But the prize he had in mind was not a fading laurel wreath; it was the reward of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. Imagine being secluded with a handful of handsome men for a few weeks, and your only focus is finding out who you match with the best. It is to remember that we are in a process of gradual conformity to the image of Christ so that we can love and serve others along the way. While her family grieves her passing, their sorrow is tempered by an unflinching hope in the promises and character of God (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). In this way, the hope of our glorious future can be incorporated by faith into our present relationships and circumstances. Faith in the biblical sense is not based on our feelings and opinions or on those of others, but on the authority of divine revelation. Why did he take it? Process (5 Occurrences) Genesis 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. If they had reached their destination without trials, they would feel as if they had done it through their own strength, not God's. . This process of genuine response to what God is doing in our lives is more critical than the visible product. Hope is a powerful biblical motivator because it is related to the promise of long-term gain. You can see this in the first letter of the Apostle John. Everything hinges on what we trust. Notice how Elf is definitely not on this list. We must always trust that God has a plan and He has a reason for allowing something to happen. He makes clear right from the beginning that it is impossible to become a man, as God intended men to be, without first becoming a Christian. We may give lip service to the proposition that God alone knows what is best for us, but in practice we are inclined to follow our own viewpoints, especially when times are tough. As nature teaches us, growth is not uniform—like a vine or a tree, there may be more growth in a single month than in all the rest of the year. It must come out of your heart through your mouth, for the New Testament tells us …that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. I meet many people who want to move into their destiny, not realizing that they must develop into their destiny. Paul learned the practice of deliberately forgetting the past, not in the sense of blotting out his memory, but by refusing to allow the past to control the present. At this point, many people make an unconscious switch to living in the past instead of the future. Thinking he was going to die, he cried out to God to deliver him. Like an athlete in a race, he had a clearly defined goal, and he disciplined himself to attain it. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." External appearances are often deceptive, and this is why God looks at the heart. Since the spiritual life is not a matter of external conformity, it cannot be measured. The Preparation Process Synopsis of Bible Study October 11, 2017 Delivered by Bishop Walker III, DMin. If we applied the same zeal in our walk with the Lord that we use in our sports and hobbies, many of us would be farther along the course. We are fully capable of doing this for decades, but there eventually comes a point where the days ahead are few and the memories behind are abundant. DeVern F. Fromke, The Ultimate Intention and Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne). Gods promises have been proven – In other words, there is nothing we are going through, that we can’t find examples for in the bible, that give us witnesses who can testify how God can handle our situations. In a culture that promotes instant gratification, it can be wearisome for us to wait patiently for God’s timing. To use Teresa of Avila’s metaphor, the soul is an interior castle in which we must invite God to occupy room by room. We can certainly attain an increasing level of spiritual maturity, yet we cannot truly complete the process until changed into God—until our human nature has been totally changed. He created the process to make the promise even better. Since the inner life matures and becomes fruitful by the principle of growth ( 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18 ), time is a significant part of the process. Introduction Proper planning, prevents poor performance. But for the believer in Christ, the ultimate context of meaning and purpose is our participation in the everlasting kingdom of God. The world’s agenda burdens us with a multiplicity of worries and “desires for other things” (Mark 4:19) that can never satisfy the spiritual hunger of the human heart. The Scriptures exhort us to overcome the bondage of the past by living in the light of the future to which we have been called. Faith is pleasing to God because it is the measure of the risk we place in His character and promises. