The Aim and End of Life – Truth For Life – January 7

For to me to live is Christ.

Philippians 1:21

The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Savior making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new and heavenly birth the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our heart that it beats alone for Him; to His glory we would live, and in defense of His Gospel we would die. He is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character.

Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ—nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he ate and drank and slept eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business—are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self-aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, “Is that a mean reason?” For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing spiritual adultery?

There are many who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dares say that he has lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet this alone is the true life of a Christian—its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word—Christ. Lord, accept me; I present myself, praying to live only in You and to You. Let me be as the creature that stands between the plow and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, “Ready for either.”

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

As a thank-you from us for your gift, we’ll send along this month’s resource: Facing A Task Unfinished

Truth For Life Resource A January 2021

Grace Moments Devotions – January 7, 2021

January 7
The man who preached to 20 million
Pastor Mike Novotny

One day a reporter went to witness the most famous man on earth in action. Walter Maier, the Lutheran radio preacher whose sermons reached 40,000,000 ears every week, was about to record another message. When the reporter arrived at the studio, however, he didn’t see Maier. He looked into the recording booth and saw nothing but an empty room. But the tour guide smiled at the reporter, “Look down.” The reporter took a step closer and saw the celebrity on the floor of the studio, on his face, begging God to bless his message.

I love that story. It reminds us all to stay humble, no matter how successful we are in ministry, business, or life. Even more, it reminds us of Jesus. Despite the notoriety and the size of his miracle-seeking crowds, where do we find Jesus at the end of his life? Matthew tells us, “Going a little farther, [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed” (Matthew 26:39).

Jesus stayed humble. As our sinless Savior, he avoided the proud assumption that he could handle things without prayer. Thus, when he died the next day, he had a perfect life to give for you, a sacrifice that would make God’s face shine with approval every time he thought of you.

So imitate Maier as you humbly pray today, and worship your Savior for praying his way to your salvation!

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The Weekly Focal Point – January 7, 2021

Faith & Fellowship

Fellowship with other Christians is more important than most realize. Even having the strength of an on-fire Apostle, Paul knew the importance of connecting with those who shared his commitment to Christ. He longed for time with other Christians. He saw the obstacles to fellowship as distractions from Satan himself (1Th.2:17-20). He knew that no matter how grounded in the faith he might be, there was faith-fortifying encouragement to be had by spending quality time with his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Consider Paul’s heart when he writes: “I long to see you… that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Rom.1:11-12). In the very next verse he highlights the importance of “planning” these times of connection. So what about you? Are you taking the time and “making the time” to fellowship with other disciples of Christ? Are you willing to rearrange your meal schedule or your leisure time to share it with brothers and sisters in Christ?

Make a decision today to fellowship, not just at church, but in your home, the restaurant or the ballpark. You might find that your faith could use the encouragement.

–Pastor Mike


Focal Point January 2021 offer

Daily Food – January 7, 2018

Peace is what we want!

Only in God my soul finds tranquility; only in him have I put my hope. Psalm 62: 5

When we think of peace, we imagine the absence of wars, but reality is reflected in the daily news and the increase in violence around the world. It seems that the human being is becoming his own predator.

Scholars look for the reasons for the violent behavior of the human being. Some consider man a product of his environment, which is partly true. If someone grows up surrounded by violence, they will have a great chance of reproducing that in their adult life.

Jesus’ desire is for people to relate well to each other, forgiving each other and building bridges in their relationships. He promises to be by our side, accompanying, lifting the fallen, carrying them in his arms and guiding them for a safer and happier life.

PRAYER:  Lord Jesus, let me be an instrument of yours to improve the lives of the people around me and to live in peace with everyone. Help me overcome my weaknesses. Amen.

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