Ephesians 4:17 reads "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind," Ephesians 4:21-24 reads " 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
I used weed-killer on my lawn and let me tell you it killed the weeds! It also left four, 4 foot by 6 inch patches in the yard. Even though here in the South summer is well underway, I decided to over-seed and water the patches to see what might happen. After several days of watering and seeding, I only saw progress in the areas that were already green but no progress on the patches.
I came outside one day to assess the yard's progress. My eyes went straight to the patches still in the yard and I was crestfallen. It took me a minute, but I eventually noticed that all the patches, while still there, were smaller.
Upon further inspection, I noticed that in some areas there was only dry, barren soil, while in other areas the grass had grown and become thick so quickly that it escaped my detection. Grass that sprang up from the newly fertile areas had begun to grow over the barren patches as well as new grass that grew along the edges of the barren patches. I had trained my eyes to look for new grass only in certain areas of the patches. In the places where I saw no new grass, I had assumed there was no progress. I know that the extra watering and seeding will cost me on this month's water bill, but I was encouraged by the growth!
I want to say to the Church that we are planting during a tough season for growth and it is costly to us. I also believe that we are making a difference one barren area at a time. However, some of the seeds that have been planted are now multiplying and doing work we don't see. Hallelujah! Here a little, there a little. Continue to fight the good fight of faith!
by Iris E. Foss
Few questions confuse us more as Christians than what it means to live by faith. When does it mean sitting still and leaving a need completely in the hands of Christ? When does it mean taking prudent initiative to solve a problem or reach a goal?
Many Christians assume that faith usually means the former and not the latter. Robert longs for a new job that would make better use of his gifts, yet he fears he would be pushing God by going out and looking for one. “Shouldn't I assume that if Christ wants me in a different job, he’ll bring it along without any effort on my part?” he asks.
Jane, who wants to be married, wrestles with a similar question. She would like to change jobs or even move to a different city where the prospects of meeting someone compatible are better. Yet she wonders if this would be taking matters too much into her own hands. “Doesn’t faith demand that I simply wait for Christ to bring the right man directly to me?” she asks.
Both Robert and Jane would prefer to be doing something specific toward reaching their goals, and each see clear steps they could take. Yet they fear that their efforts to change things would usurp God’s authority. Surely faith must require that they sit still and wait for him to act.
A Time to Be Passive, a Time to Be Active
Scripture teaches, though, that we are called to exercise two different levels of faith at various times as Christians. At one level, we are to be inactive and wait patiently for the Lord to move. Here faith involves believing that Christ will bring about a solution apart from any effort on our end. It is shown in so many situations in Scripture where people were either told to be still or forced to be still and wait for the Lord to act. Examples include Joseph in prison; the Israelites at the edge of the impassable Jordan River; and Jesus’ disciples just before his ascension when they were instructed, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised.” (Acts 1:4)
Yet Scripture just as frequently affirms the faith involved in taking personal responsibility. We find so many impressive pictures in the Bible of individuals who, without any divine revelation or special prompting, took bold steps to reach a personal goal: Naomi and Ruth moving from Moab to Bethlehem; Nehemiah courageously organizing the Israelites to rebuild Jerusalem; Paul knocking on many doors to find opportunities to preach--in his own words, “making it my ambition to preach the gospel.” (Rom 15:20 RSV)
In reality, there can be just as much faith involved in taking personal initiative as there is in waiting passively for the Lord to provide. While Ruth would have been commended for staying in Moab and waiting for God to heal the heartbreak of her husband’s death, she probably showed greater faith in going to Bethlehem. By moving forward, she placed herself in a vulnerable position where she had to trust the Lord to protect her, to open doors, and to make her venture successful. Interestingly, it was this very move that prepared her for the relationship with Boaz, who became her husband.
