Convictions give us purpose
By Rick Warren
— March 27, 2010
When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions. 1 Thessalonians 1:5a (MSG)
If you want to gain insight into the convictions Jesus held, just study all the times he used the phrase
Jesus' life was dominated by his conviction that he was sent to do the Father's will. This produced a deep awareness of his life's purpose and kept him from being distracted by the agenda of others. If you want to gain insight into the convictions Jesus held, just study all the times he used the phrase "I must."
When people develop Christlike convictions, they, too, develop a sense of purpose in life.
Conviction also has an attractive quality to it. This explains the popularity of many cults. Their beliefs are erroneous and often illogical; yet believed with intense conviction. In contrast churches without clear, strong convictions will never attract the level of commitment that Christ deserves. We must teach and preach with conviction.
In 1943, one hundred thousand young people in brown shirts filled the Munich stadium in Germany, the largest in the world at that time. They formed with their bodies a sign for a fanatical man standing behind the podium. The message said "Hitler, we are yours." Their commitment allowed them to conquered Europe.
Years later, a group of young Chinese students committed to memorizing and living the philosophy of a little red book, The Sayings of Chairman Mao. The result was the Cultural Revolution that swept one billion people under the tight rule of communism. That is the power of conviction!
We must burn with the conviction that the Kingdom of God is the greatest cause in the world. The insightful preacher, Vance Havner, used to say, "Jesus demands greater allegiance than any dictator that every lived. The difference is that Jesus has a right to it!"
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