Aug 30, 2012
Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing Yahweh featuring The Hoppers.
Aug 30, 2012
Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing Yahweh featuring The Hoppers.
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate. 1 Peter 2:23
I had been driving for almost half an hour when my daughter suddenly wailed from the backseat. When I asked, “What happened?” she said her brother had grabbed her arm. He claimed he had grabbed her arm because she had pinched him. She said she pinched him because he had said something mean.
Unfortunately, this pattern, which is common between children, can show up in adult relationships too. One person offends another, and the hurt person shoots back a verbal blow. The original offender retaliates with another insult. Before long, anger and cruel words have damaged the relationship.
When we trust the Lord, we don’t need to use words as weapons.
The Bible says that “the words of the reckless pierce like swords,” and that “a harsh word stirs up anger” but “a gentle answer turns away wrath” (Prov. 12:18; 15:1). And sometimes not answering at all is the best way to deal with mean or cruel words or comments.
Before Jesus’ crucifixion, the religious authorities tried to provoke Him with their words (Matt. 27:41-43). Yet, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate . . . . Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
Jesus’ example and the Spirit’s help offer us a way to respond to people who offend us. Trusting the Lord, we don’t need to use words as weapons.
Dear God, please give me self-control through Your Holy Spirit when I am tempted to retaliate with words.
A soft answer has often been the means of breaking a hard heart.
By Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Coming to Jesus
Come to Me… —Matthew 11:28
Isn’t it humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus! Think of the things about which we will not come to Jesus Christ. If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words— “Come to Me….” In every dimension in which you are not real, you will argue or evade the issue altogether rather than come; you will go through sorrow rather than come; and you will do anything rather than come the last lap of the race of seemingly unspeakable foolishness and say, “Just as I am, I come.” As long as you have even the least bit of spiritual disrespect, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do something very big, and yet all He is telling you to do is to “Come….”
“Come to Me….” When you hear those words, you will know that something must happen in you before you can come. The Holy Spirit will show you what you have to do, and it will involve anything that will uproot whatever is preventing you from getting through to Jesus. And you will never get any further until you are willing to do that very thing. The Holy Spirit will search out that one immovable stronghold within you, but He cannot budge it unless you are willing to let Him do so.
How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away thinking, “I’ve really received what I wanted this time!” And yet you go away with nothing, while all the time God has stood with His hands outstretched not only to take you but also for you to take Him. Just think of the invincible, unconquerable, and untiring patience of Jesus, who lovingly says, “Come to Me….”
The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. Not Knowing Whither
Have you ever felt backed into a corner, with the odds stacked against you? In situations like that, Christians too often refuse to acknowledge an important truth. That is, they fail to recognize that God may actually be orchestrating their challenging circumstances.
You may think, No way. God protects me from such things. The world and Satan are doing this to me. Perhaps. Yet maybe, just maybe, God is trying to tell you something—and He first needs to get your attention.
Time and again in Scripture, we see that the Lord uses difficulties to build our faith. It’s easy to trust Him when things go our way. However, God often removes comforts and false securities from our lives to remind us that He is the true source of our strength.
Consider today’s passage, in which Gideon was ready to lead a powerful militia of 32,000 men into battle against the enemy. However, the Lord stepped into the situation two different times, whittling the Israelite army down to less than one percent of its original size. We may have replied, “What? It’s impossible to defeat enemy forces with just 300 men!” That’s probably true; 300 men alone couldn’t do it. But the Lord could.
When the odds are not in your favor, don’t think that God has abandoned you. Your money, your success, and even people you thought were friends may disappear, but those wouldn’t win the battle anyway. Stand your ground and stay focused on the Lord. With everything else stripped away, you’ll be amazed at what your heavenly Father will achieve.
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:11-12)
Having been “made strong with all strength” through “his glorious power,” we are then enabled to complete the assignment that God has granted to us on Earth.
The power of God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). The same power displayed when God raised Jesus “from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20) is more often needed on Earth for “patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” The word for “patience” in this text describes a quality of temper that does not easily succumb under suffering. That emphasis is not merely a contextual byproduct. Much of the godly life demands a temperament that opposes cowardice or despondence. We should “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Many of our brothers and sisters in history suffered beyond human endurance, ultimately giving their lives for the Kingdom of God. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25). Therein lies the longsuffering that does not hastily retaliate after a wrong. This temperament opposes wrath and revenge.
These godly traits, earned and experienced only while on Earth, reveal us to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Now, we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Later, He will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). HMM III
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. —2 Corinthians 4:5
Our Lord died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society and forsaken by His friends. The man who ordered Him to the cross was the successful statesman whose hand the ambitious hack politician kissed. It took the resurrection to demonstrate how gloriously Christ had triumphed and how tragically the governor had failed.
Yet today the professed church seems to have learned nothing. We are still seeing as men see and judging after the manner of man’s judgment. How much eager-beaver religious work is done out of a carnal desire to make good. How many hours of prayer are wasted beseeching God to bless projects that are geared to the glorification of little men. How much sacred money is poured out upon men who, in spite of their tear-in-the-voice appeals, nevertheless seek only to make a fair show in the flesh.
The true Christian should turn away from all this. Especially should ministers of the gospel search their own hearts and look deep into their inner motives. No man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail. No man is morally worthy of success in religious activities until he is willing that the honor of succeeding should go to another if God so wills.
Lord, deliver us from pride. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11
The devil is declared in the Scriptures to be an enemy of God and of all good men. Because he is a spirit he is able to “walk up and down in the earth” at his pleasure.
While we must not underestimate the strength of our foe, we must at the same time recognize that we need not live in constant fear of him! If he cannot make skeptics of us he will make us devil-conscious and thus throw a permanent shadow across our lives, for there is but a hairline between truth and superstition.
We should learn the truth about the enemy, but we must stand bravely against every superstitious notion he would introduce about himself. The truth will set us free but superstition will enslave us!
The scriptural way to see things is to set the Lord always before us, put Christ in the center of our vision; and if Satan is lurking around he will appear on the margin only and be seen as but a shadow on the edge of the brightness. It is always wrong to invert this—to set Satan in the focus of our vision and push God out to the margin. Nothing but tragedy can come from such inversion!
The best way to keep the enemy out is to keep Christ in! The sheep need not be terrified by the wolf; they have but to stay close to the shepherd. The instructed Christian whose faculties have been developed by the Word and the Spirit will practice the presence of God moment by moment!
Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. PSALM 105:4
Wherever faith has proved itself to be real, it has inevitably had upon it a sense of the “present” God. The holy Scriptures possess in marked degree this feeling of actual encounter with a real Person.
The men and women of the Bible talked with God. They spoke to Him and heard Him speak in words they could understand. With Him they held person-to-person converse, and a sense of shining reality is upon their words and deeds.
This sense of “Someone there” filled the members of the early Christian church with abiding wonder. The solemn delight which those early disciples knew sprang straight from the conviction that there was One in the midst of them—they were in the very presence of God!
This sense of “Someone” there makes religion invulnerable to critical attack. It secures the mind against collapse under the battering of the enemy. Those who worship the God who is present may ignore the objection of unbelieving men!
Lord, as I go out into the world today, may Your presence be very real in my life. Thank You for always being therefor me.