He Corrects Whom He Loves
Maribel Ixcajoc Arevalo – National Director – CBN Guatemalay
When my mother was widowed with seven daughters to raise, her only option was to discipline and reprimand us when we did wrong. She carried it out in such a way that the end result was women who fear God and do good. In those times, when I was still very young, that discipline seemed very painful (especially having lost my father). However, very early in life, I understood that we needed her correction and it was always for love.
We also feel pain when the Lord corrects us for our sins and we do not want to face the consequences of our actions. But it is necessary, and believe it or not, everything is for love and to be recognized and legitimized as children of God.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all (Hebrews 12:7-8 NIV).
The Bible says in Romans 12:2 that we must renew our understanding to know the will of God: good, acceptable, and perfect. How then does one think that they can be renewed without being cleansed? How are you going to know the will of God for your life if you have not yet been purified, molded, and prepared for a new life of faith?
Let’s start from this point: God loves you and loves you just the way you are. You were created by Him in His image and likeness. To be used for His glory, you need that purification process, because there will always be areas in your life in which the Lord is working.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will have not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure (1 John 3:3).
Since the first day that God called me to serve Him at CBN Guatemala four years ago, I have experienced test after test, process after process, and correction after correction in a deep purification process. Although there has been no reprieve and I have experienced the most tribulation I’ve had in my lifetime, I want to share with you my personal and ministerial recommendations to help you face your purification process. Know and apply these four things:
- God the Father loves you (see John 3:16).
- Be thankful for the process, you are being turned into a better version of you (see James 1:12).
- Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, learn to be quiet and listen, even when it seems to take time. He is always speaking into your life (see Proverbs 8:32-34).
- Pray without ceasing and ask for discernment to understand what God is doing (see John 10:27).
All of us in the CBN Guatemala office are encountering major difficulties. We recognize that we are going through a time of personal and ministerial growth as the body of Christ. The Lord has glorified Himself and blessed us to the fullest while we are being purified—so much so that we will not have enough life to thank Him for His favor. We’ve seen transformed lives and families, miracles of healing, provision, and restoration, among many other blessings happening in the lives of those we respond to as a ministry.
So, the next time you ask yourself, why me? I encourage you to fill yourself with joy and enthusiasm because your life will be changed by the love and mercy of God.
Though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world (1 Peter 1:7 NLT).
Proverbs 30:7-9 7“Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: 8Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
The author of this proverb had a healthy fear of the LORD. Knowing the deceitfulness of his own flesh, he asked for two things. The first was to keep falsehood and lies far from him. The passage does not say whether those lies come from his lips or from another. We can look at it both ways. We can’t keep others from deceiving us, which in turn causes us to make wrong judgments. We can ask God to keep others from lying to us. But just as important is to ask God to help us not be tempted to lie. Most of us don’t plan to outright lie, but in the heat of a conversation there is a way of putting things that brings you favor or respect through a distortion or exaggeration. We can justify it, but it is lying nonetheless. God protect us from our treacherous self-exaltation.
Then the author asks for daily bread. Jesus echoed this in the Lord’s Prayer. If I have too much, it may cause my heart to turn from the LORD. It is good to have needs that drive me to prayer. I need to see my needs met little by little so that I give Him praise and thanks. If I go hungry I may get desperate enough to steal, and that would dishonor the God whom I profess to serve. So, I ask for sufficiency, not abundance or poverty.
Reader, do you recognize how deceitful your flesh can be? Do you dream of hitting it rich, thinking of all the good you would do with the money? The worst thing for many of us is to get that for which we ask. Recognize the power of the flesh and live to stay free from its power. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit instead.
Prayer: Please give me sufficiency and a healthy fear of the LORD.
Streams in the Desert – November 17
- 202217 Nov
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them? (Luke 18:6-7)
God’s seasons are not at your beck. If the first stroke of the flint doth not bring forth the fire, you must strike again. God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed; He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, but not just when and where we have settled in our own expectations. Hence the need of perseverance and importunity in supplication.