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. These tips to improve your mental wellbeing are for you. 4:4-7), 3. Now that the semester is officially over, we're able to actually sit back and enjoy the holidays for a bit. Judges 11:4 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. Our Lord wants us to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, so that we can run with endurance the race that is set before us as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). Without a clear vision of the results we desire, we will not move in the direction of creating them, whether in business or in acquiring a skill. “What will you have once you are in touch with yourself?” I asked, trying to help him focus on the result he wanted. “Then I can see what holds me back,” he replied. Laundry-list legalism with its inventory of don’ts (the filthy five, the nasty nine, the dirty dozen) and do’s would measure such a person as carnal and disobedient. Spiritual formation is gradual, and we become more substantial and real as we cooperate with the process by years of small choices in favor of God’s purposes. Each of the men and women of faith listed in Hebrews 11 understood that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him and risked the temporal in order to gain the eternal. In other words, God is … Some existentialists counsel us to accept the idea that life is meaningless and to live with courage in spite of the absurdity of existence. His faith had been weak, but its object was worthy. You can really meet the love of your life on a dating app, and I know that because I did almost four years ago. Many of us are tempted to bypass grace and take matters into our own hands as we seek some method, technique, seminar, or experience that will give us the results we want when we want them. All the writers of Scripture aim toward that goal. As he later reflected on this terrifying experience, he observed, “I didn’t pray to the gods of work, money, golf, or family.” It is during times of tribulation and adversity that we clarify the nature of our hope (see Romans 5:3-5). If you are going through divorce, the Bible offers comfort and hope during this difficult season. In his singlemindedness (“one thing I do”), he concentrated on the goal of growing conformity to Christ. When we learn to see our past in light of our future, we see that our past has relevance, but our future reforms our past and determines who we are. Literature abounds with this imagery (e.g., John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress). This biblical hope provides us with stability and direction because it draws us toward the promises of God. Progress in following the Way necessitates an intentional and ongoing commitment to a protracted course of spiritual formation. If we are following Christ, we are headed for home, but there are stages along the way and lessons to be learned. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society2. This is especially true of paradigm, holistic, and process spirituality. God MAKES our path straight. He knows that we can't do this alone and He goes to bat for you. Too many of us allow the present to be dominated by the regrets and the successes of the past. The apostle’s life was compelled by a singleness of purpose that shaped all of his activities. Our task is to place ourselves under the conditions favorable to growth and look to God for our spiritual formation. Personally, I am of the belief that every movie can be a Christmas movie if you try hard enough, so from one movie loving family to another, here are the top ten Christmas movies to watch this season. Sanctification is both an event (we were sanctified when we gave ourselves to Christ; 1 Corinthians 6:11) and a process (we are being sanctified; Romans 12:2; Philippians 2-3; 1 John 2:28). Use an example of your own life, where you had to go through a process and what you experienced in this. By doing this, what seems like defeat will be a set up for victory. Thus, by moving from product to product, we are rarely alive to the realities of the present. Everyone assumes that those around them know how they are feeling and what they are thinking, but that's not always the case. Our text shows us God’s work and God’s workers in process. You don't even have to swing, God has full control. Americans have found themselves anxious about the pandemic, the election, and financial uncertainties. The gospel is not a negative matter of keeping sin at bay, but a positive manner of walking with Christ and of loving and serving people through Him. Many of us want to bypass the process while we seek for our purpose. For my family, that means cozying up with a dangerous amount of cookies and hot cocoa in our living room and turning on the projector to watch nothing but Christmas movies every night. He was staying at the Hilton in Las Vegas when a fire broke out in the hotel. But we don’t want to hurry God; He wants us to go through the process. In our society, we increasingly tend to be human doings rather than human beings. Since the heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects, it is important to understand that biblical faith is not a leap into the dark but a step into the light. Paul lets us in on a discipline that can revolutionize our lives: “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead . Those who know Jesus are by no means immune to the problem of misplaced hope. As the gospels illustrate, knowing and believing in Christ is a dynamic process (consider the disciples in John 1, 2:11, and 16:30-31; the woman at the well in John 4; the man born blind in John 9; and Nicodemus in John 3, 7, and 19). If we fail to accept this uneven developmental process, we will be impatient with God and with ourselves as we wait for the next growth spurt or special infusion of grace. Through The Process, God Will Fulfill His Promises, 2020 Might Have