VIDEO Just Say “Yes”!

Say “Yes”!

Then Mary said [to the angel], “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

A certain grocery store encourages people to bring their own shopping bags by having them fill out a ticket for a drawing with their name and phone number (if they spend more than $25 in the store). If they win the weekly drawing, they get $25 of free groceries. People have filled out the coupon scores of times without winning, but they dutifully continue. Why? Because they know who will never win: those who don’t say “Yes.”

Filling out a coupon for free groceries is a bit of an act of faith—but not like biblical faith. The grocery store doesn’t promise your faith will be rewarded, but God does: “He is a rewarder of those who” have faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6). Saying “Yes” to God is an act of faith that brings blessing and reward. Did Mary the mother of Jesus have the choice to say “No” to God? Humanly, it seems she did. But she chose to believe God’s messenger and say “Yes.” And we are blessed because she did.

Let your default answer to God be “Yes”—and trust Him to reward your faith in His way (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Doubt breeds distress, but trust means joy in the long run.  Charles H. Spurgeon


Luke 1:26-38 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

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Lord of the Moment

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Not long ago I was working on a construction project at my son’s home three hours away. The job took days longer than expected, and each morning I prayed we would finish by sunset. But every evening there was more to be done.

I wondered why. Could there be a reason for the delay? An answer came the next morning. I was picking up a tool when my phone rang and a stranger’s voice spoke urgently: “Your daughter was injured in an accident. You need to come immediately.”

She lived near my son, so it took just fourteen minutes to reach her. If I had been home, I would have been three hours away. I followed the ambulance to the hospital and comforted her before surgery. As I sat holding her hand I realized if my project hadn’t been delayed, I wouldn’t have been there.

Our moments belong to God. This was the experience of a woman whose son God had resurrected through the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:18–37). She left the country because of famine and returned years later to beg the king for her land. At precisely that moment the king was conversing with the prophet’s servant Gehazi. “Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored” her son, the woman walked in (8:5). Her request was granted.

We don’t know what even the next second brings, but God is graciously able to use any situation for good. May God give us grace to walk with Him expectantly into His appointments for us today.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of my life. Help me to be Your faithful servant.

Our lives are better off in God’s hands than in our own.

By James Banks 

INSIGHT

Today’s text demonstrates God’s sovereignty in directing human affairs. Another example of God’s divine direction is seen in the account of Joseph (Genesis 37–41). At the end of his story, Joseph comforted his brothers who had grievously harmed him (45:5) and said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (50:20 nlt).

The apostle Paul says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

How do these examples help you trust God as the Lord of your moments?

K. T. Sim

When God Looks on Us With Favor

Isaiah 66:1-2

Believers are always under the canopy of God’s grace and love. Nothing we do can change that. At the same time, our behavior and the condition of our heart do determine whether we receive the fullness of His blessings. So let’s see what Scripture teaches about how to experience the Father’s favor.

First, God desires that we have a contrite heart and humble spirit (Psalm 51:17). For that to be the case, all aspects of our life must be surrendered to Jesus. Yet some dreams, desires, and people are difficult to release into His hands. Anything we do not give over to His authority is evidence of pride, which is the exact opposite of what our Father wants in His children. Remember that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Lack of submission proves that we think our way is better than His plan.

Second, God tells us to tremble at His Word (Isa. 66:2). Scripture—the unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ—is living and powerful to teach and transform us. Consider how we treat this treasure. Do we devote time each day to know what the Bible says and how to apply its principles? Do we hunger for more of the Word in our life so we can know its Creator better? One measure of our reverence is obedience: To honor the Lord, we must obey Him.

We all desire God’s favor. Are you living in a manner that positions you to receive the fullness of His blessing? Prayerfully consider whether you have submitted all areas of your life to Jesus Christ—from finances and health to relationships and work habits. Recognize His authority in all things, and revere His Word.

