VIDEO Yielding, Break Every Fetter

The first thing I must be willing to admit when I begin to examine what controls and dominates me is that I am the one responsible for having yielded myself to whatever it may be. If I am a slave to myself, I am to blame because somewhere in the past I yielded to myself. Likewise, if I obey God I do so because at some point in my life I yielded myself to Him.

If a child gives in to selfishness, he will find it to be the most enslaving tyranny on earth. There is no power within the human soul itself that is capable of breaking the bondage of the nature created by yielding. For example, yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust, and although you may hate yourself for having yielded, you become enslaved to that thing. (Remember what lust is— “I must have it now,” whether it is the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind.) No release or escape from it will ever come from any human power, but only through the power of redemption. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power in your life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. “…He has anointed Me…to proclaim liberty to the captives…” (Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61:1).

When you yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, “Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like,” you will know you can’t. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Beware of isolation; beware of the idea that you have to develop a holy life alone. It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be. The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children, and you will soon find how God alters your set. God does not contradict our social instincts; He alters them.  Biblical Psychology, 189 L

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“Go and Do Likewise”

And when he saw him, he had compassion. Luke 10:33b

Jim Cantelon wrote of meeting a widow who lived in a small hut in the slums of South Africa. The bone-thin woman cared for eighteen orphans, and another had arrived that day. The child’s family had died of AIDS. As Jim watched, the woman began weeping. “I just can’t take it anymore,” she cried. “I have nothing, no one, no hope.” Then she paused, and in a moment she lifted her hands to heaven, saying, “Ah, but I do have hope. I put my trust in my heavenly Father.”

God gave her the strength to continue caring for those in unspeakable need.1

Our world is filled with hidden heroes—Christians serving despite extreme poverty, constant persecution, and ravaging conditions. Many of us are more fortunate in our surroundings. But sometimes we’re less compassionate in our hearts. As children of God, we need to love those we meet regardless of our role in life. Our kindness may be the only way some people will ever see Christ. Our testimony can shine through our actions to bring light to a dreary life. We do have hope as we trust our heavenly Father. Perhaps we can pass that hope to someone else today.

Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some person ever reads. William J. Toms

Our Struggle With Guilt

1 John 1:5-9

For some of us, guilt is a steady companion. We live under the weight of past mistakes and the fear of future wrongdoing. Even if we try to move forward, self-reproach tags along.

Not all guilty emotions are based in fact, but those that result from breaking biblical or civil law are legitimate: When we transgress, the Holy Spirit points out what is wrong and how to correct it. Then, in response to our confession, God offers us forgiveness and cleansing from guilt every single time (Ps. 32:5).

Where does false guilt originate? There are several answers. For one thing, Satan uses it to harass believers. Through lies and accusations, the enemy seeks to replace inner peace with turmoil, and joy with discouragement.

Another source of guilt is legalism, the judging of conduct according to a precise standard. God’s Word establishes the way we are to live, but some Christians and churches impose additional rules. And failure to follow man-made regulations can produce shame. Childhood experiences can also bring out the negative emotion of guilt. Whether this stems from the aftermath of traumatic events or the feeling that we didn’t meet parental expectations, a memory can prompt us to judge ourselves harshly as adults. Living under severe criticism can have this effect, too, as can perfectionistic tendencies—which tell us we can always “do more” and “do better.”

Legalism, painful childhood experiences, perfectionism, and hurtful comments are fertile soil for guilt. If you struggle with self-condemnation, be sure to check the legitimacy of the source.

Stir Up

“Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.” (2 Peter 1:13)

It is apparently rather easy, in this day of football games, rock concerts, and race riots, to get the emotions of a crowd all stirred up. The stirring of emotions can be either good or bad, of course, depending on the cause.

In our text, the apostle Peter says we need to be stirred up by our memories—that is, our remembrances of His “great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” For “he that lacketh these things,” said Peter, “hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” and urgently needs “to have these things always in remembrance” (vv. 4, 9, 15).

Something else needs to be stirred up, said Paul to Timothy. “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6). Each believer has received certain gifts from God, but these need to be stirred up and used both boldly and wisely for Christ.

Finally, Peter says that the purpose in writing both his epistles was to “stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour” (2 Peter 3:1-2). This was written especially for “the last days” (v. 3), indicating that they should stir up, not their emotions, but their minds! To meet the critical needs of the last days, they should have their minds full of the Scriptures of both Old and New Testaments. These Scriptures should even be memorized, if possible, so they can be called up “by way of remembrance” whenever needed. The Holy Scriptures are simple enough to be received by a child, yet they can stir up our minds with their heights and depths, and will stir our hearts as well. HMM

“I have surely seen the affliction of My people.”

Exodus 3:1-8, 10-20

Exodus 3:1

Though a man of deep learning he did not disdain the shepherd’s calling. There is no disgrace in work, but great shame in idleness,

Exodus 3:2-3

This is a standing emblem of the church, and often both friend and foe, like Moses, are puzzled to understand the marvel. It is wonderful that so poor and powerless a thing as a bush should survive the fires which try it so severely.

Exodus 3:6

Kike his ancestor Jacob, he felt “how dreadful is this place.” Fear rather than joy prevailed.

Exodus 3:11

The more fit a man is for God’s work the lower is his esteem of himself.

Exodus 3:12

What an answer to all fears is that sweet word “Certainly I will be with thee.”

Exodus 3:14

By these two names the immutability and self-existence of God are set forth. Our God for ever exists and is for ever the same.

Exodus 3:15-17

Sooner or later the Lord will bless his people and deliver them. He may for awhile leave them under severe trial, but he is mindful of his covenant and will visit them at the set time.

 

Love’s presence keeps the bush alive,

Grace ‘mid the flames can make us thrive;

Nor need th’ afflicted saint despair,

Though in the fire, the Lord is there.

