Keep your lamps trimmed and the fire of your faith burning…

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b)

It is our persistent faith, the ability to persevere under adverse and contradictory feelings and circumstances that necessitates our being filled and refilled each day with the OIL of the Holy Spirit, because we are such leaky vessels.

Romans 10:17
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

“So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).”

You can’t have faith without the truth of God’s Word holding final authority in your life.

Faith is based on the truth and authority of the Scriptures.

The end of your faith is when you begin doubting the Word of God, and it stops carrying authority in your life.

The end of your faith is when you no longer live by the Word of God.

Multitudes of professing Christians in the church system today have departed from the real faith. Many no longer even believe the Scriptures are inspired of God.

In Luke 18:8, Jesus gives us the Parable of the Persistent Widow.

Apparently, there were some issues in her life that this woman wanted addressed, where she had been wronged and she wanted justice to be executed by this unrighteous judge.

I maintain that it is her persistence and not quitting and not giving up, in the face of all kinds of opposition (including petitioning before an unjust earthly judge, who could care less about her or her problems, that is the point here; and the way she maintains her faith, in the face of all types of obstacles, is by her keeping her relationship with the Source of her faith, who is Jesus living and vibrant, by keeping the fire of her faith burning, by being filled and refilled with the oil of the Holy Spirit everyday.

And so she is determined, offering her supplication (her legal petition) in the courtroom of Heaven until she gets her breakthrough.

Jesus ends this parable by saying that He will avenge all that is wrong in this world and that everyone will be held accountable for what they’ve done in their lifetime, including everything they’ve said (Rom. 14:10-12; Matt. 12:36).

Jesus is asking the rhetorical question, “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?

Will he delay long over them” (Luke 18:7)?

The obvious answer is, of course, He will, and there will be no long delay when He returns.

The Bible is emphatic on this point, ”I tell you, Jesus will give justice to them speedily,” but this promise is to them who persevere and don’t give up!

And so the question is posed, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
———

Mon, December 6, 2021
Worthy Brief

TRIM YOUR LAMPS!

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’

Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’

But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
— Matthew 25:1-13

As we conclude the final day of Chanukah, I want to focus on this parable.

This parable in Matthew 25 is a warning to the entire body — be ready with your oil!

Each of these virgins was anticipating the Lord’s return; none were atheists, or non-believers.

They were all virgins who claimed to be awaiting the Bridegroom’s arrival. But notice carefully that only half of them were truly ready.

In the ancient Temple era the Aaronic priests were in charge of lighting the lamp of God and keeping it burning.

Their main responsibilities included trimming the wicks, refilling the lamp constantly with fresh oil, and making sure it never burned out.

A clear parallel can be drawn between the Aaronic priesthood and the New Covenant priesthood of Melchizedek and Yeshua (Jesus). Both are responsible to keep the lamps burning!

Are you feeling burned out this Chanukah season? Then trim your wick by getting rid of the useless things in your life and diving deeper into His Word.

Are you feeling spiritually drained? Then wait on the Lord and ask Him for a fresh anointing.

Bearing the light of God is the responsibility of all true believers; you are the bearer of that light; so be reignited today and keep your lamps burning bright for Him. Let’s be wise virgins, anxiously awaiting His return!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Pahrump, Nevada
———

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Seek first the Kingdom of God…

Whatever you give to God He will multiply back to you…

There are dividends that accrue to those who take the time to wait upon the Lord; to discipline themselves, to prioritize and make room for God in their daily lives, that they may immerse themselves in His Word and in the Spirit, through our prayers and our meditation in His Word.

Matthew 6:31-34
The Message

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions (in other words, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness – His way of doing things”).

Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
———

Thu, Dec 02
The Spirit Filled Believer
Written by Dick Mills

THE PORTALS OF WISDOM

“Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors”
— Proverbs 8:34

Life is a learning process. Every day that goes by can add enrichment to it.

One of the requisites for the adding of spiritual knowledge is a teachable spirit. This verse encourages that kind of attitude.

Here wisdom is speaking to us. It is to our best advantage to be alert to hear what she has to say and to be receptive to her message.

We can find happiness by listening to wisdom’s pronouncements. We can also be blessed by being constantly on the lookout, watching daily for her.

This verse suggests an attentiveness that comes from total concentration on wisdom and her words.

In His multi-faceted wisdom (Eph. 3:10), God has so many things to reveal, unveil and unfold to those who wait upon Him faithfully and attentively.

It is as we seek Him, serve Him, and wait upon Him in daily prayer and meditation that He discloses to us ever new facets and perspectives of His limitless wisdom and knowledge.

Eternity will be a marvel to us. In the other world to which we are bound, you and I will be witnesses to a continuous display of God’s attributes, purposes and nature.

Instead of waiting till we all get to heaven to behold the majestic greatness of our God, we are invited to begin now.

A quest for knowledge is all we need to get started.

A teachable spirit will keep us going. A daily discipline of Bible reading and prayer communication sets us right at the portals of wisdom.

All this takes time, but the advantages of receiving God’s wisdom makes it all well worth the sacrifice.

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills
———

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Learning to dance with God…

The importance of our learning to get in sync and resonate with the Holy Spirit in our everyday walk…

This is the life that we each are destined to have with our Creator; and without that vertical connection with Him we are all like fish flopping around on the shores of life, looking for our way back home.

