Tag Archives: marriage

Anyone Who Believes Will Be Saved

Romans 8:38-39

38    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
 39    neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Image result for pictures of jesus savingImage result for pictures of jesus saving

Image result for pictures of jesus savingImage result for jesus on the crossImage result for pictures of jesus savingImage result for pictures of jesus saving
Image result for pictures of jesus savingImage result for jesus on the cross

Mighty to Save

From: Our Daily Journey

Mighty to Save

Read:

Psalm 124:1-8
What if the LORD had not been on our side? (Psalm 124:1).

During WWII, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill hailed the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk as a “miracle of deliverance.” The event was so widely celebrated that Churchill had to remind people that “wars are not won by evacuations.”

Trapped by Hitler’s forces and with one route of escape, the Prime Minister had admitted that only 20,000 to 30,000 troops seemed likely to make it out safely. On hearing this, King George VI called for the people of Britain and of the Empire to commit their cause to God in a National Day of Prayer. They poured out their hearts to the only One who could deliver them and—in God’s providence—they were delivered.

Out of gratitude, people across Britain observed a Day of National Thanksgiving. Up and down the country, choirs and congregations sang the words of Psalm 124.

“What if the LORD had not been on our side? Let all Israel repeat: what if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger. The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives” (Psalm 124:1-5).

Perhaps you’ve witnessed a deliverance by Almighty God in your life. Whether a healing, a wondrous provision, or a beautiful reconciliation, you carry with you a sense of humble gratitude to God who chose to intervene in a situation that seemed utterly hopeless at the time (Psalm 124:6-7).

God often works powerfully through hard things that come our way. But even when the answer isn’t what we hoped for, we can declare, “Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).

 

Held by the Grip of God

By Oswald Chambers

Held by the Grip of God

Never choose to be a worker for God, but once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you “turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32). We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has “laid hold of” us. And once He has done so, we never have this thought, “Well, I’m really not suited for this.” What you are to preach is also determined by God, not by your own natural leanings or desires. Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not simply to convey your testimony but also to preach the gospel. Every Christian must testify to the truth of God, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the agonizing grip of God’s hand on you— your life is in the grip of God for that very purpose. How many of us are held like that?

Never water down the Word of God, but preach it in its undiluted sternness. There must be unflinching faithfulness to the Word of God, but when you come to personal dealings with others, remember who you are— you are not some special being created in heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

 

A door opened in heaven (Rev. 4:1).

You must remember that John was in the Isle of Patmos, a lone, rocky, inhospitable prison, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. And yet to him, under such circumstances, separated from all the loved ones of Ephesus; debarred from the worship of the Church; condemned to the companionship of uncongenial fellow-captives, were vouchsafed these visions. For him, also a door was opened.

We are reminded of Jacob, exiled from his father’s house, who laid himself down in a desert place to sleep, and in his dreams beheld a ladder which united Heaven with earth, and at the top stood God.

Not to these only, but to many more, doors have been opened into Heaven, when, so far as the world was concerned, it seemed as though their circumstances were altogether unlikely for such revelations. To prisoners and captives; to constant sufferers, bound by iron chains of pain to sick couches; to lonely pilgrims and wanderers; to women detained from the Lord’s house by the demands of home, how often has the door been opened to Heaven.

But there are conditions. You must know what it is to be in the Spirit; you must be pure in heart and obedient in faith; you must be willing to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ; then when God is all in all to us, when we live, move and have our being in His favor, to us also will the door be opened.
–Daily Devotional Commentary

God hath His mountains bleak and bare,
Where He doth bid us rest awhile;
Crags where we breathe a purer air,
Lone peaks that catch the day’s first smile.
God hath His deserts broad and brown–
A solitude–a sea of sand,
Where He doth let heaven’s curtain down,
Unknit by His Almighty hand.

Faith Unlocks God’s Power In You

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Image result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with GodImage result for Unlocked relationship with God

Unlocked

From: Our Daily Bread

Unlocked

Once you were alienated from God . . . . But now he has reconciled you. Colossians 1:21–22

A boy born with cerebral palsy was unable to speak or communicate. But his mother, Chantal Bryan, never gave up, and when he was ten years old she figured out how to communicate with him through his eyes and a letter board. After this breakthrough, she said, “He was unlocked and we could ask him anything.” Now Jonathan reads and writes, including poetry, by communicating through his eyes. When asked what it’s like to “talk” with his family and friends, he said, “It is wonderful to tell them I love them.”

Jonathan’s story is profoundly moving and leads me to consider how God unlocks us from the prison of sin. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Colossae, once we were “alienated from God” (Colossians 1:21), our evil behavior making us His enemy, but through Christ’s death on the cross we are now presented to God as “holy in his sight” (v. 22). We may now “live a life worthy of the Lord” as we bear fruit, grow in the knowledge of God, and are strengthened in His power (vv. 10–11).

We can use our unlocked voices to praise God and share His good news that we are no longer bound to a life of sin. As we continue in our faith, we can hold firm to our hope in Christ.

Lord God, You have released us from our chains of unbelief and given us words to praise You. May we share this freedom with others for Your glory.

The Lord unlocks us from our prison of sin.

 

FROM: STREAMS IN THE DESERT

Image result for Jesus healing

The Lord hath sent strength for thee (Ps.68.28, PBV).

The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust.

“As thy days, so shall thy strength be”—strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement.

“The Lord is my strength” to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery.

“The Lord is my strength” to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.

“The Lord is my strength” to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint. I heard a man say the other day concerning his growing physical frailty, “It is the coming down that tires me!”

“The Lord is my strength” to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, “If only I could do something!”

When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength.

