Faithfulness; The Choices We Make Today Determine Our Lives Tomorrow

I feel like the subject of faithfulness has come up time and time again lately. This is no small topic or theme though. The choices we make today determine what our lives will look like tomorrow.

“Evidence, evidence, evidence, will be the one thing wanted when the great white throne is set, when the books are opened, when the graves give up their tenants, when the dead are arraigned before the bar of God.” J.C. Ryle—Holiness

How can we be so narrow-minded to think that our decisions affect only ourselves? Today’s actions determine the effect we will have on our lives years from now as well as the effect we have on others’ lives. All of our decisions, actions, faithfulness, faithlessness, generosity, greed, successes, failures, plans, dreams all work together in unison to shape the people we become. Kinda scary, huh? How are we cool with doing anything we’re unsure about now that we know our every move affects our future? This is where it becomes important to trust and rely on the scriptures. One of my new favorite verses is Jeremiah 10:23 “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his step.” So who ultimately establishes the way a man should go? Psalm 37:23-24 tells us:

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

Knowing that God is sovereign, the question becomes, “But will God really work things out for me? What if this idea I have doesn’t pan out? What if I lose my job? What if God calls me onto the mission field? How am I supposed to be faithful if God Himself won’t even show me what to do?”

What was once an exciting graduation commencement speech of “The future is an ocean and you are the captain of your soul! Set sail and claim your destiny. You deserve it!” goes from anxiously unsettling to downright scary.

We pose the real question, “Is the future really not in my hands?”

According to scripture, no.

Yet we have confidence.

God is not going take us where we’re not supposed to be. We are in the palm of his hand it is HIS plan that is being worked out in our lives.

 Philippians 1:6 says: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” When God begins a work of salvation in a person, he finishes and perfects that work. Thus the verb “bring it to completion” points to the eternal security of the Christian.

That, my friends, is faithfulness.

God will never start anything that He won’t finish. You may be going through a tough time at work, at home or in your life somehow, God is not finished with you. There’s this internal shaping, this molding that God is working on your heart to turn more like His.

The choices we make today determine our lives tomorrow. That is true and it is Christ who works in our lives to orchestrate what tomorrow actually looks like.

So how do we stay faithful to God?

By remembering His faithfulness we are spurred on by the hope of the gospel, that confidence. Christ is our confidence. Christ is faithful, so we are to be faithful.

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Does God Need Your College Degree?

Before someone jumps down my throat over the title, let me explain. 

Recently I was recommended the book “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. The purpose was to help identify areas I could clean up in my writing. It’s been a fantastic tool and I’m already implementing a few of the ideas it mentions. One of the early chapters is about fighting clutter—trimming the wordiness fat and making clear what you really mean.

If anyone reading this post has an english degree you’ve probably already spotted plenty of things you’d love to mark with a red pen. So there you have it! God can definitely use your english degree to help you point out and argue my point, haha.

Here’s my real question: do we give the gospel a fair chance?

I think there are two ways we christians damage the gospel:

  1. We’re either too shy or scared to share our faith openly, afraid of doing it injustice.
  2. We’re over-confident in our knowledge and abilities and turn people off by our jargon and pomp.

Doesn’t God’s word promise to comfort us? I’m no public speaker though I’ve found confidence that the LORD will give me the right words to say at the right time. When you know the truth and are passionate about something, fears and uncertainties all seem to slip away.

When sharing our faith and proclaiming the mystery of the gospel “which is Christ”(Col 1:27) we also tend to scare people away by our methods of approach. Don’t let your presentation of the gospel fend people off by how you give it.

Will someone who didn’t grow up in church understand christian-ese when you speak it to them? Of course not! Don’t dialogue with someone you can talk to. Don’t interface with anybody.

Here’s a quote from Zinsser’s chapter about clutter: “By using a more pompous phrase in his professional role he not only sounds more important; he blunts the painful edge of truth.” 

Never dumb down the truth of the gospel by catering to the idea that people will always flee when you spotlight their sin. Jesus is offensive to our sinful nature. Be loving but firm. We’re all in the same boat; we all need a Savior.

What about the college degree thing? Oh yeah. We’re always trying to limit God’s abilities. Don’t let your occupation, social status or education level impede or impose on God’s use for you.

Remember: we are the plan. It is ultimately the Holy Spirit who convicts unbelievers of sin and compels them to repentance but we are the mouthpieces.

Be obedient and open your mouth; God will give you what to say.

Clean the clutter.

Simplify, simplify.

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