Psalm 139:16
Living Bible

“You saw me before I was born and scheduled (choreographed) each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!”

Being led by the Spirit is like what happens when a woman is learning to follow the lead of her dance partner.

John 4:24
Amplified Bible

“God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Once we are born again we have access and are then able (through Jesus’ sacrifice and shed blood at Calvary’s Cross) to tap into the spiritual realm, where Adam and God had communion together before Adam’s fall.

This Divine connection comes only through the spirit and not through our flesh, nor through our intellect or natural thinking.

That’s why we are told to trust God with all of our heart and NOT lean on our understanding; to then acknowledge Him in ALL of our ways (by faith) and know that He is directing our steps (Prov 3:5-6).

From our birth, our flesh has always had control of our life, through our natural instincts and understanding, and it does not want to give up or relinquish control to our spirit man once we are born-again; but the problem is, you see, your flesh is not going to heaven and is 180° out of phase and sync with God.

The Apostle Paul said, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should” (1 Cor 9:27).

Galatians 5:17
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Galatians 5:24
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

We have to work at this because it doesn’t come naturally, and so we must practice following the Holy Spirit’s lead every day of our life, by learning to respond to those inward nudges and thoughts that spring forth from our innermost being, which are often ignored because they are easily mistaken for our thoughts.

Isaiah 30:21
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

Psalm 32:6-9
The Voice

6 So let all who are devoted to You
speak honestly to You now, while You are still listening.

For then when the floods come, surely the rushing water
will not even reach them.

7 You are my hiding place.
You will keep me out of trouble
and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free.

[Selah – pause and calmly think about this]

8 I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there;

I will give you good counsel, and I will watch over you.

9 But don’t be stubborn and stupid like horses and mules
who, if not reined by leather and metal,
will run wild, ignoring their masters.
———

Charisma
STEP INTO THE RHYTHM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Mark J. Chironna

Others may identify us based on our function and our role. But God sees us for who we truly are apart from all that: transparent, unashamed and following His lead.

Walking with God and experiencing Him in worship we discover that our destiny isn’t unfolded in a moment, but over the course of a lifetime.

The flow of destiny has a rhythm to it, a choreography. It reminds me of ballroom dancing (once you get the hang of it). It has that kind of feel.

I remember watching all the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies when I was growing up, in which the two partners flowed with elegance and grace on the dance floor.

They were so well attuned to each other that Ginger Rogers would follow Fred Astaire’s lead intuitively. She felt it, and she moved with the rhythm.

Then the time came when it was her moment to shine.

Though Astaire still led, he would bring her uniqueness and flair into the overall work of art they were weaving together, and he delighted in her while she performed.

She anticipated where he was going, and she could feel it the split second before he did it.

I was fascinated and inspired by the creative flow that took place on every dance floor, every stair and even the ceiling in those movies.

Wouldn’t you like to be in that kind of harmony with God–to dance with Him, as it were? I would.

Though the Scriptures are full of stories of men and women dancing, perhaps no account is as poignant as the story of David dancing before the Lord (see 2 Sam. 6:14).

The word for before in Hebrew means “face to face.”

In other words, this was not a solo performance by David in the presence of the children of Israel as he made his way to the heights of the mountains.

This was the visible David dancing face to face with his Invisible Partner, who took the lead and directed the flow of David’s steps in the direction He desired.

The steps (dance steps?) of a good man are ordered of the Lord (see Ps. 37:23).

David had to travel light if he was going to dance with God. He had to lay aside the garments of position, performance and external identity and put on the robe of transparency and self-disclosure.

Others may identify us based on our function and our role. But God sees us for who we truly are apart from all that: transparent, unashamed and following His lead.

In the dance to the higher places, our feet become more surefooted. We make the difficult thing look so easy that others observing us watch in awe and wonder.

But part of dancing with God as He unfolds our destiny is coming to the realization that life doesn’t arrive on our doorstep in a neat package.

Life can fool us and play tricks on us. Sometimes the very opposite of what we expect to happen takes place, and then we have to figure out a way to turn those moments of reversal into opportunities for seeing the goodness of God in the land of the living.

The “feel” of destiny is so different when we finally realize it doesn’t happen the way we thought it would or the way some fantasy book told us it would.

To partner and flow in a dance where two wills become one is an exquisite experience.

There is a flow that can’t be explained–it has to be experienced.

Rebellion Against the Word

We talk about believing the whole Word of God, but we ignore the parts that are hard to understand or that conflict with our notions about propriety, decorum and modern science.

The Bible says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil” (James 5:14-15, NKJV).

If you belong to a church that believes the whole Bible, and you are sick but don’t present yourself to the elders for healing, then you are in rebellion against the Word of God.

The Bible has commanded you to call upon your elders, to receive their prayers and blessings, and to receive forgiveness for your sins.

Some believers are hurting, and some are in trouble or sick, yet they never call the church.

They’re self-sufficient. They want to do it themselves, or they just want the doctors to take care of it.

But you can’t do this alone. God put elders in the church to minister to your needs, and He commands you to come to Him through them for your healing.

Any time pride causes you to ignore the Word of God, you’re not living by kingdom principles but by a mind-set of pride and doubt from the very gates of hell.

