VIDEO God’s Will for You

God’s Will for You

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

When preaching on the Ten Commandments, preachers like to remind their listeners that “God didn’t give us ten suggestions; He gave us Ten Commandments.” It’s easy to read the English text of the Bible without realizing the imperative, or command, mode of some verses.

Take 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where three exhortations are given: “rejoice . . . pray . . . give thanks.” We could read these as suggestions, even exhortations, and miss the fact that in the Greek language they are imperative commands. Paul even drives that point home by saying “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Rejoicing always, praying continually, and giving thanks in everything are God’s will for His people. “Why?” we might ask. Because we trust that God is watching over our lives continually; that whatever happens comes through the filter of His will—His goodness and love. Even if things are difficult, we can trust Him.

Make 2019 a year of rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks—all the time, in everything! This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Take a saint, and put him in any condition, and he knows how to rejoice in the Lord.  Walter Cradock


Nate Thomson | Always Rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

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Is Everyone a Child of God?

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  Romans 8:14

During a church service I attended with my parents, according to the usual practice we held hands while saying the Lord’s Prayer together. As I stood with one hand clasped to my mother’s and the other to my father’s, I was struck by the thought that I will always be their daughter. Although I’m firmly in my middle age, I can still be called “the child of Leo and Phyllis.” I reflected that not only am I their daughter, but I will also always be a child of God.

The apostle Paul wanted the people in the church at Rome to understand that their identity was based on being adopted members of God’s family (Romans 8:15). Because they had been born of the Spirit (v. 14), no longer did they need to be enslaved to things that didn’t really matter. Rather, through the gift of the Spirit, they were “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (v. 17).

To those who follow Christ, what difference does this make? Quite simply, everything! Our identity as children of God provides our foundation and shapes how we see ourselves and the world. For instance, knowing that we are part of God’s family helps us to step out of our comfort zone as we follow Him. We can also be free from seeking the approval of others.

Today, why not ponder what it means to be God’s child?

By Amy Boucher Pye

Today’s Reflection

Lord God, help me to live out of my central identity as Your child. Release me to live by Your Spirit, that I might share Your love and hope.

Real Biblical Fasting

Matthew 6:16-18

God’s Word contains commands about many things, from expressions of worship and relationships with other people to frequency of prayer (Deut. 6:5; John 13:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Surprisingly, though, there is no place in the Scriptures where the believer is specifically instructed to fast.

Yet the words “whenever you fast” (Matt. 6:16, emphasis added) show Jesus’ expectation that His followers would practice this discipline. And there are examples in the Bible of people who abstained from certain activities in order to draw close to God.

Before we go further, it is important to dispel a popular misunderstanding. Fasting doesn’t serve to change God’s mind, speed up His answer, or manipulate His will. Instead, fasting helps us focus our attention on God alone, so that we listen and worship wholeheartedly.

Denying ourselves in this way makes us better able to fix our eyes on Christ and hear Him clearly. His Spirit often starts by bringing to mind sin that needs to be confessed. In so doing, He sanctifies our thoughts—then He can use this precious time to intensify our desire for God, reveal His will, and grant understanding and peace. In essence, fasting binds us to Him in a oneness that is otherwise difficult to cultivate in our busy world.

Do you want to see God move in awesome ways? By removing anything that hinders your focus, you can fix attention solely on the Creator and cry out to Him regarding your needs. As you gain understanding about your Father and yourself, you will grow closer to Him.

Too Many False Prophets

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) 

There is an unusual emphasis in the New Testament about false prophets. The Greek word pseudoprophetes appears 11 times and has no corresponding word in the Old Testament.

Of the 298 usages of “prophet” in the Hebrew Scriptures, eight of them are connected to “false” prophets, and only in relation to visions and dreams. In the New Testament, the pseudoprophetes are workers of “miracles” and “signs and wonders.”

John gives the warning to “try the spirits” because many false prophets are now here. Prior to Christ’s coming, the false “dreamer” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) would readily be exposed when his prophecy did not come about. Such a false prophet was to be executed!

But the prophets of the “last time” (1 John 2:18) will perform great wonders (Matthew 24:24) and can “seduce . . . even the elect” (Mark 13:22).

Here’s the problem: They come from among Christians! Peter warns us in 2 Peter 2:1-3 in five ways:

• They come from a “Christian” background.
• They deny the biblical Lord Jesus in some way.
• They will become very popular, especially with emotionally motivated people.
• They will degrade doctrines of the Bible.
• They will stimulate greed to attract followers.

We are warned to test every one of them, and when they do not abide in the doctrine of Christ, we are to reject their teaching and not have any fellowship with them (2 John 1:9-11). They are dangerous (Matthew 7:15)! HMM III

Yes, Be Thou Exalted

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

—2 Samuel 22:47

God, be Thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth’s treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life. Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be Thou exalted above my comforts. Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses, I shall keep my vow made this day before Thee. Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself. Let me sink that Thou mayest rise above. Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, “Hosanna in the highest.”   POG101-102

Be Thou exalted in my life. Amen.

 

Then said I, Lo, I come.to do Thy will

Then said I, Lo, I come.to do Thy will, O God.—Hebrews 10:7.

Commit thy works unto the Lord.—Proverbs 16:3.

 

Oh, let Thy wisdom be my guide,

Nor take Thy light from me away;

Thy grace be ever at my side,

That from Thy path I may not stray;

But, feeling that Thy hand is o’er me,

In steadfast faith my course fulfill,

And keep Thy word, and do Thy will,

Thy love within, Thy heaven before me!

Wolfgang C. Dessler.

 

I come to do Thy will, O God.” That is what we are here for,—to do God’s will. That is the object of your life and mine,—to do God’s will. Any of us can tell in a moment whether our lives are right or not. Are we doing God’s will? We do not mean, are we doing God’s work?—preaching, or teaching, or collecting money,—but God’s will. A man may think he is doing God’s work when he is not even doing God’s will. And a man may be doing God’s work and God’s will quite as much by hewing stones, or sweeping streets, as by preaching or praying. So the question means just this, are we working out our common every-day life on the great lines of God’s will?

Henry Drummond.

 

The Christian Liberality

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” Ps. 41:1

To think about the poor and let them lie on our hearts is a Christian man’s duty; for Jesus put them with us and near us when He said, “The poor ye have always with you.”

Many give their money to the poor in a hurry, without thought; and many more give nothing at all. This precious promise belongs to those who “consider” the poor, look into their case, devise plans for their benefit, and considerately carry them out. We can do more by care than by cash, and most with the two together. To those who consider the poor, the Lord promises His own consideration in times of distress. He will bring us out of trouble if we help others when they are in trouble. We shall receive very singular providential help if the Lord sees that we try to provide for others. We shall have a time of trouble, however generous we may be; but if we are charitable, we may put in a claim for peculiar deliverance, and the Lord will not deny His own word and bond. Miserly curmudgeons may help themselves, but considerate and generous believers the Lord will help. As you have done unto others, so will the Lord do unto you. Empty your pockets.