~Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Praise the Lord that His work in the born-again believer is never finished! Daily we find ourselves tempted and daily we fail. I am so thankful that God continues to work in my life for my benefit!
~Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
The Lord began a good work in me the day I was born-again! He continues to grow good works in me through His Holy Spirit’s convicting power. When I yield to His convictions, I grow spiritually. That is the reason a baby cannot be born-again at baptism as some religions claim. Babies cannot decide for themselves whether or not they will fall into sin. They are born in sin. They cannot choose to do right – not yet. That is why a child must get to the age where he knows the difference between right and wrong. At this point, he is able to understand the need for salvation.
~Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
We’ve all seen babies who cry the minute they are put down for a nap, yet the minute Momma picks the baby up, the baby stops crying. How true Psalm 58:3 is! But can a baby repent? Not just yet – he is totally dependent on his parents until he reaches an age where he can see for himself that he is sinning. Once that child is born-again, then God begins that beautiful work spoken of in Philippians 1:6!
Thank you, Lord, for your continuing work in my life!
~Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
How often do we really desire God’s will in our lives? If God’s will coincides with ours, we’re more apt to accept it. But what if it goes against what we want? It is not our nature to desire anything that would be difficult in life. We do not wish for sickness, heartache, and difficult trials. However, there are times that God allows sickness, heartache and difficult trials to draw us closer to Him. He also allows them so that we can be a help to others who are going through the same thing. All that we go through in life should be a testimony to God’s goodness and His faithfulness. It’s a testimony to our Lord, Jesus Christ!
So when we go through difficulties, let us be thankful because we know that it is God’s will for us and He will be sure to help us through. (I think of the Footprints in the Sand poem!) God never gives us more than we can handle.
Fiery trials make golden Christians.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
~Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Sin’s appeal works in many ways. If the devil cannot attract us through one of our senses, he will use another. This is apparent in the account of Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden.
After Satan questioned Eve as to what God had told her, he probably saw that she understood what God had said to her. So his first attempt was to appeal to her reasoning. He twisted God’s words around to cause Eve to question what she had actually heard. Had that worked completely, he would not have had the need to proceed, in my opinion.
However, he did proceed – Eve probably needed just a nudge to turn her thinking around and he knew just how it do it. So Satan then appealed to her sense of sight. She saw the fruit and it was pleasant to her eyes. She sees that the fruit is healthy fruit and has no blemishes. Now the devil has appealed to her reasoning and her sense of sight.
Like anyone else guilty of doing what we’re not suppose to do, Eve wants to share that with someone close. She had no one else but Adam. Adam could have said no. But he didn’t. God punished Adam just as much as He punished Eve. They both had the opportunity to say no, but they did not. Had they just yelled out to God to come to their rescue, the fall of man would not be an issue today.
Are we any different? Of course not! How many times a day do we give into temptation? We cannot blame Adam and Eve for their sin. We are just as much to blame and we possess the same weak flesh as they had. At least we can recognize what is going on because we have God’s Word to instruct us. Let’s pay attention to the devil’s antics. He’s only going to get worse as his end draws near.
In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.
~Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
I have heard many times that as long as I don’t carry out my thoughts into action, I’m O.K. However, God knows our every thought. Jesus even went so far as to say:
~Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Nothing can be hidden from God. Our sin cannot be hidden, even if it is in thought only. Our discouragement and pain cannot be hidden from Him:
~Psalm 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
~Psalm 38:9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
God knows every little part of me down to the smallest cell in my body. Since He knows us to the finest detail, He is able to know our goings as well:
~Psalm 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
~Jeremiah 23:24a Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD.
There is not a place, even in our own thoughts, that we can hide from God. Therefore, let us keep our thought life in check and centered on the Lord then our actions will follow.
Repentance is to leave
The sin we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve
By doing so no more.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
~3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Walking in truth requires action. We can know the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accept it – this is forward motion. But to stop there and not continue is a travesty. Many are satisfied with merely crawling in spiritual matters. The Word of God is not a treasure to them and, therefore, they do not feed themselves with its truth on a daily basis.
When you first discover something that peaks your interest, your enthusiasm is high and you try to learn as much about it as possible. You do not rest until you have captured everything about your new interest. A good example is a new book by your favorite author. You cannot wait until you get the book home – you curl up on the couch and open to the first page, anxious to get caught up in the story.
The Christian should have this same enthusiasm with the truth from God’s Word. Unlike a story, each word of the Bible is God breathed. Each page uncovers truth after truth from the God of Creation. The Word of God reveals enough about God’s nature to give us a glimpse of our Creator and man’s need for a Saviour. We will not fully understand His nature until we reach Heaven. However, we have enough information to draw us closer to Him.
God is perfect love and perfect grace and mercy. Experiencing these traits as each page of the Bible unfolds brings joy to the believer. This joy is then shared with the unsaved world. There is no better testimony than that of a Christian who knows his God because he knows His Word!
