2 Peter 1:3-11 - The Message BibleEverything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right...
Mark chapter 4 records the parable of the four soils.
The good soil is only 1/4th of all the soil types. What sets it apart from the other three? It produces. Some good ground will bring a crop of fruit 30 times more than was sown. Some will actually increase 60 times and some will even bring in a hundred-fold return.
Not all good soil produces 100%, yet it is classified as good. Why? Because it is multiplying. The three remaining soil conditions are unfruitful, they bring forth zero, nada, zip.
I purpose to give God 100% of my time, energy and resources. Sometimes that takes increased faith and a hefty dose of courage. Other times it's easy and a joy to do. I've learned not to look on the outward to measure success. Why? Because I don't look on the heart, only God does.
Therefore, I give my ALL each time knowing that it is God who tries my heart as well.
"...realize that you must account to God for everything you do." (Ecc. 11:9b)
"Keep on sowing your...
Again Jesus went into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. The Pharisees were watching Jesus closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him [in the Jewish high court]. He said to the man whose hand was withered, “Get up and come forward!” He asked them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at the hardness and arrogance of their hearts, He told the man, “Hold out your hand.” And he held it out, and his hand was [completely] restored. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians [to plot] against Him, as to how they might [fabricate some legal grounds to] put Him to death.
Jesus withdrew to...
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
1. Thwarting the enemies schemes (1 Corinthians 2:8)
2. Testing our Hearts
3. Bless others in the midst of our trial. (Luke 6:38)
4. Sifting out unbelief and distrust of Him
5. Replacing Murmuring and complaining with hearts of gratitude
6. Building our character (Psalm 17:6)
7. Testing our loyalties
Compassion + Creativity + Commitment = Freedom
Compassion - Walk in THEIR shoes
Creativity - Cultivated on purpose
Commitment - Make you word your bond
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”[b]
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. ...