|January 9, 2017
Greetings in the Awesome Name of Jesus!
We introduced our new series this past Sunday. This year we want to be Faithful, Fruitful Followers of Jesus Christ! I want to make a brief review of some very simple yet necessary steps we must take as we follow our Lord.
Our first step is to BELIEVE IN CHRIST. This truth is well stated in the familiar John 3:16.
IV John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This commitment is deep. John uses the phrase “believe in” to describe a full surrender of our lives to Jesus. It is much more than just believing about Jesus. It is putting our whole trust in Jesus for this life and the life to come in eternity. It is a bold step that requires the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. The invitation goes out to everyone living in the world—believe and you will receive eternal life. This eternal life is a relationship with God that will never end! And it is a gift given to all who believe in Him.
As we believe in Christ, then we REST IN CHRIST.
NIV Hebrews 4:1-3 Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in My anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet His works have been finished since the creation of the world.
NIV Hebrews 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
Resting in Christ is trusting in Him as our foundation for life. We are secure in our faith in Jesus and He gives us rest! This rest does not mean we are lazy or inactive. The security we find in Him propels us to serve the Lord with gladness and love.
As we rest in Christ, then we WALK IN CHRIST.
NIV Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
The phrase to “live your lives” is literally the verb to walk. It is an ongoing, never-ending walk. One step at a time we live in Christ. These steps are all taken by faith. Each step taken in obedience to Christ brings Him honor and brings us blessings! The description of this walk is well illustrated in verse seven. We sink our roots deep in our relationship with Jesus. We built one brick at a time on the foundation, who is Jesus. We are strengthened with each step of faith. And all along the journey we are thankful!
Jesus well illustrated His expectations for all who follow Him in these words:
NIV John 10:27 My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
Let us pray today for wisdom in following Jesus. Let us follow Him as Enoch did, one step at a time. If we keep walking by faith, we will enter heaven rejoicing at the great things He has done! I love the words the blind poet Fanny Crosby used to describe this walk of faith.
To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life gate that all may go in.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!
Be encouraged today as you walk in HIM! What is the next step He is calling you to take? Do not be afraid to follow Him. He is a faithful leader and Shepherd of His sheep!
Please do not forget that this Sunday, January 15, we will be honoring Diana Philips, as she retires, for her fifteen-plus years of faithful service to Jesus at FCC. Bring your cards and gifts to celebrate. Let me also remind you that we will gather for our monthly Concert of Prayer this Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. It is time to pray!