We All Admire The Guy Who “Makes It”

We’re talking about that “Fortune 500” type who grabs the brass ring and makes things happen!

 

Here’s the brief autobiography of one such man:

 

“I built…

 

“I made…

 

“I bought…

 

“I owned…

 

“I amassed…

 

“I acquired… ”

 

And finally:

 

“I BECAME… ”

 

In other words, he arrived, having achieved affluence. Visibility. Status. Perhaps even respect.

 

And then he indulged! “I denied myself nothing… ” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-10)

 

But here is the kicker: According to his autobiography:

 

When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

 

How is this possible? Had he not achieved it all? The answer is, “No, he had not.” And the reason?

  • None of his achievements could fill his inner emptiness. As Pascal sagaciously observed, “Inside of every man there is a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill.
  • Jesus Christ cautioned, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?A mans life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Matthew 16:26; Luke 12:15)

How tragic it would be to have climbed the ladder of success, only to realize too late (as did Solomon) that you had leaned it against the wrong wall.

 

SO THE QUESTION IS: “Which wall is your ladder leaning against?”

 

 

VIDEO Book of Revelation

Jul 19, 2014

Book of Revelation – Full Movie – The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Chapter 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.


Dysfunctional

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

The word dysfunctional is often used to describe individuals, families, relationships, organizations, and even governments. While functional means it’s in proper working order, dysfunctional is the opposite—it’s broken, not working properly, unable to do what it was designed to do.

In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul begins by describing a spiritually dysfunctional humanity (1:18–32). We are all part of that rebellious company: “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. . . . For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:12, 23).

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

The good news is that “all are justified freely by [God’s] grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus . . . to be received by faith” (vv. 24–25). When we invite Christ into our lives and accept God’s offer of forgiveness and new life, we are on the path to becoming the person He created us to be. We don’t immediately become perfect, but we no longer have to remain broken and dysfunctional.

Through the Holy Spirit we receive daily strength to honor God in what we say and do and to “put off [our] old self . . . to be made new in the attitude of [our] minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:22–24).

Lord, in our dysfunctional lives we turn to You for restoration and strength. Thank You for Your amazing grace and love!

Drawing close to Christ helps us to live as He designed us.

INSIGHT:Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the fruit the Spirit grows in our lives because we “belong to Christ Jesus” (Gal. 5:22–24). In what area can you ask the Spirit to help you grow?

King of Kings

Revelation 19:11-16

In today’s passage from Revelation 19, we see Jesus exalted as the King of Kings. He is shown returning to earth to rescue His people, judge the wicked, and set up His kingdom. As heaven opens, Christ rides out on a white horse in power and great glory. This appearance is nothing like His quiet arrival in Bethlehem as a helpless baby. This time, “every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7), as He comes to bring inescapable judgment.

The exalted King is not coming alone. The armies of heaven—who are clothed in the fine linen of the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7-8)—are following Him on white horses. If you are a Christian, you will be in this army of saints and angels. This describes the fulfillment of the promise that says believers are going to rule and reign with Him (Revelation 5:10).

One day, Jesus will literally reign on this earth as King. But even before that time, He comes to rule in the heart of every believer. Sometimes Christians try to keep Him exclusively in the role of Savior, but salvation is just the beginning of all the blessings the Lord has in store for us. Only in submission and obedience to Christ’s authority will we be transformed into His image and live a life worthy of His rewards (Revelation 22:12).

In all practicality, who is the king of your life? Who is it that guides your decisions and directs your path? The Creator has a plan and purpose for your life, which can be discovered only by living under the authority of Jesus Christ. May His kingdom come and His will be done—on earth and in your heart.

Lazarus and the Rich Man

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried.” (Luke 16:22)

Many scholars believe that the episode reported in Luke 16:19-31 actually happened, that it is a true story. If it is a parable, it is not identified as such, and it is the only one in which the name of a participant is given. Christ related the story as if it were true. But whether history or parable, we can learn much from the contrast between these two dramatically different men, their deaths and destinies.

The rich man, of course, surrounded himself with luxury (v. 19) while Lazarus struggled each day just to survive until the next poverty-filled and pain-wracked day (vv. 20-21).

No one can escape the grave, however, and in the passage of time, both died. But, rather than reducing those two different individuals to the commonality of death, their differences actually are heightened. The rich man, “being in torments” (v. 23), was aware of the comfort of Lazarus in “Abraham’s bosom” (v. 22). The interchange between the rich man and Abraham, and the timeless instruction Christ gave, are well known.