It is right, then, to speak of a second level of faith that we are to demonstrate as Christians. At this level, we are active and assertive. We take initiative to find the answer to a need. And by moving forward, we force ourselves to a dependence on the Lord that wouldn’t be possible if we merely sat still.
by Andrew Wells
A soldier of fortune or mercenary is a soldier who will fight for any cause for the promise of financial gain or adventure. If I were waging a battle for a singular cause, a cause greater than myself, it would not be my desire to use mercenaries. The issue is not their skill or abilities. The issue is their intentions, because their cause is themselves. Their loyalty follows their pockets or the fulfillment of a thrill.
A soldier of fortune, however, was first a soldier. Like any soldier, he was trained to fight the nation’s enemies, to take orders from a commanding officer, and to live a life set apart from civilian life and focused on military service. A soldier with a family would have two allegiances. He would owe allegiance to his nation and to his family. In 2 Timothy, the members of the body of Christ are likened to soldiers, told of the nation’s enemies (see Ephesians 6, 1 Peter 5, 1 John 4 and Galatians 5), and given weapons and armor for combat (see James 4, Ephesians 6, Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 10).
However, if we’re not careful, I believe that we can become soldiers of fortune. To avoid using our skills for selfish gain, we must keep the following thoughts before us as frontlets:
Be content with your wages –
A group of soldiers asked John the Baptist, as he was preaching on repentance and baptizing in the Jordan River, “What should we do?” John the Baptist’s reply was that they not extort money, or accuse men falsely and to be content with their pay. John’s instructions were appropriate for the soldiers because as soldiers they had the power to extort and bring false accusations.I also feel John’s instructions were appropriate because soldiers could be driven to extort or bring false accusations due to a discontentment with their wages. Perhaps they feel that the risks of their profession far outweigh the reward, or that there are rules and structures in place that deny them a sense of adventure and thus fulfillment in their work. As soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ, we must be content with our wages.
The principle here is to have contentment as the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 6, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” To have godliness is to have relationship with Christ, while contentment is a detachment or independence from money and possessions. So then having a life in Christ – free from the need of possessions for fulfillment – is great gain! Other forms of “wages” for Christian soldiers to be content with could be:
• their call to ministry
• God-given purpose
• the season of life they are currently in
This is not a call to abandon all aspirations and live in the jungle, but instead to be detached and not let your aspirations consume you and distract you from your enlistment in God’s army. Examine yourself, soldier, to see if your aspirations no longer fit God’s plan for your life.
Remain loyal and obedient; your training comes from God –
2 Peter 1 tells us that God has given us everything required for a godly life. God drew us by His marvelous glory and excellence into the Kingdom, trained us and endowed us with abilities. As we continue in the faith, we must examine ourselves and communicate with God (Him talking to you and you talking to Him). Be honest about your innermost thoughts and allow Him to correct, heal, and illuminate in His timing. Continued connection with God serves as a reminder of why we chose to enlist, which keeps us loyal. Obedience motivated by your growing love relationship with Him, keeps us willing to surrender to God. He cherishes this! Obedience truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Avoid chasing signs and being seduced by pride in your gifts. If we chase signs and emotions hoping to replicate a euphoric moment, we can become fools susceptible to those who would misuse our gifts in the service of their own aims. The signs or experiences then become idols and replace God in significance thereby leading to idolatry, witchcraft and apostasy. If you’re faltering in your faith, remember we are an army – no soldier fights a war alone!
God’s plan is greater than us –
God is saving mankind through reconciliation in Christ. He is preparing a special and beautiful place for us with Him. God is preparing a new body, new earth, and great supper in honor of the grandest wedding ever! He is preparing His chosen for eternity. God’s plan is greater than ours and a cause worth fighting for.
Active service limits entanglements –
The affairs and cares of this life distract us and pull us away from our ministerial purpose. Go about doing well. Serve your brothers in the faith as well as your neighbors. Advance the Gospel message, pray and exercise the gifts of the Spirit. Love everyone with godly love and the richness of your life in Christ will choke out the cares of this world. While God honors our commitment to family, our family affairs can also distract us. Naturally speaking, the military has a responsibility to the soldier and to the soldier’s family. God is greater than any military branch and even better at keeping His commitment to our families. Please consider these quotes from Mark 10:28-31:
Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
And Luke 12:24-32:
24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have neither storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? 26 If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom."
