Tag Archives: acts 20:24

The Rudolph Nose

I had to chuckle the other evening as I drove home. I came across a deer-crossing street sign and someone had put a red nose on the deer. I said, “Look, it’s Rudolph,” as I passed by the sign. Then I pondered over what some may say when they see the same sign. I know that the sign is the property of the local government, and so technically the nose could be seen as defacement of property. Legal actions could be taken against the person who chose to apply the nose to the sign. At the same time, I found it comical. Please do not get me wrong—I am not in any way saying it’s okay to deface or damage property. What I am trying to express is how I saw this and had a laugh at the cute, comical image.

Over the years, I have found myself on a roller coaster ride with grace. When I was younger, I was happy about grace. I was glad that God gave me grace. I wanted grace. I was stingy and wanted to keep all the grace I could handle. As I got older, I started to learn more about the Law. I started to find myself a bit proud. I started to think better of myself. I sat myself up high. I was smug. I felt somewhat superior to some others. This grew as I attended university and increased my knowledge of the Bible. It’s interesting how we can grow in our knowledge of the Word of God, and separate ourselves so much from grace, because we stand on knowledge. We hold tightly to Scripture, but so tightly that we miss the common thread of love. We like the feeling of being right, being justified, being a child of God. We miss the “all fall short” and the “love others” and “honor everyone.” We become a Pharisee and can be blind to it for a long time, even years later.

As the years pass by, I slowly find myself more broken. I find myself understanding grace more. I find myself needing grace more. I look back on the person I used to be and see how God has changed me. He has shown me that I was sometimes a stumbling block when I should have been a bridge. He has reminded me that the grace I receive, is the same grace that I should pour out to others. He opens my eyes to love simply and deeply—to not make life so difficult and draining. I have long ago realized that the greatest threat to my relationship with God is not Satan; it’s me. I am a long way from the follow-the-rules-down-to-the-last-letter kid I once was in school. I have learned to live, to love, to laugh. I have learned that a Rudolph nose, despite the defacement of property, is funny. I have decided to love anyway, to laugh often, to forgive freely. Life is short. We need a few more Rudolph noses and a lot more love. We desperately all need Jesus. Oh, how sweet the sound of His amazing grace!

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” – Ephesians 1:7 [ESV]

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” – Acts 20:24 [ESV]

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Staying the Course Outline

8-6-17 Summer Survival Series: Staying the Course

 

Know the Place of Destination

 

Acts 20:24– However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. [PAUL’S FAREWELL TO THE EPHESIANS]

 

2 Timothy 4:7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

REMAINED FAITHFUL

 

1 Corinthians 9:25– Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.

 

1 Corinthians 9:25– All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

Their leaves of the crown from their games was made of leaves which didn’t last

            RECEIVE A CROWN THAT WILL LAST FOREVER – ETERNAL LIFE

 

Know the Road to Travel

Matthew 7:13-14 – You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

TWO GATES, TWO ROADS, TWO DESTINITES (HEAVEN OR HELL)

The Narrow Road is a Difficult Road

 

Luke 13:24– Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

 

Isaiah 35:8– A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. (The Glory of Zion) TRAVEL ON THE HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS MEANS WE WALK IN GOD’S WAYS

 

Know the Direction to Take

 

John 14:6– Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

John 6:40– For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in himshall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

 

Know the Stops to Make

 

Hebrews 12:1– Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

 

Romans 13:10b-13– … the commandments are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. PUT ON CHRIST

 

Know the Turns to Make

 

Psalm 119:105– Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. BE IN THE WORD.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understandingin all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. TRUST + SUBMIT – HE WILL SHOW YOU THE PATH TO TAKE (FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE)

 

Ephesians 5:15-17Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. EXAMINE YOURSELF, USE TIME WISELY

 

 

 

John 15 – Abide in Jesus. If you remain in Him, He will remain in you. You will be fruitful. Remain in His love. Keep His commands.Jesus says… Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love… Lay down your life for your friends.

 

Know the Tolls to Pay

 

Don’t sacrifice who you are in Christ

 

Philippians 3:8– What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. THE PRICE PAID IS CENTERED ON CHRIST OR IT IS A LOSS

 

Invest in the Kingdom

 

Matthew 6:20– But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.

 

1 Timothy 6:18-20– Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge. GUARD THE DEPOSIT ENTRUSTED TO YOU