Daily Archives: January 22, 2023

Fixing Our Eyes Upon Jesus

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Fixing Our Eyes Upon Jesus

Daily inspiration – Keep your eyes on Jesus | Alex on Faith

 

Gordon Robertson – President and CEO, CBN

With all the problems in the world today, it’s easy to focus on the storms and turmoil. Instead, we should be

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus is the answer to every human need. He will provide. He will deliver victory—not based on what we do, but on what He has done. All we need to do is believe Him.

Peter was the only disciple to step out onto the water while the others stayed in the boat. Even so, when he looked at the wind and waves, he began to sink. Matthew 14:31 tells us that Jesus caught him and asked,

“Why did you doubt?”

We make a big deal about how much faith we have in God; it’s a bigger deal that God has faith in us. He believes we can do what He has called us to do, yet it’s easy to waver and doubt.

When the Israelites refused to enter Canaan because of the spies’ report about giants, Joshua said not to fear them,

“for they are our bread” (Numbers 14:9)

Joshua was a man of faith and of power. His perspective was that with God all things are possible; God has given us the land, and our enemies will be turned into our nourishment.

Forty years later, God encouraged Joshua before leading the people into battle:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9)

When God says not to be afraid, He’s preparing us that things may not be easy.

Yet first He says, “Have I not commanded you?” From God’s perspective, when He commands, it’s a done deal. When God says, “Let there be light,” there is light.

Then He promises, “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We also hear God’s command and promise in the Great Commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations …; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20)

What God has commanded, He will accomplish. We simply need to do our part and proclaim the Good News.

And as we obey Him, we have His assurance in Hebrews 13:5:

I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God bless you.

Receiving God’s Gifts in Others

“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10 (CSB)

Last spring, we found ourselves in a muddy situation — literally.

We had unintentionally created 10 tiny ponds in our backyard and a huge safety hazard for the kids! See, my husband and I had come up with this exciting (and perhaps overly ambitious) idea to start a backyard orchard. On a whim, I ordered 10 fruit trees and started dreaming of picking my own apples.

It was a lovely dream, but in reality, we dug 10 huge holes and then didn’t have enough time to finish planting. It rained so much that week that by the time we got back outside, the holes were completely filled with muddy water.

After trying unsuccessfully to scoop the water out with a 5-gallon bucket and use the hose as a siphon, my tired husband was about to head to the hardware store when I suggested he text our neighbor. We both felt a little silly about it. How often do you get a text saying, “Hey, do you have anything I can use to get water out of the huge holes in my yard?”

But he asked anyway, and to our surprise, our neighbor had the perfect solution! He’s into boats and had a pump that’s typically used to get water out of things like … well, boats. Who knew?! We sure didn’t.

For us, this was a wonderful reminder that God designed us to be in community. First Peter 4:10 says, “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.” I often look at verses like this and think only about my responsibility to help, but let’s consider the flip side of it: In community, we also get to be the recipients of God’s gifts in others.

There are skills, crafts and hobbies we simply do not have but someone connected to us just might. While a co-worker’s love for painting or sewing may not come to mind in all situations, it’s there for us to tap into when we do need it. That’s the power of community. We don’t have to individually possess every talent or have access to every resource we may need along the way.

And God, being the good Father He is, loves when we do life with others and benefit from the blessings He’s placed in them. If I’m delighted when my kids help each other with schoolwork and chores, then God, who’s an infinitely better parent than I am, surely takes joy when we help one another.

We’re all made better by the exchange of good ideas and resources. Looking at it this way, we see our individual imperfections give us an amazing opportunity. We get to feel more complete when we thrive alongside others, filling each other’s gaps when needed.

While my husband and I would’ve eventually found a way to empty those holes, our neighbor helped us do it in peace, with half the effort. In unity, we can strive less. Perhaps this is one reason Jesus said, “Take up my yoke and learn from me … and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30, CSB). Being connected to Him also connects us to the greatness He has put in those who follow Him.

Streams in the Desert – January 22

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He withdrew… to a solitary place (Matthew 14:13).

There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music. In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests. During those rests, we foolisly believe we have come to the end fo the song. God sends us time of forced leisure by allowing sickness, disappointed plans, and frustrated efforts. He brings a sudden pause in the choral hymns of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent. We grieve that our part is missing in the music that continually rises to the ear of our Creator. Yet how does a musician read the rest? He counts the break with unwavering precision and plays his next note with confidence, as if no pause were ever there.

God does not write the music of our lives without a plan. Our part is to learn the tune and not be discouraged during the rests. They are not to be slurred over or omitted, nor used to destroy the melody or to change the key. If we will only look up, God Himself will count the time for us. With our eyes on Him, our next note will be full and clear. If we sorrowfully say to ourselves, “There is no music in a rest,” let us not forget that the rest is part of the making of the music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us! And how long He waits for us to learn the lesson!
–John Ruskin

Today’s Devotions

Morning

January 22

Genesis 22:7-8,14 7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

14So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

And God did provide Himself as the lamb, the lamb of atonement that took away the sins of the world. For almost two millenniums the Jewish people asked the same question. Where is the lamb? Where is the One who will satisfy God? Shepherds could not provide the lamb; He had to come from the Great Shepherd. And in the fullness of time, God did provide the Lamb. God the Father and God the Son went together, the two of them, to Mount Moriah.

Abraham looked forward through time and saw the LORD providing the Lamb of God in that same spot. “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”On that mountain atonement for you and me was provided. In father Abraham’s case, the knife was stopped mid-air, but Father God allowed the piercing of the Son He so greatly loved, to bring many sons to glory. God knew the grave could not hold the One who is Life, but that did not lessen the pain of the Son or the Father in that torturous death on the cross. It did not lessen the separation that took place when the sins of the world were placed upon Jesus and the forces of hell were unleashed upon Him. Child of God, God has provided for you the Lamb to take away your sins.

Consider: Am I living a life of thankfulness for that provision?