... a weekly letter of encouragement.
22 July, 1998
"WHY IS IT SO MANY BELIEVERS GROW COLD, LOSE THE FIRE AND PEAK OUT SPIRITUALLY?"
This was part of a conversation I had this morning with a 74 year old war horse of the faith who is still going strong for God. My mind reflected back on my early morning meditation on the passage in Revelation where Jesus admonished the Asian churches to stay on track spiritually. In effect he told them:
That is, stay vigilant like a person anticipating a thief: "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." (I Corinthians 16:13) Don't be lulled into the spiritual doldrums.
Seize what is already yours! Retain it. Don't let it go! Don't go back on what God has already given you! "...If he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." (Hebrews 10:38)
"KEEP YOUR FIRST LOVE!"
Recently I received an e-mail from a Christian friend of long-standing. Anticipating a spiritual challenge, my heart sank in disappointment as he launched into a discussion of his twin passions of soccer and the stock market. Scant mention was made of the things of God. Retaining his "first love"? One wonders. (Jeremiah 2:2; Matthew 24:12)
"DON'T COMPROMISE SIN!"
In two areas: (1) Idolatry: "Is there anything that commands your affections more than the Lord Jesus Christ?" (2) Sexual impurity: "Is the trend in your thought life and actions moving toward increased purity, or increased enslavement?" (2 Cor. 11:3; I Thes. 4:3-7)
"BE FAITHFUL TO THE DEATH!"
Tough times lay ahead, warned Jesus, so be prepared to suffer, even to the point of death. Many times I have rehearsed what I would do if it came down to a choice between preserving my life or confessing Christ. If pressed, I would, by His grace, point to my forehead and say, "Put the bullet right here!"
QUESTION: Music scores are often characterized by the diminuendo and the crescendo. With that metaphor in mind, are you moving toward a diminuendo-type existance of selfish refuge, self-indulgence and limited vision, or toward a crescendo of faith, sacrificial service, and investment in that which is eternal?
+Wake up: Rev. 3:1-6; Hold on: Rev. 3:7-13; Keep your first love: Rev. 2:1-7; 3:15-22; Don't compromise: 2:12-29; Be faithful to the death: 2:8-11. My prayer is that you are having a great week!
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