Butler County Times Gazette
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More Than Week 1 - devotional thought 1
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By Corey Landreth
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Jan. 14, 2013 12:01 a.m.

On Sunday we discussed two important truths about our journey in Christ.
  1. Obedience is a prerequisite for God's "More Than" in your life
  2. Perseverance is more important to God than perfection.
Every time God called someone in the Bible to something incredible it always followed a first step of obedience. We looked at Abraham, Moses and the Apostle, Paul, on Sunday. But there are many others. Gideon was told to tear down the alter on his father's property before God used him to deliver the Israelites from their enemies. Joshua and the Israelites, BEFORE the walls fell down, were told to march around the city of Jericho.
Fortunately for us, while stepping out in obedience comes before seeing God do the incredible, being perfect in obedience is not a requirement. God knows that we will fail and struggle and have times of fear and loss and even a lack of faith. So what He asks of us is that we keep trying.
Listen to how James, the brother of Jesus and a failure in many respects himself, puts it.
James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James doesn't tell us the testing of our faith produces perfection, but that it produces perseverance. And perseverance is needed because through our continued struggle to be like Christ we become mature in our faith, complete in Christ and not lacking anything for this life and these trials.
Persevering in our struggle to be more and more like Christ produces fruit in our lives. God uses those who persevere for the incredible, not those who give up. Failure, at times, is inevitable. Persevering is optional.
So if you've failed before do not give up. God doesn't discard you, He defines you through your struggles.
Is there something that God has been placing before you? Perhaps that you have been unwilling to step into? If you are looking for God to do More Than you imagine in your life this year it will begin with an act of obedience. Perhaps He's been prompting you to share your faith. To serve in an area you haven't before. To give more of your time, talent or treasure to His work. Whatever He's placing before you He'll ask that you step into it before He gives you your More Than. That is called faith.

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