Divorcing Christ

June 5, 2018

Friends,
With all the divorce going on, it seems strange that many Christians think that it is not possible for someone to “divorce” Christ. If they cannot recognize that Scripture teaches that we can do so, and that we must therefore carefully guard against it, it does seem that people would admit the concept just through watching any relationship go sour, for, truly, numerous relationships that begin excitedly and happily and with expectations of harmony and unity, do just that.

Paul says in Gal. 1:6,7a, “I am astonished that so quickly you are deserting from the one who called you in Christ’s grace to a different gospel –which is really no gospel at all.” He goes on to inform us that adhering to a false gospel is to walk the road of confusion and damnation. As he also warns in 1 Tim. 4:16, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Anyone then, who does not continue in the Truth (learning it, knowing it, and living it), being warped and sinful, is self-condemned. (Titus 3:9-11)

Shouldn’t we take note of what John 6:66 says? It informs us that after hearing a teaching from Jesus that they didn’t like, “many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” John says “disciples” did this. Disciples are those who listen and learn from and follow a particular teacher. However, they changed their minds and turned back. What does Jesus say of such individuals? He says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) In other words, defectors will be rejected at the celestial gates.

1 Tim. 4:1 says, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” To abandon something or someone is the same as to renounce, disown, discard, and completely give up. We certainly have seen people give up a hobby, a career, a philosophy, a belief, a marriage, or a person. It does happen, and quite frequently.

In one’s relationship with the Lord, the Lord is always faithful, even if we are not. (2 Tim. 2:13) This does not mean, however, that He will not disown us if we disown Him, for precisely this consequence is what verse 12 states. It says there, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us.” Not only is this last statement clearcut, but it, along with the first statement, seems to draw a contrast –that those who do not endure in the Truth (in dying to the old and living in the new –v. 11 // Rom. 6:1-11) have, through their failure to endure, disowned Christ and will not reign with Him in His coming Kingdom.

“But I haven’t disowned Jesus,” a person may say. Yet such a person is forgetting that the Word of God reveals that there are more ways to disown Christ than by declaring, with words, a renunciation. Titus 1:16 says, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.” The two verses previous say of these types that their minds and consciences are corrupt and that they do not believe the Truth. This tells us, then, that though people may claim to know God, through their sinful actions and minds they are actually denying Him. Jesus makes this same concept clear in Mark 8:34-38 when He teaches us that in order to save our soul we must deny ourselves, carry our cross, follow Him, and not be ashamed of Him and His words. 2 Tim. 3:1-8 speaks similarly, revealing that although certain people may have a form of godliness, they remain depraved and rejected if they are denying God’s power –particularly that it is fully adequate to transform.

There are numerous other passages in Scripture that warn us that it is possible to veer off the Path of Truth (who is Jesus Himself). There are warnings in Revelation to the church of Sardis about their deeds not being complete (3:2), and thus the command to “strengthen what remains and is about to die”. (Same verse) Verses 4 and 5 show that one must live pure and be an overcomer to be found worthy so as to not have one’s name erased from the Book of Life.

The Lord warns the Ephesian church as well: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Rev. 2:4,5) Forsaken, fallen, repent, remove… these words make the warning clear: Christians can forsake the Lord, fall away, and be removed from their position of salvation. Verse 7 adds to the fact of this concept when Jesus says, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” In other words, those who do not overcome (do not continue in the Truth) will not be given that right. Verses 10 and 11, addressed to the Smyrna church, show also that one must overcome, and be faithful until death, to reap eternal life.

