VIDEO Smile By Faith – Liberty and the Standards of Jesus

Liberty and the Standards of Jesus

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free… —Galatians 5:1

A spiritually-minded person will never come to you with the demand— “Believe this and that”; a spiritually-minded person will demand that you align your life with the standards of Jesus. We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals (see John 5:39-40). We are called to present liberty for the conscience of others, not to bring them liberty for their thoughts and opinions. And if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty— the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.

Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you— with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, “Go…and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19), not, “Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions.”

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.  My Utmost for His Highest, March 19, 761 L


 

Smile By Faith Billy Graham 2017

Dec 14, 2017

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Standing on the Promises

Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

My friend’s brother (when they were both children) assured his sister an umbrella had enough lift to hold her up if she would only “believe.” So “by faith” she jumped off a barn roof and knocked herself out, suffering a minor concussion.

What God has promised, He will do. But we must be sure we stand on God’s actualword when we claim a promise, for only then do we have the assurance that God will do or give what He’s promised. Faith has no power in itself. It only counts when it’s based on a clear and unambiguous promise from God. Anything else is just wishful thinking.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit. John 15:8

Here’s a case in point: God has promised, “Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:7–8). These verses are not a promise that God will answer every prayer we utter, but rather a promise that He will respond to every longing for personal righteousness, what Paul calls “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22–23). If we hunger and thirst for holiness and ask God for it, He will begin to satisfy us. It will take time; for spiritual growth, like human growth, is gradual. Don’t give up. Keep asking God to make you holy. In His time and at His pace “it will be done for you.” God doesn’t make promises He doesn’t keep.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your many promises to us in Your Word. And thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit who gives discernment.

Read about the promises of God at discoveryseries.org/q0105.

We have a promise-keeping God.

By David H. Roper 

INSIGHT

The context of abiding in the vine (John 15:1–8) is vital to understanding this passage, but it’s even more helpful to take a step back and look at the entire scene. It’s the night before Christ will be crucified. Judas has already gone to betray Jesus (John 13:30). Jesus and His disciples have just departed the upper room where they shared the Last Supper. As they walk, the Lord refers to two metaphorical groups: branches that bear fruit and those that don’t. The good branches abide in the vine and are pruned (disciplined). Unfruitful branches don’t abide and are cut off.

Bible scholar William Hendriksen points out the significance of Judas’s recent departure in light of Jesus’s words here. Judas did not abide in the vine. Jesus encouraged the remaining disciples to abide and “bear much fruit” (v. 8). Significantly, the eleven who remained were all persecuted for defending the faith. Ten of them died for it (tradition says John died peacefully in his old age after returning from Patmos). Yet God kept His promise to them. Although He did not deliver them from physical attacks, He gave them boldness to proclaim the truth.

We who “abide in the vine” will be “pruned.” What might that mean for us?

Tim Gustafson

The Call for a Believer

Ephesians 4:1

Years ago, God temporarily allowed me to have such physical ailments that I could do nothing but lie in bed. At first I felt frustrated, but eventually I began to realize His plan for this trial. Life had become too busy for me to hear something the Lord needed to tell me. He certainly managed to get my attention by stilling my physical body!

After leading us to salvation, God still has work to do in our life. If we listen carefully, we’ll be able to hear our Father directing us in three ways.

First, the Lord calls us to sanctification. This means being set apart by Him and for Him. Through His Spirit, He continually reminds us to use His power and resources so we can obey and live righteously.

Second, He calls us to service. The Lord has planned good works for us to accomplish (Eph. 2:10), and He gives us abilities, time, and resources for that purpose.

Third, He calls us to accountability. Romans 14:12 teaches that one day we all will give an account of how we used the resources God gave us to glorify Him. This report will be based on the truth we’ve heard and the opportunities that were available. So we should be sure to listen daily as our heavenly Father reminds us to utilize it all for His glory.

Has life become so hectic that God’s voice is inaudible? Foster your own ability to listen by spending time in the Word and waiting for answers when you pray. And teach your children to tune in so they can hear God, too. What a shame it would be to tackle life without guidance from above.

