Tag Archives: Target

The Purpose Of Practice

What is the purpose of practice?   Practice means you haven’t mastered something yet, but are working on it.  Here’s a simple definition from the dictionary,

Practice-  repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency. 

It’s the work we do so it doesn’t look like it took any effort at all to do it.  It’s mastery of a skill.  Archers shoot hundreds of arrows at a target until they are able to hit the center with precision.  Gymnasts practice hours each day to make impossible feats of gymnastics seem effortless.

Practice makes a hack at the piano a master musician who draws thousands to hear him play.  When we say, “I wish I could do that.”  He would reply, “You can if you practice eight hours a day for about 20 years.”  Practice.  It’s the disciple we use to master something and become proficient at it.

My wife recently had surgery.  She didn’t look for a doctor who was new to this type of surgery. She looked for someone who had done thousands of them.  Why?  His practice had made him a master at this difficult procedure.

You get the idea, don’t you, but I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with all this.  I’m setting the stage for these amazing and often overlooked words from Jesus,

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”  -Jesus, Matthew 6

What he didn’t say is “don’t practice…”  He said be careful how and where you practice.  Then, for the rest of the chapter he deals with the things he wants any disciple to master by practice- prayer, giving, fasting, etc. What we often miss in the words of Jesus is this- you will be practicing these things to master them, just be careful where and how you do it.

Today some are revisiting the very idea of practice and it has many confused.  What this whole discussion is about is simply this- sanctification.  All of these things Jesus talks about in Matthew 6 are simply the disciplines of sanctification.  They are things we do to grow into Christlikeness.  And, clearly Jesus knew we needed practice so he gives us guidance to perfect our practice.

What’s the goal?  Hebrews 10:14-  “He has made perfect forever those who are becoming holy.”  The goal of practice is to become like the one who has saved us.  It’s the practice of perfecting godliness (2 Cor. 7:1)  and doing it intentionally that produces Christlikeness.*  Then, one day, after all your practice, you will hear these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

*A comment that will arise is this- “But what about the Holy Spirit’s work in us. You left that out.”  Yes, I left it out for brevity. I am very aware that godliness and Christlikeness must happen as the Holy Spirit works in us and with us, but for brevity and focus on the topic I left this portion of sanctification for another day.

Living Water – Water.org & Water Charity

Did you know that more than one in six people worldwide – 894 million – don’t have access necessary amount of safe freshwater needed to meet their basic daily needs for drinking, cooking, and cleaning?

With World Water Day coming up on March 22, 2012, here are 10 Water Scarcity Facts everyone good steward should be aware of from the World Heath Organization:

  1. Water scarcity occurs even in areas where there is plenty of rainfall or freshwater.
  2. Water scarcity affects one in three people on every continent of the globe.
  3. Almost 1/5 of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) live in areas where the water is physically scarce.
  4. Water scarcity forces people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water.
  5. Poor water quality can increase the risk of such diarrhoeal diseases and other water-borne infections.
  6. Water scarcity encourages people to store water in their homes providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  7. Water scarcity underscores the need for better water management.
  8. A lack of water has driven up the use of wastewater for agricultural production in poor urban and rural communities.
  9. Millennium Development Goal #7, target 10 aims to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Water scarcity could threaten progress to reach this target.
  10. Water is an essential resource to sustain life.

 

You can help by supporting organizations on the front line such as Water.org or Charity Water.

 

Watch their video below and visit their website for more information and to get involved. Help lead those in need to the water they need.

“For the Lamb at the center before the throne will be their shepherd; “he will lead them to springs of living water.’ “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  Revelation 7:17

I Believe

“I believe”….these are words filled with content. They imply that I have made some choices about faith, life and eternity. It’s easy for the skeptic to jeer from the bleachers at those of us of faith, but to be a person of faith gives me a great place to rest and view the world around me. “I believe” means I have made some choices….I have chosen to trust someone or something. Here are a few of the things I believe-

I believe there is one God in three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe the Bible is the word of God, inspired and preserved by God, and without errors, conflicts or defects.
I believe Jesus Christ is God, come in flesh to provide salvation for the human race.
I believe there is salvation in no one else other than Christ…there is no other name in heaven or earth that will provide salvation for mankind.
I believe he really did die on a cross to pay my sin debt, and faith in him and his sacrifice will provide eternal salvation.
I really do believe in heaven and hell.
I believe that God actually did make the heavens and earth in 6 days.
I believe in Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale, and all the other stories of the bible…I believe these people really existed and I look forward to meeting them some day.
I believe that God is who he says he is…he is sovereign, Lord of heaven and earth, the only God.
I believe that God loves the human race, and desires that all men be saved.
I believe there are angels, demons and the devil just because the bible says so.
I believe……

There is so much more, but let me stop here. What I want to say clearly is that I have made some choices….I believe the Bible. I believe it’s all true. I have staked my eternity on it, and do it with great joy. I have a sure hope, and look forward to seeing God face to face.

Now, I know that when any of us takes a position of faith we become a target for those who disagree. But to make a stand is so important, to know what you believe and why is vital for each of us….where do you stand? Do you have a list of “I believe” for your life? Are you bold enough to share them? Are they important enough to change your life and eternity?

What do you believe?

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Daily Devotionals

Truth For Life

  • What Does Partake Mean? September 16, 2019
    2 Peter 1:4 To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there will always be a fixed gulf in terms of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are […]

Our Daily Bread

  • More than Water September 17, 2019
    One of my earliest childhood memories of church was a pastor walking down the aisle, exhorting us to “remember the waters of our baptism.” “Remember the waters?” I asked myself quizzically. “How can you remember water?” He then proceeded to splash everyone with water, which as a young child simultaneously delighted and confused me. Why should we think about […]
    Peter Chin

Utmost For His Highest

  • Is There Good in Temptation? September 17, 2019
    No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man… —1 Corinthians 10:13The word temptation has come to mean something bad to us today, but we tend to use the word in the wrong way. Temptation itself is not sin; it is something we are bound to face simply by virtue of being human. Not to be tempted would mean that we were…

Going Beyond Ministries

  • Life Lessons at the Airport Baggage Claim July 16, 2019
    In April, I was sitting at the airport awaiting my father’s arrival. He and I had taken flights out of different cities and planned to meet in Frankfurt, Germany for a layover to Prague, Czech Republic. Due to a delay in his flight, there were roughly six hours before he would land. With time to […]