“The Lord is my strength!” “Our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5. from The Silver Lining

The conversion of Saul of Tarsus

By: Charles Spurgeon

“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Acts 26:14

Suggested Further Reading: John 15:16-25

When you were first pricked in the heart, how personal the preacher was. I remember it well. It seemed to me that I was the only person in the whole place, as if a black wall were round about me, and I were shut in with the preacher, something like the prisoners at the penitentiary, who each sit in their cell and can see no one but the chaplain. I thought all he said was meant for me; I felt persuaded that some one knew my character, and had written to him and told him all, and that he had personally picked me out. Why, I thought he fixed his eyes on me; and I have reason to believe he did, but still he said he knew nothing about my case. Oh, that men would hear the word preached, and that God would so bless them in their hearing, that they might feel it to have a personal application to their own hearts. But note again—the apostle received some information as to the persecuted one. If you had asked Saul who it was he persecuted, he would have said, “Some poor fishermen, that had been setting up an impostor; I am determined to put them down.” “Why, who are they? They are the poorest of the world, the very scum and dregs of society; if they were princes and kings we perhaps might let them have their opinion; but these poor miserable ignorant fellows, I do not see why they are allowed to carry out their infatuation, and I shall persecute them. Moreover, most of them are women I have been persecuting—poor, ignorant creatures. What right have they to set their judgement up above the priests? They have no right to have an opinion of their own, and therefore it is quite right for me to make them turn away from their foolish errors.” But see in what a different light Jesus Christ puts it. He does not say, “Saul, Saul, why didst thou persecute Stephen?” or “Why art thou about to drag the people of Damascus to prison;” No—“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

For meditation: What a personal Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ is! He personally calls his people to himself (Luke 19:5) and he takes it personally when they are persecuted (Luke 10:16).

 

The Overshadowing of God’s Personal Deliverance

By Oswald Chambers

The Overshadowing of God’s Personal Deliverance

God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally— “…your life shall be as a prize to you…” (Jeremiah 39:18). That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose. If this is not the case, we will have panic, heartache, and distress. Having the proper outlook is evidence of the deeply rooted belief in the overshadowing of God’s personal deliverance.

The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on a mission for Jesus Christ, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, “Don’t worry about whether or not you are being treated justly.” Looking for justice is actually a sign that we have been diverted from our devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will only begin to complain and to indulge ourselves in the discontent of self-pity, as if to say, “Why should I be treated like this?” If we are devoted to Jesus Christ, we have nothing to do with what we encounter, whether it is just or unjust. In essence, Jesus says, “Continue steadily on with what I have told you to do, and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance.” Even the most devout among us become atheistic in this regard— we do not believe Him. We put our common sense on the throne and then attach God’s name to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts (see Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Jesus Sets You Free

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery         .Galatians 5:1 

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.      Galatians 5:13 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spir

it of the Lord is, there is freedom.      2 Corinthians 3:17 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.      John 8:36 

Image result for pictures of being set freeImage result for pictures of being set free
Image result for pictures of being set freeImage result for pictures of being set free
Image result for pictures of being set freeImage result for pictures of being set free
Image result for pictures of being set freeImage result for pictures of being set free

Set Free

From: Our Daily Bread

Set Free

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

When I was a boy in the village, something about chickens fascinated me. Whenever I caught one, I held it down for a few moments and then gently released it. Thinking I was still holding it, the chicken remained down; even though it was free to dash away, it felt trapped.

When we put our faith in Jesus, He graciously delivers us from sin and the hold that Satan had on us. However, because it may take time to change our sinful habits and behavior, Satan can make us feel trapped. But God’s Spirit has set us free; He doesn’t enslave us. Paul told the Romans, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1–2).

Through our Bible reading, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit, God works in us to cleanse us and to help us live for Him. The Bible encourages us to be confident in our walk with Jesus without feeling as if we are not set free.

Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). May the freedom we have in Christ spur us on to love Him and serve Him.

Lord, forgive me for sometimes revisiting my past and forgetting that You have washed away my sins. Thank You for taking my burden and setting me free to enjoy living for You.

My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. Charles Wesley

 

Arlene Pellicane June 26, 2018
The Power of a Praying Mom 
ARLENE PELLICANE

“Then Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.’” 1 Samuel 2:1 (NIV)

I wanted to pinch myself as we drove home from the hospital. The police officer at the accident had said, “When we hear bike vs. car, we just cringe because of what it can mean.”

Hours earlier, my 7-year-old son Ethan was riding his bike with his little sister and my husband. As Ethan made a wide right turn in our quiet neighborhood, he expected the road to be empty. The approaching driver immediately stepped on the brake, but not before Ethan plowed right into his front bumper. The ambulance arrived before I could get there. Approaching that scene was one of the scariest moments of my life. 

I began to pray. 

Ethan was lying on the road softly crying, but his helmet looked normal, and he wasn’t bleeding anywhere. I told him not to worry because God was with him. By the end of that sobering day, my little second-grader was discharged from the hospital with a few bruises but nothing else wrong with him! 

I praised and thanked God because He’d completely protected Ethan from injury. He answered my prayers for my son! 

Hannah in the Old Testament was thankful too, because God answered her prayers, opening her barren womb, giving her a son. When God delivers us, we must remember to express our thanks. Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2 focuses on God’s greatness, not her little Samuel’s cuteness. It reminds me that the God who blesses is greater than the blessing itself.

We read in 1 Samuel 2:1-2, “Then Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.’” 

One of the best gifts we can give children is the gift of prayer. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. You have a Heavenly Father who’s eager to answer. I’m still praying for my son Ethan who now rides his bicycle to high school. It’s hard to believe he’s grown so much! The streets are much bigger than they were years ago, and his needs are much greater. As children grow into adults, they need our prayers more than ever. 

