"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18)
We are to grow in holiness, which will find expression in four ways.
Holiness is to be like Christ (Christ likeness).
Holiness is a gradual process.We are a work in progress.Maturity comes with deliberate striving.
The work of attaining holiness belongs to the Holy Spirit.We are not born holy, but acquire the potential for holiness when we are born again, and the Holy Spirit begins to reside in us.
We are to remove the veil from our faces and let His holiness be shown.That is our part, to reflect His glory.Since the Bible reflects the glory of God, it is our responsibility to discover that glory through careful and deliberate study of His Holy Book.
So, dear friends, I urge you to move forward in your walk with Christ by confessing sin, seeking Christian companions, making good use of your Sundays, and carefully reading God's word.
"When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men."(Proverbs 4:12-14 - NIV)
in·struc·tion (ĭn-strŭk'shən) n.
The act, practice, or profession of instructing.
An imparted or acquired item of knowledge; a lesson.
One of the world’s richest women, Oprah Winfrey, recently embarked on a marvelous journey.She decided to put her money where her mouth is by investing millions of dollars into a state-of-the art leadership academy in Henley-on-Klip in Meyerton, South Africa.
If you watched the special on ABC recently, you witnessed an extraordinary group of girls who aspired to be something more than their circumstances would predict.Despite deplorable living conditions, mayhem in their villages, the possibility of being raped on the way to their schools, loss of family members through AIDS or murder, they not only have survived, but flourished and managed to keep their grades up.
After a series of interviews, a litany of tests and review of transcripts, the academy accepted and will educate 450 girls in grades 7 through 12.It’s a rigorous program with strict rules, but these students know that education is the key to their future.Or, as its founder and benefactor says…
"Education is the way to move mountains, to build bridges, to change the world. Education is the path to the future. I believe that education is indeed freedom. With God's help, these girls will be the future leaders on the path to peace in South Africa and the world." — Oprah
In this part of the world, these girls “get it.”Unfortunately, a number of our youth in the U.S. don’t.Try as we might… with billions of dollars from the federal and state government and foundations alike pumped into our school systems, we struggle to impart that wisdom.Some of our youth want instant gratification, requiring little effort.They and their families are reluctant to have a longer school day or longer school year which may be required to be competitive in the world in which we live.We may need to retool our precepts.
As I watched one of those girls in the story leave her home around 4 a.m. to catch a bus to her current school some 2 hours away, I couldn’t help but notice how much she appreciated an opportunity to learn.She was going to make herself available through whatever means necessary.
The girls want to make themselves, their families and their country proud.Oprah’s gift will continue this ideal and will live on long after these first students graduate.
Our Father gives us a gift that keeps on giving…the gift of abundant life.That is available to us by way of His Son, our Lord and Savior.
Have you availed yourself of His love?Have you made Him proud?Do you realize that having a righteous life requires effort and keeping a solid relationship with Him requires even more?Are you educating yourself in His word?Remember Proverbs 4:13.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, there are no shortcuts, nothing worth having comes easy.You are my Father and I want to make you proud.
While I have fallen short of the mark from time-to-time, it is by Your grace that You continue to give me another chance.I thank You for the gift that keeps on giving…
A quick inventory of lawn applications revealed that I am well-stocked with everything needed for a healthy lawn.One of the products claims to fertilize and control weeds simultaneously."What a great idea," I thought to myself.In one easy task I could provide nourishment and deter ugly weeds from growing in my yard.Then, every excuse I could surmise overwhelmed me and prevented me from doing what was necessary to get the job done.
So, there it sits in my garage, a miracle product to weed and feed the grass, unused, unopened, its benefits shackled because I have other things to do.
Sound familiar?God's Word, the Bible, is available to each of us, for feeding and correction.It is alive with answers to every question we will face in our lifetime.And there it sits, unused, unread, unopened.May our wonderful Savior inspire us to dust it off and open the pages of life so that we may at once be fed and rebuked in our daily activities!Amen and amen.
"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
(1st Peter 4:11 - NIV)
We are told in Hebrews 11:3 that "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible" - All things were made by the Word of God.
Six times in the first chapter of Genesis we read the words "And God said…"Our heavenly Father speaks things into existence; and, my Brothers and Sisters, we are created in His likeness (Genesis 1:27).Our words, spoken with faith, bring about change... (Mark 11:23)
We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us.With those small bits, we can turn the whole animal. Ships may be large and are driven by powerful engines; but, they are steered by very small rudders. Likewise the tongue is a very small part of the body, but it steers our entire lives.
A great forest is set on fire by a small spark. A world of evil, coming from the tongue is also a spark and can set whole course of our lives on fire - the fire of hell itself. (James 3:3-6)
Our words create our reality.Romans 4:17 tells us that God calls what is not as though it is... God speaks things into existence... and we are made in His image.Don't speak what you see; speak what you want to see - Don't speak what you want to speak; speak what God wants you to speak.
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." (James 1:26)
Some may consider these harsh words; but, James is trying to help us understand that we can't be pleasing to the Lord with unbridled tongues.Proverbs 18:21 tells us that "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."What kind of fruit do you want to eat?
There are six things the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16-19) and three of them pertain to the what we speak - a lying tongue, a false witness and a person who stirs up dissension.The bad news is that we will have to give account for every careless word we have spoken (Matt 12:36). The good news is that The Lord, by His wonderful grace, will forgive all of our careless words so that "we may offer the fruit of our lips" (Hosea 14:2) and He will give us "an instructed tongue" so you will know what to speak (Isaiah 50:4).
GospeLines Prayer:Lord, let's not be resounding gongs or clanging cymbals; but, instead, let us speak the truth in love, so we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.Amen and Amen!
“…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”
David McKenna describes it like this:"Jesus neither chooses persons who are carbon copies of His own background nor appoints disciples who are easy to teach and manage.He prefers a team of wild horses to a bunch of worn-out plugs.Three years after He appoints them, they are still tugging at the bit."
Conformity is not cool.Find your niche and follow the Kingdom rules within your personality and temperament.You are absolutely and divinely unique.Celebrate that!
GospeLines Prayer:“Righteous Lord, never allow a desire for individualism to interfere with my yearning to be more and more like You.Allow me to be the person You’ve created, void of any attempt to act like, talk like or be like someone’s image of what they think I should be.Amen and amen