Peter warns that people who distort the Scriptures do so to their own destruction. (2 Pe. 3:16) He warns us to be on our guard about not falling for these distortions which would cause us to fall from our secure position in Christ / in Salvation. (v. 17) He warns us to make every effort to be found blameless before God. (v. 14) He warns us that it is possible, after escaping the world’s corruption by knowing Christ, to again be entangled and overcome by the world, which would put us, he says, in a worse position than had we never know the way of righteousness. (2:20-22) Heb. 6:4-6 says similar and so does chapter 10, verses 26-31 and 35-39. Jesus Himself explicitly taught that there are those who believe the Word of God for a while, but then through hardships or pleasure, fall away (Luke 8:11-15); and He said as well that there are those in Him who get cut off, thrown into the fire, and burned because they did not remain in Him through obedience to His commands. (John 15:1-10)

I could go on with the Scripture verses, but what I am pointing out should be clear: People can “divorce” Christ. They can turn from following Him. They can disown allegiance to Him and His words. They can commit treason and “adultery” against Him. (Ja. 4:4) They can spurn His Kingship and Leadership. They can rebuff His love and His Shepherding and His voice. They can do all this even after years of having loved Him and having worshipped Him.

We’ve all seen someone disown a spouse, even after 10, 20, 30, or 40 years of upholding a marriage covenant. It does happen, and it happens because one or both allow temptations or boredom or trials to wedge in and divide them. Humans are fickle and we have to work to not be so. Jesus is never fickle, but always faithful. However, He also will not force anyone to come to Him or stay with Him. I came across a youtube video a couple of weeks ago of a man who talks on and on about how silly it was of him to have loved Jesus and have fervently evangelized like he did for so many years. He says he had believed in Jesus and His words whole-heartedly, but now his claim is that he knows he was under the influence of brainwashing. Did this man formerly have a genuine relationship with the Lord? He says that at the time, he was certain that he did; but now he says it was merely an illusion. Sadly, this is certainly not the only “divorce” from Christ that I’ve seen.

Disowning the Truth is a possibility –for any of us. We must, therefore, in order to remain unified with our Lord, make every effort, and take every precaution.
Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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Friend,
How do we live a victorious, righteous life, pleasing to God? First of all, we must have the mindset that we are in training and that what God wants and expects is that we be in the process of becoming Olympians. Olympians may fall or get tired, but they keep “working-out” because their goal is the gold. Our goal is Christ-likeness (Rom. 8:29) and to “be imitators of God” (Eph. 5:1), and we are not to ever get rebellious against our Coach or get slothful. We have periods of rest and enjoyment, but it is always to be within what is allowed. Sin is not allowed for anyone and certainly not for the one training to be like Jesus, for again, submitting to this training is required in order for a person to be saved. (John 8:31-36 // Rom. 6:22)

If we do sin, due to some neglect of what we’ve learned or due to getting weary, we are to repent and take measures to not enable opportunities for sin. If we sin deliberately or due to habitually neglecting the Word of God and neglecting to put it into practice, then we are in rebellion, and if we continue there, we have forfeited grace. (Heb. 10:26-31; see also Ezek. 33:12-20 and Jonah 2:8)

Of course no one has been perfect, but our goal –daily– is to be perfect, and Jesus has commanded this of us. (Mt. 5:48) Just as anyone is to strive hard to get an A on an exam or perform medical surgery perfectly, so are we to understand the importance and to do whatever is necessary to live, 24/7, pleasing to our Creator and Judge. This means that we conduct ourselves in every situation as Jesus would, as 1 John 2:6 commands, and to walk in His will continuously (Mt. 7:21), growing in the Word which purifies us (John 17:17) and enlightens us to what His will is. (Eph. 5:10 // Ja. 1:18-25)

So how do we walk strong and steady in God’s will? We change our mindset, stop conforming to the world, and offer, as a living sacrifice, our body to God. (Rom. 12:1,2; see also 2 Cor. 5:15 and Gal. 2:20 and 1 Pe. 4:2) This we can do if we saturate ourselves in the Word of God. Jesus says in John 6:53, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no Life in you.” He also says in verse 63, “The words that I speak to you are Spirit and they are Life.”

Are you filling your mind and heart and spirit with God’s Word daily? If not, you will have trouble trying to defeat sin. If you are filled up daily with God’s Word then you will be filled up with His Spirit who gifts us with His power and instruction and compulsion to obey it. If we squelch Him, however, by not obeying His promptings, then even our reading and our prayers will be, or become, Life-less. As 1 John 3:24 says, “Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them.”

