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Monday

5.2.22

“how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him,” – Hebrews 2:3

Good Monday to you.  I am working myself back on schedule, but do not worry, I am back on it.  This week we are going to look at less of a theme, and more of a concept.  We are going to examine, “taking for granted”.

Remember, the book of Hebrews was written for Jews who converted to follow Jesus Christ.  They were kinda snobby.  They were holding on to the old idea that only they were a chosen people when Jesus came and taught that salvation, heaven God’s favor, and love is available to everyone.  That was hard to swallow.  But in today’s scripture, we see this wrestling. 

Having once believed that salvation was their “birthright”, we witness a conversation.  “How can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” They took for granted that salvation was theirs, automatically.  But the question was asked, how can we escape?  Escape what?

How can we escape a hellish destination? How can we escape racism? Sexism? Oppression?  Injustice?  Environmental disasters?  How can we escape evil?

If we neglect so great a salvation?

“Attested to” means “provide evidence of “. 

How can we escape those horrible things if we do not provide evidence of “a great salvation”?

This is not faith, this is about salvation.

Simply put, we must put in work.  Salvation is not guaranteed, Sisters and Brothers.  We must work for it, maintain it.

Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, do we take salvation for granted? That we can do, be and say whatever we want because we have guaranteed grace?  Jesus ain’t stupid. Jesus knows our heart’s intent. Jesus knows if our confessions are sincere.  Don’t play Jesus. 

Let us never stop doing the work, to not be neglectful of the gift of salvation. 

That gift that was given to us by Jesus.

Be Blessed, Beloved.

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirstproject.com

© 2022 Faith First Project

 

 

Tuesday

5.3.22

“Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise.” – 1 Corinthians 3:8

We have achieved so much.  We have reached goals and maximized our ambitions.  We had and have dreams and worked to make them come true.  We are so good, we are so scientifically, academically, spiritually, creatively, financially and in so many other ways ambitious, and we have made it come true.

We have done so much, that some of us and the systems we created for our progress neglect God (see Monday). Today’s scripture is a cautionary one.  Don’t fool yourselves, you think you are smart, in this day and age?  Do you really think you did all this?  All by yourself? Really?

/Ha!

God divinely made us.  God intentionally blessed us with talents and gifts. When we fail, it’s the Holy Spirit who helps lift us up to try again, and again, and again. Jesus gives us the love and appreciation of ourselves to gift the world with our gifts.  Jesus loves us through all obstacles, naysaying haters so that we can do what we are all called to do.

But it is so easy to get carried away in our greatness, that we confuse where our greatness comes from. 

Sisters and Brothers, let me make the lesson easy.  Where would we be without God’s Gifts? How could we do anything, anything with God?

We are not partners with God.  We are SERVANTS to God.  Our lives are to be living testimonies to God’s Greatness, of Jesus’s Love and Sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit’s everywhereness in our lives.  We give the world our talents, we maximize our ambition, and we make transformative impacts to benefit others because of the lessons we learn in our worship of God.

Period.

What do we do with all of our ambition? We answer God’s call and make the world better. 

Just as worshiping God has made us better.

Be Blessed, Beloved.

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirstproject.com

© 2022 Faith First Project

 

Wednesday

5.4.22

“Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” - Philippians 2:12

I love this one.  I love it for both sides of the same coin it reminds us. Starting with the end.

“My own salvation.” I am responsible for my own salvation.  Me. Just as you are responsible for your own salvation. This is a reminder of two things: 1) Get our stuff in order.  Make sure that we do not take our salvation for granted. It is a constant work in progress, and only we can take care of our salvation. 2) Our salvation is not in hands of anyone else.  Nobody has to understand, accept, or have any input on what we have to do to work on our salvation.

Our faith in practice is communal, meant to be shared and lived with others, absolutely. But what we do with our faith is entirely up to us.

Which leads to the beginning of the verse. “Not only in my presence but also in my absence.” 

Do we perform for our salvation? Do we debut our ability to forgive? Do we audition grace? Do we offer monologues of our greatness? Do we sink solo to have our salvation notarized?

The source of our salvation is to be feared, and we should tremble at the mention of God. At God’s greatest, God gifts us. God can also take those gifts away.

Our salvation is real.

Having it taken away is also real.

Everything we do, everything we say, every way we are should be a giving of thanks to God. Everyone who encountered Jesus was different after they met. We are to change, become better versions of ourselves, for Jesus Christ.

Sisters and Brothers, let us take a real honest assessment of ourselves. Let us make sure we are obeying Jesus and no one else.  Let us live our humility, love, thankfulness, joy, and appreciation for God our Father in EVERYTHING we do.

Remember, all shows eventually get canceled.

Be Blessed, Beloved.

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirstproject.com

© 2022 Faith First Project

 

Thursday

5.4.22

“You must diligently observe everything that I command you; do not add to it or take anything from it.” - Deuteronomy 12:32

Going Old Testament today. “Diligently observe everything that I command you.” We think we are so smart. We think we can strategize, out-think God. We know what‘s best. Especially when the answer to our prayers is delayed, or different from what we prayed for. You know how can be when God does what God does, and we don’t like it. Or if the received blessing requires us to change, evolve, or become someone or something entirely different. “Who does God think God is?” 

God.

Be DILIGENT in observing EVERYTHING God Commands.

We take for granted that God will be there for us no matter what we do, say, act, behave, believe, and interpret.  God Got Us! Yeah.  But….

Following Jesus Christ requires us to do some things, and to live a certain way. There is no getting around that.

And just to be clear, scripture says, “don’t add to it or take anything from it”.

The Greatest Commandment that Jesus Christ gave us is simply clear.

We do not get to add or subtract “conditions”, “adjectives”, “pronouns” or anything to or from the Greatest Commandment.

Sisters and Brothers, let us not take for granted that we will even know more than God.  Let us never believe we know what’s best, better than God’s decision.

Not taking God’s benevolence for granted means trusting it, completely, all the time, in every situation.

In the words of Yoda, “Don’t Try, Do,”

Be Blessed, Beloved.

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirstproject.com

© 2022 Faith First Project