Not only prayers for physical protection, but more importantly, spiritual protection for their minds and hearts. Most parents are filled with questions like: Will my child do well in school? Will they try drugs or have sex? What kind of person will they marry? Will they still choose to follow God after high school? Are they becoming addicted to video games or social media? Let’s take all our questions to God through prayer. 

Exchange your worries about your child’s future for praise. The future may be uncertain, but God is unchanging and fully capable of taking care of your child. Hannah praised God in the temple where she was leaving young Samuel for a life of service to God. She’d promised if God gave her a child, she would give him to serve God in the temple. She made good on her promise because God had made good on His. 

Can God be trusted with our children? Absolutely! Does God always answer our prayers? Yes — although not always in the way (or timing) we desire. When children are away from home, we can pray but we need not worry. After all, God can take care of them much better than we can. 

Lord Jesus, You are good. Please protect my children and deliver them from evil. Use them as a witness to their friends. May they grow strong and mighty in You filled with Your joy and compassion for others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

Good Gifts

By: Sherrie Brouhard, author

Gifts

Going to the grocery store was always fun when my three sons were young and still at home. In the early days, one would be in the baby seat, one would walk and help push the cart, and one would ride in it. As time went by and they grew, there were two walking beside me. Then, later on, there were three. I always had a list and they helped read and follow the list. If needed, I would send one down an aisle to get something when we were short on time.

To reward them for their good behavior, and also just because I loved them, I would let them choose a treat, such as their favorite yogurt, animal crackers, or Cracker Jacks. It was such a joy, especially when I was so pleased with their obedience and behavior. But mostly because I love them!

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11

I am reminded of how much more God desires to give good gifts to His children. He loves us, and simply asks for our loving, willing obedience. His will is that we fellowship with him, spend time in His presence, and that we obey his commandments. In the same way we enjoy spending time with our children, he is pleased when we spend time with Him.

During times of giving, let us remember that we are to first give ourselves to God. As we walk with the Lord, we should be growing and maturing. He may send us here or there on an assignment to do His will and accomplish His purpose. Sometimes we aren’t sure which direction to go. (He knows the way!) It may be something that seems very small and insignificant, or it may appear overwhelming. But it was on his list. When we delay obeying what he has called us to do, the journey may take longer.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.

We need to seek Him and seek Him first. We must depend on His guidance, leading, and Lordship in our lives.

Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” Psalm 143:8.

A key word is trust. God loves each one of us and His desire is that we would all accept His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive the gift of eternal life and have fellowship with Him. That is the beginning. From then on, you continue to obey and trust Him with every area of your life. With that trust, your anxieties will fade and you will experience peace and joy. What wonderful gifts: love, joy, and peace!

Don’t we all enjoy being with our precious children and spending quality time together? We want to have an ongoing growing relationship with our sons and daughters. Don’t we just delight in that fellowship?

Let us endeavor to pursue intimacy with God, growing and maturing in our relationship with Him. Let us not allow things to distract us or cause us to detour off the path. Sometimes we are interrupted on our journey, causing us to take our mind off of our goal. We mustn’t forget to keep our focus on Him and our feet on the right path.

Blooms In The Desert

Isaiah 35

Joy of the Redeemed

35 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.

 

Image result for desert blooms picturesImage result for desert blooms pictures
Image result for desert blooms picturesImage result for desert blooms pictures
Image result for desert blooms picturesImage result for desert blooms pictures
Image result for desert blooms picturesImage result for desert blooms pictures

Blossoms in the Desert

From: Our Daily Journey

Blossoms in the Desert

Read:

Luke 14:7-14
“When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, . . . “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind” (Luke 14:12-13).

The most dangerous place for Christians to be is in comfort and safety, detached from the suffering of others,” argue the authors of Common Prayer, suggesting that following Jesus includes a commitment to the “abandoned places of the empire”—places the world has given up on. In a special way, those places where we might expect only despair are often where we see most clearly the persistent love of a God who nevergives up on His world.

It’s only natural to want protection from suffering and loss. But Jesus taught that, paradoxically, it’s when we “try to hang on” to our lives that we lose them, and it’s when we “give up” on securing our lives that we find real life (Luke 9:24).

Over and over in His ministry, Jesus called for His followers to choose another path than the pursuit of power and security. When He attended a banquet where guests were scrambling for “seats of honor,” He taught that they should instead choose the “lowest” seat at the table (Luke 14:7,10). Then He went even further. Turning to the host, He said our celebrations shouldn’t be events for our “friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors” (Luke 14:12). Instead, they should be feasts for “the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. . . . those who could not repay you” (Luke 14:13-14).

We are all poor before God, able only to receive His gifts (1 Corinthians 4:7). It’s only in humble awareness of our need that we can draw near to His heart (James 4:10). And as we follow Jesus’ example of self-giving love in the hardest places of our world, we will also witness new creation where no one thought possible, new life blossoming in the desert (Isaiah 35:1).

Receiving Yourself in the Fires of Sorrow

By Oswald Chambers

Receiving Yourself in the Fires of Sorrow

As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself, accepting His position and realizing His purpose, in the midst of the fire of sorrow. He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to accept and receive ourselves in its fires. If we try to evade sorrow, refusing to deal with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life, and there is no use in saying it should not be. Sin, sorrow, and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness, but it does not always make that person better. Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me. You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you lose your head over pride. And you cannot receive yourself through the monotony of your daily life, because you give in to complaining. The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.

 

“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exod. 14:15).