And that kind of life simply cannot coexist with the life of the kingdom.

[Mark J. Chironna is the founder of The Master’s Touch International Church in Orlando, Florida.]
———

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How do we enter into God’s presence?

We first must learn to cast the whole of our trust and reliance upon Jesus, who is the Captain of our ship and the Author and Finisher of our faith…

When in trouble, these are the necessary keys to enter into God’s presence:

Psalm 100:4
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

There is also a dress code requirement and certain other protocols that must be followed before we are allowed to enter into God’s presence.

First of all, we are ONLY allowed to come into God’s Presence by way of the blood of Jesus, and His propitious sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross; and when we do, the dress code requirement can be found in the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah the prophet said,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach Good News unto the meek. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound,

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of JOY for mourning, the GARMENT OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”

And then Jesus, who is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, announced in His first sermon, when He started His ministry. . .

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel (Good News) to the poor. He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister and sat down.

And the eyes of all those who were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.

And He began to say unto them,

‘THIS DAY IS THIS SCRIPTURE FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS.’”
(Luke 4:18-21)

The Bible makes it very clear that it’s ONLY through Jesus Christ and His shed blood, that we have access to come into God’s presence.

And the Bible even tells us that because of Jesus’ propitious sacrifice and shed blood that we can BOLDLY come into God’s presence:

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19–20, 22).

“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him (Jesus).” (Ephesians 3:12)

The moment we believe in Jesus Christ for salvation from hell we are placed “in Christ” (Eph 1:13-14; 2:8-9).

This phrase “in Christ/Him” refers to how God sees us.

In the first three chapters of Ephesians, the apostle Paul has been focusing on how God sees us after we come to faith in Jesus.

As a member of Christ’s body, the church, I can approach God’s throne room in prayer with “boldness” and “confidence.”

The word “boldness” (parresia) literally means “all” (pa) “speech” (rhesis) or freedom to say all.

It conveys an attitude of openness that comes from freedom and a lack of fear.

The word “confidence” (pepoithesis) refers to being persuaded that God is Someone I can fully trust and rely upon, much like the confidence that a beloved child has towards his gracious and loving father.

But again this access is ONLY granted us through the Cross of Christ and His shed blood.

John 3:3, 5
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

And then again Jesus tells us in John 14:6,

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

So the biblical protocols are that we first enter by way of Jesus’ shed blood and the cross of Calvary; and then after having been born again, we can then only “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise!”

How many times in life, when we are in trouble and we’re facing overwhelming challenges (financial, sickness, or otherwise), do we ask God what is it you want me to do here?

Well in fulfillment of the prophetic scriptures, in the Old Testament, and having now been granted access into God’s presence, in the New Testament, through the propitious work of Jesus, this is what the Bible says we are to do in every situation:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In EVERY THING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

[Please note also, in verse 18, we’re not thanking God for all the bad things that happen in our life; but rather the reason why we’re told to thank Him in EVERY situation is because of the promise of Romans 8:28, which tells us that God will enter into every situation (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and He will work it for our good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.]

We should also know that the Bible tells us that the JOY of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10), but maybe what some of you don’t know is that to REJOICE means to return to that same JOY, that gives us the strength we need to face any challenge or battle in life, due to the faith, power and strength that Jesus brings to us, to face and overcome those challenges. Selah (let us pause and calmly think about that)
———

Sun, November 21

God At Eventide
by Two Listeners

BE GLAD IN THE LORD

Wait before Me with a song of praise in your hearts. Sing unto Me a new song. There will always be something in each day for which to thank Me.

Acknowledge every little happening as a revelation of My Love and thought for you. Praise has the power to wash away the bitterness of life. Be glad in the Lord.

Rejoice evermore. Great is the heart’s “Thank You.”

As you learn to thank Me more and more you will more and more see Me in the little happenings, and increasingly see much about which to rejoice.

Praise and thanksgiving are the preservers of youth.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
— Jude 1:24-25
———

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Jesus said, “We are to take up our cross daily”…

The cross is the symbol of our death to self (see Mark 8:34 and Gal 2:20)…

Christianity is neither a religion, nor is it a social club; it is rather a way of life (where Jesus is the only Way – see John 14:6); that after having been born-again, your whole paradigm view of life and purpose in life has changed.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (MSG)

Paul speaking: “…your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?

Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for?

The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you.

God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”

Mark 8:34-38
The Message

34-37 Calling the crowd to join His disciples, He (Jesus) said, “Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead.

You’re not in the driver’s seat; I AM.

Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how.

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to saving yourself, your true self.

What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you (your soul)? What could you ever trade your soul for?

38 “If any of you are embarrassed over Me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when He arrives in all the splendor of God, His Father, with an army of the holy angels.”

1 John 2:6
The Message

4-6 If someone claims, “I know Him well!” but doesn’t keep His (Jesus’) commandments, he’s obviously a liar.

His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love.

This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.
———

So what exactly did Jesus mean when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me?”

Let’s begin with what Jesus didn’t mean.

Many people interpret the “cross” as some burden they must carry in their lives: a strained relationship, a thankless job, a physical illness.

With self-pitying and pride, they say, “That’s my cross I have to carry.”

