Grit. Resolution. Perseverance.
I found this handwritten signed note placed on my office desk yesterday. It read, “Thank you Mike for keeping us going…” Thank you. The Apostle Paul likely kept a note similar to this on his desk; “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own”(Philippians 3:12). The ‘it’ he was talking about was: “…whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (v 8). Paul was reminding himself (and us) of several important things which encourage perseverance.
The foundation of our perseverance is that Christ has made us his very own. There was no six foot separation when Jesus stood toe to toe with his disciples one day and insisted this, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Also, no one of us has yet arrived. There is no ultimate arrival prior to standing face-to-face with God himself. We are always in process at persevering. Still in the fight, still running the race. God “began a good work” in us and he will ONLY “bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Believe it or not, even though it is God’s work, it is done through our work, not instead of our work. So, “let’s press ‘on.”
Perseverance does not involve part of us, it involves all of us. It involves intense devotion, serious effort, something which is hard for me to do. I should not be just drifting over the finished line someday. I recently read of one who wrote, “The Lord is more precious to me the older I get.” – Bill Piper. Now that is a testimony of perseverance!
Please note that many of the biblical benedictions take joy in God’s blessings, and also your persevering:
“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.’ So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:24-27
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20,21
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24,25
How’s that to start your (long) week – with benedictions? Thank you, church, for keeping me going! Together we will persist, survive, weather, press on, endure.
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Pastor Mike Brubaker, DMin
Christian Life Chapel Website
Christian Life Chapel
PO Box 91
392 South Main Street
Colchester, CT 06415