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photo: Harmen Dev FreeImages.com Content License License                          graphic: Martha G. Brady

Sunday, we had another visiting pastor. His name was Tom Cannon. I have missed quite a few of them lately because of being out of town, but enjoyed this one. The Scripture was on Romans 5:1-5.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access
by faith
into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice
in hope of the glory of God.
 

Not only that, but
we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
 

and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,

and hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

I’m leaving out a lot of what he said, but the bottom line was this…

The key to the Christian life is showing up!

That’s what endurance is all about. Through the dull routines, even the boring and humdrum, the grungy, the occasional fun and delightful, the rare applause, we keep on moving. He called it the harmonic cadence of life.

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It doesn’t always look pretty. Often the beat gets off. But we just keep at it. When we fall, we get up. When we move in the wrong direction, we turn around…that’s what repenting is all about! By the grace of GOD, we keep moving and we show up for what GOD has given us to do.

We keep doing what GOD has called us to

Some days it is to wash dishes, clean toilets and change diapers. Other days, it is to serve Him in other ways…encouraging others, showing mercy in our community, volunteering in a school, helping in whatever way we can to show the love of Christ one-on-one or to a group in the ways He has gifted you…or in new ways that stretch you. Usually it is very mundane and banal!

It doesn’t make any difference. Writing an article, speaking a word, loving a child, giving money, sharing something you have…

We just keep at it…enduring. And that enduring builds character in us. Do you notice the people who have endured? They often don’t even realize the character that has been built in them as they have endured. These are people you want to be around. They aren’t bitter. They often have a great sense of humor.

One day we will share in the glory of GOD forever!

And out of the character that has been built in them, they have hope. That deep assurance that the promises of Christ are true! That hope for the day that is coming when Christ will make all things new! There will be no crying, no death, no disease. We will all have new bodies and we will be with Jesus!

But for now? We keep on enduring as we realize the hope of our suffering is to share in the glory of GOD forever! May it ever be so.

 

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