Joshua 3:5, “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
The Bible is not simply a record of what God used to do. The Bible is also present-active-tense. This is present-day truth about what God is doing and will do in your life if you do this one thing, which is to move forward in faith. The book of Joshua is about claiming the victory that God has promised. Trusting God, which means obeying God, as believers fight from not for victory. Every human being in this world is either an overcomer or overcome. The only way to be an overcomer is to be redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:4-5 says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” If you have trusted in this truth, be aware that the Lord did not save you to tuck you away in a sheltered corner of comfort and ease. He rescued and redeemed you to make you a soldier who will move forward by faith to glorify the name of your Captain, to call others to serve under His banner, and to claim your rich inheritance in Jesus Christ. Let’s get in formation and move forward together for Jesus!
Joshua 2:9-11, “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”
Joshua 2 reveals that Rahab had faith in God’s power. She understood her inability to save herself and recognized the uselessness of opposing God. Think about it, what good are walls against the God that parted the Red Sea? Rahab understood that judgment was coming, and that she would be judged. That’s not all she recognized. Rahab also believed that God is good! She trusted in God’s goodness to spare her even though she was a pagan prostitute from Canaan, whose entire life had been spent against God. She believed in God’s goodness to save as well as His judgment against sin. Believing that God is true is one thing. Believing that He is holy and powerful and will judge sin is another. Believing that you are a sinner incapable of saving yourself is yet another thing. The question is this. Are you willing to put your trust in His goodness? Have you believed that He loved you so much that He gave His Son to die in your place, and that Jesus rose again from the grave? If you haven’t, today is the day for faith. If you have, tell others about your Friend.
Joshua 2:21, “And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.”
Joshua 2 introduces us to Rahab the Harlot, and in it we read her salvation testimony. You really should take the time to read the entire chapter, but until you do that, consider this. Rahab, along with all the residents of Jericho, had heard about the people of Israel and their God. They were aware that Israel’s God was leading them forward and all who opposed Israel’s God were defeated. Rahab did not know much about God, but she was certain that judgment was coming, and she knew that she needed to be saved from it. She acted in faith when she hid the Israelite spies and hung the scarlet cord out her window as they instructed. Dear reader, it takes no more of God’s grace to save Rahab the harlot than it takes to save a young child raised in a protected environment. In other words, do not think that because you are not a prostitute that you are in no need of God’s grace, and never think that because you are a prostitute, you’re beyond the reach of His grace. None of us are capable of saving ourselves, but all of us are capable of being saved. We all stand in need of the scarlet thread. The biggest act in life is the simple act of faith; faith in Christ to save you, and faith in Christ to sustain you. Faith in Christ to enable and empower you to daily live for Him, please Him, obey Him, and be used for His honor and glory. The biggest act in life is a simple act of faith in Christ and Christ alone.
Joshua 1:7—8, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
According to today’s text, the secret to success is to know God’s Word, speak about it, meditate on it, and, above all, do it. Consider this, during the timeframe that Joshua covers God’s people only had the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, but that was enough. How blessed we are today to possess all of God’s revelation. Now let’s recognize that it is not enough to possess God’s Word. God’s Word needs to possess us. As we are being daily filled with God’s Word and guided by His Spirit, we will be able to move forward in faith. Believer, in Christ you have all that is needed for victorious Christian living, but you must courageously and consistently move forward by faith one step at a time, and that will only happen as you immerse yourself in God’s Word.
Ezekiel 34:25, “And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.”
It is the height of grace that Jehovah should be in covenant with man, a feeble, sinful and dying creature. Yet the Lord has solemnly entered into a faithful compact with us, and from that covenant He will never turn aside. In virtue of this covenant we are safe. As lions and wolves are driven off by shepherds, so shall all noxious influences be chased away. The Lord will give us rest from disturbers and destroyers; the evil beasts shall cease out of the land. O Lord, make this thy promise good even now!
The Lord’s people are to enjoy security in places of the greatest exposure: wildernesses and woods are to be as pastures and folds to the flock of Christ. If the Lord does not change the place for the better, He will make us the better in the place. The wilderness is not a place to dwell in, but the Lord can make it so; in the woods one feels bound to watch rather than to sleep, and yet the Lord giveth His beloved sleep even there. Nothing without or within should cause any fear to the child of God. By faith the wilderness can become the suburbs of Heaven, and the woods the vestibule of glory.
At all times our trust is placed in someone or something. We trust the car to get us to work. We trust our employer to pay us our wages. We trust our friends to be there for us. We trust in so many others on some level every day. This Psalm reminds us that at all times and with our entire being we should completely TRUST GOD. While there is absolutely no shelter FROM God, there is only shelter IN Him. Be wholly vulnerable with God because He will perfectly shelter you. Be committed to moving forward in faith trusting God every step of the way. Take a moment and think about how that will look in your life today and in the days ahead.