Such an interpretation is not at all what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”

When Jesus carried His cross up Golgotha to be crucified, no one was thinking of the cross as symbolic of a burden to carry.

To a person in the first-century, the cross meant one thing and one thing only: death by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop.

Two thousand years later, Christians view the cross as a cherished symbol of atonement, forgiveness, grace, and love.

But in Jesus’ day, the cross represented nothing but torturous death.

Because the Romans forced convicted criminals to carry their own crosses to the place of crucifixion, bearing a cross meant carrying their own execution device while facing ridicule along the way to death.

Therefore, “Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus.

This is called “dying to self.” It’s a call to absolute surrender!

After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said,

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25).

Although the call is tough, the reward that Jesus offers in return is worth it.

It has to do with each of us fulfilling our God-given destiny and our experiencing the abundant Life that Jesus promised us (John 10:10), that we’re all looking for.

Wherever Jesus went, He drew crowds. Although these multitudes often followed Him as Messiah, their view of who the Messiah really was—and what He would do—was distorted.

They thought the promised Christ (Messiah – anointed one) would usher in and restore David’s kingdom. They believed He would free them from the oppressive rule of their Roman occupiers.

Even Christ’s own inner circle of disciples thought the kingdom was coming soon (Luke 19:11).

When Jesus began teaching that He was going to die at the hands of the Jewish leaders and their Gentile overlords (Luke 9:22), His popularity sank.

Many of the shocked followers rejected Him. Truly, they were not able to put to death their own ideas, plans, and desires, and exchange them for His.

Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials.

Jesus assured us that trials will come to His followers (John 16:33). Discipleship demands sacrifice, and Jesus never hid that cost.

In Luke 9:57-62, three people seemed willing to follow Jesus. When Jesus questioned them further, their commitment was half-hearted at best.

They failed to count the cost of following Him. None was willing to take up his cross and crucify upon it his own interests.

Therefore, Jesus appeared to dissuade them.

How different all this is from the typical Gospel presentation that we hear today!

How many people would respond to an altar call that went,

“Come follow Jesus, and you may face the loss of friends, family, reputation, career, and possibly even your life?”

The number of false converts would likely decrease!

However such a call is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”

If you wonder if you are ready to take up your cross, consider these questions:

• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?

• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?

• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?

• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?

• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?

In some places of the world, these consequences are reality. But notice the questions are phrased, “Are you willing?”

Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen to you, but are you willing to take up your cross?

If there comes a point in your life where you are faced with a choice—Jesus or the comforts of this life—which will you choose?

Commitment to Christ means taking up your cross daily, giving up your hopes, dreams, possessions, even your very life if need be for the cause of Christ.

Only if you willingly take up your cross may you be called His disciple (Luke 14:27).

The reward is worth the price. Jesus followed His call of death to self (“Take up your cross and follow Me”) with the gift of life in Christ:

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25-26).

The Apostle Paul summarized what Jesus is looking for in Romans chapter 12:

Romans 12:1-2
J.B. Phillips New Testament

We have seen God’s mercy and wisdom: how shall we respond?
1-2 With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him.

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. Amen
———

Fri, November 19
God At Eventide
by Two Listeners

CHECK UP

Turn out all of your self that would rebel against My way. Know no other rule.

Check your actions and motives habitually. Those that are actuated by self-esteem or self-pity — condemn.

Discipline yourself ruthlessly rather than let self gain any ascendancy.

Your aim is to oust it, and to serve and follow Me only.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
———

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My peace I give unto you…

We each have to learn how to walk in God’s peace and not let our hearts be troubled…

Jesus’ last message to His disciples, before He ascended into heaven:

Luke 24:36-53
The Voice

36 At that very instant, as they’re still telling the story, Jesus is there, standing among them!

Jesus: May you have peace!

[You might expect them to be overjoyed, but they aren’t.]

37 They’re startled and terrified; they think they’re seeing a ghost.

Jesus: 38 Why are you upset? Why are your hearts churning with questions?

39 Look—look at My hands and My feet! See that it’s Me!

Come on; touch Me; see for yourselves. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see that I have!

[40 Then He shows them His hands and His feet.]

41 Now their fear gives way to joy; but it seems too good to be true, and they’re still unsure.

Jesus: Do you have anything here to eat?

42 They hand Him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and He takes it and eats it in front of them.

Jesus: 44 I’ve been telling you this all along, that everything written about Me in the Hebrew Scriptures must be fulfilled—everything from the law of Moses to the prophets to the psalms.

45 Then He opens their minds so they can comprehend the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus: 46 This is what the Scriptures said: that the promised Anointed One should suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,

47 that in His name a radical change of thought and life should be preached, and that in His name the forgiveness of sins should be preached, beginning in Jerusalem and extending to all nations.

48 You have witnessed the fulfillment of these things.

49 So I am sending My Father’s promise to you. Stay in the city until you receive it—UNTIL POWER FROM HEAVEN COMES UPON YOU.

50 Then He leads them out to Bethany. He lifts up His hands and blesses them, 51 and at that moment, with His hands raised in blessing, He leaves them and is carried up into heaven.

52 They worship Him, then they return to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, 53 and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God.

