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Whatever Brings Him Glory

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When Life Hurts

Lessons from Habakkuk

You Are Not Alone

We Can Go To God

Understand or Trust?

God Does Not Let Us Down

 

What if you were to realize at the end of your life that atheism was true and there is no God?

“Holiness – silence – and sacrifice are beautiful in themselves so that even without the promise of reward I still will have used my life well.”

It was a good and noble life anyway

We are of all people to be pitied!  -Apostle Paul                                                                                                              What is Paul talking about?  Why would he say this?

Does life go better with Christ?     Depends on who you ask!

All of life – if it is lived earnestly by faith in the pursuit of God’s glory and the salvation of others will involve suffering.  It is the price of living when we walk in obedience to the call of God.

NFL Quarterback: “I feel good about the game again and am proud of our eight and eight record because I am able to go out every Sunday and give it my best.”

Does life go better with Christ?                                                                                                                                America/Western Europe                                                                                                                                                3rd World – Anti Christian nations

Yes.  Fruit of Spirit                                                                                                                                                                                          psychological, relational

Paul:

Ø  Imprisoned over and over

Ø  Beaten times without number

Ø  5 times/ 39 lashes

Ø  3 times with rods

Ø  Stoned and left for dead

Ø  Shipwrecked

Ø  Exposed to the cold

Ø  Hungry and thirsty

 

Satan’s Design: to destroy faith.  He threatens our faith in the goodness of God and tempts us to leave the path of obedience.

God’s Design:  To purify our faith, and to use us.

1 Thess 3:4-5;    2 Cor 12:8ff

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.

-Weans us from self reliance.

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

                -The spotlight will be on his grace.  Magnify Christ.  A superior satisfaction.

What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.  When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

                -Your reward is great

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.

                -See others saved.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

                -Hope.  More natural to praise in heaven.  My last volitional act.

Moses chose rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin . . . .for he was looking to the reward .

                -What are we looking for? Living for?

                                -comfort?  Health? 401k? pleasing everybody?

Related story:

Jason thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it.  Was he ever in for a big surprise.  Based on the best-selling book “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: “What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?”  Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy grandfather, Howard “Red” Stevens.  He hated him.  No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash.  So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole “reading of the will” thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his grandfather’s money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed.  But what Red left him was anything but simple.  Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life.  Twelve tasks, which Red calls “gifts,” each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the accumulation of which would change him forever.

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