Joshua 1:1—2,“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”
People change. Leaders change. The times change. God and His purposes do not change! Israel was in a season of change. While Moses was not forgotten, nor should he have been (he is named over fifty times in Joshua), a new leader was necessary. In time, God’s workers are buried, but His work continues. Joshua was that new leader, and he did not simply assume the mantle of leadership, nor did he gain it by political maneuvering, manipulations, or alliances. God called him to lead, and God had been slowly, and probably, for the most part, unbeknownst to Joshua, preparing him for this position. Before Joshua became Moses’ successor, he had been a slave in Egypt, a servant to Moses, a soldier for Israel, and a spy in Canaan. Through it all God was preparing Joshua to lead His people forward into the Promised Land. Be reminded that God’s work will never cease, and His people must move forward together with Him. Recognize that through every aspect of life, God is refining and preparing you for what is up ahead. Be available. Be confident in His grace and goodness and move forward in faith.
Romans 13:13-14, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
Now Paul describes the opposite lifestyle: deeds of darkness, in which those who follow Christ should no longer participate. These things don’t fit with who we are or the time in which we live. Paul urges us to walk as if it were daytime instead of taking part in the things that people usually do under the cover of darkness.
What should daytime people no longer do? Debauchery and drunkenness describe a lifestyle of reckless partying. Sexual immorality and sensuality are the focus of those seeking personal pleasure above the good of others. Quarreling and jealousy are both about the need to serve ourselves first and best.
When Paul uses the word “flesh,” he means more than just sexual immorality. He means all the human appetites we experience to feel good, to get what we want, and to be treated well. Instead, as Jesus did, we must put others first and trust God to provide for us in ways that bring Him glory.
Are you trusting God to supply your every need or trying to do it all for yourself today?
Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
We don’t have time to waste. Because of the nearing dawn, Paul writes, Christians must throw away any works of darkness, any of the worthless things we have done that belong to the night and not to the day.
Instead, Paul insists, Christians must prepare for the day by putting on the weapons of light. Suddenly, Paul introduced the concept of Christians taking a defensive position against the darkness rather than joining with it. The Christian life is a battle, and we stand firm together, we move forward together, pushing back the darkness.
Those in Christ no longer belong to the night. We are people of light, and that must change how we live in this critical moment.
Romans 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
Paul has previously described what it means to live as a Christian on this side of eternity, giving us a series of commands, many of them difficult to follow. Paul has painted a picture of a believer as a person who sets himself aside for the good of others and radically trusts God to provide all that is needed.
Why it is so essential for Christians to live this way? Because time is of the essence. The world is changing right now. Paul writes to the Roman Christians that the hour has come for them to wake up, in the sense that the sun is about to rise. It’s time to get to work.
The New Testament often describes salvation as something that has happened, is happening, and will happen. In this case, Paul is referring to salvation in the sense that all who are in Christ will have reached eternity, and that the time of ultimate victory and judgment is fast approaching.
Paul believed that day could come at any time. Two thousand years later, we are still looking forward to it. Let’s move forward together in eager anticipation of Christ’s return!
Romans 13:9-10, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The Pentateuch contains over 600 laws (613 if you want to count them). The State of Texas Transportation Code of Vehicles and Traffic only contains 454 laws, yet we struggle not only to remember them but to keep them. Aren’t you glad that God has simplified the requirements to make it simpler to be obedient to Him?
Similarly, when a trap was set for Jesus by asking which was the greatest commandment, His answer was “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39) If we start here and make a great effort to genuinely keep these, so many other issues of life fall into place. We won’t lie, cheat, kill, or skip church on Sunday to watch the football game. When our hearts are turned toward Him and rightly toward others, these issues are resolved through having the mind of Christ and living a transformed life, not checking off a list.
John 16:20, “Your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”
Their particular sorrow was the death and absence of their Lord, and it was turned into joy when He rose from the dead and showed Himself in their midst. All the sorrows of saints shall be thus transmuted; even the worst of them, which look as if they must for ever remain fountains of bitterness.
Then the more sorrow the more joy. If we have loads of sorrow, then the Lord’s power will turn them into tons of joy. Then the bitterer the trouble the sweeter the pleasure: the swinging of the pendulum far to the left will cause it to go all the farther to the right. The remembrance of the grief shall heighten the flavor of the delight: we shall set the one in contrast with the other, and the brilliance of the diamond shall be the more clearly seen because of the black foil behind it.
Come, my heart, cheer up! In a little while I shall be as glad as I am now gloomy. Jesus tells me that by a heavenly alchemy my sorrow shall be turned into joy. I do not see how it is to be, but I believe it, and I begin to sing by way of anticipation. This depression of spirit is not for long, I shall soon be up among the happy ones who praise the Lord day and night, and there I shall sing of the mercy which delivered me out of great afflictions.
Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”
David’s top priority in life was his relationship with the Lord. Although he was in the wilderness seeking refuge from his enemies, David’s heart was in the tabernacle seeking the beauty of God. He longed to return to the Tabernacle and spend the rest of his life in worship. Sometimes trouble drives us closer to the Lord and makes us more desirous of worshiping Him in the fellowship of other believers.