Been The Worst Year Of All-Time—But Somehow, It Was Just What I Needed, I Met My Boyfriend On A Dating App, And I Don't Feel Ashamed At All, 3 Things Everyone Should Be Saying A Little More Often, The Top 10 Christmas Movies To Watch This, And Every, Holiday Season, 8 Ways To Cope With Your Mental Health Pandemic, 14 'Grey's Anatomy' Quotes That We Feel In Our 2020 Souls, Tayshia Adams Picked The Right Man, And I Won't Be Taking Any Questions At This Time. An understanding of the power, depth, and perfection of His plan must be acknowledged by you and me. Help from The Scriptures When Going through the Fire Many have slipped into the trap of hoping in Christ for their eternal salvation and hoping in the world for everything else. Knowledge and trust are best displayed in action. Where is this taking place? When he was about halfway across, he heard a great rumbling sound. It's the unexpected that changes our lives forever." All of our … We live today between the cross and the resurrection, but even now Christ’s resurrection life empowers us to live and love in the present. Several months after giving her life to Christ, Emily Meredith was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This makes it possible for us to have an intimate connection between faith and practice, between being and doing, so that what God has already done in our inner life will become increasingly visible through His transforming work in our outer life. With a pandemic, quarantine, and several other events during 2020, having the year finally come to an end feels like a much-needed relief for almost anyone! Since he was unsure of the thickness of the ice, he began to cross gingerly on his hands and knees. Inevitably, God’s timing will seem painfully slow to us, but as we grow in wisdom, we learn to be more patient with the divine process, knowing that He alone knows what we need and when we need it. The Refining Process God has to remove the impurities from our lives that hold us back from going all the way with Him. However, it is through that process that God actually fulfills His promises. The only firm foundation for our hope is the unchanging character of the living God. Unfortunately, this is where we often stop. If we focus our hearts on the eternal, we will enjoy the temporal as well; but if our primary pursuit is the temporal, we will not only lose the eternal, but also the temporal. Few people can live for long without some sense of hope. I'm going to be real with you all. Should Christians today take vows? “So I did,” he wisecracked. It takes time and discipline to “run with endurance the race that is set before us,” but this discipline must be set in a context of a transcendent hope and dependence upon the Spirit of Christ who indwells us and enables us to run in His victory. Holiness relates to where we are now, not where we need to be later. However, in the mist of the vision, the process always seems overwhelming with pain, rejection, loneliness, and even character assassination all these, seems to blur the vision. By contrast, an unbiblical fundamental choice (whether by default or by design) will never satisfy us because it will not address our deepest need as people created to know and enjoy their Creator. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. The gospel decisively deals with the twin problems of guilt over the past and anxiety about the future. Bob Hope once told a story about being in a plane that was struck by lightning. The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. Ittai (It-ay-igh)was not Jewish but rather was a foreign mercenary under the service of King David. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS) Genesis 38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. Each “today” in Christ can be animated by an eschatological spirituality of hope. All of us have said and done things we wish we could undo or redo. This exchange illustrates two things: first, many people don’t know where their process is taking them, and second, it is better to choose what we want to create than to focus on avoiding what we don’t want. Ask Job, who will testify that God will give you double for your trouble. We're taught that God will fulfill His promises to us, and He will, but what we don't expect is the process to get to that promise. Kenneth Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. In The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz distinguishes primary, secondary, and fundamental choices. Songs About Being 17Grey's Anatomy QuotesVine Quotes4 Leaf CloverSelf Respect, 1. But the gospel is more than forgiveness and eternal life: it is also the power to manifest kingdom living in the present. In their helpful book, A Layman’s Guide to Applying the Bible, Walt Henrichsen and Gayle Jackson describe four kinds of people: those with no hope, those who have a misplaced hope, those who have an ill-defined hope, and those who have a proper hope. It is only when we empty our hands of self-reliance, self-righteousness, self-pity, and other self-sins that they will be empty enough to receive the life of Christ in us and display His life to others. He uses different paces and methods with each person. Part of trusting the process is to entrust ourselves to those who are also in the process. The Christlike quality of her life made an indelible impact on hundreds