VIDEO Total Surrender

Our Lord replies to this statement of Peter by saying that this surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29). It was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves would get out of it. Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result. For example, “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy.” Being delivered from sin and being made holy are the result of being right with God, but surrender resulting from this kind of thinking is certainly not the true nature of Christianity. Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself. It is like saying, “No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ‘This is what God has done for me.’ ” Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.

Where does Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our natural relationships? Most of us will desert Him with this excuse— “Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me and I have my own interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57-62). “Then,” Jesus says, “you ‘cannot be My disciple’ ” (see Luke 14:26-33).

True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God. Most of us have only a vision of what this really means, but have never truly experienced it.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man.  Disciples Indeed, 388 L

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Reminding God Of His Promise

Israel

When Jacob is coming back to his own land and knows he will encounter Esau, he becomes afraid and understandably so. Jacob tricked his brother out of both his birthright and blessing. For all he knows, the skilled hunter, will kill him and his family. And that is why Jacob prays. But he doesn’t just pray, he also reminds God of His promise.

It is not that God is forgetful or needs reminding. It is for our benefit, to strengthen our faith in God. This is one of the main reasons that God gives us His prophetic word. So that when everything is screaming, “It’ll never happen!” you can rely on God’s word. Jacob could say, “Okay…it looks like my big bro is going to take me out for what I did, but Lord God Almighty, You told me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you.’So, I am going to choose to trust you.”

Reminding God of His word is biblical. I think of one of the most powerful passages in Scripture where the Lord tells us to remind him of His promise.

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Is. 62:6-7)

The Hebrew would be better translated “they will never be silent day or night, those whoREMIND the Lord.” The word that the NIV translates as “call” is “Mazkir” which means to remind. And in this case, just like with Jacob, Jerusalem is not living up to her calling, which is to be a “praise in the earth.” Jerusalem has an anointing, a calling to bring blessing to the world. But presently she is the source of great controversy. She is not the City of Peace or “praise in all the earth” and, in the natural, it doesn’t look like it will come to pass any time soon.

Our Israel Tour Group Walks the Walls of Jerusalem as Watchmen.

Our Israel Tour Group Walks the Walls of Jerusalem as Watchmen.

So, believers from around the world serve as “watchmen on the walls”. The Lord says to these watchmen:

  1. Remind me of my promise to Jerusalem.
  2. Give me no rest until I do it.

Okay, that is Jerusalem…but let’s return to the personal—to Jacob’s experience. Jacob was being tested. God was sending him in a very scary direction. In the natural, it was a direction that could bankrupt him in every way. His wives could be abused. His children could be enslaved. So in this insecurity, he reminds Yahweh— “You told me to do this and it would end up good, so I am trusting you.” And in so doing, Jacob’s faith is strengthen. In the end, Esau greets Jacob as a brother, not an enemy. The Lord gives Jacob great favor with his brother.

So, what are you facing today? Is the Lord leading you into uncharted territory? Is it scary? Remind the Lord of what He promises—both His personal prophetic word to your heart and the plethora of promises in His word.

For me, just this morning, I was with a friend. God has a great call on his life and opened a mighty door. But there are few Esau encounters before him. We were able to find courage and strength in the Lord, by remembering the incredible prophetic confirmation that led him down this road. We recounted some of them to remind us, “God is with us, there is nothing to fear, the battle is the Lord’s.” No, the Lord had not forgotten, we needed reminding!

So let me encourage you not to give up. God has a plan. Remind Him of His promise to you.

by RON CANTOR

http://barbwire.com/2016/12/29/reminding-god-promise/

How God Reveals His Presence

Psalm 16:7-9

If you have never experienced the presence of God, you may wonder how He reveals Himself to believers. The Lord has many different ways of reaching out to His children, so the following is certainly not a complete list. But if you desire to know that the Father is always near, He will choose the best way to connect with you.

God speaks. I have never heard the Lord’s audible voice, but I have experienced Him speaking clearly and forcefully to my heart. His communication is so unmistakable that those who hear Him remember the message and the reverent excitement long after.

God sends a message. Sometimes the Lord lays on a person’s heart the need to get alone with Him. When this happens to me, God is usually saying He’s ready to give me Sunday’s sermon. It is unwise to ignore such urgings or even to delay until a more “convenient” time—I have made the mistake of putting off listening only to discover that when I finally did slow down, the message was harder to receive outside of the Father’s perfect timing.

God makes His presence known through His Word. I meditated for a month on a recent sermon’s Bible passage. Every day I wanted to go back to the same verses because God kept giving me new truths and insights. I knew I was in His presence because His Word was speaking specifically to my heart.