Is it a priority to you to worship the Lord? Do you prioritize time in His house, on His day with His people? God calls us to this. God calls us to be sanctified – set apart – different. This is the kind of person God uses to build His kingdom, and this is how we move forward together.
Romans 13:8, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
The apostle Paul was emphatic: we should not go into debt to anyone. Paul emphasized that we should have only one ongoing debt: we must love one another. We love because God loved us first and demonstrated that love through Jesus. Since God loves us, we should love one another. Loving our neighbor fulfills the legal requirements of God’s laws in the Torah because it is the underlying principle of the Law. However, our ultimate “debt” is to Jesus. While He gave us the gift of grace, love, mercy, and salvation freely, the Lord is emphatic: God’s love should lead us to share our love with others. We can’t claim to love God, Whom we haven’t seen, and not love each other whom we have seen. It’s that simple. As we move forward together, our only debt is to love others as we have been loved!
2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
Like the Apostle Paul, we should praise the Lord for His grace in saving us. Nothing else in our lives can compare to the salvation we receive when we place faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. We can also show our gratitude to God by giving help to others. The believers in Corinth lived out their faith by giving to others. We, who are rich in Christ, should be the most generous when meeting the needs of others.
How will you express your thankfulness to God today? Will your gratitude be displayed in ways that others can see and glorify your Father?
Romans 13:1-2, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
As Paul writes to the believers in Rome, Nero was the emperor of all the Roman Empire. Say what you will about the authorities under which God has placed you; your parents, teachers, employers, law enforcement, the government. How do they stack up compared to Nero? As Paul was writing this letter and telling believers that all authority is given by God, they watched as Nero took Christians and dipped them alive in hot wax and used their bodies as candles to light his garden. They knew the atrocities that happened for his entertainment at the coliseum as believers were eaten by lions in the arena. But Paul’s Life had not been a cakewalk either. He had been beaten, imprisoned, and presumed dead in an attempted execution, and was writing this letter from a prison cell. All the while, the commandment to obey our authority didn’t change.
We don’t obey those in authority because we like them. We don’t obey them because we agree with their politics or positions. We submit to their authority because God placed them over us and by obeying them, we are ultimately obeying God.
Romans 12:21, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Look at the world around you. There is plenty of evil, isn’t there? Do you ever feel like evil is bringing you down or even taking you out? Does it ever seem like you are being overcome by it? True Christians, according to Paul, can live IN IT without being overcome by it. How? By clinging to the God who is light shining in the darkness. The darkness cannot overcome Him (John 1:5).
Rooting ourselves in the gospel gives us power. Our wicked hearts naturally lean toward evil and sinful things. However, we have a God who paid it all for us. He empowers us, by His grace, to change and live differently. Continually treasuring the cross of Jesus Christ keeps us from evil. It also empowers us to triumph over evil. We can overcome evil with good.
We have good in Christ. We have His good if our faith is in Him. Evil can have its way with the world, but It cannot have its way with the Christian! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, completely dominating Satan and his evil schemes, lives in us (Romans 8:11). That power is what enables us to overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:20, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”
What does this strange little phrase mean: “heap coals of fire on his head?” There is actually a fair bit of debate about what this little phrase might mean, but one suggestion is this: In ancient times when a city was besieged, the people of that city would throw down burning liquid or coals onto their enemy to prevent them from scaling the walls. If your hair is on fire, it’s hard to use your sword, and if your face is burning, it’s pretty tough to aim your bow and arrow.
The principle as it relates to loving our enemies is this: When you oppose your enemy with love, they find it difficult to keep on attacking. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Does that mean we sit by and say nothing? No! But our answer must be gentle and humble.
Future things are hidden from us. Yet here is a glass in which we may see the unborn years. The Lord says, “From this day will I bless you.”
It is worth while to note the day which is referred to in this promise. There had been failure of crops, blasting, and mildew, and all because of the people’s sin. Now, the Lord saw these chastened ones commencing to obey His word, and build His temple, and therefore He says, “From the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider. From this day will I bless you.” If we have lived in any sin, and the Spirit leads us to purge ourselves of it, we may reckon upon the blessing of the Lord. His smile, His Spirit, His grace, His fuller revelation of His truth will all prove to us an enlarged blessing. We may fall into greater opposition from man because of our faithfulness, but we shall rise to closer dealings with the Lord our God, and a clearer sight of our acceptance in Him.
Lord, I am resolved to be more true to thee, and more exact in my following of thy doctrine and thy precept; and I pray thee, therefore, by Christ Jesus, to increase the blessedness of my daily life henceforth and for ever.
Psalm 14:1-2, “(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.”
Scripture is clear that those who reject God’s existence—or live as if He does not exist—are recklessly irrational. The “fool” of this type is characterized by animal stereotypes (Psalm 49:20) such as donkeys and mules.
Rejecting or dismissing God’s existence is corrupt and leads to an evil life. Even those respected as good citizens are depraved fools if they reject the truth that God exists. Such a person lacks spiritual wisdom, so they are incapable of doing anything that pleases the Lord. Their heart is wicked. Their head lacks spiritual knowledge. Such a person continues to be entirely depraved, meaning every part of their being has been marred by sin.
