Victory Vitamin Blog – Colossians 1:10

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”

-Colossians 1:10 NIV

The apostle Paul was writing to the small, young church in Colossae, encouraging them to stick with the truth that had been taught to them, and to live lives that would please God.  God sends that same message to us today in Colossians 1:10.  Now, more than ever, people are skeptical and sour toward Christians.  They think of us as snooty, judgmental, “holier than thou” people who don’t know what love really is.  We’ll never change the minds of the masses with our words.  They’re not listening.  They are watching.  As we live lives that are worthy of the Lord, and as we bear fruit in every good work, they’ll have to notice.  In a time when some people represent their god with bloodshed and body counts, the true God wants us to sacrifice for the good of others.  Jesus did it for us, we do it for others.  He died so that we could be forgiven and live eternally with Him.  The loudest witness we can share with the world is to love our neighbors as ourselves.  It may not always be easy, but it also isn’t complicated.  In your dealings with others, be nice.  Simply be nice.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Luke 8:35

“When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.”

-Luke 8:35 NIV

 

Well, that’s interesting.  These people were afraid because a guy who used to run around naked, and out of his mind, was now dressed and sitting calmly at Jesus’ feet?  What’s scary about that?  You’d think they would have been afraid when the guy was running around the town possessed by demons.  It’s funny how easily we can become accustomed to evil.  It sounds like these townspeople liked it better the old way.  They had become comfortable with the devil’s presence among them.  Now that the demons had been cast out, they were afraid.  Backward?  Yes,  but  how easily we become comfortable with our own sin.  We resign ourselves to the fact that our sinful behavior will never change, so we rationalize the behavior and adapt our lives to it.  Let’s stop.  When Jesus cast the demons out of this guy, everyone saw that Jesus has power over the devil.  He’s in control.  We’ll never be sinless on earth, but we also cannot become comfortable with the devil.  Jesus died to cleanse us from sin and His desire is that we live as forgiven people.  When you were baptized the devil lost control of you.  You are now controlled by the Spirit.  Christ is in you.  Live to glorify Him!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Luke 7:14

“Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’” 

-Luke 7:14 NIV

I remember my mother’s funeral like it was just a few weeks ago.  I still miss her, but I don’t know what I’d do if someone came up and did what Jesus did in the verse above.  My mother, and all those who have died in the faith are at peace in the perfection of heaven.  What selfishness to allow my temporary sorrow to interrupt her eternal glory.  But Jesus did it for this widow from the town of Nain.  Jesus brought her dead son back to life.  I don’t know if that boy was in heaven, but I’ll assume he was.  Why would Jesus bring him back?  1)Because Jesus has compassion.  He knew the widow’s grief and his heart went out to her.  2)Because He could.  Jesus proved to everyone present, and to all who believe God’s Word, that HE has power over death.  Death does not have the final say, Jesus does.  3) To show us that as life entered that boy’s body a second time, so life will be restored to us.  Not temporary, earthly life, but perfect, heavenly, eternal life.  By HIS death and resurrection Jesus has seen to that.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33 NIV

 

Money trouble, relationship trouble, health trouble, car trouble.  That list could get out of control.  Jesus takes a very matter of fact approach to earthly troubles.  He says, “Yup, you’re gonna have troubles in this world, but take heart!  I’ve overcome the world.”  In what way?  Does that mean we won’t have trouble anymore?  No.  Jesus acknowledges the fact that as long as we live in this world, we will have trouble.  His point is that in the midst of our troubles, we take heart, which means to have courage, to be comforted, and be of good cheer.  We live in the midst of troubles that have no bearing on our true happiness.  Our sins are forgiven, our eternity is secure, we’re just waiting for perfection to be delivered to us.  Faith in Jesus enables us to cheerfully overlook many of the things that would trouble us in this life.  We may have to deal with them on occasion, but they don’t need to trouble us.  Our eternal happiness is guaranteed in Jesus.  Cling to Him, press on, and take heart.  Our present troubles aren’t worth comparing with the glory we’ll enjoy in heaven.

Victory Vitamin Blog – John 13:34-35

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” 

-John 13:34-35 NIV

It’s clear from Jesus’ words that we are to love others.  In fact, we MUST.  What may not be as clear is how we are to love others.  Jesus says we are to love others as He loved us.  How exactly did Jesus love us?  He loved us by sacrificing, suffering, and dying.  Now, hold the phones.  I’m not saying you need to die to show your love for others, that likely wouldn’t do them any good.  The point is that as you put love into action for the benefit of others, you will likely have to make sacrifices of your time and your money.  You may be inconvenienced, you may experience suffering.  Real love isn’t easy, just ask Jesus.  Jesus gives us a new command, and it is that we must love other people.  We don’t have to agree with them, enable them, or even like them, but we must love them in action.  Sacrifice for their good.  Give of your time and energy.  Encourage, serve, provide, just as Jesus provided us with something we never would have acquired on our own, forgiveness and eternal life.