VIDEO Courage To Love

Dec 1, 2014

In pre-Civil War New Orleans, Vanessa Williams portrays the African American daughter of a plantation owner. Fighting her family’s wishes, she rejects the traditions of an arranged marriage and sets out on a journey fraught with danger. This inspiring true story of heroism and love illuminates the extraordinary life of Henriette Dalille, the first African-American saint.

Cradled in Comfort

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you. Isaiah 66:13

My friend entrusted me with the privilege of holding her precious, four-day-old daughter. Not long after I took the baby into my arms, she started to fuss. I hugged her closer, my cheek pressed against her head, and began to sway and hum in a gentle rhythm to soothe her. Despite these earnest attempts, and my decade and a half of parenting experience, I couldn’t pacify her. She became increasingly upset until I placed her back into the crook of her mother’s eager arm. Peace washed over her almost instantaneously; her cries subsided and her newborn frame relaxed into the safety she already trusted. My friend knew precisely how to hold and pat her daughter to alleviate her distress.

God extends comfort to His children like a mother: tender, trustworthy, and diligent in her efforts to calm her child. When we are weary or upset, He carries us affectionately in His arms. As our Father and Creator, He knows us intimately. He “will keep in perfect peace all who trust in [him], all whose thoughts are fixed on [him]” (Isa. 26:3 nlt).

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you. Isaiah 66:13

When the troubles of this world weigh heavy on our hearts, we can find comfort in the knowledge that He protects and fights for us, His children, as a loving parent.

Lord, help me to look to You for my comfort in times of distress.

For help in finding God’s comfort, read The Lord Is My Shepherd: Rest and Renewal from Psalm 23 at discoveryseries.org/hp952.

God’s comfort soothes us perfectly.

INSIGHT:In reflecting on the exile of Israel under divine discipline, the prophet Isaiah offers hope and comfort. He sees very clearly that “the Holy One of Israel” and the Creator of all things in heaven and earth are connected. Israel had a wayward heart that is characteristic of the human race. Yet the ultimate goal of Israel’s discipline was to secure their repentance and therefore a future blessing in the eternal covenant established with His people. Certainly God’s plan for Israel’s redemption included an unexpected impulse of divine grace extended to all the peoples of the world—from every tribe, tongue, and nation: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9).

 

Turning Inadequacy Into Victory

Philippians 2:13

In every life, a sense of insufficiency will surface from time to time, but through the Holy Spirit, we have the power to combat it. Like the many insufficient but willing saints who have gone before us, we can turn inadequacy into victory.

1. Acknowledge your weakness. Suppose a neighbor walks across the yard and tells you about his sister’s life-threatening illness. He is upset and scared, wondering what comes after death. You clearly sense God speaking in your heart, urging you to explain His saving grace to the man, but inadequacy nearly drowns out the prompting. Feeling unsure is a normal human reaction, and following God’s directive requires that we acknowledge our fear—for example, by praying, “Lord, I don’t feel capable of witnessing to my neighbor.”

2. Pray for strength. Say to God, “Father, I know this is what You want me to do, so I am trusting You to be true to Your Word. You said You would make me adequate in Christ Jesus.” The Lord assumes responsibility for enabling you to know what to say, how to say it, and the spirit in which to deliver His message.

3. Step out in faith. Do something that propels you into the God-given opportunity, allowing Him to prove His power and your ability when you rely upon Him.

Let the Lord turn your inadequacy into victory—He delights in proving Himself in His children’s lives. The key is to look beyond our limitations to Jesus Christ’s total sufficiency. Only then can we live joyfully and confidently, even when we are painfully aware of our personal shortcomings.

The Mystery of Darkness

“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)

The Bible reveals that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), and also that, in the ages to come, there will be no more darkness. God promises twice that there shall be “no night there” (Revelation 21:25; 22:5) in the very last references to night in the Bible.

Why, then, is there darkness, and where did it come from? God gives the answer: “I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness” (Isaiah 45:6-7). Light was always in and with God, but the darkness had to be created! And, it has a purpose, serving as a contrast to the light.