Without God, we are good for nothing. Are you thankful for a God who saves us from our sin?
Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
When we step in to avenge our own problems, we are only getting in the way of letting God take care of the problem for us. Do you really believe that you can do a better job of dealing with your enemy than God can? If you defend yourself, then the Lord can’t defend you. Leave it in His hands. God is infinitely capable and exact in working vengeance in His perfect time. Be patient; wait on the Lord and trust in Him. He will keep His promises. Keep moving forward and don’t look back!
Romans 12:17-18, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
A Christian who lives out his faith in front of the world WILL have enemies. Jesus did. Paul did. Getting even is in our DNA, but that is because we are sinful, fallen human beings with a sinful nature. Revenge is not a fruit of the Spirit! Verbal, emotional, or physical payback is not an option for the Christian. Aside from being backed into a corner where self-defense is necessary, if there is an escape available, take it. The Lord Jesus did not get even with his enemies. Neither did Paul.
The Christian must not play God and try to avenge himself. Returning evil for evil, or good for good, is the way most people live. But the Christian must live on a higher level and return good for evil. Of course, this requires love, because our first inclination is to fight back. It also requires faith, believing God can work and accomplish His will in our lives and in the lives of those who hurt us. We have to let God fight our battles for us, believing He can and will take care of our problems!
Romans 12:16, “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”
“Be of the same mind” is Paul’s encouragement to us that we should do our absolute best to agree and live in harmony with each other. Is that an easy thing to do? Of course not! If it was, Paul would not have needed to bring up the subject.
My childhood pastor would frequently quote this poem from the pulpit:
To dwell above with saints we love,
Oh! That will be glory.
But to dwell below with the saints we know,
Now that’s a different story!
Be careful that we make an effort to be agreeable people. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have a difference of opinion, or that we will always be without conflict. It does mean that it is our goal to not be a source of conflict and to instead create peace among our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
There is no better way to show love to anyone than to feel with them and to share in their emotions. I think Paul must have put “rejoice with those who rejoice” first because it is so much more difficult to do. It isn’t very hard to weep with those who weep. Our hearts naturally go out to people who are suffering pain or loss. We can put ourselves in their place and feel the hurt that they are feeling. But rejoicing with those who rejoice–that’s the tougher one. What was your first response when you were passed over for a promotion and salary increase, and it was given to someone you felt was less deserving than you?
You probably felt about the same way the rest of us have felt – jealous, envious, selfish. “It’s just not fair. I deserve it more than they do. Why don’t good things ever happen to me?” And then there are those people who make it especially hard for us to rejoice with them because while they are rejoicing, they also seem to be bragging about their brilliant performance and exceptional abilities, or gloating over their good fortune. It’s not reasonable to ask me to rejoice with them. In fact, it’s not even possible!
Not possible, of course, unless we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, unless we are learning to think as God thinks. It might be good to remind ourselves that they are family – fellow members of the family of God. We can usually rejoice when good things happen to family members. It might also be good to remember that we are members of the same body, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:26). When my mouth enjoys a good steak, the rest of my body doesn’t get jealous about it. And the same thing can be true of the spiritual body. We are a team, and we move forward, rejoicing or weeping, together.
Romans 12:14, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
To bless people is to ask God to send them His favor, to give them peace and prosper them. On the other hand, to curse them is to ask God not to send His favor on them, and maybe even to intervene and send something terrible into their lives.
Think of someone who has made life unpleasant for you. A teacher who always picks on you and blames you for things other people do. People who seem to have it in for you and criticize you or make you look bad every chance they get. A boss who doesn’t like you, who gives you all the toughest jobs to do and then gripes about the way you do them. Co-workers who constantly challenge your opinion and make you feel stupid and worthless. Neighbors who are always complaining about something you’re doing wrong–letting your leaves fall in their yard, parking your car in front of their house, or whatever it is.
I’ve had people like that in my life. People who have willfully distorted what I have said to put me in a bad light. People who have gossiped about me and spread false rumors about me behind my back. People who have criticized me severely and misjudged my motives. And I have to tell you, I didn’t feel very kind toward them. I don’t remember asking God to lavish His favor on them, send them peace, or prosper them. In my flesh, I would have been just as happy if they had dropped dead. Is Paul really serious about this? Am I supposed to pray for God’s blessing on their lives? That’s impossible!
Impossible, that is, unless we’ve yielded our wills to Christ, and we’re being transformed by changing our thinking patterns, by renewing our minds with His Word. It’s perfectly human to want some harm to come to them. That’s the way the people of the world think. That’s the way our sinful human nature responds. The only way we will respond differently is to keep drinking in the Word, studying it with an open mind, allowing it to expose our shortcomings, and letting it mold our way of thinking. We need to adopt God’s point of view. Are you willing to be like Jesus? I know it sounds like an impossible dream. But it is possible if we begin to renew our minds with God’s Word and learn to think as He thinks. We show our love by seeking the best for those who harm us.
Jeremiah 31:14, “My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, saith the LORD.”
