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Trip Planning Guide
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jan 2, 2002, 13:08

If I were going on a trip I would have to make arrangements. What way do I need to go? Where can I find fuel? Where can I stay? Will I be safe? Where is my destination and what will it be like?

In other words to get anywhere takes some planning or it is a process. As summer rolls around there are many that are planning to travel. In this article I would like for you to think about the divine process that should be happening in our lives. In 1 Thessalonians 3 we make some discoveries that will help us understand this.

I often teach that people are on a spiritual pilgrimage. Now they may not always recognize that fact but they are. I think the journey revolves round three questions:

Where do I get love?

Will Rodgers was lying . . .he must have met someone that he didnít like. I donít care how good the quote sounds, we all have people we donít like. What we really want to know is where can we find not only someone to like us, but really love us?

Where do I get the power to live the holy life?

The only person that believes it easy to live a holy life has never tried it. We have thundered from the pulpit for years telling people to be something without telling them how to do it. The end result is that people havenít found the answers they needed at church. It isnít that God hasnít done His part . . . He has. It is just that we havenít communicated well what people need to hear.

Where do I get hope?

I have gotten more suicide calls over the past year than I have in all my years in my ministry combined. The search for hope is crucial for every person. When there is no hope, there is no reason to keep going.

It is a good thing that this passage addresses some of these questions. So letís dig in and find out what is there.

Where do I get love? THE SOURCE OF LOVE IS GOD (v.12) ďMay the Lord make your love increase . . .Ē

Remember what John tells us: We love Him . . .(because we are good) NO! We love Him because he first loved us!

1 John 2:9-10óAnyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.

The truth is this; the closer you are to Him, the more you will love.

When you think about your spiritual maturity, one of the tests is your love level. The closer you are to him, the higher your love level will be. Love comes from God. Our prayer should be that we would allow Him to teach us to love more. That is where we find love.

Where do I get the power to live a holy life? The source of Holiness is love (v.13)ó May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father.

There was a car transport truck that lost its lights so he turned the lights on in a car he was carrying. Later, another car saw him coming down the highway and the guy in the oncoming car ran off the road. When he was asked why he said, ďI saw you coming and I figured if you were as wide as you were high, I was in trouble.Ē

Most of us when we think about holiness feel like we are in trouble. Being holy isnít about giving something up. Instead it is something that begins to happen. When love comes in, holiness is the reality that begins to take place. Go to 1 Corinthians 13 and read it. One of things that always impresses me when I read that passage is that if you have love you donít need to worry about all the other things

Allow His love to wash you all over.

Holiness will come as a result of love

The last question is Where do I

get hope? The source of hope is

holiness. Read verse 13 again and finish the part of the verse that we didnít read above, ď. . . when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.Ē

As we grow to know Him better, we discover hope. Allow the Father to love and change you. The changes bring confidence. There is nothing better than knowing that you are loved. If you have met Jesus, you are changing because of that love. That should give you confidence.

One time Saint Francis was asked as he tended his garden, ďWhat would you do if you knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow?Ē He thought for just a moment and said, ďI think I would keep on tending my garden.Ē

Another thing that happens in our lives once we get serious in our walk with Christ is that we donít worry about the questions anymore. We trust Him to do as He promised. Think about it.







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