Take A Look At What God Has Done

The heavens declare the glory of God. PSALM 19:1

How vital that we pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in heaven. Pray with any lesser conviction and your prayers are timid, shallow, and hollow. But spend some time walking in the workshop of the heavens, seeing what God has done, and watch how your prayers are energized …

Behold the sun! Every square yard of the sun is constantly emitting 130,000 horse power, or the equivalent of 450 eight-cylinder automobile engines. And yet our sun, as powerful as it is, is but one minor star in the 100 billion orbs which make up our Milky Way Galaxy. Hold a dime in your fingers and extend it arm’s length toward the sky, allowing it to eclipse your vision, and you will block out fifteen million stars from your view … By showing us the heavens, Jesus is showing us his Father’s workshop … he taps us on the shoulder and says, “Your Father can handle that for you.”


Transforming How We Think

Colossians 3:1-2

Yesterday we saw that Romans 12 urged us not to think like the world but to be transformed by renewing our minds. That may sound like a daunting task, but it is possible through Christ (Phil. 4:13). Here are some pointers for transforming the way you think:

• Acknowledge you have the capacity to think rightly (1 Cor. 2:16). If you’ve trusted Christ as your Savior, God’s Spirit lives inside you. Because He is holy and pure, His presence enables you to think holy, pure thoughts. And within you is the very same power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19-20).

• Seek spiritual things (Col. 3:1-2). When a muscle is worked, it grows stronger. Similarly, reading the Scriptures provides sustenance to your mind, but if you then exercise it through study and meditation, your thinking will become more Christlike.

• Sift thoughts through the Word and will of God (2 Cor. 10:5). Too often, even Christians act impetuously without regard for God’s instruction or purposes. Avidly reading and obeying His Word and trusting the Holy Spirit’s guidance will help you avoid much heartache.

• Choose to refuse certain thoughts (Ps. 101:2-3). Harmful thoughts are among those things referred to as Satan’s “flaming arrows” (Eph. 6:16). We may not be responsible for such thoughts popping into our heads, but we are accountable for our response to them. If you find yourself pausing on or entertaining unhealthy ideas, ask God to redirect your thinking. Then thank Him because Jesus Christ purchased your forgiveness at Calvary.

Our Adversary, the Devil

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

This grave warning concerning the devil was given not only to young Christians, easily subject to temptations, but also to “the elders which are among you” (v. 1). It often seems, in fact, that Satan’s greatest victories are won when he can cause the fall of a Christian leader, thereby not only destroying that leader’s influence for Christ, but also giving “great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (2 Samuel 12:14). The devil is a roaring lion, but he doesn’t come as such. If he did, the intended victim would flee.

He is, above all, the one “which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), “transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). As he did with Mother Eve, the “subtle” one will insidiously appeal to our pride, or our aesthetic sense, or our appetite, or our desire for material things.

Peter could speak from bitter experience. Satan had desired to “sift you as wheat,” Jesus had told him, but he foolishly boasted that he would stand true (Luke 22:31-34).

No wonder Peter could warn with such urgency: “Be sober, be vigilant.” Note particularly that, in the context, he is especially warning against greed (1 Peter 5:2) and pride (vv. 5-6). We must not allow Satan to “get an advantage of us,” Paul says, “for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Though Satan is deceptive and powerful, we need never fall to his tempting if we simply—along with staying sober and vigilant—“submit [ourselves] therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). HMM

Let not your hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble

Let not your hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble.—Deuteronomy 20:3.

THOU wilt be near me, Father, when I fail,
For Thou hast called me now to be Thy son,
And when the foe within me may assail,
Help me to say in Christ, “Thy will be done;”
This ever calms, this ever gives me rest;
There is no fight, in which I may not stand,
When Christ doth dwell supreme within my breast,
And Thou uphold’st me with Thy mighty hand.

THOU must begin low, and be glad of a little light to travel with, and be faithful thereunto; and in faithfulness expect additions of light, and so much power as may help thee to rub on. And though thou may be long weak and little, and ready to perish; yet the Father will help thee, and cause His life to shoot up in thee. Thankfully receive the smallest visitation that comes from Him to thy soul; for there is life and peace in it, and death and perplexity in turning from it.

All the evil we do not commit, all the temptations to which we do not consent or which never visit us; all our holy thoughts and good intentions, all our longings after that which is right,—are so many witnesses of His loving kindness towards us. How could He help you thus unless He cared for you?

I am … the bright and morning Star

I am … the bright and morning Star. Revelation 22:16

There shall come a star out of Jacob.

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. — Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bethel.

Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

I am the light of the world. — I will give him the morning star.

Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: … lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Numbers 24:17. Romans 13:12. Song of Songs 2:17. Isaiah 25:11,12. John 8:12. Revelation 2:28. Mark 13:33,37.

The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love

The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:14

Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich. — For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. — Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. — According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

2 Corinthians 8:9. Romans 5:20. Ephesians 2:7-9. Galatians 2:16. Titus 3:5,6.