Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Remain in His Love

Each day we seem to be taking one step at a time toward getting our lives back to normal. Businesses are starting to open up and allow employees to come back to work in their offices. Some of the businesses are relaxing their restrictions. As we slowly start our trek to normality, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on what I call the good, the bad and the ugly parts of the pandemic and the lessons we need to learn and apply.

One of the things that I noticed is that it was fairly easy for some to dump their faith in God or question His will. Some grew stronger in their faith and trusted Him even more. In short, the pandemic truly tested our faith and devotion to Father God.

I am not here to judge anyone regarding the strength of their faith. My faith, like all, gets tested every single day. There are times when I find my own faith waning a bit, but I quickly catch myself and refocus my attention back to the Father. We all suffer from our weak moments. Those moments tempt us from time to time. We get worn down by the things we face. When you consider all the things we had to face and the lack of knowledge in the early days of the pandemic, it was so very hard to think clearly and remain focused on the Father.

Our faith sometimes is a very fragile part of our spiritual life. Some days it is strong while other days, it is as fragile as an egg. It does happen. But, as Christians, we must realize that we are straying away. When we start to look to the world for guidance or for direction, that is the very moment when we need to stop and focus on Him.

The noted evangelist, Billy Sunday, said, “Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.”

When we yield and open the door, we become disobedient. We believe that we know better and the world knows more than God. We aren’t alone in all of this. Each and every day, our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus are tempted as well.

In chapter five of his first epistle, Peter writes, “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

As a family of faith, we all go through the same things. We are tempted and we all suffer for our faith. No one is exempt from temptation or from suffering. When you look at Jesus’ life, he was tempted as well. Satan himself tempted him. He suffered for our salvation and became our atonement sacrifice. We share that with him daily. Although we don’t worry too much about being crucified in the United States, many of our brothers and sisters face persecution, imprisonment and some even face torture and death for their faith.

In order to keep from giving up, we have to be obedient to God. Being obedient keeps us focused on the Father and keeps us away from the temptations of this sinful world. As we continue to be obedient, it would be so difficult for the temptation to sink its fangs and claws into us. But, always remember. The enemy is crafty and will change his tactics. He is constantly probing for weakness and will pounce like a tiger on its prey. Just when the moment is right, temptation will lunge for us and try to take us down.

Paul, in chapter two of his letters to the church at Philippi, writes this about Jesus, “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave  and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”     

By remaining obedient, Jesus remained in his Father’s love. It is that example that we need to always remember. Even during a pandemic or through the best of days, we need to be obedient and when we do that, we remain in God’s love and in Jesus’ love.

In chapter fifteen of John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

So, when you face temptation and feel that the enemy is grappling with you, rely on your faith and be obedient. In that way, we can remain in His love. It is only through His love that we can find security and safety. The enemy doesn’t even dare to try to snatch you away from God’s all-powerful arms. He is your shield, your refugee and your high place.

So, as you go through the rest of this week, remain faithful to Him. Remain obedient to Him. When you do those things you remain not only in His love but you are also able to stand firm in His Grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 

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