PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

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Christian studies, activities 

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” – Php. 3:17.

Have you ever been a bad situation? Was it spiritual, mental, physical, financial, relational, educational, etc.? How do you react when the Lord trusts you to undergo a “light affliction(II Cor. 4:17)? If you ask the average person “how are you?”, you’re likely to hear, “it’s rough on a brother!” If not careful this pessimism can strangle your soul.

Do we understand the overt point of Christ’s death? With all that He suffered, He rose due to His unmitigated (complete and utter) trust in the Father! Jesus always saw a way to introduce God in every tribulation, as in the case of the man who was blind from birth (Jhn. 9:1- 3). What’s the lesson here? Instead of taking situations at face value we must see how God can be glorified! Otherwise, we may become a “servant of sin(Jhn. 8:34) and enable Satan to put us in a “stronghold” (defense mechanism used by our minds that retards maturation).

A stronghold besieges our mental facilities and prevents us from being positive. We may realize that our deeds, words, and thoughts are negative, but we can’t do anything about them – except maybe glamorize them to mask our ineptitude. While the mind of Christ empowers us to find a way to glorify God in any given situation, strongholds delude us with a false sense of superiority that “kicks in” when we’re being pushed to excel.

Righteousness shall go before Him; shall set us in the way of His steps (Psa. 85:13).” This verse infers that following the Lord is righteousness! Any wonder why statements such as “the Lord is my Shepherd“; “I am the Good Shepherd (Jhn. 10:11)“; or “take up your cross and follow Me (Mrk. 8:34)” exist? Obviously, for us to excel we have to emulate God who, when surrounded with unimaginable darkness and lifelessness, didn’t say “it sure is dark and lifeless out here.” Instead, by the authority of His own sovereign power, His first pronouncement was “LET THERE BE LIGHT (Gen. 1:3)!

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psa. 34.1).” This should be like one of our theme songs since we realize that God doesn’t respond to negativity. Notice how the  P A T I E N T  angel of the Lord didn’t bother to address Gideon’s whining, and yet continued to encourage him to be a “…man of valor (Jdg. 6:12-16)!” Fortunately in this case Gideon complied eventually, because in Num. 14:29 the rebellious Israelites are penalized to wander the desert until those who are at least 20 years old are dead.

Perhaps the answer to the age old question of why is there evil when God is good all the time is due to His efforts to obtain the “cream of the crop.” It should be clear that because of our free-will we can decide not to attend His “…Wedding Feast (Mat. 22:1-14)!” Surely you understand that a wedding as an event has practices; the prior relationships you had were for practice; and that strengthening your bond with your mate will require plenty of practice. “Let patience have he perfect work that you may be perfect, entire wanting nothing (Jam. 1:4).” 

Why we give in to Satan without a fight is unreasonable in view of his imminent punishment (Rev. 20:3). After the Fall of Man (Gen. 3:6) God has been working to restore His relationship with Man. With Jesus as our example, we are to recapture the dominion lost in the Garden when, instead of listening to God, Adam followed the deceived Woman’s unrighteous suggestion.

By just following God only, Adam’s needs were supernaturally met. He didn’t have to hunt for his food; he just took a seed, set it/forget it, and VoilaThe Original Ronco Meal! The Devil, however, doesn’t have the ability to create anything; his children are not opposed to illicit gains. If they would obey God, He’d bless them also (II Chr. 7:14), and facilitate their development (II Cor. 10:4): “for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”

How do we become perfect? By getting into the Word, and by letting it get into us! Then, of course, we must practice the principles we learn DAILY, while maintaing a forgiving heart (Mat. 6:14). Be assured that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – II Tim. 3:16-17. Amen!

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