Jesus, thank You for providing us with peace and a purpose. Today, please make it clear what You are calling us to do. Show us how we can take part in Your plans for the world, and as we follow You, please fill us with Your peace.
God, You are the source of all that is good, holy, and true. Help us to turn to You to find truth and rescue us from evil. You are more powerful than the father of lies. Save our life in Jesus Name
Tuesday 24th November 2020
THEME:-ANXIETY WEIGHS DOWN THE HEART KIND WORD CHEERS IT UP LIVE AT PEACE IN EVERY SITUATION.
TEXTS:-Proverbs 12:25; John 14:37.
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
Proverbs 12:25 KJV
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27 KJV
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop
Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but that he has overcome the world (Jn 16:33). This should be the way to a peaceful and tranquil heart, but the fact is, in our flesh, we can sometimes lose sight of the gospel and our feelings will betray some of our fears. When anxiety creeps up on us, the heart can become heavy with it. This happens when something lodges somewhere in our minds and won’t stop nagging about the possible negative outcome that looms. Try as we might to forget it, it is like we cannot control it. Satan works on this level, whispering in our ears to keep us focused on the possibility of disaster that awaits if things go as badly as they could. This is what “weighs down the heart.” It colors every other thought and action until we can get rid of it by solving the problem, or trusting God with the outcome.
Because so much of the time the anxiety is tied to feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, and even shame for the situation we are in, a “kind word” is often just the thing that can cheer up the heart. “You can do it,” or “it’ll be ok,” are a good place to start, but the kindest word to cheer up an anxious person can be found in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The Word of God is the true source of peace, and prayer is the truest way to deal with a problem. If you are anxious, consider this a kind word to you. If you know someone who is anxious, be a source of encouragement to them and you will do much good in the name of Jesus.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety is a feeling of fear about a possible outcome.
2 “…weighs down the heart,”
In this usage, the “heart” is the seat of the soul or the self. A person is weighed down with worry when their heart is.
3 “but a kind word cheers it up.”
There is great power in kindness. Words have the power to destroy and the power to build up. Biblical truth from the Word of God is the most helpful and the most powerful kind of word one can speak to a brother or sister in the grip of anxiety
Either an anxious care and solicitude about living in the world, signifies; when it seizes a man’s spirits, it depresses them, and keeps them down: or a fear and dread of adversity, or sorrow and grief, on account of some calamity and distress; when it gets into a man’s heart, it sinks and bows it down, that it cannot take any pleasure or comfort in anything,
“a word of fear in the heart of man causes fear:”
such is the law, which is a word of terror; which speaks terrible things to men; fills the mind with terror; works wrath in the conscience, and induces a spirit of bondage to fear; bows and keeps under the spirits of men, through a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation; but a good word maketh it glad;
a comforting, cheering, and encouraging word from any friend, that compassionates their distressed case; this lifts up the heart and inspires it with joy; so a word in season, spoken by a Gospel minister, raises up a soul that is bowed down, and gives it comfort and joy: such a good word is the Gospel itself; it is good news from a far country, which is like cold water to a thirsty soul, very refreshing and reviving. The Septuagint and Arabic versions here render it, “a good message”, and such the Gospel is; which, when brought to the heart of a poor sinner, depressed with the terrors of the law, causes joy in it; such is the word of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by Christ; such is the word that he himself spoke, ( Matthew 9:2 ) . Kimchi instances in ( Psalms 55:22 ) .
BbOne of the most essential thing living at Peace with all men anywhere at all times.
Peace is one of the most important elements to enjoying your life.
A life of frustration and struggle, a life without peace, is the result of focusing on things you can’t do anything about. When you worry about things beyond your control, stress and anxiety begin to creep into your life.
The apostle Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).
Once we realize we are struggling with something and feel upset, we need to start praying and immediately turn the situation over to God, thankful He will provide according to His will and offer us peace. You and I are not called to a life of frustration and struggle. Jesus came so we could have righteousness, joy, and peace!
Lord, when I am feeling anxious please draw me near to You. As You encourage me, help me to encourage other who are struggling with anxiety. Use my struggles to bring hope to others who are struggling. No matter what, please remind me that You are in control of everything.
Father, I am grateful for peace. It is a wonderful gift that You have given me, and I ask for Your help to always be peaceful in every situation in Jesus Name
Wednesday 10th November 2020.
GOD WILL STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH AND MANIFEST HIS SACRIFICIAL LOVE.
Hebrew 11:1; – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”Hebrews 11:1 KJV
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:9-10 KJV
The good news of salvation and life eternal is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Whether Old Testament saints or New Testament believers, the only way to access this free and eternal gift from the Father is to trust in His Word and believe in His Son.
Faith is simply having the confidence that future things God has revealed in His written word, will unquestionably happen. The reformation verse that shattered corridors of Christendom was the just shall live by faith – the righteous man shall live by faith – the godly man, the virtuous woman, the justified sinner, the maturing believer are to all live by faith as well as being saved by faith.
A living faith in God’s word and the confident hope in His promises are two graces that embrace each other in love – at the foot of the cross. This is not a ‘Que Sera, fingers-crossed and-hope-it-happens’ type of faith. This is the faith that accepts without question that the Word of God is entirely dependable and is an indisputable fact.
This is the faith that unquestioningly takes God at His word, knowing that all He has promised to us in Christ is more secure than the rising of the morning sun and more certain than the daily passage of time. It is the firm persuasion, unshakable confidence and indisputable expectation that all God has said, in and through His WORD, is established forever and does not take refuge in the a ‘maybe’ or a ‘perhaps’.
It is an objective faith that is secured to the knowledge that our redemption rests on Who Christ is, and what He has already done on the cross on our account. Our faith is not on who we are or what we have done to commend ourselves to God but on Christ and His accomplishments. Objective faith is not based on sight or sense but rests its case in the arms of God’s Word of Truth.