 

Payday Is on the Way!

Hebrews 10:35

If you have ever invested time, money, energy, and commitment into God’s Kingdom that no one knew about except you and the Lord, it did not go unnoticed. The Lord saw it all. And according to Hebrews 10:35, He plans on reimbursing you in full!

The phrase “recompense of reward” is from the Greek word misthapodosia, and it carries the idea of being reimbursed for an expense that a person has paid out of his own pocket in order to get his job done. Here’s a situation that is an example of this definition: A company sends an employee on a business trip. Because the company gives the employee no credit card or cash for the journey, the employee uses his own credit cards and puts his own money on the table. He willingly uses his own resources, at least temporarily, to cover these costs and needs for the organization. (For more on the word misthapodosia, see February 10.)

Of course, it’s always nice when an employee can use a company credit card or corporate cash to handle these travel needs. But because neither cash nor a credit card was available at the time, the employee has no choice but to cover the cost himself and then expect the company to reimburse him later for these expenses. Once the trip is over, it’s time for him to tally up the total amount owed. Then he can be recompensed for what he willingly contributed at a difficult or inconvenient moment.

Now the Greek word misthapodosia—which essentially conveys the ideas described above—is brought into play in Hebrews 10:35, where the Bible declares: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.”

The word “confidence” is the Greek word parresia, which refers to bold, frank, forthright speech. This bold kind of speech is often translated in the New Testament as the word “confidence.” Indeed, it does depict a confident kind of speaking— a daring to speak exactly what one believes or thinks with no hesitation or intimidation. Because this kind of speech is so bold, it frequently incites a volatile reaction.

An example of this can be found in First Thessalonians 2:2, where Paul writes, “But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.” The phrase “bold in our God to speak” is from the word parresia. Paul inserts the words “in our God” to let us know he was so bold that only God could have enabled him to be that audacious. His preaching caused a great stir; therefore, the verse could be translated, “… we were emboldened in God to publicly speak the Gospel and to be very outspoken and forthright in the way we proclaimed it, even though we were thrown into a serious fight with opposing forces that were very hostile to what we were doing and saying.”

Similarly, the word “confidence” used in Hebrews 10:35 also refers to very bold, frank speech— communication that is so strong, listeners may perceive the speaker to be arrogant, haughty, or overconfident. So apparently the believers to whom Hebrews 10:35 was written were speaking something that was very bold and extraordinarily frank. What words were they speaking? They were speaking words of faith!

Apparently these Hebrew Christians had been speaking those words a long time—and they had been waiting and waiting for those faith-filled words to come to pass. After investing their lives, their time, their energy, and their faith into their walk with God, they wanted to see some action! Because their answers hadn’t come yet, they were tempted to throw it all away as though the manifestation was never going to come to pass. That’s why the verse screams at them, “Cast not away your confidence….: God was saying to them, “Don’t throw away your bold confessions of faith!”

Why did they need to hang on and continue believing and speaking words of faith? The verse tells us why: because their confidence—their bold confessions of faith—had great recompense of reward. As discussed above, the word “recompense” is misthapodosia.

 

God wanted these Hebrew Christians to know:

“… I know what you’ve done to serve Me. I am aware of the time, energy, effort, work, and money you have spent to do the job I sent you to do. Go ahead and tally up what is owed you, and boldly declare that you will be reimbursed. I will see to it that you recoup everything you spent along the way. You’ll get everything that you’ve spent and that you’ve been declaring by faith!”

You may be tempted to feel like you’ve wasted years waiting for your calling or your dream to come to pass. The devil may try to beguile you into thinking your bold confessions of faith are mere fantasies that are never going to happen. But God’s Word promises He will reward you for all you’ve sacrificed and invested along the way. He has heard every faith declaration you have made, and He will reward you and reimburse you for all the time, energy, commitment, and money you’ve given over the years!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am so thankful that You are always mindful of the time, money, and talents—as well as the blood, sweat, and tears—that I’ve poured into my life assignment. Sometimes when it gets hard or when I get physically or emotionally exhausted, I am tempted to think no one sees or appreciates what I have done. But You have seen it all, and You are going to be faithful to see that I am rewarded for what I have done. I thank You for being so steadfast and faithful and for promising that I will be recompensed for everything I’ve done with a right heart!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly declare that God is going to reward me! God’s Word promises that He sees what I have done and that He will see to it that I am fully recompensed for all I have done in His name. Because I am convinced that God will take care of me, I boldly, frankly, and confidently declare that my payday is on the way! He knows about everything I have done in faith, and He will reward and reimburse me for all the time, energy, commitment, and money I’ve given to His work over the years!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. What are some of the desires of your heart that you’ve recently been boldly confessing by faith so God can bring them to pass in your life?
  2. What is the biggest manifestation of faith you’ve ever experienced in your own life?
  3. How long did you have to wait before it came to pass?

 

Winning People And Running A Business

Solomon, an entrepreneur of epic proportions (Ecclesiastes 2) and a man concerned about spiritual matters, penned five poignant observations about sowing and reaping — Principles that apply equally to business and the winning of the lost:

 

1. Get out there and sow the seed because in time you will reap the benefits of your efforts.

 

Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

 

2. Diversify your efforts on several fronts, as you do not know what misfortune lies ahead.

 

Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what mischance may occur on the earth.” (Ecclesiastes 11:2)

 

3. Be forever at the sowing process as you do not know which of your efforts will pay off.

 

Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6)

 

4. Don’t wait for the perfect conditions before sowing or reaping as they may never exist.

 

He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

 

5. Understand that God is behind the scenes sovereignly (though perhaps mysteriously) superintending everything.

 

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

 

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get out there and win the lost and make business!

 

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