One of the biggest challenges in life is to stay focused upon the assignment the Lord has appointed for us. In life there are many adversaries and distractions that can take you off track so that your life misses the mark. This is called “mission drift.” Perhaps most people in this world have drifted from their primary purpose and mission in life.
Pain is unavoidable in this world. The primary kind of pain I am referring to throughout this article is emotional, mental and psychological. Jesus promised us that in the world we will suffer tribulation John 16:33. (Both physical and emotional in this context.) There are many different reasons for pain: some pain is self inflicted, some is caused by unexpected tragedies like an accident, some is caused by the behavior of other people, some from mental and emotional trauma, some, like in the Book of Job are divine tests, and more.
There are some believers who falsely believe that if they have a lot of faith they will not undergo any suffering, severe tests or satanic attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth! Actually, the opposite is true. For example, in the Book of Job chapters 1 and 2, God actually asks Satan if he considered His servant Job. Hence, God brought Job to Satan’s attention, not because Job was in sin, but because Job was the greatest servant of God on the earth at that time (read Job 1:6-12; 2:3-6).
a. The Bible teaches that fire is a metaphor describing three types of purging people can experience:
• The fires of testing
• The fires of evaluation
• The fires of damnation
As a full-time church minister since 1981, I have had the task of observing the lives of thousands of believers. Consequently, I have come to the conclusion that there are believers in the church who say they are Christians, while, at the same time, espousing value systems that are secular. However, these secular believers are slightly different from what we may identity as a “carnal Christian,” whose ways have to do with the overt sins of the flesh and emotions (read 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Of these two types, the secular believer, as with “secular Christianity” (which, by the way, is contradictory and, therefore, a misnomer) is more subtle because they are sugar-coated with spirituality and outward peace but have foundations of secular values.
Ephesians 3:1-13, 20-21:
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
In the movie Braveheart, William Wallace wants nothing to do with fighting for his people until his own wife is put to death. Often it takes something painful to wake us up to the sober realities of how this world functions. If you were dropped into an arena as a gladiator and had to fight, it would be a battle to the death for a chance to live another day.
The Bible teaches us in Exodus 20:5-6 that God promises either generational blessings or curses depending on how we decide to live our lives.
Galatians 3:13 is a key passage that all Christians need to understand in order to bring the blessings of God upon their family line for generations to come.
Jesus said, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out,” because He is always worthy of praise. This is an important truth. A week before the crowd was crying out for Him to be crucified, they were worshipping Him. This shows us how fickle human beings can be regarding worship.
Many men I come across are depressed and have an inordinate desire to be fulfilled in sports by vicariously living their lives through other men they set up as heroes. This is because in sports there are clear winners and losers, thus satisfying a man’s desire to conquer through mastering a skill. Also, because they feel purposeless, they need to live their lives through other men or through a team they can identify with, attempting to fill the void in their hearts.
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