Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Monday, February 4, 2008


I am not always a fan of paraphrase versions of the Bible but today as I pondered the NIV and the NLT passage below, I turned to the Message [a paraphrase] for a deeper impact. I call this version, "the everyday, plain English, make it practical" version. See if it helps you to understand how to "live the thing out" - as it did for me!

Philippians 2:12-16 [The Message]

Rejoicing Together [Paul speaking]
12-13 What I'm getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I'm separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure.
14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing. [emphasis mine]
I came away asking myself these questions:
  • How often do I respond in obedience to Jesus and anyone in authority over me [Pastors, Elders, bosses, co-oworkers, partners in ministry]?

  • Am I redoubling my efforts to please God?

  • Am I energetic and enthusiastic about the salvation I have received - or do I just complain and barely get by?

  • Do I possess the proper reverence and sensitivity that God deserves?

  • What affect does my life have on those around me?

  • Am I living proof of Who God Is - and what He is doing in my life?

Choosing JOY,


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