Joy is increased by spreading it to others.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne
~Genesis 18:19a For I know him…
God knows every detail in my life. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows every fiber of my being including every hair on my head!! Wow!
Knowing all that, He would not allow a trial that would be too great for me to bear. To do so would mean that He is cruel. However, God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and love is not an attribute that allows cruelty. It is this knowledge which increases my faith!! I know that I can bear each trial, each challenge, each task! I know because God loves me! Thank You, Lord!
God knows that you can stand that trial; He would not give it to you if you could not. It is His trust in you that explains the trials of life, however bitter they may be. God knows our strength, and He measures it to the last inch; and a trial was never given to any man that was greater than that man’s strength, through God, to bear it.
Charles E. Cowman
~James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Have you ever walked over the rocks on the coastline? It is difficult, at best! Trying to maneuver your feet on the jagged rocks’ edges is difficult. You really cannot think about anything else because you’re focusing your thoughts on being stable.
Can you imagine your life like this? Imagine that your daily walk is comparable to walking on those rocks. James says that the double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Being of double mind, spiritually speaking, means that one vacillates between worldliness and Godliness. You’re either on the side of the fence where the world lives or you’re on the side of the fence where God’s will is. Even if you sit on the fence, it is the fence of indecision. Anyone who has sat on a fence knows that the seat is uncomfortable and it is not stable.
Purpose in your heart to get off this fence and become a single minded man who will be stable in all his ways. The believer who strives to abide this way will be kept by the God of all creation! The unstable wrestle with Scriptures and cannot live the life God intended for them.
~2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
“Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and
spiritual worship come first.”
A. W. Tozer
~ Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Waiting on the Lord is the hardest thing for me to do. It is my nature to resolve a problem or work out a situation right away. However, God’s will may not always be in it. No one likes conflict. No one enjoys going through a difficult marriage or living with chronic pain. Seeking solutions may be good but if they are not centered in God’s will, they will not bring me joy.
When a dilemma engulfs me, Isaiah exhorts that I wait on the Lord. God will renew my strength. Before I make a decision that will put me on a fast pace to a future I may regret, I simply have to let the Lord speak to me through His Word. I cannot make hasty decisions but I must let God be at the center of those decisions. He promises to lift me up, strengthen me if I am weary, and give me the strength that I need to continue on.
No problem is too great for Him. But He does not always work in the “here and now.” Sometimes I simply need to sit back and wait to allow Him the opportunity to work in my situation. This is so much easier said than done!!
~Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
For the weary believer, waiting is not always what he wants to do. He wishes to be rid of what weighs heavy on his heart. That is the natural man’s way – but it is not God’s way. Allow yourself time to see the hand of God at work in your life. There is promise in waiting!
I stand in awe of the God of all creation when I look at the moon and all the stars in the heavens! As a believer, I have a special relationship with God – He is my Heavenly Father, He is my Shepherd, He is my Friend. The Bible has much to say about the fear of the Lord. There are 30 verses with that same phrase. One such verse is:
~Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
This fear has nothing to do with being afraid of God and His judgment. We are no longer judged because we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and His blood is what cleanses us from all unrighteousness. This places us in a different position than the unsaved. The unsaved have every right to be afraid of God and His judgment. But to the believer, we fear him as we do our own earthly father – a reverential fear.
What blessed peace is brought to the heart of the believer knowing that he is a child of the King and no longer needs to be afraid!
There is a difference between fearing God, and being afraid of God; the Godly fear God as a child does his father, the wicked are afraid of God as the prisoner is of the judge.
(Watson, Religion Our True Interest, 9)
~Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
The Christian is so blessed to be settled in the palm of God’s hand! When we set aside our pride and allow the Lord to do His work, we reap peace! Sometimes there just isn’t anything that can be done but to trust in the Lord – to trust Him in such a way that you know He will bring you through your trial.
I think of the Apostle Paul who asked God three times to remove the thorn in his side but the Lord told him His (God’s) grace was sufficient. If I were Paul, this would not have been the answer I wanted. However, look at what Paul reaped! God used him – the New Testament is comprised mostly of his writings. The Holy Spirit used Paul in a mighty way by speaking God’s Word through Paul’s pen. He had been tortured, imprisoned and beaten. Paul truly walked in the midst of trouble.
We should never belittle someone else’s experiences and say their trial is small. Everyone struggles with trials at one time or another. At the time, the burden seems too heavy to bear to that individual. It’s just as equal to them as whatever burden you’re carrying. Everyone carries burdens – the young as well as the old. Burdens have a blessed role in our lives. They fill our hearts with compassion for one another. How can one be compassionate if one never has trials?
Dear Christian, God promises to revive us when we are overburdened with cares, physical ailments and troubles. One of my favorite verses that encourage my spirit is in Isaiah.
~Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.