What We Believe-Part 3

Believe-

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #3 of 7. You can read the first of these 7 posts here and the second one here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

God the Son: We believe in God the Son, fully divine and fully  human. He died on the cross, was buried and rose again.

John1-1-18

John 1:1-18—”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”

1Corinthians 15-3-4

1 Corinthians 15:3-4—“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

Col1-15-20

Colossians 1:15-20—“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Tomorrow’s post is the next section—God the Holy Spirit: We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who provides new birth, indwells us and enables us to live a godly life.

AnnaSmile

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What We Believe-Part 2

believe

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #2 of 7. You can read the first of these 7 posts here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

God the Father: We believe in God the Father, Creator, Sovereign, Holy and Loving.

Ex34-6-7

Exodus 34:6-7—“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.””

1-John-2-1

1 John 2:1—“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”

Beloved, tune in tomorrow for the next section—God the Son: We believe in God the Son, fully divine and fully  human. He died on the cross, was buried and rose again.

AnnaSmile

What We Believe-Part 1

BelieveMark9-23

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Here we go with #1 of the 7!

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

Systematic Approach – 7 Key Areas

Bible: We believe in the Bible, God’s Word, inspired, trustworthy and true.

Heb4-12

Hebrews 4:12—“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

2Timothy3_16_17

2 Timothy 3:16-17—“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Beloved, tune in tomorrow for the next section—God the Father: We believe in God the Father, Creator, Sovereign, Holy and Loving.

AnnaSmile

The Ideal Life You Want Isn’t Enough

I read this yesterday and since it follows along with my “enough” theme for this year, I knew I had to share it with you. I have been repeatedly blessed by Wayne Stiles’ writing and he has given me permission to share this with you. Please click the link below to visit his blog and read the rest of his post! You’ll be blessed too.

The Ideal Life You Want Isn’t Enough

Most people live for dreams. It’s a quest, really.

Clinging to ideals of how life could and “should” be, they chase those dreams like a carrot on a stick. Always within reach, but never gotten.

I guess we’re all wired to pursue the ideal. The world calls it following “your heart,” and we Christians refer to it as “the will of God.”

But in truth, we generally settle for nothing less than our version of how life ought to be.

Any search for the ideal needs only to look at the Garden of Eden to see the futility of that pursuit.

God points us a different direction.

The Original Ideal Life

Adam and Eve lived in paradise—literally. Think about it.

They had:

  • an unspoiled environment
  • the perfect spouse
  • a great occupation
  • plenty of food
  • an easy decision of what to wear each day—nothing!

They lived without a care in the world—with no sin to mar their motives. It was an ideal life in every sense of the word.

But it wasn’t enough.

You can read the rest of Wayne’s great post here. Again, thank you so much, Wayne, for allowing me to share your writing with my readers!

AnnaSmile

Faith in Hard Times

wonderfulwednesday+heade2-01

Yep, it’s Wednesday again. What’s so wonderful about that? It’s just another day to struggle with all that’s wrong in our lives, right?

Unemployment, sickness, finances. How to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Why is it that we seem to be going through so many bad weather situations? And what about all the evil deeds going on in our world? Exactly where is God in all of this and why doesn’t He seem to care?

The other day I caught myself grumbling and complaining several times [can “several” mean less than 10? I sure hope so!] about how horrible I was feeling. I was having another reaction to mistakenly eating something with gluten in it, and this affects my entire body: migraine, nausea, mind-numbing fatigue… my body even itches horribly in a lot of places. When I get “glutenized,” it takes me days to recover. And all of this is on top of my normal migraines and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.50art

As I was praying that night, the Lord brought the day into sharp focus and all I could see was me complaining—sometimes to myself, sometimes to my hubby, sometimes to no one. And I was horrified at how much of a grumbler I had become. The Lord then brought to mind Philippians 2:14: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing…” I couldn’t believe how far my complaining heart had gone.

So what does this have to do with Wonderful Wednesday?

Everything.

The first thing I did was ask the Lord to forgive my bad attitude and then I asked Him to help me overcome this tendency I have to moan and complain. I also talked to my sweet hubby about it and asked him to lovingly let me know when I fall back into that grumbling pattern.

And then I decided to do some Bible reading about grumbling and complaining, and that led me to search out passages about faith and trust. Not the usual verses about faith like Abraham’s that I’ve somewhat memorized. No, these are more about digging in and having faith that God is with me and at work:

in me…

through me…

and all around me…

even though I may not feel that He is. It is an unconditional trust that in spite of how I might feel about what’s going on with me, God is allowing certain things in my life to hone more of those rough edges. And that enables me to walk closer with Him.

That is the wonderful part. In spite of how much I’ve let my pain overshadow my joy—the joy of knowing Jesus and basking in the knowledge of His saving grace—He still loves me and has been patiently waiting for me to finally get it. And I do!

stop-complaining-stopsign

Here are a few passages that bring me a wonderful combination of comfort, peace and hope. The first one from Psalms is something the Lord pointed out to me in my daily Bible reading:

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

—Psalm 33:20-22

This next one from Habakkuk is the last few verses of that small book, what I call Habakkuk’s Statement of Faith. In the margin next to this passage is my handwritten note: “Habakkuk was scared, but waiting. Faith waits on God to take care of things.”

I heard and my heart pounded,
    my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
    and my legs trembled.

Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
    to come on the nation invading us.

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

—Habakkuk 3:16-19

And one more:

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! —James 5:7-9

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. In an attempt to keep things real, I wanted to make sure you understand that limping with joy through a difficult valley does not mean that I am satisfied and happy with this struggle. I am definitely not! But what it does mean is that I have found the only way to live with any of it and still have that peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

It’s a fine line I walk with this complaining issue. Sometimes I need to let Rick and others close to me know exactly what’s going on with me because I usually don’t look like I’m feeling horrible. As Rick is fond of telling me, “But you look so good!” So I’ve asked Rick to specifically let me know when sharing the facts of how I feel turn into complaining.

Beloved, what are you struggling with today? Have you found your hope in the one true God? The One who is your Strength and Salvation? Please contact me with any questions about any of this: annap at annapopescu dot com.

AnnaSmile

Faith vs Worry and Fear

FaithEnd

As a former member of the extreme worriers club, I am thankful that I finally get that there is a better way. If every single aspect of my life is under God’s control, why should I worry? And what about fear?

Does worrying add or change anything? A resounding NO!!! And if I am confident that God is watching over me and has my best interests at heart, why should I be afraid?

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

—Luke 12:24-26

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

—Psalm 27:1-3

From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.
The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?

—Psalm 118:5-6

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught.

—Proverbs 3:24-26

AnnaSmile