Have You Heard A Soft Tap At The Door?

“I am the LORD your God. Keep yourselves holy for me because I am holy.” LEVITICUS 11:44

I have something against the lying voices that noise our world. You’ve heard them. They tell you to swap your integrity for a new sale. To barter your convictions for an easy deal. To exchange your devotion for a quick thrill.

They whisper. They woo. They taunt. They tantalize. They flirt. They flatter. “Go ahead, its OK.” “Don’t worry, no one will know.”

The world rams at your door; Jesus taps at your door. The voices scream for your allegiance; Jesus softly and tenderly requests it. The world promises flashy pleasure; Jesus promises a quiet dinner … with God.

Which voice do you hear?

from IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

A Faith-Filled Outlook

Genesis 39:21-40:8

If anyone had reason to be discouraged, Joseph did. His mother died when he was a boy. His brothers hated him, sold him into slavery, and convinced his father that he was dead. Joseph worked hard in Potiphar’s household but ended up in prison because of false allegations. Yet he was not an angry person.

The Hebrew slave maintained his faith- filled outlook because he consistently relied upon God, who was always with him. Even in prison, Joseph was given responsibility over others (vv. 21-22). Like that righteous young man, we might also be “held captive”—by unemployment, ill health, or a difficult relationship. In those hard places, we can nevertheless experience our Father’s presence and thrive: His Holy Spirit will produce godly fruit in us when we depend upon Him (Gal. 5:22-23).

Whatever his circumstances were, Joseph refused to focus on himself. When two royal servants were jailed, he had compassion for them and gave them aid. In times of both blessing and crisis, we are to help others in any way we can (2 Cor. 1:3-4). And notice, too, how Joseph didn’t shrink back from speaking boldly about God to these men and to Pharaoh. He told the Egyptian leader that the answer he sought regarding his dreams would come from the Lord (Gen. 41:16).

Whether enslaved, imprisoned, or serving as Pharaoh’s second-in-command, Joseph flourished. He endured much hardship but saw that the Lord had used it for good (Gen. 50:19-20). Because the Holy Spirit’s presence is within us, we—like Joseph—can have a faith-filled perspective that glorifies God.

How to Please the Lord

“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

In this verse, Paul expresses the strong desire to be “pleasing to” (the idea behind “accepted of”) the Lord Jesus Christ. It should likewise be our own ambition—whatever we do and wherever we are—to please Him. This, of course, will make a difference in what we do and where we go!

The Scriptures give us a number of specific ways in which we can be confident of pleasing Him. For example: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1). That is, our criterion should be pleasing Him—not ourselves. Similarly, we are warned that “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8). That is, our thoughts and deeds must not be governed by worldly considerations.

By suffering, willingly, for His sake, we can please Him. “If, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable [‘well-pleasing’] with God” (1 Peter 2:20).

“Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6). We must walk by faith if we would please the Lord. This is not faith in the abstract, but specific truth—faith to believe the revealed Word of God and to act on that faith.

God is pleased with generosity. “But to do good and to communicate [to share what we have with others, for His sake] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). This certainly includes sharing the gospel, as well as our material possessions. “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

Finally, when our ways please the Lord, we have this gracious promise: “Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22). HMM

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.—James 1:2, 3.

TEMPTATION is surely an assault to be withstood, but at the same time it is an opportunity to be seized. Viewed in this light, life becomes inspiring, not in spite but because of its struggles, and we are able to greet the unseen with a cheer, counting it unmixed joy when we fall into the many temptations which, varied in form, dog our steps from the cradle to the grave. The soldier who is called to the front is stimulated, not depressed; the officer who is bidden by his general to a post of great responsibility, and so of hardship and peril, is thrilled with the joy of his task. An opportunity has been given him to prove himself worthy of great trust, which can be done only at the cost of great trouble.

This is a true picture of temptation. And the result of it all is a nature invigorated and refined, a character made capable of close friendship with God, to say nothing of the unmeasured joy that is the attendant of nobility of soul and stalwart Christian manhood.
CHARLES H. BRENT.

Every trial that we pass through is capable of being the seed of a noble character. Every temptation that we meet in the path of duty is another chance of filling our souls with the power of Heaven.
FREDERICK TEMPLE.

The day of temptation in the wilderness

The day of temptation in the wilderness. Hebrews 3:8

Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin.

They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

He himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. — Simon, Simon, … Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.

James 1:13-15. Psalm 106:14. Luke 4:13. Hebrews 2:18. Luke 22:31,32.

He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied

He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied. Isaiah 3:11

Jesus … said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. — He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. — To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which be purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. — That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. — Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

John 19:30. 2 Corinthians 5:21. Isaiah 43:21. Ephesians 3:10,11. Ephesians 2:7. Ephesians 1:13,14. 1 Peter 2:9.