First Thoughts

As we continue the journey home with Jesus leading the way, we are buffeted on either side with all sorts of trials and temptations. However, we are also richly blessed as we follow our Lord in faith with obedience. In doing so, we experience His faithfulness in loving us when we act unlovable and helping us up when we stumble over our own pride and fall. Even when we are hurt by our own foolishness, the Lord dresses our wounds and addresses our wanderings with faithfulness to His Word.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit that indwells the believer that helps us understand the lessons of life as we live in a fallen world with a certain future ahead of us.

Over the next several weeks, with the help of some resourceful thoughts from Elmer L. Towns, I would like to share with you some bite sized servings of doctrinal truth that helps us better understand the many layers of what it means to love God and live for Christ.

This journey of faith cannot begin without a proper understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ. A person cannot embrace the good news of salvation without first acknowledging the bad news that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That standard of perfection is revealed in Christ Jesus. Therefore, if a person cannot live their life on par with the person of Jesus Christ all the days of their life, then that person has fallen short of God's glory. They have missed the mark of God's standard of holiness and thereby is a sinner by choice, not chance.

It simply doesn't matter how much a person misses the mark, what matters is that they miss it.

To miss it once or hundreds of times means that I am the sinner for whom Christ lived, died, and rose again.

Except a person hears the gospel with the Holy Spirit providing the understanding of truth and the faith necessary to respond to it, that individual will not be saved. As Elmer Towns comments in his book on 'Concise Bible Doctrines', "A person's becoming a Christian involves more than giving mental assent to the fact of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The gospel enters our lives when Jesus Christ enters our hearts. 'But as many as received Him (Christ) to them gave he (the believer) to become the sons of God' (John 1:12). end

No one will experience or enjoy a deep abiding relationship with Jesus Christ so long as he/she ignores sound biblical doctrine. More simply put, no one will enjoy the blessing of believing without embracing the truth of Jesus' teaching (doctrine). And to my knowledge, no one may embrace anything without 'clinging' to it.

God has the answer to every need you and I will ever experience. He knows because as God He cannot know. He also cares for the needs we experience, whether little or large. Having the need and understanding the solution, all that remains is to trust God through an act of faith whereby I transfer my pride and my problems to Him in humility and He transfers His power and provision to me. I am helped by His teaching as I permit the Holy Spirit to weave His truth into my daily life through faith that believes He can and will meet my every need.

Trusting faith places me in the clutches of Christ as Lord and Savior and in response to His grace for my terminal condition of death from sin, I respond by clinging to His truth for every circumstance that I face.

Concluding thought--Are you firmly in 'the clutch' of Christ through faith in His promise (John 10:28-30)? If not, you can be today by releasing yourself and your sin entirely to the Person of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10;13) If so, are you clinging to His Word daily to help you navigate the journey home?

Those faith decisions will not make life here easy by any standard of measure, but faith will make the journey of life worth it!

Blessings from God our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1

(ref. 'Concise Bible Doctrines'--Elmer Towns--pg. 10)