God bless you warriors of Christ!
By Malaika Wells
Protect our hearts from Sci Fi salvation.
That we don't need you to be Superman
an alien from another planet,
but accept that you were God and man.
Or fancy you a cyborg assassin,
engineered deliverer -
But recall that you took stripes and nails
as payment for our freedom.
As we whose eyes have never seen you
contemplate your majesty,
help us not to be confused by
Nor succumb to the need for you to be
some brawny titan -
"My God is better than yours" has already been won.
Help us now to see the Son
in his weakness and in his strength,
and emulate -
So for Love's sake, this bleak existence
by Malaika Wells
"Where in the world did THAT come from?"
I've been reading online (various blogs, FB pages, and websites), noticing how often folks write curse words (no need to list which ones, you know them) and then mention God, or Jesus, in the same text. EX: "What a s_ _ _ _ y week I'm having! I just thank God it's almost over. TGIF, right? LOL! I pray you all are having a better week than I am. :)" [I totally made up the above example!]
This is happening all over the place, but I think it's most problematic when you hear a believer (read: professed, follower of Christ) speak or write profanity.
Let me tell you something about me before I go any further. A few months ago, I was sitting on the side of my bed taking off my socks and talking to my husband. He made a comment, and next thing I knew, I had very nearly let fly the mother of all expletives! I was aghast. I wasn't even angry at the time; the topic of our discussion was pretty benign. My expletive wasn't directed at my husband at all. I remembering clapping a hand over my mouth while my husband, on the other side of the room was shaking his head, smirking, and talking 'bout some, "Uh-huh, girl, you betta watch yourself." And he's right!
'Cause where in the world did that come from? I reflected on what I know about the tongue and the use of profanity as revealed in James 3:2-12 and Ephesians 5:1-5. And following this incident, I had to ask, "Father, what's in me?"
Holy Spirit soon convicted me that I needed to discontinue watching some of the TV programs/movies I'd been watching. (I like suspense, gritty dramas, and comedies - but these are GREAT places to find LOADS of profanity!) And almost everybody is cursing on TV today - even in some commercials. I wasn't guarding my gates, and you know the saying, "garbage in/garbage out."
So I know it's tough to watch what we say, but I think it's worth the effort to censor our communications - spoken and written - so that we 1) show ourselves as doers of the word; 2) don't cause a brother or sister to stumble; and 3) don't (by our behavior) bring a reproach upon the name of the Lord. #christlife #workingitout #truth
So, what's your take on believers using profanity (ie, #cusswords #badwords)?
An historic interim agreement, representing the first even partial accord with Iran reached in 30 years leaves some Christians cold. Some of our brothers and sisters have taken to blogs, social and traditional media to decry the President for making the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini – and other American detainees – a peripheral issue to the other aspects of the democratic work taking place, such as curtailing Iran’s nuclear program (in particular, uranium enrichment). Some consider the White House’s stand on where to place the focus of democratic work an abandonment of unjustly detained Americans, like Pastor Abedini, who is the object of persecution due to his choice to practice Christianity in an Islam-dominant nation.
I cannot imagine all the factors that the leader of our nation must deliberate while working alongside six other nations to stave off war – and simultaneously considering the impact of his decisions domestically. However, the following came to mind:
1. How can we leverage this seldom-seen bipartisanism to truly create effective policy that will pass Congress?
2. Have we and our allies made a disproportionate amount of concessions?
3. Can we and should we engage in another war?
4. How will our actions be perceived by our allies, in particular Israel? Netanyahu called the accord “a historic mistake.”
5. Is this for real? Can the new Iranian leader be relied upon to buck Iran’s historic tendencies to cave to pressure and make a deal? Will he break the deal later?