Note also the contrast between “carried” and “buried” in our text. The beggar’s body was no doubt unceremoniously dumped into a pauper’s grave, while the rich man’s corpse was placed in a costly sepulcher and his funeral attended by many friends and mourners. But look beyond the earthly spectrum. While the rich man begs for mercy and relief from torment, the poor man’s eternal spirit is “carried” (literally “carried off” or “borne away”) by a convoy of angelic beings into the presence of God, where “now he is comforted” (v. 25). For Lazarus, and indeed for all who die in the Lord, “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). JDM

“Thy word have I hid in my heart.”

Psalm 119:1-16

We will now read a part of Psalm 119, that longest of the Psalms, which Luther professed to prize so highly that he would not take the whole world in exchange for one leaf of it. Bishop Cowper called it “a Holy A Alphabet.” Philip Henry recommended his children to take a verse of it every morning “and meditate upon it, and so go over the Psalm twice in a year, and that will bring you to be in love with all the rest of Scripture.” May such an excellent result follow our reading.

Psalm 119:1

Men defile themselves with sin: the only clean walking is in the path of obedience. Such holy walkers enjoy a blessedness which neither wealth nor rank could bestow upon them. This Psalm, like the Sermon on the Mount, begins with benedictions. Our holy religion teems with blessings.

Psalm 119:3

Where the whole heart loves the testimonies of God, the whole life will be sanctified, and no habit of evil will be tolerated. Yet even those who keep his testimonies, have still need to seek him more and more. They are perfect in intention, but absolute perfection they have not attained.

Psalm 119:5

What a mercy when God’s precept and our prayer tally so well. These two verses show us that what God would have his people to be, they also desire to be. He works in them to will, and then they will do his will.

Psalm 119:6

True obedience does not pick and choose, but delights in all the statutes of the Lord. If we begin to set aside one of the precepts, where shall we stop? The only way by which a man can fearlessly defend his profession against all accusers, is by rendering a sincere obedience to all the commands of God. What need there is of grace for all this.

Psalm 119:7

God’s worship should be the product of all our learning. Prayer is the helper of study, but praise should be the object and result of it.

Psalm 119:8

The resolve is good, but it needs the prayer to accompany it. The last sentence should be on our lips every day. What a calamity it would be to be deserted of the Lord!

Psalm 119:9

This verse contains a weighty question and a satisfactory answer: let all young people lay both of them to heart. Grace in the heart is the young man’s best life insurance.

Psalm 119:10

Those who are most fervent in religion are the most afraid of failing in it. Their anxiety is wise. However good our intentions may be, we cannot preserve ourselves from sin. The most ardent seeker will soon become a wanton wanderer unless the grace of God prevent.

Psalm 119:11

The best thing in the best place, for the best of purposes. Can all in this family say what David here declares.

Psalm 119:12

He gives God glory, and asks God to give him grace. Prayers and praises make a sweet mixture.

Psalm 119:13

Those who can speak should speak. Eloquent tongues should never be idle.

Psalm 119:14

In the last verse he says that he had edified others, and in this he rejoices that he had entertained himself.

Psalm 119:15, 16

What the heart delights in, the memory retains. A warm heart forgets not the Lord’s word. Is our heart warm?

 

Charged we are, with earnest care,

To observe thy precepts, Lord;

O that all my actions were

Ruled and guided by thy word!

 

Then shall I from shame be freed,

Joy and peace my heart shall fill,

When I mark with reverent heed,

Every dictate of thy will.

 

How Would You Like To Receive a Fresh Anointing?

Psalm 92:10

How would you like to receive a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit on your life today? If your answer is yes, why don’t you go before the Great Anointer and allow Him to give you that fresh anointing? This is precisely what David was referring to when he said, “… I shall be anointed with fresh oil” (Psalm 92:10).

The word “anoint” that is used primarily in the Old Testament Septuagint and the Greek New Testament comes from the Greek word chrio. This word originally denoted the smearing or rubbing of oil or perfume upon an individual. For example, if a patient came to see his physician because he had sore muscles, the physician would pour oil upon his own hands; then he would begin to deeply rub that oil into the sore muscles of his patient. That penetrating application of oil would be denoted by the Greek word chrio. So technically speaking, the word “anoint” has to do with the rubbing or smearing of oil upon someone else.