of people, and by the age of 21 she had accomplished the purpose for which she was sent and was ready for her heavenly homecoming. The new year is almost here, which means that we can finally say goodbye to the year 2020! Paul revealed his heart when he wrote to the saints in Philippi of his longing for completeness in his relationship to Christ: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). "The expected is what keeps us steady. But the fact is that we are as incapable of changing ourselves through our own efforts as we are of manipulating God to transform us more quickly. As you will see in the next set of verses, God is calling all … In this life we stumble in many ways (James 3:2) because we are still in process—our sanctification is not yet complete. If he kept reviewing his failures and shortcomings, he would have been paralyzed by a sense of inadequacy and discouragement. Regardless of what we say, it is what we do that will reveal what our hearts truly believe and trust. In Jesus life all things were instigated by The Holy Spirit – that is The Holy Spirits desire today to call us back to purpose – to take us through process and release us into promise – that is why we read these words in Acts 2:17 ’And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall, Your young men shall see visions, Your … When we can embrace that His plan and process, the best possible journey to be on, something happens. He's with you through the entire process, even when you're exhausted and feel as if you've been traveling for so long. As people age, they start to realize how true it is to say things more often but also know when to hold back. Luke raises a lot of questions that he doesn’t seem to answer. It is a faith founded on fact, and there are credible answers to the intellectual barriers that are often erected against Christianity. There are two telling lines in The Iliad of Homer that seem to encapsulate the worldview of Greek mythology: “Such is the way the gods spun life for unfortunate mortals, that we live in unhappiness, but the gods themselves have no sorrows.” We live in unhappiness and death ends all—with such a perspective, it is not surprising that many Greek thinkers sought refuge from absurdity in variations of Stoicism and Epicureanism. The process is part of the vision. Indeed, we will fail and disobey and do many foolish and grievous things throughout the process, but fidelity means that we get up and return to Jesus each time we fall. A fundamental choice is a choice in which you commit yourself to a basic life orientation or a basic state of being. He holds a B.S. The problem with faith is that it goes against the grain of human inclination and culture because it is based on the invisible and uncontrollable. The problem is that even when we are able to attain these ends, we are already thinking of the next one down the road. When we place our trust in Him, we can be sure that He will carry us safely to the other side. The Bible clearly teaches that God loves those who are His children, and He “works all things together for good” for us (Romans 8:28). But you can, through us. Though we cannot change the past, we can change our understanding of the past as we embrace the unconditional love of Christ who blesses us with forgiveness, healing, and restoration. .” A. W. Tozer wrote that “we must face today as children of tomorrow. The key to trusting Him is knowing Him, and the key to knowing Him is the time we spend walking with Him day by day. From a biblical perspective, our fundamental choice should be to know and become like the Lord Jesus, and this in turn should shape our primary and secondary choices in life. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible; hears the inaudible; and knows that which passeth knowledge. Unless we know the truth, the truth cannot set us free. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Sign in to comment to your favorite stories, participate in your community and interact with your friends. When women hope first in their family, their possessions, or their social status to satisfy their longing for security and significance, they too will be disillusioned. This year has truly impacted everyone's mental health in every aspect. “Do something religious!” shrieked a little old lady across the aisle. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst. In this case, the former gives the appearance of disobedience when he is actually obedient to where he is in his journey; the latter gives the appearance of obedience when he is actually disobedient to what he knows. 7:22). “I took up a collection.” People have a tendency to “do something religious” in life-threatening situations. To live in the present is like threading a needle.” During most of our lives, we have a natural tendency to dwell in the future by investing our energies in goals and accomplishments we hope to achieve in the days ahead. In the process you begin to trust Him a little bit more until no one can shake you. The healing or recovery process may not be easy but it sure beats staying in the valley of despair. Spiritual formation is the lifelong process of becoming in our character and actions the new creations we already are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17); it is the working out of what God has already worked in us (Philippians 2:12-13). For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 - Thank you Lord that through every weakness and hard place, your strength is displayed in our lives. The preparation process is rigorous and requires discipline. “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). It has been geographically mapped that the journey through the desert that the Israelites took to reach the promise land should have only taken three days, but it took them forty years. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University4. I remember a new believer who in his enthusiasm for having found Christ sometimes swore when he prayed. It is when we find our refuge in Christ that we lay hold of a hope that is an anchor of the soul, a hope that will not disappoint because it is both sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:18-19; 1 Peter 2:6). The component of knowledge in our faith will be enriched when we renew our minds with God’s truth, and this requires the discipline of regular personal time in the Scriptures. So there is a reciprocal relationship between the faith components of knowledge and action; the better we know Him, the more we want to obey Him, and the more we obey Him, the better we will know Him. This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator. With this mindset, it takes less faith to trust Christ for the afterlife than it does for this life. The first step in our why is to acknowledge our God and His plans. . I am not saying that being alive to the ongoing process implies the elimination of planning and goal setting. Biblical faith is intrinsically bound up with hope because it is grounded in a Person we have not yet seen (see Romans 8:24-25 and 1 Peter 1:7-9). Exodus 14:14. You have to accomplish likewise a level of things to be promoted in the… . It’s a passage of Scripture where I wish that the Lord had seen fit to give us more details than He did. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.’ God doesn’t promise that a life with Him will be perfect because you will still be going through trails however He has promised that He will always protect you and be with you. We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come.”. Process spirituality is concerned with being alive to the present moment and with the step-by-step process of responding to God’s loving initiatives in our lives. Several movies and shows that will make you look forward to a new year. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook5. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim” (1 Corinthians 9:25-26; see Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7-8). Rahab the harlot had little knowledge about the God of Israel, but applied the knowledge she had (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25); the Pharisees knew the Scriptures but rejected God’s purposes. As I heard Darrell Bock put it, the gospel is the offer of God’s ability to make us into the people we were meant to be all along. In His grace, the Lord invites us to cooperate with the formative work of His Holy Spirit in our lives by engaging in the disciplines of faith, repentance, and obedience and by trusting in His ways and in His timing. DAVID – “How to Live Through a Crisis” 3 C. REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY TO OTHERS 1. We just observed that faith and hope are linked together; faith takes the risk of commitment before knowledge, and hope gives us the reason for the risks of faith. Since eternal life is a new and ongoing quality of life in us that will last forever, the journey of spiritual transformation with its pains and joys and its failures and advances is a process of rendering this new creation increasingly visible. Was he right or wrong to take a vow? Seen in this light, the primary point of this earthly existence is preparation for our eternal citizenship in heaven (cf. Primary choices are choices about major results, and secondary choices help you take a step toward your primary result. Being a believer does not make us immune to the process. But I submit that this new convert, who knew little but applied what little he knew, was more pleasing to the heart of God with his ungainly prayers than a person who is eloquent in public prayer but is harboring unconfessed sin. When you see your defeat, give it up to God. We are called to be apprentices of Jesus in kingdom living, and this requires time, development, and patience. If you're having doubts that this year won't be better, all of the upcoming movies coming to Disney+ will likely change your mind. Elsewhere he wrote that “everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. Sounds like a pretty good life- but on this season of ABC's "The Bachelorette," Tayshia Adams had to make some tough decisions that would leave a lasting impression on her life. As humans, we want to rush this. The apostle Paul lived out the truth that “the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). The dynamics of growth are inside-out rather than outside-in. This fundamental choice is compatible with living in the present, the only point at which time intersects eternity. , “ to live with courage in spite of appearances to the promise of long-term gain 2! Anatomy QuotesVine Quotes4 Leaf CloverSelf Respect, 1 see this in the United States the letter. 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