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Thursday, June 23, 2016

To be conformed to the image of His Son

Tucked away in Romans 8:29 is God's goal for us, to "conform us to the image of His Son", and that will require extreme measures, but we come to a place of knowing His heart and trusting His hand. Our relationship with Him becomes so strong and real and secure that what we "see" with our natural eyes, becomes secondary in importance to what we "see" with the eyes of faith. We walk by faith and not by sight.  These 4 facebook posts and one email confirmed the truth that we saw in last nights Bible Study.

1)  This is Meant to Make Me Grow
“Sicknesses and losses and crosses and anxieties and disappointments seem absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful and spiritual–minded. They are as needful as the pruning knife to the vine and the refiner’s furnace to the gold.
They are not pleasant to flesh and blood. We do not like them and often do not see their meaning…
We shall find that all worked for our good when we reach heaven. Let these thoughts abide in our minds, if we love growth in grace. When days of darkness come upon us, let us not count it a strange thing. Rather let us remember that lessons are learned on such days, which would never have been learned in sunshine.
J.C. Ryle

2)  Just as God humbled Israel with manna in the desert, so He humbles us. "Give us this day our daily bread and deliver us..." The purpose of affliction is ultimately good and healing: God humbles us with manna, the "bread of affliction, so "that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD" (Deut. 8:3). In other words, God uses tzuris to lead us to do teshuvah and accept the truth. We often pray that our problems be taken away, but God sometimes ordains these very problems so that we will turn and draw near to Him... We are being weaned from this present age to be made ready for heavenly glory, for things unimaginably wonderful, soon to be revealed to you. Chazak – stay strong in the Lord, friends.

3)  The fame of Christ in the nations requires, among other things, people willing to live where there are no Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or hipster cafes. Places with dodgy wifi and unreliable electricity. None of them will meet Jesus in eternity and wish they hadn't given those things up.

4)  "When life sucks –  When things don’t go my way – When the disease creeps into my body, or family members throw their darts of self-righteousness or when friends disappear, I need to see this present suffering as a chance to elevate my perspective.
Suffering is a chance to see things from another view, to elevate above the everyday world and to find a higher meaning, a purpose to all of this."  David Rupert

5)  Philippians 3:10
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death"
All Christians want to know Christ.
Some Christians want to know the power of His resurrection.
Precious few look forward to joining Christ through suffering.
Yet suffering and death always precede resurrection power.  Arlyn Satanek

Lastly Romans 8:17 "and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."
God open our eyes to see that part of the suffering that Christ endures that we are given the opportunity to "join" Him in, is the knowledge the burden that so many go through life not knowing the mercy and grace available to them through Him.  Help us to be vessels of mercy!!

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