Christian’s Lifestyle: Our Relationships

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:21)

Our calling is to walk worthy.
Our gifts are perfect and complete.
Our behavior is changed by the new man.
Our wisdom is to understand the will of the Lord.
Our control is being filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:22 through 6:9 presents a basic primer on human relationships in dynamics that impact most of our lives, our families, and our places of employment. Our relationships are to be carried out by submitting (ourselves) to one another in the fear of God. That key word hupotasso is itself instructive. It is a compound of the preposition “under” and a word that means to arrange in order. Thus, to arrange under, in order.

In the home, the submission (order, arrangement) is compared to the Lord’s house, the church. Wives are to be arranged under the husband (emphasis on authority) just as the church is under the authority of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24). Husbands are to be under the responsibility of love (emphasis on sacrifice) just as Christ gave His life on behalf of and for the benefit of the church (Ephesians 5:25-33).

Children are to be under the arranged order of correct behavior (emphasis on obedience) just as the fifth commandment so requires for the protection and promotion of well-being and longevity (Ephesians 6:1-4).

In the workplace, those who serve are to serve as though they were serving the Lord, not men (Ephesians 6:5-8). Those who lead and own are to relate to their servants as though they were serving the servants, recognizing that one Master is over all (Ephesians 6:9). These instructions are really quite simple. We do not need to complicate them. HMM III

Fear not them which kill the body

 

Matthew 10:16-39

We will continue reading our Lord’s address to those whom he sent forth to preach the gospel.

Matthew 10:16

Peculiar qualities are needed for a life involving undeserved suffering. We need the prudence which prevents others from wronging us, as well as the gentleness which does no wrong to others.

Matthew 10:17-20

Though ignorant of this world’s wisdom they were not to be anxious as to how they should reply to their learned accusers: the gospel is its own defence, and the Spirit the best pleader.

Matthew 10:27

Our business is to publish the gospel, whether we suffer for it or not. To suppress our testimony would be deadly sin.

Matthew 10:29-31

The care of our heavenly Father is so minute that we ought to dismiss for ever all our fears. If he takes care of us even down to the hairs of our head, we are secure indeed.

Matthew 10:34-36

The ultimate end of the gospel will be peace, but before it reaches that there must be a struggle. Carnal men will oppose the truth, and hence a warfare will arise.

Matthew 10:37-39

Some have refused to burn at the stake, and have been burned in their own beds; and many more have dreaded the pains of persecution, and so have plunged into the flames of hell by apostacy.

 

Should persecution rage and flame,

Still trust in thy Redeemer’s name;

In fiery trials thou shalt see

That, “as thy days, thy strength shall be.”

 

When call’d to bear the weighty cross,

Of sore affliction, pain, or loss,

Or deep distress, or poverty,

Still, “as thy days, thy strength shall be.”

 

Have The Ethics of Jesus

And ye shall be witnesses unto me. (Acts 1:8)

The teachings of Jesus belong to the Church, not to society, for in society is sin, and sin is hostility to God!

Christ did not teach that He would impose His teachings upon the fallen world. He called His disciples to Him and taught them, and everywhere throughout His teachings there is the overt or implied idea that His followers will constitute an unpopular minority group in an actively hostile world.

The divine procedure is to go into the world of fallen men, preach to them the necessity to repent and become disciples of Christ and, after making disciples, to teach them “the ethics of Jesus,” which Christ called “all things which I have commanded you.”

The ethics of Jesus cannot be obeyed or even understood until the life of God has come to the heart of a man or woman in the miracle of the new birth.

The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in those who walk in the Spirit. Christ lives again in His redeemed followers the life He lived in Judea, for righteousness can never be divorced from its source, which is Jesus Christ Himself!

 

Cure For Envy

“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” Prov. 23:17, 18

When we see the wicked prosper we are apt to envy them. When we hear the noise of their mirth, and our own spirit is heavy, we half think that they have the best of it. This is foolish and sinful. If we knew them better, and specially if we remembered their end, we should pity them.

The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear, and the desires are more elevated. The more of Heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.

The death-blow of envy is a calm consideration of the future. The wealth and glory of the ungodly are a vain show. This pompous appearance flashes out for an hour, and then is extinguished. What is the prosperous sinner the better for his prosperity when judgment overtakes him? As for the godly man, his end is peace and blessedness, and none can rob him of his joy; wherefore, let him forego envy, and be filled with sweet content.

 

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