VIDEO Yesterday – Tell Your Heart To Beat Again

Yesterday

Security from Yesterday. “…God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “…the Lord will go before you….” This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste….” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God.
Not Knowing Whither


Tell Your Heart To Beat Again (Lyrics) By: Danny Gokey


 

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Faith-Building Memories

Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

As I stepped into the music-filled sanctuary, I looked around at the crowd that had gathered for a New Year’s Eve party. Joy lifted my heart with hope, as I recalled the prayers of the previous year. Our congregation had collectively grieved over wayward children, deaths of loved ones, job losses, and broken relationships. But we’d also experienced God’s grace as we recalled changed hearts and healed personal connections. We’d celebrated victories, weddings, graduations, and baptisms into God’s family. We’d welcomed children born, adopted, or dedicated to the Lord, and more—so much more.

Reflecting over the history of trials our church family faced, much like Jeremiah remembered his “affliction” and his “wandering” (Lam. 3:19), I believed that “because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (v. 22). As the prophet reassured himself of God’s past faithfulness, his words comforted me: “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (v. 25).

Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

That night, each person in our congregation represented a tangible expression of God’s life-transforming love. Whatever we’d face in the years to come, as members of the interdependent body of Christ, we could rely on the Lord. And as we continue to seek Him and support one another, we can, as did Jeremiah, find our hope being ratified by faith-building memories of God’s unchanging character and dependability.

Lord, thank You for using our past to assure us our hope remains secure in Your everlasting faithfulness.

As we look ahead to the new year, let’s remember that God has always been and always will be faithful.

By Xochitl Dixon 

INSIGHT

 

In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah laments those who are persecuted for standing true to the Lord. He feels as if he himself has been plunged into darkness and chained as a prisoner (vv. 1–9). He has experienced attacks, abduction, and isolation, and has been scorned and pierced by his enemies (vv. 10–15). Personal dignity and a sense of security have been painfully replaced with loneliness and sorrow (vv. 16–20).

Yet within this valley of despair there is a greater reality that rises above the circumstances. As we reflect on the character of God we see He is always present in our situation and offers comfort and hope. God’s mercies are as certain as the rising of the sun each day (vv. 21–23). In view of this inspiring truth, the living God truly is all that we need for any of life’s trials (v. 24).

As you think back over the past year, when have you experienced the faithfulness of God?

Dennis Fisher

Getting to Know Christ Intimately

Philippians 3:12-21

No matter where you are in your walk with Christ, it’s never too late to begin pursuing a deeper relationship with Him. Whether you’re already passionate about Jesus or know Him only on a surface level, it is wise to do as Paul urged—to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). To get started, follow these six steps:

1. Study Scripture. No one can know God apart from His Word since He speaks to us through it, revealing who He is and what He does.

2. Be willing to spend time alone with the Father in prayer, meditation, and worship.One of the main reasons Christians don’t have a close relationship with Jesus is that they’re unwilling to invest the time needed to know Him better.

3. Trust God. The depth of any relationship depends on the level of trust.

4. Obey Him. As we take each step of obedience, the Lord will reveal more of Himself.

5. Observe how Christ works in your life. By paying attention to how the Lord operates, you’ll become familiar with His ways and goals.

6. Make Jesus your top priority. Be willing to lay aside anything that competes with your loyalty and devotion to Him.

Knowing Christ intimately is possible for all believers. The key is persistence, so forget past failures and press on. Find an example to follow. My grandfather’s relationship with Jesus was the inspiration for my journey of intimacy with Christ. I knew that if he had that kind of relationship with Jesus, so could I.

Glorifying God Through Praise

“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)

The great summarizing commandment of the apostle Paul was, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). That is, every aspect of our lives should be so ordered as to glorify God in whatever we say and do.

This is a difficult rule to follow, for how do we determine whether such and such an action glorifies God or not? Nevertheless, there is one thing we can do that we can be absolutely certain does glorify Him—that is, offering to Him our praise and our thanks. We should offer praise for His person and work in general, thanks for what He is and does for us in particular. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me!”

This is His assurance and our incentive to praise Him in all things. “In every thing give thanks,” says the apostle, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

On this last day of the year, especially, praise and thanks should pour from our hearts and lips if we would “ordereth our conversation aright.” “Bless the LORD, O my soul,” says the psalmist, “and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2). Most of us all too commonly tend to forget all His benefits and fret over our troubles and burdens.

