fall from grace
… as we pursue (strive) to be in Your presence, now and into eternity.
It is not by power or might but by Your Spirit Oh Lord
… that we can reach into Your presence
… teach me to labor (strive lawfully) into Your rest
Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV)
– Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.
– Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
For You …
2 Samuel 22:33 (NKJV)
– God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.
Psalm 16 (BSB)
– 1. Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.
– 2. I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.”
– 5. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure.
– 10. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.
– 11. You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
Amen & AMEN!!