Faith is not based on experience, nor calculated through reason. True faith is anchored on scriptural facts. It is beyond man’s intellect and cannot be penetrated through reasoning or discovered through scientific ‘proof.’ It has nothing to do with personal opinion or impressions. It is beyond the dimension of human thought because it is the substance of facts that are conceived in the mind of God.
God is not a man, so He does not lie. The Lord is not a fallen being, so He does not flirt with fantasy or feasibility. He does not change His mind and has never spoken a word that He has failed to act upon. Has he never made a promise that has not been carried through to its fulfilment and it is incumbent on us to know what His word says and to believe the promises He has given.
The eye of faith sees beyond our present reality and places its feet firmly on divine revelation given by almighty God, through the Word-made-flesh. It believes God’s word of truth in the pages of Scripture, which was written for our learning, instruction, encouragement and hope. The heart of faith enables us to treat as reality those things that are unseen, even when circumstances of life appear to contradict the truth of God’s word.
All that God has revealed to us through holy men of God is just and good and true, and Scripture is designed to be a sure foundation upon which to build. It has nothing in common with so many superficial apologies for faith, based on sight, experiences, opinions, fancies, dreams or imagination that excite the soul, feed the flesh and pander to the human ego. Without faith it is impossible to please God and Jesus said, “blessed are those that have NOT seen – and yet have believed”.
May the hope we have in Christ and the faith we have in God be built on the truth, of His word and grounded on a sure conviction. May we never stumble when situations seem to go amiss, and may we be firmly persuaded that “He who started a good work in each of our lives is well able to bring it to completion”.
The Manifestation of Love is our most desire as we hold unto the profession of our faith unshakable. Remembering that minimum requirement is our “mustard seed faith with which to make a mountain move and it will move.
Just as a diamond has many facets that reflect the quality of this precious stone, love, and especially agape love, has many aspects. We have two of the characteristics of God’s perfect love. Agape love is all giving and sacrificial.
Take a closer look at two other aspects or facets of the manifestation of love. The first one has to do with another expression of agape love: Jesus giving up the riches of heaven to become poor for our sakes. This is what the apostle Paul means when he speaks about having the mindset of Jesus Christ. Let us remember that in faith Paul is writing to the church in Philippi—to Christians. He sets the example explaining that when it comes to how we should relate to one another, we should have Jesus’s mindset.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Well, what do you mean by having the mindset of Jesus?” Paul explains that Jesus, being in His very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. He emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. What a marvelous example of love!
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”
Hebrews 5:8 KJV – https://www.bible.com/1/heb.5.8.kjv
The second aspect regarding the manifestation of love that we should consider has to do with the fact that Jesus loved us first. He loves us even if and when we did not love Him. God proved His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
What a portrait of His love for us! The picture of such a perfect love should be imprinted on the “canvas” of our hearts and minds so that we may never forget how deep is His love for each one of us His children.
In order to help you remember and engrave this image of the manifestation of God’s love for us, let us keep in mind that:
• God’s love is all giving.
• God’s love is sacrificial.
• He “emptied Himself” becoming a servant for us.
• God loved us first, even while we were sinners and enemies of God.
Compassionate God, thank You for the gift of faith. Please help me to confidently trust and obey You. Nudge me forward when You say “move,” and hold back when You say “stop.” Let everything I do exemplify my faith in You.
I can be so entrenched in my own thinking that sometimes I doubt Your word and question Your promises, often wishing I had some concrete ‘proof’ of Your love for me – and yet Your Word gives me all the affirmation of this absolute reality I need – for Your Word and Promises are sure and Your faithfulness stretches beyond the limits of time and space. Thank You for the gift of faith and I pray that day by day my loving trust in You and the reality of Your Word will become increasingly established within my heart – for I long to please You in all I say and do and am.
You loved us first, even while we were sinners and Your enemy. May we never forget the price You paid, what it cost You to break down the wall, to bridge the gap, to reconcile us to our Creator and loving Father. Empty us and fill us with Your Holy Spirit that leads us to maximum joy in Jesus’ Name.
Friday 6th November 2020
ENTER INTO SACRIFICIAL LOVE WITH GODLINESS AND CONTENTMENT.
TEXTS:-IJohn 4:15; ITim 6:9-10.
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
1 John 4:15 KJV
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
1 Timothy 6:9-10 KJV
John returns again to the idea of “confessing” Jesus from verse 2 and 3. Earlier in the chapter, John taught that the spirit that confesses Jesus is from God. Here, he teaches that the person who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son has God living in him, and that person lives in God. John has now shifted from recognizing Jesus in others to re cognizing Jesus in one’s own life.
First John 4:2 also emphasized that only false teachers deny that Jesus came in the flesh. Here, the truth also requires a person to believe that Jesus is divine—that He is God’s Son. Both aspects are essential to knowing God. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. We may not fully understand it, but we must recognize Jesus as both human and divine. Without His humanity, He could not die and rise again. Without His deity, He could not be without sin and offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice. Both aspects of His being are essential to His work and to our salvation.
How God’s love is presented to us
The first thing is to take a look at today and as to how the text answers the question of “How is/was God’s love presented to us?” There are two verses in particular that sort of address that question today:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he first loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
What is so special about these two verses? They both show the initiative of God. Who loved first? God loved first. This isn’t meant to be a dive into predestination or whatever, but to really take a look at the initiative that God takes in his love. And it’s significant, because it shows that God is not passive. He doesn’t just sit back and leave us alone to figure this sin problem out, but rather, he takes and is taking an active role in the redemption of his people. Let’s think back to the first couple of the books of the Bible and recall some of the events and characters there.
Noah and the ark. Who initiates there? It was God.
Abraham and his covenant. Who initiates there? Again, it was God.
Moses and the burning bush. Who initiates there? Once again, God.
And once we realize this pattern in the Old Testament of God initiating and taking an active role, we can recognize that it doesn’t end there. As we keep flipping through the pages, God’s active role continues in the sweep towards the sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross.
