Always faithful

The motto of the U.S. Marines is “Semper Fidelis.” It means “Always Faithful.”

Our son, in the Marine Corps for six years, knew what this meant. He told us a Marine is always a Marine, and a Marine is always ready to serve.

Jesus knew the kind of servants he needed. The Lord wanted servants who were ready to do his work. He told his disciples, “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning: and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, that when he will return from the wedding and knocks they may open to him immediately” (Luke 12:35-36a NKJV). Continue reading “Always faithful”

Grace & making effort: Are they compatible?

We know the message and it comforts our hearts. In his grace God pours out salvation upon us, the undeserving. We can be redeemed, made holy and adopted as God’s people because our salvation rests upon Christ, not our righteousness. Furthermore, the cleansing power of the Messiah’s blood is greater than any sin we might bring to him.

So, how compatible is grace with the command to make every effort to live up to God’s calling? If we feel like these are opposing ideas, we would not be alone. Continue reading “Grace & making effort: Are they compatible?”

Stay focused on heaven

Edith Hamilton relates a story in her book, “Mythology” about a beautiful young lady named Atalanta.

After being rejected by her father the King for not being a male, she was left to die in the forest. Yet, she survived and became a fleet-footed huntress.

After hearing about her, several young men came to the forest to woo her. Atalanta, however, wasn’t interested in any man, only hunting and freedom. Continue reading “Stay focused on heaven”

Salvation and purpose

Salvation and purpose is an odd title. Yet, failure to distinguish between these ideas entangles them to the detriment of  one or the other.

On the play ground, we can easily distinguish between becoming part of a team and what  we are to do as team members. However, open the Bible and we might find ourselves blending what is distinctively different.  Continue reading “Salvation and purpose”

If faithful versus never fall

by Barry Newton

Who would confuse, “If you practice every day, you will not be cut from the team” with “You will never be cut from the team.” If anyone were to strip away the conditional nature of the former forcing it to be understood as the latter, the motive might be desire.

The impulse to hear what we want is powerful. It can deafen us to the actual message.

Just listen to Jesus’, Paul’s, Peter’s and James’ voices as they frankly inform God’s people, not the lost, that their reception of the reward is conditional upon persistent faithfulness. Continue reading “If faithful versus never fall”