Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

What are good works? Why does Jesus call us to do them?

What are good works? Why does Jesus call us to do them?

Jesus clearly calls us to do good works! The purpose of our good works is to glorify the amazing and beautiful God. If it doesn’t do that, we’ve got the wrong motives and then we have the wrong outcomes.

Now that is a good word. Please receive it.

Goodness and good works are acts designed specifically to help others, which are characteristic of God. We can be good because God is good. And He is in a good mood.

Good works are not a “bad thing”. They won’t save me but that isn’t the point.

Is the Bible is a dangerous book to read, and is the church a dangerous society to join?

Jesus challenges us

Jesus is about to wrap His Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). There is one final parable to lay it all out. There is a contrast in the previous paragraph which was between ‘saying’ and ‘doing’. The contrast now is between ‘hearing’ and ‘doing’.

On the one hand, Jesus says, there is the person who hears these words of mine and does them (24), and on the other the person who hears these words of mine and does not do them (26).

May I be a person who hears and acts. May I be obedient. Jesus is commanding me to love. Will I?

Who would take a light and hide it? Yet, isn’t that what we do some days?

Jesus doesn’t want us to play a game of hide and go seek. Now think about it.

God is light. His goal for us is to be light-bearers. He wants us to tell everyone that He is the Master.

God has Good News. God’s government is here, right now. Jesus is in charge. Jesus is King. Jesus is our Master.

What is happiness? How can we be truly happy?

I am happy. Jesus promises me that I will be.

Happiness is a state of pleasure or joy experienced both by people and by God, but subject to change according to circumstances.

True happiness derives from a secure and settled knowledge of God and a rejoicing in his works and covenant faithfulness. God rejoices over his faithful people.

The word is μακάριος — makarios. It is usually translated as “blessed”. It is generally understood to mean happy in English. I’m going with that.

In the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7), He gives us a whole series of happiness prescriptions. They are powerful. From Matthew 5, Jesus starts the manifesto out with this.

  • “Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
  • “Happy are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
  • “Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
  • “Happy are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
  • “Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
  • “Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
  • “Happy are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Happiness — It is for those who trust in God

  • Psalm 84:12  — O Master of hosts, How happy is the man who trusts in You!
  • Psalm 2:12  — Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How happy are all who take refuge in Him!
  • Psalm 34:8  — O taste and see that the Master is good; How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
  • Psalm 40:4  — How happy is the man who has made the Master his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
  • Psalm 146:5  — How happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Master his God,
  • Proverbs 16:20  — He who gives attention to the word will find good, And happy is he who trusts in the Master.
  • Jeremiah 17:7  — “Happy is the man who trusts in the Master And whose trust is the Master.”
  • Luke 1:45  — “And happy is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Master.”
  • John 20:29  — Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Happy are they who did not see, and yet believed.
  • Galatians 3:9  — So then those who are of faith are happy with Abraham, the believer.

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Our Mission & Vision

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Christ in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

What does Jesus think about retaliation?

Jesus challenges us to not retaliate. It is in our core, when someone hurts us, to strike back.

Some, famously, brag about being a “counter-puncher”. 

That, is not the way of God. 

Jesus has a different way.

Don’t hit back at all. Just take it. Agree with your adversary.

God has a goal in mind for us. Jesus has higher standards for us than what the world expects.

Jesus expects us to be full of the love of God.

Love acts differently. Love is kind and patient. Love does not retaliate.

May I love like God. May I not be defensive and retaliate.

Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it.” ~Jesus

Matthew 5:38 The Message (MSG)

Jesus challenges us
Jesus challenges us

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Heroes Semester

CTCI’s Heroes Semester is a 10-week semester program focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, you will be renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.

Learn more here.

CTCI’s Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! Emphasizing the biblical truths of relationships, family, servanthood, and personal discipline, young men and women are challenged to live a faith that reaches beyond the four walls of the church and affects everyday life.

“The Heroes Semester is taking place, and all that I can say is that the Lord is showing me Himself! Christ is mesmerizing me; He’s opening my heart to fall more in love with Him!”

CB -Tennessee (Participant)

Participants ages 18-26 come from all walks of life with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord and seek Him for their lives and future. Each semester is filled with teaching, activities, and experiences designed to take you on the mountaintops with the Lord as well as train you to live a disciplined life in Christ in the plains and valleys.

Participants spend their days in study sessions, work duties, or on the unpredictable outdoor adventure. The evenings have a natural rhythm of group Bible studies, prayer & intercession, and recreational activities. Everyone pitches in with the usual chores that come with living life together. Electronics take a back seat in daily life, unplugging from usual habits helps to make space for new ones. Each day ends with a note of gratitude and lessons learned.

If you are ready to go deeper in relationships, devotion, and surrender to the Lord, then CTCI’s Heroes Semester could be the most purposeful 10 weeks of your life!

Learn more here.

God’s goal for us to grow up and live the Life of Jesus, doing everything His way.

Victory in JesusJesus challenges us to be the person God wants us to be. Jesus challenges us to grow up. Grow up! Yes, you heard that right.

Grow up!

It is not about us or our unique personalities. God has given us His identity.

Jesus only does what He hears and sees His Father saying and doing.We need to get outside of our “me identity”. It isn’t about who I am. It is all about who I am in God.

Jesus wants the same for us. We have a God created identity. We are a new creation in the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. We share that with Him through baptism.

God’s goal for us to live the Life of Jesus, doing everything His way. God’s goal for us is to grow up.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

~Jesus (Matthew 5:48 The Message)

Jesus is radical and demands that we live in a radical way.

Unconventional Wisdom

Unconventional Wisdom

In listening to Jesus, much of what He is saying goes against the grain of what I have thought brings happiness. It is the Jesus Manifesto.

Jesus is radical and demands that we live in a radical way. Jesus wants us to change our minds and act differently (aka repent). Jesus will accept nothing less.

God has a goal for us. Jesus takes care to summarize what some of God’s principles are.

Did Jesus finish it? Is it complete?

Complete the law and prophets

Complete the law and prophets Matthew 5:17

Jesus, God’s Son, shows how He completes what was started in the Old Covenant (Testament). Jesus is the completer in chief. He does it all. Nothing is left undone. Every goal accomplished. The mission of God is fulfilled.

Nothing, not a single thing, is left incomplete and undone.

Everything in the Old Covenant pointed to Jesus. He completed everything through His life and death for us. Having missed God’s goal for our life, His glorious resurrection and ascension brings the rule of Kingdom with God to our lives.

As He said on the cross, “It is finished”.

God loves us. He sent His son Jesus for us. Jesus reached the goal that God has in mind for all of us.

Jesus shows us the way.

“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures— either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. ” ~Jesus (Matthew 5:17-18 The Message)

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

How does God prove His love for us?

Radical Sayings of Jesus

God takes our salvation and relationship with Him seriously. We know that God loves us because He sent His Son to live and die for us. We miss God’s goal for our lives (aka sin) big time. We need Jesus.

Jesus set the standard for us. Check out Matthew 5 – 7  for a glimpse of how high the bar is set. It is traditionally called the Sermon on the Mount. I see it as the Jesus Manifesto for a radical new way of living.

It is only through Jesus and His redemption that we can live a holy and sanctified life.

Billy GrahamBilly Graham gets it right!

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’ ” ~Billy Graham

 

 

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

 

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.