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Friday, January 30, 2009

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Hebrews 10:32-39
Psalm 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40
Mark 4:26-34

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spiritual suicide?

"Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward." —Hebrews 10:35

Satan is trying to get us to surrender our confidence, to draw back (Heb 10:38-39), to give up, to commit spiritual suicide. To keep the faith, we have to endure "a great contest of suffering" (Heb 10:32). This contest lasts a long time. Relief in our sufferings seems indefinitely delayed (see Heb 10:37). Any benefits from our sufferings seem to be invisible or negligible.

Under these circumstances, we naturally feel like giving up. Satan will even let us give up without appearing to give up everything. He'll let us keep the trappings of Christianity as long as we're lukewarm in our commitment to Jesus (see Rv 3:16). So it's very easy to give up and not even look bad to other Christians.

How many church-goers are just going through the motions? We can look like a Christian while actually being quite unlike Christ. How many spouses are divorced in heart and spirit although not on paper? How many parents have long ago given up discipling their children? How many churches have given up on trying to evangelize?

If you've given up on life and on God, repent. The Lord will take you back. If you're keeping the faith but wondering how long you'll have to suffer, fix your eyes on Jesus, and you will rejoice in the measure you suffer for Him (1 Pt 4:13).

Prayer:  Father, may my faith move mountains and not vice versa (see Mt 17:20).

Promise:  "Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart's requests." —Ps 37:4

Praise:  Although dying of cancer, Denise did not complain and continued to serve others in a Christ-like way.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Adultery on audio AV 53-1 or video V-53.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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