And in Mark’s account we’re told the following:

Mark 16:19-20

Christ Ascends to God’s Right Hand
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
— — —

In our world today, we are facing life and death/light and darkness battles, that are even more evident today than ever before!

And in this battle God has given us certain spiritual weapons/tools to use.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
— — —

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

One of the weapons God has given to His church is His Shalom (peace), and as we’re instructed in Ephesians 6, we must learn to do battle with our feet shod with the Gospel of peace.

The enemy is always trying to keep us off balance and so we must always keep our center of gravity underneath us, and that is done by our standing in shoes that are shod with the gospel of peace.

A person whose feet are shod with the gospel of peace will not be worried, anxious, troubled or frantic.

Fear defeats us even before we start to run the race.

(Over the door of the mess at Virginia Military Academy are the words, “Never take counsel of your fears.”)

What is the appropriate footwear for the battle of life – for the time of testing that we experience in this life?

It is the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace prepares us to be ready to deal with what life throws at us.

If we are clothed with the gospel of peace, we are ready for what life may bring.

What is this gospel of peace?

God’s Shalom (peace) is also a spiritual weapon that He has given us to enable us to do battle against the enemy.
— — —

Battle Spiritual Warfare With the Weapon of Peace
By Ted Schroder

Most people don’t think of peace as a weapon. Actually, quite the opposite. Peace is often thought of as the absence of any conflict or spiritual warfare.

However, peace is one of your most powerful weapons in spiritual warfare as a kingdom-minded leader.

Whatever your calling or mission, there is going to be opposition.

How we move forward has a lot to do with accomplishing what we believe God has called us to do as a leader.

The Bible says the kingdom of God is on a forward advance, and the violent take it by force (Matt.11:12).

The context of this Scripture is not encouraging an evil type of violence but instead a type of aggression with how we move forward.

Jesus wants us to have peace so much so that he says in John 14:27,

“My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

Jesus means for His peace to be our permanent possession.

The peace that is in Jesus can also be in us.

So, what kind of peace is in Jesus?

The peace that was in Jesus was a busy life but a quiet heart.

In Matthew 8:24, there is an account of Jesus literally taking a nap on a boat during a turbulent storm.

The peace inside of Jesus was greater than the storm outside; he wakes from his nap and quiets the storm with the peace he has on the inside.

Make sure the peace inside of you is greater than the storm outside of you.

If you’ve laid down your peace at some point, make sure you go back to pick it back up and apologize to the Lord for disregarding His peace.

Then, walk forward with your peace, and it will change everything.

In John 5:19 (NLT), Jesus says,

“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

Even in the busy life Jesus had, He still had a heart quiet enough that He could see and hear from the Father.

Learn the principle of moving through life only at the pace that peace will take you!

Don’t allow yourself to get pushed by circumstances or other people beyond the pace of peace because Jesus wants peace to be your permanent possession.


Sunday, October 24
God At Eventide
by Two Listeners

A SPECIAL MESSAGE

Peace has, for every true disciple, a special meaning and message. . .

It is endeared to him by association. It was the parting gift of his Lord to His followers, bequeathed through them to followers of each succeeding generation.

It is not the peace of indifference, of sloth; that is mere acquiescence.

No, the Peace I left to My own is vital and strong.

It can exist only in the heart of one who lives with Me.

It derives from Me that Eternal Life which is Mine, and which makes the Gift ever full of an imperishable beauty, and instinct with Life indeed.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25)
— — —

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Learning to tune our receivers to God’s Spirit…

Listening to God’s voice from within…

This requires a new way of thinking, on our part, a new paradigm for all of us; and in order for that to happen, we must all learn to change the way we think (which is what repentance is), and we need to launch our faith out into the deep, where Jesus is!

So Jesus in John 4:24, tells us what this paradigm and this new way of thinking entails:

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The Bible clearly tells us that we are each spirit beings, created in the image and likeness of our Abba Father, who is in heaven.

So this is who we are, we first are Spirit beings (like our Father in Heaven), we have a soul and we live in a body.

In the Old Testament God tells us:

“I will plant a new heart and new spirit inside of you. I will take out your stubborn, stony heart and give you a willing, tender heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit inside of you and inspire you to live by My statutes and follow My laws.
— Ezekiel 36:26-27

So when we are Born Again, God performs a heart transplant, as it were. He gives us a new heart.

The power of the Holy Spirit changes our hearts from sin-focused to God-focused.

The Bible also says that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us now, as Born Again Christians (Luke 17:21).

So when you consider all of these scriptures, obviously if God lives inside of us He doesn’t have to exit our bodies and talk to us from the outside.

No God has designed it to where all five of our senses become spiritual antennae; and when God wants to communicate with us He may use any one of our five senses to do so.

I think the following testimony will give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

TESTIMONY FROM REX ROUIS

“I was in my car pulling out of a tight alleyway in a downtown area.

Cars were parked on either side of the ally exit and I could not see the oncoming traffic very well.

Once I thought I was clear I started to pull out. But, deep inside, I heard a soft inner voice telling me to, “Stop, don’t pull out.” It was faint and easy to miss. I did notice and I stopped.

Immediately, a delivery truck rushed by directly in front of the alley, exactly where I would have been. If I had pulled out, I would have been hit and instantly killed. It shook me. I could have just died.

