VIDEO Are You Fresh for Everything?

Sometimes we are fresh and eager to attend a prayer meeting, but do we feel that same freshness for such mundane tasks as polishing shoes?

Being born again by the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God, as mysterious as the wind, and as surprising as God Himself. We don’t know where it begins— it is hidden away in the depths of our soul. Being born again from above is an enduring, perpetual, and eternal beginning. It provides a freshness all the time in thinking, talking, and living— a continual surprise of the life of God. Staleness is an indication that something in our lives is out of step with God. We say to ourselves, “I have to do this thing or it will never get done.” That is the first sign of staleness. Do we feel fresh this very moment or are we stale, frantically searching our minds for something to do? Freshness is not the result of obedience; it comes from the Holy Spirit. Obedience keeps us “in the light as He is in the light…” (1 John 1:7).

Jealously guard your relationship with God. Jesus prayed “that they may be one just as We are one” — with nothing in between (John 17:22). Keep your whole life continually open to Jesus Christ. Don’t pretend to be open with Him. Are you drawing your life from any source other than God Himself? If you are depending on something else as your source of freshness and strength, you will not realize when His power is gone.

Being born of the Spirit means much more than we usually think. It gives us new vision and keeps us absolutely fresh for everything through the never-ending supply of the life of God.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

For the past three hundred years men have been pointing out how similar Jesus Christ’s teachings are to other good teachings. We have to remember that Christianity, if it is not a supernatural miracle, is a sham.  The Highest Good, 548 L

More Than Cheery Optimism

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…. Hebrews 6:19

In his book about hope, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie wrote, “Hope is not wishful thinking…. Hope is not simply cheery optimism. Hope certainly can produce an optimistic attitude, but an optimistic attitude is no substitute for true hope…. Hope is a gift of God through Christ that produces a confident, unshakable trust in His faithfulness, and a vibrant expectation of His timely interventions in keeping with His gracious promises to us.”

Hope sustains us as we wait on the Lord. In fact, in the Bible it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the words wait and hope. Isaiah 40:31 in the New King James Version says, “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength….” But in the New International Version, the same verse says, “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” Hope is simply waiting expectantly and eagerly for the day God will perfectly fulfill every promise and do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine.

Hope is a deep-seated confidence in God that anchors our souls, even in rough seas. Make very sure your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.

Authentic hope is always a by-product of a personal relationship with God. It comes from knowing God. Lloyd John Ogilvie

Yes, The Power of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22-26

The Holy Spirit is vital to the Christian life. Read about the fruit of the Spirit in today’s passage, and ask, Can I be such a good person on my own? We need divine intervention to live as God expects. That’s why He gives each believer a Helper, whose job is to produce Christlike character in us.

The heavenly Father knows that His children need assistance to comply with His commands. Even Jesus Christ’s most faithful followers were, on their own, helpless to obey—for instance, Peter, who pledged to be loyal until death, denied even knowing Christ (Matt. 26:69-75).

Before returning to heaven, Jesus ordered the disciples to put their missionary work on hold until the Holy Spirit arrived (Luke 24:49). Only with the Spirit’s aid could Peter the coward become Peter the rock and preach a challenging sermon that convicted many (Acts 2; see also Matt. 16:18).

The Holy Spirit enters a believer’s life at the moment of salvation and immediately sets about the work of producing spiritual fruit. This is the outward expression of a transformed heart. When we yield to God’s nurturing hand, our actions and attitudes become more loving, more joyful, more kind, more gentle … (See Gal. 5:22-23.) He reaps a harvest of service from our life—good works that grow our own faith and expand His kingdom.

Allowing the Holy Spirit to bring forth Christlike character is not passive. Our part is to meditate upon God’s Word so we can learn about His character and apply His principles. Then, instead of satisfying our flesh, we must make wise decisions each day that allow the Spirit to develop godliness in our lives.

Jacob’s Ladder Dream

“And Jacob went out from Beersheba. . . . And he lighted upon a certain place . . . and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:10-12)

Prophetic dreams were uncommon even in ancient times (Hebrews 1:1) and were never for personal use (Jeremiah 23:16-32; Jude 1:8). Such dreams were rare until the book of Revelation.

