In Christ You Are God’s Child

The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children. 1 JOHN 3:1

Let me tell you who you are. In fact, let me proclaim who you are.

You are an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17).

You are eternal, like an angel (Luke 20:36).

You have a crown that will last forever (1 Cor. 9:25).

You are a holy priest (1 Pet. 2:5), a treasured possession (Exod. 19:5).…

But more than any of the above—more significant than any title or position—is the simple fact that you are God’s child.…

“We really are his children.”

As a result, if something is important to you, it’s important to God.

He Still Moves Stones

Maintaining a Quiet Spirit

Proverbs 26:4

When conflict arises, we frequently want to rush in and defend our position. Perhaps we even feel justified in blaming others. However, James 1:19 gives different advice for dealing with tension and disputes: “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” In other words, more can be accomplished through a calm approach to the situation. Scripture also suggests that we . . .

• Pray. First, we should ask the Lord to guard our mouth and give us the right words to say (Luke 12:12). Also, we ought to request discernment concerning the root issue, including insight as to whether we might be at fault.
• Aim to see with divine perspective. Our sovereign God works all situations for the believer’s benefit (Rom. 8:28). He not only uses difficulties to teach us but also allows us to demonstrate the life of Christ by the way we respond.
• Forgive. Even if someone has hurt us by causing the conflict, we should forgive. Jesus died to pardon all of our sin, and we, in turn, should forgive others. In fact, if we don’t, our lives will become burdened by resentment and broken relationships.
• Respond. If we’ve done something wrong, we should apologize and ask forgiveness. But if we’re not in the wrong, we can still express appreciation that the other person took time to share his concern. Also, we should affirm that we will carefully consider his comments.

How do you respond to conflict? Pray for the strength to stay calm and do what is right, even during difficult, emotional situations.

Disobedient Angels

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6)

This passage is one of two New Testament references to angelic beings who misused their powers in some unique way. 2 Peter 2:4 notes: “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”

It is likely that these two passages refer to the same event. If so, several key elements have been written for our awareness. First, of course, even angels are not excluded from judgment. They, along with Lucifer and Gabriel and Michael (the three archangels named in Scripture), were created beings who are “greater in power and might” than men (2 Peter 2:11).

The reference in Genesis 6:1-4 to the “sons of God” choosing multiple wives and producing “giants” has been a source of controversy for some time. There is no question that the Hebrew phrase bene Elohim translated as “sons of God” refers to angelic beings. If Jude and Peter are referring to the incident in Genesis, then the problem arises about the ability of angelic beings to conceive human half-breed demigods.

Biblical evidence would insist that the angelic “kind” cannot interbreed with any other “kind” created by God during the creation week. Angels can assume human shape and can control and/or possess bodies of flesh. That much is clear in Scripture. Therefore, the unique sin that Jude and Peter seem to speak of is that some angels usurped their responsibility as “servants” for humanity and directed a human “breeding” program to further rebellion against the Creator.

That would surely qualify as a special sin deserving of God’s imprisonment and a sober warning for any of us who might dare think we can escape God’s judgment. HMM III

Hereby know we love, because He laid down His life for us

Hereby know we love, because He laid down His life for us.—1 John 3:16 (R, V.).

LOVE, WHICH outlives
All sin and wrong, Compassion which forgives
To the uttermost, and Justice whose clear eyes
Through lapse and failure look to the intent,
And judge our frailty by the life we meant.
JOHN G. WHITTIER.

IN return for the love which brought the Son of Man down from heaven, in return for the love which led Him to die for us on the cross, we cannot give Him holy lives, for we are not holy; we cannot give Him pure souls, for our souls are not pure; but this one thing we can give, and this is what He asks, hearts that shall never cease from this day forward, till we reach the grave, to strive to be more like Him; to come nearer to Him; to root out from within us the sin that keeps us from Him. To such a battle I call you in His name. And even if at the last day you shall not be able to show any other service, yet be sure that when thousands of His saints go forth to meet Him, and to show His triumph, He will turn to embrace with arms of tenderness the poor penitent who has nothing to offer but a life spent in one never-ceasing struggle with himself, an unwearied battle with the faults that had taken possession of his soul. FREDERICK TEMPLE.

Our friend sleepeth

Our friend sleepeth. John 11:11

I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

It came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones … and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. — This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. — Witnesses chosen before of God, … who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

1 Thessalonians 4:13,14. 1 Corinthians 15:16-18, 20. Joshua 4:1,3,7. Acts 2:32. Acts 10:41.

Be strong and of a good courage

Be strong and of a good courage. Joshua 1:18

The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? — He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. — My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

If God be for us, who can be against us? — The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? — Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. — We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.

Psalm 27:1. Isaiah 40:29-31. Psalm 73:26. Romans 8:31. Psalm 118:6. Psalm 44:5. Romans 8:37. 1 Chronicles 22:16.