Image result for moses speaking to israel pictures

Imagine, O child of God, if you can, that triumphal march! The excited children restrained from ejaculations of wonder by the perpetual hush of their parents; the most uncontrollable excitement of the women as they found themselves suddenly saved from a fate worse than death; while the men followed or accompanied them ashamed or confounded that they had ever mistrusted God or murmured against Moses; and as you see those mighty walls of water piled by the outstretched hand of the Eternal, in response to the faith of a single man, learn what God will do for His own.

Dread not any result of implicit obedience to His command; fear not the angry waters which, in their proud insolence, forbid your progress. Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, “the Lord sitteth King for ever.”

A storm is only as the outskirts of His robe, the symptom of His advent, the environment of His presence.

Dare to trust Him; dare to follow Him! And discover that the very forces which barred your progress and threatened your life, at His bidding become the materials of which an avenue is made to liberty.
–F. B. Meyer

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind,
He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, “Go on.”
And His hand will lead you through—clear through–
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod
In the path that your Lord will make.
In the morning watch, ‘beneath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.
–Annie Johnson Flint

Whatever You Do

I Corinthians 10: 31-33

31  So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

 32  Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God

33  even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

 

Image result for pictures of tradesImage result for pictures of tradesImage result for pictures of tradesImage result for pictures of tradesImage result for pictures of tradesImage result for pictures of tradesImage result for pictures of trades

 

Whatever You Do

From: Our Daily Journey

Whatever You Do

Read:

John 17:13-19
Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world (John 17:18).

As my friend and I were talking while she was washing the dishes after dinner, I looked up and noticed a wooden plaque above the sink. Engraved on it were the words of 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” After I asked her why she chose to display that verse, she told me it reminds her to honor God through every situation, even when she’s washing dishes!

When Jesus began His ministry, He proclaimed the arrival of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:15). He came to free people from sin and death, model a new way of life, and in this way establish God’s kingdom on earth. And this new kingdom way of life included the call for His disciples to “give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

God’s kingdom includes every aspect of our lives. As we pledge allegiance to King Jesus, our values and perspectives are transformed. Knowing God’s purposes for our lives changes the way we engage with others.

Realizing we don’t just work to make money, but to serve those around us, gives our work new meaning. We begin to reflect the grace and wisdom of God’s kingdom at the workplace through our actions, attitudes, and relationships. Through Jesus’ leading and power we can serve and love others, a small reflection of all He’s done for us.

Of course, not every employee in the workplace is a believer. But all of us play a part in working for God’s kingdom. In every situation, as the Holy Spirit equips us, we can honor God by loving those around us sacrificially, following the example of Jesus, who “came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

 

God’s cure for man’s weakness

Image result for picture of man's darkness

By: Charles Spurgeon

‘Out of weakness were made strong.’ Hebrews 11:34

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 11:1–7

Faith makes the crown of eternal life glitter before the believer’s eye; it waves before him the palm branch. Sense pictures the grave, loss, suffering, defeat, death, forgetfulness: but faith points to the resurrection, the glorious appearance of the Son of Man, the calling of the saints from every corner of the earth, the clothing of them all in their triumphant array, and the entrance of the blood-washed conquerors into the presence of God with eternal joy. Thus faith makes us out of weakness to become strong. Let me remind you that the essential ingredients of faith’s comfort are just these: faith sees the invisible and beholds the substance of that which is afar off: faith believes in God, a present, powerful God, full of love and wisdom, effecting his decree, accomplishing his purpose, fulfilling his promise, glorifying his Son. Faith believes in the blood of Jesus, in the effectual redemption on the cross, it believes in the power of the Holy Spirit, his might to soften the stone and to put life into the very ribs of death. Faith grasps the reality of the Bible; she does not look upon it as a sepulchre with a stone laid thereon, but as a temple in which Christ reigns, as an ivory palace out of which he comes riding in his chariot, conquering and to conquer. Faith does not believe the gospel to be a worn-out scroll, to be rolled up and put away; she believes that the gospel instead of being in its dotage is in its youth; she anticipates for it a manhood of mighty strugglings, and a grand maturity of blessedness and triumph. Faith does not shirk the fight; she longs for it, because she foresees the victory.

 

The desire of the soul in spiritual darkness

Image result for picture of man's darkness

By: Charles Spurgeon

“With my soul have I desired thee in the night.” Isaiah 26:9

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 42

There are times when all the saints can do is to desire. We have a vast number of evidences of piety: some are practical, some are experimental, some are doctrinal; and the more evidences a man has of his piety the better, of course. We like a number of signatures, to make a deed more valid, if possible. We like to invest property in a great number of trustees, in order that it may be all the safer; and so we love to have many evidences. Many witnesses will carry our case in the courts better than a few: and so it is well to have many witnesses to testify to our piety. But there are seasons when a Christian cannot get any. He can get scarcely one witness to come and attest his godliness. He asks for good works to come and speak for him. But there will be such a cloud of darkness about him, and his good works will appear so black that he will not dare to think of their evidences. He will say, “True, I hope this is the right fruit; I hope I have served God; but I dare not plead these works as evidences.” He will have lost assurance, and with it his enjoyment of communion with God. “I have had that fellowship with him,” perhaps he will say, and he will summon that communion to come and be in evidence. But he has forgotten it, and it does not come, and Satan whispers it is a fancy, and the poor evidence of communion has its mouth gagged, so that it cannot speak. But there is one witness that very seldom is gagged, and one that I trust the people of God can always apply, even in the night: and that is, “I have desired thee—I have desired thee in the night.”

