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Posts Tagged ‘flesh’

Speaking Of...

Recently, I’ve encountered a lot of talk on “relationships and love” with people – and it got me thinking about God’s love. How his love sets us apart (as well as himself) from all the other people and their religions/beliefs. This also made me think of how even when we fall into chaos and unknown territory – he is there; he’s always there, for us. And he’s never mad, even when we fumble big-time, or turn out backs on him, or even commit a serious wrong or hold a grudge against someone that we need to let go of – he’s always there calling to us. And when we find him – his bright and ever-lasting light in the darkness of our lives, he opens his arms wide and embraces us, crying or laughing, or smiling with us.

There’s a verse my youth past told us and taught about to us on Sunday (11/3). This is about God’s love and relates to all the things I’ve said. Luke 6:27-33:

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do no withhold you tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”

Now, I want to first point out that the first phrase of the verse says “to you who hear.” Why do I point this out first and foremost? Because Jesus is calling people to really listen, as what he’s about to say hasn’t been said before. He knows – as well as you and I, that some people just zone things out or do that “half-listening” thing when people preach/teach on a topic that’s been heard before. He wants to get everyone’s attention, letting them know that this is a new topic, it’s a topic that people really need to whole-heartedly pay attention. Make sense, right? I hope so.

Okay, with that covered, let’s talk about the rest of the verse. This verse is obviously about loving our enemies and treating others how we want to be treated, right? In fact, one of the verses (vs 3) – “do to others as you would have them do to you” as many know it by – is a very well-known verse to many people (not just Christians). And at a first glance of the verse, people get the obvious theme (which I pointed out at the beginning of this paragraph) – be kind to people I don’t like/are considered my enemies, treat others fairly, and take care of the needy. Easy right? No. Is there more to the verse? Of course. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t tend to those who need help or turn the other cheek, or treat others wrongly – their all great and wonderful things to be practiced, but I want to focus on the last bit of the verse plus a few in-depth details about the first part verse.

I’m going to start at the end – with verses 32-33 (the last paragraph of the given verse). Jesus is saying that when we love and treat those who are good to us and love us – what’s the point? What do you truly gain? Yes, it’s crucial for those who love you to love you and for you to love them back, but what about that kid who bullied or you really bad once – maybe more? It’s easy to hold a grudge against them, hoping something bad will happen to them, just as something bad happened to you, or if they try to apologize, you want them down on their knees begging for mercy while you have your arms crossed, foot tapping, and your head angled enough to look down on them making a disgusted face and refusing – until they collapse – to forgive (Jesus even points out that when we love those who love us – even murderers, prostitutes, etc. love those who love them – that’s what he’s referring to when he says “sinners.”) Why is it easy to hold a grudge and not “love our enemies” as we’re instructed? Let me tell you a secret – it’s called flesh; sin. We want to have revenge; satisfaction, making whoever made us feel unloved, unwanted, and not good enough… we those who weren’t good to us, have the same feelings, if not worse.

See, if we only love and do good to those who love us and do good to us, then we do not truly treat those how we want to be treated, we don’t understand truly what it is like to love our enemies. We don’t know what it’s really like to show them God’s love, and we don’t try to understand how to act or reply in a Godly way to those who wrong us. Just like in school, teachers teach and have the students practice the concept they teach – for without practice how can we truly learn and know the material?

Rewinding to the first section of the verse (vs. 27-31)… try applying what I just said about verses 32-33 to these verses. Have a different perspective now? What about a new plan or way to approach situations in relation to these?

Now, in verse 27, isn’t just loving loving your enemies that “Oh, that wasn’t nice – but all well” attitude, it’s about coming along side them, helping them; showing God’s true love, and forgiving them even if they haven’t asked forgiveness. As a Christian, we should always strive to go that extra step. And – or more – but, when these situations come up, we need to check ourselves – giving/praying (to) our hearts to hearts to God and letting him take those grudges and put them away – destroy them. We also need to make sure our actions are for self-glorifying reasons.

