Living Today For Tomorrow
Thursday, January 4th, 2018
“being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,” Col 1:11
It is imperative for the believers in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to recognize that they are called to a life of endurance empowered by Christ and accompanied by joyful thanksgiving. Endurance requires patience because reward for today’s right choices will come but it may be months or years from now or not until we leave this world.
Today’s decision determine who we will be tomorrow.
Paul challenged his disciples, “share in suffering as a good soldier in Christ Jesus” 2 Tim 2:3 Soldiers expect hardship and are trained to face it. Today’s roadblocks and distractions make endurance in Christian life seem unattainable. Failure to endure in marriage, jobs, church or any part of life has become normal. A consistent long-term obedience without periodic diversions into sin and unfruitfulness seem an impossible dream. Listed below are some of the characteristics identified in Christian endurance ordained by God.
- Endurance Is Never Automatic
Following Christ isn’t magic. It requires repeated action on our part which develops into habits and life disciplines. Christ oriented endurance doesn’t just happen, any more than running a marathon or climbing a mountain just happens. Endurance requires a good plan with clear and tangible steps that are taken one after the other. We want the fruit of the spiritual disciplines but often we are unwilling to do the work they actually require. We want the rewards without the sacrifice.
- Endurance Involves Daily Choices To Do Good Works
I know some of you are thinking, we are born of the water and Spirit by grace through faith, no works involved. We shouldn’t be talking about works, just grace, right? Wrong. While we as the believers in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness oppose works – righteousness but we never oppose righteous works. Indeed, God Himself promotes righteous works and a spirit of disciplined endurance to bring about our transformation. More so, it is God’s sovereign grace that empowers us to do good works, which are central to our calling. In Eph 2:8-10, if we notice the text, God explicitly claims that we are not saved by good works but we are saved to do good works by His power and to His glory. Scripture frequently depicts God’s empowerment of us alongside our endurance to live an empowered Christian life. Col 1:28-29
- Choosing Companion For Life Of Endurance
We will become the kind of person we choose to spend time with, whether at work, school or church. “Do not be misled: “bad company corrupts good morals” 1 Cor 15:33 Talk to those who have endured and you will find they have chosen good friends who raise the bar instead of lowering it. Make sure your friendships are centred on Christ. “He who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffer harm.” Prov 13:20 When we choose to spend our leisure time with someone, it has the power to dramatically shape our lives. A great way to endure in the faith placed in the gospel of God’s Righteousness is to study and pattern our lives after those who have lived a sustained obedience in the same direction. God has also placed in His Church examples of those who endure in obedience in Christ. Find them and spend time with them. Sit at the feet of the wise, not fools.
- Humility, Generosity And Purity As Paths Of Endurance
Choose pride and you will get God’s opposition. Choose humility and you will get God’s grace. This is why the proud fall away while the humble endure. It is why none of us should ever view ourselves as celebrities, only servants. We are God’s errant boys and girls. What a privilege that is! God humbles us in the ways He knows best. Though we have thorns in the flesh but yet God says “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov 16:18
Endurance is Christ’s call to follow Him and to finish strong for God’s glory. There is no higher calling, no bigger privilege and no greater joy than serving our Savior.