Believing God

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

John 20:31

but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Mark 11:24

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

John 20:29

Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

 

Image result for pictures of bible people that believed GodImage result for pictures of bible people that believed God

Image result for pictures of bible people that believed GodImage result for pictures of bible people that believed God
Image result for pictures of bible people that believed GodImage result for pictures of bible people that believed God
Image result for pictures of bible people that believed GodImage result for pictures of bible people that believed God
Image result for pictures of bible people that believed GodImage result for pictures of bible people that believed God

Believing God

From: Our Daily Journey

Believing God

Read:

Hebrews 10:38–11:6
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith (Romans 1:17).

A common belief about God is that if we can “do enough good things,” we earn His favor. Naturally, the next question becomes: How much is enough? When can we be sure we’ve done enough good things? Well, we can’t! But thankfully, such a concept isn’t found in the Bible. Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 2:8-9).

We might misunderstand this grace or have an incomplete grasp of what faith means, thinking that because of God’s grace, it doesn’t matter what we do. Or we may believe that once we put our faith in God, we must then live painstakingly cautious lives so that we never sin. Neither of these concepts has biblical support either.

Martin Luther looked for spiritual peace in a monastery. He didn’t find it until he understood Paul’s description of God’s offer of salvation. “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith” (Romans 1:17). To emphasize the point, Paul quoted the Old Testament prophet: “It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (Romans 1:17Habakkuk 2:4).

It’s easy to believe in God. Most people do. We stumble over believing God—simply taking Him at His Word.

The book of Hebrews reiterates this: “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” The text continues, “Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation” (Hebrews 11:1-2). Through their faith!

Here’s the comforting conclusion. God is pleased by our faith in Him. We’re simply called to “believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

May we believe in Him and also believe Him by His grace.

 

Clear View

From: Joe Stowell, Author

“Offer your bodies as living sacrifices . . . this is your spiritual act of worship” Romans 12:1

I love Wrigley Field in Chicago. But like most old ballparks, it has the necessary but aggravating problem of support posts that obscure the view of the game. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind one of those posts at a game once, and, needless to say, it was disappointing. Without a clear view, I became easily distracted.

It can be like that with worship. Without a clear view of what really counts, we are quickly distracted by lesser things in life. And when that happens, our worship becomes ritualistic and routine. Worship isn’t meant to be a drab experience, but rather an active, ongoing, enthusiastic response to God for His work and worth in our lives.

As I sat distractedly behind the post, I often wondered why everyone was cheering. What had I missed? Losing sight of the real game, God’s wonderful worth to us, will make you wonder why others are so excited about God and why you are only excited about your own dreams, desires, and possessions. Maybe it’s time to look around the obstructions of life to see Jesus clearly again and notice what He is worth to you—personally.

And what would that worship look like? Well, it would be more than singing in church. True worship is a surrender of all that we are and have. Paul told the believers in Rome to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1). Our lives are to be placed on the altar as an act of worship as well! Is He worth that kind of sacrifice? You bet! He gave up everything to set you eternally free. It’s time to tell Him how much He is worth by returning the favor. Being truthful, loving, honest, and forgiving even when it hurts would be a great place to start. And be careful, living sacrifices tend to want to climb off the altar!

Go ahead—get out from behind the support posts so you can get a fresh glimpse of Jesus. He’s the only action worth worshiping in your life!

From: Streams in the Desert

Image result for picture of peter walking to Jesus

So he said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30)

Peter had a little faith in the midst of his doubts, says Bunyan; and so with crying and coming he was brought to Christ.

But here you see that sight was a hindrance; the waves were none of his business when once he had set out; all Peter had any concern with, was the pathway of light that came gleaming across the darkness from where Christ stood. If it was tenfold Egypt beyond that, Peter had no call to look and see.

When the Lord shall call to you over the waters, “Come,” step gladly forth. Look not for a moment away from Him.

Not by measuring the waves can you prevail; not by gauging the wind will you grow strong; to scan the danger may be to fall before it; to pause at the difficulties, is to have them break above your head. Lift up your eyes unto the hills, and go forward—there is no other way.

“Dost thou fear to launch away?
Faith lets go to swim!
Never will He let thee go;
’Tis by trusting thou shalt know
Fellowship with Him.”

Fellowship With Jesus

Psalm 55:14

We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng.

Acts 2:42

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

1 John 1:7

but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Image result for pictures of fellowship with JesusImage result for pictures of fellowship with Jesus
Image result for pictures of fellowship with JesusImage result for pictures of fellowship with Jesus
Image result for pictures of fellowship with JesusImage result for pictures of fellowship with Jesus
Image result for pictures of fellowship with JesusImage result for pictures of fellowship with Jesus

Fellowship with Jesus

From: Our Daily Bread

Fellowship with Jesus
Read: Philippians 3:7–14 | Bible in a Year: Esther 6–8; Acts 6

 I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8

I’ll never forget the time I had the privilege of sitting next to Billy Graham at a dinner. I was honored but also somewhat nervous about what would be appropriate to say. I thought it would be an interesting conversation starter to ask what he loved most about his years of ministry. Then I awkwardly started to suggest possible answers. Was it knowing presidents, kings, and queens? Or preaching the gospel to millions of people around the world?

Before I had finished offering suggestions, Rev. Graham stopped me. Without hesitation he said, “It has been my fellowship with Jesus. To sense His presence, to glean His wisdom, to have Him guide and direct me—that has been my greatest joy.” I was instantly convicted and challenged. Convicted because I’m not sure that his answer would have been my answer, and challenged because I wanted it to be.

That’s what Paul had in mind when he counted his greatest achievements to be of no worth compared to the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). Think of how rich life would be if Jesus and our fellowship with Him was our highest pursuit.

Lord, forgive me for chasing after things that matter far less than my fellowship with You. Thank You that You stand ready to enrich my life with Your presence and power.

To remain faithful where God has placed you, give Christ first place in your heart.