Note the “My” which comes twice: “My people shall be satisfied with My goodness.” The kind of people who are satisfied with God are marked out as God’s own. He is pleased with them, for they are pleased with Him. They call Him their God, and He calls them His people; He is satisfied to take them for a portion, and they are satisfied with Him for their portion. There is a mutual communion of delight between God’s Israel and Israel’s God.
These people are satisfied. This is a grand thing. Very few of the sons of men are ever satisfied, let their lot be what it may; they have swallowed the horse-leech, and it continually cries, “Give! Give!” Only sanctified souls are satisfied souls. God Himself must both convert us and content us.
It is no wonder that the Lord’s people should be satisfied with the goodness of their Lord. Here is goodness without mixture, bounty without stint, mercy without chiding, love without change, favor without reserve. If God’s goodness does not satisfy us, what will? What! Are we still groaning? Surely there is a wrong desire within if it be one which God’s goodness does not satisfy.
Psalm 8:3-4, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
Just looking at the majesty, glory, and splendor of the stars in the sky as a kid, I just couldn’t see how anyone would ever say that God does not exist. When NASA put the Hubble telescope in orbit around the Earth back in 1990, it produced the most stunning pictures of stars, planets, nebulae, and more. These are all just part- a small part!- of the glory of God. The Shekinah Glory of God – the visible presence of God that hovered above Israel in the wilderness as a pillar of fire, and above the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, is only a mere sliver of the glory of God, and it was an incredible sight to behold.
So, the next time you look to the skies at night, especially if you are in a place where you can really see the stars, remember you are beholding some of the glory of God. It will be surpassed by the glory of God that we will see when we meet Jesus face to face; however, if you want to see even greater glory than this, discover God within the pages of the Holy Scripture!
Romans 12:13, “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”
How well do you know your church family? Do you keep up with their prayer needs? How about the physical needs of the members of your church? Paul encourages us to know and be known in our church body so we can be the first resource for meeting each other’s needs as they come up. This requires a level of intentionality. It doesn’t just happen through attending a worship service once a week and making a quick exit.
In order to fulfill our God-given role as church members, we have to choose to spend time getting to know others in the church body. This happens in Sunday School classes, activities, and Bible Study events, but it also happens over a cup of coffee or a shared meal. When was the last time you extended an invitation to someone outside your normal circle of friends to spend a bit of time getting to know them within the church? Be intentional in getting to know those around you in your church.
Romans 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
It isn’t normal for us to be patient when we have problems. When the car breaks down or we become ill, we want a quick solution. That may be natural but remember that our fleshly nature is a sinful nature. God has called us to a transformed life – one that looks different because we are His children!
So, what do we do when trouble strikes? Don’t run looking for solutions before you run to your Savior! Make prayer your first line of defense! Hold on to the hope that whatever situation you are in will bring God glory. Be patient and wait upon the Lord. Remember: God did not place you here to face life alone. He not only gave you His Holy Spirit as the Comforter, but He gave you a church to live in community so you can move forward even in difficult times together.
Romans 12:11, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
One of the worst testimonies a believer can have is to be lazy! Your employer will see it, your co-workers will see it, and they will be repulsed by the contradiction you live when you profess Jesus Christ. Paul challenges us in this verse to be the model of an eager employee! Show up early for your shift. Do more than you have been asked to do. Pay attention to the details. Care about the work as if you owned the company and the customers were your very own.
In doing so, you have the opportunity to model Christ in your workplace. You get to show others what it means to live a transformed life! Being a witness for Christ at your job rarely starts with your words; it starts with your actions. Work as unto the Lord and others will take note.
Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
The love of God, demonstrated by Jesus on the cross, is our foundation for how to treat others. We are to be devoted—committed—to other Christians; to act selflessly. We are to honor each other (regardless of status, position, or any other factor) because we are all precious children of God, our Father.
When we honor others above ourselves, we are not doing so from a place of weakness, but rather from the strength that comes from knowing we are useful, wanted, unique individuals in the family of God. We can only move forward together when we have each other’s backs and think of others first. A “me first” attitude will bring defeat. A great song from my childhood said:
What a wonderful way to spell JOY!
A joy-filled life is ahead of the believer who follows Christ, putting others before themselves!
Romans 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
It’s obvious we are to love each other. Paul doesn’t even begin by telling believers they are to treat each other with love. Instead, he issues the challenge to make sure our love is genuine and not hypocritical. If we are offering our bodies as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1), then this should seem like a minor adjustment – a tune-up along the way.
It’s easy to love the “loveable,” but humility and empathy are required for living alongside others in such a way as to bless those who persecute, to rejoice with those who rejoice, to weep with those who weep, and to associate with the lowly. Paul echoes the teaching of Jesus, who said, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28). Let’s be sure we move forward in love, not just towards other believers but the lost.
John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Come ye workers, be encouraged. You fear that you cannot draw a congregation. Try the preaching of a crucified, risen, and ascended Saviour; for this is the greatest “draw” that was ever yet manifested among men. What drew you to Christ but Christ? What draws you to Him now but His own blessed self? If you have been drawn to religion by anything else, you will soon be drawn away from it; but Jesus has held you, and will hold you even to the end. Why, then, doubt His power to draw others? Go with the name of Jesus to those who have hitherto been stubborn, and see if it does not draw them.
