These 3 Verses May Totally Change Your Spiritual Walk

Have you ever read a passage of scripture and had a truth that seemed to hit you up-side the head with a 2×4?

These 3 Verses May Totally Change Your Spiritual Walk

These 3 Verses May Totally Change Your Spiritual Walk

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Perhaps, you knew a truth, as in, you were aware of that truth, partly because you had heard it said or seen it written in slightly different ways dozens of times, but suddenly it really came to life for you with more clarity and personal conviction than before.

The latter comes close to describing how I felt recently when reading 1 John 2:1-3, as well as Andrew Wommack‘s commentary supporting those verses.

 

We All Sin and Will Continue to Sin

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.” – 1 John 3:1a (NKJV)

John is writing to believers (that’s you if you’ve accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior), and yet he says that he’s writing so that you may not sin.  That blows out of the water the idea that once we are believers we don’t sin.

Our spirits are made righteous by the blood of Christ, but in our flesh, which we’re stuck with as long as we’re here on earth, we sin and will continue to sin.

We should not let that fact depress us, but rather set us up for the wonderful news described in the next verse.

We have an Advocate in Jesus Christ

“And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” – 1 John 3:1b (NKJV)

An advocate is “a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc.”

God is perfect, without sin.  Sin is abhorant to a Holy God.  Yet we have the ultimate advocate, speaking on our behalf in Jesus Christ.

I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy a movie with a powerful trial scene, where the lawyer makes a compelling case to the jury on behalf of their client.

As a side note, one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in that regard is God’s Not Dead 2.  I highly recommend it.

I love the image of Jesus speaking to His Father on our behalf, and presenting His own sacrifice as payment for every one of our sins.

Jesus Didn’t Just Die for You

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” – 1 John 3:2 (NKJV)

Jesus died for you and for me.  He also died for Hitler, for the rapist, for the child molester, for the gay activist, and for your co-worker you really don’t like.

He didn’t just die for those who would accept Him.  He also died for those who haven’t accepted Him and even for those who will not accept Him in the future.

The next time any of us judge non-believers who don’t act and talk like us, we should try and remember that like us they were made in the image of God and that Jesus was thinking of them when he hung on that cross and gave up everything.

We should also remember that we don’t deserve that unconditional gift and act of love any more than the person we’re judging.

The fact that the person hasn’t yet chosen to receive that gift doesn’t change any of that.

Knowing Jesus Is Different Than Being Saved by Jesus

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” – 1 John 3:3 (NKJV)

The previous two verses and their implications are incredibly powerful, though the average Christian and even some non-Christians are probably already familiar with the essense of their message.

This third verse, though is different, and at first glance, it may seem to be in conflict with what you already believe.

If you stop to think, dig a little bit, and start to look at all the other verses in the Bible which support this one, there’s a chance it may open up a whole new world for you as a believer.

You may have heard Christians say things like “don’t treat God as your fire insurance agent”, “It’s all about the relationship”, or “Eternal life begins here on earth”.

You may have heard these and similar phrases and blown them off and gone back to your compartmentalized Chrisitan life where you check off the box on Sunday morning but forget about God the other 6-1/2 days of the week.

The Relationship is the Root

Deep inside us we all know that if there truly is a God then we should keep His commandments.  But we’re also taught as Christians that we’re saved by grace and not our works, therefore keeping God’s commandments doesn’t earn us salvation.

But here’s this verse saying that if we keep God’s commandments then we know that we know Him.

This isn’t saying that if we keep His commandments, we’ll be saved.  I also don’t believe that it’s saying that if we keep His commandments, then we’ll know Him, meaning we’ll have a close and personal relationship with Him.

I believe this is saying that if we know Him, then we’ll keep His commandments.

Our good works are the fruit and not the root.  The root in terms of sanctification and living out a victorious Christian life, is abiding in Him, in seeking God daily and treasuring your personal relationship with Him.

That subtle distinction makes all the difference, and I believe that until we truly get that difference, we’ll be tempted to fall back into a works mentality, a check-the-box compartmentalized Christian life, or both.

The Next Step In 2016 for this Blog

If you’ve followed this blog you know I have changed directions several times.  My most recent decision 6 months ago was to focus on homesteading.

Maze Puzzle (Blender)Creative Commons License FutUndBeidl via Compfight

While that is a big interest for me and my wife, as a topic for the blog it truly was a diversion from what my focus has always been, which is the faith walk of Christian men.