I thought about that soft voice that saved my life. I thought about how soft it was and how easily I could have missed it. It started to make me angry – “That is not loud enough! Why couldn’t God speak louder than that?” I even said so to God.

Then, I felt God’s awesome presence fill my car and the Holy Spirit spoke very forcefully to me.

He said, ‘Yes, it is a soft voice, and yes it is possible to miss it if you don’t pay attention, but THAT IS ALL YOU ARE EVER GOING TO GET.’

Wow, now I was really shaken. I cried out in heartfelt repentance, “Lord, I am so sorry. I thank you for your still small voice, I appreciate it and I am thankful for it just the way it is.”

Listen to this account given in 1 Kings 19:11-12 of how God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice:

So the Bible also tells us that God changes not, that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (see Hebrews 13:8).

And so God wants to speak to us in that same manner today; and since the Holy Spirit now lives inside of us, it’s much easier and more direct.

We just have to make sure that our receivers are on and are tuned to the Holy Spirit frequency each day.

So it’s all about our getting in tune with the Holy Spirit and resonating with the Holy Spirit, day by day and moment by moment.

This is something we have to practice.

Mon, Sept 28
Minute Meditations!

GOD’S SONG WITHIN US
by Brother David Steindl-Rast

Our heart is a highly sensitive receiver; it can listen through all our senses.

Whatever we hear, but also whatever we see, taste, touch, or smell, vibrates deep down with God’s song.

To resonate with this song in gratefulness is what I call singing back.

This attitude of prayer has given great joy to all my senses and to my heart.

A completely different inner world of prayer where I also feel at home is one to which silence opens the door—silence, not only as perceived by the ears, but also a quietness of the heart, a lucid stillness inside, like the stillness of a windless midwinter day.
— from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life by Brother David Steindl-Rast
———

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Trust and obey for there is no other way…

Jesus is the only WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE…


I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
Click on link below:

We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that these stories written in the Bible have been written for our instruction and admonition.

And Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28 that our assignment, each day, is to come to Him and learn of Him.

Here are some lessons we can learn from the life of Moses that will be applicable to each of our own lives.

I always like studying the life of Moses, because I find in Moses a pattern that’s probably typical of most of us.

First off, let’s look at the backstory regarding the circumstances surrounding Moses’ birth.

Ever since God said, in Genesis 3:15, that the Seed of the woman would crushed Satan’s head (this is the first promise of the coming Messiah), Satan has been trying to either corrupt or terminate the bloodline of Adam; hence we have the account given in Genesis 6, which talks about how the Benai Elohim (these were fallen angels) came down to Earth and commingled with the daughters of Adam, producing Giants in the Earth.

And so prior to Moses’ birth the degree was issued that all male infants where to be killed.

Listen to what God has to say about Moses’ birth and his faith, in the Faith Hall of Fame – chapter 11 of Hebrews:

Hebrews 11:23-27
The Passion Translation

23 Faith prompted the parents of Moses at his birth to hide him for three months, because they realized their child was exceptional and they refused to be afraid of the king’s edict.

24 Faith enabled Moses to choose God’s will, for although he was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he refused to make that his identity,

25 choosing instead to suffer mistreatment with the people of God.

Moses preferred faith’s certainty above the momentary enjoyment of sin’s pleasures.

26 He found his true wealth in suffering abuse for being anointed, more than in anything the world could offer him, for his eyes looked with wonder not on the immediate, but on the ultimate—faith’s great reward!

27 Holding faith’s promise Moses abandoned Egypt and had no fear of Pharaoh’s rage because he persisted in faith as if he had seen God who is unseen.
———

So Moses growing up in the lap of luxury and receiving all the benefits and the education for having been raised in Pharaoh’s household, at age 40 he decided that he was going to forsake all of that, and fulfill his destiny, to become the deliverer of his people, the Hebrew slaves.

But as often happens with most of us, things did not go as he planned.

I can see Moses now, probably telling God I got this God, see what all I can do, as he stepped up to the plate to become the deliverer of his people.

It didn’t quite work out as he planned though and so he spent the next 40 years on the back side of the desert, hearding sheep.

When God does finally call him, at age 80, Moses response was, “God who am I to do such a thing; I can’t even talk” (it seems as though Moses had some kind of speech impediment).

Like some of the other stories, we read in the Old Testament, it was that 40-year period in the desert, that Moses was in training to actually become the deliverer.

Typically, in our youthful enthusiasm, we start out with a little knowledge and we think we’re going to conquer the world; the only problem is we have no experience, and so often we just get beat up by the world and have our dreams deflated.

But as God would have it, at the time when we come to the end of ourselves and recognize that truly, as we’re told in the New Testament, that Jesus is Vine and we are the branches, and without Him we can do nothing, it’s at this time that God can finally use us.

Zachariah 4:6 puts it this way,

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD”

The point being in order for God to use us, we have to get out of the way and we have to die to ourselves and to our will, and give God permission (each day) to use us as His conduit of Love and Light, into all the dark places of this world.

That’s our assignment everyday!

Sunday, September 26
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young

TRUST, OBEY AND FOLLOW

The Dreamworks team in Hollywood has discovered a new star. They’ve packaged him as the Prince of Egypt…but we’ve known him for a long time now as simply Moses.

