This Vertical Life Blog Reboot
Greetings blog readers of this vertical life, It has been five months since my last post on the book of 2 Thessalonians. A great deal has changed in our world and for me personally. A global pandemic has brought me back to the United States from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Currently, I am living in Florida with no real time frame of when my situation may change. Over the past several months, people in the United States and worldwide have been gripped with significant issues and unprecedented challenges.
Some of these include: health and safety concerns financial and economic challenges
educational concerns issues of racial inequality and injustice
significant political divisions and unrest
natural disasters These issues have brought with them an array of negative emotional responses.
Some of these include:
Worry and fear
As I reflect on the past five months and look at this list, it would be easy to say, "I give up!" I would be lying to say that I haven't been discouraged in 2020. But I have also been encouraged and hopeful! As I look at the lists above, I do not see one thing on the lists to which the Bible doesn’t speak in some way. I truly believe this now more than ever!
When I started this blog, I stated, "This blog exists to educate and inspire Christians to live their lives set on things above (living vertically).” The inspiration for this came from Colossians 3:1-2. It states, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly.
In this world, there can be so many “earthly things” to hinder Christians. The lists above reflect only a few of the “earthly things” that distract from a life focused on Christ. Paul was not saying, “Keep your head in the clouds and ignore life's issues on earth.” This is an impossibility. Rather, for Christians, we are encouraged to remain focused on Christ. We are reminded to keep our attention on who and what really matters. We are called to live a "vertical life," which is a life focused on Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, for God's glory. Then, it is possible to deal with the issues and challenges of “earthly things.”
I still believe the “vertical life” is developed by understanding God’s Word in its original context and then living out the message in today’s context, and I want this blog to be a tool to help in this process. Therefore, I am returning to regular blog posts.
I will continue with the four-part structure.
1. Recognize the Context:
Relevant aspects of the historical, literary, and immediate contexts
2. Read the Scripture:
The Scripture reference provided.
3. Reflect on the Scripture:
Helpful interpretive elements within the passage
4. Relate to Life:
As I address the "relate to life" section (application), I will continue to make general suggestions. As you personally wrestle with the text of Scripture, I trust the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind ways to live out the Scriptures in your life and community.
Friday, September 4, I will return to 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12, then finish 2 Thessalonians in the two following posts. The book of James is the next book of the Bible I will explore.
Feel free to share thisverticallife.com with someone who might enjoy it.
Keep living vertically,