Crowns – temporary or eternal?

A Dentist and her Dental assistant

A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Yesterday, I received a crown … okay, just a temporary one until my porcelain one comes in. The temporary is not meant to last forever. I need to be more careful if I chew on that side of my mouth. However, when the permanent one comes in about three weeks, it will be a lot stronger. It will be much sturdier than the crack I had in my tooth. Teeth are tough, but I don’t think they were made to last forever.

We as humans look for things that will last. We want to live in a good house that will last, have a car that lasts and even try to find ways to make food last. But ultimately, all of these things decay. The only thing that lasts for eternity is God. Our relationship with the Lord lasts forever, so it is the one thing that we can invest in for a huge return. We have already received the benefits of God, but there is an eternity to live it out more where nothing gets dusty or rusts.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the many blessings you have given me. I pray that I will focus on the things of eternity rather than things of this world that are temporary. Amen

Faith Tip: Brainstorm on what in your life is temporary and eternal. Now see how much time and energy you give to those things.

Stand Strong and Rejoice

Sadness

Image via Wikipedia

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – Philippians 4:4

We wonder sometimes how it is possible to rejoice as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church. We can easily do that when life is running smoothly, but what about when challenges arise. There have been devastating events in the life of our world, country, and our individual lives where sorrow so deeply felt makes a home in us where no hope of its leaving can be seen.

But there is hope. Jesus is our hope. When everything around us seems to fall down, we still have the strong foundation of Christ to stand on. That will never be taken from us. When we are in the midst of rubble, God comes through and shows us the beauty he makes from the ashes.

We are a part of God’s story, and it is still being written. It is a story of hope … and it has a very happy ending. So rejoice in that truth.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the everlasting hope you have given me. I pray that I live each day with a sense of rejoicing in your splendor. Amen

Faith Tip: Stand strong in today’s challenges knowing that they are temporary. Rejoice in what is eternal.

What are your credentials?

Diplomas

Image by lordsutch via Flickr

If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:4-11)

When looking for a doctor to treat an illness, you want to make sure they have the right credentials. Knowing this gives you confidence that they know what they are doing. Same thing in searching for a good college, tax preparer, or anything else that impacts your life. Knowing what qualifies them for the job is important.

What about the credentials of a Christian? What do we depend on that tells us we are a Christian, or a “good Christian?” Do we rely on our biblical training, going to church every Sunday, or perhaps going on mission trips? While all these things are good to do, none of them makes us a Christian. It is only the relationship we have in Christ that makes the difference. Do we strive to deepen our relationship with Jesus to “know Christ” or do we depend on our Christian credentials? Christ is the only credential you need.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank you that it is you that makes me a Christian. I pray that our relationship deepens as we journey together through life. I depend on you. Amen

Faith tip: Make a list of the things you feel make you a good Christian. Then strike out each item listed and replaced it with “Christ.”