Press On

Stan Mast

READ : Philippians 3:10-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (v. 12 NIV) For a solid month we have focused on knowing Christ. I alliterated the various movements of our meditations to help you keep track of our progress: the passion, the possibilities, the preliminaries, the practices, and the proof. Now we end with …

Knowing and Being Known

Stan Mast

READ : 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (v. 12 NIV) I have to say one more thing about building our lives on Jesus and his teachings. We won’t ever do that well enough. Jesus did not say that your house will glow in the dark or expand into a mansion or in some other way become a showplace. He said simply, “It will be standing when …

The Way Forward

Stan Mast

READ : Matthew 7:24-29 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (v. 24 NIV) These words tell us that Jesus doesn’t mean to frighten us away with his hard words. Rather he wants to encourage us to keep building our lives on his words, even after failure. Everyone is building a house—a life, a career, a family, a structure of activity and …

The Way Back

Stan Mast

READ : Matthew 7:13-14 Enter through the narrow gate. (v. 13 NIV) We can know that we know Christ by the fruit of obedience. But what if there is little fruit? I can hear someone say, “I felt like a failure before; now I feel afraid. What do I do with Jesus’ challenging words?” Listen to the good news before and after the frightening words of Matthew 7:23—there is a way back and a way forward. If you are unsure …

The Fruit of Faith

Stan Mast

READ : Matthew 7:15-20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (v. 20 NIV) Jesus’ strong words in Matthew 7:21 may sound like salvation by works, but Jesus didn’t mean that. We are saved not by our obedience, but by Christ’s. We must simply trust him as Savior and Lord. What Jesus meant is that trusting involves obeying. Or as he puts it in our reading for today, obedience is the natural fruit of faith in Jesus as Lord. …

Jesus Is Lord

Stan Mast

READ : Romans 10:5-13 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (v. 9 NIV) “Jesus is Lord.” With those three words, the early church changed the world. They were convinced that no one could say them except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3) and that all who said them from the heart would be saved (Rom. 10:9). But as the church …