The Unchanging Law of Judgment

By Oswald Chambers

The Unchanging Law of Judgment

This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give will be the very way you are judged. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus said that the basis of life is retribution— “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. The way you pay is the way life will pay you back. This eternal law works from God’s throne down to us (see Psalm 18:25-26).

Romans 2:1 applies it in even a more definite way by saying that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act itself, but also at the possibility of committing it, which He sees by looking at our hearts. To begin with, we do not believe the statements of the Bible. For instance, do we really believe the statement that says we criticize in others the very things we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, “Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, I have no right to judge.”

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). He went on to say, in effect, “If you do judge, you will be judged in exactly the same way.” Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others”? We have judged others as sinners— if God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ.

 

With Prayer, We Cannot Fail

Author: Eddie Jones

he Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the [Lord’s people]. Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

“Chaplain, sit for a moment. I want to talk to you about this business of prayer.” George S. Patton stood by the window watching the steady rain. For days the Third Army had been bogged down due to the weather. “Chaplain,” asked Patton, “How much praying is being done in the Third Army?” The Chaplain admitted that lately, not much.

“Chaplain, I am a strong believer in prayer. There are three ways that men get what they want: by planning, by working, and by praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that’s working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. Up to now, God has been very good to us. We have never retreated; we have suffered no defeats, no famine, no epidemics. This is because a lot of people back home are praying for us. We were lucky in Africa, in Sicily, and in Italy: simply because people prayed. But we have to pray for ourselves too. We must ask God to stop these rains. This Army needs the assurance and the faith that God is with us. With prayer, we cannot fail.”

But what if we are forbidden to pray for the protection of our nation, the wisdom of our leaders, and the freedoms of our people? On August 29, 2011, a three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled officials could not pray before public meetings. The ruling, in the case of Joyner v. Forsyth County, admonished public officials to refrain from invoking the name of Jesus.

To pray is to call upon God and to invite Him into conversation.

The Greek word enteuxis is often translated “intercession.” In the New Testament the word is used to describe a petition presented to a king on the behalf of another. A petition is not an unspoken request but a bold supplication that carries with it the signatures of those who dared to come before the ruling authorities.

Jesus told this parable of the persistent neighbor:

“Suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.'” Luke 11:7-8 (NIV)

God listens to our silent prayers, but He also longs to hear our voices raised to the heavens, demanding justice for the oppressed and assistance for the wounded and hurting.

Between December 12 and December 14, 1944, two hundred and fifty thousand copies of General Patton’s Prayer Card were distributed to the troops. On December 20, the rains ceased. For almost a week, American warplanes bombarded the German army that had been advancing under the cloak of fog. General Patton prayed for fair weather and God sent it.

Perhaps it’s time to gather in our homes, churches, public squares, and courtrooms and ask God to have mercy on us and to forgive our sins. Each year the United States recognizes a national day of prayer. What our country needs is citizens who will pray without ceasing.

Will we embrace that challenge?

 

In Jesus There Is Life

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.[f] The rich man also died and was buried,

 

Image result for pictures of angels carrying soulsImage result for pictures of angels carrying souls
Image result for pictures of angels carrying soulsImage result for pictures of angels carrying souls
Image result for pictures of angels carrying soulsImage result for pictures of angels carrying souls
Image result for pictures of angels carrying soulsImage result for pictures of angels carrying souls

 

Proof of Life

From: Our Daily Journey

Proof of Life

Read:

Luke 19:1-10
Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham (Luke 19:9).

Families of kidnap victims often refuse to pay ransom without “proof of life,” evidence such as a phone call or video that shows their loved one is well. True believers in Jesus reveal a different kind of “proof of life”—evidence of lives transformed by their new life in Christ.

Zacchaeus exhibited proof of new life after encountering Jesus. He was “the chief tax collector in the region.” That meant he took money from his countrymen, skimmed a lot off the top, and sent the rest on to Rome. He “had become very rich,” which meant he was good at his job (Luke 19:2). He was despised, but not by Jesus who “came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus came for people just like Zacchaeus; so when He saw him in the branches above, He invited Himself over for dinner (Luke 19:5).

The crowd grumbled that Zacchaeus was “a notorious sinner,” and he didn’t disagree (Luke 19:7). “Sinner” was who he was, but it wouldn’t define him now. Zacchaeus demonstrated true repentance when he promised to give half his wealth to the poor and pay back four times whatever he had “cheated people on their taxes” (Luke 19:8). Jesus saw the tax collector’s contrite heart and announced, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9).

We’re saved when we repent of our sin and believe in Jesus. One proof of repentance is restitution: Do we right our wrongs when possible? A proof of faith is sacrifice: Does our trust in Jesus inspire us to serve others?

Jesus accepts us just as we are, but He loves us too much to allow us to stay that way. His loving transformation may be a long process, but every step forward is your proof of life.

 

The Ministry of the Inner Life

By Oswald Chambers

The Ministry of the Inner Life

By what right have we become “a royal priesthood”? It is by the right of the atonement by the Cross of Christ that this has been accomplished. Are we prepared to purposely disregard ourselves and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual inner-searching we do in an effort to see if we are what we ought to be generates a self-centered, sickly type of Christianity, not the vigorous and simple life of a child of God. Until we get into this right and proper relationship with God, it is simply a case of our “hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” although we say, “What a wonderful victory I have!” Yet there is nothing at all in that which indicates the miracle of redemption. Launch out in reckless, unrestrained belief that the redemption is complete. Then don’t worry anymore about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ has said, in essence, “Pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints of God, and pray for all men.” Pray with the realization that you are perfect only in Christ Jesus, not on the basis of this argument: “Oh, Lord, I have done my best; please hear me now.”

