False doctrine is everywhere today, proliferating in our churches and on the internet. It’s almost impossible to escape and can be difficult to detect if we aren’t constantly marinating our minds on the Scriptures. As J. C. Ryle wrote, “False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false. It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavor openly to turn us away from the truth as it is in Jesus. It does not come before men in broad day, and summon them to surrender. It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man’s suspicion, and throw him off his guard.” None of us are immune, so we all must remain diligent in discerning the truth.
Kingdom of God
It has been said if you can’t stand firm, then you won’t stand at all. We see this proven out in our spiritual lives. No one can claim they stand for Jesus if they won’t stand for Him under trials and difficulties. Standing firm means to stand without wavering. You can’t be a warrior for Jesus one day and live your life as if He wasn’t Lord the next.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul tells us to always be prepared for the day of battle by putting on the full armor of God. If we do that, we will hold fast to Christ regardless of what the enemy sends our way (Ephesians 6:13). The easiest way to not lose our footing is to never take our eyes off Jesus, never stop delighting in His Word, and never stop reminding ourselves that our life is not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 2:19-20).
If you study the life of Jesus, you will see He set the example to never stop giving. Everywhere He went, Jesus was giving something to someone. Sometimes it was as dramatic as giving sight to the blind (John 9:1-7) or cleansing an incurable disease (Matthew 8:2-4), and sometimes it was as simple and subtle as giving peace (John 14:27). In every Bible story in the gospels, you find people needing something from Jesus and Jesus providing it for them.
Not once do you read about Jesus doing something selfish. Not once do we find Him taking a break from His mission to just chill out and mindlessly relax. Even when He got away by Himself, it was to bask in the presence of His Father (Mark 1:35-38). The life of Jesus was one of service. Are we measuring up?
Our faith is so small. It’s as if we are children of a multi-billionaire but never ask for anything more than a pack of gum from our father. God has so much He desires to share with us, but we are too weak-minded to understand and too immature to grasp all that our position in life affords us. We are co-heirs with Jesus to all God has (Romans 8:16-17).
And yet, most of our prayers are for tiny trinkets and selfish comforts. Why don’t we pray big prayers? Are we afraid God won’t answer in the way we desire, so we shy away? I submit we don’t pray big prayers because our faith is far too small. The more we trust Christ, the bigger our prayers will become.
While we should be thankful every day for the incredible blessings God has given to us, Americans set aside one day a year to express our gratitude as a nation. I recognize not everyone feels thankful today. Illness, job loss, personal tragedy, and general dissatisfaction with life can darken our minds and keep us from recognizing how much we have to be thankful for.
Wherever you are, simply looking around you reveals much for which you can be thankful. I don’t know your circumstances, but I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t point to someone worse off than they were. So, that’s a start. If it could be worse, then there is something for which you can praise God.