VIDEO The Everyday Battle

how far you have come
While on my fast I have been passing time while I cook or clean by listening and catching up on some of my favorite sermon series.

I have been a fan of Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in the Dallas Texas area for years. I really like his practical application on how he unpacks the verses and it just really helps me to get the message of what he is preaching on. I also think he is very funny.

Somehow today I had a few moments and was going to check out a sermon and this oldie popped up. It actually is just about 6 months old, and this was such a great message of what he calls “The Everyday Battle.”

He has great practical points that he lists that are myths as well as points on what to do to overcome this battle.  

I used to struggle in this area but have been making this a habit now for almost 10 years. I no longer dread it out of obligation, I actually get excited to see what I will learn each day.

I am especially looking forward to paying attention to the song I wake up with each day!

Enjoy! – Share your tips with us on how you overcome this battle. ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Spiritual Provocation

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. Hebrews 10:24

Here’s something you didn’t expect to find—the New Testament exhorts us to have passionate arguments and sharp disagreements with one another. Well, not exactly. At least not in the way you are probably thinking.

In the Old Testament, when God’s “furious anger and great wrath” (NIV) is mentioned—Deuteronomy 29:28; Jeremiah 32:37—the Greek version of the Old Testament used the word paroxusmos to describe it. And when Paul and Barnabas had a “sharp disagreement” on their second missionary journey (Acts 15:39, NIV), the same Greek word is used. So far, no problem. But when we get to Hebrews 10:24, Christians are exhorted to “stir up” good works among one another—and the same word is used. What’s going on? The root of the word is “provoke,” so it’s all a matter of degrees. God was provoked by Israel to anger; Barnabas and Paul provoked one another to disagree. And we are to provoke one another to “love and good works.” At the very least, we’re to be in one another’s business to the degree that we are provoked toward godliness.

“Provoking” one another requires love and discernment—and a willingness to be stirred up when needed.

We must come to good works by faith, and not to faith by good works.
William Gurnall

God’s Continuing Faithfulness

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

God does not lie. What the Father says He will do, He always accomplishes. His many promises are recorded in the Bible—and He keeps every single one.

Yesterday I wrote about God’s faithfulness in directing me to become a preacher and providing a college scholarship. After I was enrolled in the university, He continued to provide, perhaps not as much as I wanted at times, but always enough. I remember kneeling by my bed in the dorm room, telling the Lord how little money I had and asking for His help. In the mail, I found a letter from a neighbor back home—with a check that would cover my expenses! God supplied what I needed, just as He promised in His Word. (See Phil. 4:19.)

Later, when I was a seminary student, a local church invited me to preach. That Sunday when the service was over, the leaders of the fellowship asked me to become their pastor and indicated a willingness to wait a year until I graduated. What a surprising turn of events! I started to pray about it, confident that the Lord would answer, as Scripture said He would (Ps. 91:15). Under the Spirit’s guidance, I accepted their offer.

God’s faithfulness has continued throughout my life. I could not have imagined at the beginning that I’d be preaching for more than 50 years. But the Holy Spirit has always been with me, teaching me what to say each time I’ve prepared and delivered a sermon (John 14:26).

The God who leads us is ever faithful. That’s why you and I can confidently carry out His plan, even when it surprises us.

His Kingdom Is Forever

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The final verse of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” describes our tools and comportment while in the battle, and the final victory.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours thro’ Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

As the King’s soldiers, we have God-given abilities and possessions, most notably the indwelling God’s Spirit and empowering gifts. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4). We should “fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28) and focus on Him, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts”—even goods and kindred (Luke 9:60-62), if need be. “We should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).

As of yet the battle continues. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21), “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). JDM

Universally Misunderstood

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. —Matthew 7:21

We can only conclude that Jesus is universally popular today because He is universally misunderstood.

Everyone admires Jesus, but almost no one takes Him seriously. He is considered a kindly idealist who loved babies and underprivileged persons. He is pictured as a gentle dreamer who was naïve enough to believe in human goodness and brave enough to die for His belief. The world thinks of Him as meek, selfless and loving, and values Him because He was what we all are at heart, or would be if things were not so tough and we had more time to cultivate our virtues. Or He is a sweet, holy symbol of something too fine, too beautiful, to be real, but something which we would not lose nevertheless from our treasure house of precious things.

Because the human mind has two compartments, the practical and the ideal, people are able to live comfortably with their dreamy, romantic conception of Jesus while paying no attention whatsoever to His words. It is this neat division between the fanciful and the real that enables countless thousands of persons to say “Lord, Lord” in all sincerity while living every moment in flat defiance of His authority.

Lord, may I, as Your child, take You seriously and be used of You today to bring
someone to You. Amen.

Our Selfish Personal Interest

Chiefly them that walk after the flesh… and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed. (2 Peter 2:10)

Throughout history, the philosophers have pretty well agreed on the conclusion that selfish personal interest is the motive behind all human conduct.

The philosopher Epictetus illustrated his understanding with the fact that two dogs may romp on the lawn with every appearance of friendship until someone tosses a piece of raw meat between them. Instantly, their play turns into savage fight as each struggles to get the meat for himself. Let us not condemn the old thinker for comparing the conduct of men to animals. The Bible frequently does and, humbling as it may be to us, we humans often look bad by comparison.

If we would be wise in the wisdom of God we must face up to the truth that men and women are not basically good: they are basically evil and the essence of sin lies in their selfishness! Putting our own interests before the glory of God is sin in its Godward aspects, and the putting of our own interests before those of our fellow man is sin as it relates to society. By the Cross, Jesus Christ demonstrated pure, selfless love in its fullest perfection. When He died, He set a crown of beauty upon a God-centered and an others-centered life!

If the Lord be with us through life

If the Lord be with us through life, we need not fear for our dying confidence; for when we come to die, we shall find that “the Lord is there;” where the billows are most tempestuous, and the water is most chill, we shall feel the bottom, and know that it is good: our feet shall stand upon the Rock of Ages when time is passing away. Beloved, from the first of a Christian’s life to the last, the only reason why he does not perish is because “the Lord is there.” When the God of everlasting love shall change and leave his elect to perish, then may the Church of God be destroyed; but not till then, because it is written, Jehovah Shammah, “the Lord is there.”