How long is it going to take God to free us from the unhealthy habit of thinking only about ourselves? We must get to the point of being sick to death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God might tell us about ourselves. We cannot reach and understand the depths of our own meagerness. There is only one place where we are right with God, and that is in Christ Jesus. Once we are there, we have to pour out our lives for all we are worth in this ministry of the inner life.

 

The sinner’s advocate

By: Charles Spurgeon

‘My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ 1 John 2:1

Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 1:5–10

This truth, so evangelical and so divine, should be practically remembered. It should be practically remembered, dear friends, at all times. Every day I find it most healthy to my own soul to try and walk as a saint, but in order to do so I must continually come to Christ as a sinner. I would seek to be perfect; I would strain after every virtue, and forsake every false way; but still, as to my standing before God, I find it happiest to sit where I sat when I first looked to Jesus, on the rock of his works, having nothing to do with my own righteousness, but only with his. Depend on it, dear friends, the happiest way of living is to live as a poor sinner and as nothing at all, having Jesus Christ as your all in all. You may have all your growths in sanctification, all your progress in graces, all the development of your virtues that you will; but still I do earnestly pray you never to put any of these where Christ should be. If you have begun in Christ then finish in Christ. If you have begun in the flesh and then go on in the flesh, we know what the sure result will be. But if you have begun with Jesus Christ as your Alpha, let him be your Omega. I pray you never think you are rising when you get above this, for it is not rising, but slipping downwards to your ruin. Stand still to this—

‘Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling.’

Still a sinner, but still having an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous—let this be the spirit of your everyday life.

Mercy, omnipotence, and justice

By: Charles Spurgeon

“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” Nahum 1:3

Suggested Further Reading: Nehemiah 9:9-31

Have you ever observed that scene in the garden of Eden at the time of the fall? God had threatened Adam, that if he sinned he should surely die. Adam sinned: did God make haste to sentence him? ‘Tis sweetly said, “The Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day.” Perhaps that fruit was plucked at early morn, maybe it was plucked at noon-tide; but God was in no haste to condemn; he waited till the sun was well nigh set, and in the cool of the day came, and as an old expositor has put it very beautifully, when he did come he did not come on wings of wrath, but he “walked in the garden in the cool of the day.” He was in no haste to slay. I think I see him, as he was represented then to Adam, in those glorious days when God walked with man. Methinks I see the wonderful similitude in which the unseen did veil himself: I see it walking among the trees so slowly—if it is right to give such a picture—beating its breast, and shedding tears that it should have to condemn man. At last I hear its doleful voice: “Adam, where art thou? Where hast thou cast thyself, poor Adam? Thou hast cast thyself from my favour; thou hast cast thyself into nakedness and into fear; for thou art hiding thyself. Adam, where art thou? I pity thee. Thou thoughtest to be God. Before I condemn thee I will give thee one note of pity. Adam, where art thou?” Yes, the Lord was slow to anger, slow to write the sentence, even though the command had been broken, and the threatening was therefore of necessity brought into force.

For meditation: There are good and bad ways of taking advantage of God’s apparent slowness (2 Peter 3:3,4,9).

Be Free From Sin

 

Image result for picture rejoicing being free from sinImage result for picture rejoicing being free from sin
Image result for picture rejoicing being free from sinImage result for picture rejoicing being free from sin
Image result for picture rejoicing being free from sinImage result for picture rejoicing being free from sin
Image result for picture rejoicing being free from sinImage result for picture rejoicing being free from sin

 

Free from Sin

From: Our Daily Journey

Free from Sin

Read:

Jeremiah 30:1-24
I will give you back your health and heal your wounds (Jeremiah 30:17).

“You guys need to stay in bed,” I said as I pulled the door closed behind me. I was babysitting three boys, five and under, who shared a room. Between the middle one climbing dressers and the tears of the youngest, I had gone into their room multiple times after putting them to bed.

Shortly after I closed the door the final time, I heard the middle one say to the youngest, “John John, cry so Miss Julie will come in here.” I dropped my head into the palm of my hand and let out an exasperated laugh. A few seconds later, the little one started whining.

When their mom returned home, I told her about their antics. To discipline them, the boys had toys taken away that could only be earned back through good behavior. I felt bad that they had to receive the punishment but relieved they would learn and hopefully behave better next time.

Kids aren’t the only ones who need discipline. In the book of Jeremiah, God describes “a time of trouble” for His people (Jeremiah 30:7), a time when He couldn’t “let [them] go unpunished” (Jeremiah 30:11) but “had to punish” them because their sins were many and their guilt was great (Jeremiah 30:15). Thankfully, God’s plan didn’t stop there. He lovingly promised, “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds” (Jeremiah 30:17). Although God had disciplined His people for their sin, He was working through it to heal and restore, to “bring them home” (Jeremiah 30:3).

Through Jesus, we too have a way to return home to our Father. As a caring Father, God will lovingly guide and discipline in a way that’s “always good for us” (Hebrews 12:10). And in time “there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Jeremiah 30:11).

 

Have You Come to “When” Yet?

By Oswald Chambers

Have You Come to

A pitiful, sickly, and self-centered kind of prayer and a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is actually a sign that I am rebelling against the atonement by the Cross of Christ. I pray, “Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer— I will walk rightly before You if You will help me.” But I cannotmake myself right with God; I cannot make my life perfect. I can only be right with God if I accept the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it? I have to surrender all my rights and demands, and cease from every self-effort. I must leave myself completely alone in His hands, and then I can begin to pour my life out in the priestly work of intercession. There is a great deal of prayer that comes from actual disbelief in the atonement. Jesus is not just beginning to save us— He has already saved us completely. It is an accomplished fact, and it is an insult to Him for us to ask Him to do what He has already done.