Jacob had the most personal encounters with God recorded in Genesis, more than Abraham or any other patriarch. Jacob’s ladder was much more than a human construction. The Hebrew word cullam is used only this once. The root Hebrew word, culal, is similar, with the basic meaning of “highway” or “corridor” or “pathway.” The word carries the connotation of “lift up” (see Psalm 68:4).

Jacob’s “ladder” was probably a highway/causeway to and from the presence of God. Perhaps it was something like our science fiction ideas of a wormhole—a time warp in the fabric of space that permits nearly instantaneous movement from one spot in the universe to another.

The Creator would certainly be able to make a time warp channel for His messengers to get back and forth to Earth quickly. There may be many such channels. This cullam was “fastened” on the earth with its “source” in heaven. The angels of God were speeding up and down (through? on? in?) it.

At the source, Jacob saw none other than the Yahweh (the I AM) of eternity standing in His “official” glory (compare Revelation 1:10-16). This vision verified to Jacob that God was with him and that God Himself would secure the eternal promises made to Abraham. This dream is unique in all Scripture. Jacob was an unusual man. HMM III

“All things are yours.”

Genesis 13:5-18

Genesis 13:7

Rich men may be godly, and godly men may be rich, but riches are the sure source of trial. In this case abundance did not bring peace, but became the source of discomfort. Good men cannot rule their servants’ tempers, even though they control their own. When relatives dwell together they must be very careful, lest they be made to disagree through their servants. It is a rare thing for relations in the second degree to live in the same house without strife; and it becomes every inmate of such a household to watch against suspicions, envies, and bickerings.) (The presence of such powerful enemies ought to have made these good men cautious how they disagreed. Since the eyes of the world are upon us we must be careful how we act. Let not a Christian household make sport for worldlings by internal disagreements.

Genesis 13:9

Abram was the older, the greater, the richer, and the better man, yet he gave way to his nephew. In all differences it becomes the more powerful to be the first to yield. By so doing he will prove himself to be of the nobler disposition. Abram’s faith brought forth in this case the fruit of a noble, generous, yielding spirit. All true faith is thus fruitful.

Genesis 13:13

This was a grave fault on Lot’s part. He looked only to the richness of the country, and not to the character of the people. He walked by sight not. by faith; he looked at temporal advantage, and did not seek first the kingdom of God. Hence he became worldly himself and gave up the separated life of faith to go and dwell in a city; thus he forfeited all claim to the promised inheritance, and pierced himself through with many sorrows. In the end, he who sought this world lost it, and he who was willing to give up anything for the honour of God found it.

When friends leave us we may look for renewed visits from the Lord to sustain and console us, for when Lot was gone the Lord appeared again to Abram.

Genesis 13:17

He was bidden to survey his possessions and walk abroad like an owner in his own grounds: even thus may our faith behold the covenant blessings which are ours in Christ Jesus, and we may rejoice in them with joy unspeakable.

 

So let our lips and lives express

The holy gospel we profess;

So let our works and virtues shine,

To prove the doctrine all divine.

 

Thus shall we best proclaim abroad

The honours of our Saviour God,

When his salvation reigns within,

And grace subdues the power of sin.

 

Never Forget That You Are More Than a Conqueror!

Romans 8:37

How do you see yourself? As a champion who wins nearly every fight? Or as a loser—someone who struggles along, never seeming to conquer a single problem? How you perceive yourself is very important because it will ultimately affect the way other people see you.

Have you ever met someone who had a bad self-image or who always seemed to carry an air of inferiority around with him? It isn’t hard to discern this attitude in people. They feel so badly about themselves that they exude their negative perception of themselves and their sense of insecurity. On the other hand, if you’ve ever met individuals who are self-confident and self-assured, you know that it’s easy to recognize their confidence. Why? Because a confident person exudes confidence.

It is simply a fact that you will inevitably project what you feel about yourself to others. So this question about how you see yourself is very important. If you see yourself as a champion who wins every fight, that is exactly how others will see you. But if you see yourself as someone who struggles and wrestles with a bad self-image—that is precisely how others will perceive you.