If we desire to glorify God, on the other hand, we should recount all our blessings and leave our burdens with Him. In the words of the old hymn: “Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!” Then will “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) fill our hearts and minds, enabling the indwelling Holy Spirit to “shew the salvation of God” not only to us, but in us and through us to others. HMM

Here am I; send me

Isaiah 6

Uzziah lived for some time shut up as a leper. The year in which he died was the occasion of one of Isaiah’s visions: that eminent prophet exercised his ministry in this and the next three reigns.

Isaiah 6:1

Isaiah saw the Messiah, as we learn from John 12:41. His glorious apparel and magnificent state filled the Holy of Holies with splendour.

Isaiah 6:2

Above it stood the seraphims:

Those holy ministers stood around the throne of glory, adoring, and waiting as servants to obey their King’s behests:

Milton thus poetically describes a seraph:—

 

“Six wings he wore to shade

His lineaments divine; the pair that clad

Each shoulder broad, came mantling o’er his breast

With regal ornament; the middle pair

Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round

Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold

And colours dipt in heaven; the third his feet

Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail

Sky tinctured grain.”

 

Isaiah 6:5

A sense of the Lord’s presence humbles even the best of men: we cannot see the glory of God and continue to glory in ourselves. Humility is an indispensable preparation for the Lord’s work. Isaiah must first feel his sinfulness before the live coal can touch his lips.

Isaiah 6:6-8

When a man’s lips have felt the sacrificial flame, he is bold to go upon the Lord’s errands, though it were to the world’s end.

Isaiah 6:11, 12

On account of their sin the people could find no blessing in the ministry, but even the voice of God was a savour of death unto death unto them.

Isaiah 6:13

As a tree has life in it when the leaves are gone, so would the nation still live on, to be in due season restored to its former glory.

John 12:37-41

The evangelist John applied these words of Isaiah to the times of our Lord, and in that connection they were solemnly fulfilled.

 

Sovereign Ruler, Lord of all,

Prostrate at thy feet I fall;

Hear, oh, hear my earnest cry;

Frown not, lest I faint and die.

 

Vilest of the sons of men,

Chief of sinners I have been:

Oft have sinn’d before thy face,

Trampled on thy richest grace.

 

Justly might thy fatal dart

Pierce this bleeding, broken heart;

Justly might thy angry breath

Blast me in eternal death.

 

Jesus, save my dying soul;

Make my broken spirit whole;

Humbled in the dust I lie;

Saviour, leave me not to die.

 


Sinful, sighing to be blest,

Bound, and longing to be free,

Weary, waiting for my rest;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

Holiness! I’ve none to plead,

Sinfulness in all I see;

I can only bring my need;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

Broken heart, and downcast eyes,

Dare not lift themselves to thee,

Yet thou canst interpret sighs;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

There is One beside the throne,

And my only hope and plea

Are in him, and him alone;

“God be merciful to me!”

 


Thou art my refuge, Lord, I flee

From other safeguard unto thee;

Now by thy hand of power divine,

Sustain this feeble soul of mine.

 

Uphold my feet, so quick to fail,

And in thy strength I shall prevail;

Go thou before me, lead me on,

Until the heavenly home be won.

 

Thy wisdom every day I prove,

And learn thy endless, quenchless love!

By grace upheld, by grace restored,

Thou knowest that I love thee, Lord.

 


A good High Priest is come,

Supplying Aaron’s place,

And, taking up his room,

Dispensing life and grace.

Woe to the man who dares pretend

His sacrifice with Christ’s to blend.

 

He died; but lives again,

And by the altar stands;

There shows how he was slain,

Opening his piercèd hands.

Our Priest abides; ’tis he alone

Who can for guilty man atone.

 

I other priests disclaim,

And laws, and offerings too,

None but the bleeding Lamb,

The mighty work can do.

Away, ye base pretenders all,

Ere yet the vengeance on you fall!

 


O thou who didst the temple fill

With thy resplendent, awful train,

The glory of thine Israel still,

Appear in those bright robes again.

 

Thrice holy, holy, holy Lord,

Thou art by seraphim adored;

And, while they stand around thy seat,

They veil their faces and their feet.

 

Lord, how can sinful lips proclaim

The honours of so great a name!

O for thine altar’s glowing coal

To touch my lips, to fire my soul!

 

Then, if a messenger thou ask,

A labourer for the hardest task,

Through all my weakness and my fear,

Love shall reply, “Thy servant’s here.”

 


I will praise thee every day!

Now thine anger’s turn’d away,

Comfortable thoughts arise

From the bleeding sacrifice.

 

Jesus is become at length,

My salvation and my strength;

And his praises shall prolong,

While I live, my pleasant song.

 

Raise again the joyful sound,

Let the nations roll it round!

Zion shout, for this is he,

God the Saviour dwells in thee.

 

A Special Message About Living in the Last Days

2 Timothy 1:7

This is the greatest hour for the Church of Jesus Christ. A massive harvest is coming into the Church all over the world. Statistics prove that right now more people are coming to Jesus worldwide than at any other point in history. The Spirit of God is swinging the Gospel sickle, and millions upon millions of souls are being swept into the Kingdom of God. Praise the Lord! This is one of the greatest signs in evidence today that we are near to the coming of Jesus.

But right in the midst of all this, events have occurred throughout the earth that have shaken the nations of the world and filled men’s hearts with fear. I am convinced that part of this worldwide assault has been the devil’s attempt to put believers in fear so they will retreat from this worldwide Gospel advance. Although we need to be wise and do what we can to protect ourselves in times such as these, we do not need to react in fear. Fear is never the answer, for it results in blurred thinking and bad decisions.

God’s Word promises us a sound mind if we will claim it. When Timothy was facing hard times, Paul told him, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

This verse says that God has given us a “sound mind.” This comes from the Greek word sophroneo, and it is a compound of the words sozo and phroneo. The word sozo is the Greek word for salvation. It means deliverance, protection, and soundness. The word phroneo is the root for the word mind. When these two words are put together as in this verse, the new word is translated sound mind. The idea presented by the word sophroneo is a mind that is saved and protected or a mind that is sound. It is just the opposite of a mind given to fear, panic, or unfounded and unreasonable thinking. This word describes a mind that is thinking correctly!

Because God has given us a “sound mind,” we can think correctly about how to live in these last days—a time that Second Timothy 3:1 predicts will be “perilous.” The word “perilous” in that verse is the Greek word chalepos, and it literally means something that is difficult, dangerous, or filled with risk. This is a prophetic warning to let us know that those who live in the very last of the last days will be confronted with a strange period of time like mankind has never seen before. It will be a time filled with difficulty, danger, and risk.

In this last Sparkling Gem of the year, I want to give you what Denise and I believe is a sensible approach to living in these last days. To ensure that we are doing all we can to remain in the blessings of God, these are the steps my wife and I apply to our own lives. These are the Holy Spirit’s orders to Denise and me, and now I am passing them on to you as they’ve been given to us.

Living in the last days requires that we have a greater sensitivity to the Spirit of God. Romans 8:14 declares that one of the privileges of being a son of God is that the Spirit of God leads us. The word “led” is the Greek word ago. It is the picture of someone extending his hand to you so he can gently lead you.

In these last days, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit will lead us only if we give Him this right. Oh, how many times the Spirit of God has wanted to be our Leader, but we went our own way and ultimately suffered the consequences! He knew exactly how to lead us past every attack. He knew how to avoid each strategy of the devil.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would “… shew you things to come” (John 16:13). The word “shew” is the Greek word odegeo and is the word for a guide who shows a traveler the safest course through an unknown country. This means the Holy Spirit is our Guide. He knows the way we should go. He understands how to avoid every trap and obstacle along the way. When we are going into an area we’ve never been before, the Holy Spirit wants to show us how to take the safest route. He knows exactly how to get us safely to our future point of destination.

The Holy Spirit often stopped Jesus from going to certain regions because the Jews were waiting to trap Him. To avoid these traps, the Holy Spirit would guide Jesus another way. The Spirit also warned Paul not to go to certain places for the same reason. Also in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit warned the Early Church in advance about persecution, famine, and other trials.

The Holy Spirit knows the future and wants to enlighten us with all the information we need in every situation. This is part of His ministry to you and me.

If the Holy Spirit speaks to you and tells you to do something specific, then obey Him! Do you remember when the death angel passed through Egypt and took the firstborn of all the Egyptians? The reason Israel was unaffected was that the Israelites obeyed the instructions God gave them to put blood on the doorposts of their houses. They brushed that lamb’s blood on the doors of their homes just as God had ordered. Later when the death angel came, he passed by every home where he saw blood on the doorposts. In the end, not one of the Israelites was touched!

