by Shari Abbott with Alex McFarland for Reasons for Hope* Jesus
We live in a time when the body of Christ is growing weak.
Now don’t hear me wrong. There are plenty of Christians who are strong in the faith and on-fire for the Lord. But there is also a growing number of churches that are becoming like the first century church at Ephesus. They have good works, but they have forgotten their first love.
Revelation 2:2-4 “I know your works, your labor…you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake…Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
What are we to do? That question brings to mind a favorite Bible verse that asks this all-important question:
Psalm 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
The lament in this verse is the fear that the foundations might be destroyed. We are seeing that happen in our day. Our foundation for building a strong and vibrant faith is the Word of God, but sadly the secular world ignores it completely and far too many Christians neglect God’s Word and are forgetting His truths.
So what are the righteous to do? Jesus’ letter to the church at Ephesus gives the answer:
Revelation 2:5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…”
Remembering Jesus must be the primary focus in a Christian’s life. It’s the primary focus of the ministry message of Reasons for Hope* Jesus. It’s all about Jesus. And keeping our eyes focused on Him will establish our hearts, anchor our souls and renew our minds. Remembering who Jesus is, what He has done for us and who we are in Him will warm our hearts with passion to love Him more and to serve Him better. Focusing our eyes and thoughts on Jesus will strengthen our foundation. That’s what the righteous are to do. Remember, repent and return daily to our first love. The world tries to “chip away” at our foundation. We must keep it solid by beginning with regular reading and studying of God’s Word. His Word will direct our lives in the way in which we should go.
Every one of us must build a strong foundation and maintain it all the days of our life. Then, united together in Christ, the Church will grow stronger and as Christ’s body we will be better prepared to go forth and share the gospel of saving grace with others (Romans 1:15).
7 Things the Church Must Remember
The apostle Peter wrote to remind Christians of the strong foundation on which to stand. In his first letter, he wrote that we are to secure our minds (1 Peter 1:13) and to have a ready mind (1 Peter 5:2). Only by renewing our minds in the Word of God are we able to fulfill Peter’s command to, “…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet 3:15).
Our foundations must be a firm foundation so we can stand up and stand strong. There is no other option for Christians. My colleague Alex McFarland shares with you 7 key components to rightly remembering that will strengthen faith and build your foundation.
of Our Message
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
of Our Message
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
of Our World
James 4:4 ….Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
of the Times
Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep…
of the Opposition
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
of Our Role
Jude 1:3 …contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
of Our Master
Colossians 1:16-17 …All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Call to mind these seven things on a daily basis, spend time reading the Bible, and in prayer with God. It’s also important to be in fellowship with other Christians. When you practice those three things, Bible reading, time with God and fellowship with Christians, you will be prepared to give many reasons for the hope that is in you. Be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10) and stand firmly on your sure and steadfast hope (Hebrews 6:19).
Alex McFarland is an American public speaker, author, educator, and advocate for Christian Apologetics. He currently serves as Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Greenville, South Carolina and as organizer of the Truth for a New Generation Conferences. He also co-hosts the radio program “Exploring the Word” that airs on American Family Radio. For more information about Alex’s speaking and ministry, visit www.alexmcfarland.com
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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