Thursday, May 03, 2018

Thorns and Thistles

Today's Reading:
Job 16:1-19:29
Hebrews 6:1-20
Psalm 123:1-4

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Focus Verses: Hebrews 6:4-9
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation. 

It's very easy to miss the real point of this passage of scripture if we are sidetracked into a discussion about whether or not these verses say salvation can be lost. That's not an uninteresting subject or a bad conversation to have; it's just a distraction from the writer's main point—the things that accompany salvation.

Like land that produces a useful and blessed crop after it drinks in the falling rain, our lives should produce better things—a harvest of righteousness—once we have taken in the life-giving rain of salvation through Christ. If we are truly receiving the saving grace of God through faith in Christ, our lives will be transformed. We should expect better things—the things salvation produces. To be saved is to change and grow and produce a life that honors God, and is blessed by God.

Response and Action:
I want to experience transformation. With God's salvation and by his grace and power, I want to move toward better things. I want God's word and blessing in my life to produce fruit that gives witness to his salvation and power in my life. Through Christ, I will continually pursue righteousness and turn from sin. I will confidently expect change and growth in my life. I will not settle for a "taste" of heaven and the word; I will give every effort to experiencing the transformation salvation brings.

Thank you, God, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making me whole. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving to me your great salvation, so rich and free. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 12:1-2
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Revolution of Character: Discovering Christ's Pattern for Spiritual Transformation
by Dallas Willard and Don Simpson

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