In the days of flint and steel and brimstone matches we had to strike and strike again, dozens of times, before we could get a spark to live in the tinder; and we were thankful enough if we succeeded at last.
Shall we not be as persevering and hopeful as to heavenly things? We have more certainty of success in this business than we had with our flint and steel, for we have God’s promises at our back.
Never let us despair. God’s time for mercy will come; yea, it has come, if our time for believing has arrived. Ask in faith nothing wavering; but never cease from petitioning because the King delays to reply. Strike the steel again. Make the sparks fly and have your tinder ready; you will get a light before long.
—C. H. Spurgeon
I do not believe that there is such a thing in the history of God’s kingdom as a right prayer offered in a right spirit that is forever left unanswered.
—Theodore L. Cuyler
Hope as an Anchor – The Crosswalk Devotional –
By Emma Danzey
Hebrews 6:19-20 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The book of Hebrews is filled with beautiful verses proclaiming that Jesus is our great High Priest. He took on the cross for us, and He broke the barricade between us and God the Father. The sin that stood in between was defeated, and Jesus became the bridge between the Lord and us. As we break down these verses today, pray that Christ would reveal Himself more and more in your heart.
This Hope Is an Anchor of the Soul, Both Sure and Reliable
Have you ever used an anchor? A seemingly small device can be cast down into the water and stabilize a boat through the wind and waves. The larger the boat, the larger the anchor. Our soul has the effects of sin and the world. However, when we have been gifted with the Holy Spirit, He can anchor us through being pulled in many different directions other than God’s best.
Ephesians 4:14 gives us insight into the way that we are spiritually impacted by the wind and waves. It says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”
We have hope that is both sure and reliable. Jesus’ sacrifice and following Him is the only true way to be steady in this life and sure of the one to come. He has fulfilled the law where we could not, He has come in and convicted us but not condemned those who say yes to Him, and He has been the One who had a once-and-for-all sacrifice sufficient for all sins.
One Which Enters within the Veil, Where Jesus Has Entered as a Forerunner for us
Back before the time of Jesus, a high priest would enter the Holy of holies within the temple (where God’s presence was) once a year on Yom Kippur to provide a blood sacrifice and incense to the Lord on behalf of the people’s sins. There was a great veil separating the Holy of holies. They would actually tie a rope to the priest’s ankle in case he died in the presence of God so they could pull him out. We are so sinful and small, and the Lord Almighty is so glorious and perfect that being in His presence is just too much. This is why even Moses, who was very faithful to the Lord, was instructed when getting the Ten Commandments not to look at God’s face or he would die. (Exodus 33:20)
This emphasizes why we needed a Savior. One man, once a year, who was a selected high priest, was able to go into God’s presence for one day to give an offering for sin. Jesus is called the “Forerunner for us” because He offered Himself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God on behalf of all of our sins. There was then no more need for the temple and the holy of holies or an earthly priest because the High Priest of Heaven had taken care of the problem of sin forever
Matthew 27:51 shares, “And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”
If Jesus’ death and resurrection were not miracle enough, the extremely thick and heavy temple veil was torn from top to bottom right after Jesus’ death. God could not have been more clear that we are now welcome in His presence. In fact, once Jesus ascended, He sent His presence in the Holy Spirit to us who believe. This is a true miracle.
Having Become a High Priest Forever according to the Order of Melchizedek.
Jesus was not a temporary priest, He is the High Priest forever. He is the One who forever has reconciled us as sinners to our Holy Father. This verse is extra impactful to the Jewish people because Melchizedek was the high priest in Genesis whose name literally meant “king of righteousness.” He was the king of Salem, and he blessed Abraham. This is a beautiful tie to God fulfilling the Old Covenant and bringing the New Covenant through Jesus. We can celebrate our High Priest forever.