Jan 8, 2013
Yeshu Naam- Yeshu Naam by Yeshua Band
Simply heart touching and life changing
Jan 8, 2013
Yeshu Naam- Yeshu Naam by Yeshua Band
Simply heart touching and life changing
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. —2 Timothy 2:3
Having served in World War I, C. S. Lewis was no stranger to the stresses of military service. In a public address during the Second World War, he eloquently described the hardships a soldier has to face: “All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity . . . is collected together in the life of the soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love.”
The apostle Paul used the analogy of a soldier suffering hardship to describe the trials a believer may experience in service to Christ. Paul—now at the end of his life—had faithfully endured suffering for the sake of the gospel. He encourages Timothy to do the same: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3).
Serving Christ requires perseverance. We may encounter obstacles of poor health, troubled relationships, or difficult circumstances. But as a good soldier we press on—with God’s strength—because we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who sacrificed Himself for us!
Dear Father, help me to be faithful in my service to You. Thank You for the strength You provide to help me persevere through suffering.
God’s love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them.
By Dennis Fisher
Dependent on God’s Presence
Those who wait on the Lord…shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40:31
There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “…John…looking at Jesus as He walked…said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me…” (Genesis 17:1).
When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.
Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though…” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it.
Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!” At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.
by Oswald Chambers
2 Timothy 4:9-22
Independence is a prized attribute in our culture, but biblically, it isn’t a worthy aspiration. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the erroneous quote, “God helps those who help themselves.” The very fact that the Lord formed the church—a community of believers—should tell us that He did not create people for self-sufficiency or isolation.
When we place faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us so we can have a fulfilling relationship with the Lord and satisfying friendships with one another. In God’s design, a close, committed biblical friendship between two believers serves to build both toward Christlikeness. Over and over in Scripture, we find evidence of God’s followers relying upon a close friend or confidante for support. Paul, in particular, spoke freely and often of his dependence upon dear companions and encouraged others to form intimate partnerships as well (2 Timothy 2:22).
It’s interesting to me that our modern culture seems to be headed in the opposite direction. The farther we drift from God, the more pervasive our self-sufficient attitude becomes. Neighbors treat each other with suspicion instead of congeniality, and that mindset has even invaded the church. We’re hesitant to give to others, which in turn makes us reluctant to receive.
Scripture tells us to love one another, bear our brothers’ burdens, and confess our sins to fellow believers (John 13:34; Galatians 6:2; James 5:16). In other words, we’re to give ourselves away to others and receive from them in return. That’s how church members can encourage one another to Christlikeness.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The second verse of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” continues by rightly identifying the focus of a believer’s affections. This song does not direct our affection to objects (like the cross or the blood) and so imply improper worship, but it clearly specifies the deity and work of Christ as paramount to us. We worship Him for who He is and what He has done and is doing on our behalf. His death makes all the difference to us.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
We know that “being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). What happened there? “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).
Today we no longer have an obligation to render animal sacrifices to God for our sin, but we do need to offer something better than even our best. Scripture asks us to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1). We do not literally sacrifice ourselves to His blood, but we cherish and recognize that the shedding of His blood on the cross makes it all possible. JDM
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. —Acts 6:7
The church is afflicted by dry rot. This is best explained when the psychology of nonexpectation takes over and spiritual rigidity sets in, which is an inability to visualize anything better, a lack of desire for improvement.
There are many who respond by arguing, “I know lots of evangelical churches that would like to grow, and they do their best to get the crowds in. They want to grow and have contests to make their Sunday school larger.” That is true, but they are trying to get people to come and share their rut. They want people to help them celebrate the rote and finally join in the rot. Because the Holy Spirit is not given a chance to work in our services, nobody is repenting, nobody is seeking God, nobody is spending a day in quiet waiting on God with open Bible seeking to mend his or her ways…. But more people for what? More people to come and
repeat our dead services without feeling, without meaning, without wonder, without surprise? More people to join us in the bondage to the rote? For the most part, spiritual rigidity that cannot bend is too weak to know just how weak it is.
Lord, not more people, but more of You. Let me wait upon You, keep me faithful, send Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
…Yea, let God be true, hut every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings…. Romans 3:4
Faith based upon reason may be faith of a kind, but it is not of the character of Bible faith, for it follows the evidence infallibly and has nothing of a moral or spiritual nature in it.
Neither can the absence of faith based upon reason be held against anyone, for the evidence, not the individual, decides the verdict. To send a man to hell whose only crime was to follow evidence straight to its proper conclusion would be palpable injustice; to justify a sinner on the grounds that he had made up his mind according to the plain facts would be to make salvation the result of the workings of a common law of the mind as applicable to Judas as to Paul.
It would take salvation out of the realm of the volitional and place it in the mental, where, according to the Scriptures, it surely does not belong!
True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God said it, and if the statement should contradict every one of the five senses and all the conclusions of logic as well, still the believer continues to believe!
“Let God be true, but every man a liar,” is the language of true faith. Heaven approves such faith because it rises above mere proofs and rests in the bosom of God!
I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. EPHESIANS 3:14-15
There is an important message for the believing family of God in the Bible: Next to God Himself we need each other most!
God’s ideal is a fellowship of faith, a Christian community. He never intended that salvation should be received and enjoyed by the individual apart from the larger company of believers. With that, it also needs to be said that to live within the religious family does not mean that we must approve everything that is done there.
But God has so created us that we need each other. We may and should go into our closet and pray in secret, but when the prayer is ended we should go back to our people. That is where we belong.
No one is wise enough to live alone, nor good enough nor strong enough. From our brethren we can learn how to do things and sometimes also we can learn how not to do them!
Our Lord who is the Great Shepherd has said that we are the sheep of His pasture and it is in our nature to live with the flock. Best of all, the Shepherd always stays with His flock!
Lord, I pray that the fellowship in our local churches will be strong and pure. Draw us together in unity, that we may truly honor Your name throughout our community.