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Finish Well 7.21.14

FINISH WELL

BREAD

30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30 (NIV)

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

BUTTER

“There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing to the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.” Francis Drake

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness; not health, but healing; not being but becoming; not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.” Martin Luther

“Knowing that we are fulfilling God’s purpose is the only thing that really gives rest to the restless human heart.” Chuck Colson

HEART SAVOR

• Jesus finished well and through His power I must too. 4 “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5 (NIV)
• I fall into sin but I must pursue righteousness. It is a choice, it is of the will. I am not a robot divinely made to do this or that. By faith, I choose Him which includes His Way. I can trust Him as He always has my best interest at heart. 16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)
• God has a plan for my life and desires for me to walk in it. It will always be for my best. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

True Truth 7.18.14

TRUE TRUTH

BREAD

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)

BUTTER

“It is all too plainly apparent men are willing to forego the old for the sake of the new. But commonly it is found in theology that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true.” Robert Shindler

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others.
Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” A.W. Tozer

“We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism…To your knees, man! And to your Bible! Decide at once! Don’t hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God, quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses. Enlist!” C. T. Studd

HEART SAVOR

• God’s Word is Truth. Sanctify me with the Truth Lord Jesus.
• I can rely on the Truth. Wisdom is always proved right by her actions. The wages of my fleshly way (sinful) is death.
• I should take everything I hear and put it through the sieve of God’s Word before I take it to heart and make it my belief. Like the Bereans who were of more noble character than the Thessalonians because they received Paul’s message and examined the Scriptures to see if what he taught was true. Seriously, what is man’s opinion?

EFFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE

BREAD

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NIV)

BUTTER

“What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the eternal life that Jesus gives? Knowledge of God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God. What, of all the states God ever sees man in, gives Him most pleasure? Knowledge of Himself.” J.I. Packer

“The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.” Faber

“Give me grace to surmount all difficulties, and to avoid everything that may prove a torment of conscience in the hour of death.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“That is life. It’s composed of a million choices. And most of those choices seem insignificant, unimportant, unimpressive, and uninteresting. But character is developed when we continue to make the next, right choice. And character creates influence. And influence creates legacy. So if you want to leave an amazing legacy, just keep doing the next right thing. Four generations from now, people probably won’t remember your name. But someone you love will be different because of you.” Laura Black

HEART SAVOR

• Through faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit’s power I can participate in the divine nature and grow up in Christ.
• My choices will make my life.
• God’s amazing grace enables me to surmount all difficulties as I lean on Him Who is ever able. God desires for me to walk as Jesus did. This will always require choices even in the unimpressive and unimportant. It matters to God how I choose to live my life. I live my life for an audience of One.

Angry with Sin

ANGRY WITH SIN

BREAD

15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Amos 5:15 (NIV)

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)

10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalms 97:10 (NIV)

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9 (NIV)

BUTTER

“We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole cause of anger is the evil which they do. He who is not angry at transgression becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it. God Himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in His Word, ‘Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.’” Charles H. Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• God desires for me to love the sinner but hate the sin because the consequences of sin always devastate. God never winks at sin – rather it angers Him.
• God detests pride, deceit, the devising of wicked schemes and those who stir up dissension among brothers.
• I am to cling to what is good.

GOOD THE ROBBER OF THE BEST

BREAD

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

John 15:1-4 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Cut out that which seems good to invest in the best. It is the law of life: Early sacrifice for later bounty. It can be hard to prune good things that are blooming. It can be hard to remember why you are pruning. Because there’s a counter-intuitiveness to it, this plucking off certain life activities that will yield good fruit. Some might even think it foolish to pare back, when the bloom and gifting apparent; a good harvest inevitable. Yet it’s the pruning of seemingly good leaves that can grow a better life. To allow later seasons to yield the longed-for abundant crop. It takes courage to crop a life back — but it’s exactly the way to have the best crop of all. What seems like hard work that’s taking an eternity today — is exactly what may make the most difference in eternity.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• Not all fruitful branches need to remain for God to produce the most abundant fruit in my life. Though difficult, some “good” needs to go to make room for “better”. Pruning can ouch!
• For every “Yes” I agree to there is a sacrifice of “No” to something else.
• Jesus is the One Who bears fruit in me. I must listen to His “still small voice” as to what needs to go and what needs to be fanned into flames. I should never be simply satisfied in my faith walk – I should always be seeking to go “further still”.

JESUS THE ENEMY OF SIN

BREAD

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:13-16 (NIV)

1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The Friend of sinners was emphatically beyond all other public teachers the Enemy of sin. His hatred towards sin was not a mere passion, it was a principle; it did not flash forth now and then, it was a constant flame. He hated sin, if I may so say, implacably, never making a moment’s truce with it; he pursued it by day in his ministry, and by night in his prayers; he lived to smite it, and he died to destroy it; and now in his risen glory it is upon sin as well as upon Satan that he sets his heel. He was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and he has erected a battering engine which will not leave of Satan’s strongholds so much as one stone upon another which shall not be thrown down. In the life of our Lord his tenderness for sinners was but the natural form in which his hatred for sin displayed itself; just as a physician, from the very fact that he is the antagonist of disease displays a deep interest in those afflicted thereby. Our Lord’s keeping company with sinners by no means proved that he was the friend of sin any more than the physician’s attendance at the hospital would at all lead to the suspicion that he was the friend of disease. The skilful physician is the friend of the diseased, but to the disease itself what enemy shall be found more determined and inveterate? Because the whole have no need of a physician, Jesus seeks them not; but since the sick need him he seeks them, not out of love to their sin, but out of love to them, that they may be delivered from the cruel bondage under which their sin has held them.” Charles H. Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• Jesus relentlessly hates all sin because it always leads to death: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)
• Sin holds me in cruel bondage. Christ redeemed me to set me free from this empty way of life. Why should I then go back to wallowing in the muddied mire?
• Through the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I am to put to death the sinful nature and grow up in my salvation knowing fully that the Lord is good.

FROM GROANS TO GLORY

BREAD

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18 (NIV)

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Each adopted child of the Lord is going to receive the full inheritance. Everything that Jesus Christ received by divine right, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are going to receive by divine grace…..Whatever problem you are facing today that is making you groan, He is turning your groaning into glory. All the pain and all the hurt and all the suffering and all the agony, all the disappointment and all the dashed hopes and shattered dreams, all the insults and all the rejection, are all nothing when it comes to the Father’s glory that you will one day inherit. You can’t even begin to compare them. Test and rejoice in the Truth that the Spirit of God is giving you the ultimate victory, He is guaranteeing and sealing your adoption, and He is turning your groaning into glory.” Michael Youssef

HEART SAVOR

• My present sufferings will pale compared to the eternal glory that will be one day be revealed in me – it far outweighs them al. This full inheritance as a child of the King, this ultimate victory is both certain and sure.
• Wonderfully, all the disappointments and pains of this life are temporary while the glory that will be revealed in me is eternal.
• Jesus will turn my groans into glory. I can count on it.

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