With that said, I am not offering excuses here. This may be negligence. However, I am less apt to 1) assume the worst about the Administration’s actions (remember there are conservatives in support of this measure also), 2) question the salvation of the President, or 3) presume that the Administration has no endgame in mind that includes those detainees. Further, there are other nations with their own issues at the table here and should be considered when thinking about these negotiations.
The more pressing matter for me is that I have yet to read of any hope for Abedini’s release by any other means in any of the blogs, articles, or posts that I have come across. However, I know God has infinite resources and agents by which He can deliver Pastor Abedini and the other captives. God is not limited by the views and actions of Iran, nor the nations allied with the Administration in its negotiations with Iran. As a believer, what I want is for God’s will to be done and for Him to be glorified. God can choose to be glorified in many ways. For example, he could:
1. Choose to be glorified in Pastor Abedini’s suffering and willingness to stand for Him.
2. Choose to have Pastor Abedini remain in prison to win prisoners to Christ (and, as you’ve probably read, our brother is doing just that).
3. Demonstrate to Iran the resolve of His people and use this incident to end persecution of the Christian minority in Iran. (Remember those three Hebrew boys and a man named Daniel?)
4. Choose to work miracles and wonders through Pastor Saeed in the eyes of the guards and Iranian officials.
5. Choose to release Pastor Abedini by the Administration’s hands at a later date.
6. Choose to release him through negations between Iran and other nations.
7. Choose to be glorified through His people’s collective prayers and activism.
8. Choose to have Iran release Pastor Abedini without prompting – to make it even more evident that God is God alone.
9. Do something that hasn’t even entered into the minds of men!
I look forward to rejoicing with Pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and their children when their husband and father is released. And until God says otherwise, that is where my prayers and faith are set. However, I do not believe that President Obama and his Administration’s decision-making process or agenda are God’s only means of resolving this situation. I plead with you to continue to pray to the Lord and not presume that this current response from the Administration represents the end for Pastor Abedini. I plead with you to put no confidence in the flesh (including our political leaders). It’s back to the prayer closets for us, saints; let us pray for our brother and sister and their children, our President, the Administration, and the leaders of the other nations involved, including Iran.
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? Jeremiah 32:27
by Malaika Wells
"What does your reputation speak of your relationship with God?"
Imagine you are in the market looking for a new home. You know you’re money is funny and your credit won’t get it, but you are looking anyway. Imagine there’s a builder in Atlanta, better than John Wieland, known for his craftsmanship and attention to every detail. His homes are in great demand. You have somehow found your way to one of his developments. You’re in the office in the model, and lo and behold, the builder himself is there to greet and talk with you. You explain to him about your funny money and crazy credit. You tell him about the hooptie you drove there and how you were surprised you even found his subdivision. He listens patiently and then tells you that he will give you the most luxurious model home they build with the furniture, appliances, and decorations included, and on top of that a brand new car. And then he asks you for the keys to your hooptie. You look this master builder in the face and tell him, “You can’t have the car.” I mean if he’s gonna give you all that he might as well let you keep the old car too; it has sentimental value, and maybe you can get a couple dollars for the tires or something…
This is how many of us have approached God’s gift of salvation. Yes, we want it. Wash me clean, we say! Give me your blessings! I want your favor, we cry! Yes, we want it, but we don’t want to give up anything to get it. What do I mean?
In our example, we drove up to a luxurious home in a hooptie, with poor credit and little money. The master builder offered to give us all that we desired and more in exchange for our unreliable and unattractive vehicle. In the same way, we have our Lord Jesus Christ offering the gift (something bestowed voluntarily or without compensation) of salvation; we've been offered redemption – eternal life with God.
Problem is, just as the person in the example didn't want to give up the hooptie, many of us don’t want to give up sin. We eagerly accept Christ’s salvation – the promises and the blessings, and then go forward to continue in sin. Yes, continue!
Oh, no, not me, we think! I don’t lie, steal, or fornicate. But let’s take a look at this thing…
What is sin?
The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God's law. It is also described as disobedience or rebellion against God, as well as independence from God. The original Hebrew (chata') means "to miss the mark" of God's holy standard of righteousness.
