VIDEO I Didn’t Know . . . ! – Vision of Walking in Faith to Jesus

I Didn’t Know . . . !

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught [Peter], and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

In the early days of our technological age, computers and other devices came with large instruction manuals. Today we are so familiar with how digital devices work that we can usually figure them out. And invariably, this leads to a recognition that: “I didn’t know it could do that!”

The three years the disciples spent with Jesus were similar to that utterance. Imagine—they had never seen anyone multiply loaves and fish, cast out evil spirits, or heal the lame, sick, and blind. Every day was, “I didn’t know He could do that!” Another thing they didn’t know was that Jesus could walk on water—and allow them to do the same. But when Peter got out of the boat to walk toward Jesus, he began to sink in the waves. Jesus caught him, of course, but asked him, “Why did you doubt?” Life with Jesus is a never-ending discovery of His love and power, if only we will trust Him.

If you have an “unusual” need today, something you’ve never trusted God for, let today be the day that you do. Explore, trust, discover life with a miracle-working Lord.

I never have any difficulty believing in miracles, since I experienced the miracle of a change in my own heart. Augustine


Vision of Walking in Faith to Jesus

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Where to Find Hope

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Elizabeth struggled for a long time with drug addiction, and when she recovered wanted to help others in return. So she started writing notes and anonymously placing them throughout her city. Elizabeth tucks these notes under car windshield wipers and tacks them on poles in parks. She used to look for signs of hope; now she leaves them for others to find. One of her notes concluded with these words: “Much love. Hope sent.”

Hope with love—that’s what Jesus gives. He brings us His love with each new day and strengthens us with that hope. His love is not rationed out to us drop by drop but flows out of His heart freely and is poured lavishly into ours: “We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:5 nlt). He desires to use the hard times to develop perseverance and character and bring us a satisfying, hope-filled life (vv. 3–4). And even when we’re far from Him, He still loves us (vv. 6–8).

Are you looking for signs of hope? The Lord gives hope with love through inviting us to grow in a relationship with Him. Our hope for a fulfilling life is anchored in His unfailing love.

I’m grateful, God, for the love You lavishly pour on me. Please bring me contentment in You and confidence in what You are doing in me.

Read Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear at discoveryseries.org/q0733.

Hope is the anchor of the soul.

 

By Anne Cetas 

INSIGHT

Sometimes the truth of the gospel—that Jesus offers a new, guilt-free life for all who believe (Romans 8:1)—might feel a bit too good to be true. If all we’ve ever known is emptiness, hatred, and despair, how is it even possible to learn to live with love and hope?

It’s possible because it doesn’t depend on us. God’s love reaches deeper than our brokenness, loving us completely even when we’re far from Him (5:8). As we surrender to Him, we can experience His love and hope as the Spirit transforms every aspect of our life (vv. 3–5).

Monica Brands

The Best Friend You’ll Ever Have

John 15:12-17

Good friends are hard to find, and our busy schedules don’t help. Many people don’t make time to cultivate meaningful friendships—are you possibly among their number? If so, notice how Jesus prioritized time with His friends. He lived closely with His disciples for three years and proved to be not only their Lord and Savior but also the best friend they’d ever had.

Unlike the disciples, we’ve never physically walked with Jesus, but this doesn’t exclude us from His friendship. First 1 Peter 1:8 says, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

Every person who trusts in Christ becomes His friend, and the ultimate proof of His unwavering love is that He laid down His life for whoever would believe. Without the Savior’s amazing act of self-sacrifice, His disciples—along with every one of His followers since then—would have been eternally lost and separated from the Lord forever.

Although Jesus is a unique friend unlike any other, we can learn much about friendship from His example. He tells us to love one another as He has loved us, and His is a self-sacrificing love that does what’s best for the other person. Jesus was open and honest with His friends, making known to them all that the Father had told Him.

What a comfort to know that though others may disappoint and abandon us, Christ always remains a faithful, patient, and loving friend. And as we seek to emulate and obey Him, we will become that same kind of friend to others.

Whom Not What Do You Know?

“For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

A person who thinks he is a Christian, or hopes he is a Christian, probably isn’t a Christian. One should know, when it comes to this most important of all questions. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). It’s a matter of who you know, not what you know. Paul said: “I know whom I have believed”—that is, he knew the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

But just how can we know that we have eternal life? In the first place, we know because He has said so in His Word. Furthermore, He knows us! “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).

We also “know . . . that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13), which “beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). If the Holy Spirit truly has become a part of our lives (as He surely has if we genuinely came to Christ as lost sinners, trusting Him alone for forgiveness and salvation, and yielding our lives and eternal souls to Him), then we will also come to love the Word which He inspired. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. . . . But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (1 John 2:3, 5).

There are many other things we can know when we know we are saved. Best of all, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). HMM

Persecuted, but not forsaken

Acts 23:12-30, 34, 35

Acts 23:14, 15

They intended to assassinate him upon the stairs which led down from the fortress to the court. Seldom has a greater crime been contemplated in the name of religion. However, the Lord had a spy upon their secret conclave, and their stratagem was defeated. The deepest designs of hell are frustrated by the Lord.

