Tag Archives: God

12 Forgotten Things Every Christian Should Know

As someone in the middle of the journey of following after Jesus I found this article by Frank Viola very accurate and encouraging. Perhaps it will likewise encourage you or someone you know.

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Jesus Christ has seven ministries today. One of them is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. In this role, whatever Jesus has begun in your life, He has promised to complete (see Phil. 1:6). That’s great news!

The beginning of the Christian life is easy. The end is joyous. But the middle is where the fiercest battles take place, and many fall away. The real test of faith comes in the middle of our journey.

Jesus is the trailblazer, pathfinder and pilgrim of God’s way. This is the meaning of Christ being the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Not only did Jesus blaze the trail, but He also finished the pilgrimage. And He gives His people the strength to tread where He trod and arrive where He awaits.

I wish someone had told me the following things when I was walking on the clouds of the newfound joy of my salvation at age 16. This list goes beyond the typical recommendations for new believers (read the Bible, pray regularly, get involved in a fellowship, etc.). I’m not mentioning those, as they are “givens.”

The list doesn’t represent any kind of order or priority. Rather, this list offers some honest insights and practical advice for your journey as a believer:

1. Christians will break your heart.

The greatest pain you will receive will be at the hands of fellow and professing believers.

2. Not everyone who professes Christ knows Him.

The fruit of real faith is love—treating all others the same way you want to be treated.

3. God will not meet all of your expectation.

And he will sometimes appear not to fulfill His own promises.

4. You will experience dry spells where there is no sense of God’s presence.

Learn to live by faith, not feelings.

5. Build a library and read the best Christian books in print.

Don’t waste your time on “pop” Christian books. Go for depth.

6. Write your goals down (goals = dreams = prayer requests).

And document when a prayer or goal is answered or fulfilled.

7. Never judge other Christians unless you’ve walked in their shoes.

Always think the best of others (Matt. 7:12).

8. Choose a mentor.

But never choose one who is insecure, speaks negatively about others or has an inflated ego.

9. Some of the things you struggle with now you will struggle with when you are old.

Resist condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

10. Many of the answers you have now will prove inadequate later in life.

Always be a student and a child in the kingdom.

11. Never bluff an answer to someone’s biblical or theological question if you don’t know the answer.

Learn to say, “I don’t know.”

12. Discover who you are in Christ, and learn what it means to live by His indwelling life.

While there is a great deal of talk today about following Jesus and being a disciple, very little airtime has been given to discovering how to live by Christ’s indwelling life.

This is both tragic and ironic, because we cannot follow Jesus or properly be His disciple if we don’t know how to live by His life.

And this is the heart of the New Testament and the gospel.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” … “Not I, but Christ lives in me.”

~ This article is an excerpt from Frank Viola’s new book, Jesus Now: Unveiling the Present-Day Ministry of Christ.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adversity, Christianity, Encouragement, God, God's Faithfulness, Religion and Spirituality

Shine!

Shine - CS Lewis

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under CS Lewis, God, influence with the world, Religion and Spirituality

God can be trusted!

God can be trusted

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, Love of God, Quote, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Resurrection, Trusting God

Learn to Pray

Leran to Pray

Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, God's Will, Gratitude, Jesus, Joy, Praise, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality, Scripture, Thankfulness

Breathless Expectation

Certain of God - Oswald Chambers

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adventure, Discipleship, Faith, God, intimacy with the Lord, Oswald Chambers, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God

Always in His gaze

Refining SilverThe woman asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. “Oh yes!” he replied. “I cannot take my eyes off the silver. If it is left in the furnace even a moment too long, it will be destroyed.” The woman suddenly understood the beauty and comfort of Malachi 3:3: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

Yes, there are times when it seems as if we will be swallowed whole by the fires of hell itself. The pain seems too hard to bear. The fear is paralyzing. The doubt is overwhelming and the questions flood our hearts and minds…

Our trials are not random persecutions. Heaven is not in a panic. Where we are and what we are going through is no surprise to God. We may be knocked down and kicked around by life, but if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will not be destroyed.

~ Excerpted from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Encouragement, Faith, God, Grief, Hope, intimacy with the Lord, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Suffering, Trusting God

Prayer… adjusting how we view reality.

Prayer - Does It Make Any DifferenceThe prophet Daniel defied a tyrant’s orders by opening his window and praying three times a day toward his home city of Jerusalem. For him, for the other believers living in foreign lands… prayer was the main reminder of a reality contradicted by all surroundings. A channel of faith, it served to restore the truth belied by everything around them. For us, too, prayer can be that channel. We live on a broken planet, fallen far from God’s original intent. It takes effort to remember who we are, God’s creation, and faith to imagine what we someday will be, God’s triumph.

Prayer has become for me much more than a shopping list of requests to present to God. It has become a realignment of everything. I pray to restore the truth of the universe, to gain a glimpse of the world, and of me, through the eyes of God. In prayer I shift my point of view away from my own selfishness. I climb above timberline and look down at the speck that is myself. I gaze at the stars and recall what role I or any of us play in a universe beyond comprehension. Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view. ~ Philip Yancey in Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Faith, God, Philip Yancey, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality, Worldview

When do you think most about God?

Moses lost the chance to lead the people of God into the promised land because of his anger. (I can relate to the anger thing) But before he died he challenged them to remember and honor God’s commands once they possessed the land. He was concerned that a comfortable lifestyle would interfere with their desire for God.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ~ Deuteronomy 8:10-14

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

He was right to be concerned. Life did get cozy and they did forget God. Then when life unraveled they cried out to God for help and He rescued them. We see this roller coaster pattern over and over and over again in this period of Israel’s history. But I see the same pattern today, even in myself.

According to Philip Yancey, “Alexandr Solzhenitsyn says that he first learned to pray in a Siberian concentration camp. He turned to prayer because he had no other hope. Before his arrest, when things were going well, he had seldom given God a thought.”

So let me pose the question that struck at the heart of the matter and greatly challenged me.

Do you think most about God when things are going  well or when you are in trouble?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, intimacy with the Lord, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Prayer is…

prayer-mother-teresa

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Mother Teresa, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Surrender

Understanding God

Dinner with a Perfect StrangerGod wouldn’t be much of a God if you could fully understand his nature. Humanity still hasn’t figured out most of creation. The Creator is far greater than that.

~ Excerpted from Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality