Daily Archives: January 8, 2023

Overcome Fear With Faith

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Overcome Fear With Faith

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My godly mother, who prayed me into the kingdom, frequently used to say she was “worried sick” about this or that.

But here’s the plain truth: worry is a sin! Over and over, the Bible commands, “Do not worry!” It doesn’t do a bit of good, but it can certainly do harm — like causing ulcers.

Jesus bluntly challenged His followers:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 6:25a, 27, 30b NLT)

To illustrate His point, Jesus said,

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.” (Matthew 6:26a)

Have you ever seen a bird having a nervous breakdown? They don’t worry because they know God will feed them. And remember,

“Aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 6:26b)

Many worries stem from worldly desires. But trust is depending on God to provide.

Jesus said:

“These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:32-33)

When we walk closely with Jesus day by day, we find rest. But inner peace doesn’t come if we run here and there, wasting time and chasing worldly things. The world can corrupt us with its troubles, making us scared. After all, good news doesn’t sell newspapers! The devil wants to keep us on a treadmill with our nose to the grindstone, worrying about everything. But God says, “Fear not!”

As you face each day, don’t miss the blessing — it’s Him! God loves you and knows your true needs, whether they be physical, social, or financial. So come to Him in faith, give Him your burdens, seek His face, praise His name … and He will supply!

The King’s highway opened and cleared

From: Charles Spurgeon

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 16:21-23

I remember a certain narrow and crooked lane in a certain country town, along which I was walking one day while I was seeking the Saviour. On a sudden the most fearful oaths that any of you can conceive rushed through my heart. I put my hand to my mouth to prevent the utterance. I had not, that I know of, ever heard those words; and I am certain that I had never used in my life from my youth up so much as one of them, for I had never been profane. But these things sorely beset me; for half an hour together the most fearful imprecations would dash through my brain. Oh, how I groaned and cried before God! That temptation passed away; but before many days it was renewed again; and when I was in prayer, or when I was reading the Bible, these blasphemous thoughts would pour in upon me more than at any other time. I consulted with an aged godly man about it. He said to me, “Oh, all this many of the people of God have proved before you. But,” said he, “do you hate these thoughts?” “I do,” I truly said. “Then,” said he, “they are not yours; serve them as the old parishes used to do with vagrants—whip them and send them on to their own parish. So,” said he, “do with them. Groan over them, repent of them, and send them on to the devil, the father of them, to whom they belong—for they are not yours.” Do you not recollect how John Bunyan hits off the picture? He says, when Christian was going through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, that one stepped up softly to him, and whispered blasphemous thoughts into his ear, so that poor Christian thought they were his own thoughts; but they were not his thoughts at all, but the injections of a blasphemous spirit.

For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ heard things that were temptations to him, but he always resisted them and never sinned. As long as we hate and resist them, temptations remain temptations only—they become sins only when we enjoy them and give in to them.

Who Do You Say I Am?
by Amanda Idleman

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” – Matthew 16:15

Men and women often die needlessly difficult deaths, what makes Jesus’ death on the cross meaningful? Why does Jesus matter?

The answer to that question is really the centerpiece of the Christian faith. What we each believe about the identity of Jesus has the power to transform him from being just a prophet, clever speaker, or possibly even a crazy man into the living breathing son of God. 

Jesus proves his divinity to humanity most remarkably through his death on the cross that fulfilled the prophecies laid out about our Savior in scripture and his subsequent resurrection. No one else in human history has the power to overcome death. Jesus’ death is his living sacrifice for our sins and his resurrection defies the rules of this world in a way that only God can accomplish.

God’s love is displayed through his incredible sacrifice. If Jesus only came to Earth in order to display his divine power to humans so we would worship him then our need for him in our lives as a personal savior would be diminished. If he only showed up on Earth to parade his power and coerce us into worshiping him then he would be just like those cruel Greek and Roman gods that were filled with pride and selfishness.

Jesus is different from the other gods of this world because he clearly tells and demonstrates to us the purpose of his incarnation. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” His arrival on Earth was a well-thought-out rescue mission. He came to redeem his fallen creation.

Jesus’ existence on Earth is a gracious invitation to all of humanity to engage in a real, life-changing, and eternity-impacting relationship with the one true living God!

Jesus asks Peter, one of his disciples, the question ‘Who do you say I am?” Jesus knows that it’s important to Peter’s faith that he grasp that Jesus is fully a man but also fully God. Jesus Is the truth, the way, and the light. Without his disciples understanding all of who Jesus the man was they would not be able to receive the gift of salvation that God was offering.

The question of “Who do you say I am” continues to be the most foundational question for people of faith. Our ability to recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior is where our path towards transformation and adoption into God’s ‘heaven family’ begins.

If you are in a season of questioning or feel a sense of disillusionment with the Church, I ask you to just go back to this question: Who is Jesus? What did he come to do? How has knowing him impacted your life? That’s the place to start when we are wanting to deconstruct our beliefs.

Build back a stronger, more firm faith foundation that begins with Jesus your Savior. God embraces our questions but we have to be open to hear the answers he came down to Earth to give us.

Today’s Devotions

Morning

January 8

Genesis 3:15 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

This is the first declaration in Scripture that God would deal with sin, and it is made to Satan in the earshot of Adam and Eve. It is in the same chapter as the fall of man. As God is pronouncing the affects of sin upon their lives and the world in which they live, He also gives man a promise and Satan a warning. First there is the declaration that there will be hatred between Satan and man. The seed, or offspring, of the woman will be in conflict with the offspring of Satan. Satan is out to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) But there is one Seed (singular) that will specifically take on Satan and crush his head (authority and rule). This promise tells us that the Victor will be a male descendent of Eve.

God was quick to give mankind a hope to which, by faith, they could look forward. People living before Christ looked forward to the Victor of the enemy of their souls, by faith, just as we look back with faith. We all trust that the crushing of Satan’s head was sufficient to rescue us from Satan’s authority, the authority over us that our sin gave him. In the process, however, the Savior’s heel was struck. Archeologists have discovered that crucified victims were nailed through the heel bone. Jesus’ heels were pierced like the two teeth fangs of the serpent, one through each heel. In the process Satan’s head was crushed. Satan tried to bite our Savior, but the bite resulted in his defeat and our salvation. The promise has been fulfilled.

Consider: Are you living free from the authority of that defeated one and in the power of the risen Victor?