God’s Priority Is You

Depend on the LORD; trust him, and he will take care of you. PSALM 37:5

God is committed to caring for our needs. Paul tells us that a man who won’t feed his own family is
worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). How much more will a holy God care for his children? After all, how can we fulfill his mission unless our needs are met? How can we teach or minister or influence unless we have our basic needs satisfied? Will God enlist us in his army and not provide a commissary? Of course not.

“I pray that the God of peace will give you everything you need so you can do what he wants” (Heb. 13:20). Hasn’t that prayer been answered in our life? We may not have had a feast, but haven’t we always had food? Perhaps there was no banquet, but at least there was bread. And many times there was a banquet.

The Great House of God

Responding to Conflict

Matthew 18:21-35

Conflict is part of life. It may originate from misunderstandings, a difference of opinion, or deep convictions. But oftentimes, discord stems from envy, pride, or hunger for power.

No one can control another person’s response to conflict; we’re accountable only for how we handle it. Sadly, many people have unhealthy reactions to disagreement. Some ignore the issue or pretend it doesn’t exist. Others place blame while defending themselves.

These negative responses often indicate one of three underlying scenarios. First, past hurts can leave a person emotionally insecure and unable to handle criticism. Second, a perfectionist sets such high benchmarks that he can never live up to his own standards—then it’s hard to acknowledge mistakes. Finally, pride makes it hard for some to admit when they’re wrong or to ask forgiveness.

Unless we respond correctly to conflict, we limit our potential to grow, because we aren’t learning what the Lord is teaching. Also, we can develop an unforgiving spirit, which leads to bitterness and resentment. Eventually, such an attitude can destroy relationships.

There is also a positive way to handle conflict. Luke 23:34 reveals how our Savior responded when He was wrongly accused, unfairly judged, and killed for something He didn’t do. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

How do you deal with accusations and criticism? Forgiveness is the only response that will keep you from becoming a victim of bitterness.

Contend for the Faith

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Jude long ago addressed a problem in his day which is still very real in our day among Christians. It is easier and more comfortable just to teach and preach about the blessings of our common salvation than it is to contend for the faith, but the latter is more “needful.” The word conveys the idea that he was so constrained, evidently by the Holy Spirit, as actually to be in distress about this compelling need. Similarly, his exhortation to “earnestly contend” does not mean to “be argumentative,” but rather, to “agonize with intense determination.” It is one word in the Greek, epagonizomai (literally, “agonize over”). Defending and contending for the faith is serious, urgent business.

That which we are to defend is “the faith”—the whole body of Christian truth, wherever it is under attack. It would, of course, be especially important to contend for the doctrine of special creation, which is the foundation of all others, and which is the doctrine perpetually under the most concerted and persistent attack by the adversary.

That faith has been, long ago, “once delivered” to the saints. The sense of these words is “once for all turned over for safekeeping.” The Lord has entrusted us with His Word, completed and inscripturated, and we must keep it, uncorrupted and intact, for every generation until He returns, preaching and teaching all of it to every creature, to the greatest extent we possibly can.

Finally, note that the safeguarding of the faith was not merely to specially trained theologians or other professionals, but to “the saints.” Every Christian believer is commanded to “earnestly contend for the faith.” HMM

Not as I will, but as Thou wilt

Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.—Matthew 26:39.

THY will, not mine, O Lord, However dark it be! Lead me by Thine own hand, Choose out the path for me. I dare not choose my lot, I would not, if I might, Choose Thou for me, my God, So shall I walk aright. HORATIUS BONAR.

CHOOSE but the will of God, and thou wiliest with His wisdom, thou choosest with His allperfect choice; thou enterest into His counsels; thou lovest with His love. Be this our watchword, brethren, for the Church, for those we love, for our own souls. He this our rule in action, “not what I will, but what Thou;” this, in suffering; “not what I, but what Thou.” This shall hallow our hopes; this shall hush our fears; this shall ward off disquiet; this shall preserve our peace; this shall calm anxieties; this (if so it must be) shall soothe our heart-aches; this shall give it-pose to our weariness; this, the deeper our trouble, shall be the deeper foretaste of everlasting peace and rest. “Lord, not what I will, but what Thou “; not what I, in my misery, and ignorance, and blindness, and sin, but what Thou, in Thy mercy, and holiness, and wisdom, and love. E.B. PUSEY.

God is faithful

God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 10:1

God is not a man that he should lie; neither the Son of man that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? — The Lord sware and will not repent.

God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. — Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

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 — Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. — All the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Numbers 23:19. Hebrews 7:21. Hebrews 6:17,18. 1 Peter 4:19. 2 Timothy 1:12. 1 Thessalonians 5:24. 2 Corinthians 1:20.

To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward

To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. Proverbs 11:18

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Matthew 25:19-21. 2 Corinthians 5:10. 2 Timothy 4:7,8. Revelation 3:11.