Jesus knew firsthand what it meant to have limited financial resources, to have those closest to Him question His actions, and to be rejected by those He sought to serve (Matt. 8:20; Mark 3:21; John 6:66). However, He never allowed such circumstances to control His emotions or dictate His actions. Instead, He chose to trust that the Father was able to carry out His Word.
We are called to follow Christ’s example and believe that God is able to do what He has said. For example, the Bible promises eternal salvation for everyone who requests forgiveness in Jesus’ name (Heb. 7:25). The Son satisfied His Father’s justice by dying on the cross for all of mankind’s sins—from white lies to vile acts. God will pardon everyone who has genuine faith in Jesus, and He makes each believer a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Regardless of the trouble we have caused or the mistakes we have made, He invites us to draw near in faith and receive the gift of everlasting life.
Having saved us, God says He will establish us in truth (Rom. 16:25); after giving us a firm foundation in Christ, He builds us up in righteousness. Through the ministry of His Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as the Father does and learn what pleases Him (Rom. 12:2).
By believing that God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace. Hardships that once would have thrown us off course will lose their power to shake us. Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt. Each time trouble comes, focus your attention on your loving heavenly Father and His ability to care for you.
(reblogged from In Touch | Charles Stanley | 8.5.2017)
I think it is safe to say that everyone at some time or other has thought about their own death. I know I have. When we think about death we do so with a limited knowledge of what awaits us on the other side of that veil. I’ve been reading a book titled, “Imagine Heaven” and in it, people, who’ve had near death experiences and came back to life, share their experiences.
After reading about their experiences I had a sense of relief that death was no longer something I should be afraid of because of what awaits me after. Look at it more closely through God’s eyes and what He did to give us a sense of hope about death.
What God did was to give us Jesus Christ. The reason Christ became human was to die. As preincarnate God, he could not die for sinners. But united to flesh and blood, he could. His aim was to die. Therefore, he had to be born human.
In dying, Christ defanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin (Hebrews 10:12). This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). On what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14; Romans 5:9).
Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon the devil has is taken out of his hand. In that sense he is rendered powerless.
So we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. There is only future grace in front of us and a heaven that is beyond description.
After encountering the prophet Elijah, King Ahab may well have thought, Of all the nerve! Just who does this guy think he is? Bursting onto the scene as if out of nowhere, Elijah confronted Israel’s wicked king with a message that would soon disrupt life throughout the region.
The validity of the prophecy rested with the Source, not the mouthpiece. Elijah was a man of great faith who spent time alone with the Lord and listened to Him carefully. The prophet could pass the message on with boldness and authority because he knew and trusted the One from whom it came.
We can’t expect our Father to communicate with us in exactly the same way that He spoke to the Old Testament prophets, but the process of receiving His message hasn’t changed. It starts with being alone in His presence and listening as He speaks through His Word. But it shouldn’t end there.
Prophets had the responsibility of telling the people what the Lord revealed to them. Similarly, we’re to share with others what we learn from God’s Word. Devotional time with the Lord is not just about our own interests and needs. The Father reveals His truths to us so we can share them with others.
Begin each day alone with God in His Word and in prayer, listening as He speaks to your heart. Believe what He says in Scripture, apply it to your life, and then share with someone else what He has revealed. Be bold and remember that the authority of your message comes from Him.
(reblogged from Charles Stanley | In Touch | 8.1.2017)
Does God love me? How many times have you asked yourself that question? How often in any given moment do you think, “God, do you love me?” I have the answer for that question and its been right in front of me the whole time. It’s right in front of you too.
Look at John 15:10. It says, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love…” There it is folks. If you want to know if God loves you, then keep his commandments. Of course you’ll never truly lose the love of God generally speaking but, it’s when you sin that you are not keeping His commandments. When you sin you are choosing not to abide in God’s love but instead you are making a deliberate choice to abide in sin. Why? It’s easier. You know that lust, feeling, excitement, taste or whatever it might be that you give in to. (James 1:14-15) It’s just easier than keeping God’s commandments.
If you want to abide or live in God’s love all the time, then make the obvious and right choice. Keep His commandments.
Some of the most precious verses in the Bible were penned when the writer, David, was experiencing strife, grief, turmoil, or heartache. From an earthly perspective, we can’t always distinguish between what’s trouble and what’s a blessing—at times trouble results in some of God’s most wonderful blessings in our life. And yet there’s a tendency to think that if we live just right in this ungodly world, we won’t have to face any struggles.
David was able to write Psalm 32, not because he’d calmly sat on a hilltop somewhere, watching sheep and playing his harp. Rather, he could express those profound truths after undergoing great difficulty and heartache as well as God’s forgiveness and deliverance. The joy David found in the Lord was sweeter because he had tasted bitterness.
The heavenly Father will not always rescue you swiftly from trouble. He may watch you float downstream, right toward the waterfall, while you call out, “Lord, don’t You see where I am headed?” He does see you. He knows when you’re at your wits’ end, when you’re hurt and broken, when you feel resentful and bitter. So why does He sometimes seem so far away in those situations?
The Lord doesn’t necessarily intervene as we would like Him to, but He’s always present in our times of trouble (Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 46:7). What’s more, He meets our needs in a way that benefits us in the long term instead of merely providing a quick fix. The question we should ask ourselves is, Am I willing to learn what God wants to teach me through this situation?
God moves us forward by healing our past! Can he really? Can God heal this ancient hurt in my heart? Of course He can. In fact, God cares more about justice than we do. He reminds us in Romans 12:17-19, “Never pay back evil for evil…never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for He has said that He will repay those who deserve it.”
We fear the evildoer will slip into the night, unknown and unpunished. Escape to Fiji and sip mai tais on the beach. Not to worry. Scripture says, “God will repay,” not “God might repay.” God will execute justice on behalf of truth and fairness. Unlike us, God never gives up on a person. Never. Long after we’ve moved on, God is still there, probing the conscience, stirring conviction, always orchestrating redemption. Fix your enemies? That’s God’s job.
“Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.” (Job 36:26)
It is impossible to know God too well.
He is the most important person who exists. And this is because he made all others, and any importance they have is owing to him.
Any strength or intelligence or skill or beauty they have comes from him. On every scale of excellence, he is infinitely greater than the best person you ever knew or ever heard of.
Being infinite, he is inexhaustibly interesting. It is impossible, therefore, that God be boring. His continual demonstration of the most intelligent and interesting actions is volcanic.
As the source of every good pleasure, he himself pleases fully and finally. If that’s not how we experience him, we are either dead or sleeping.
It is therefore astonishing how little effort is put into knowing God.
It’s as though the President of the United States came to live with you for a month, and you only said hello in passing every day or so. Or as if you were flown at the speed of light for a couple of hours around the sun and the solar system, and instead of looking out the window, you played a computer game. Or as if you were invited to watch the best actors, singers, athletes, inventors, and scholars perform their best, but you declined to go so you could watch the TV season’s final soap.
Let us pray that our infinitely great God would open our eyes and hearts to see him and seek to know him more.