Out of the believer’s heart… I recently saw an episode of Twilight Zone about a young boy and his neighbor friend, a prize fighter whose best days were behind him. When stepping into the ring his courage was intact but his faith was in shambles. He was at the point in his career here he didn’t step into the ring to win. He stepped into the ring merely to get paid. Fighting was how he made his living. So it is for many of us. At times we fight against the harsh realities of life and other times just fighting to get out of bed in the morning. The young man in the episode decided to help the faith of this fighter by making a special wish for the fighter to win. As wishes go between the daylight and darkness of the Twilight Zone, it becomes true. The only thing left is for the prize fighter to believe. Gracious God in those twilight zone moments of our own lives, let not the sun go down on our disbelief that we may rise in faith and forever proclaim your glory in our lives.
“Who do the crowds say that I am?” Luke 9:18-27 Ever wonder what other people are thinking about you? It’s not unusual. We do it all the time, for example when we have applied for a job or when we are meeting someone new or perhaps when we are trying to create change. Most times we don’t think about it until we’ve said or done something that causes adverse effects in our relationships. Jesus thought about it just long enough to ask the question and get the response he needed to hear from his disciples. We are Christ’s disciples and to forget who we are in Christ weakens the spirit of Christ within us. Other people will think we are many things but our lives are not defined by what other people say about who we are, but by our steadfast willingness to follow the way of the cross. Fortified by the promises of God’s word, when all else passes away, the strength to continue our journey despite the hardships in the situations we experience is how we know who we are; spiritually enduring for the sake of the gospel.
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” Luke 9:18-27
James 1:1-15; Deuteronomy 8:1-10; Psalm 80