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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Agreement/Disagreement (01/19/12)

TITLE: A Little Less Talk...
By Ruth Thoutenhoofd


I believe God is sovereign. If anyone should ask me if he is in control of the universe my answer would be an unqualified and resounding “Yes!” I am absolutely certain of this.
I am also certain that he is good. And loving. And just. And many other things that prove he can be trusted to do what is best, not just for me but for everyone who has ever been or will ever be born. This is my theology.

So, if I believe this and am in agreement with everything the Bible says, why don’t my words and actions show this? Why does my life so often prove that I don’t in fact agree with my own theology? I’m fairly certain that this is true of the vast majority of those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ.

We disagree with our own theology when we worry about the future. We disagree when we make decisions based on finances rather than what is God’s plan for us. We disagree when we try to talk our kids out of going overseas to follow God’s plan for them, or encourage them to pursue the job that will give them the most financial security, just because it seems the most prudent. We disagree when we overlook scriptures that tell us to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth.

We disagree when we allow ourselves to become lukewarm in our love for God and seek our own kingdom - our success, our comfort, our reputation in the church and community - before his.

We disagree when we take offence and refuse to let go of it when someone wrongs us; when we do everything in our power - even go to court - rather than let anyone make us look like a fool or take advantage of us, even though we know the scripture, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” 1 Cor. 6:7

And on and on and on.

Our actions often disagree with what we say we believe. At least mine do. Why?

Because, even though I know what the Bible says and theoretically endorse it, I am not always directed by the Holy Spirit. I have not always made it my practise to ask God to fill me with his Spirit before I start my day. I wander off into thinking like one who doesn’t know God, who isn’t rooted in the gospel. I have discovered that the gospel is intended to do far more than save me from hell; it is intended to save me now - change my mind, my heart, and more importantly, my actions. What joy there is when what I say I believe agrees with what I do! What peace; what contentment!

“So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all – it is dead and useless. Now some may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ I say, ‘I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.’” James 2:17, 18 NL

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This article has been read 594 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 01/26/12
Nice devotional, and such a clever way of presenting the topic-through our actions pertaining to the bible!
Loved it - great job.
God Bless~
Martha Black01/27/12
What an interesting approach! Who would have thought of making yourself both the one agreeing and the one disagreeing. Obviously, you thought of it! Good job and so true!
Dimple Suit01/27/12
Your honesty and insight hit home on many levels. Good job!
Judy Sauer 01/28/12
Here’s the good news … you are human, just like the rest of us. Your examples are easy to relate with.

Having a strong opening line will draw in the reader. Maybe begin using a declaration statement with emphasis, such as “Yes! Yes, I believe God is in control.”

I connect whole heartedly with doing the things I don’t want to do, and not doing the things we want to do. Paul writes about this very human struggle in the New Testament.

You give readers much to discern. Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/30/12
I liked your message. It's one we all can be reminded of. I think you nailed the topic in a fresh, creative way.

You used the word disagree a lot. I know some of it was to drive the point home but I'm not sure if repitition worked here. Maybe if you had shown examples so the reader could really picture it. For instance, instead of saying you worry about the future, show it. I fret and wonder where the rent money will come from. Then you could show how God provides. :My mouth dropped open when I ripped into the envelope and withdrew a check from Mom.
It shows the reader what you are saying.

You did a nice job of showing an internal debate. I'm sure many of us do that. The Bible verses in the end really bring your thoughts full circle. I can feel your passion and can tell you want to share God's blessings with the world. Keep writing!
Verna Mull 02/01/12
This was very well written and expressed so that any one reading it can easily get the full message which America (and all of us) need to hear. We surely do need to live what we believe and have the Holy Spirit to guide us. The big question really is, do people know by our lives what we believe, and do we allow the Spirit to have control? Great article
C D Swanson 02/02/12
Congratulations on your ribbon! Nice job - and well deserved. God Bless~
Ebony Murdoch02/03/12
I enjoyed this devotional, it's right on time with what I'm dealing with. Also, it is well written and fits the topic well. Keep writing!
Danielle King 02/03/12
Congratulations Ruth on your well deserved placing. I was up in the night fretting over family problems, so had a browse on here to take my mind off stuff. This was the first entry I read and it was just what I needed to hear! Thank you for writing this.