The Lord is real and present in this world. He wants to share Himself with us so we can draw contentment, courage, and joy from His presence. To know what He’s saying, we must be willing to slow down and listen.

In the Spirit

“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)

We cannot see or hear the Holy Spirit, but He is very real and is, in fact, the very life of each true Christian. It is only through Him that we have access in prayer to the Father, as our text points out. Christ in His resurrection body is seated at the right hand of the Father in the distant heavens, but the Holy Spirit has His temple in our very bodies.

He not only hears each spoken prayer, but also each thought of our hearts. From the moment we receive Christ, we live in the Spirit; He is always with us, to guide our steps, to bear witness with our spirits that we belong to God, to illumine our understanding, and, when needed, to convict and chasten when we get out of His will.

Therefore, “if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). When we yield to some worldly temptation, it is because we have ignored this admonition, for the promise is “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). The very presence of the Holy Spirit assures our eternal salvation, so how can we ignore His holy constraints on our behavior? “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). We speak of worshiping God in church, or home, or elsewhere, but if we really worship Him, we must “worship God in the spirit” (Philippians 3:3), for we have access to the Father, and the Son, only in the Spirit.

When we pray, we must be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. . . . For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:9, 14). HMM

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise.”

Exodus 1:1-14, 22

Our reading will now take us back from the land of Uz to the land of Egypt, where we left the chosen family in Goshen.

Exodus 1:1

The Lord knoweth them that are his. The names of the godly seed are precious to his heart.

Exodus 1:7

Thus the ancient covenant that Abraham’s seed should be many received its first fulfilment. God is not unmindful of his promises.

Exodus 1:8

Out of sight out of mind; a man may confer on a nation permanent advantages, but he cannot hope for permanent gratitude. Those who serve man are generally rewarded with forgetfulness.

Exodus 1:10

The ungodly always try to make out that God’s people are a dangerous set, but indeed, if they would treat them kindly they would find them the best of neighbours. It is only when they wilfully stumble at this stone that it breaks them. The Egyptians tried to prevent the increase of Israel. Vain was this attempt. Pharaoh might as well have tried to stem the sea, or prevent the rising of the Nile. Jehovah had determined that the people should be multiplied, and no policy of kings and princes could prevent it. Great was the monarch’s worldly wisdom, his plan had in it both the subtlety and cruelty of Satan, and yet he was but a fool, and his schemes failed at every point.

Exodus 1:12

Unscrupulous and determined as the enemies of God’s people have been, they have nevertheless been unable to achieve their design. The church must spread, and spread too by the very means made use of to destroy her. There are herbs which increase rapidly when they are trodden upon, and true religion is one of them.

Exodus 1:13-14

This was with the view of degrading them, crushing their spirit, and lessening their vigour, but the cruel device succeeded not. No weapon can prosper against the Lord’s chosen. Hard labour is after all less injurious than pampered indolence. Better slave in a brick-kiln than canker in laziness.

After a futile attempt to procure the murder of all the male children by those who attended at their birth, Pharaoh passed a tyrannical decree which is thus recorded.

Exodus 1:22

Murder was thus called in to make an end of the elect people, but it was in vain. The Lord of Israel was greater than the King of Egypt, and proved more than a match for all his plots and plans.

 

What though to make our numbers less

Our foes their wisdom try,

The more our enemies oppress,

The more we multiply.

 

Then let the world forbear its rage,

Nor put the church in fear,

Israel must live through every age

And be th’ Almighty’s care.

 

You Are One Of God’s Pillars!

1 Corinthians 15:58

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, Wow, that person is such a rock! What does it mean to you when you think of someone as a “rock”? That’s a strong statement, so it would be well worth your time to think it through and decide what characteristic makes a person a “rock” to you, to someone else, or to a church, business, or organization. Even more importantly, would others call you a “rock”?

In First Corinthians 15:58, Paul writes, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord….” I want you to look at the word “stedfast” in this verse, because it illustrates what kind of person God considers to be a “rock” in His family.

What does it mean to be steadfast! This word “steadfast” is the Greek word edraios, which has several meanings:

  • It means to be stationary, such as something that sits in one place for a long, long time.
  • It describes something that is firm and steady.
  • It was frequently used in connection with foundations or support structures in buildings.
  • It portrays something that is strong unbendable, unbreakable, and permanent, such as a well-built foundation for a large building or a strong column that holds up a roof.

So when Paul urges us to be “steadfast,” he’s calling on us to be totally reliable—not shaky or undependable. We should be stationary in the roles God has called us to fulfill in the Body of Christ. We shouldn’t be quickly shaken or easily lured to some other place or some other task. We must be like pillars, foundations, or supports in the house of God.

