We continue today sharing a GraceLife article written almost 15 years ago at the beginning of the Third Millennium A.D. These were thoughts about the new millennium at the beginning of the new millennium. I’m thinking now about how the first 15 years of the millennium have gone for Christians and the world God called us to reach with the Gospel. This is the second part of that article. If you haven’t read the first part, you may want to do that now.
Also, I’m curious what you think about what this article says about Christians and Christianity, about the Gospel and the people who need to hear it. Please share your comments with us and we’ll include them in the section below the article. Thanks!
We recently looked at what Jesus wanted for Christmas. As New Years’ Day approaches, let’s look at what He wants for the New Year.
It’s the same thing He wanted for Christmas!
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” John 14:21
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10
“… make disciples of all the nations …” Matthew 28:19
“… repent and do the first works …” Revelation 2:5
If you have not seen the movie “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and you plan on seeing it soon, you may not want to read any further.
What I’m going to share may spoil it for you … but then, it may not. It could be just the thing you or someone you love needs to read.
“At 372 miles above Earth, the view is breathtaking, but life is impossible. Whatever you do: don’t let go.”
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
Can we say this about ourselves? Can we “boast” that we have our “testimony” in the world and with our brothers and sisters in Christ in “simplicity and godly sincerity” that are from God? Paul was speaking straight from his heart to the hearts and minds of his friends in Corinth. He was also speaking to you and me and every other believer through the centuries. Paul was an example to Christians of how they should conduct their lives on earth.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” NIV
Pleasing God is the best way to live your life. God is already pleased with us because Christ is “in” us and we are “in” Christ. Now, God wants us to follow Christ’s lead in our lives by obeying Him and fulfilling His desires.
Too simple? There’s got to be more to Christianity than that? Sorry. Spiritual success is no more complicated than doing what the Spirit desires. “…those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
Living the Grace Life comes in two parts:
“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” Romans 1:1-2
What did Paul refer to when he wrote about the “Holy Scriptures?” Paul used the word “Scripture” 15 times in his letters, and Luke used the word in reference to Paul’s ministry four times in the Book of Acts. So, what “scriptures” did they mean?
Paul referred to the Scriptures twice in his letters as “holy” – Romans 1:2 and 2 Timothy 3:15. What does that mean when placed before the word “Scriptures?” Let’s see what God has for us today.
Most Christians I’ve met don’t think they have a lot to give to the work of God’s Kingdom, but the fact is that every Christian has an extremely powerful gift to share with people. It’s their personal story of what God did to bring them from spiritual darkness into the light of His salvation. Nobody else has your story. Some may be similar, but they aren’t your story. Only you have your story and it’s a story people need to hear. In fact, I believe God will use every Christian’s salvation story to speak powerfully to at least one unsaved person about their need for salvation.
In the first part of our study about the Secret of Christmas, we looked at both the History and Prophecy of Christmas. Now we come to the “secret” that only God knew when He sent His Son to earth “in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7)
Being a Christian has so many wonderful blessings attached to it. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us that we are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings began when God chose us in Christ “before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)
Here are some thoughts about the blessing of Christmas I wrote more than 30 years ago.
“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” Romans 1:1
Paul was the senior Apostle to the Gentiles, but not the only one. There are other men identified in Scripture as apostles who were not part of the 12 Apostles to the Jews. Who were they and what did they do? Continue reading