Training to be a Christian – Part 3: Listening to the Coach

Today we continue our discussion on training to be a Christian, getting into the real day-to-day activities we should be implementing.

Primary Verse:

Philippians 3:12 (NET) Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, 14 with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let those of us who are “perfect” embrace this point of view. If you think otherwise, God will reveal to you the error of your ways. 16 Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.

Other verses:

Romans 12:1 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. 2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.

John 8:31 (NET) Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples.

John 13:15 (NET) For I have given you an example – you should do just as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the solemn truth, the slave is not greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent as a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Training to be a Christian – Part 2: The Training Regiment

Today we continue our discussion on training to be a Christian, getting into the real day-to-day activities we should be implementing.

1 Corinthians 9:24 (NASB) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

 

Training to be a Christian, Part 1: What You Give Up

In this first episode of season three, we are diving right into an important topic: training to be a Christian. Today we’ll focus on what we give up.

Hebrews 12:1 (NASB) Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What Does Loving God Look Like?

Today we explore what it means to love God – what does that look like?

John 14:20-21 (WEB) In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”

Four Flights, Three Semis, Two Rude Reps, and an Accident

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good, right? So what about when things don’t go well? Today I’ll share my own personal experience with four flights, three semis, two rude reps, and a car accident.

James 1:2 (NET) My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

All For His Glory

While I was traveling on business this week, I came to a strong realization that all that happens is to glorify Him. We’re just going to begin this topic this week, and next week you’ll hear the rest of the story – something you won’t want to miss.

Our verses today are:

Romans 11:36 (NET) For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.

Psalm 19:1 (NET) The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork.

Proverbs 30:8 (NET) Remove falsehood and lies far from me; do not give me poverty or riches, feed me with my allotted portion of bread, 9 lest I become satisfied and act deceptively and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I become poor and steal and demean the name of my God.

Continuing Thoughts on Prayer

In this week’s episode we are continuing our discussion on prayer that we began last week. We’ll spend time in the following scriptures:

James 4:2b (WEB) You don’t have, because you don’t ask. 3 You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.

1 John 5:14 (WEB) This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us. 15 And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (WEB) Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.

Does God Answer Prayer?

Does God Answer Prayer? This is a question many Christians ask, and today we’ll start to uncover the answer.

Genesis 25:21 (WEB) Isaac entreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren. Yahweh was entreated by him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her. She said, “If it is so, why do I live?” She went to inquire of Yahweh. 23 Yahweh said to her, “Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger.”

James 5:16b (WEB) The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.

The Bird Also Found A House …

In the podcast this past week, we talked about how it is of greater value to stand at the threshold of the house of the Lord than to live in the tents of the wicked. While this is such a powerful visual, the entire passage I quoted in this podcast, Psalms 84, speaks to the greatness of dwelling in the house of the Lord. Look at the first few verses:

Psalms 84:1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.

This psalm is not written by David, but the sons of Korah. In it, the author seems to be speaking to the difference of a world without YHWH as our God and world with Him as our God.

Our hearts yearn for Him, even before we know what they are yearning for. Birds find their house and swallows their nest, and in those places they are happy, but for us, there is no true happiness until we find our God. And then, and only then, we are blessed as we will dwell with Him forever.

I am amazed at how much I am getting from this one psalm, and perhaps it is speaking to me because I need to be reading it right now. I’m not sure what God is trying to tell me, but my ears are open and ready to hear Him.