Second Remnant

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 11:11) 

The great prophet Isaiah lived during the time when the 10 tribes of Israel were being carried into captivity by the Assyrians, and about a hundred years before his own nation of Judah would be carried into exile by the Babylonians. Yet, in one of the most remarkable prophecies of the Bible (Isaiah 44:28–45:6), Isaiah promised that his people would someday return and build Jerusalem and its temple again. Furthermore, he even named the future emperor of Persia (the nation that would succeed Assyria and Babylonia as the dominant world power), calling him Cyrus. This great king fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about 175 years after it was given (note Ezra 1:1-4).

But Isaiah not only prophesied this first return from exile, as noted in the key verse above; he foresaw that, in the distant future, God would also “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” The context of this passage is nothing less than the glorious future time of Messiah’s reign over all the earth (Isaiah 11:9-10). The outcasts of Israel and Judah would return home, not only from the nations of the Middle East, which will evidently be active enemies of Israel again in that future day (note that Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, and Hamath were the ancient names of the nations now identified as Upper Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, respectively), but even from “the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12). Isaiah thus predicted an even greater exile and worldwide homecoming long beyond that of the Babylonian captivity. Such information could have come only from God Himself. HMM

Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith

James 2

James 2:3, 4

The man is more than his clothes. A saint in vile raiment is not vile, neither is a wicked man honourable because of his goodly apparel.

James 2:5

There can therefore be no reason for preferring the rich to the poor, since they are rarely the Lord’s chosen.

James 2:6, 7

Most of the persecution against the gospel has been stirred up by the great: the church has, therefore, no excuse for flattering them.

James 2:8, 9

You fail to act as Christians should do if you despise the poor. Whatever else you may do that is right and good, you ought not to err in this matter.

James 2:13

Mercy reigns in our salvation, let it reign in our conduct to others. To us it is not sweet to take vengeance, but to grant forgiveness.

James 2:18, 19

So that they have a more practical faith than those who say they believe and yet live in sin without qualms of conscience.

James 2:23, 24

Faith alone justifies, but not a faith which is alone and without works.

James 2:25

In any and every case suitable works attend upon saving faith, and it is idle to claim to be saved by faith, unless our lives are holy.

 

Come unto me, O come to me,

Thou blessed Spirit, come;

To fill my heart with sanctity,

And use it as thy home.

 

Thy pure and holy influence

Grant, Lord, my soul within;

Expelling, by thy presence, thence

The love and life of sin.

 

Should Be Nothing But Sweetness

It was in my mouth as sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (Revelation 10:10)

Let me caution you about the attitudes of some of the bubbly “happy! happy!” people in our congregations who will insist that the Word of God can never be anything but honey sweet!

Fellow believers, when we digest, absorb and soak up the Word of the Lord, it becomes part and parcel of our daily lives. It is our delight. It is indeed honey and sweetness. But as we share that same Word in our witness to lost men and women, we will know something of bitterness and hostility, even enmity.

It will follow then in experience, that Christian believers who are intent upon being faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ may not always find sweetness and light in their contacts with evil, rebellious people.

We need to pray for men and women in our churches who have determined to set their own agendas—to live their lives as they please! They have determined to manage the influences of the Word of God in their lives.

 

Know How to Wait

“He that believeth shall not make haste.” Isa. 28:16

He shall make haste to keep the Lord’s commandments; but he shall not make haste in any impatient or improper sense.

He shall not haste to run away, for he shall not be overcome with the fear which causes panic. When others are flying hither and thither as if their wits had failed them, the believer shall be quiet, calm, and deliberate, and so shall be able to act wisely in the hour of trial.

He shall not haste in his expectations, craving his good things at once and on the spot; but he will wait God’s time. Some are in a desperate hurry to have the bird in the hand; for they regard the Lord’s promise as a bird in the bush, not likely to be theirs. Believers know how to wait.

He shall not haste by plunging into wrong or questionable action. Unbelief must be doing something, and thus it works its own undoing; but faith makes no more haste than good speed, and thus it is not forced to go back sorrowfully by the way which it followed heedlessly.

How is it with me? Am I believing, and am I therefore keeping to the believer’s pace, which is walking with God? Peace, fluttering spirit! Oh, rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him! Heart, see that thou do this at once!

 

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