You know that sarcastic phrase that people (you) often mutter when in or towards a situation that comes up and is hurtful, benigning, etc.? The one that goes: “Well, that was a slap in the face.” Literally, it could of been – but that’s also when you show grace and turn the other cheek. Don’t lash out, don’t retaliate. Humbly offer the other side of your face. Either they will “hit” you again or be in shock from your actions. And even if it seems that your actions had no effect – let me assure you, they did. God is planting that seed in their heart through you. Some may often even come back asking questions, because their so dumb-founded, of “Why?” and “How?”. That is your opportunity to tell of the “why” and “how.” The same application can go for the second half of verse 29 – where it talks about offering someone your “tunic.” When someone begs – have a compassionate heart. Give to them – and don’t demand repayment or ask for what you gave to be given back to you. Whether is was simply loaning a money to a friend who forgot their lunch at school to food to someone needy… don’t ask for repayment. These actions and showing love sets us Christians apart (and God), as I said before.

You do need to be careful though, of people who have a false claim, do show them God’s love, but be wary, going to God and seeking counsel on the situation you’re in. It’s sad, but there are people who imitate and act in ways that are deceiving to gain things they are have and don’t need.

Referring back to the first paragraph – where I was talking about how we oh-so-often struggle, I want to conclude partially in reference to Tammy Maltby’s book, Confessions of a Good Christian Girl. In the book, she talks and tells of women who struggled – these were good Christian women, leading Christ-like lives and living well, or that’s what it appeared. Yes, they loved God, but these women were conflicted with suicide, cutting, addictions (drugs, alcohol, pornography), self-image and confidence. The book tells countless testimonies of how in the deep dark, these women found the light, the love. One of the quotes Maltby put in her book, which is by Angela Thomas, goes:

“Jesus wants you to know that when you are broken, shivering, alone, or afraid, with nothing left and nowhere to go, then you can turn in His direction and lay yourself at the foot of his love…. God wants you to know that when everything is gone, that makes more room for Him, and every time there is more room for Him, you are blessed.”

(pg 5, Maltby)

In this we can take an apply the concept of that when we hold on to grudges, hate, and hurt (etc.) when you give them up and lay “yourself at the foot of His love” we are revived with his love and forgiveness. This helps us make that step to forgiving those who may have hurt us or even ourselves. Because just as other people may be our enemies and slap us in the face, we can do just as much damage, if not more to ourselves; we can easily become our own enemy. We must learn to have compassion on ourselves and others and to have respect for ourselves and others.

I wish I could write on about this topic, but time is such an enemy to me lately, so short and demanding. Before I part, until next time, here’s some verses in parting. Don’t just go, “Oh cool, verses to look at!” and ignore them or think I’ll look at them later. Look at them now. It won’t take much time.

Psalm 36:5, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, 1 John 3:1-2, 1 John 4:7-12, 16-18

Some questions for reflection:

  1. Are you able and confident that in times when people wrong you, you can stand up, humbly, forgive, and give your burden to God, even though it’s not easy?
  2. Even when you mess up, or others, are you able to go the extra mile for God’s sake?
  3. Loving your enemy will be hard, but will you be able to rise above the offense and “offer the other cheek?”
  4. In times of distress it’s easy to forget about God – it’s easy to blame him, and in times when you want something badly, and it may not be his will – are you able to accept him and trust him to lead you 100% through?
  5. Sometimes it’s our very selves that get in the way of seeing truly what’s right – having a personal conflict is hard to accept, confess, and be able to reason and respect yourself, but sometimes that’s the first step to forgiveness. If some of these questions were hard to answer, maybe start deep in your heart and soul. Really think about it.

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How to: Pass the Test of Faithfulness

If you do not wish to read the passage in this post, 
you can also read it here (for those visionally challenged): Daniel 1:1-21 (ESV)

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.  Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.

The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate and of the wine that he drank. they were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for tens days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables.

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.”

– Daniel 1:1-21 (ESV)

In this chapter of the book of Daniel and observing and dissecting it, before we dive in, let me point out that in verses 1-2 we are given a brief history lesson. And in this history lesson, we see that the year is about 605 B.C.