Jesus says in John 15:1-10 that we cannot bear (good) fruit without abiding / remaining in Him. Foundational to being in Christ is to be in His Word. Yes, we must repent and renounce sin, self, the world, etc. (Luke 9:23-25), and ask the Lord to take the reins, but if we do not follow up by soaking ourselves in the Truth (the Word), then we will quickly wither (Luke 8:13), as we will do if we resist obeying the Word.

The Good News is that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” (2 Pe. 1:3) But, that power does come only by knowing the Lord (same verse) and this comes by listening to Him in His Word and following what He is saying (v. 4 // John 10:27,28) If you are following sin, you do not follow Jesus, for they walk in opposite directions. Following sin / disobeying Christ’s commands means not knowing the Lord (1 John 2:3) and not possessing the Truth (v. 4) –the Truth that by knowing it sets us free (John 8:32)– for if we know the Lord, then we have the Spirit, and we do follow Him, not the sinful nature. (Rom. 8:9) In other words, when we follow the Spirit, who is in the Word, who is Jesus (John 1:1,14), the Truth (14:6), then we are freed up to participate in God’s holy, divine nature (2 Pe. 1:4), and through this participation have His power to reject any and all sin. (1 John 3:9)

As to being chosen for salvation –all people have been chosen for salvation. Through the cross, Jesus draws everyone (John 12:32), having died to pay for everyone’s sin (1 Tim. 2:6 // 1 John 2:2) and rising to show He had the right to do so. (Rom. 1:1-4) He wants all people to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and all to repent so that they will not perish. (2 Pe. 3:9) It is to believe a lie for someone to think they are excluded and have no hope. As long as we are alive and have even a speck of faith, God can work with that and bring even the worse to repentance and salvation –if we allow Him to do so through asking, repenting, not making provision for temptations, and going forward with those things we are, so far, able to obey. (John 14:23 // Acts 5:32 // Heb. 5:9)

Look at Paul who helped some of God’s people be murdered (Acts 22:4) and yet who repented when he was confronted by the Truth / Jesus. (9:1-22) There is definitely hope for everyone. But we must submit our will, our thoughts, our words, etc. to Christ’s control and leadership. If we start to slip, we tell God again that we are submitting to Him and we again ask Him for help and praise Him that He is able and willing. We then run from sin. We throw out those things and relationships which trip us up. And we read the Word and put it into practice. We continually take every thought captive to be obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), we keep our armor on (Eph. 6:10-18), and we stay focused on the fact that we are Olympians in training.

May the Lord encourage you and help you take His Word to heart and act accordingly.

In Christ,
Rachel

Our 30th Anniversary Trip

November 8, 2017

Friends,
This last weekend, to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, my husband and I flew to Arizona to see the beautiful cliffs and mountains of the Coconino National Forest and of Grand Canyon. We had a great time and thanked the Lord for the opportunity (as well as His help in our mile and a half uphill hike to Sterling Pass!). I also thank the Lord for my husband’s commitment to me, all his help in my ministries, and the Lord’s commitment in protecting us, providing for us, and leading us all these years. Here are some photos we took of our anniversary trip:

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
A friend and I were talking yesterday about the Lord, about suffering and death, about injustice propagated by this world’s present evil ruler, and about the age to come. During this discussion she asked me what I thought was the reason why so many people who don’t seem deserving have easy and prosperous lives while others who seem kind and good struggle and often suffer. I said that Scripture tells us that God uses hardships to test us in order to see if we will remain faithfully trusting Him, and so that we will draw nearer to Him, know Him and obey Him better, and this so that we will be loving Him and others more fully and correctly.

I said that Jesus taught that life is about overcoming –that we must overcome the temptations to give in or give up, and that we not allow trials to turn us from our Lord. I told her that if God does find us to be faithful overcomers, He will grant us huge rewards, including honor and rulership positions, when He comes (in person literally) to rule the earth (from the physical Jerusalem in Israel) with a rod of iron, with perfect justice, and with perfect righteousness.