No sort of man is beyond this drawing power. Old and young, rich and poor, ignorant and learned, depraved or amiable — all men shall feel the attractive force. Jesus is the one magnet. Let us not think of any other. Music will not draw to Jesus, neither will eloquence, logic, ceremonial, or noise. Jesus Himself must draw men to Himself; and Jesus is quite equal to the work in every case. Be not tempted by the quackeries of the day; but as workers for the Lord work in His own way, and draw with the Lord’s own cords. Draw to Christ, and draw by Christ, for then Christ will draw by you.
Psalm 3:1-3, “(A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.) LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
David is fleeing from a massive army, sent by his own son, Absalom. Those around David were writing David’s situation off as hopeless. And yet, as he had in the past, David successfully overcame his enemies’ threats and taunts by trusting in the Lord.
He addresses the Lord as a shield around him, his glory, and the lifter up of his head. Just as a shield protects a warrior from swords, arrows, darts, and spears, so David envisions the Lord protecting him from his enemies. This is the same confidence David expressed as a youth when he confronted Goliath. At that time, he called out to Goliath, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand…for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45–47).
The Lord was David’s boast, and David fully expected Him to restore him to his position as king of Israel. What confidence do you have in God to deliver you out of your troubles? Do you trust Him even when others say it’s time to throw in the towel? Fear holds us back and keeps us looking over our shoulders. Trusting God allows us not to be paralyzed but to move forward under His protective cover.
Romans 12:6-8, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
The thief of joy is comparison. It’s easy to start looking around at other people and start seeing something they have that we don’t – maybe it’s a skill, a physical trait, or an actual possession. To move forward together, we must recognize that God made no mistakes when He gave us our talents, abilities, and physical characteristics. We are all made in His likeness and for His glory!
Child of God, recognize that God gave you your gifts to serve together as a critical part of a team. No one else is equipped to do the job He called you to do, so get busy doing what God has created you to do! Be a faithful, integral part of your church body, knowing that God added you to the body to do a job designed specifically for you.
Romans 12:3-5, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Coaches are fond of the saying, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM,’” and similarly, Paul gives a strong warning to us to be careful not to have an exaggerated sense of self-esteem. It’s in our DNA to think about ourselves first, but our new nature, our redeemed, spirit-led nature should look differently from that. Instead, Paul tells us to be level-headed and give ourselves a fair evaluation. Don’t think of yourself as a big shot. You haven’t arrived yet! Everyone else around you that God has placed in His church has talents, abilities, and giftings, and are all different one from another. You, like them, have your share of shortcomings too. We don’t get to measure ourselves with our own yardstick, but with the standard of faith God has set forth in His Word.
Paul challenges us to think of the various ways in which each distinct individual is able to be a blessing to others and to the church in general by using the particular gift with which, in association with faith, God has endowed him or her. He is instructing each of those addressed to recognize the diversity of gifts amid the unity of faith, and to ask, “How can I make the best use of my gift so as to benefit each and all?” We move forward together as a team, not as individuals.
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
After Paul has spent the first half of the letter to the church at Rome giving them sound doctrine, we find these verses at the turning point where he begins with a practical application. He begins to answer the question, “What should be the believer’s attitude toward God?” Paul emphasizes how important it is that we understand this principle with the opening phrase, “I beseech you,” which might as well say, “You’ve got to believe me!” The idea that a believer would surrender themselves wholly to the Lord is not something Paul considers radical, but elementary to the born-again believer.
Paul doesn’t just tell us what the goal is – the living sacrifice – he gives us practical steps on what not to do and what to do if we are going to succeed: Do not let the world tell you who you are! You have been bought with a price, and that price is the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Let the Word of God and the Holy Spirit transform you and change who you are into the likeness of Christ, and in so doing, you will be ready to move forward discerning God’s will for your life.
Hebrews 4:10, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”
God created the universe and all matter in six days, and on the seventh He rested, because the work was finished. The Lord Jesus cried out seven times from the Cross. The seventh was to triumphantly proclaim, “It is finished!” Then He relinquished His life. His sacrifice is complete. He rested because the work was finished. Likewise, suffering will and does continue for a season. We will enter into times of loss, but in Christ Jesus there is rest and refuge. Trust in His finished work. He will not only comfort us in our time of need but will ultimately give us rest in His presence in glory.
Hebrews 4:3, “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
Rest is peace. Jesus is our rest. Trust the work accomplished by His crucifixion and resurrection, and you will be at peace with God (Romans 5:1). Trust Jesus daily with the major issues of your life, as well as the minutiae, and you will enjoy the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-8). Just as we must choose to trust Christ as our Savior and Lord, we must choose to daily trust Him and enter into His rest rather than stewing in our stress. Have you given your problem to Jesus? Then get your hands (and your mind) off of it. Give it a rest and rest yourself in the God who is in control.