These 5 Steps May Help You Start a Ministry for Men at Your Church

Do you want to make a huge impact for the Kingdom of God?

One great way is to start a ministry for men.

Prayer is vital at SMBCCreative Commons License Sydney Missionary Bible College via Compfight

I say that because I believe men are the sleeping giants of the body of Christ.  As leaders of their families and leaders in the workplace, men who are on fire for God, discipled and equipped have the potential to make a huge difference.

And by discipling these men, you have the opportunity to make a huge difference.

Make the Most of Your Commute 5 Ways to Turn Your Long Drive to Work Into One of the Best Parts of Your Day

Do you have a long commute to your work?  If so, do you resent it?  Do you see it as a waste of your day, competing with your sleep, your personal time at home, your work, or all of the above?

Make the Most of Your Commute - Taken by Dave Hilgendorf Driving Home From Work
Make the Most of Your Commute – Taken by Dave Hilgendorf Driving Home From Work

 

If you’re halftime homesteading, there’s a good chance that, like me, you live in a rural area and have a long commute to your work.

Work to Life Transitions

Many people struggle with their work to life transitions.

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They have trouble letting their personal affairs go when they get to work and they lack focus on the job as a result.

They have trouble leaving their work behind them when they get home and they’re not mentally and emotionally present with their family.

Your Worldview Affects Your Work

Whether you like it or not, your worldview affects your work.

 

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Some people think they can check their personal beliefs and values at the door when they go to work.  I don’t think that’s possible.

Our values, our beliefs, our worldview, they make us who we are.  We’re human beings, not machines.

The Next Step for this Blog

It’s been over two and a half months since I last posted on this blog.

This is by far the longest stretch I have gone without posting.

So have I just been lazy?

That’s part of it, to be honest.  Part of it has been other personal and professional obligations.  Part of it has been settling into a habit.

Habits can work for you or against you.  I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting regularly and into the habit of not posting.

I think the biggest reason, however, has been that I’ve been praying and reflecting on what I’m doing with this blog and why, and what I want to do with it going forward.

I’ve had a few twists and turns in the focus and content since I started this in 2011.  For the most part, I’ve stayed true to a theme of living out your faith at work, with a focus on men.

A Journey of Homesteading

During the time I’ve been writing about faith in the marketplace, my wife and I have been on a journey ourselves that I can best describe as transitioning to homesteading.

It kind of started in 2009, a time when we were very concerned about the direction of our country at many levels.  We decided we wanted to be more self reliant and be better prepared for things getting worse.

You could say we were in a “prepping” mindset.  After taking some steps in that direction, we paused and wanted to make sure we were doing it for the right reasons.

As Christians, we knew that God did not give us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) but we also knew God calls us to recognize danger ahead and prepare (Proverbs 22:3).

The Benefits of Homesteading

We decided we were not going to isolate ourselves and live in fear, but we also were excited about becoming more self reliant and live more off the land, partly to prepare for uncertain times ahead, but also because we saw many benefits for our family.

  • We will better appreciate God’s creation and how it works
  • We will eat more healthy
  • We will live in a quieter, more peaceful environment
  • We’ll have fun with the journey!

When I changed jobs in 2013 and we needed to relocate, we decided it was a great opportunity to get a property that had some land.   We had never owned more than a half acre.  We were able to buy a home on 10 acres which was in a very rural area, about a 30 minute drive from just about anything.

We came to find out that the term homesteading was being used to describe the lifestyle we were pursuing.  I began to think about how I could share what we were doing with others on a similar journey.  I hesitated to change my blog focus but decided I could continue to write about having joy and purpose at work while also talking about homesteading, primarily because that basically describes my life.

Your Work Is Important

If you’re like me, your job is a huge part of your life.  There’s really no way around it.  It demands about half of your waking hours.  It’s because of the importance of our work that I want to continue to blog on this topic.

At the same time, I want to share with my readers the exciting journey we’re on homesteading.  Because of my full-time job and the fact that we’re staying plugged in to society with our church, our kids’ activities, etc., I like to think we’re not truly homesteading but rather are “halftime homesteading”, which is the new tagline for this blog.

I’m hoping this mix of topics will work hand in hand and will be a benefit to you as a reader.

In addition, I think this new focus will lend itself to some new technologies I’ve been wanting to use for a long time, namely video and podcasting.

If you can, please let me know what you think of this new direction by making a comment below.

And if you want to be kept in the loop with new posts and get a free audio message “What God Thinks About Your Work”, fil in the info below.

Dave
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