I explained to my friend that our mortal lifespans are like one blade of grass, or one speck of dust, compared to our eternal, immortal life to come, and that it will definitely be worth it if we take our trials graciously and seek to do and become what God desires.

Here is a video sermon my brother gave at church back in July and it should be a great encouragement for anyone who would like a reminder of how to think and behave during hard times.

http://api.monkcms.com/Clients/embed_video_preview.php?moduleRecordId=4280628&CMSCODE=EKK

My brother is a very interesting speaker, so I want to also give the new link where anyone can listen to the sermons he gives to the college group at UTA. (Once you click on a sermon, it does take a minute to download.) Here is that link:

http://www.utacornerstone.com/listen

One of the verses I told my friend yesterday was John 12:26b. Jesus says there, “He who serves Me, him will My Father honor.” (Yes, we should definitely look forward to being honored by our King!) I described for her the Mt. 25:14-30 passage about the servants’ investments of their talents and about how we should do what is necessary so that we, along with some of them, will hear the Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (v. 21, and again in v. 23) I told her about Jesus’ promise in Rev. 2:26: “To him who overcomes and does My will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.” And in 3:21: “To him who overcomes I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne.”

There are many other verses I could’ve mentioned to my friend. Like Mt. 24:13: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” And 2 Tim. 2:12a: “If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” And of course 2 Cor. 4:17: “Indeed, our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, are producing for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.” And certainly Heb. 11:35, for it confirms that obtaining “a better resurrection” comes from having endured suffering faithfully.

Truly our hardships are not wasted. If we respond to them as God wills.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Dear Reader,
“I’m going to Heaven… I possess eternal life… I will live forever.” Such are the statements of many who call Jesus “Savior” and of many who even call Him their “Lord”. Are you one of these who claimed this privilege? If so, ask yourself if you do the will of God. Consistently? If not, how often? Is it actually only a few times a week that you obey what God asks of you? –What His Spirit and Word command? Let’s personalize these questions and be honest. For Jesus has told us very clearly that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God we must be doing the Father’s will. (Mt. 7:21-23) Nothing else we do or claim, no matter how righteous or powerful it appears, will save us. (Same verses)

Let’s not be deceived. Once we step into Christ, we are to leave the old self and lifestyle behind (2 Cor. 5:17 // Gal. 2:20), living not for ourselves, but for the will of God. (2 Cor. 5:15 // 1 Pe. 4:2) This is what it means to die and be buried with Christ in baptism (Rom. 6:1-7) –the baptism into water, spiritual fire, and the Spirit (Luke 3:16 // John 3:5 // Gal. 3:27)– so that in becoming one with the Lord in spirit (1 Cor. 6:17), we receive God’s divine nature (1 John 3:9) and power (2 Pe. 1:3,4) and are enabled to submit to the control of the Spirit (Rom. 8:9) and conduct ourselves, at all times, with Christ-likeness. (1 John 2:6) Don’t let anyone tell you that we are not commanded to earnestly work toward this goal, for we certainly are to do so! (Rom. 8:13,14,29 // 2 Pe. 3:14) We are to be holy and perfect and sinless in ALL we do and desire! (Mt. 5:48 // 1 Pe. 1:13-16 // 1 John 3:5-10,24) This is what keeps us as permanent children within God’s family. (Mt. 12:50 // John 8:31-36) This is what keeps us in the will of God and justified before Him. (Heb. 10:26-39 // Ja. 2:14-26 & 4:17)

Should those who preach and teach be concerned about these things? Absolutely! 2 John 1:9 says, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God.” Verses 10 and 11 command us not to welcome such people and that if we do, we are sharing in their wicked work. Do we grasp what this is saying? False teaching is serious stuff! It is wickedness, and if not repented of, it is a cause for damnation both for teacher and hearer! (1 Cor. 15:1,2 // Gal. 1:8,9 // 1 Tim. 4:1,2,16 // 2 Pe. 2:1-3) Let us be, therefore, extremely careful that we not come under the delusion of a lie (Eph. 4:14 // 2 Thes. 2:10-12 // 2 Tim. 3:5-4:4), but instead rebuke those who turn to philosophies of the world and to doctrines taught by demons. (Titus 2:1,15 & 3:9-11 // 1 John 4:1-6)

In light of these truths, here are three excellent prayers from God’s Word:

Ps. 143:10: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me in the land of uprightness.”