His story is full of drama and action and conflict, and has been the subject of more than one movie. But at its core, it is a very basic story of one man learning to follow, trust and obey God.

Moses had a rocky start. He was nearly lost at birth, but was adopted into Pharaoh’s household instead.

He grew up an Egyptian prince, but he was really the son of a Hebrew slave.

He lived in two worlds until he was forty, then decided to cast his lot with his own people…but that quickly backfired.

His intentions were good-but Moses tried to do what he believed was God’s work his own way.

Sound familiar to anyone? He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, then buried his body in the sand.

He thought no one saw, but he was found out. Maybe he didn’t dig deep enough, and as those desert winds blew, his victim’s toes were soon sticking up out of the sand!

When we take our evil and sin and try to bury it, we’re never successful.

It keeps coming back up. We’re forced to lie more, deceive more, if we want to cover our original sin.

Then fear comes in. Let sin come into your life and fear will quickly follow.

A man told me once, “I never knew gut-wrenching, paralyzing fear until I began to cheat on my wife.

Then I lived every day in sheer terror of being found out.”

When Moses struck and killed the Egyptian, he looked east and west…but he didn’t look up.

He was concerned about what men might see, but hadn’t considered the eyes of God.

Confronted with his sin and rejected by his people, he did the only thing he knew to do: he ran.

Until we are ready to trust, obey and follow God, we are not ready to be used by God, no matter how good our credentials or our intentions!

Memory Verse

EXODUS 2:10
And she named him Moses, and said, “because I drew him out of the water.”
———

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Persevering and contending for our miracle breakthrough…

Persevering and contending for our miracle necessitates our pressing through every obstacle; that we doubt our doubts and fears, and that we focus upon the reliability and the trustworthiness of God and His Word…

The Bible tells of such a person. There was this woman, who had an issue of blood, who had suffered 12 long years, with this infirmity, and had spent all her money on physicians and yet was still sick.

You know as we study our Bible, we find that often Jesus would say to people, “Your faith has made you whole;” and as we study the context around which He made those statements, it becomes obvious that the evidence of the faith (that He was talking about) was in the extreme effort and inconvenience that these people made in order to reach Jesus.

They could have stayed at home and said “God knows where I am and He can heal me if He wants,” and they would have remained sick.

Faith is not passive, it’s not just giving intellectual assent to something, rather it’s active and it goes into effect ONLY when we take a risk, and step out in obedience to God’s Word.

The lesson here (I believe) is that God expects us to persevere and contend, in faith, for those things we need and are praying for.

It is human nature to want to connect with God, and I believe that God has put that desire inside of each of us.

All of us I think intuitively recognize that there must be something more to life, than what we have experienced, prior to us being born-again.

We’re all looking to fill this empty void which God has placed inside of us, which can only be filled with Himself.

Even before you came to know Jesus, maybe you prayed into the void, hoping for a response from anyone.

This deep inward feeling, that is common to all men, has existed for thousands of years.

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, He attracted huge crowds who felt that same need to connect with God.

In Mark chapter 5, one woman, who had been suffering for over 12 years, overcame physical pain, embarrassment, societal expectations, and religious limitations because she knew that, if she could just get close enough to Him, she could be healed.

Mark 5:24b-34
“A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.

She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought,

“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”

Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”- Mark 5:24b-34

While this may not be a particularly mysterious or puzzling passage of Scripture, by studying the background and wording, we can pick up on the same meanings, subtleties, and implications that the original audience did.

The following content is from the New American Commentary:

Healing Woman with a Hemorrhage
5:24b-25

Mark gave no description of the bleeding, but it was probably uterine.

If so, it was not only debilitating but rendered the woman religiously unclean so that no pious Jew would have any contact with her (Lev 15:25-30).

She had lived as an outcast for 12 years.

No doubt Mark recorded the incident to dramatize Jesus’ rejection of the concept of ritual uncleanness and to affirm his acceptance of all persons no matter what their status in society.

5:26 The woman probably could not have lived much longer. Therefore Jesus rescued her from approaching death.

Mark likely saw in her healing an anticipation of the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter.

The description of the medical professionals was to show how the power of Jesus transcends human limitations.

5:27-28 The woman’s determination to touch Jesus’ clothing reflects the ancient idea that the power of a person extended to one’s clothing (cf. 6:56; Acts 19:11-12) or one’s shadow (Acts 5:15).

5:29 Mark’s use of tenses is significant. The verbs translated “stopped” and “felt” are aorists, which tense usually reflects a completed action.

The verb translated “was freed” (literally “healed”) is a perfect, which usually depicts the lasting effects of the action.

5:30 The miracle is extraordinary because it was performed without conscious effort on Jesus’ part, although he immediately realized what had taken place.

On the one hand, Mark may have seen in Jesus’ awareness a sign of his deity; on the other, he candidly described the limitations of Jesus’ humanity (also v. 32).

Although some think Jesus knew all the while who had touched him and asked only to induce the woman to confess publicly her deed, more likely he needed to learn the person’s identity.

Self-limitation of the earthly Jesus is not incompatible with omniscience of the risen Christ.

Mark, perhaps better than any other New Testament writer, realized that.

Another purpose of Jesus’ question may have been to begin to lead the person to a confession of faith.

