Thrive: Faith That Endures
My life nutritionally consists of just a couple things.
Water WHEN NECESSARY
This would be a really, really tough deployment for me without coffee and chocolate.
What are some things that have helped keep you going during this deployment?
Bible has a few things to say about ways to keep going in that time between now and returning home.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Refers back to Hebrews 11:35-37
Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—
Do you know that you are running a spiritual race during this deployment?
Probably won’t be persecuted in ways that the writer describes, but deployment is a marathon that has spiritual implications.
As if the writer of Hebrews is saying to you today...
Therefore…Since we are surrounded by the witness of people who have been tortured, mocked, flogged, imprisoned, stoned, been sawn in two...
Since that’s our example, how are YOU going to cast off every weight and sin while running the race of faith during this deployment.
For a long time I really thought I knew what the goal of the Christian life is...
Confronted one day with a question?
What is so compelling to me about Jesus that I would die for my faith?
Simon Sinek…Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.
We have a lot of stressed Christians in the world because they haven’t found anything they love.
If there were love, there would be passion.
Jesus talks about how the heart produces in Luke 6...
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
What does your mouth say about your heart?
Is there passion for Jesus? Or passion for something else?
Generally, all people speak some good and some evil.
Some people are more aligned with good.
Some more aligned with evil.
If you’re looking for a long haul faith, here are a few things for you to consider…]
Firstly, have you received forgiveness in the Name of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit?
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Repent and be baptized
Forgiveness of sins
Gift of the Spirit
That’s where life begins
Secondly, we need to know the marks of life in the Spirit...
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Which of the fruits would lead to passion if you saw God working in your life this deployment?
For me it’s joy, peace, and gentleness
I have trouble with all those things when I feel slighted.
My mind races.
I get scattered.
Defensiveness sometimes gets the better of me
God’s work in me during this deployment has come from…
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
I have passion for joy, love, and peace now
I see the Spirit guiding me to passages and resources that help me take thoughts captive,
Made me realize how defensive I can be, and that I don’t have to be held captive to it any longer.
What’s your spiritual home run?
Figure that out, and there won’t be a hundred deployments that will keep you from being in it for the long haul with God.