Abide – Good Morning
Steadfast Under Trial
In 2 Timothy 4:7 NLT says, “7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”
Paul’s three phrases, in the perfect tense, convey finality. Paul knew this was the end. He had called Timothy to “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12); his own fight was over. The fight had been worthwhile, and he had fought well.
Paul’s race was finished, or at least the end was clearly in sight. It is important to note that Paul made no claim to having won the race; he was content with having finished it. Marathon runners know the exhilaration of finishing the grueling miles of that race – they are thankful just to cross the finish line. Completion is a significant accomplishment, revealing incredible endurance and determination.
I can relate to Marathon runners because I was one of them. I run Los Angeles Marathon 3 times. Yes, I thank God just to cross the finish line where my families, relatives and friends where they ‘re still waiting for me.
I have remained faithful means Paul had guarded and preserved the Gospel message. Paul had called Timothy to “guard what God has entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20). Paul had remained faithful to the message that had been entrusted to him; this also had been entrusted to Timothy. Paul had never wavered in his faith and trusted that soon he would experience all the promises on which he had based his life and ministry.
In James 1:12 NLT says, “12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
The Bible deepens the meaning of how God blesses the people to include a deep joy that comes from receiving God’s favor. As athletes persevere in training in order to improve their abilities and endurance for competition, so Christians persevere in spiritual training as they patiently endure testing that will bring maturity and completeness. Today’s trials will seem like training when we face tomorrow’s challenges. The way to get into God’s winner’s circle is to love Him and stay faithful even under pressure.
There is a finish line. There are successes along the way – spiritual progress has its mile markers. But the trials of this life are contained in this life. Someday the test will be over. The first chapter of James teaches us that God’s long-term goal for us is maturity and completeness, but His eternal goal for us is the crown of life, a rich expression of hope.
The believer who patiently endures by trusting God will have a life that, though not full of glory and honor, is still truly abundant, joyful, and victorious. Standing the tests of life gives believers even now a taste of eternity. Looking forward to that wonderful reward, and to the one who will present it to us, can be a source of strength and encouragement in times of trial (see also 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 4:7-8). Born-Again Christians can consider themselves truly blessed, no matter what their outward circumstances, because they have been promised the crown of life. Amen!
Abide – Good Night
Dwell in the Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ
In Colossians 3:15-17 NLT says, “15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body, you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Putting on all the virtues, with love binding them together (Colossians 3:14), would lead to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers. The Colossian Christians should let the peace that comes from our Lord Jesus Christ rule in their hearts. To live in peace would not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion would be eliminated, but it would require that they work together despite their differences. This kind of tranquility and cooperation can’t come from mere human effort. It requires God’s help to arbitrate and enable people to get along.
The word rule comes from the language of athletics: Paul wanted the believers to let our Lord Jesus Christ’s peace be umpire or referee in their hearts. Peace would arbitrate, decide any argument, and thereby restrain any of the passions of the old nature that might threaten. Peace would settle any friction and strife so the believers could remain strong and unified.
When believers have an overriding attitude of thankfulness and when they have constant gratitude in their hearts for all that God has done for them in giving salvation and making them part of our Lord Jesus Christ’s body, then other virtues to which Paul called them would be much easier to live out. Being thankful would also make other relationships easier, as Paul explained in the following verses (Colossians 3:18–4:6). Amen!
The Gospel – The Good News
In John 3:16-17 NLT says, “16 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”
The message of The Good News – The Gospel comes to a focus in these verses. God’s love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. Here God sets the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships – when we love someone dearly, we are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of His Son, the highest price He could pay. Our Lord Jesus Christ accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that He had bought for us. When we share the Good News with others, our love must be like our Lord Jesus Christ’s – willingly giving up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God’s unconditional love.
In John 14:6-7 NLT says, “6 Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”
This is one of the most basic and important passages in Scripture. How can we know the way to God? Only through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way because He is both God and man. By uniting our lives with His, we are united with God. Trust our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit to take you to our Father God, and all the benefits of being God’s child will be yours.
Home Fellowship Churches Services
We are glad to invite you all to join us in our Zoom Services; Leadership & Discipleship at 5 pm every 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month, and Sunday Service at 7 pm and Bible Study on Wednesday at 6 pm, and Praise & Worship/Karaoke on Friday at 7 pm Central Time (CT). Karaoke location TBA. Our neighborhood and home church is at https://bridge.church.
To Join our Zoom Meetings, just click the link below:
Meeting ID: 735 486 3381
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please don’t hesitate to send them to:
Podcast Messages & Bible Studies Topic: Fruit of the Holy Spirit, God’s Promises for All Our Every Needs, Books of Leviticus, the Gospel Books (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), Revelation and Romans, Pastor/Chaplain Elias’ books – “From the Words and Thoughts to the Swords and Battlegrounds”, and “From the Battlegrounds and Wars to the Overcoming and Victories” portions (to be published soon).
Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples,
Pastor/Chaplain Elias Aguilar Busuego Jr PhD DTM
Founding Pastor – Home Fellowship Churches – https://homefellowshipchurches.org
Chaplain – American Legion (AL) District 10 – Texas, AL Post 302 Hutto, TX, formerly at AL Post 447 Round Rock, TX
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