Now, discussing Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. All of these names are names of teenagers. And these teenagers’ names were changed into Babylonian names; names that were linked to the Babylonian gods, not Yahweh. The boy’s Jewish names mean (in order that they are listed above): “God is my Judge,” “Yahweh is gracious,” “Who is what God is?,” and “Yahweh is a helper.” As for the Babylonians names, they invoked the help of the Babylonian gods Marduk, Bel, and Nebo: Belteshazzar means “O Lady [wife of the god Bel], protect the king!” Shadrach means “I am very fearful [of God],” Meshach means “I am of little account” or “Who is like Aku?” and Abednego means “servant of the shining one [Nebo].” The Babylonians wanted to change the Jew’s identity completely; they wanted to extinguish their faith.

Testing reveals who and where you are. Daniel 1:8 is the key verse in the who chapter. The word “defile” means “polluting or staining.” When Daniel didn’t accept the food, he wasn’t rude in any manner, he just simply said, I don’t want to be defiled. Daniel knew that if he took this little step and did eat the food and wine of the king, it would eventually lead to bigger problems. We have to be steadfast and keep those good little things near, practice them and keep them close, for if we don’t and we slowly take little steps away from what is right, it can lead to bigger problems. When Daniel didn’t accept the food, he knew that he was taking a risk, as Nebuchadnezzar was not the type of guy one stood up to. Daniel and his friends had made up their minds before that they wouldn’t compromise – no matter what the consequence would be.

People fail because they don’t plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Those things that we count valuable cost us.

The top four things things that Christians struggle with are materialism, laziness, staying accountable, and staying true to the word. When people are accountable, and they plan ahead, and realize that they need to stay focused on God, they stay on the right track. When trying to pass a test, you want to have confidence, but if you have too much confidence, things can go awry. For example, you didn’t study, but it was because you’re confident you know the material, you set yourself up to fail. Studying is crucial; especially studying God’s word.

Making your faith stronger is just – if not the most – important thing to do. God is the one who is the strongest and will help us overcome the tests of life. We need to be able to stand up to people who try to change us. We need to refuse to “bow down” to the worldly things and stay committed to our relationship and journey with God.

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Face it, we mess up a great deal; people mess up a lot. And when we mess up or someone else who misjudges or didn’t consider others before themself at a moment, which affects us… We find it hard to forgive them if it hurts us. Jesus and his disciples had this situation come up many times, and with Easter just around the corner, Jesus himself forgave us for this wrongs we did; one being when we crucified him on the cross.
Now, in one situation, “…Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?'” (Matthew 18:21 NIV). Peter poses a good question, because we all can admit that forgiving (and apologizing) is hard; as it requires a change of heart and mind, and people tire of it (forgiving) when people wrong them a lot (an example of a character in this senario would be a sibling). So what should we do when people hurt us? Forgive them, right? Yeah, but people, including myself, go by a little saying, three strikes, you’re out. seems appropriate, right? Three chances, then they are out. Peter asks of we should forgive people up to seven times. Well “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,'” (Matthew 18:22 NIV). “Seventy-seven times” means seventy time seven. If you do the easy math that’s four hundred ninety times. What Jesus is basically saying is “always forgive” there’s no time limit to how many times we should forgive.
Think of this: what if God hasn’t sent his son to die on the cross to save us from our sins? All I can imagine is a war-torn hell as our world. If God had not forgiven us and sent his son, were we’d be is inconceivable. So the next time someone hurts you physically or emotionally and they apologize (or not, reguardless) always forgive them. It’s what Jesus did for us. We are in his debt, here’s to helping us make up for what we never could accomplish. With Easter coming around the corner, too think of how Jesus died a ravaging and painful death so that we could have eternity with him; of how he forgave us for everything we did wrong; he loved us so very much to do something like that… To die a death unknown to us.

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The focal verse is from Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV):

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this worldand of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Starting with verses 1 and 2, it talks about how we were dead in our sins – alive to human nature, dead to a godly nature. We lived a lost life, following this world’s evil ways. Committing horrible acts, we were destroying ourselves and others. Satan and his followers at are constantly at work trying to destroy us (Christians) and those around us, too. Our — everyone’s — sinful human nature; flesh, was already working to makes those lost continue in their transgressions.

