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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Are You in This for the Long Haul?

As Christians, we have been given a bold mission through the New Testament that requires perseverance! We are asked not to lose heart, not to give up, to stay the course on the bold mission and, in return, reap a huge spiritual blessing.


Acts 1:8 tells us, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”  

Power. This power helped the early church to stay the course in the face of daily riots, beatings, imprisonment, even death. They persevered. The opposition became a catalyst for the spread of Christianity. Growth during times of oppression showed that Christianity was not the work of humans, but of God.

If you haven’t noticed, today’s culture is very different from those times of the early church. It’s like our new slogan has become, “When the going gets tough, everyone goes home.” But deep in our hearts, we really are like those early Christians, aren’t we? We’re seeking a movement—something bold and brass. Something that stands for something, despite the opposition. Someone that will stand up for a belief, despite what others say. No wishy-washy fake stuff. 

Which of you wouldn’t be attracted to that type of movement? But the reality is that we can’t do it on our own. We’ll mess it up. We need to turn to the Holy Spirit to give us the strength, courage and insight to accomplish the work of God and stay the course.

We are a Holy Spirit-filled people who need to grab hold of the bold mission set before us…and persevere. A lot of us won’t end up in jail, or bloodied and bruised from battle. What we battle is our own pride, fear, apathy, worry, and doubt. It’s time to get in the game…and keep on playing.
 
Paul understood that, as humans, it is so difficult to continue to do right and receive no word of thanks or tangible results. That’s why he wrote this encouraging verse in Galatians 6:9 to the churches in Southern Galatia: 

Galatians 6:9 (New Living Translation)
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.


One thing about which we can be sure is that, when God starts a project, He completes it. Do you ever get frustrated at times, thinking that you are not making progress with your faith journey, or wondering, “What’s the point?”

Paul was such an encourager to the churches in the New Testament. His words of encouragement apply (or perhaps, especially!) today. 

Philippians 1:6 (New Living Translation)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.


Hang in there. Persevere. It’s your calling; it’s your holy mission. YOU CAN DO IT!



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Sandra D. Bricker is a best-selling and award-winning author of laugh-out-loud romantic comedy for the Christian market. Her most recent book, Always the Designer Never the Bride is the third of a series of four novels in the Another Emma Rae Creation series from Abingdon Press Fiction. Check out her BLOG and sign up to receive her weekly posts by e-mail.  

Sandie leads a team of writers in creating the Living It Out daily Bible study for CedarCreek Church. Today's devotion is based on the Living It Out study on PERSEVERANCE. If you enjoyed it, feel free to check out the daily studies by e-mail or audio podcast by clicking HERE.

2 comments:

Elaine Stock said...

With my mind wrapped in a brain fog due to a nasty cold this week--and unable to creatively write--I so needed to hear this encouragement. Thanks!

Nicole said...

Amen and Amen. We will praise and serve the Lord.