DON’T GIVE UP!

*One of many key passages I clung to when fighting for my life a dozen years ago or so.

barney wiget

[This is the first of fourteen passages that sustained me in the while in the dark.]
  • James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  • James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
  • James 5:10-11 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion…

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Baby Steps

It’s not only unnecessary; it’s counterproductive when we turn the fireman’s hose of spiritual verbiage on people who just need to sip the Water of Life. Of course, we want to bring people all the way to a radical conversion on the spot, and there’s nothing better when that happens. But when that doesn’t occur, …

Somebody’s Watching

barney wiget

conscience“… even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. ”ROMANS 2:14-16

God coyly installs invitations inside every person in the form of a conscience. If people have “the requirements of the law are written on their hearts,” Someone must have done the writing! Right? It’s not a perfect rule of thumb because it can be skewed or silenced by relentless inattention. But when it’s in good working order, the conscience points directly to the One who installed it.

I have no doubt that in the quiet of her heart Rahab knew that her trade corroded her soul and that Someone had something more for her than this. When she looked inside she saw Someone looking out.


–…

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“If you confess with your mouth JESUS AS LORD…”

Seems more and more important these days…

barney wiget

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“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

This passage, a favorite of many, I propose is one terribly misunderstood and misapplied for the sake of an easy believe-istic approach to salvation. Just believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, say it out loud and boom, heaven’s your new home! It’s a classic case of tearing the passage out of its historical and theological context like a page out of a magazine.

Paul’s first readers were Roman citizens who were law bound to assert tyrannical Caesar as “Lord” and obey his every dictate or die. Their confession of the Lordship of Christ would then have sounded more like:

“I no longer accept or follow any lord…

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