Monday, January 26, 2015

A Believer's Mission...

 Jan 17, 2015

The Truth About Believers

Read | Psalm 103:1-5
When I became a believer, someone patted me on the shoulder and said, “Do the best you can,” which is neither biblical nor helpful advice. A while later, I was discipled by some faithful saints, who taught me the truth about believers.
A believer is identified as a child of God.Through prayer, we have access to our Father at any time, and we can expect that He will be faithful to every one of His promises. What’s more, we are no longer classified as “sinners,” a term describing those who have not received Jesus Christ as Savior. We've been transformed into saints—holy persons saved by grace and set apart for God’s purposes. Sin and temptation will continue to be realities for us as long as we’re on earth. But our transgressions are forgiven, and our new identity cannot change.
A believer is positioned in Christ. God’s Spirit dwells in us so we can live righteously, as Jesus did. Today’s passage uses a grapevine metaphor to describe this relationship. It tells us the Lord is the vine and we are the branches connected to Him and drawing on His power.
A believer’s mission is to show Christ to the world. Our vine is to bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). When our character and conduct reflect these aspects of Jesus’ nature, we help others to see the beauty of a relationship with the Lord.
The truth about believers is that we don’t have to “do the best we can.” God works through His children to accomplish His purposes.


Praise God from all blessings flow...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

We must examine our motives...

Daily Devotional for January 8, 2015

...guilt from the holy things.  Exodus 28:38


What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart, and forgetfulness of God--what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief--what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity--what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully, we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight.
Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, "My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the improvement of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds, which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? So that I may walk out and say to myself, 'In what fine order is my garden kept!' This is pride. Or, so that my neighbors may look over the wall and say, 'How finely your garden flourishes!' This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence."
So even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD," and even so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents before His Father's face not our unholiness, but His own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!

 by Alistair Begg





Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Way of Wisdom...

Jan 10, 2015 ~ InTouch.org

The Way to Acquire Wisdom


Knowledge is a prized commodity in the world, but more important than knowledge is wisdom (Prov. 8:11). God wants us to view life from His viewpoint and evaluate everything according to biblical principles.
How are believers to acquire this God-given insight? The obvious answer is that we must seek it. Too often, however, people who say they want to be wise do little to actually make that happen. Like any worthwhile treasure, wisdom must be actively pursued and carefully gleaned from its sources.
The first source is the Bible. Proverbs teaches that we should pay attention to God’s life-giving words and hold His commands in our hearts (4:20-22). These days information is broadcast with the slant of the people who packaged it. The only way to know the right perspective—namely, God’s—is to read His ancient “broadcast” and apply its principles (8:33).
Another source of wisdom is the counsel of godly men and women (12:15). The Lord at times brings fellow believers into our life to offer biblical advice, encouragement, or reproof. In Proverbs, those who ignore the words of a righteous person are labeled “fool.” Don’t be foolish. Surround yourself with other followers of Christ who are also seeking wisdom as their treasure.
Our heavenly Father ensures that those who seek wisdom will find it (8:12, 17). Diligent believers will discover they possess abundant treasure: In addition to godly insight, they’ll have knowledge, discernment, and prudence—rare riches in the modern world. Use them well.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Safe in His Hand...

Held Safe in His Hand...from LWF.org


BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Believers are “kept” by the power of God. This word “kept” in 1 Peter 1:5 is a military term. It literally means to be garrisoned about as soldiers around a fort.

Think of the power of God as a fortress and you are on the inside. Now how do you feel? Pretty secure, right? So many people get the idea that we keep ourselves safe. Friend, He keeps us.A father was crossing a street with his son. The son had hold of his daddy’s hand, then the light changed and the cars surged forward.  The father grabbed his son’s chubby little hand and almost lifted his son across the street to escape the oncoming traffic. That is the way God holds us. 

ACTION POINT:
Psalm 37:24 promises, “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.” As you go through your day, place your hand in His and say, “Father, carry me across this day You have given me.”

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Waiting...

Waiting is Hard, But We Must Learn to Do It


BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
We don’t like the word “rest,” do we? We’re always running around pulling up our radishes by the roots to see how they’re growing, and then cramming them back into the ground.

Yet Isaiah tells us, “And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).

ACTION POINT:
You’re not going to hurry God because He is not interested in time. He’s interested in timing. Lean back, watch, wait, and trust. He knows what He is doing.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jesus is Knocking...

Jan 06, 2015 ~ InTouch.org

Jesus: Our Seeking Savior


The Christians at Laodicea pictured themselves as rich and self-sufficient, when in reality, their spiritual blindness and self-righteousness had prevented them from recognizing their true poverty. Though they had closed a door between themselves and Jesus, He never gave up on them. Can you relate to this idea of a loving Savior reaching out to you?
Revelation 3:20 shows that Jesus . . .
• Stands at the door—The Lord takes the initiative. He’s ready and willing to seek us, even when we've erected a barrier.
• Knocks at the door—He tries to get our attention through a variety of means, including circumstances, pain, trials, conviction, sleeplessness, and/or His Word. Then He patiently awaits our response.
• Invites us to open the door—Though Christ is omnipotent, He never pushes His way into a relationship with us. He lets us respond.
• Enters through the door—If we open up to Him, He will come into our lives. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we’ll actually partake of Christ’s divine nature and be transformed into His image.
• Dines with us indoors—Now that nothing stands between us and Jesus, we can begin to enjoy all the benefits of an intimate relationship with Him and be nourished by His Word.
Where are you in this process? Have you built a barrier between yourself and the Lord? The Laodiceans show us how miserable we are when we try to keep Jesus at arm’s length. Only when we let Him have unhindered access to our lives will we experience the joy of intimacy with Him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Romans 8:28 ~ Courage in Troubled Times

Jan 13, 2015 ~ InTouch.org

Courage in Troubled Times

Some time ago, two Chinese women shared their father’s story with me. He was arrested in a roundup of house church members and given a choice—to deny Christ or go to jail. The man spent 20 years imprisoned for his faith.
I was moved to tears by this brother’s godly testimony. He understood that God was in control of his life, and that realization gave him the courage to please his Father regardless of the repercussions.
Romans 8:28 teaches that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love [Him].” But relying on that guarantee gets tough when we’re in the midst of trials. The first few words of the verse—“And we know” (emphasis added)—provide a hint about how Christians are to trust that the Lord will keep His promise. We can face adversity courageously when we make a habit of finding God’s fingerprints on prior situations in our life.
While God causes good to come from our experiences, He doesn't necessarily initiate trials. Psalm 103:19 says, “His sovereignty rules over all” (emphasis added). Other forces are at work in the world, but the Father’s power reigns supreme. Satan may touch our life with pain, but only because the Lord allows him to do so. And God gives permission only when a situation fits His ultimate purpose.
Regardless of the tragedies we face, God’s commitment remains the same—He makes good out of bad, just as He has always done. Paul knew the promise was true, and so do I. Examine your life for evidence of the Lord at work, and you will be assured as well.