Let’s not define “encouragement” solely in terms of our feelings. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is going ahead and doing the right thing even when our feelings are failing us. So if we’ve been “encouraged,” that means we’ll do the right thing, even when it’s scary.
Hearing the usual comments made before the Lord’s Day contribution, a visitor who didn’t know anything about our services might reasonably conclude that this is not a very important part of our service and that, in fact, we are a little embarrassed about it ourselves.
God expects us to grow to maturity in Christ, and this requires a decision on our part to cooperate with His plan for our perfection in eternity. Spiritual growth in the here and now is not optional. If we’re negligent or lazy, we can’t depend on grace to get us to heaven.
In the final analysis, what really are the components of genuine happiness? If we’re serious about answering that question, the account in Genesis 2 of Adam and Eve’s happiness in the Garden of Eden will be of more than passing interest to us.
I will finish out my meeting schedule in 2018 with a meeting in Columbus, Mississippi. I will also push to get to the halfway point in writing “Obeying the Gospel” by the end of the year. It has been a productive year in many ways.
A few weeks ago, I passed the one-fourth point in writing Obeying the Gospel. I might be able to finish the book by the end of next year. It has been an exciting project to work on, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to make this much progress on it.
If we don’t summon the courage to reject the opposite of life, then life in Christ cannot be ours. Like all other good things, the joys of life in God are the consequences of having a character that is not afraid to make big sacrifices.
The truth about God is not so hard to understand that it is beyond our reach. If we forfeit the privilege of seeing God someday, it will not be for a lack of ability or opportunity. It will be for a failure to make life’s basic choice.
The Christian gets the most out of this life that can be gotten. And when the goodness of this temporal world has been experienced and used to the Father’s glory, the Father Himself waits for us in eternity with His arms open wide.
The path of least resistance is what makes rivers crooked, and it makes men and women crooked too. The easy path never goes anywhere but downward, and spiritually, that is not the direction we want to go. Worthwhile destinations always take extra effort.
Our lives are going to be changed, for better or worse, by the way we interact with those around us. That’s just the way the world is put together, and it doesn’t do much good to wish it were otherwise. To be human is to engage in “relationships.”
If what we call “vitality” is a matter of character, and I believe it is, then it’s a matter of choice. So let us choose to work with passion and energy. And when we fail or fall short, let us have enough vitality to get up and get going once again.