The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Being Real

"We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God", they said (Acts 14:22).

The "they" in today's verse were Paul and Barnabas as they were preaching in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. In the previous verse it says, "they preached the good news." Don't we find it interesting that the good news of the gospel was tempered by today's verse. Paul and Barnabas were just keeping it real. The good news of forgiveness, grace, and salvation had to be accompanied by real life with its possible hardships and disappointments. When a person becomes a Christian, four stages of spiritual growth are often apparent. First is the "on fire" stage in which they want to tell everyone about their experience and share the good news... The "reality stage" often sets in next as they realize that temptations and disappointments are still around them. Very often a stage of "Fluctuation" comes upon them as they rise and fall with the tide of good and bad times. At this point they will either fall away and become apathetic or they will "persevere and grow." To reach this stage, a realistic view of the expectations of problems to come must be a part of their fiber... They were converted to Jesus Christ and not some man, a church, or a warm and fuzzy feeling. Understanding that even the strongest of Christians went through all of this and are strong and powerful for the Lord helps. Knowing that their prayers increase in number and quality as their knowledge of God's plan through His Word is revealed. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psa.119:105). The greatest reality is that the Lord will find a way for us... He will make a way for us to resist temptations and comfort us when we need it. "But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day" (Prov.4:18).

Have a great start to your week... Begin it with a RAK or two.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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