But what if Israel had disregarded God’s instructions and tried to protect themselves another way? Would their efforts have worked? Of course not. God told them how to be protected. All they had to do was obey. If they did what God told them, they were guaranteed protection and blessing. They were untouched because they walked in obedience. Weeping, crying, and mourning were heard in Egypt, but not in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel lived. They found protection in their obedience to the Word of God.

As we obey the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, we will have wisdom to know every step we need to take in the days ahead. All we have to do is obey God’s instructions, and He guarantees us blessing and provision even in difficult times. But if we try to take another approach, there is no guarantee for us to claim. We must do what God says if we want to be assured of His divine blessing and protection.

As a spiritual leader and friend, I want to encourage you to increase your level of faith, especially if you are facing challenging times. Stand on the Word of God; exercise your faith; listen to the Holy Spirit; and obey what He tells you to do. As you do these things, God’s supernatural blessings will kick into action, and you will soon find a river of supernatural provision flowing to you.

There is no doubt that we are living in some of the most challenging days the world has ever seen. But you can face these times victoriously because God has given you a sound mind; He has given you the promises of His Word; and He has given you the leadership of His Spirit. Never has there been a more crucial time for you to operate in faith and not fear and to believe for a mighty move of God to take place on this earth!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, as an end-time believer, I need to be filled with faith and not with fear. Help me to fill my heart with Your Word, to stand on Your promises, to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and to exercise my faith more than ever before! I know that fear has blurred my thinking in times past, but it will NOT have any place in my life from this day forward! Instead, I release my faith and confidently expect to be a partaker in the last and greatest harvest of souls ever to be reaped for the Kingdom of God! Holy Spirit, help me rise to the occasion as I become an instrument God can use in these last days.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am filled with faith and not fear, and that I am excited to live in these last days. God has chosen for me to live in some of the most challenging days the world has ever seen, but I will face these times victoriously. He has given me a sound mind, the promises of His Word, and the leadership of His Spirit. Therefore, I will NOT retreat in fear or panic; instead, I am believing to be a part of the mightiest harvest of souls that history has ever seen!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you listen to the Holy Spirit when He nudges your heart and gives you direction?
  2. As the calendar turns and the New Year begins, what instructions has the Holy Spirit already given you regarding the next twelve months?
  3. Are you spending time with the Lord so He can speak to your heart? What changes do you need to make in your life so you can spend more quality time with the Lord during the next year?

As we obey the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, we will have wisdom to know every step we need to take in the days ahead. All we have to do is obey God’s instructions, and He guarantees us blessing and provision even in difficult times. But if we try to take another approach, there is no guarantee for us to claim. We must do what God says if we want to be assured of His divine blessing and protection.

 

Eagles

If you are placing your hope in the Lord, then your life may resemble that of an eagle:

 

Eagles Love to Play with the Wind — They ride thermal updrafts to an altitude of 14,000 feet. The Golden Eagle can reach a speed of 180 miles an hour in a dive. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

 

Eagles Travel Light — Their bones are hollow and filled with air: The 7,000 feathers on a Bald Eagle weigh only 21 ounces. “Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 – Living)

 

Eagles have Keen Eyesight — They see eight times better than human beings. They can spot a mouse in the grass a mile away. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22, 23)

 

Eagles are Focused — Once an eagle has spotted its prey, it does not take its eyes off the creature until it strikes. “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b,14)

 

Eagles Prefer Peace and Quiet when Raising a Family — They build their nests in high hard-to-reach areas. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11a)

 

Eagles, Male and Female, Work Together Building their Nest or Eyrie — The arduous task takes several weeks to several months. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10)

 

Eagles Keep Improving their Home — They continue to bring fresh green sprigs through the nesting period. Some think the sprigs are simply for decoration. “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” (Psalm 84:5, 6)

 

Eagles Fiercely Defend their Nesting — They stand up against any animal that might be a threat to their young. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheepBe shepherds of Gods flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to beJesus said, Simon son of John, do you truly love me? He answered, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Take care of my sheep.‘” (John 10:11; 1 Pet 5:2a; John 21:16b)

 

Eagles Mate for Life — An eagle takes a new mate only if its first mate dies. “A married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriageNow the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife… ” (Romans 7:2b; 1 Timothy 3:2a)

 

 

 

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