Men and women were created to love and have fellowship with their Creator, not as robots but in freedom. Darkness thus served as the choice that could be made against God and the light, for those so minded. Satan and his hosts of fallen angels and wicked spirits have become “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). The tragedy is that ever since Adam, men have “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19), and so have been practicing “the works of darkness” (Romans 13:12), and deserving nothing but “the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 1:13).

But our Creator has become our Redeemer. He “hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9), paying the great price for our redemption on the cross. The Father “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13); we are now free to enter into the eternal fellowship with God that He had planned before the world began. We should “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). HMM

“He hath triumphed gloriously.”

Exodus 15:1-21

We will now read the song of Moses, which is prophetically typical of the ultimate victory of the Lord Jesus.

Exodus 15:1-21

In order to leave the song unbroken, we have reserved our few notes for the end of it.

Observe the sublimity and simplicity of the composition. Fine, florid language suits the little elegancies of man but not the glories of the Lord. Note how all the song is to the praise of the Lord alone, there is not a note for Moses or for Aaron; no hint of secondary agents, but Jehovah alone is exalted. Remark the noise, hurry, and violence of the foe, in verse 9, and the calmness of the Lord, in verse 10. It will be well to read them both again. Man is raving and threatening, and the Lord in placid omnipotence defeats his rage. Consider also, how the poet infers the future from the present. God who brought his people through the sea, would surely bring them into their heritage. He who has wrought marvels of grace already, will not leave us till grace is turned into glory.

What a noble hallelujah is that of verse 18, “Jehovah shall reign for ever and ever.” It is a plain inference from his overthrow of his enemies. Let us triumph in our reigning God. He has overcome sin, death, and hell for us; let us therefore, like Miriam, rejoice with all the saints. Let our heart dance, and our hand make music unto our Redeemer, who has cast our enemies into the depths of the sea.

 

Do You Have the Right To Demand Anything From God?

John 15:7

Exactly how bold can you dare to be in prayer? Do you have the right to come into the Presence of God and make certain demands of Him? What are your rights, your limitations, and your boundaries when it comes to the issue of prayer?

Jesus used an attention-grabbing word in John 15:7 when He was speaking to the disciples about prayer. The King James Version says, “… Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” The Greek word “ask” destroys any religious suggestion that we are lowly worms who have no right to come into the Presence of God. It also destroys the picture that we must pitifully beg and plead for the things we need of the Lord. You see, the word “ask” is the Greek word aiteo, a word that means to be adamant in requesting and demanding assistance to meet tangible needs, such as food, shelter, money, and so forth.

Although this word aiteo means to demand or to insist, it does not give a believer license to be arrogant or rude in his approach to God. In fact, in the New Testament, the word aiteo is used to portray a person addressing a superior. The person may insist or demand that a certain need be met, but he approaches and speaks to his superior with respect and honor. Additionally, the word aiteo expresses the idea that one possesses a full expectation to receive what was firmly requested.

There is no doubt that this word describes someone who prays authoritatively, in a sense demanding something from God. This person knows what he needs and is so filled with faith that he isn’t afraid to boldly come into God’s Presence to ask and expect to receive what he has requested.

Some people are disturbed by this idea of “demanding” something from God. However, they wouldn’t find this particular concept of prayer so disturbing if they kept it in context with the entire verse.

The first part of John 15:7 gives the key: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you….”

Jesus knew that if His words take up permanent residency in your heart and mind, you will never ask for something that is out of line with His will for your life. His Word will so transform your mind that your prayers will always be in accordance with what He has already said. In fact, this transformation process is what gives you the confidence to boldly come into God’s Presence and make your requests known! You ask boldly because you already know it is what He wants to do!

When you know you are praying according to the will of God, you don’t have to sheepishly utter your requests. Rather, you can boldly assert your faith and expect God to move on your behalf! To tell the truth, God wants you to act boldly and courageously in prayer. He wants you to seize His will for your life and demand that it come into manifestation! He’s just waiting for you to ask!

