Sunday, December 23, 2007

no pain ... no gain

My Way Sunday
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reflections on being a Christian man part 8
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There was a lot of water passed under the bridge between the time of Isaiah, the old testament prophet, and the birth of the baby Jesus, the long awaited Messiah - approximately 700 (+/-) years. There has been a lot of history, by our measure, taking place since Jesus returned to His Father - approximately 2000 (+/-) years.

In all this time, the message has remained the same. As a man, a Christian man, I need to heed it. One part of the message is contained in the letter written to the Hebrews. In Chapter 10, verse 36 it is written:
36 You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.
Endurance! Another aspect of endurance is patience. The ongoing act of endurance requires patience, as there is some longer passage of time involved in a 'distance' race than with a short race, or sprint. As a man of Christ, I must continue my effort, with patience. The end will be reached, but if it is still a ways off, I cannot give up, but must persevere to the goal line.

As with many long-term endeavors, suffering may be involved in reaching the end of the effort. That there is a prize or reward awaiting those who finish is understood. Yet, it is still difficult, and many do not make it not through. St. Paul in one of his letters, specifically a letter to the Christians living in Rome, wrote in chapter 5, verses 3-5:

3 Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,
4 and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Being a Christian man is intentionally goal oriented. Not only is my effort in behalf of myself, it is eminently the plan that my life affects other lives. I need to live my life in such a way that others will take notice, and allow the seed planted by my witness to flourish and grow in them.The goal is that they may also be called 'Christian'.
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'CLICK' on the above > and welcome our Lord this last Sunday of Advent
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and Emmanuel

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