VIDEO I Walk by Faith

Apr 6, 2007

This song by Jeremy Camp about walking the path of life with or without God.
Which one are you on?

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The Parable Of The Sting

They may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. —1 Peter 2:12

I can still see Jay Elliott’s shocked face as I burst through his front door almost 50 years ago with a “gang” of bees swirling around me. As I raced out his back door, I realized the bees were gone. Well, sort of—I’d left them in Jay’s house! Moments later, he came racing out his back door—chased by the bees I had brought to him.

I had more than a dozen stings, with little effect. Jay had a different experience. Though he’d been stung only once or twice by “my” bees, his eyes and throat swelled up in a painful allergic reaction. My actions had caused a lot of pain for my friend.

That’s a picture of what’s true in our interpersonal relationships too. We hurt others when our actions aren’t Christlike. Even after an apology, the “sting” sticks.

People would be right to expect an absence of harshness and an air of patience from those who follow Christ. We forget sometimes that people struggling with faith, or life, or both, watch Christians with expectation. They hope to see less anger and more mercy, less judgment and more compassion, less criticism and more encouragement. Jesus and Peter told us to live good lives so God is given the glory (Matt. 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). May our actions and reactions point those around us to our loving Father.

We have found that it’s easy to hurt others
with our words or actions. Teach us, Father,
to pause and to think before we speak or act.
Fill us with kindness and care.

May others see less of me and more of Jesus.

Bitter Poison

Ephesians 4:31-32

Picture a miserable, depressed, and emotionally broken person hunched over a chemistry set. His eyes are narrow. His lips are pursed. His fingers are methodically adding just a pinch of this and a dash of that to the acrid green fluid in the test tube before him. His thoughts are a hodgepodge of outdated images, his heart a stale mosaic of hatred for a grievance long past. He is thinking of the one who hurt him, and he is busy concocting a poison for the offender.

It sounds like an excerpt from an old movie, doesn’t it? However, here is where the scene changes direction. Envision that same obsessed scientist breathing a sigh of relief as he straightens up, marveling at the liquid vengeance he has created. Then he utters, “This will show him!”—and drinks the poison himself.

That’s a surprising twist—one that we would not expect in a movie. Yet there is a good chance you have done this very thing at one time or another.

Bitterness is a toxin that we prepare for someone else but then drink ourselves. It is a concentrated dose of emotional poison, often one that we carefully nurture and grow over the course of years. When we react to someone’s wrongdoing by withdrawing and giving free reign to daydreams of retribution and ill will, we are slowly poisoning our own hearts and minds.

Ask God to reveal any signs of poison in your system. Then ask Him to help you administer a dose of the antidote: forgiveness.

To God Be the Glory

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” (Psalm 115:1)

One of the great words of the Bible is the word “glory,” and it should be evident that glory belongs to God, not man. Indeed, the very “heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). Not only do the heavens declare His glory, but “his glory [is] above the heavens” (113:4), and “the glory of the LORD shall endure for ever” (104:31). In heaven the mighty hosts of angels “give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name” (29:2).

It is thus singularly inappropriate for God’s servants on Earth to seek glory for themselves. “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

This Old Testament exhortation is echoed in the New. “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; . . . That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:27, 29-31).

As our text reminds us, God manifests His glory to us today in both mercy and truth, mercifully saving us in Christ, who is Himself God’s truth (John 14:6). Thus, in Christ “mercy and truth are met together” (Psalm 85:10), and we shall “praise thy name for thy lovingkindness [same word as ‘mercy’] and for thy truth” (Psalm 138:2). HMM

There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration, of the Almighty giveth them understanding

There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration, of the Almighty giveth them understanding.—Job 32:8.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?—Luke 11:13.

IS it supposable that God has permitted personal intercourse between man and man to be such a potent instrument in the building up of character, and yet has made all intercourse with Himself impossible? If the spirit of man can, through the power of influence and sympathy, bless and uplift the spirit of his fellow-man, much more, a thousand-fold more, shall God who, be it remembered, is a Spirit also, aid by intercourse and influence the creature spirit whom He permits to call himself His child.
WILLIAM REED HUNTINGTON.

In the fellowship which is established in prayer between man and God we are brought into personal union with Him in whom all things have their being. In this lies the possibility of boundless power; for when the connection is once formed, who can lay down the limits of what man can do in virtue of the communion of his spirit with the Infinite Spirit? BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT.

He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure

He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure. 2 Samuel 23:5

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Moreover whom be did predestinate, them he also called: and whom whom he justified, them he also glorified.

2 Timothy 1:12. Ephesians 1:3-5. Romans 8:28-30.

The joy of the Lord is your strength

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth with singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people and will have mercy upon his afflicted. — Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. — The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my Song of Songs will I praise him. — My soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ those things which pertain to God. —We … joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. —I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Isaiah 49:13. Isaiah 12:2. Psalm 28:7. Isaiah 61:10. Romans 15:17. Romans 5:11. Habakkuk 3:18.