Week Twenty-Three, 2020
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3 ).
Matthew Emmons was an American sharpshooter, just one shot away from a second Olympic gold medal in the 2004 Olympics when he fired at the wrong target in the final round. Gone was the chance of gold – or even silver or bronze. “I didn’t look at the number above the target before the last shot,” said Emmons. He had dominated the 50-metre rifle three-position target event and was considered the best in the world in his discipline, got a big zero and plunged to eighth.
The Bible spells out a target to reach. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5). It’s not about the things we do, but the relationship we have.
I once got a pamphlet written by a pastor that spelled out the major monotheistic religions in the world. I was curious about why he left out Christianity. When I bumped into him, I asked why he had left it out. His answer struck me when he said that Christianity is not a religion, rather it is a relationship. I had always thought about it is what we do or don’t do.
Eternal life is not a destination. It is a relationship. It is not about doing. It is about being. We are called to take Christ with us everywhere we go. It’s the target! This is what we are shooting at – a sincere faith that leads us to love God and love people. Does what we believe affect how we act? Does what we believe affect our attitudes and decisions? As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
If we are not loving others, or if our conscience is constantly troubled, or if we find ourselves faking our Christian life, these are warning signs. It means we have lost focus. We have become occupied with something other than Christ. Jesus Christ sets us free to love fervently, to have an inner peace, and to have a vibrant, growing faith. We don’t need a list of rules. Christ lives His life through us. Christ fulfills the righteousness of the law through us very naturally when our hearts are occupied with Him.
Has something come into your life that has distracted you from developing a close relationship with Christ? Tell Jesus this, admit it, and then make a decision today to become fully occupied with Christ! This is the only way you will hit the target in your Christian life!
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Solomon is saying our thought life controls the rest of our life. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Our thought life dominates and shapes our attitudes, good or bad, negative or positive. Attitudes lead to actions. The thought is the father of the deed. Actions are thoughts carried out. Here’s a profound thought… Achievements of your thought life are going to be the sum total of your thoughts. When you sow a thought, you reap an act. When you sow an act, you reap a habit. When you sow a habit, you reap a character. When you sow a character, you reap a destiny. It all begins with the thought life. The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.
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Elizabeth Magie came up with the idea for the Monopoly game in 1903 and called it “Landlord’s Game” to protest against the monopolists of her time.
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The Labrador Retriever has been on the AKC’s top 10 most popular breeds list for 25 consecutive years—longer than any other breed. There are over 75 million pet dogs in the U.S.—more than in any other country.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Better praying in the pews makes better preaching in the pulpit. Ken Whitten
There’s no age restriction for spiritual growth. Moody Publishers
Who is on the throne matters more than who is in The White House. Eugene Cho
They tell me a revival is only temporary; so is a bath, but it does you good. – Billy Sunday