How God’s love was displayed through Christ Jesus
And now, with God’s initiative in mind, let’s head into the second topic. We are able to really appreciate how God displays his love through Jesus. Let’s take a look at the text:
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
How was God’s love displayed and made known to us? Through the death through which Jesus paid, and in return, the life that was given to us. His atoning death has led to the forgiveness of our sin. But what makes that love so grand and almost baffling? It’s that God is not obligated to send Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, he doesn’t have to do it, but he does willingly. He takes the initiative and loves first, even if it is for a people that do not––and may not––love him back.
God’s love transforms and changes us
The last thing I wanted to take a look at regarding this passage is how God’s love transforms and changes us. At the beginning of this post, I mentioned how powerful God’s love is, and this entire passage really brings that into focus:
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:11-12)
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:17-18)
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:20-21).
Again, God’s love is not a passive love. And in that same way, God’s love does not act passively in us. It drives us, it transforms, and it changes us. It drives us to love one another (v.11), to care for our brothers and sisters (vv. 20-21), gives us confidence towards God even in judgement (vv. 17-18), and transforms us to be more like Christ (v. 17). If God was willing to take the initiative to love and sacrifice Christ for these people, then surely I can go out of my way to love them as well.
God’s love does not act passively in us. It drives us, it transforms, and it changes us.
WIth a better understanding today of how God takes initiative in his love, how can we, today, take initiative in our love? What does it look like to take initiative to love a fellow brother or sister? A neighbour? A family member? Maybe it’s something small, like asking someone how they’ve been doing. Or maybe it’s something a bit bigger, like apologizing to a brother or sister, asking for forgiveness. Regardless, we do not love because it’s something we have to do, or because we are obligated, but because God’s love drives us to do it. If we follow Jesus, we serve a God who decided to take initiative to give his one and only Son as a ransom in exchange for many. And that should change us, and transform us, to take some initiative of our own.
Like an old, wrinkled dollar, 1 Timothy 6:10 has been bent, folded, and flattened in every way to purchase mental real estate in the minds of believers. It’s been forced on the wealthy to squeeze out their offering, and slipped in by others to justify their thirsty savings accounts. Was the Apostle Paul getting ready to ask for money? Was he trying to make himself feel better about his own lack of a nest egg? Was he saying money is bad and we should do everything possible never to have much of it?
Let’s hunt for some context surrounding Paul’s first letter to his first son in the faith, Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2). Many scholars believe Paul wrote this letter on his third missionary journey, a few years prior to his arrest. Paul had long abandoned comfort and steady income for life as a nomadic leader of the early Christian church. In fact, Paul spread God’s word without requiring payment (1 Corinthians 9:14-15), and at times made tents to support himself (Acts 18:1-3). So, we know Paul was sharing a deeply held, lived-out belief with Timothy.
What will Paul’s words to Timothy speak to us? Paul began chapter six with a servant-and-master theme. Later, he described false teachers who think godliness is a way to secure financial gain (1 Timothy 6:5). One verse later, he flipped the coin by claiming godliness paired with contentment are great gain. Paul continued to make his case by reminding us what we get to take with us when we die. He called the desire to get rich a way to destruction (1 Timothy 6:9). Then finally, he explained all this with 1 Timothy 6:10. Paul was not denouncing wealth, he was denouncing the lack of contentment. A condition which dethrones God as master and enslaves people to the pursuit of money. Jesus also used servant-and-master imagery to discuss money. In Matthew 6:24 NIV, our Savior plainly stated, “You cannot serve both God and money.”
Let’s think about it this way. Why do we all want to win the Lotto? Somewhere in our sinful nature is a whisper that says more money will mean more security, happiness, significance, generosity, and even godliness. But where do those things actually come from? God, our true master. What Paul and Jesus were warning against is this: the evil that promises good life through any currency other than crowning God your only King. Is money bad? No. Can it be put in submission to God to accomplish great things for Him? Yes. Is that an easy pursuit? No. How should we start? Godliness with contentment. How should we finish? Godliness with contentment.
Consider: Have you replaced the peace, satisfaction, comfort, love, strength, and direction that comes from God with any other “master”? How will you re-instate God as King?
Compassionate God, grant that we do not replace the peace, satisfaction, comfort, love, strength, and direction that comes from You with any other “master”,even at this pandemic period.
Your son Jesus, my Savior,all-powerful and profoundly personal is the giver and sustainer of life, and have allowed us to have a personal relationship with Him.Please help us to hold fast to these truths forever in Jesus Name
Wednesday 4th November 2020.
REST IN THE UNCHANGEABLENESS OF JESUS,RADIATE THE JOY IN A WORLD FILLED WITH TRIALS.
TEXTS:-Heb 13:8,1:9;Jeremiah 29:11.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Hebrews 13:8 KJV
God . . . has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Hebrews 1:9
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 29:11 KJV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. The Lord Jesus Christ is unchangeable –
I. IN HIS PERSON. “Our Lord’s Godhead is the seat of his personality. The Son of Mary is not a distinct human person mysteriously linked with the Divine nature of the eternal Word. The Person of the Son of Mary is Divine and eternal. It is none other than the Person of the Word.” This personality is immutable. This has been already asserted by the writer of this Epistle: “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth,” etc. (Hebrews 1:10-12). He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” in his great attributes – his eternity, spirituality, omniscience, omnipotence, etc. He is the same in his perfect and blessed character – in his righteousness and faithfulness, his love and mercy, his forbearance and tenderness, etc. In this respect how vast is the difference between him and us! We are ever changing in many respects. Our outward appearances, the particles of which our bodies are composed, the opinions which we entertain, the experiences which we pass through, the characters which we are forming, – all these change. But he is sublimely unchangeable, eternally and infinitely perfect.
II. IN HIS WORD. The teaching of our Lord, like his personality, continues and changes not. His words are true, vital, suited to the conditions and needs of human nature and life. More than eighteen centuries have passed away since they were uttered; but they have lost none of their clearness, or freshness, or force. They are still the great fountains of religious light to our race. And the noblest human spirits still say to him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” It has been well said by Dr. Parker, “Plato’s definitions are practically forgotten, but the Nazarene’s words intermingle with universal civilization. A great composer said he was spending a long time over his work because he intended it to live long, but this Galilean peasant talks extemporaneously, as if simply answering the question of the hour; yet his words float over all generations, and are prized by men today as if they had been addressed exclusively to themselves. These ‘sayings’ are not local lamps, but suns set in the firmament commanding the range of all nations…. In Christ’s ‘sayings’ there was always something beyond – a quickening sense that the words were but the surface of the thought; there was nothing to betoken conclusion, much less exhaustion; there was ever a luminous opening even on the clouds that lay deepest along the horizon, which invited the spectator to advance and behold yet fuller visions” (‘Eece Deus’). How different is the teaching Of Jesus Christ from the changing opinions, speculations, and theories of men – even of distinguished men! Of every province of human thought and investigation we may truthfully say –
“Our little systems have their day; They have their day, and cease to be.” But Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” “The Word of God liveth and abideth The Word of the Lord abideth forever.”
III. IN HIS WORK. Part of his great work was perfectly and splendidly accomplished while he was upon earth. The work which was given him to do upon earth, says Dr. Wardlaw, “was the expiation of human guilt, and the provision of a righteousness for the justification of the ungodly; the laying of the groundwork of man’s redemption – the foundation on which might rest together the glory of God and the hopes of sinners. But his mediatorial work did not cease then. It does not properly terminate till ‘the end come,’ when he shall have accomplished all the ends for which his office as Mediator had been assumed.”
“He who for man their Surety stood, And poured on earth his precious blood, Pursues in heaven his mighty plan; The Savior and the Friend of man
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
We’re not going to pad this, so get ready. Ready now? When the prophet Jeremiah wrote about God’s prosperous and hopeful plans, he was not talking to you. Before you go destroying Pinterest boards, coffee mugs, and Instagram quotes, wait a minute. God still said it, and it made it in the Bible, so let’s find out why and what it means to us today.
From reading further in the chapter we discover a few things. God was talking through Jeremiah to Jewish exiles in Babylon. We also read that God caused them to be taken captive there. Why? If we look further into Jeremiah and the Old Testament, we learn they had blatantly rebelled against God. We also read in Jeremiah 29:1-10 that they’re to settle down in Babylon because they’re going to be there a while—70 years, to be exact. On top of this pile of context, God said the famously twisted words of verse 11.
What can we take away today? We can look at the story as a whole and extract godly principles. Rebellion against God has consequences, but He can still redeem us. God’s redemption isn’t always fast. Sometimes it’s years before we fully realize His promises. God speaks to His people. God’s story isn’t about His people; it’s about Him.
Today, we Christians can understand the hope promised in this verse is given to us through Jesus. If we can endure this world filled with trials (John 16:33), our hopeful future is our eternal reward in heaven with Christ! If we quote verse 11 by itself, life looks easy and God exists for us. If we untwist it and read it in context, God looks good and we’re here for Him.
Consider: Which version of Jeremiah 29:11 have you lived by? How has your faith been impacted?
Constant Look Unto The The Smiling Jesus
God . . . has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Hebrews 1:9
If you were to play the part of Jesus in a movie, how would you approach the role? That was the challenge faced by Bruce Marchiano, who played Jesus in the 1993 Visual Bible movie Matthew. Knowing that millions of viewers would draw conclusions about Jesus based on his work, the weight of getting Christ “right” felt overwhelming. He fell to his knees in prayer and begged Jesus for—well, for Jesus.
Bruce gained insight from the first chapter of Hebrews, where the writer tells us how God the Father set the Son apart by anointing Him “with the oil of joy” (1:9). This kind of joy is one of celebration—a gladness of connection to the Father expressed wholeheartedly. Such joy ruled in Jesus’ heart throughout His life. As Hebrews 12:2 describes it, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Taking his cue from this scriptural expression, Bruce offered a uniquely joy-filled portrayal of his Savior. As a result, he became known as “the smiling Jesus.” We too can dare to fall to our knees and “beg Jesus for Jesus.” May He so fill us with His character that people around us see the expression of His love in us!
What are your perceptions of Jesus and how might they need to change? How can you represent Him as you show His heart to the world?
Sovereign God,You do not change. You are the same mighty, powerful, loving, and merciful God You have always been. Please help me to find hope and rest in the fact that You do not change.
May Your heart be what others see in us today. May we radiate Your joy in all we say and do.Let Your plan of peace manifest in us in Jesus Name
YOU ARE CALLED TO LOVE AND RELY ON CHRIST FOR STRENGTH.
TEXTS:-Eph 4:32; Phil 4:13.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:32 KJV
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:10-13 KJV
3 Reasons Ephesians 4:32 Encourages Us to ‘Be Kind to One Another’
We could explore loads of reasons for why Paul encouraged the Ephesians to exercise kindness to one another, especially to believers. In this section, we’ll lightly touch on three reasons.
First, we want to exemplify Christ.
Christian means “little Christ.” In everything we do, we want to emulate Christ’s example. And as we move further on our walk, we want to look more like our Savior every day. In doing so, we need to show kindness and compassion. Remember, Judas ate too. Jesus washed his feet during the Last Supper, even though he knew how Judas had already betrayed him and how he would betray him later on.
If Christ can wash Judas’ feet, we can show kindness to everyone, even our enemies.
Second, we have a choice to show God’s love.
Revenge is the easy choice to make. We get a thrill from having the last word or showing people not to mess with us.
But in doing so, we forget our mission here on earth.
God calls us to spread the good news of salvation to all peoples. If we choose malice or revenge, we risk failing to show someone the love of Christ. Perhaps it will turn them off to Christianity altogether if they see a believer who engages in hate and revenge.
Third, we remind ourselves of our mission.
Remember, without love, our good deeds mean nothing. When we choose kindness and forgiveness, we remind ourselves as to why God has placed us here on earth.
The Christian walk can often get exhausting. And if we lose sight of the why, we’ll fizzle or grow winded during the race.
Choosing kindness and forgiveness reminds us of Christ’s example. We can remember the parable of the unforgiving servant. No matter how much a friend or family member (or a complete stranger) has hurt us, we can remember the abounding grace of God in our own lives. He has forgiven us and shown us so much kindness. Therefore, we strive to do the same.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
Colossians 1:9-13 KJV
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Ephesians 3:14-19 KJV
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Who hasn’t thought of Philippians 4:13 before a big test, meeting, or game? May be you were the athlete who quoted it after completing a nearly impossible feat. Or maybe it was quoted to you by an old acquaintance after they explained an, “amazing business opportunity.” “Sure it sounds risky,” they said, “but just like the Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.’”
Too often, Philippians 4:13 is quoted for self-motivation alone. A more secular version might sound like, “If we set our mind to it, whatever it is, we’ll accomplish it.” Sure, “through Christ” is in our Bible version, but hopefully He’s not there to just give us strength to accomplish our goals. Does Christ give us strength to do wonderful things including athletic feats? Yes. However, the original author of this coffee-mug verse wasn’t trying to win the Iron Man or triple his income in as little as three months (neither of which are necessarily bad things). Paul was writing—from jail—to the church he helped start in Philippi.
If Paul had the power to do all things, wouldn’t “get out of jail” be at the top of his to-do list? After all, if he could really do all things, he’d be all-powerful. The next three verses give additional meaning to verse 13. Paul described experiencing poverty, hunger, want, and despite it all, contentment. Then, he added verse 13 to basically say he could do all this only because of Christ. Paul’s words were less about motivating the Philippians to accomplish great things and more about inspiring them to trust God despite horrible things. In fact, the original language reads more like, “I have strength for all things. Why? Because Jesus.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Are you in a bad break up? Rebound to Him; He makes you whole. Bad medical news? Cling to Him; He is life. Lost your job? Submit to Him; He’s your provider. Are you “in want” like Paul? Come to Him; you can be content. Through Christ, you have strength for all these things.
Scripture calls us to make two difficult choices: kindness and forgiveness. They sound easy on paper. Living out these concepts, however, is not easy..but it’s what Christ desires for us all.
Through Christ’s example of humility, and the lovingkindness he has shown us, he has given us a mission and a mindset that often runs counter-culture. Nevertheless, when we choose kindness and forgiveness, we allow others to experience the grace of God—and we spur other believers to do the same.
Consider: What trial are you facing? How can you rely on Christ for strength?
Compassionate Lord, please shape my heart. Make me into a person that is kind and compassionate. Just as You have forgiven me, I also want to forgive others.
Scripture calls us to make two difficult choices: kindness and forgiveness. Living out these concepts, however, is not easy but help us to fulfil your desires for us all in Jesus Name
Friday 20th October 2020
GOD STRENGTHENS US KEEP EXPECTING AND BE STRONG.
TEXT:-Phil 4:13,1:20;IITim 4:17.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:13 KJV
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”
Philippians 1:20 KJV
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Galatians 6:9 KJV
“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”
2 Timothy 4:17 KJV
What does Philippians chapter 4 mean? It speaks of Christ’s strength in times of suffering most especially at this pandemic period.This includes prayers and encouragement (Philippians 4:1–9) and a focus on God’s provision (Philippians 4:10–20), followed by a short conclusion (Philippians 4:21–23).
Verse 1 actually concludes Paul’s previous passage, from the end of chapter 3, with an encouragement to “stand firm” in the Lord.
In verses 2–3, he mentions Euodia and Syntyche, two women in the Philippian church involved in some kind of disagreement. He urges them to “agree in the Lord.” Paul then refers to a person called the “true companion,” asking him to help the women, Clement, and the rest of his workers (Philippians 4:3).
Paul then transitions to a focus on rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). Christians are not to be anxious about anything, but instead to bring prayers of all kinds to the Lord (Philippians 4:6). This does not mean a total lack of thought. Rather, it means a lack of fear or anxiety. The peace of God protects (Philippians 4:7). Paul also encourages his readers to focus on things that are good (Philippians 4:8). This includes all they had learned and received and heard and seen in Paul (Philippians 4:9). The Philippian Christians are instructed to think about them, and to apply them, knowing God’s peace would be with them (Philippians 4:9).
The second part of this passage focuses on God’s provision (Philippians 4:10–20). Paul rejoices that the Philippian believers were now helping him again financially (Philippians 4:10). He did not write this because he was greedy, or desperate. Instead, he had learned how to be content in all situations (Philippians 4:11). He knew how to be content either in abundance or in need (Philippians 4:12), claiming he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13).
Paul refers to their kindness in helping him during his time of trouble (Philippians 4:14). The church in Philippi was the first to help him financially, not once, but on multiple occasions (Philippians 4:15–17). Paul says he is well supplied as a result of the gifts Epaphroditus had brought to him from the Philippians. He considers them as a “fragrant offering” to the Lord (Philippians 4:18).
The final section of this chapter provides a brief conclusion (Philippians 4:21–23). Paul tells his readers to greet “every saint in Christ Jesus” and that the believers with him send their greetings (Philippians 4:21). This included “especially those of Caesar’s household” (Philippians 4:22), referring to some who served the emperor who had become believers in Christ. The final verse resembles many of Paul’s other letters, stating, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” Paul starts and ends his letter with a focus on grace from Jesus, the one who offers everything necessary to both know and follow the Lord.
We are highly encouraged to Keep expecting.
How do you live in such a way that God can do immeasurably more in you and through you than you could ever imagine?
First, we identify our priorities. Then, we choose to make room for more of God by fasting. After that, we choose to put God first every day through the practice of spiritual disciplines. Finally, we expect God to move.
The truth? God created you for a purpose. He wants you to have a rich and satisfying life. He is inviting you to become the kind of person who can bring a little bit of heaven to Earth.
The problem? So many of us aren’t convinced that God could ever use us. The idea of God doing immeasurably more through us can sometimes feel unlikely, and for some of us it feels completely impossible. Maybe it’s because of the bad things we’ve done, the bad things that have been done to us, the challenges we’ve experienced in our homes, or the struggles we face every day. So many of us have had the hope beaten out of us to the point that expecting God to move in us seems like a kid’s dream instead of a real possibility.
God wants you to dream again. He wants you to believe, maybe for the first time, what He believes about you. God is inviting you to imagine and to expect what could be and what should be. And God wants you to keep expecting. He wants you to keep believing. He wants you to have hope.
Let your fast make room in your heart and in your mind for more of God by starving the doubts, the fears, and the insecurities you’ve been living with. Let your worship of God feed your imagination and your expectation for God to move. And keep expecting. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. Why? Because God can, and He will, do immeasurably more through you than you could ever ask, think, or imagine.
So, will you make room? Will you put God first? Will you keep expecting?
Challenge: Keep expecting. Stay strong with your fast and do something every day to put God first for the next two weeks! If you miss one day, commit to not missing two. Have grace for yourself (because God has grace for you) and get back at it! You will therefore move from Pity to Praise as the Lord stood at your side and gave you strength. 2 Timothy 4:17 The apostle Paul seemed to need a coat, when he wrote Timothy, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas” (2 Timothy 4:13). Held in a cold Roman prison, Paul needed warmth but also companionship. “No one came to my support, but everyone deserted me,” he lamented, when he faced a Roman judge (v. 16). His words pierce our hearts with the honesty of this great missionary’s pain.
Yet in these final words of Paul’s last recorded letter—his closing thoughts after an astounding ministry—he moves from pity to praise. “But the Lord stood at my side,” he adds (v. 17), and his words rally our hearts. As Paul declared, “[God] gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death” (v. 17 nlt).
If you’re facing a crisis, lacking even the right clothing for warmth or close friends to help, remember God. He’s faithful to revive, provide, and deliver. Why? For His glory and for our purpose in His kingdom.
In what “cold” area of your life do you need God’s great and warming strength? As you praise Him, how does your outlook
Our strong God, please empower me to follow You through Jesus. May Your strength stir in my heart a genuine love for those I encounter.
When life’s circumstances overwhelm us, stand with us, stir our praise, giving us Your strength to overcome I ask this in Your precious name
Thursday 29th October 2020.
OVERCOME SPIRITUAL FEAR AND FALSE BELIEVE PUT GOD FIRST AND NURTURE THE HEART OF YOUR CHILDREN TOWARDS HIM.
TEXTS:-Psalm 27:1; Heb 12:11; IITim 3:14-15.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalms 27:1 KJV
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Hebrews 12:11 KJV
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 3:14-15 KJV
Fear, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say?
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25, NIV).
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7) (Also see Psalm 55:22-23)
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV). (Also see Matthew 6:25-34)
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).
“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:26-28).
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
The apostle Paul found his strength in God, He reminds us that, “I …have …been in prison …frequently, been flogged …severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. …I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. …Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. …I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. …[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 11:23-12:10).
“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6).
“…put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 131:1)
Also read: Psalm 139:1-23
The possible causes of anxiety and fear are many: conflict, health problems, dangerous situations, death, unmet needs,spiritual problems, false beliefs, etc.
“According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. To ignore danger is fooling and wrong. But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry. Such worry must be committed to prayer to God, who can release us from paralyzing fear or anxiety, and free us to deal realistically with the needs and welfare both of others and of ourselves.” (Dr. Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling, p. 66.)
Some general, common sense suggestions for those weighed down with fear, anxiety or worry…
SIN IN YOUR LIFE – Sometimes fear and anxiety are the result of one’s own sin and guilt. If you have committed a sin or done anything evil, your fear and anxiety is probably God and your own conscience trying to get your attention. You need to repent, confess your sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and set it right.
SLEEP – Humans generally need 8 or 9 hours of sleep per day. Sleep deprivation can increase anxiety. Get enough rest. If you cannot sleep, you may need to seek God’s help and perhaps that of a physician.
BE MORE REALISTIC – Many people are worried and anxious about events that will never actually will happen to them. Relax. Focus on today. Take life one day at a time.
LISTEN to relaxing, soothing music. There is some great Christian music available that can help you focus on God and leave your fears and worries behind. It may also help to listen to good Christian speakers and teachers.
FUN – If at all possible, do something that you enjoy. It is good to get some recreation on a regular basis. Take a break. Get your mind off your fears and worries, and have some fun.
TALK to someone. Don’t hold all the anxiety inside. It can be a big relief to share your fears and worries with someone else—a friend, relative, pastor or counselor. If fear and anxiety is an ongoing problem in your life, schedule a regular time each week to talk with someone.
TAKE ACTION – If there is something practical and wise that you can do to alleviate the problem or avoid needless danger, take action. Don’t put it off. Procrastination will generally raise your anxiety level.
EXERCISE – Medical studies show that exercise can help lower anxiety. If you are healthy enough to exercise, try it. Regular brisk walks, running, swimming or other exercises can be a real stress reducer.
PROFESSIONAL HELP – There are various organizations which provide help for people with anxiety attacks, including the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety (stresscenter.com) which provides self-help. You can search for information and assistance on the Web using keywords such as: anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia. You should be able to find local help by consulting you pastor or physician.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thes. 2
Above All Put God first.
We started by identifying our priorities. We committed to fasting so that we can make room for more of God. The next step in the process of seeing God do immeasurably more through us than we could ever imagine? We put God first. This is where worship comes in.
What is worship? First, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that worship is more than singing songs. Singing songs is one of the spiritual disciplines that helps us worship God, but that’s not all that worship is. So, what is worship? Worship is the act of putting God first. Or, if we want to take a step back, we can define worship as the act of putting something first.
Think about the list of priorities you created on day one. If you were honest, there was probably something in that top spot, the thing you spend the most time, energy, and attention on, that wasn’t God. For most of us, there will be times when the thing we worship is not God. That’s a problem, especially if we’re Christians, because what we worship has profound effects on how we live and how we treat people.
The spiritual discipline of worship is the act of choosing to put God first. It’s a discipline because it isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. Why? Because when we put God first, when we choose to worship Him, it changes everything. Worship does two things:
- Worship proves our priorities. When we choose to worship God, we are making the “right” answer to what we value most, our real answer.
- Worship unifies us with God and others. When we put God first, we start to see ourselves, others, and the world the way God sees us. When we start to see the way God sees, we start to love the way God loves. Worship doesn’t just help us better love God, worship empowers us to better love people.
Fasting helps us make room for more of God. Worship is the act of filling that space with more of God by putting Him first. If you want to see God do immeasurably more through you than you could ever ask or imagine, first, you have to make room. Then, you have to put God first. You have to worship.
Challenge: Identify one thing you can do for the next two weeks to put God first. Maybe it’s only listening to worship music. Maybe you start every morning by reading a Bible Plan and praying. Maybe you choose to worship God through the tithe by putting Him first with your money. Choose to do one thing every day for the next two weeks that will help you put God first. Carry your family along particularly your children are your future.
Guiding the Children to God will enable them to Continue in what they have learned from infancy.
An outspoken atheist believes it’s immoral for parents to teach their children religion as though it were actually true. He even claims that parents who pass along their faith to their children are committing child abuse. Though these views are extreme, I do hear from parents who are hesitant to boldly encourage their children toward faith. While most of us readily hope to influence our children with our view of politics or nutrition or sports, for some reason some of us treat our convictions about God differently.
In contrast, Paul wrote of how Timothy had been taught “from infancy . . . the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Timothy didn’t arrive at faith as an adult through the power of his own, unaided reason. Rather, his mother nurtured his heart toward God; then he continued in what he had learned (v. 14). If God is life, the source of true wisdom, then it’s vital for us to tenderly cultivate a love for God in our families.
There are many belief systems that are influencing our children. TV shows, movies, music, teachers, friends, the media—each of these carry assumptions (either obvious or under the radar) about faith that exert real influence. May we choose not to be silent. The beauty and grace we’ve experienced compels us to guide our children toward God.
Reflect on the myriad influences and messages children (or all of us) receive in a given day. How do these forces shape you and those you love?
Dear Father,there are lots of things I am afraid of. Please help me to work through these things and give me confidence that You are with me and will protect me.
Thank You for the joy and privilege to gracefully nurture children’s hearts toward You.
Monday 19th Oct 2020
THEME:- GOD WILL RESTORE OUR SOUL HE KNOWS US INTIMATELY SERVE HIM FAITHFULNESS.
TEXT:-Psalm 23:3; Jeremiah 1:5; IPeter 4:10-11).
“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Psalms 23:3 KJV
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5 KJV
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. 1 Peter 4:10-11 KJV
Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul.” How can our souls be restored? The focus is on God’s work in our lives. We cannot restore ourselves, but must be restored by God.
God watches over him, he does not find himself in need of anything. All of his needs are met. He can rest in green pastures, beside still waters (v. 2). His paths are righteousness (v. 3), even though he walks through the valley of the shadow of death (v. 4).
The last portion of Psalm 23 shifts to a different scenario, one in which David sits at a table among his enemies, likely at a royal banquet. In this word picture, David has no fear of his enemies, he is anointed (set apart as special), and his cup overflows (meaning he has plenty to drink). He feels blessed with goodness and mercy and will live in God’s house forever (v. 6).You are assured of the presence of God in every situation as You focus on Him.
A look at the entire Psalm again provides three principles for “restoring my soul.” These include rest, reflection, and replenishment. David appears to be at rest when he composed this Psalm. This was not a song to prepare for battle or celebrate a holy day, but rather to enjoy a time of relaxation in God’s presence.
Second, restoration involved reflection. His soul was restored as he looked at life from God’s perspective. He felt protected, safe, and secure under the leadership of God.
Third, his restoration included replenishment. Both rest and reflection led to a renewed vigor to live for God. This replenishment also included an anticipation to be with God forever in the future (v. 6).
With this perspective on life, David could live with a restored soul, prepared for the problems of the day. He knew God was with him, cared for him, and would never leave his side. There was no battle too big for him to face with God in his life.
The same is true in our own lives. If we wish to see God restore our soul, we need to make time to rest, reflect, and replenish. We cannot expect to live with a fresh sense of God’s presence in our lives if we constantly rush from one issue to the next. To be restored takes time, focused on God and His greatness, to renew us with hope and joy regarding this life and anticipation for eternity.
God saved both our lives that day after day and we are assured that God valued us even before we were born.
None of us escape our omniscient (all-knowing) Creator’s notice. More than 2,500 years ago He told the prophet, Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knows us more intimately than any person ever could and is able to give our lives purpose and meaning unlike any other. He not only formed us through His wisdom and power, but He also sustains every moment of our existence—including the personal details that occur every moment without our awareness: from the beating of our hearts to the intricate functioning of our brains. Reflecting on how our heavenly Father holds together every aspect of our existence, David exclaimed, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God!” (Psalm 139:17).
God is closer to us than our last breath. He made us, knows us, and loves us, and He’s ever worthy of our worship and praise.
For what aspect of God’s care would you like to praise Him this moment? How can you encourage someone with the thought that He cares for them today? You are therefore preserved to serve Serve. Serving others does not come naturally to me. I’m a self-centered person. I like it my way. It’s not something I’m proud of, but unfortunately, it’s true.
I’m not the only one. All of us can be a bit self-centered. By nature, we are selfish people. Just think about it: you don’t have to teach a child to be selfish. According to Jesus, life is not all about us, and yet everything in our culture (including that burger place) tries to tell us to have it our way. Christianity is love in action.
One of the quickest ways to forget about God is to be consumed with “self.” Jesus had pretty direct words for those who wanted to follow Him. He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NIV
God wants us to have it His way. And He’s not talking about extra meat, hold the lettuce.
Speaking of food, Jesus made a statement that should make us pause before we order our next burger. “My food … is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34 NIV
Imagine being able to say, “My food is to serve God. My food is to please Him. My food is to complete the assignment God sent me to do. My food is to do the will of my Father and to finish His work.” That’s a different kind of nourishment. That’s living with divine direction.
When all of the culture says, “Fill yourself,” God tells us to fill others.
When the people around us say, “Get all you can! It’s all about you,” God wants us to contribute rather than to consume. When all of the culture says, “Fill yourself,” God tells us to fill others. God didn’t create us to be takers. He created us to be givers. Rather than focusing on our desires, we are called to focus on the needs of others. Instead of cutting to the front of the line, we are called to wait at the end. God created us to serve.
This kind of living will change your story.
Think about it. The stories you love reminiscing about are the ones when you helped your neighbor, got involved at church, or gave something away. That’s because we were made to serve just as Jesus did on earth. The decision to serve may not feel natural for you. It wasn’t always for me. But I’ve realized serving isn’t something we do. A servant is who we’re called to be. Because when we serve, we become like Christ.
Amazing Lord, forgive me when I look to the things of this world for refreshment. You made me to be with You and only You can truly refresh me. Please help me to come wearily before You to find refreshment in You
Thank You for holding me up and getting me through every moment of the day. God, show me how,who and where You are calling me to serve in Jesus Name.
Saturday 17th October 2020
GOD IS FOR US FAITH IS FAITHFULNESS
ALWAYS STRIVE TO DO WHAT IS GOOD.
Rom :8:31; IThess 5:14;Ruth 1:16).
God is with us, who can be against us?
Amazingly enough, this is a question that we should be asking ourselves regularly. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’
I’ve thought many times about how different my life would be if I’d given up when I wanted to. My story could’ve become something like unsatisfied when I am with problems especially with seen and unseen adverse forces Yeah, I used to think I was supposed to be easily a victor , but thank God I persevere That’s just how it goes.”
I’m certain you’ll have to wrestle with occasional challenges in different seasons of your life: a boss you don’t think you can stand another day, a relationship that’s suddenly hurting, a dream that’s running out of resources, a move that’s failed your expectations. When you face difficulties, it’s natural to reconsider your huge, life-altering decisions. You might ask questions like these.
In Romans 8 alone, Paul has written extensively to prove this very point. God loves us, he sent his son Jesus to die for us, he gave us the Holy Spirit to be our counselor and guide and to remind us of everything Jesus told us. In lieu of this, this question holds amazing implications for us as believers… understanding the dynamics of how God feels about you will change your life. When holding this perspective in view and weighing everything else that happens against this revelation of God’s love towards you, then the rest seems unimportant. David held this perspective throughout his entire life, he wrote in the Psalms, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). He penned this in the midst of turmoil and unrest. However he could write this because he knew God and knew that God loved him and in light of that, nothing else mattered.
Just as asking this question is important, so is reminding ourselves of the answer. ‘If God is for us, then who is against us?’ Who can be our foe if God is on our side? Paul goes on in the next couple of verses to explain how God is the one who justified us ( Romans 8:33 ) and Jesus is the one who died for us (Romans 8:34) so in reality who can bring an accusation against us. This is so important to understand. So many people miss it in life if they do not understand the extent of God’s love towards them. Jude tells us to keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 1:21) because he knew that having this revelation equips the saints to be powerful in the kingdom.No testimony without a test,you are encouraged.
First responders show dedication and courage daily by being on the front lines when disasters occur. In the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001 when thousands of people were killed or injured, more than four hundred emergency workers also lost their lives. In honor of first responders, the US Senate designated September 12 as the National Day of Encouragement.
While it may seem unique that a government would declare a national day of encouragement, the apostle Paul certainly thought this was needed for the growth of a church. He commended the young church in Thessalonica, a city in Macedonia, to “encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Although they were going through persecution, Paul encouraged the believers to “always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (v. 15). He knew that as humans, they would be prone to despair, selfishness, and conflict. But he also knew they would not be able to uplift one another without God’s help and strength.
Things are no different today. We all need to be uplifted, and we need to do the same for those around us. Yet we can’t do it in our own strength. That’s why Paul’s encouragement that “the one who calls you [Jesus] is faithful, and he will do it” is so reassuring (v. 24). With His help, we can encourage one another every day.
How can a word of encouragement keep despair away? Who can you encourage today?
- Should I take my chances, quit this job, and look for something else?
- After my spouse’s affair—is it time to move on?
- Am I really cut out to run a business? Should I cut my losses before things get any worse?
In each of these examples—and with most major life choices—you’re at a crucial fork in the road, and it’s time to decide: should I stay or walk away?
Am I choosing to give up because it’s the right thing or because it seems like leaving would be easier?
Often the best and most rewarding decision you can make is to stay the course even when it would be simpler to turn and walk away. I’m not saying you will never need to walk away. But before you decide, ask yourself, “Am I choosing to give up because it’s the right thing or because it seems like leaving would be easier?” Sometimes the greatest act of faith is faithfulness, staying where you are planted. Years from now you may look back and thank God that you decided to stay when it would have been easier to go.
Remember, God made you in His image and He is the author and finisher of your story. You are not a quitter. You are a finisher.
God, is there anything I’m trying to walk away from that You want me to stay and finish? Will You give me Your strength to press on? Thank the encouragement You give me each day. Show me who I need to encourage as well in Jesus Name.
Almighty God, may the truth that You love me and are for me fill me with joy and confidence. Let this truth sink deep into my soul. And please let it shape every area of my life.Give me strength to press on especially at this pandemic period.