In the next few verses, verses 3 to 5, states that we once all lived in a lost state – “slaves to sin.” Our flesh was just consuming its desires, following and granting; feeding our sinful cravings, following its thoughts, likes a dog follows its master. Before coming to know Hm, we were subject to his righteous judgement; his wrath. But we were sanctified – saved – from that wrath by God’s grace. His love for us is never ending, never failing. When we have faults he still loves us, when we drift away he calls us back, and still loves us. He is a patient God. His mercy is unending. He gives many second chances, even when we do screw up (please excuse my language, but seriously), recognize it, and repent. We were indeed once dead but He made us alive with Christ – when Jesus died on the cross, he saved us from ourselves and sin – he took (literally) all that crap, that honestly, we really deserved, we should have paid for.

In verses 6 to 8you can see something totally amazing… God raised us up from being dead; a “zombie” to sin. Through the ages to com are unknown to us, Christians today are still severely persecuted, what is still to come? When we die, we’ll go to heaven to be with God, all because of our Savior. Through and through God’s kindness and riches of his grace. By our faith and God’s grace, we are saved. The faith was acquired on our own integrity, but instead it was a gift from God, a truly amazing and humbling gift.  Life is a gift, new life by Christ is a gift from God that cannot ever be repaid. We need not boast about it, for then that is our sinful nature speaking, showing people – giving them the impression that we believe we are better than them. The gift of live is precious, if you’re going to boast, check yourself, remember that this is God you’re talking about, and how would he want you to act, and then go out and share his word in a kindly, humble, and godly manner. I’m sure you know this old saying: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. It applies to everyone in every manner. We did not deserve a second change, at all, but God thought we did, and it was by his works, not ours, that we are (and all can be) saved.

The final two verses, 9 and 10, we are told that we are created by God, in his  perfect image. He made us to do good works, not bad, so that others may learn about Him. He prepared these works for us, before we were even born. God is gracious, but he does cry when his children lose their way, he gets angry at us, too. Just like a father. He disciplines us according to our train of thoughts and actions, like a parent to a child, because he loves us and wants us to do and see good, not evil.

Life is a gift… One shouldn’t just “throw it out the window”

Because of a foolish

Mistake.

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This study of Prayer will be focused around verses found in Matthew. They are Matthew 6:5-8, 14-15 (NIV):

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him… For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

In the first two verses, verses 5 and 6, Jesus is telling his disciples to do something in these verses. He’s telling them not to pray for attention so that others may see “what an amazing and committed, as well as good Christian you are.” No. Instead, he tells them to go to a quiet, private place. For men (and women!) who “brag” with loud prayers so all can see receive their reward there – their human flesh’s satisfaction of people paying attention to them. But for those who leave to go quietly to a place of peace, our unseen Father above rewards us, since we went to a place in secret. Prayer is personal and powerful, don’t ruin it by making yourself look higher than others, because then you’re just babbling.

Verses 7 and 8, it’s here Jesus tells us more – do not pray like pagans! They babble on to their gods, they pray but it’s meaningless. Why? Because they don’t truly believe. They think their gods hear them for the many “praise words” and “askings” they do. When in reality, it’s nothing. When we pray and speak many meaningless words, it makes the prayer lose its “base.” God knows what you need even before you need it. He cares for you. Prayer is a way to communicate  to your Father, talk to him just like you would to your father on earth – casually and straight forward.

Now, adding in a verse not mentioned above, is verse 9: “”This, then, is how you should pray:'” In this verse Jesus is now about so show us how to properly pray.

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Recognize it? It’s what people call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Though in reality, it should be called “The Disciples’ Prayer,” because of how it was meant for the disciples, Jesus already knew very well how to pray to his father. And also, see how casual it is? Now, we don’t use those lines every time, but we need to pray along those lines – down to “business” – in our own personal way.

