True wisdom and real power belong to God; from him we learn how to live, and also what to live for. In awe before the glory, in awe before God’s visible power. Stand at attention! Dress your best to honour him! I’m filled with God’s power, filled with God’s Spirit of justice and strength. He set the power of salvation in the centre of our lives. What comes next is very important: I [Jesus] am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.
Don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.
2 Peter 1:5-7
Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me.
God the Creator is also God the Re-Creator. He created us in His image and we messed it up, our sinful natures leading us toward destruction. We see evidence through our wrong decisions, actions and attitudes.
God will have the final judgement on each of us and He promises to make ‘everything new’ if we are willing to turn our lives over to His care and control and trust Him in every area of our lives.
When you are discouraged, and feel like giving up remember God’s promise. When you see no way forward look to Jesus. And, be prepared for that which is yet to come.
Philippians 1:21 Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
Many individuals have been unable to discover who Jesus Christ really is by being crowded out by others.We can become so entwined in unhealthy relationships that to make a move away from them would be unthinkable. In addiction we are allied to going along with the crowd. Everybody does it becomes our justification for living lives we know are wrong. Liberation from a crowd-complex can be difficult. Unhealthy acquaintance can crowd us into their world and crowd us out from freedom.
Zacchaeus refused to let the crowd govern his situation, he ran from unacceptable restrictions and cut loose from a depressing position. It is within our power to change to do the same!
In our pursuit of continued sobriety on the road to recovery it is imperative we choose our friends carefully and refuse to be content with anyone who might divert us from our chosen goal.
In Christ’s commanding presence we can be the recipients of amazing blessings and share them with others.
Luke 19:3 He wanted to see who Jesus was. There were many others who wanted to see Jesus too. Zacchaeus was too short to see above the people.
God’s blessing and reward varies in accordance to our faithfulness to the tasks He gives to us.
1 Corinthians 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose. And each one will be rewarded for his own work.
As we share together in recovery it becomes obvious some are only interested in taking short-cuts toward sobriety .
Todays text is a summons into a call to arms, or recruitment to battle. Get into the fight for spiritual survival. Desperate needs arising from past failures demand refusal to give up, sheer dedication and willingness to cut links with our past and venture into an unknown future through faith and reliance on Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:3 Fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.