VIDEO God and You – Praying And Waiting for God’s Timing

God and You

Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.” 1 Kings 18:22

There is an old saying: “God plus one is a majority.” God is eternal and infinite; God is the Creator of us all. Even if all the 7.6 billion souls on earth stood against God, He would still be bigger.

That must have been Elijah’s mindset when he met the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. It was 450 prophets of Baal against Elijah and his God, yet Elijah was still in the majority. He had no hesitation in standing for God against a crowd of hundreds who were arrayed against Him. Therein lies the test of faith: Can we see ourselves in the majority when the forces of life are stacked against us—either people or circumstances? Elijah needed God to show up and demonstrate His power to convince the Baal worshipers that their idol was impotent and God was all-powerful. Elijah asked for God to manifest His greatness and He did. And the prophets of Baal—the true minority—fled and were destroyed.

Don’t hesitate to ask God to be with you against the world. With God, all things are possible.

One man with God on his side is always in the majority.  John Knox


Praying And Waiting for God’s Timing | Sermon by Tony Evans

I Just Can’t Do It

The law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 nkjv

“I just can’t do it!” lamented the dejected student. On the page he could see only small print, difficult ideas, and an unforgiving deadline. He needed the help of his teacher.

We might experience similar despair when we read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). Anger is as bad as murder (v. 22). Lust equals adultery (v. 28). And if we dare think we can live up to these standards, we bump into this: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (v. 48).

“The Sermon on the Mount produces despair,” says Oswald Chambers. But he saw this as good, because at “the point of despair we are willing to come to [Jesus] as paupers to receive from Him.”

In the counterintuitive way God so often works, those who know they can’t do it on their own are the ones who receive God’s grace. As the apostle Paul put it, “Not many of you were wise by human standards. . . . But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:26–27).

In God’s wisdom, the Teacher is also our Savior. When we come to Him in faith, through His Spirit we enjoy His “righteousness, holiness and redemption” (v. 30), and the grace and power to live for Him. That’s why He could say, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

Thank You, Lord, for blessing those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, and who hunger and thirst for Your righteousness. You are our righteousness!

Read more from Oswald Chambers at utmost.org.

Through the Son we can enjoy life in God’s kingdom.

By Tim Gustafson 

INSIGHT

The Bible is filled with stories of how God used weak, unlikely, or flawed characters to bring about His purposes. Included in that lineup are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, and Peter—just to name a few. God chose elderly Abraham and his barren wife to be “the father [and mother] of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). He used Isaac, who played favorites (25:27–28), and Jacob, a deceiver, to continue that line (25:29–34; 27:1–29). God called the reluctant Moses, a murderer on the run, to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 2:11–15; 14:1–31). God chose the prostitute Rahab to hide the spies in Jericho (Joshua 2) and to be included in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5); He called Gideon, who cowered in fear, to serve as judge and rescue the Israelites from the Midianites (Judges 6–8); and He appointed Peter, an outspoken fisherman, to be His disciple (Matthew 16:22). God still uses flawed characters—you and me—to fulfill His purposes.

For more on how God can use you, check out christianuniversity.org/SF212.

Alyson Kieda

Choosing to Forgive

Ephesians 4:31-32

Isn’t it interesting that young children generally don’t hold grudges? They may cry and throw tantrums, but once their anger has been vented, they let it go. Adults, however, have a tendency to hang on to offenses. When people wrong us or our loved ones, we want them to pay for what they’ve done, to suffer as we have. It only seems fair to expect restitution of some kind, and unless that occurs, we withhold forgiveness.

As Christians, however, we are called to a different standard and way of thinking—one that’s consistent with God’s character. He is a merciful Father who wants His children to show mercy to others (Luke 6:36). His Son’s life on earth demonstrated this. As Jesus hung on the cross, He prayed for those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). God expects us to forgive as Jesus did, regardless of circumstances.

This command seems impossible to carry out until we start to grasp the enormity of what took place on the cross. Christ’s death made us recipients of a mercy so great it defies comprehension. The Savior took all our sin upon Himself and died in our place. He experienced the outpouring of God’s wrath so we might be forgiven and reconciled to the Father. Although we deserve condemnation, through Jesus Christ we have instead received God’s mercy.

Now as new creations in Christ who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we have His power to truly let go of the wrongs done to us and extend mercy to others, just as God has given mercy to us.

Your First Love

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)

This is the very heart of the moving prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ in the upper room before His arrest and crucifixion. As we hear Him pray, we are translated back in time, before time began, and there we encounter the indescribable love within the counsels of the triune Godhead—Father, and Son, and Spirit—three persons, yet one God.

Then, after speaking of this love, Jesus prayed—in the final words of His sure-to-be-answered prayer—“that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (v. 26).