Romans 3:23 reads, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” But in verse 22 it says, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.” And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
So yes, we all miss the mark, but everyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ is made right. Places their faith in Jesus Christ…hmm, we’re gonna come back to that…
The bible says in Romans 5:21, “So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then Romans 6:1-2 says, “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”
But remember, we don’t sin...because we don’t lie, steal or fornicate anymore!
In order to understand what sin truly is, we must clear our minds of all preconceived and finite notions about what is good and what is bad. We must clear our minds of what “man” looks upon as sin, and look upon it with the seriousness that God does. From that position, what sins do we continue in?
Unfortunately for us and others, our sins and the consequences of them have full manifestation in our interpersonal relationships. The way we interact with our spouses, our children, leadership in the church and on our jobs, coworkers, our brothers and sisters in Christ, cashiers, debt collectors, everybody becomes subject to the sin working inside us.
If I continue in the sin of unforgiveness, I am more likely to hold grudges and punish those who offend me. If I continue in the lust of the flesh, I may be a glutton or idolater. If I continue in the sin of laziness, I will probably have a poor work ethic. If I continue in the sin of rebelliousness, I forsake the ways of God and follow the way that seems right to me…or my family’s tradition…or my friend’s opinion…or the current popular trend. We profess to be new creatures in Christ, yet bring a reproach upon God’s name with our own ungodly behaviors.
1 John 3:4-10 says, “Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.”
The weight of sin
I remember a time in my life (after regeneration) that I felt so heavy, so hopeless, so ineffective. I could not understand it. I prayed, and it was during that time of talking and listening to God that the Holy Spirit revealed to me what I call the “sin load.”
Imagine a donkey weighted down with cargo, but one side is 50 lbs and the other is 200 lbs. Now imagine that donkey laboring under the weight of its burden. Can you imagine its tilted gait? For the donkey, it’s an issue of leaning to the left or the right – and possibly falling over to one side or the other. For us, it’s an issue of leaning to the Spirit or to the flesh.
It’s the weight of sin that keeps us unbalanced. The Lord showed me how I made excuses for my sin by minimizing its importance or rationalizing its existence in my life. This is no way to live. To live in such a way not only trivializes Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, but it also keeps us always one step away from falling completely out of the faith. And here we are…
Remember when I said we’d come back to the word in Romans?
Romans 3:22 tells us that everyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ is made right.
The Holy Spirit revealed to me that lack of faith in the redeeming work of Christ is what kept me continuing in sin. I was shocked, grieved, and hurt! Lord, I thought, you think I don’t have faith in you? But He replied, “If you did, you couldn't continue in sin.”
How so? If we really believe that Christ is the author and finisher of our faith, if we really believe that He has since given us power over sin, then we know we aren't helpless in the face of temptation. There is no “I couldn't help myself” defense for the believer. We can always put the fork down, put the cup down, put the book down, turn the program off, change the channel, politely end the conversation, hold our tongue, practice abstinence, etc, etc.
Because faith as described in Hebrews 11:1 is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through faith in Christ I gain a confident hope that I can live a life that pleases God; that I can behave myself in such a way that I bring glory to God; that I can love the Lord my God with my entire being, and love my neighbor as myself. Faith in Christ is being assured of his Word even though I can’t yet see all the evidence of it in my own actions. But as we continue in faith, we begin to see our actions change; we see our behavior conform to Christ’s expectations!
The Bible goes on to tell us in Hebrews 11:2 that, “Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.”
What does your reputation speak of your relationship with God?
There is a term that troubled me when I was in the world and troubled me more so when I came to Christ. It pertains specifically to us, ladies. The “mean one.” LOL!
Almost everybody has a tale about a “mean” Sister So-and-So. But such a title defies the character of Christ. Our Lord is not mean. He is full of mercy and loving kindness. God is love! How can someone who has made Christ the head of their life accurately be characterized as the “mean” one?