 

When you take the Greek word edraios into consideration, it means First Corinthians 15:58 could be interpreted:

“… Be reliable; dependable; not easily excited, shaken, or affected….”

What is the purpose of a huge stone pillar in a building? Its purpose is to support the roof or some other important section of the building, correct? What would happen if you suddenly jerked that pillar out of its place? You’d find out very quickly that the pillar had been essential to holding up the place! Remove that pillar, and the entire building would collapse into a heap of rubble, creating a horrible, terrible mess!

When God tells you to be “steadfast,” He is asking you to be a “rock” in His house—like a pillar that faithfully stands in its place and helps to hold things together. He wants you to be so dependable that people lean on you, counting on the fact that you’ll always be there to help keep things together. And when events occur that shake up everyone’s world a bit, God wants people to look to you as one who isn’t easily excited, shaken, or affected.

Now that you know the kind of “rock” God needs you to be, would you say that you qualify to be called a “rock” today? Would others call you a “rock,” or would they say you are up again, down again; easily excited; and not too dependable? If you got real honest with yourself, would you judge yourself to be steady, sturdy, and reliable—or unpredictable and undependable?

Don’t view yourself as small, insignificant, or unimportant. God needs you, and other people are depending on you. It’s time for you to realize that God meant for you to be a part of the foundation of the Body of Christ! You can be a “rock” in His family and a person on whom others can lean and depend.

If you’re thinking differently than this, you need to change your thinking. Instead of focusing on how insignificant you are in God’s great plan for these last days, start focusing on becoming steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work the Lord has assigned to you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I want to be the person You and others can depend on. Forgive me for any instability in my life, and help me overcome every weakness in my character. Just as I have looked for others to be “rocks” in my life, I want to be a “rock” to other people. I have a lot of room for development in my life, but I am willing to be changed. I want to be taught, corrected, and taken to a higher level. Today I ask You to do whatever is necessary to make me the strong and reliable kind of person You want me to be! Please do Your special work inside me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God’s Word overcomes the weaknesses in my personality and character. God calls me to be “steadfast”and I AM steadfast. God and people see me like a pillar that stands in its place and helps to hold things together. I am so dependable that people can lean on me, counting on the fact that I will always be there to help keep things together. When events occur that shake up the world around me, I am not easily excited, shaken, or affected. Praise God, I am becoming more and more dependable all the time! When people hear my name, they think of someone on whom they can rely!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you think of five people who have been “rocks” in your life? Why not go out of your way to let those people know how much you appreciate them?
  2. What strengths did those people exhibit that made you think so highly of them?
  3. Is there anyone who needs your strength right now? What can you do to be a “rock” to that person in his time of need?

Don’t view yourself as small, insignificant, or unimportant. God needs you, and other people are depending on you.

 

One Of Our Problems With God Is That He Seems To Be On A Different Time Schedule

Living as we do in the fast-paced world of deadlines and a “Time is Money” paradigm, the idea of waiting around for God to do something comes off as impractical, mystical, and… well — Irritating. We can identify with the guy who prayed for patience, “Lord, I want patience, and I want it now!!

 

And yet… that is often what God expects us to do: Wait. We have to admit that His sense of timing often mystifies us:

  • He calls Abraham, promises him a great nation and then waits 25 years before allowing him to have his first son, Isaac. (See Genesis 12, 16).
  • He allows the Nation Israel to languish under Egypt’s heel for 430 years of slavery before calling Moses to their rescue. (See Exodus 12:40).
  • And when He finally does call Moses, He first has him out tending sheep for 40 years. (See Exodus 2, 3)

Certainly we can concur with God’s statement, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways… ” (Isaiah 55:8)

 

So let me ask you: Are you usually rushed? In a hurry? Driving toward a goal? Anxious about getting things done?

 

Could it be that from time to time you get out in front of God by pushing things your way… accomplishing your agenda on your time table?

 

Our Sovereign Father who knows the end from the beginning, promises to make “All things beautiful in His time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

 

Everything God intends, will happen: Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned, so it will stand.” (Isaiah 14:24)

 

Perhaps we need to be reminded that the Scriptures usually equate rushing with sinning:

 

It is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet errs.” (Proverbs 19:2)

 

So take heart dear friend in Christ. Rest in the Psalmist’s admonition to “Let go, relax, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

 

Our loving Father is profoundly interested in every detail of your life. He will see you through to the end… if you will let Him do it His way and on His timetable.

 

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