So let’s turn to Romans 8:37 to see what the Word of God has to say about us. In this verse, Paul declares that “… we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” I want to especially draw your attention to the phrase “more than conquerors.” It comes from the Greek word hupernikos, a compound of the words huper and nikos. By joining the words huper and nikos together into one word, Paul is making one fabulous, jammed-packed, power-filled statement about you and me!

The words “more than” are derived from the Greek word huper, which literally means over, above, and beyond. It depicts something that is way beyond measure. It carries the idea of superiority—something that is utmost, paramount, foremost, first-rate, first-class, and top-notch; greater, higher, and better than; superior to; preeminent, dominant, and incomparable; more than a match for; unsurpassed, unequaled, and unrivaled by any person or thing.

Now Paul uses this same word to denote what kind of conquerors we are in Jesus Christ. We are huper-conquerors! Paul uses this word huper to dramatize our victory.

 

This is what Paul meant to get across in Romans 8:37:

“We are greater conquerors, superior conquerors, higher and better conquerors!”

“We are more than a match for any foe!”

“We are utmost conquerors, paramount conquerors, top-notch conquerors, unsurpassed conquerors, unequaled and unrivaled conquerors!”

But we must continue to the next part of the verse, where Paul calls us “conquerors.” The word “conqueror” is from the Greek word nikos. The word nikos describes an overcomer; a conqueror, champion, victor, or master. It is the picture of an overwhelming, prevailing force. However, the word nikos alone wasn’t strong enough to make Paul’s point, so he joined the words huper and nikos together to make his point even stronger!

When you put these two words together, they form the word hupernikos, which declares that in Jesus Christ, you are an overwhelming conqueror, a paramount victor, or an enormous overcomer. This word is so power-packed that one could interpret it as a phenomenal, walloping, conquering force!

That’s precisely who you are in Jesus Christ! So stop looking at yourself as a struggling loser. Regardless of your past experiences, you must begin to look at yourself through God’s eyes and in the light of Romans 8:37. This verse declares that you are always the winner and never a loser! And when you begin to see yourself the way God sees you, it will change the way others see you too.

Resolve right now to see yourself the way the Word of God does—as a walloping and conquering force! You are more than a match for any adversary or foe that would come against you today!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for making me a phenomenal, walloping, conquering force! Because of what Jesus has done for me, I am no longer a struggling loser. Instead, I possess the power to be an enormous overcomer! Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me take my eyes off my past failures so I can focus on the power of the resurrection that lives inside me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly declare that in Jesus Christ, I am a conqueror who is utmost, paramount, foremost, first-rate, first-class, and top-notch; greater, higher, and better than; superior to; preeminent, dominant, incomparable; more than a match for; unsurpassed, unequaled, and unrivaled by any challenge that would ever try to come against me!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How do you honestly see yourself in life—as a winner or a loser?
  2. Think about the Christians you know who exude boldness and confidence in the Lord. What do those people do to maintain that sense of confidence on a consistent basis?
  3. What steps can you take to begin to see yourself as God sees you according to His

 

Thankfulness Or Bitterness

QUESTION: Do you happen to have a gnarly problem in your life that simply will not go away? There seems to be no solution?

When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, dont resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the PROCESS go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find that you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” (James 1:2-4 – Phillips Translation)

How are you handling it?

  • Pouting over it?
  • Smashing it?
  • Trying to ignore it?
  • Running away from it?

Or thanking God for it!

… And asking Him to use the problem as a CHISEL in His hand to fashion you into Christlikeness?

Thankfulness is the mechanism that releases us from the bondage of life’s “UNSOLVABLES,” thereby giving God permission to use the “UNSOLVABLES” to mold our character into His.

Once we release our anger, our control… our “rights,” God is free to go to work… on us.!

Paul’s “UNSOLVABLE” problem was a physical one. Relatively easy perhaps compared to yours. Three times he asked God to remove the problem… To no avail. But in releasing it to God, he discovered the two resources he most needed to live with his enigma: God’s GRACE and God’s STRENGTH:

And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for POWER IS PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS. Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me… for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10b)

The same sun that softens the butter hardens the clay.” In living with our unresolved issues we have a CHOICE of becoming softened or hardened: Christlike or embittered.

Again… the choice is ours!

 

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