Flying First Class

By Linda Tancs

If you’ve ever flown in a first-class cabin, then you know the comfort and convenience that it offers. But no airline benefit can compare with the first-class flight that Christ offers believers! The Bible says we’ll be caught up in the air to meet the Lord and be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17). And that will happen “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52), undoubtedly the shortest flight you will ever have experienced.

***************

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.

Coming and Going

By Linda Tancs

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that the whole of Christian life comprises coming and going. In Christ, we’re first summoned to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). We’re meant to be united to Him (Isaiah 62:5). Then, through that union, we’re meant to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). We spend much of our lives coming and going in the everyday sense. It’s often exhausting. There’s a different way of coming and going, and it’s exhilarating.

***************

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.

***************

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.

 

 

 

 

Winning

By Linda Tancs

Some game shows let you play along at home. In some cases, you may have to set up a free account and check in to see if you won. Given the odds, in all likelihood you’ll receive a message informing you that “you are not a winner.” Nobody necessarily likes hearing that he or she is not a winner, but from a spiritual point of view it’s quite amusing. After all, a believer gets the best prize of all—eternal life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). So the next time you lose a round in an earthly pursuit, remember that, and smile.

***************

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.

 

Gifts and Earnings

By Linda Tancs

John Houseman was a British-American actor who became known for his commercials for the brokerage firm Smith Barney. He famously stated that they made money the old-fashioned way—they earned it. Of course, in the physical world, we work to earn a living, sometimes striving after the best that money can buy.

Thankfully, though, the most important things in life are not earned; you don’t have to punch a time clock to get them. They’re gifts from God. For instance, you receive salvation through Christ, not by your own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). You also receive peace. Jesus devised, gave and bequeathed His peace (John 14:27) to His followers, like a bequest under a will. It’s a gift, yours for the taking.

Receive your gifts with grace. They’re good and perfect (James 1:17), and there’s nothing old-fashioned about that.

The Time is Now

By Linda Tancs

“I’ll do it when” arises frequently as a response to situations in life. I’ll go back to school when all my bills are paid. I’ll take a nice vacation once I retire. I’ll get married once my career is established. In some instances, prudence may dictate that you wait before a certain action is taken. But maybe it’s possible that the time is now. Circumstances will rarely ever be perfect for action. Imagine how impaired our salvation would be if Jesus had waited for more “perfect” behavior before sacrificing His life for us. As Romans 5:8 reminds us, while we were yet sinners, He died for us. It’s a good thing He didn’t wait.

True Victory

By Linda Tancs

People claim victory in many ways. In the sports industry, it’s winning the game. In business, it’s that promotion, maybe even acceleration to the C-suite. Some even claim victory when they dispose of memorabilia from a bad marriage. Clearly, “victory” means different things to different people. But there’s only one true victory for the believer, the one earned through grace by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5). Thanks to the work done for us at the cross, we are winners in the game of everlasting life.

Where is Heaven?

By Linda Tancs

Where is Heaven? Heaven is where God is, our eternal home. But don’t just look up. Look around, too, because Heaven is all around you. As poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau put it, “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

In other words, it’s more than just a salvific concept. The kingdom of Heaven is God’s presence in our daily lives, a real-time experience. As Jesus said in the gospels of Matthew and Mark, the kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15). It comes in the most ordinary moments of life, when we bridge our gaps with others and when we gather in a community of faith. Chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel gives us Jesus’s examples of our collaborative role in Kingdom work. For instance, He likens the Kingdom to a mustard seed that we, the people, sow in a field. In other discourse, He likens the Kingdom to yeast that a woman mixes with flour to leaven (Matthew 13:31-35). In each case, God provides the tools for our fruitful use, showing us that salvation is not something we have to wait for; it’s something we can experience in our everyday lives. The same message underlies Luke’s understanding of salvation. The healing scenes he presents give us examples of what different expressions of salvation in daily life look like (Luke: 4:31-37; 4:38-44; 5:12-16; 5:17-26; 7:1-10; 7:11-17; 7:21; 7:21; 8:40-56; 9:37-45; 13:10-17; 17:11-19; and 18:35-43).

Move beyond an individualistic view of salvation and look for the communal aspects of it.