When I hear the word “anoint,” I immediately think not only of the oil, but of the hands of the Anointer! Oil was very expensive in biblical times; therefore, rather than tip the bottle of oil downward and freely pour it upon the recipient, a person would first pour the oil into his hands and then apply it to the other person. For this reason, I refer to the anointing as a “hands-on” situation. It took someone’s hands to apply the oil.

Let’s consider this concept in the context of God anointing our lives. God Himself—the Great Anointer—filled His hands with the essence of the Spirit and then laid His mighty hands upon our lives, pressing the Spirit’s power and anointing ever deeper into us. So when we speak of a person who is anointed, we are actually acknowledging that the hand of God is on that person. The strong presence of the anointing that we see or feel is a signal to let us know that God’s hand is personally resting on that individual’s life.

Therefore, if you would like a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your life, you must come before the Great Anointer! He alone can give you what you need. Open your heart to God, and allow Him to lay His hand upon your life in a new way. I guarantee you, a strong anointing will follow!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am asking You to lay Your hand upon me in a brand-new way today. Rub the oil of Your Spirit deep into my life—and let the powerful fragrance of the anointing be felt, sensed, and seen by others who are near me. I want to carry Your power and demonstrate the aroma of Your Presence, so please lay Your hand on me today and let the anointing deeply penetrate me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God’s hand is on my life. Because of this, the Spirit of the Lord rests mightily upon me. Just as He anointed Jesus, I am also anointed to preach the Gospel to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted; to preach deliverance to the captives; to give recovery of sight to the blind; and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. I carry the power of Jesus Christ, and I give off the aroma of God’s Presence!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you recall a moment when you really knew the hand of God came upon you? When that happened, what were the immediate results?
  2. How long has it been since you experienced a fresh anointing of the Spirit? Where were you when God’s hand last came upon you in a dramatic and spectacular fashion?
  3. If someone were to ask you to explain the anointing to them, what would you say? After thinking about this, try to write your answer down so you’ll be better prepared the next time someone asks you this question.

 

Is It Possible To Live A Righteous Life In A Godless Environment?

The answer of course is “YES!” Daniel of the Old Testament is probably our best example of someone who did it with class.

 

You may remember that as a Jewish lad, Daniel, along with his three compatriots, was taken captive into wicked Babylonia. Throughout his life, he demonstrated God’s faithfulness by choosing to live righteously amidst life-threatening pressures to conform otherwise.

 

HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE: Daniel lived in Babylonia, but Babylonia did not live in Daniel.

 

FOUR OBSERVATIONS ON HOW DANIEL DID IT:

 

1. DETERMINATION — Daniel determined in his heart not to eat the king’s defiled food.

 

QUESTION: Working as many of you do in the market place where compromise is a daily occurrence, have you determined in your heart to not take the first step toward defilement?

 

2. DELIVERANCE — Daniel chose to believe God for deliverance amidst humanly impossible circumstances.

 

One example was Daniel’s commitment to interpret the king’s dream before God guaranteed him the interpretation. Failure would surely cost him his life. (Daniel 2:1-23; Key vs. Daniel 2:16; See Daniel 6:6-23)

 

QUESTION: Are you willing to take steps of faith (when warranted) that could cost you an account, diminish your production, or otherwise adversely affect your career?

 

3. DEPENDENCE — In times of crisis, Daniel chose to be dependent upon his compatriots.

 

In the instances cited in 1. and 2. above, Daniel enlisted the support or prayers of his three Jewish companions. (Daniel 1:9-20; 2:17, 18)

 

QUESTION: Are you locked in with a team of friends whom you look to for mutual moral and spiritual support? Or are you choosing to tough it out alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10)

 

4. DECENCY — Daniel chose to live a life of uncompromising decency.

 

After interpreting the king’s dream he chose not to yield to the king’s influence by accepting his gifts. (Daniel 5:17; Consider also Daniel 6:1-5)

 

QUESTION: Has your moral integrity been compromised by receiving gifts or favors from those in positions of power or authority? (Proverbs 23:1-3)

 

THE BIG QUESTION: “You are in the world, but is the world in you? (John 17:13-19)

 

 

VIDEO When Men No Longer Endure Sound Doctrine!! – What does it mean to be Saved?

When Men No Longer Endure Sound Doctrine!!