This love—the love within the Trinity—was the primeval love and, therefore, is the spring from which flows every other form of true love—marital love, mother love, brotherly love, love of country, love of friends, love for the lost, or any other genuine love.

It is appropriate that the first mention of love in the Old Testament refers to the love of a father (Abraham) for his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and then that the first reference to love in the New Testament (Matthew 3:17) speaks of the heavenly love of God the Father for God the Son. In both cases, the son is called “beloved,” yet in both cases the father and son are prepared to go to the altar of sacrifice, that the will of God might be done and a way of salvation be provided for lost sinners.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). One day—as He prayed—we shall be with Him, see His glory, and even experience His own eternal love in our hearts. HMM

He shall give you another Comforter

John 16:1-15

Our reading is taken from our Lord’s parting discourse, which is full of every precious thing, a mine of wealth, a treasure-house of gems.

John 16:3

Fully has this warning been verified: the blood of martyrs has flowed in rivers, yet the Church has not been offended with her Lord. He is so glorious that she follows him even to prison and to death.

John 16:4

And therefore they were safe at his side; now he was about to leave them and they would need to be doubly on their guard.

John 16:6

They were too bowed down with grief at what he had told them to be able to make any more enquiries. It is an evil connected with excessive sorrow that it often closes the eyes to facts which are full of consolation.

John 16:7

If Jesus were here in one place we could not all reach him, and for this reason the presence of the Holy Spirit is more valuable than the bodily presence of the Redeemer would be. The Comforter can be in all the assemblies of the saints at the same time, and can teach at one moment all the disciples of the Lord; he can prompt prayers and inspire praises in myriads of souls at once, and apply the word with power to millions of hearts at the same instant. The glory of the church is the abiding power of the Holy Ghost, comforting the church and convincing the world.

John 16:8, 9

The most heinous of all sins, for it reveals the deep enmity of the heart to God. Men are enemies to God indeed, since they will sooner perish than be saved in God’s way.

John 16:10

By God’s raising him from the dead and receiving him into glory the perfection and acceptance of the righteousness of Jesus were proved.

John 16:11

The life, death, and teachings of Jesus pronounce the clearest judgment upon the powers of evil and their unfruitful works.

John 16:12

Ye are not yet baptized with the Spirit, and are not able to grasp the higher mysteries.

John 16:15

May the Holy Spirit reveal to us the person, work, and love of Jesus. He can teach the dullest scholar. His teachings all tend to glorify Jesus; they are no novelties, but the doctrines of Jesus laid home to the heart. Most blessed Spirit, teach thou each one of us!

 

The Holy Ghost is here,

Where saints in prayer agree,

As Jesu’s parting gift he’s near

Each pleading company.

 

He dwells within our soul,

An ever welcome Guest;

He reigns with absolute control,

As Monarch in the breast.

 

Our bodies are his shrine,

And he th’ indwelling Lord;

All hail, thou Comforter divine!

Be evermore adored!

 

Have You Lost the Mystery

If any man will do his will, he shall know… whether it be of God. (John 17:7)

We may be sure we are gaining spiritually when we discover there is a sense of divine mystery running throughout all of the kingdom of God!

I am aware that there are teachers in various Christian circles who pretend to know everything about God. They will quickly answer any question you may have about God, His creation, His judgments. They end up taking the mystery out of life and the mystery out of worship. When they have done that, they have taken God out as well!

Their cleverness and glibness may well betray a lack of the divine awe within the human spirit—awe and adoration, silent and wonderful, that breathes a whisper, “Oh Lord God, Thou knowest!”

In Isaiah we see clearly what happens to a person in the mystery of the Presence. Overpowered within His own being, Isaiah can only confess, “I am a man of unclean lips!” A person who has sensed what Isaiah sensed will never be able to joke again about “The Someone up there who likes me.”

 

Valiant For Truth

The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Dan. 11:32

“The Lord is a man of war, Jehovah is his name.” Those who enlist under His banner shall have a Commander who will train them for the conflict, and give them both vigor and valor. The times of which Daniel wrote were of the very worst kind, and then it was promised that the people of God would come out in their best colors: they would be strong and stout to confront the powerful adversary.

Oh, that we may know our God; His power, His faithfulness, His immutable love, and so may be ready to risk everything in His behalf. He is One whose character excites our enthusiasm, and makes us willing to live and to die for Him. Oh, that we may know our God by familiar fellowship with Him; for then we shall become like Him, and shall be prepared to stand up for truth and righteousness. He who comes forth fresh from beholding the face of God will never fear the face of man. If we dwell with Him, we shall catch the heroic spirit, and to us a world of enemies will be but as the drop of a bucket. A countless array of men, or even of devils, will seem as little to us as the nations are to God, and He counts them only as grasshoppers. Oh, to be valiant for truth in this day of falsehood.

 

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