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This week's eNote
august 3, 2020 by Pastor chip freed
I have been struck by how many times the New Testament writers use the words endurance and perseverance. They tell us to “run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). “To pray at all times and… to that end keep alert with all perseverance” (Ephesians 6:18). We are told to persevere and be “steadfast… in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:4). On and on it goes, I could literally fill this page with scriptures dedicated to this subject. To be honest with you, I get tired of the scriptures telling me to hang in there and not get tired.
It was in that light that I read a daily devotional today with a fable about an early European minstrel group traveling from town to town to present their act during a time of great sadness in the land. Times were hard, they were not doing very well, attendance was falling off and discouragement began to seep in. One night in a new town the cast began to murmur about not performing. To make matters worse it had even begun to snow. “Who will venture out on a night like this? It’s not worth it. Last night we only performed for a handful and tonight is sure to be worse. How can we expect to give our best for so few?”
At that point the elder statesperson of the group spoke up, “I know you are discouraged, I am too. But we have a responsibility to those who might come. It is not the fault of those who come that others do not. They should not receive less than the best we can give. It is our responsibility to go on.” Encouraged by these words, the cast presented one of their most energetic and uplifting performances of the year. When the show was over and the small audience disbanded, a note was given to the cast. It simply read, “Thank you for such a beautiful performance…. Sincerely, Your King.”
This coming Sunday we will conclude our four part teaching series “Planted.” (For the first 3 messages in the series click here). We will have examined the four most influential Inputs of Faith that produce the greatest Output of Discipleship. There is no way that we can that we can simply “muster up the courage” to be effective followers of Christ without planting these four spiritual disciplines deep within us. Jesus said “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:1, 3). Pray, plant and water the seeds of these four Inputs… It will greatly affect your performance before your King.