5:31 The disciples’ sarcastic reply is an example of Markan candor that is omitted by Matthew (9:20-22) and toned down in Luke (8:45).

5:32-33 The woman may have feared the consequences of defiling a holy man by touching him in her unclean state.

She may have feared a rebuke for having delayed Jesus while he was on an important mission.

Or she may have been overcome with awe and emotion as a result of all that had happened so quickly.

Mark may have set forth her confession as an example of the confession all who have encountered Jesus should make.

5:34 Jesus explained to the woman that she had been healed not through physical touch or any kind of magic but by faith.

Again Mark or those before him who transmitted the story chose the perfect tense of the Greek verb meaning to save (sozo) to translate Jesus’ Aramaic word.

That Jesus affirmed not only the woman’s healing but her spiritual salvation as well is highly probable.

He affirmed the permanence of both. He further pronounced the peace of God upon her.

The biblical concept of peace does not refer to the absence of war and other kinds of trouble; to the contrary, it is something that can exist even in the midst of a conflict.

It is a status of wholeness and well-being because of a right relationship with God.
———

Regardless of circumstances, don’t you ever give up and remember in order to go on the offensive against the enemy you start by praising God in the midst of the battle, because the Bible tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people.

Your miracle breakthrough will be waiting on the other side of your worship and praise:

May God’s Shalom (peace) rest upon you, I pray; which blessing means that whatever you need, whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional, financial or whatever, that nothing of anything you need will ever be lacking or missing in your life.

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“By your patient endurance, you will gain your soul” (Luke 21:19)…

Faith is the substance of those things you are hoping for that have not yet manifested in your life…

The entire Book of Daniel is an excellent example of how Daniel and the three other Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) remained faithful and steadfast and did not compromise their faith, against all kinds of negative pressure, even to the point of putting their own lives on the line.

After having laid hold to a promise of God, in the Bible, hang on to it, in spite of any and all obstacles, doubts, fears or contradictory evidence or feelings.

Have you ever felt like something was blocking your prayers?

It sometimes feels as if there is something or someone that is between us and God; and we feel as though our prayers are not getting to Him, or our answers are not getting to us.

There is some truth to that feeling. It is not that your prayers are not getting to God, it is that your enemy, the devil and his crew, are attempting to block the answer getting back to you!

Let’s learn that specific lesson from Daniel’s experience on delayed answers to our prayers, because the Bible teaches us that he consistently prayed and fasted for 21 days.

And when the answer finally came, the angel of the Lord gave the following explanation:

Daniel 10:12-14
“Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

This passage has been for many years a primer to give God’s people a peek behind the veil, in order that they may understand how the spiritual world works.

It is a powerful lesson that is given to us that teaches us about prayer and what happens as a result of it.

It teaches us about the spiritual world and how the prince of the power of the air, “Ole Slewfoot,” the “Turkey” himself, will exert every effort to try to delay or block what God is doing in your life.

The fears and doubts that you are experiencing comes from the enemy (see 2 Timothy 1:7), and his action of delaying will only serve to stretch your faith and increase your perseverance, reliance and confidence in God, to make you stronger and more resilient against every kind of negative pressure.

Hang in there and know your answer is on the way, because God’s promise is that His Word will NEVER return to Him void, without accomplishing the purpose wherein it was sent (see Isaiah 55:10-11).

James 1:2-8
The Voice

2-4 Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters.

As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure.

And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

5 If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need.

He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.

[NOTE: Wisdom, as James understands it, is the ability to live life well and make good decisions. Wisdom doesn’t come from old age or hard knocks. Wisdom begins with knowing and depending absolutely on God, who is never stingy when it comes to wisdom for those who seek it. He supplies all the wisdom we need when we ask. But when we try to go it alone—without God—trouble is around the corner.]

6 The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded commitment to God.

Those who depend only on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.

7 Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue them or bring them anything.

8 The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.
———

Sun, August 22
From Faith to Faith

NO CONSOLATION PRIZE
by Kenneth Copeland

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
— James 1:4

I talk a lot about faith. But there’s another force that goes along with it that’s just as important.

It’s patience, the ability to stand fast on the Word of God even when your victory seems slow in coming.

Patience is not automatic. It won’t go to work unless you let it go to work.

So many people don’t understand that. They somehow think faith and patience will go to work for them without their help.

They just let the devil tear their lives apart and then they say silly things like,

“Well, I guess God sent that trial to strengthen my faith.”

Don’t you ever get caught saying that!

In the first place, James 1:13 says,

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.”

And in the second place, that trial isn’t going to make your faith stronger. In fact, it’ll destroy it if you’ll let it.

If I were to give you a set of weights, would that set of weights make you any stronger?

No. As a matter of fact, if you dropped one of them on your foot, you could end up painfully weaker.

It’s what you do with them that counts, right?

Well, the same thing is true when you run into some kind of trying circumstance the devil’s brought your way.

If you just lay down and let it run over you, it will damage you.

But if you’ll let patience have her perfect work, if you’ll remain consistently constant, trusting in and relying confidently on the Word of God, you’ll end up perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Wanting nothing.

That phrase alone should convince you that patience is no consolation prize. It’s a first-rate power that will put the promises of God within your reach.

It’s a force that will make a winner out of you.
———

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