“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” Luke 21:34 ESV
Jesus’ admonition for His disciples is important for us today.
We are locked in battle with being more powerful and knowledgeable than we. Their experience is many lifetimes longer than ours and yet it is through the power of Jesus’ name and His Holy Spirit that we fight. We encourage one another with testimony, telling of what He promises and how He delivers. It is through prayer and walking in the Spirit that we endure and work for His kingdom.
When we listen to a lecture … listening and language is engaged … [which] …doesn’t seem to be very discriminating in how [we prioritize memorizing information]. So crucial information is treated exactly the same way that trivia is treated
I use a journal to keep track of people and prayer requests although I don’t go to it every week. This isn’t a “do it or else you’ve not done enough” exercise; it’s more rooted in:
Written to Jewish Christians, the book of Hebrews contains some deep theology and passages that are personally challenging. One passage that is a beautiful highlighting of history from the Jewish testament that leads into Christian responsibility is chapter 3, verses 7-13.
I believe in a personal, engaged, all-powerful, God who is alive, aware and refers to Himself within His creation. I believe the garden of Eden was His first example and Judaism was another. I believe He is and has been demonstrating that we, humans, as His creation will chose sinfulness rather than Him that no matter what options He gives us; we will choose to turn our backs on Him and reject Him.
I believe that He gave Israel (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Israel) repeated grace; leading them Himself, through judges, prophets, priests and kings and they still rejected Him until He chastised them with slavery in other nations for almost 3,000 years.
God expects that Christians live lives characterized by holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16 “You shall be holy, for I am holy”) and Paul explains to Christians how they are to not live in sin but be slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:1-19).
Holiness in the highest sense belongs to God (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 15:4), and to Christians as consecrated to God’s service, and in so far as they are conformed in all things to the will of God (Rom. 6:19, 22; Eph. 1:4; Titus1:8; 1 Pet. 1:15). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance (1 Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:23, 24).
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
I grew up in smaller churches. I served in a smaller church. We never needed small groups; the whole congregation was a small group. The families knew each other, the kids played together and we’d never been introduced to deconstructionist theology; we simply believed the Bible to be infallible and inerrant. The fellow Christians with whom I served likewise didn’t know better than to confess to one another and pray together earnestly. It never occurred to me to view my faith as anything other than vibrant and alive as a child and young man. Our Wednesday night meetings were several congregational songs followed by the whole church coming forward to the dais, sitting in the first few pews for those who were older, sitting or kneeling at the altar to share prayer requests aloud with one another and then spend time as first one person and then another prayed for the requests aloud with one designated member closing the prayer meeting. Singing and praying; it was a series of events enjoined in devotion and sincerity that I can only now begin to appreciate.