Ps. 86:11: “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.”

Ps. 119:33: “Teach me, O LORD, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.”

We must be praying, as well as studying God’s Word diligently. And we must be obeying. This is how we walk in / consistently do the will of God. This is how we attain Life Forever.

“The world and its desires are passing away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
“The sinful mind is hostile to God.” (Rom. 8:7) It causes a person to rebel against God’s holy Moral Law. (Same verse) Such a person cannot please God and thus walks in Death (v. 6-8), meaning on the Eternal Death Path. (v. 13) Having entangled oneself in a vicious cycle –where one’s mind feeds on one’s sinful behavior, and one’s sinful behavior is fueled by one’s wicked mind– the sinner remains alienated from God. (Isa. 59:1,2 // Col. 1:21) Definitely he needs a Savior who is able to reconcile him to God. The Savior is Jesus. (Acts 4:12 // 2 Cor. 5:18-21) But how is the Savior accessed?

Rom. 5:2 tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is accessed by faith. We place our complete trust in Him, and in so doing, we gain access into God’s grace (same verse) where we are pardoned (v. 1), cleansed of our past sins (2 Pe. 1:9), and reconciled to God. (Rom. 5:10,11) Being on the Life Path (Jesus –John 14:6), we walk in the Light, have fellowship with God, and are kept separated from the darkness / sin (1 John 1:7) through our possession of God’s own divine nature (3:5-10) which we keep by our submission to His Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:9 // Gal. 5:16)

God’s Word repeatedly tells us to stand firm. Where? In Christ –inside His own life (Gal. 2:20); and the position is maintained through our faith. (Same verse) But let us understand that remaining in this position is what saves us (Col. 1:23), for only there are we “holy in God’s sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (v. 22) Only there are we shielded from severance from God’s grace. (Rom. 11:22 // 1 Cor. 15:2 // 2 Cor. 6:1 // Gal. 5:4 // Heb. 6:4-12 & 10:26-31)

This Solid Position is “the Hope offered to us” (Heb. 6:18) which we “have fled to take hold of.” (Same verse) Remaining steadfast in Christ is our secure anchor (v. 19) which enables our Hope (that hope of the salvation which comes through submitting to Christ living His own life out through us –Mt. 5:16 // Rom. 5:10 // 1 Cor. 6:19,20 // 2 Cor. 13:5 // Gal. 4:19) to reach fulfillment –if (if…if…if…) we remain there diligently to the very end. (Heb. 6:11) For “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Jesus in Mt. 10:22 and 24:13) Yes, only he who does the will of God till the end will inherit what has been promised. (Heb. 10:35-39 // 1 John 2:17 // see also Mt. 7:21-23) Indeed, we must remain faithful / firm / unmoved, for we are still in the testing process (1 Pe. 1:7) of “being saved.” (1 Cor. 1:18)

Remaining in this position (in Christ’s life and submitted to His Spirit) is what enables us to produce fruit (John 15:4,10), but if we do not produce fruit (good fruit), we will be cut off and thrown into the fire. (v. 2,6 // Mt. 3:10 & 7:19) Let us, therefore, not “become lazy” (Heb. 6:12), creating a life that “produces thorns and thistles” (v. 8 ) that ends us in Hell (same verse), but rather let us “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (v. 12) For we have been given “new birth into a living hope” (1 Pe. 1:3) and into a lasting inheritance (v. 4), knowing that, through our perseverance, God’s power is shielding us “until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (v. 5) Thus it is said to those faithful who remain firm in The Hope, “You are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (v. 9)

