I wonder just how deep into my heart Christ is embedded, partly because I have never really been tested. When testing comes, how will I respond? I don't know, I fear weakly. Yet, I don't want to be tested. I prefer pass/fail quizzes. How can we know when life has been comparatively easy?
Dear Friend-I wish we had some time together. It is true, testing in all the various trials we face, brings an assurance that we are indeed in Christ, and Christ in us. We are now doing a series of sermons at church on the opening chapter of James who dives quickly in vs 2 to this matter of testing and the choices we face because of it. But I want to say this: there are other marks assuring us we're embedded in Jesus Christ. Perhaps the best exposition of this is found in the 1st epistle of John. He stresses this in his letter. He wanted his readers "to know that we know" that the work of the Lord is REAL in us and we can trust it no matter what happens in life. I commend a careful reflection on 1st John to you.I fear sometimes when we are not tested only because without it, especially in our generation and culture, arrogance tends to follow. We tend to take lightly the gospel. We tend not to find a hunger for God, for His word, for the work of discipleship in our lives. This casual Christian faith leads to trouble, compromise with the culture, and a poor witness to those who know us. But it can be avoided by praying for the Lord to give us the Matt 5:3-12 beatitudes. Help us Lord be poor in spirit...to hunger and thirst for you...So no matter what we remember our desperate need for the Lord every day, His grace, His mercy, His power, His provision...and in it and because of it, He builds character in us.Sorry for going on so long. I love your question. I am here if you ever want to talk...Blessings in Jesus our Lord,Thad-
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Sermon - Bishop Thad Barnum from The Church of the Cross on Vimeo.