If you are not now receiving the “hundredfold” which Jesus promised (see Matthew 19:29), and not getting insight into God’s Word, then start praying for your friends— enter into the ministry of the inner life. “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.” As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer. Whatever circumstances God may place you in, always pray immediately that His atonement may be recognized and as fully understood in the lives of others as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now, and pray for those with whom you come in contact now.

 

Image result for person walking a path

You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying, “This is the correct way, walk in it,” whether you are heading to the right or the left. (Isa 30:21)

When we are in doubt or difficulty, when many voices urge this course or the other, when prudence utters one advice and faith another, then let us be still, hushing each intruder, calming ourselves in the sacred hush of God’s presence; let us study His Word in the attitude of devout attention; let us lift up our nature into the pure light of His face, eager only to know what God the Lord shall determine—and ere long a very distinct impression will be made, the unmistakable forth-telling of His secret counsel.

It is not wise in the earlier stages of Christian life to depend on this alone, but to wait for the corroboration of circumstances. But those who have had many dealings with God know well the value of secret fellowship with Him, to ascertain His will.

Are you in difficulty about your way? Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.

If you will only get alone, where the lights and shadows of earth cannot interfere, where human opinions fail to reach and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, though all around you insist on immediate decision or action—the will of God will be made clear; and you will have a new conception of God, a deeper insight into His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone a rapturous experience, to abide your precious perquisite forever, the rich guerdon of those long waiting hours.
—David

“STAND STILL,” my soul, for so thy Lord commands: 
E’en when thy way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands; 
His arm is mighty to divide the wave. 
“Stand still,” my soul, “stand still” and thou shalt see 
How God can work the “impossible” for thee, 
For with a great deliverance He doth save.

Be not impatient, but in stillness stand, 
Even when compassed ’round on every hand, 
In ways thy spirit does not comprehend. 
God cannot clear thy way till thou art still, 
That He may work in thee His blessed will, 
And all thy heart and will to Him do bend.

“BE STILL,” my soul, for just as thou art still, 
Can God reveal Himself to thee; until 
Through thee His love and light and life can freely flow; 
In stillness God can work through thee and reach 
The souls around thee. He then through thee can teach 
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.

“BE STILL”—a deeper step in faith and rest. 
“Be still and know” thy Father knoweth best 
The way to lead His child to that fair land, 
A “summer” land, where quiet waters flow; 
Where longing souls are satisfied, and “know 
Their God,” and praise for all that He has planned.
—Selected

Passionate Devotion To Jesus

 

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Image result for pictures of people thanking JesusImage result for pictures of people thanking Jesus
Image result for pictures of people thanking JesusImage result for pictures of people thanking Jesus
Image result for pictures of people thanking JesusImage result for pictures of people thanking Jesus
Image result for pictures of people thanking JesusImage result for pictures of people thanking Jesus

The Service of Passionate Devotion

By Oswald Chambers

The Service of Passionate Devotion

Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate…, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, “If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me.” A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, “Now I see who Jesus is!”— that is the source of devotion.

Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people— the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.” The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”— it will spring up and change the entire landscape (John 12:24).

The Right Answer

Image result for picture of right answer

[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him”— 1 John 5:1

When Jesus asked a question, it was not because He didn’t know the answer. You can be sure He was making a point.

Jesus and His disciples were in Caesarea Philippi, away from their own territory. It was a place of idolatry and oppression—a threatening place both politically and spiritually. In this environment, Jesus posed two important questions about the perception of His identity. He wasn’t interested in His popularity rating. He wanted His followers to be sure about the One they were following.

Today our culture is just as hostile and opposed to Jesus as when He first asked the question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16:13). As in Jesus’ day, people offer a long list of inadequate and incorrect ideas about Jesus, ranging from “just a good teacher” all the way to “divisive” and “intolerant.”

The real question was and continues to be: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Peter boldly declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus said that Peter’s accurate confession was a God-given insight and that he was blessed because of his declaration (Matthew 16:17).

Join Peter in confessing that Jesus is your Savior. Your life will be bolstered and blessed.

O receive Him today who so loved you
That He died on the cross for your sin;
O believe Him and open your heart’s door,
Let the Savior who loves you come in. —Anon.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. —1 John 5:1

 

Me and My Motivator

By: Bob Noebel, Author

young-man-smiling-outdoors

Motivational research is the study of what influences or causes people to choose or reject a course of action. In the business world, these procedures help companies sell products. In Genesis 3, we find that Satan already knew the three basics for selling his product to man: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life:

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (See Genesis 3:6)

The sale was made. The rest is history.

What about God? Since He created us, it is only logical that He would know how to motivate us for good works rather than evil. After all, the Word says that it is not His desire that any should perish, but that everyone would come to the knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.

God must love a challenge. Why else would we be born with two strikes against us — free will and a sin nature? How in the world is He going to motivate us? Thank God that He is not the mighty “Casey at the bat” who strikes out. God hits a home run.

First of all, God did the hard part. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. The weight of our sins would have been enough to crush us, but that has been dealt with, thanks to Jesus.

If that alone isn’t enough to motivate you, there’s more. When Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God, He sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to enable us to live a godly life:

You however are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit … (Romans 8:9).

Our motivation to live a life worthy of His calling is because He first loved us. When we didn’t give God the time of day, He was still there waiting patiently for us. When we came to Him with all our problems and hang-ups, He received us with open arms. When we continue to mess up, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (See 1 John 1:9)

God loves me so much that He saved me, cleansed me, and filled me with His Spirit. I don’t need any more motivation than that!

How about you? Are you ready to stand up to the plate and hit a home run for Him? You can do it. I know you can.