So, we are reconciled to God through stepping into Christ (His death, resurrection, and life –Rom. 6:3,4), which we do by faith in His atonement for us. (5:9,10) We stand firm in God’s grace (in His pardon / in the justified position) by remaining in Christ –which we do by imitating Christ. (1 John 2:6) This secure place with its promise is “the hope” we rejoice in (Rom. 5:2), “the hope” we do not move from. (Col. 1:23) It is “the mystery… now disclosed to the saints… which is, Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (v. 26,27) Yes, Christ in us, we in Him –unification with His Spirit through our submission to Him. (Rom. 8:9 // 1 Cor. 6:17 // 1 John 3:24) This is the hope of Eternal Life in which the faithful stand, unmoved.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
The Word of God is replete with admonishments and encouragements for us to exalt God for His wonderful kindness in saving (redeeming and delivering) us from the rule and oppression of the devil. As Col. 1:12,13 remind us, the Lord has rescued us from the power (authority / dominion / domain / rulership / subjugation) of the darkness and transplanted (transferred / converted / transformed / changed / relocated) us into Christ’s Kingdom of Light, forgiving us and qualifying us to share in the inheritance of the saints.

Before our deliverance, we could not see. We were in darkness and our eyes and ears were dull to the Truth. But, by hearing and believing (Rom. 10:17) “the Word of Truth, the Gospel” (Col. 1:5), the Light beams into our understanding and we comprehend not only our deplorable condition and doom, but also that the Escape from Satan to God has been paid for and provided for us! (Acts 26:18 // Rom. 1:16)

Once we have taken the Escape Route, what are we to do? Are we to sit back and indulge ourselves in “those things [that] result in death”? (Rom.6:21) “Should we continue to sin so that grace may abound [increase / multiply / overflow]? Of course not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (v. 1,2) Being freed from the subjugation of the dark realm means we have been freed from sin’s ability to control us (v. 18,20) and it means we (by having genuinely and eagerly chosen to submit our will to God’s will) have been transplanted into the Domain (Territory / Kingdom / Realm / Government / Person) of Light. (John 3:19-21 & 8:12 & 12:46) Choosing to take the Escape means we have made a vow to God to keep a clean conscience before Him (1 Pe. 3:21) and to live the rest of our lives in the pursuit of His desires alone (v. 2), doing this by seeking His will with all our effort. (Col. 1:9 // 2 Pe. 1:5-11)

Anyone who claims to be saved, but who does not understand these requirements, is simply lying or deceiving themselves about their salvation. (1 John 2:3-6) Anyone who goes back to dwelling in sin (sinfulness) is not saved. (3:6-10 // Heb. 10:26-31) Anyone who keeps sinning, but insists that he is dwelling in the Kingdom of Light because he belongs to Christ, because he has been born again, and because he has supposedly been forgiven of all his past, present, and future sins (Mt. 18:32-35), is going to be told on Judgement Day, by Jesus, “You wicked, lazy servant!” (25:26) And this person will hear the King say to His angels, “Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (v. 30)

So, if we have been qualified by God to share in His Kingdom, what, stated in one short sentence, is our responsibility? Col. 1:10 reveals to us the goal of our new life: “That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way.” And how do we do this? Verses 10-12 inform us that it is by thanking the Father and by bearing fruit in every good work and by growing in the knowledge of God, all through which we are then strengthened with (more of) the power of God so that we may have great endurance and patience. And why that? Well, as Ja. 1:4 tells us, perseverance is what makes us become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” For truly our works do need to be completed in the sight of God in order for us to be found worthy of salvation at the end. (Rev. 3:1-6) Yes, there is initial salvation (rescue / deliverance), but we must hold to that salvation to the end. (Heb. 3:12-14 & 10:35-39 // 1 Pe. 1:9) This we do by obeying Jesus (John 15:6,10) and His Word (1 John 2:5,6) with committed, life-long endurance, and with joyful eagerness, willing effort, and grateful love and worship to the Lord.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel