Sunday, August 27, 2017
Hebrews 3:12-14 "
The hardening of our hearts is the spring of all our other sins." God tells us, in no uncertain terms, about the evil of sin and the need to accept Him by faith as our Savior, so don't shut 'your' heart, mind and soul off from His calling to you.
"There is a great deal of deceitfulness in sin; it appears fair, but is filthy; it appears pleasant, but is pernicious; it promises much, but performs nothing. The deceitfulness of sin is of a hardening nature to the soul; one sin allowed prepares for another; every act of sin confirms the habit; sinning against conscience is the way to sear the conscience; and therefore it should be the great concern of every one to exhort himself and others to beware of sin." [M. Henry]
If we ' There are a great many who in the beginning of their profession show a great deal of courage and confidence, but do not hold them fast to the end. Perseverance in faith is the best evidence of the sincerity of our faith." [M. Henry]
1] We should be doing all the good we can for one another. Life is short and uncertain. "Don't grow weary in doing good."
2] Tomorrow is not promised to anyone of us, so make the most of today for His Kingdom.
3] The devil targets us every day to turn us from God, so we need daily reminders of Truth.
"Unbelief is the great damning sin of the world, especially of those who have a revelation of the mind and will of God. This sin shuts up the heart of God, and shuts up the gate of heaven, against them; it lays them under the wrath and curse of God, and leaves them there; so that in truth and justice to himself he is obliged to cast them off for ever."
Encourage someone today in your life, because you may be the only one who cares about them enough to make an eternal difference.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Have you ever felt defeated before the situation even began? The battle before you seemed overwhelmingly against you? I have often felt that way, so my reading last week in 2 Chronicles 32 were verses that hit home and comforted me. God is greater than anything we will ever face. Yes, greater than our sufferings, our losses, our fears, our heart aches, our disappointments, and our sins.
We too can need reassurance, like the people of Judah, to be strong, courageous, unafraid, and not discouraged in our daily battles and our battles as a Christian nation. Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is against and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
"Our enemies strive to prevent our ascent to heaven, to deprive us of heavenly blessings and to obstruct our communion with heaven. They assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labor to deface the heavenly image in our hearts; and therefore we have need to be upon our guard against them. " [M. Henry]
We each struggle with our own individual fears. Just because another person doesn't share that same fear, doesn't make it any less real for you. We must keep and strengthen our faith in God so that we might calm and suppress our fears. "A believing confidence in God will raise us above the prevailing fear of man." The enemy of our souls tells us, “Live only for the present,” when he knows it will result in our eternal loss.
As believers, we are gifted with the Holy Spirit within us to lead us in the way of righteousness. We are assured to be God's chosen and given the hope of victory beyond this life. "The Spirit of God dwells in you, and that Spirit is more mighty than men of devils.” It is a great happiness to be under the influence of the Holy Ghost. "
"He who knows the purity and holiness of God, the love and grace of God, the truth and faithfulness of God, the ancient word and prophecies of God, the signals and testimonials of God, must know that he is with us; and he who knows this will attend to us, and abide with us." [M. Henry]
As for myself, I have feared the future and doubted the next step in God's plan for me. He has been faithful to me.. always! After finishing college, it took me 2 years of interview rejections before I was hired for my 'perfect' job. My enemy was doubt but persistence paid off. The world seemed like an army against me with every rejection but faith told me that God had purpose and a plan for me 'somewhere'.
Isaiah 41:10 "So do , for I am with you; do be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
What to remember in times of fear [M. Henry]
1] God is all sufficient for us and will not forsake us
2] Don't let the threats of the enemy overwhelm you with fear
3] Fear leads to doubt, but don't doubt the promises of God
4] "Fear not that thou shalt perish in thy affliction"
5] "Fear not that the promise of deliverance shall fail"
6] God is for us, so whom shall I fear?
Sunday, August 13, 2017
James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Life is a series of trials, don't you agree? As the verse above tells us, it is not all for nought. It is a faith strengthening process that hopefully will transform us into who God intended us to be. It's no quick fix either, but completion awaits us at heaven's door after a lifetime of learning God's truth and ways.
As Christians, we must not think we can escape the troubles of this world. God may use our responses to afflictions as a way to reach this broken world. "By suffering in the ways of righteousness, we are serving the interests of our Lord’s kingdom among men, and edifying the body of Christ; and our trials will brighten our graces now and our crown at last." The devil uses our troubles to tempt us to sin, but God intends our trials to better ourselves. " The gold is put into the furnace, that it may be purified." Our trials vary person to person, so we don't know how the devil will try to deceive and attack us. Therefore, we need to put on the full armor of God. " We must be armed on every side, because temptations lie on all sides." Our trials should lead us to look beyond ourselves. We should look to the One who is in control of all things, provides strength for each day, comforts the weak and weary, and never leaves our side.
"We must not sink into a sad and disconsolate frame of mind, which would make us faint under our trials; but must endeavor to keep our spirits dilated and enlarged, the better to take in a true sense of our case, and with greater advantage to set ourselves to make the best of it." [M. Henry]
I've copied some truths from intouch.org to help you deal with the trials you face and how to respond.
1. God is in full control of the timing and intensity of your trial and will not allow it to go beyond His boundaries.
2. He has a specific purpose for your suffering which you may not understand until it is over.
3. This trial will prove to be profitable if you submit to God and trust Him through it.
4. Trying situations are opportunities for faith to prove genuine and grow stronger.
5. When you endure extreme pressure with unexplainable peace and joy, the Lord will demonstrate His sustaining power to a watching world.
6. Your difficulties are used by the Father to produce Christ-like character.
7. God will walk with you through all trials.
8. The Holy Spirit will enable you not only to survive but also to come out a conqueror.