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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Running the Race With Perseverance

Running the Race of Faith With Perseverance according to Scripture. #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes

Scripture often refers to our faith as a race.  

We deliberately discipline ourselves - sacrificing time and effort to know God better, running “with purpose in every step.”  We are as serious as an athlete in training.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

Sometimes, God allows the race to get harder so we can build our faith. This happened with Jeremiah. He was complaining to God about the opposition he faced, and God answered him this way:

Running the Race of Faith With Perseverance according to Scripture. #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes
Jeremiah 12:5: "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”  

As we put our hope in the Lord, our strength is renewed so we can "run and not grow weary." 

Isaiah 40:31:  Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

We gain understanding because we run on God's race track, "in the path of His commands."  

Psalm 119:32: I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

Others have run this same race and they’re cheering us on, telling us we can do it, urging us to get rid of things in our lives that slow us down so we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus."

Running the Race of Faith With Perseverance according to Scripture. #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes
Hebrews 12:1-3:  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

Sometimes we will also have to endure opposition and make sure that nothing cuts in front of us and stops us from running with perseverance:

Galatians 5:7: You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 

Note that the race depends on obedience to God's truth. That why it's important to run as these Scriptures encourage us to run. Then, when our earthly race comes to an end, we can run into eternity with these words on our lips: 

 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 

copyright 2018, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Scripture calls faith a race and gives us these instructions. Well worth our time! #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes

Monday, September 3, 2018

3 More Things That Will Steal Your Peace

Injustice, Worry, and Selfishness can steal our peace. Scripture offers advice.

Today's study, covers 6-9 on the list 9 Things that Can Steal Your Peace. You can study 1-3 here and 4-6 here.

3 Things that can steal our peace if we let them:

7. Injustice. 

We must accept hardship as a way of growing our faith. Jesus understands earthly troubles and tells us to put them into eternal perspective: 

John 16:33: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ Jesus

2Corinthians 4:16-17: 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.

See: Asking God for an Eternal Perspective 

8. Worry. 

Worry is a lack of trust in God. It's having a small view of God's ability to care for us and give us strength in difficulties. 

Let's not let it steal our peace.

Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

See: Worry is Based on a Small View of God

9. Self-focus. 

Let's esteem God. In the end, this brings us the most fulfillment, peace, and confidence.

Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Here are 6 reasons that modern self-esteem philosophy contradicts Scripture. for Scripture links and additional resources on this list, see 6 Ways the Self-Esteem Movement Contradicts Scripture.

1. It makes us believe we're victims when we choose to sin. 1 John 1:8-10. 
2. It makes us think that feeling bad about our sins is wrong.  James 4:7-10. 
3. It encourages us to praise ourselves. Proverbs 27:2. 
4. It makes us underplay the importance of holiness. Hebrews 12:14-17. 
5. It makes us shower our children with undeserved praise. Luke 17:7-10. 
6. It makes us think loving ourselves is a desirable quality. 2 Timothy 3:1-5. 

copyright, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com, 2018

Injustice, Worry, and Selfishness can steal our peace. Scripture offers advice.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

3 More Things That Can Steal Your Peace

3 Things that can steal our peace if we let them: Advice from Scripture.

Today's study covers 4-6 from the list 9 Things That Can Steal Your Peace. You can read about 1-3 HERE

Three more things that will steal your peace, if you let them:

4. Pride, position, desire for admiration. 

Don't get caught up in the empty rating system of our fallen world.

1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life would include sexual lusts, greed, and entitlement. But for this point, I want to focus on the "pride of life." The New Living Translation calls this "pride in our achievements and possessions." When we value ourselves or others according to the world's system, we lose our peace with God and we lose our objectivity. That's why some athletes, musicians, entertainment stars, and wealthy people are deeply honored despite their selfish, ungodly lifestyles.

To put some of these worldly values in perspective, I encourage you to read these 1-minute devotions: Stupid Has No Age Limit and You Can't Argue with Success, or Can You? 

5. Fear of offending people. 

Be gracious and kind to people, but fear God, not man.

Proverbs 29:25: Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. 

We should do our best to be gracious and kind, treating people the same way we would like them to treat us (Matthew 7:12). But we should not be concerned if people reject us for our looks, education, ethnicity, nationality, income or any other external factor. And we should never be concerned that they will reject us for our faith or our Biblical values. When we try to please others instead of trying to please God, we quickly lose our peace.

This 1-minute devotion gives some signs of people-pleasing that we should avoid: 4 Signs We’re People-Pleasers.  
And this 1-minute devotion explains when we should try to please people and when we should not: When To Care.

3 Things that can steal our peace if we let them: Advice from Scripture.
6. Entitlement. 

Jesus didn't demand respect, appreciation, and comfort. Neither should we.

Philippians 2:3-8: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 

I once heard Christ's coming compared to a man becoming a dog in order to save other dogs. I realize this analogy breaks down rather quickly, but it's important that we realize how great a sacrifice Christ made for us, how much he lowered Himself, how much honor He forfeited. Imagine the Son of God being spit upon, called a demon, and hung on a cross. Nothing you or I give up in this life can compare. Neither God nor anyone else owes us wealth or comfort. And even though there are areas where we should be shown respect, we must accept that we will not always receive it, just as our Savior did not receive the honor due Him. When we demand any of these things, we lose our peace.

This 1-minute devotion approaches this subject from a different angle than usual: Don’t Give Me What I Deserve

copyright, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com, 2018