(Author Unknown)

 
Have you noticed the recent trend in our post-modern church? Doctrine is out and tolerance is in. We are being told that for the sake of unity, doctrine should not be tested or contested. We are not supposed to declare any absolutes but to tolerate every wind of doctrine. Doctrinal and moral issues, which were once seen as black and white,  are now being painted gray. The state of the church is in a state of confusion. Paul forewarned of this when he wrote:  2 Timothy 4:3-4 (King James Version)  3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
 
When “Christians” turn to popular teachers who tickle their ears with messages on self esteem and self-improvement, they are also turning away from God’s Word. Without a steady diet of Scripture, they will not hear sound doctrine and therefore be unable to discern truth from error. Ultimately, they will not know if they are following Jesus Christ or His adversaries. Without discernment, the 21st century church is headed for serious trouble because the enemies of the Gospel are more determined than we are. What the Body of Christ needs now are soldiers of the Lord who are committed to battle for truth! We all need to do our part to reverse the pending death of discernment in the church. 
 
There are are teachers who faithfully preach the whole counsel of God. They exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict (2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9). These men are devoted to seeking the approval of God over the approval of men (Galatians 1:10).
 
 Then there are the ones who cater to desires of men (2 Timothy 4:3). These teachers are dangerous, not because of what they say, but for what they deliberately withhold. They purposefully avoid the offense of the Gospel for fear it will make people uncomfortable. Whenever preachers avoid the Word of God, believers don’t get discernment and “seekers” don’t get saved. 
 
Then we have false teachers who secretly introduce destructive heresies and malign the way of the truth (2 Peter 2:1-2). These teachers deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting and the undiscerning (Romans 16:18). Without discernment, listeners will not be able to distinguish between who has been sent by Christ, and who is a mouthpiece for Satan.
 
Proponents of the church growth movement have developed attractive gimmicks and techniques to invite the world into our churches. Their thinking is this: “If we can get the world to like us, maybe they will like our Savior.” Their approach to post-modern ecclesiology has been labeled “seeker friendly” or, more profoundly, “sinner-friendly.” Jesus is being disguised to make Him and His Gospel “less offensive” to seekers. Their goal is to make sinners feel comfortable by giving them what they want instead of what they need. Their strategy is to throw soft balls at non-Christians rather than challenge and confront their unbelief with convicting truths from Scripture. As the goats are being entertained with this nonsense, the sheep of the Shepherd are being deprived of His Word.
 
We must ask where does God’s Word tell us to woo the world? Did not Jesus say, “The world… hates Me because I testify that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7)? James wrote: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Church history confirms this and we should learn from the past. The churches and denominations that made friends with the world began a downward slide into apostasy. By trying to woo the world, they had to compromise their preaching, tolerate sin and immorality and abandon nearly every doctrinal position they once held.
 
Some Christian leaders are calling for the church to adapt to the new generation by eliminating all absolutes. They are saying that we can no longer proclaim absolute truth. Truth is now said to be subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Needless to say, this is producing a Christian faith void of doctrine but full of confusion. Tolerance and acceptance of other faiths is now firmly established within Christianity. We are called to be tolerant of everything except absolute truth. This tolerance is being used as a platform for unity with the Roman Catholic Church. Some evangelicals would rather have a counterfeit unity based on tolerance than authentic spiritual unity based on truth. Anyone who stands in its way is labeled divisive or troublesome.
 
Numerous warnings in Scripture tell us the church will be bombarded with perverse teachings, empty philosophy, vain deceit, speculations, lying spirits, worldly fables, false knowledge, doctrines of demons, destructive heresies, myths, falsehoods, traditions of men and worldly wisdom. Jesus and Paul warned of false prophets who would come in as wolves in sheep’s clothing not sparing the flock (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29). We must do as Jesus and the apostles did and warn Christians of these destructive influences, all of which are weakening the church and bringing shame to the precious name of our Savior!
 
When sound doctrine is replaced with shallow teaching made up of humorous stories and shallow opinions, you will find biblical illiteracy in the pew. New babes in Christ have difficulty growing in the grace and knowledge of their Savior when pastors do not preach the whole counsel of God. When the Word of God is not being faithfully taught, people will not hear truth. And if they don’t hear truth, they will be unable to discern God’s way from man’s way, truth from error and right from wrong. We must all become more discerning because no man is infallible and no preacher is beyond the possibility of doctrinal error. We must always be ready to reject what is false and hold fast to what is true. As disciples of Jesus we must be known for what we’re for as well as what we’re against.
 