In the last two verses, Jesus reflects on forgiveness, based on the twelfth verse: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” If we forgive the people who do wrong against us, persecute, or tear us down, God too forgives us for our wrongs – because we recognized the wrong we’ve done to others. But if we stay stuck on the wrong done to us and don’t forgive, God won’t forgive either. For our hearts were in the wrong place, they were hard as stone with hate and other feelings.

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The verse below is found in Romans 2:1-5 (NIV):

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Starting with verse 1, it talks about our human nature. Our flesh, it is sinful and selfish, when we pass judgement just for seeing people’s actions, when we do the same things, we are being hypocrites. -We pave a bad path and paint a poor picture of ourselves to others. As Christians we must be careful, some have already given us a bad reputation for being “judgmental and thinking of ourselves as better than all” to most people. This is also because those who have showed that kind of manner are, too are quick to judge; being a hypocrite. Others are also too full of it –  themselves, because that’s what flesh does, it’s self-centered. And if not controlled, can be disastrous.

Verse 2 talks about God, it talks about how he is a fair God, *judging wisely.  He judges with truth, a technique we have yet to truly learn in many ways. “Díkaios” is Greek for “fair, just, equitable, right, evenhanded, and level.” It’s one of the astounding and many, many traits of our wonderful Father. When he judges us, he looks at all of us, not just the outside like they do on earth, but he looks particularly at our heart – the source of good and evil.

“As water reflects a face,

so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

– Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)

In verse 3, it asks a question – “So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”

So do you think you’ll escape? Or do you think he’ll judge? It could go both ways couldn’t it? – Depending on your heart – if you will escape, why? Is it because you think you’re perfect and good enough He won’t count “that thing” against you? God is merciful and gives second chances, right (thousand times over)? If you though along the first answer/question, you’re totally wrong and need to check yourself and consult God to help you. Yes, God is merciful and forgiving, but you have to understand that God also knows the purpose and thought that goes into it. Sometimes he brings something along to discipline because he knows you’re lost. If your though along the second answer/question it’s true, as I said above, he does forgive – he even instructs us to forgive 70 x 7, which adds up to a lot – 490 times, and more (Matt. 18:21-22).  But in reality, we are all going to be judged to a full extent when Christ returns to take his followers home.

Verse 4 continues also with a question asking us if we contempt; despise, what he has done for us? – The “riches of his kindness, tolerance,” of our sinful ways, “and patience” for when we constantly are wandering? Many who despise and have put-off and shunned God,because they are blinded from knowing how truly merciful he is, how his kindness is overflowing, as well as his never-ending love. He is the ultimate gateway to our repentance and salvation.

In the last verse, we come to a conclusion. Because of our often stubbornness we get ourselves in a good bit of trouble. And it’s not just with people, but with God. Our heart is most often the culprit of our poor (or in times, good) actions. When we choose poorly, we are just mounting up evidence files that will one day be used when God judges us all. For those who chose poorly, it says his wrath will be released against them. For those who chose wisely, salvation and grace will be given.

*Shophet is Hebrew for “Judge.”

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I’ll be trying out a new a study technique for this – hope all’s well. The study of the verses is going to “mix-matched.”

2 Timothy 1:6-10 (NIV):

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

In the verse 7, it tells us of what we are like. By ourselves in a time of crisis we are timid, but with the power of God in us, we are able to be bold, burning like a bonfire with plenty of fuel. In verse 9, it tells us about God. Through this we can see that God is a powerful God, one who is able to save; to redeem.

In the last verse of the study, verse 10, we discover that through Christ’s sacrifice death is destroyed and life is re-awakened (renewed to say) and it’s all brought back under the main spotlight through the gospel. In verse 8 there is something that we can be excited for, and it’s this: that we have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be ashamed of for our faith; our belief in Christ. Though we’ll suffer – “pay” for our beliefs – we’ll have a prize and good feeling in the end. The over all concept: we mustn’t be afraid, ashamed, or put-down because of what people think of us. Instead, we need to go out boldly, proclaiming our faith and the wonderful message of Christ. Now, it won’t be easy, but with God on our side, anything is possible.

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