Exodus 8:23, “And I will put a division between My people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be.”
Pharoah has a people, and the Lord has a people. These may dwell together, and seem to fare alike, but there is a division between them, and the Lord will make it apparent. Not for ever shall one event happen alike to all, but there shall be great difference between the men of the world and the people of Jehovah’s choice.
This may happen in the time of judgments, when the Lord becomes the sanctuary of His saints. It is very conspicuous in the conversion of believers when their sin is put away, while unbelievers remain under condemnation. From that moment they become a distinct race, come under a new discipline, and enjoy new blessings. Their homes, henceforth, are free from the grievous swarms of evils which defile and torment the Egyptians. They are kept from the pollution of lust, the bite of care, the corruption of falsehood, and the cruel torment of hatred, which devour many families.
Rest assured, tried believer, that though you have your troubles you are saved from swarms of worse ones, which infest the homes and hearts of the servants of the world’s Prince. The Lord has put a division; see to it that you keep up the division in spirit, aim, character and company.
Psalm 55:5—6, “Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”
This psalm was written during stormy weather, not a thunderstorm or a hailstorm, but a people storm. They are often the worst kind. The Lord’s servants sometimes get weary, not necessarily weary of the work, just weary in the work. David’s heart was broken. His spirit beaten down and his energy level was not what it used to be. He wanted to escape, but no matter where we run, we are still there. When an overwhelming storm hits, don’t run to the hills. Instead, fall on your knees. Trust God, and move forward in faith. He is faithful to hear, save, and deliver you (Psalm 55:16-18).
Hebrews 13:16, “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
How is this sacrifice offered? One way is through hospitality. Show kindness and care to others, especially those with whom you are not familiar. Another is by visiting others, both in nice places and not so nice places. Care for the afflicted is an additional way to share your life. There are plenty of ways to do good for others and to share your life with them, but you have to do it. You can’t just talk about it (see 1 John 3:18). The sacrifice of a shared life should be a joy, not a burden. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Titus 2:14 that our Lord “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous unto good works.” God is pleased with our doing good and our sharing because it demonstrates the success and power of the sufferings of His Son. Move forward with and for Christ by serving others as He did (Mark 10:45). Such a sacrifice is a bright testimony to the worth of God and the truthfulness of His promises.
Hebrews 13:15, “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.”
Work for God that is not sustained by wonder at God is a weariness of the flesh. Worship and witness will be simply exhausting work if it is not preceded and carried by a sense of wonder at the glory of our Lord! We must cultivate hearts of praise, and I purposefully said “hearts” because the “fruit of [our] lips” is the natural outgrowth of our hearts. What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart (Matt. 15:18). While we cannot divorce the fact that what comes out of our mouth originates in our hearts, we must also understand that the sacrifice of praise involves our lips. God desires that His name is “continually” praised from our lips. This means real sounds and real words. There is no reason to live at a level of praise that is beneath this text. God would not have called us to this experience if it were bad or impossible. Now, I am not suggesting that you tack “Praise the Lord!” on to the end of every sentence, but I do mean that we should weave worship into all parts of our lives. This is not just silent praise, but “the fruit of our lips.” Is God’s greatness and goodness continually and verbally expressed from your mouth?
Hebrews 13:13—14, “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
Jesus was taken outside the camp where He was tortured and murdered. He willingly endured that suffering, which you and I deserve, and the inspired writer of Hebrews looks us in the eye and says, “Let us go outside the camp to Him and bear the abuse He endured!” This is what it means to be a Christian. Jesus Himself said, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). Being a Christian means following Jesus, and following Jesus means going with Him to Calvary, outside the camp. Peter, who was an eyewitness to Calvary, said this (1 Pe. 1:21), “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” This sacrifice of suffering represents the priority of local and global evangelism, and it also represents the priority of resisting the incredible inertia of comfort and security. Oh, how we need to break outside of our comfortable camps and share in the abuse that Jesus endured as we share His Good News. Let’s go out in the darkness and let our light so shine before the lost and needy, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. We have received the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses, not only in our local “camp” but in all other camps as well. Let’s go.
Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
A guilty conscience makes life miserable. There are many methods mankind has maintained to alleviate the weight of a guilty conscience. Drug it. Drown it. Numb it. Ignore it. None of those methods bring relief. They only worsen the problem and cannot deliver freedom and happiness. But God has His hand extended. Draw near to Him in repentance and faith and He will draw near to you (James 4:8; Psalm 73:28). There is only one way to move forward, and that is if we sincerely come before Him in faith, He will provide His secure salvation and sanctification. That is what the imagery at the end of this verse illustrates. This is no reference to Christian baptism, but to the Holy Spirit’s purifying work by means of God’s Word. Be full of faith instead of fear and move forward in the experience of God’s freedom.
Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”
If we learn anything from the memory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, it is that hate is a horrible thing. None of us will soon forget the horror we felt as we watched people jumping out of the windows of the World Trade Center, or the heart wrenching pictures of loved ones who wandered the streets of New York City for days carrying pictures of a dad, sister, mom, or friend whom they hoped might still be alive. The temperatures of the fires in the Trade towers rose to well over 1000 degrees, and as the jet fuel melted the steel of those twin towers, they became a massive crematorium, a holocaust of a different kind. The human pain and tragedy was immeasurable. If you went to three funerals a day of those who lost their lives, it would take you nearly six years to attend them all. It seems beyond comprehension that anyone could be capable of such an evil act. Yet there is an explanation, and it isn’t that the terrorists wanted to rule our land or possess our natural resources. Simply put, they hated us. Hatred is a horrible thing, and we saw it in all of its ghastly potential on that memorable day. Any of us who harbor hate in our hearts need to take note. This is a wakeup call. Hate is a terrorist emotion. It deludes our minds, and unless we deal with it, hate will do irreparable damage to our homes, churches, businesses, and, of course, our own souls. Hate is an emotional “luxury” no one can afford. Now is the time to learn the freedom of forgiveness and the overriding benefit of living to love. If the terror of hate lurks in your life, declare war until grace and love have been victorious.
The above is excerpted from the devotional Strength for the Journey written by Joseph M. Stowell and published by Moody Press in 2002.
It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.” Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.” Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.
Psalm 107:1, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Today’s verse is the opening stanza in the song of the redeemed. Those who are moving forward by God’s grace, through their faith in Christ, have been saved from sin, death, and despair are called to sing out in gratitude and joy to the One who freely redeemed them at great personal cost. The Lord is good and merciful forever, because He is eternal, without beginning and without ending. Therefore, those who trust the Lord can, and should, give thanks, because those who are undeniably undeserving of His mercy and forgiveness have abundantly received, by grace through faith, His mercy and forgiveness. Do you have, and are you moving forward in this attitude of gratitude?
Hebrews 10:36—39,“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
The above reading includes a quotation from the Old Testament. Verses 37—38 are lifted from Habakkuk 2:3—4. This happens often in the book of Hebrews and is common throughout the Old Testament. Indeed, the 66 books of the Bible form one, unified message of God’s redemption of mankind for the glory of His name. No part of Scripture may be jettisoned. All of the Bible is for our good and God’s glory. The quotation of Habakkuk in today’s text encourages the believer to persevere until the end and promises that the wait for the end will be short. That may not often seem the case, but in comparison with eternity our troubles here are indeed temporary. Faith is required to be rescued from sin’s penalty of death, and faith is necessary for the saved to move forward instead of shrinking back. Faith in Christ to save your soul from Hell and to sustain your mind, body, and soul until Heaven is the victory available to us all. Do you have this faith?
Rodgers Baptist Church has recently entered a new phase of existence. For thirty-five years our church was capably and courageously led by Pastor Ron Thomas. His father skillfully led the church for thirty-five years before that. We praise God for the consistent leadership of our church for the past seventy years, and for the faithful commitment of our congregation during that time and before. While we are thankful for faithful pastors and church members from the past, we must continue to move forward following in their faithful footsteps.
Right now we stand at a transition point of new beginnings with new leadership. Change is inevitable. The times change. Our community has changed. Our church and her leadership have changed. What never changes are God’s promises and purposes! Therefore, we may confidently move forward together with the shared perspective of magnifying Christ in this world, with the shared pursuit of being increasingly conformed into the image of our Lord, and sustained together by a shared power, that being the authority of God’s Word, the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of our church family.
Those who have been faithful before us provide examples to follow, but our ultimate example is Christ Jesus the Lord. To help orient our hearts towards moving forward we will use Hebrews 12:1—2 as our focus text for the year. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I am excited for our church and thankful that God has placed us all together in this community. There is no reason to look behind. We are moving forward for the sake of the Gospel and the glory of His name. Let’s go!
Roman 4:20-21 “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
Believing God’s promises allows us to have strong faith, knowing that we can trust Him to guard what we have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”
God, in His mercy, has given us lively hope and an incorruptible inheritance in heaven that will not fade away.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
God promises that your troubles and difficulties are not wasted. God will comfort you in His mercy and allow you to extend ministry and comfort to others who have the same problems He brought you through.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
Isaiah 58:7-8 “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.”
God promises to bless you with His glorious presence when you give generously to those in need.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
Psalm 18:34-35 “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
God gives you spiritual defenses that strengthen you in the spiritual warfare you experience daily. In the Spirit, you have supernatural strength to resist the enemy, and you have a shield to protect you.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
Acts 17:24-25b “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as thou he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”
God’s common grace is revealed in His gift of life and breath to all, and we can trust the promise that He maintains His creation through His power.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath 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 proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”
Jesus, as the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecies of old, promises to free you to do the works He determined for you before time began.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
Job 5:17-19 “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.”
God will use anything he needs to use to get your attention even when that means discipline that hurts at the time. He will use everything for your good and will protect you from evil.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!
Psalm 37:7-9 “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. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
God promises that those who do evil on this earth will not prosper although it may look that way. If we but wait patiently, he will allow His children who hope in Him to inherit the earth.
Personalize this promise. Pray over it and claim it for your life today!