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Monday: Enduring to the End — 14 Comments

  1. Revelation 13
    14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth.

    If I depend on human reasoning, if I depend on signs and wonders pointing people from scripture, I will be deceived.

    Matthew 26:40 & 41
    40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

    Watch and Pray

    Deception will sometimes carry within it some element of truth; therefore, we must have the spiritual discernment to differentiate the truth and error; otherwise, we will not endure to the end.

  2. I have know of the story of the two houses since a child, but today for the first time I have realised this parable is talking about character building - or more specifically, which foundation we are building our character upon. Whether we realise it or not, every thought, choice or action we make every moment of every day is shaping our character. So the question is not are we building our character but, what character are we building?

    There are only 2 types of character we can build: a character that lives to benefit others (ie Christlike) or a character that lives to benefit self (Satan's character). Only a character that lives to benefit others can ultimately withstand the most severe trials and challenges (see Matt 16:25, Luke 17:33).

    Our repeated thoughts, choices and actions both reflect our character and shape it. Repeated actions that are in harmony with Jesus teaching (ie obedient to) re-shape our character to one that is more and more beneficent (Christlike) and correspondingly less and less self-based.

    God gives us the power by His indwelling Holy Spirit and we then put this power to work when make good choices - Christlike choices - in every situation of each day. Bible study, prayer and lifestyle choices (incl Phil 4:8) are the 'building materials' needed to develop a Christlike character that reflects God's character of love/beneficence.

    This what Paul was referring to when he said we needed to 'work-out' the salvation that God is working within us (Phil 2:12,13). God cannot simply 'download' a new character into us - character has to be built. God cannot build our character for us - and we cannot build a Christlike character without God.

    It is when we are under pressure and challenge from the 'storms of life' that we reveal what type of character we have. This is how people will know we are a Christian - by the way we live and relate to them, especially when we are under pressure.

    • I like what you said. I truly believe that there is no choice or action that does not have an impact on our walk with God. Everything we do is either leading us closer to God or farther away.

  3. My postgrad research is in computer persistent systems. The essential idea is that if a computer fails, the system should be able to restart in a consistent state. One of the main principles persistent systems engineers adopted early on in this research area was that persistence was not an idea that could be successfully added on at the user software level, but that it needed to be built in and supported at the computer's fundamental hardware and operating system levels. If persistence is part of the system, then user-level software built on top of it works persistently too.

    Persistence (to the end) is something that is important to our Christianity as well, and we need to regard it, not as an attachment that we add ourselves (at the user level), but a fundamental that we build on. The lesson that the parable of the two houses emphasizes the point. Both houses were essentially the same; the difference was in the foundation the builders chose.

  4. A quote that keeps ringing in my ears is from EG White’s book “Christ’s Object Lessons” - “When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” COL 69.1 Christ is speaking of the seed that has been sown; it first needs to die before new growth can occur, then it develops slowly, by necessary nutrients until maturity. So it is with our character development that began from birth. The change needs to be happening now, today, in us, by daily communion with the One who made us, and wants to fellowship with us in His kingdom.

  5. We cannot obey God or Jesus unless we abide in the vine (Jesus.) so our focus needs to be in abiding in Jesus then our obedience will fall into its proper place.

  6. Obedience to the commandments and admonitions of God is the foundation of our faith in Jesus. By obeying and keeping to the wise words of our master, we build our lives and faith around this well-structured foundation that can't be shaken by flood of any sort.
    Christ warns of the tribulations that will besiege us on the last days, yet gives us hope that He will be with us through it all if we abide in Him.
    May God give strength to abide in his word till the very end.

    • The foundation of our faith is in the grace of Jesus. Obedience comes as a response to that grace.

      Eph 2: 8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

      This is not an invitation to be disobedient and do what we like. It is an invitation to respond and live that faith in obedience.

      • Maurice, reading your last sentence brought to mind the words of Paul in Rom 1:5 where he said that his role was to call people to the "obedience that comes from faith" - a faith that inspires (and carries through to) life change.

      • You are right Maurice. Verse 10 tells us "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." grace gives us good works (Ephesians 2:10) and obedience (Romans 1:5) and helps us escape corruption while living in this present world. (Titus 2:11-12)

      • Right Inge, my faith responds to God's grace. God does not look down on me and say, "Well William has faith so I will give Him my grace." God's grace is not in response to my faith. My faith is in response to God's grace. God gives me grace and then I believe. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves" Ephesians 2:8 When it says "not of yourselves" that is referring to faith. I am not even saved by my own faith. I am saved by the FAITHfulness of Jesus!

  7. Mathew 24 and Revelation 13 shows that "Sunday law" Doctrine is not right. People will be prosecuted because of Jesus name(Mathew 24:9) not because of keeping the Sabbath.


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