Aug 12, 2014
Forgotten Christmas is a fantastic way to remind your friends and family about the true meaning of Christmas. Designed to share in church or through social media, Gospel for Asia’s heart behind the video is to inspire the church in the west to refocus on Christ this Christmas and join together to change lives in South Asia.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. —1 Peter 5:8
The roaring lion is the legendary “king of the jungle.” But the only lions many of us see are the lethargic felines that reside in zoos. Their days are filled with lots of rest, and their dinner is served to them without the lions having to lift a single paw.
In their natural habitat, however, lions aren’t always living a laid-back life. Their hunger tells them to go hunting, and in doing so they seek the young, weak, sick, or injured. Crouching in tall grasses, they slowly creep forward. Then with a sudden pounce, they clamp their jaws to the body of their victim.
Peter used “a roaring lion” as a metaphor for Satan. He is a confident predator, looking for easy prey to devour (1 Peter 5:8). In dealing with this adversary, God’s children must be vigilant at putting “on the whole armor of God” and thus they can “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10-11).
The good news is that Satan is a defeated adversary. While he is a powerful foe, those who are protected by salvation, prayer, and the Word of God need not be paralyzed in fear at this roaring lion. We are “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5). James 4:7 assures us: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” By Cindy Hess Kasper
Lord, we know that our enemy seeks to devour us.
Please protect us from him. We believe Your
Word that He who is in us is greater than he
who is in the world.
No evil can penetrate the armor of God.
1 Kings 12:1-19
Sometimes people make decisions they later regret because the counsel they heeded was ungodly. It is critical that we know how to discern what is wise, biblical advice. Here are suggestions to help you detect whether or not guidance is scriptural.
1. Look for counsel that makes frequent reference to God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ. If you need guidance but receive advice that neglects or contradicts the principles of Scripture, the best thing to do is seek input elsewhere.
2. Think twice if there is much talk but no prayer. Even with a great exchange of ideas and human wisdom, it’s essential that someone propose, “Let’s ask the Lord to give us direction.” A prudent advisor knows that prayer is a vital element in attaining the whole counsel of God.
3. Avoid any counselor who compromises Scripture by bending the standards God has set for His children. People will sometimes say things like, “Nobody’s perfect, so a tiny bit of gossip [or gambling, or a little ‘fun’] here and there won’t hurt.” Such rationalizing can quickly lead to bondage.
4. Beware of counsel that is quick to criticize the church or its spiritual leaders. An advisor who readily discredits the church because of its visible weaknesses may be someone hiding a hurtful bias. Such people may have an agenda that is quite different from the Lord’s plan and perspective.
Remember that living within each believer is the Counselor Himself (Isa. 9:6; John 14:26), and He wants to help with all our decisions. Trust Him in everything.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
The 23rd Psalm is perhaps the best-loved chapter in the Bible, with its beautiful picture of Christ as the Shepherd. This chapter finds its New Testament exposition in John 10:1-30, where Christ identifies Himself as “the good shepherd” who “giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
These two chapters (Psalm 23; John 10) are probably the two greatest chapters in the Bible on the security of the believer in Christ. This theme seems woven by divine inspiration into the very structure of the passages. For example, there are six verses in the poetic structure of the psalm, each containing a different testimony concerning the providing and protecting Shepherd. In similar fashion, there are six times the word “shepherd” is used in John 10, each referring again to the work of our Good Shepherd. There are also six references in the other books of the New Testament where Christ is referred to as a shepherd.
The intensely personal aspect of the 23rd Psalm is evidenced by David’s use of the first-person pronouns (“I,” “me,” “my,” etc.) no less than 17 times in its six verses, all expressing his absolute trust in the Lord. Similarly, the word “sheep” is used 17 times in John 10, with the grand theme again stressing the security of the sheep. This number “17” repeatedly seems to crop up in Bible passages related to our security in the Lord. As one example, the famous passage ending the eighth chapter of Romans lists exactly 17 things that can never “separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:35-39).
In any case, this marvelous psalm of security concludes (as it began) with a great promise and testimony, which can be paraphrased as follows: “Surely [Christ’s] goodness and lovingkindness will pursue me as long as I live, and then I will dwell in God’s great heavenly family through all the ages of eternity!” HMM
Whatsoever is born of God overcometb the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.—1 John 5:4.
WHAT is victory over the world? It is to cut off, as far as we may, every hold which everything out of God has over us, to study wherein we are weak, and there seek in His strength to be made strong. Be your temptation the love of pleasure, it is to forego it, if of food, to restrain it; if of praise, to put forward others rather than yourself; if of being right in the sight of men, be content to be misjudged, and to keep silence; if of self-indulgence, use hardness, if of display, cut off the occasions and give to the poor, if of having thine own will, practice the submission of it to the wills of others. EDWARD B. PUSEY.
If we aspire to walk in the power of the new life, we must cast away all hindrances, and it must cost something we really value.
The Faith presses upon man his noblest desires as obligations, and makes their attainment possible by the gift of the Spirit.
BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT.
Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. — They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. — He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.
To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. — He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. —The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. — He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Job 4:8. Hosea 8:7. Galatians 6:8. Proverbs 11:18. Galatians 6:8-10. Proverbs 11:24. Proverbs 11:25. 2 Corinthians 9:6.
Thy thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:5
We … do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. — That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! — My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. —Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Colossians 1:9. Ephesians 3:17-19. Romans 11:33. Isaiah 55:8,9. Psalm 40:5.