How would your husband describe you? Your wife? Your children? Your spiritual leaders? Your parents? Your siblings? Your friends? Your boss? Your coworkers? Are you the mean one? The rude one? The contentious one? The ambivalent one? The phony one? The dishonest one? The malicious one? The spiteful one? The vengeful one? The boastful one? Just as the person in our earlier example believed there to be sentimental value in the old hooptie, so too do we often find sentimental value in our continued sin.
Some women like the power and authority that being a “B----” seems to bring. We believe our contentiousness makes us authentic and original. We think our ambivalence makes us exciting. Some “church” folk like what our three-piece suits, big bling watches, long skirts, long hair, or lack of make-up make others believe about our relationship with God. But for a God who is more concerned about the intent of the heart than he is about our outward appearance or the sacrifices we make, our pretense is vanity. And our willingness to cling to our sentimental sin is like the putrid perfume of rotting flesh – anesthetizing our spirit to the life that is Christ.
When we accepted Christ’s salvation, He wanted our past, present and future sins. He took our past sins and washed the slate clean. He took our present sins away at the point of contact. But He also wanted our future sins in that we also received of Him a new nature, and power to prevail over sin.
So let’s endeavor to show ourselves as children of God.
Can we live sinless lives while we are yet in the flesh? Perhaps not, but if we have the Holy Spirit at work within us, we CAN and should live life without presumptuous sin, convenient sin, and consistent sin.
Philippians 3:14 reads, “I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The mark then is not ours, the standard is Christ’s.
Ok, so I am risking alienation by referencing a secular movie that may not appeal to your sensibilities or sense of humor in order to make a point about spiritual warfare. But I am among the millions of people who actually found this movie quite funny. For those of you who don’t know, the name of the movie I’m referencing is Friday, a buddy film that debuted in 1995 and followed the exploits of two friends (Craig and Smokey) in South Central Los Angeles.
There was a scene in this movie that (for me) exemplified what happens when we succumb to Satan’s treachery and relentless pursuit of our failure. He is God’s rival but not God’s equal. Our omnipotent God far surpasses Satan in power and the enemy doesn't have God’s omniscience or His omnipresence. God is eternal while Satan has both a beginning (see Ezekiel 28:13) and an end (see Revelation 20:10). God’s responsibilities are universal while Satan’s are quite specific in scope. Satan’s work is lying, stealing, killing and destroying, while God’s work is reconciliation, redemption, hope, and love.
Now back to that scene from Friday. There was a scene where the neighborhood bully, Deebo, was being visited at his home by Red, a friend of Craig and Smokey. Red came to Deebo concerning the return of his bike which Deebo had “borrowed” for quite some time. Red made the following statements, “Pop’s trippin,’ man. He want me to ask for my bike back; you know I wouldn't trip…It’s like it’s both of ours; it’ll just be down at my house.”
Shortly after this statement, Deebo knocked poor Red out with one big punch. But before knocking him out, he lulled Red into a false sense of security, which made the surprise attack that much more devastating. Red’s father was there to witness this exchange, but wasn't much help as he was just as afraid of Deebo as his son. So all the father could do was collect his son and make a hasty exit – without the “borrowed” bike.
Spiritually, we often set ourselves up to be “Deboo-ed” by Satan and his legion by following the same patterns that Red followed. So let’s learn from Red’s mistakes.
Onward to victory!
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10
We love good seats. Good seats in a theater enhance both the listening and viewing experience. Good seats at a restaurant ensure warm food and a great view. Good seats at a game can give you a special perspective on big plays and the nuances of a moment that is lost when watching on TV. Good seats at a concert can add to the excitement of the listening experience and entitle you to gifts given out by the performers on stage. You might even be identified by someone on the stage and asked to join in!
We love good seats.
Christians, the Bible tells us we have good seats. Ephesians 2 tells us that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places so that we can be on display throughout the ages to come of His great kindness and mercy shown to those of us united in Him.
Just think…being seated with Christ in the realms in which He resides; to be an example of His Kindness and Mercy, shining with heavenly glory. Great seats indeed!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Romans 12:2
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