A Tribute to Chief
Last year a great man went to heaven. E. Robert Jordan was a pastor, educator and church planter. He was my pastor, mentor and friend. We called him Chief since that was his nickname from his Navy days as a Chief Petty Officer and he never lost that “Chief” mentality, ha ! When I first met Chief he was in his prime, you didn’t sleep in his sermons and unless you had the heart of a rock you grew under his ministry. I have carried around a sermon outline in an old Bible of mine from one of his messages I’d like to share with you and consider very carefully. The sermon was entitled “Keys to a Victorious Christian Life” and is as follows:
I. Die DAILY, 1Cor.15:31; 2Cor.4:10 (dont allow self to rule you today but God)
II. Read the Word DAILY, Acts 17:11: Ps.1:1,2
III. Take up your cross DAILY, Lk.9:23; Jn.8:12 (be willing to follow God even if it means suffer)
IV. Pray DAILY, Ps.86:3; 88:9; 1Thess.5:17
V. Praise the Lord DAILY, Ps. 119:164; Job 1:21
VI. Depend upon God DAILY, Lk.11:2,3
VII. Confession of sin DAILY, 1Jn.1:9; Ps.32:5
VIII. Perform your vows DAILY, Ps.61:8; Ecc.5:1-6
You can’t help but notice how DAILY is in each point. The Christian life is a disciplined life, it takes effort every single day and God can’t build you a victorious life unless YOU are willing to do your part. This is what Paul wrote about in Phil.2:12 when he said, “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling”. Salvation here is not that act of conversion that happened the day you were saved. Here it means your sanctification, i.e. your growth after conversion. So work on these “with fear and trembling” or what we might better say today as reverence or respect for God.
When you have that inclination to make a decision of what you WANT to do, weight it first with “Is it really God’s will?” Has my heart truly been given to Him this day? Have I fed my heart/mind with His Word allowing it to permeate me and transform me (Rom.12:1,2) have I “chatted” with Him yet? Is the foundation for my choices “what’s in it for me” or “whats easiest for me”? Or what is pleasing to God (Eph.5:10)? Am I looking at life and complaining or praising God? There is ALWAYS a silver lining and the spiritual Christian will start to see it ! Have you asked Him yet this day for His power to live today? And when you fail, will you confess it or excuse it? God’s trying to make a gem out of YOU, so God says to you, “its a new day, lets YOU and I get to work !!”
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