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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Kingdom Living"

Date published: 06/25/2017
John 11:14-15a “So then He told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.’” (NIV)  

   A young woman is bitter because her mother is terminally ill; a young man in the prime of his life is resentful to God because he is possibly going blind; a man no longer believes in God because his wife died from cancer. All three are tying their beliefs in God to His performance in their lives. How small a person’s God is who hinges his belief on how his Lord performs to his will. This is like winning the lottery, squandering the money, and blaming the Lottery Commission when it’s gone. This is how we treat God when we become embittered due to the hand dealt us in life. God has blessed us all with the breath of life, provided the path for eternal life with Him through faith and Lordship, and equipped us to experience His presence and power through the work of the Holy Spirit. Why then do we expect God to fulfill our every desire and whim? 

   In the story of Lazarus, you not only see God’s ability to perform miracles, but you also see how important God’s work is in the lives of people. In Luke 16:31, Jesus says convincing an unbeliever there is a God involves more than just proving there is a God“He (Jesus) said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (NIV) All three individuals (from the first paragraph) know the Gospel story that Jesus died and was raised from the dead, yet they still reject or doubt Christ. Believing in and following Christ ultimately comes down to faith. Faith comes from the belief that the object of your faith is of greater worth than those things you hold dear.   When Pilot confronted Jesus’ faith with the possibility of dying, Jesus responded in John 18:36, “‘My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now My kingdom is from another place.’” (NIV) Jesus’ life and faith were sustained by a faith that says God’s kingdom and purpose far surpass the temporal things of this world. 

   All three of the previously mentioned people discount God because they ultimately value their kingdom on this earth more than their eternal kingdom.  The life of each Christian is secure in Christ for eternity. Do not trade God’s work in you today by not living life in God’s hands. Allow God to use His life to touch not only your life, but the lives of others. 

2 Corinthians 4:2b “On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.” 

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