Archive | July, 2016

Remain True to the Lord

9 Jul

Senseless killings. Political unrest. Election outcomes. Economic upheaval. Serious illnesses or other difficulties of family and friends. Water heater replacements. Waiting on insurance adjusters to say what you’ll get on your wrecked car. … With all of these circumstances and the emotions that go with them swirling inside me, I read these words from Acts 11:23

“Then when he [Barnabas] arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord.”

pathWhat an exhortation – “remain true to the Lord”! But what does that mean? And better yet, how do I do remain true when it looks like all around me is failing, that things will only get worse, that God doesn’t care or isn’t acting to correct it, that there is no hope, or when I’m tempted to get off the path?

To remain means to persevere, to hold fast, abide. The very word carries with it a resolution of mind and heart to carry on, to follow through. It is an intentional decision one makes to stay the course.

Barnabas came alongside the Christians in Antioch to strengthen their faith. He wanted them to continue to acknowledge what God had done for them through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, to continue to surrender their lives to Him, to continue to let the conduct of their lives be changed by the power of His Holy Spirit in them. He wanted them to continue pursuing the object of their faith – God Himself, resting on Him alone. He encouraged these growing Christians to remain true even in the midst of persecution and difficulty.

This idea of remaining is found in other places in the Bible, and each instance indicates how to remain true.

  • Acts 11:23 –I must make an intentional decision to do this with my whole heart.
  • Acts 13:43 –To continue in the grace of God I need to remember that I did nothing to deserve God’s unmerited favor, that He is doing a work in my life, and will empower me to do what He asks.
  • Acts 14:22 – I need to continue in the faith knowing that difficulties will come but are used to make me fit for the kingdom of God.
  • John 8:31 – I must continue in God’s Word, letting it teach me, discipline me, nourish and encourage me.
  • John 15:4-6 – I must abide in Christ. He is my source of life.
  • John 15:9-10 – I must abide in His love for me, confident that nothing can separate me from His love.
  • Colossians 1:23 – I must not move away from the hope of the gospel, but be firmly established and steadfast in the faith.
  • Jude 3 – I must contend for the faith – to fight for it with a sincere passion for its truth and its purity.
  • Jude 20-21 – I must continue to be built up on this “most holy” faith. It’s my foundation.
  • Hebrews 10:23-25 – I must hold fast the confession of my hope. The reason – God is faithful. Again, it’s resting on Him and not me or my circumstances. Staying in close fellowship with other believers will help in this as we encourage each other in love and good works.
  • Hebrews 10:35 – I must not throw away my confidence because of the reward that is mine – Jesus! (vv.36-38)

The world you and I live in is getting very troubling. Circumstances are grim. But God’s Word encourages Christians to remain true to the Lord, to our faith in Him, to our only hope – Jesus. I pray this will be the resolve of our whole hearts until He returns.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”           (Jude 24-25)

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