HAPPY NEW YEAR, to all our readers!  We pray you have a blessed year ahead of you!

Yesterday at church, we had a sermon about “The well – trained Believer”  and how to become that kind of Christian in 2018.  It is based on the following passage.

Hebrews 12:1-13The Message (MSG)

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
    but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
    the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

12-13 So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!


Here are a few highlights, and the things I gleaned from this study….  Take a look.

The Well-Trained Believer:

  1.  is willing commit
  2.  is willing to compete
  3. is willing to contemplate (consider)
  4. is willing to correct
  5. is willing to complete

obstacles in our race, afford opportunities for our growth.  Resistance and trials in our life cause us to grow in our Faith!  Recollections, and memories of our past mistakes cause us not to repeat them, and we may finally ‘forget’ them and not let them define us; but, we will still have numerous folks that love to remind us of those mistakes!  However,  if we want to reach our goal, we must remember…there is NO ROOM FOR RETREAT…NO ROOM FOR RETIREMENT!  Our motto should be, “Keep on keeping on ’till Jesus comes and takes us home!

To achieve your goal, you need these three things; Purpose in your life, A goal you strive to reach, and direction to finally arrive.

  1.  Self denial that is willing to give up everything that hinders that growth
  2.  A decision that is made with your whole heart to reach your goal
  3.  Patience…persistence to pursue your goal until it is reached

“You must be willing to receive the discipline of God, to be a dynamic witness for God in 2018!

The time is at hand!  Jesus will be returning soon.  Let’s be well-trained Believers and dynamic witnesses for God in these last days!

-Pastor William  Rodriguez