The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

03/22/2010

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Everyone Knows A Ram Can't


"Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4)

The 1959 Academy Award winning Frank Sinatra song, that is part of my title today, speaks of "high hopes." The ram and the ant may have had high hopes, but it was their perseverance that accomplished the tasks. Being able to not only endure the testing of our faith, but being able to bear up under them, is a quality that is required of Christians. It is easy to rejoice during the times of joy and ease, but the apostle Paul says; "But we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope" (Rom. 5: 3 & 4). We may look at our two animal friends in the song and find that their hopee were fulfilled through their perseverance.

Jesus taught us in the Parable of the Sower; "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by perseverance, produce a crop" (Luke 8:15). Friedrich Nietzche, the German philosopher, perhaps an enemy of Christianity, said this; "Have you ever said yes to a pleasure? Oh my friends, then you also said yes to pain. All things are linked, entwined in love with one another. That which does not kill me, makes me stronger." Though I don't know if I believe this to its ultimate, I believe that we can glean something very important from it. If we are able to persevere through hardships, we can come out stronger on the other side. We can bring comfort to those with trials of their own though our experience. We can show them the hope that awaits is they are able to endure.

The rewards of life are usually greater for us than its adversities. If we can turn the adversities into something good, how enriched our lives will be. Finally, we look to the BIG REWARD! The promise of eternal life is made to those who are able to deal with all the things that life offers us...The good and bad times...If we are to grow in the "graces" that Peter lists in 2 Peter 1, to our self-control we are to add perseverance. Some concluding thoughts tomorrow...

Have a wonderful beginning to your week....Start it by going about doing good.... Love mark Phil 4:11

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