VIDEO Gracious Uncertainty, How Jesus changed my life

Gracious Uncertainty

Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount


My Testimony – How Jesus changed my life

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Take Another Look at Jesus!

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. Hebrews 3:6

If there ever was a faithful person, it was Brother Justice. He was committed to his marriage, dedicated to his job as a postal worker, and each Sunday stood at his post as a leader in our local church. I visited my childhood church recently, and perched on the upright piano was the same bell that Brother Justice rang to notify us that the time for Bible study was about to end. The bell has endured the test of time. And although Brother Justice has been with the Lord for years, his legacy of faithfulness also endures.

Hebrews 3 brings a faithful servant and a faithful Son to the readers’ attention. Though the faithfulness of Moses as God’s “servant” is undeniable, Jesus is the one believers are taught to focus on. “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters . . . fix your thoughts on Jesus” (v. 1). Such was the encouragement to all who face temptation (2:18). Their legacy could come only from following Jesus, the faithful One.

Father, through Your Spirit, empower us to courageously love, honor, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

What do you do when the winds of temptation are swirling all around you? When you are weary and worn and want to quit? The text invites us to, as one paraphrase renders it, “Take a good hard look at Jesus” (3:1 The Message). Look at Him again—and again and again. As we reexamine Jesus, we find the trustworthy Son of God who gives us courage to live in His family.

Father, through Your Spirit, empower us to courageously love, honor, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Looking to Jesus can give us courage to face the challenges in our lives.

By Arthur Jackson 

INSIGHT

The book of Hebrews was written to encourage Jewish Christians who were facing persecution and hardship for their faith and who were now in danger of drifting away and reverting back to Judaism. The writer warns them against abandoning Christ (2:1–3; 3:7–15; 6:4–6; 10:26–31) and presents the absolute supremacy of Jesus as Savior. Jesus is superior to the angels (chs. 1–2), to Moses (chs. 3–4), and to the Aaronic priesthood (chs. 5–7), and He is the perfect High Priest (chs. 8–10). In today’s passage Moses is compared with Christ. While Moses was one of God’s most faithful servants, Jesus is far greater than Moses because Jesus is God’s Son (3:5–6).

How does reflecting on the supremacy of Jesus encourage you to trust Him in your trials?

K. T. Sim

Develop Patience

James 1:1-4

When people confide in me that they are praying for patience, I often ask what else they’re doing to acquire a calm and gentle heart. Patience isn’t so much something believers receive as it is an attribute that they develop over time and through experience.

Think of patience as a muscle that you have to use in order to see it build. To that end, believers should recognize difficulty as an opportunity to flex their patience. The human instinct is to cry out to God in bewilderment when tribulation comes knocking. We blame. We resist. We complain. What we don’t do is say, “Thank You, Father—it’s time to grow in patience!” People aren’t trained to think that way, but according to the Bible, that is exactly how Christians are to respond.

The book of James tells us to consider trials a joy (James 1:2). But we often fail at this, don’t we? Humanly speaking, praising the heavenly Father for tribulation is unnatural. However, doing so begins to make sense to believers when they cling to God’s promise that good comes from hardship. (See Rom. 8:28.) We are not waiting on the Lord in vain. We can praise Him for the solution He will bring, the lives He will change, or the spiritual fruit He will develop in our life.

Accepting hardship as a means of growth is a radical concept in this world. Even more extreme is the believer who praises the Lord for the storm. But God’s followers have cause to rejoice. Tribulation increases our patience so that we can stand firm on His promises and await His good timing.

Christian’s Lifestyle, Our Control

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)

Two factors need to be identified with this verse. First, the immediately preceding context confines the primary application to behavior, just as the immediately following context relates the “filled” behavior to the fellowship of believers. Secondly, the imagery stresses control of the behavior by the Holy Spirit (contrasting filled with drunken behavior).

