Greetings everyone, the message for this month is titled “GO THE DISTANCE IN YOUR FAITH JOURNEY AND IN YOUR LOVE”
I would like you to take a moment and think about what it is that helps you endure, strengthens you, and motivates you to keep moving forward.
The Scripture selection on this topic is from Matthew 24:3-14.
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
My friends, Jesus doesn’t say if you have success that you will be saved, or if you come out on top you will be saved. He says if you ENDURE, you will be saved.
A question on this could be; if you stand firm until the end, if you go the distance, you will be saved from what? This Scripture selection is talking about being saved from our love growing cold due to the increase in wickedness. Do we see this increase in wickedness happening around us today? I believe we do, and that we must endure by holding onto what we Love.
The Brazilians have a great phrase for enduring. In Portuguese, a person who has ability to hang in there and not give up has GARRA.
GARRA means “claws“. What imagery! A person with GARRA has claws that burrow into the side of a cliff and keep him or her from falling.
So, do we (those who are enduring) have spiritual claws or grip?
We may get close to the edge sometimes, and we may even stumble and slide.
But we must dig our spiritual claws into the side of the cliff of life and hold onto God. This standing firm, and holding fast, keeps our love from growing cold.
When I was assigned to JBLM (Fort Lewis) for three years, a friend asked me about the heritage of my last name. I shared with him that the Kinnune name stems from Finland. He would then almost always bring up the Finnish word SISU every time we saw each other and add that he see this in me. He shared that the closest translation would be “Guts”. A very kind compliment, and I hope to be a person of SISU in my life. Having “Guts” or courage can be a way to steadfastly endure, and not let anything steal our Love as we face the wickedness around us.
Jesus gives us this assurance, hold on tight to your faith, stand firm in Him, and He will help us make sure we keep our Love from growing cold.
Remember that Jesus said we are to make a decision to either be hot or cold, and that if we are lukewarm, He would spit us out of His mouth.
Our job in this is to not forget our first Love, God The Father.
Do you love God? Then never let that love grow numb in this journey of life.
The disciples asked Jesus for the sign of his coming, and about the end of the age.
Jesus first response was “watch out that no one deceives you“.
The fact is that whenever we look for signs, we become very susceptible to being deceived. Allowing ourselves to get deceived could cause our Love for God and our Love for others to grow cold.
My friends, I pray you never allow that to happen.
There are many false prophets around today, false prophets with counterfeit signs of spiritual power and counterfeit signs of authority.
The only sure way to keep from being deceived is to focus on Christ and focus on His Love and His words.
Look at Jesus. and look to Jesus, to be our All in all.
In this world, with false teaching and loose morals comes a particular destructive disease; the loss of true Love for God and for others.
Sin cools your Love for God and cools your Love for others by turning your focus on that sin and upon yourself.
You can’t truly Love if you think only of yourself!
When we are pressured or tempted by false teachers and false prophets to believe their lies, or to give up on our Faith and turn our back on Christ, don’t do it!
Remember the blessings of standing firm with our Faith and keep your Love from growing cold by continuing to live for Christ. Call upon the Lord in every step of this journey, and He will empower you to go the distance. Just ask Him. Amen.
Blessings from Above, Ch Robert Kinnune