He Cares About Each One Of Us

When he tasted it, the water had become wine. JOHN 2:9

“Anyone who is having troubles should pray” (James 5:13). Have you taken your disappointments to God? You’ve shared them with your neighbor, your relatives, your friends. But have you taken them to God? James says, “Anyone who is having troubles should pray” (James 5:13).

Before you go anywhere else with your disappointments, go to God.

Maybe you don’t want to trouble God with your hurts. After all, he’s got famines and pestilence and wars; he won’t care about my little struggles, you think.

Why don’t you let him decide that? He cared enough about a wedding to provide the wine. He cared enough about Peter’s
tax payment to give him a coin. He cared enough about the woman at the well to give her answers. “He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).

from TRAVELING LIGHT

The Challenge: Forgiving Ourselves

1 John 3:20

Have you ever heard someone say, “I know God has forgiven me, but I’ll never be able to forgive myself”? While such self-condemnation can spring from several sources, it is, in any case, an enemy the Lord has already defeated. Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This encouraging statement covers all condemnation, including self-recrimination. How, then, should we deal with those condemning voices?

First of all, we need to distinguish between remorse and guilt. We are right to feel sorrow and remorse for past deeds, but to carry guilt for them is not necessary. The Bible assures us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Any lingering feelings of guilt after this are enemies trying to rob us of our freedom in Christ.

Sometimes these feelings of guilt stem from the mistaken notion that we still must pay for our sins, so we unconsciously embrace perpetual remorse as a way to make restitution for past wrongs. Such a practice suggests the faulty idea that Jesus’ precious blood wasn’t sufficient to cover all of the sins from our past, present, and future. Once we finally realize that He has stamped “paid in full” on our account, then we must never dare to side with those who would have us believe otherwise.

Since our heavenly Father has given us His Word, we can reject all accusing voices and rest on His promise: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20 NKJV).

How to Take a Stand for God

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)

There inevitably come those times in the life of a Christian when he, for conscience sake in the light of the Word of God, must take a stand against some worldly practice. Daniel has given us a striking example of how to do this, not only courageously, but graciously and effectively.

As one of “the princes” of Israel, “of the king’s seed” (Daniel 1:3), he realized that he had the responsibility of maintaining a godly standard as a testimony for the true God when he was asked “to stand in the king’s palace” (Daniel 1:4) after he and his friends had been carried into captivity. Daniel knew that the king’s wine would surely be harmful were he to partake of it. Also, the king’s meat would certainly include pork and would be cooked with blood, which would be unlawful for him, as a good Jew, to eat (Leviticus 11:7-8; 17:10-14). He determined in his heart to take a stand against it.

Note, however, his stand was not belligerent or self-righteous, but courteous and reasonable. “He requested. . . . Prove thy servants, I beseech thee” (Daniel 1:8-12). The Babylonians thought they were doing him and his friends a great favor, and Daniel appreciated this. He suggested a scientific test: Let them try a vegetarian diet and water for just ten days to see if this wouldn’t produce better results than the gourmet fare of the palace.

God honored Daniel’s graciousness, as well as his courageous faithfulness, and so will He do for us as well. Both are essential ingredients of a fruitful Christian testimony in a non-Christian world. We must “be ready always to give an answer,” but this should be done, not in arrogance, but “with meekness” (1 Peter 3:15). HMM

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works.—Titus 2:14 (R. V.).

LOVE only can the conquest win,
The strength of sin subdue;
Come, O my Savior, cast out sin,
And form my soul anew.
CHARLES WESLEY.

LIVING and victorious faith is that whereby Christ dwelleth in our hearts. But Christ will not dwell in our hearts, if we fill our hearts with things which He hates. Yet is there then no victory, nor real faith, when the world holds a struggle with us, sometimes overcoming us”, sometimes overcome? In some things victory should be complete at once. Sins of infirmity there may be; sins against light there should not be. To do willfully and knowingly what God hates, destroys faith, and hope, and love. But so that thou art fighting against thy besetting sin, if thou art conquering thyself, thou art still Christ’s soldier, even though in thought, word, or deed, thou be, from time to time, in lesser things surprised.

This, then, is matter of faith, that if we will, we can, by the grace of God, prevail over every temptation.
EDWARD B. PUSEY.

Reproach hath broken my heart

Reproach hath broken my heart. Psalm 69:20

Is not this the carpenter’s son? — Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? —Say we not well that thou are a Samaritan, and hast a devil? — He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. —We know that this man is a sinner. — He deceiveth the people. — This man blasphemeth. — Behold a man gluttonous and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. — This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. —

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye.

Matthew 13:55. John 1:46. John 8:48. Matthew 9:34. John 9:24. John 7:12. Matthew 9:3. Matthew 11:19. Matthew 10:25. 1 Peter 2:19-23. 1 Peter 4:14.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:7

The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. — Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. —He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. — In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. — That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Romans 5:5. Romans 8:15,16. 1 John 5:10. 1 John 4:9. Ephesians 1:7. Ephesians 2:7. 1 John 4:11.