In closing we must recognize that all truth sets itself against error. Sound doctrine divides and confronts, it judges and separates, it reproves and rebukes and it exposes and refutes error. It leads us from the broad way to the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14). It commands us to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). It exhorts us to discern between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6). It demands that we turn away from evil and do good (1 Peter 3:11). It tells us that our ways are not God’s ways, nor are our thoughts His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). It warns us against exchanging the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). It promises the righteous will be blessed and the wicked will perish.
 
True Christians cannot continue to tolerate or ignore Satan’s wicked schemes to weaken and pollute the church. We must stand firmly on sound doctrine, heed biblical warnings and live passionately for the truth so that Jesus Christ will be glorified and His church will grow in holiness and strength.
—-

What does it mean to be Saved? Part 1

1 Corinthians 1 and 2 (Selected Verses)

I want to talk about salvation this morning and what it means to be saved, according to the Bible and, more specifically according to the Gospels. We are living in a world where there’s just so much confusion within Christianity itself and within so many churches, especially when it comes to the mega-churches, that people do not know what to believe anymore.

Summary! 

Point 1: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified!

1. Firstly: Jesus died primarily as a propitiation for sin – to satisfy the anger of God against sin! The Bible emphatically teaches this.

2. Secondly: Repentance is needed for the forgiveness of your sins!

3. Thirdly: No one is able to follow Jesus on their own volition but rather, as I have said before and as the Bible specifically teaches, one is only able to repent from their sins because faith has been given to that individual through the grace of Jesus Christ.

4. Fourthly: Being filled with the Holy Spirit is subsequent to salvation. In other words, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within the new-born person after he or she has committed their lives to Christ. Moreover, it is also of the utmost importance that Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit so that every Christian may be empowered to walk after Christ obediently for all of their days.

Point 2: The Wisdom of this Age!

1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 (ESV)

Point 3: What is the foundation?

  1. It is Jesus Christ and Him alone!

  2. It is the glory of God and His glory alone!

  3. It is about the salvation of whomever God chooses to save according to his own glory!

Point 4: The Social Gospel is the Wisdom of this age!

The foundation of Jesus Christ has been distorted and, in fact, has been rejected in many ways and a new man-made foundation has been laid which is not solid at all and has no strength all. In its place a new foundation has been laid; a foundation that is relative and relevant to the ears of the world and also to the ears of so many Christians. And then, to make matters worse, Christians go ahead and build on this feeble man-made foundation with straw and hay which is temporal and self-destructing Social Gospel!

Point 5: The Social Gospel is in direct conflict with the Word of God!

This social gospel is in direct conflict with God’s word and, moreover, it does not even come out of his word.

Galatians 1:6-9 (ESV)

For the Full Article and Sermon, please head over to my website. The Link is below!

Grace to you!

Shane Bryant (OMIN CLC, CLDIP, DDIV, ADIV)

http://clcladysmith..com

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What does it mean to be Saved? Part 1

Navigating Rough Waters

Navigating Rough Waters

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. 1 Chronicles 28:20

I was enjoying the start of my first whitewater rafting experience—until I heard the roar of the rapids up ahead. My emotions were flooded with feelings of uncertainty, fear, and insecurity at the same time. Riding through the whitewater was a first-rate, white-knuckle experience! And then, suddenly, it was over. The guide in the back of the raft had navigated us through. I was safe—at least until the next set of rapids.

Transitions in our lives can be like whitewater experiences. The inevitable leaps from one season of life to the next—college to career, changing jobs, living with parents to living alone or with a spouse, career to retirement, youth to old age—are all marked by uncertainty and insecurity.

God guides us through the rapids of change.

In one of the most significant transitions recorded in Old Testament history, Solomon assumed the throne from his father David. I’m sure he was filled with uncertainty about the future. His father’s advice? “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. . . . For the Lord God, my God, is with you” (1 Chron. 28:20).

We’ll have our fair share of tough transitions in life. But with God in our raft we’re not alone. Keeping our eyes on the One who is navigating the rapids brings joy and security. He’s taken lots of others through before.

God guides us through the rapids of change.

INSIGHT:King David had desired to build God’s temple (1 Chron. 17:1), but God told him he could not because of the blood he had shed as a warrior (28:3). Instead, the privilege and responsibility for this project would fall upon the shoulders of David’s son Solomon. It is understandable that Solomon would be apprehensive about assuming this role. But his father admonished him to trust in God and do the work. Indeed, God was faithful as Solomon built the temple and took his father’s place as king.

Are you facing a transition? Reflect on God’s faithfulness and ask Him for strength to carry you through.

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