Acts 23:23, 24

Forty had sworn to murder him, but five hundred protectors are found for him. The angels of the Lord are round about his people, and the Lord can use a band of soldiers for the same purpose. The apostle left Jerusalem attended like a prince: his enemies were powerless to touch a hair of his head. He went down to Cæsarea, and was out of reach of the daggers of his foes.

Acts 23:34, 35

So that he was not put in a public prison, but kept in a room of a palace built by Herod the Great. How he must have admired the manner in which the Lord protected him! Let us trust in God, and be very courageous for the gospel, and the Lord himself will screen us from all harm.

 

From foulest plots and dangers dire,

When earth and hell in league conspire

The Lord preserves his own elect,

And none can harm if he protect.

 


The Lord will keep thy weakest powers

With his almighty arm;

And watch thy most unguarded hours

Against surprising harm.

 

He guards thy soul, he keeps thy breath,

Where thickest dangers come;

Go and return secure from death,

Till God commands thee home.

 


The love of Christ doth me constrain

To seek the wandering souls of men;

With cries, entreaties, tears, to save,

To snatch them from the gaping grave.

 

For this let men revile my name;

No cross I shun, I fear no shame:

All hail, reproach! and welcome, pain!

Only thy terrors, Lord, restrain.

 

My life, my blood, I here present,

If for thy truth they may be spent:

Thy faithful witness will I be:

‘Tis fix’d! I can do all through thee.

 


O faint and feeble-hearted!

Why thus cast down with fear:

Fresh aid shall be imparted,

Thy God unseen is near.

 

His eye can never slumber;

He marks thy cruel foes,

Observes their strength and number,

And all thy weakness knows.

 


Alarm’d in vain the truth he hears,

Repentance fatally defers,

And faith in Jesu’s name;

He fancies life is in his power,

Waits for a more convenient hour,

Which never, never came.

 


Beset with snares on every hand,

In life’s uncertain path I stand:

Saviour divine, diffuse thy light,

To guide my doubtful footsteps right.

 

Engage this roving treacherous heart

To fix on Mary’s better part,

To scorn the trifles of a day,

For joys that none can take away.

 


There’s not a tint that paints the rose,

Or decks the lily fair,

Or streaks the humblest flower that blows,

But God has placed it there.

 

There’s not a place on earth’s vast round,

In ocean deep, or air,

Where skill and wisdom are not found,

For God is everywhere.

 

Around, beneath, below, above,

Wherever space extends,

There God displays his boundless love,

And power with mercy blends.

 


Lov’d of my God, for him again

With love intense I burn:

Chosen of him e’er time began,

I choose him in return,

Whate’er consists not with thy love,

Lord, teach me to resign:

I’m rich to all the intents of bliss,

If thou, O God, art mine.

 


Oh, to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrain’d to be!

Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to thee.

 

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;

Prone to leave the God I love—

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it,

Seal it from thy courts above.

 


Wake, harp of Zion, wake again,

Upon thine ancient hill,

On Jordan’s long deserted plain,

By Kedron’s lowly rill.

 

The hymn shall yet in Zion swell

That sounds Messiah’s praise,

And thy loved name, Immanuel!

As once in ancient days.

 

For Israel yet shall own her King

For her salvation waits,

And hill and dale shall sweetly sing

With praise in all her gates.

 

Hasten, O Lord, those promised days,

When Israel shall rejoice;

And Jew and Gentile join in praise,

With one united voice.

 

God Really Has the Answers

Lord, make me to know the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. (Psalm 39:4)

We can all learn something from David’s prayer—for none of us have all of the answers! David had come through the trying experiences of life and was now unsure about the things he once thought he knew. In the autumn of his life, I think David was a more relaxed man and more dependent on the divine answers.

I found a lesson in this for myself and I pass it on.

Some time ago I preached for a week in Rochester, New York. At the conclusion and before the benediction, the chairman of the congregation told the audience: “We have enough time for questions. Mr. Tozer will answer any question you have.”

This was news to me, so I got up and said: “Mr. Chairman, you are 25 years too late! Twenty-five years ago I could have answered questions on almost any subject, but now I beg to be excused!”

In our Christian life and experience, it is a blessed thing to find out that we do not have to know everything after all!

 

Perfect Willingness

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Ps. 110:3

Blessed be the God of grace that it is so! He has a people whom He has chosen from of old to be His peculiar portion. These by nature have wills as stubborn as the rest of the froward sons of Adam; but when the day of His power comes, and grace displays its omnipotence, they become willing to repent, and to believe in Jesus. None are saved unwillingly, but the will is made sweetly to yield itself. What a wondrous power is this, which never violates the will, and yet rules it! God does not break the lock, but He opens it by a master-key which He alone can handle.

Now are we willing to be, to do, or to suffer as the Lord wills. If at any time we grow rebellious He has but to come to us with power, and straightway we run in the way of His commands with all our hearts. May this be a day of power with me as to some noble effort for the glory of God and the good of my fellow-men! Lord, I am willing; may I not hope that this is a day of thy power? I am wholly at thy disposal; willing, yea, eager, to be used of thee for thy holy purposes. O Lord, let me not have to cry, “To will is present with me, but how to perform that which I would, I find not”; but give me power as thou givest me will.

 

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