And don’t think that you can only come to God for spiritual blessings. As noted earlier, the word aiteo used in John 15:7 primarily has to do with requesting things of a physical and material nature, such as food, clothes, shelter, money, and so forth. Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek the Kingdom of God first, God will see to it that all the material things we need are provided. On the other hand, James 4:2 teaches that believers often do not have what they need because they don’t ask!

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The word translated “request” is also the word aiteo. By using aiteo in this verse, Paul also urges us to be bold, authoritative, and commanding. However, he underscores the point that our approach to God must not be rude and arrogant but rather filled with gratefulness and thanksgiving. This means we should have a thankful, grateful heart as we come to make our requests known.

As you allow God’s Word to take an authoritative role in your heart and mind and you give that Word the freedom to transform your thinking, your mind will become renewed to God’s will. When that happens, it will cause you to pray in accordance with His plan for your life. Once you are in this position, you are ready to experience this aiteo kind of prayer. That’s when you can begin to boldly, courageously, and confidently move into higher realms of prayer to obtain the petition you desire of God! As you make your bold requests known to God, take the time to show your respect by thanking Him for all He has done in your life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I’m so glad that I can be bold and straight to the point when I come into Your Presence. I am so thankful that You want me to boldly present my needs to You and expect You to answer my requests. Jesus told me to boldly ask, so it is right for me to do just that! Today I come before You to tell You about some big needs I have in my life—and because I know You want to bless and help me, I am releasing my faith, fully expecting to receive what I request of You today!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am bold when I come to God in prayer. Because Jesus beckons me to come to the Father with bold, frank, and confident requests, I make my needs known to God and fully expect Him to answer me. He is my Father, and I am His child. He WANTS me to be bold enough to ask Him to meet my needs, and He promises never to withhold any good thing from me!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you ever felt like you needed to beg and plead for God to do something in your life?
  2. How is the teaching  going to change your prayer life?
  3. Can you think of one thing you can boldly ask God to do for you today?

 

Want To Run A Biblically Based Business With Christian Values?

Here’s “Jack’s Service Company’s” statement of values :

 

1. Trustworthy With Integrity — We will be reliable, dependable, and can be counted on to keep promises. We will do what we say we will do within the promised time frame. (See 1 Samuel 2:3)

 

2. Worth of the Individual — We will practice the ‘Golden Rule’ in decision-making. We will respect human life, dignity and rights of each including health, safety and work environment. We are in business for ‘people’ (employees, customers, vendors), not for our own wealth, power, prestige or ego. (See Luke 15:1-7; Matthew 7:12)

 

3. Family & Stability in Relationships — The family is the foundation unit of every society. We will respect women as wives, men as husbands, and singles. The family has a higher priority than the firm and its profitability; therefore, we will seek to build it up, not tear it down. (See Galatians 6:1-9)

 

4. Honest & Truthful Communication — We will strive to be genuine, open and above board in all relationships. We will honestly and accurately report the facts. (See Colossians 3:8, 9)

 

5. Responsibility of the Individual As Part of the Team — Each of us will accept individual accountability for how we carry out our responsibilities. We will aim to motivate each other by praise rather than criticism to create an atmosphere of productivity and freedom to admit individual mistakes in order to accomplish team goals. (See Ephesians 4:28-32)

 

6. Balance of Work/Rest — Vacations and breaks will be encouraged so that proper rest, recreation, and reflection will maximize long-term productivity and effectiveness. We believe in working hard, but not necessarily in working unproductive long hours just for the sake of appearance. (See Mark 6:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12)

 

7. Rewarding Productivity — We will seek to reward industriousness, innovation, initiative, prudence, and discipline. Our focus is to develop our full potential, the result of which is reaping rewards of our labor. (See Ecclesiastes 5:18, 19; 1 Timothy 5:18, 19)

 

8. Everyone is Accountable to Authority — Any enterprise must have structure and organization. Every person is accountable to a higher authority. (See 1 Peter 2:13-18)

 

9. Servant Leaders — Effective leaders will be servants who have attracted a following because of their passion, vision, integrity, and love for people. We will make every effort to develop this kind of leader. (See Mark 10:43-45)

 

10  Stewardship — We will strive to use wisely and prudently the resources with which we have been entrusted. (See 1 Corinthians 4:2)

 

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