The filling is not synonymous with the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-14), since all are so baptized but not all are filled. Nor is it equal with or subsequent to speaking in tongues, since some specifically identified as being filled with the Holy Spirit (John the Baptist, Elizabeth, Jesus) never spoke in tongues. Some individuals (Paul, Peter, Stephen) were filled on different occasions. Apparently, the filling produces a temporary effect like alcohol does. The effect of the filling of the Holy Spirit enhances or encourages a God-like behavior in contrast to the Satan-like behavior stimulated by alcohol.

Some passages equate power with this filling (Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5), and others equate it to wisdom (Colossians 1:9-11; Philippians 1:9; Colossians 3:15-17). The immediate context, however, lists four evidences of the Holy Spirit’s control (Ephesians 5:19-21): songs of praise together; personal singing and private melody to God in our hearts; thanksgiving; and voluntary submission to one another in the Lord. Since the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to the saints (Ephesians 4:7-11) for the purpose of building the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16), it stands to basic reason that the Holy Spirit’s control is designed to enhance and stimulate the ministry of believers to each other and the personal joy and awareness of the goodness of God. HMM III

My word shall not return unto Me void

Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:1, 2

A most delightful instance of out-of-door preaching, of which the more the better, for without it great numbers of our fellowmen will never hear the gospel. The natural objects around him no doubt supplied the Lord with his illustrations, and these were so homely and full of meaning, that they arrested the attention of all.

Matthew 13:3, 4

the way side on the trodden pathway

Matthew 13:5, 6

Some fell upon stony places or spots where the rock was near the surface

Matthew 13:11

Carnal minds foolishly put a literal meaning upon expressions which are evidently figurative, and so discern not the meaning. To understand the gospel is a gift of divine grace.

Matthew 13:12-15

Those who will not see may expect to fall into such a state that they cannot see.

Matthew 13:23

Four bad soils are mentioned, and only one which is good. A lesson to us to examine ourselves carefully, lest we be found barren.

 

Sow in the morn thy seed,

At eve hold not thy hand;

To doubt and fear give thou no heed;

Broadcast it o’er the land!

 

Thou canst not toil in vain:

Cold, heat, and moist, and dry

Shall foster and mature the grain,

For garners in the sky.

 

Then, when the glorious end,

The day of God, shall come,

The angel reapers shall descend,

And heaven sing, “Harvest home!”

 

Demonstrate your faith in God in your everyday life!

It is the spirit that quickeneth… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

We know of many who have been deceived into believing that the learning and the memorizing of Christian doctrine is all-sufficient. They actually think that somehow they are better off for having learned the doctrines of religion.

God actually asks of us what He asked of Noah long ago! “Demonstrate your faith in God in your everyday life!”

It is evident that God did not say to Noah, “I am depending on you to hold the proper orthodox doctrines. Everything will be just fine if you stand up for the right doctrines.”

I have read a statement by Martin Lloyd-Jones, the English preacher and writer, in which he said: “It is perilously close to being sinful for any person to learn doctrine for doctrine’s sake.”

I agree with his conclusion that doctrine is always best when it is incarnated—when it is seen fleshed out in the lives of godly men and women. Our God Himself appeared at His very best when He came into our world and lived in our flesh!

 

Forget And Forgive

“Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.” Prov. 20:22

Be not in haste. Let anger cool down. Say nothing and do nothing to avenge yourself. You will be sure to act unwisely if you take up the cudgels and fight your own battles; and, certainly, you will not show the spirit of the Lord Jesus. It is nobler to forgive, and let the offense pass. To let an injury rankle in your bosom, and to meditate revenge, is to keep old wounds open, and to make new ones. Better forget and forgive.

Peradventure, you say that you must do something or be a great loser; then do what this morning’s promise advises: “Wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.” This advice will not cost you money, but is worth far more. Be calm and quiet. Wait upon the Lord: tell Him your grievance: spread Rabshakeh’s letter before the Lord, and this of itself will be an ease to your burdened mind. Besides, there is the promise, “He shall save thee.” God will find a way of deliverance for you. How He will do it neither you nor I can guess, but do it He will. If the Lord save you, this will be a deal better than getting into petty quarrels, and covering yourself with filth by wrestling with the unclean. Be no more angry. Leave your suit with the Judge of all.

 

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