Easy Street

By Linda Tancs

I saw a commercial vehicle on the highway with an address on Easy Street. That made me think about the phrase “on easy street,” living a life of ease. It also brought to mind Jesus’s admonition against pursuing the wide road that leads to destruction, an eschatological reference implying that those who choose easy ways (to feel good in the moment) face separation from God (Matthew 7:13). Easy Street often evokes consumption, pleasures and distractions. It can be a place of temptation, a place fostering bitterness, revenge, anger, frustration, greed and unforgiveness. There’s no room for the Spirit there. That’s why Jesus promotes the straight and narrow road. It might not be easy, but it leads to a better life (Galatians 5:22-23).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Fly Like an Eagle

By Linda Tancs

Every animal has a hard-wired nature toward one thing or another. Foxes dig holes, birds fly and so on. I’m particularly enchanted watching birds soar through the air. Aside from air flight and paragliding, human flight doesn’t light a candle to bird flight. In fact, watching birds fly makes me think about how much humans “stay put.” Whether through inaction or necessity, maybe you’re staying put right now, unable to soar. That’s not your nature—nor a bird’s. You were made to mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). There’s a song entitled “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller. It started out as a political statement, but it’s just as relevant as a personal anthem. Staying put is transient; this, too, shall pass. Fly like an eagle, and let the Spirit carry you.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Being and Acting

By Linda Tancs

Prophesying, casting out demons and performing mighty deeds are all activities that Jesus delineated as marks of discipleship (Mark 16:17). Yet in chapter seven of Matthew’s gospel, he rejects some of those who claim to perform those very activities in His name and disavows even knowing them (Matthew 7:22-23). Does that seem confusing? Is Jesus rejecting service in His name? Of course not. What He’s getting at is the difference between being and acting. You may invoke His name in all that you say and do, but does His presence dwell in you? Jesus wants disciples who know more than just how to act; he wants followers who know the right way to be.

Our work is ultimately to believe in the person behind the Word (Romans 1:17). Oftentimes people place their confidence in regular church attendance and service on committees but don’t understand Jesus or the work of Jesus inside them—that is, the Holy Spirit. You can’t “work” your way to heaven. Works are a sign of faith but should not replace faith. Those who do otherwise are the false kind of disciples that Jesus is criticizing in Matthew’s gospel because they fail to recognize that it’s their faith in Jesus that makes them acceptable to God and not their performance. Resolve to keep Him present in all that you say and do.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

 

The Heart of Things

By Linda Tancs

The renowned Trappist monk and spiritual writer Thomas Merton once remarked, “The things that we love tell us what we are.” Another way of putting it is to say that your treasure and your heart are inextricably connected; where your treasure is, there your heart will be (Matthew 6:21). Depending on what you love, you’ll have a heart of stone or a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

What do you love? Money, fame, valor, acclaim? If so, you might be in danger of a hardening heart, particularly if you’ll rationalize or excuse any behavior to get what you love. Do you love virtue, generosity, kindness or other admirable traits (Philippians 4:8)? There’s good reason why the apostle Paul exhorts the Philippians to think on such things. Simply put, it’s good for your heart. Loving the right kind of things opens your heart to the promptings of the Spirit, which leads to a greater understanding of the Word. It’s time to get to the heart of the matter.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

Ninja Warriors

By Linda Tancs

Ninjas are all the rage. It began years ago with Ninja Turtles. Now it’s the TV franchise, Ninja Warrior. It’s inspirational to watch the athletic, ninja-like abilities of contestants on shows like American Ninja Warrior.

Well, imagine those kinds of ninja abilities in the spiritual realm. In fact, Scripture lists a series of supernatural abilities doled out to believers as the Spirit determines—things like the ability to prophesy, discern good from evil, heal or speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Sounds like a ninja warrior to me. Will you accept the call?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.