Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Peter 2:2

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,”

-1 Peter 2:2 NIV

We start with milk, and formula because a baby’s digestive system isn’t ready for steak and potatoes.  We may not like to admit it, but it’s possible we’re still spiritual babies.  Don’t take that as an insult, take it as an opportunity, and a challenge!  Many people call themselves Christians, but they don’t have a grasp of the most basic bible facts and teachings.  That can be dangerous.  I’m not saying that every Christian needs to be an expert theologian (although that would be great), I am saying that we need to know what the Bible says and we need to know what we believe.  That’s one of the reasons why confirmation instruction is a high priority for us.  We’ll be kicking off another year of Sunday School at Victory this Sunday.  As we do, the whole congregation has the opportunity to learn with the Sunday School as the sermons for each week will cover the same Bible characters and accounts they’re studying.  We’re getting back to basics.  Basic Bible characters, basic Bible accounts.  Whether or not you’re able to be at Victory, commit yourself to learning, or re-learning the basics of the Bible.  Memorize the books of the Bible, memorize the ten commandments.  Dust off Luther’s Small Catechism, or get on for yourself.  Just start reading at Genesis 1.  Every account in the Bible is there to give us a deeper understanding of God’s plan of salvation, and a better appreciation of His love for us.  He sent Jesus to die in our place, to pay the price for our sins.  Through faith in Jesus, you are forgiven.  Completely.  Eternal life in heaven is yours.  That is a beautifully basic truth!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Luke 14:11

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

-Luke 14:11 NIV

Another way of saying that might be, “It’s hard to put your foot in a closed mouth.”  I’ve concluded that compliments always sound better coming from someone else.  Jesus is saying that If we assume a certain status for ourselves, we put ourselves in danger of being humbled.  If we start from a position of humility, we leave open the possibility of being lifted up.  An upgrade is always better than a downgrade.  In real life that means we acknowledge that we are dust, and one day we will return to it.  We acknowledge that whatever gifts, talents, and abilities we possess have been given to us by God.  If we trust in our own ability, we will be limited in what we can achieve. If we trust in God, there is no limit.  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13 NIV  Consider the humility of Jesus.  God became human.  That’s humility.  Jesus suffered torture and death.  That’s humiliating.  Did it ruin Jesus?  To the contrary, as a result of His humility and further humiliation He rose from the dead and earned forgiveness and eternal life for YOU through faith in Him.  If there are any benefits from arrogance and pride, they end with your last breath.  Humility and confidence in Christ bring benefits that last forever.  Let’s not be short-sighted.  Let God have your life.  He can do more with it than you can.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

-Hebrews 12:1 NIV

 

Are there Christians in your past who have had a formative influence on your faith life?  The verse above refers to these people as being part of a “great cloud of witnesses”.  This cloud of witnesses consists of those who have gone before us and died in the faith.  Their faith inspires and encourages us to persevere and remain faithful to Jesus until death.  My mother and father are among those whose faith inspires and encourages me to remain faithful, but we need to remember that faith has an object.  The object of faith is Jesus Christ.  The faith life of others may encourage us, but Christ alone empowers us to live that life of perseverance and faith.  As you consider those whose faith has influenced you, consider the faith legacy you’re leaving behind.  Live and talk in such a way that others (your children, your co-workers, your friends) will be inspired by your faith to know and love Jesus Christ.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Genesis 15:6

“Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

– Genesis 15:6 NIV

 

What an amazing phrase!  God made a promise to Abram, and because Abram believed God, God considered him to be righteous.  It’s an amazing reality that applies to you and me as well.  Because we put our faith in Jesus, God considers us to be righteous!  That’s critical because only those who are righteous can enter heaven.  Heaven is a place with no sin, no evil, no sickness, no death, no imperfection whatsoever.   We have to be righteous to get in there.   Thankfully, Jesus lived a perfect life, then offered it on the cross as payment for our imperfect lives.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to believe that, and through that faith we are credited with the righteousness and perfection of Jesus.  It’s just as God’s Word says, “whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)   As humans, we put our faith in a lot of people and things.  God’s Word makes it clear that faith in Jesus is the best faith ever!  He cannot, He will not let you down.  Live in faith, die in faith, trusting in Jesus Christ.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Luke 12:20

“’You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

-Luke 12:20 NIV

 

Pretty strong words from God!  True, this is a parable so God isn’t talking to a real person, but the lesson is made clear to us all.  In the eyes of God, a person is a fool if they save up money and goods for themselves, but do nothing to forward God’s cause and help others.  Money isn’t evil, it’s not wrong to save, it’s not wrong to retire, but it is wrong to neglect God and His cause when He is the giver of all the good things that we have.  He gave Jesus to die on the cross so the price for our sins would be paid.  Through faith in Jesus we are certain of life eternal in heaven.  In light of the great, eternal blessings we’ve been given, we now use our temporary material blessings to spread God’s Word and God’s love.  Be rich toward God!