VIDEO “But I Did Not” – Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance

“But I Did Not”

But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. Nehemiah 5:15

When Nehemiah became governor of the land of Judah, he and his family refused the common practice of having their meals provided from government funds. While there may have been nothing wrong with taxpayer-funded food for the nation’s leader, former governors had abused the practice. Their excessive lifestyles had burdened the people, and Nehemiah wanted to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing. So he paid his own way because he feared God and wanted to protect his integrity for God’s sake.

Are there areas of your life in which you should draw some lines, erect some barriers, build some fences, and establish some standards? Any habits you should change? Our society has no established moral code, and the standards keep changing. We must not let the world keep rubbing out the lines we draw for ourselves. The Bible calls us to personal holiness, and our integrity comes from the standards we adopt.

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within” (Romans 12:2, PHILLIPS).

Everyone with integrity has drawn some lines and said, “Everyone else did these things, but I did not do so.” David Jeremiah


The Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance

Be still, and know that I am God… —Psalm 46:10

Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.

If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, “because you have kept My command to persevere…” (Revelation 3:10).

Continue to persevere spiritually.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The place for the comforter is not that of one who preaches, but of the comrade who says nothing, but prays to God about the matter. The biggest thing you can do for those who are suffering is not to talk platitudes, not to ask questions, but to get into contact with God, and the “greater works” will be done by prayer (see John 14:12–13).  Baffled to Fight Better, 56 R


Change Your World in 52 Days: The Story of Nehemiah – Week 1


Sunday School Lesson for Kids – Nehemiah – The Book of Nehemiah – Bible Teaching Stories for VBS


Satan’s Next Ploy: Attack From Within – Nehemiah 5:1-13.mp4

 

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He Holds Our Hand

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

 

The little girl who navigated the stairway one Sunday at church was cute, spunky, and independent. One by one the child—who appeared to be not much older than two years—took the steps down to the lower level. Descending the stairs was her mission and she accomplished it. I smiled to myself as I pondered the daring independence of this courageous toddler. The child wasn’t afraid because she knew her caring mother’s watchful eye was always on her and her loving hand was extended to help her. This aptly pictures the Lord’s readiness to help His children as they make their way through life with its varied uncertainties.

Today’s Scripture includes two “hand” references. After cautioning His ancient people not to fear or be dismayed, the Lord told them, “I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Many anxious and fearful children have been steadied by the strength of a parent. Here God’s power comes into view. In the second “hand” reference, once again it’s the Lord who acted to secure the safety of His own. “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand” (v. 13). While life situations and times have changed, the Lord hasn’t. We need not despair (v. 10) because the Lord still assures us with the promise of His support and with the words we desperately need to hear: “Do not fear” (vv. 10, 13).

By Arthur Jackson

Today’s Reflection

Father, thank You for always watching over me.

For help, read Navigating the Storms of Life at discoveryseries.org/hp061.

Our Own Testimony

Colossians 4:1-6

Think about the last argument you had with someone. Generally, disagreements arise when two people see things differently. Part of the problem is that most issues can be seen from diverse perspectives. Therefore, it’s easy for people to take opposing sides on a subject since they make different assumptions based on the same facts.

This can present a problem when we witness to people. Our goal isn’t to start a debate but to share the gospel. If someone objects to what we say, we could become sidetracked with arguments. However, we each have one thing that no one else can refute: our personal testimony. This isn’t an issue for debate but an opportunity to explain our own experience and the results of our decision to follow Christ.

Realize that every believer has a powerful weapon in his spiritual arsenal. When you share what Christ has done in your life, no one else can say, “That’s not right,” or “That didn’t really happen.” Our testimony of faith is our own credible, first-hand, eyewitness narrative of the power of God.

That’s why it’s important that we be prepared to share our story. Opportunities often come unexpectedly, and we don’t want to let the moment pass simply because we’re not sure what to say.

This week set aside a few moments to think about your history with Christ and sketch an outline of your faith story. Then ask Him to open a door for you to share the message of Jesus Christ. Then when an opportunity comes, you’ll be ready to share what Christ has done in your own life.

When the Lord Does Come

“After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1) 

This is the first of the great “I am’s” of Scripture, and it was given to Father Abraham at a time of both great victory and great despondence. The Lord had enabled Abraham’s little army to vanquish a much larger Amorite host, but then, still childless, he was suddenly overwhelmed by his loneliness and vulnerability in an alien land.

Then Jesus came! When Christ much later affirmed His eternal self-existence to the Pharisees (“I am,” He had said), He claimed that Abraham had seen His day and rejoiced (John 8:56). This experience, recorded early in Genesis, was, no doubt, that great occasion. As the living Word (John 1:1) by whom all things were made (v. 3), He assured Abram that He, Himself, would provide all needed protection (“thy shield”) and all needed blessing (“exceeding great reward”). And then it was that “he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal existing Creator and Redeemer of all things, is no less able today than then to be our protection—and our provision, as well.

Note also that it was the Word of the Lord which came to Abram in a vision. This is the first use of the Hebrew word dabar in Scripture to mean “word,” and here it is the Word of God personified. This still further identifies the vision with the pre-incarnate Christ, who would eventually become God’s incarnate Word (John 1:1, 14).

Thus, as to Abram, God says, “Fear not!” Adam, indeed, was justifiably afraid when he heard the voice of the Lord (Genesis 3:10), for he had only a fig leaf for a covering. But, like Abram, we have a strong shield, which is none other than the Lord Himself. HMM

Ability to Do

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

—John 15:5

A definition of the word “power” means the ability to do. You know, because it is the Greek word from which our English word “dynamite” comes, some of the brethren try to make out that the Holy Spirit is dynamite, forgetting that they have the thing upside down. Dynamite was named after that Greek word, and the Holy Spirit and the power of God were not named after dynamite. Dynamite was discovered less than 200 years ago, but this Greek word from which we get our word “power” goes back to the time of Christ. It means “ability to do”—that is all, just “ability to do.”…

One man steps into the prize ring and can’t even lift his hands. The other fellow walks in and he has power to do, and soon the fellow who did not have the ability to do is sleeping peacefully on the floor.

It is the man with the ability to do who wins. It means the dynamic ability to be able to do what you are given to do. You will receive ability to do. It will come on you.   COU061-062

Lord, help us to not be afraid of this vital manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Come on our churches in power as we rely upon the Spirit for “the ability to do” whatever You have called us to do. Amen.

 

Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord

Glory ye in His holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.—Psalm 105:3.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom.—Luke 12:32.

 

I know not what it is to doubt, My heart is ever gay; I run no risk, for come what will, Thou always hast Thy way.

Frederick Wm. Faber.

 

This way of seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving, and gives a rest of heart, and, more than that, a gayety of spirit, that is unspeakable. Some one says, “God’s will on earth is always joy, always tranquillity.” And since He must have His own way concerning His children, into what wonderful green pastures of inward rest, and beside what blessedly still waters of inward refreshment is the soul led that learns this secret. If the will of God is our will, and if He always has His way, then we always have our way also, and we reign in a perpetual kingdom. He who sides with God cannot fail to win in every encounter; and, whether the result shall be joy or sorrow, failure or success, death or life, we may, under all circumstances, join in the Apostle’s shout of victory, “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!”

Hannah Whitall Smith.

 

Past Deliverance Gives Us Faith

“David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” 1Sam. 17:37

This is not a promise if we consider only the words, but it is truly so as to its sense; for David spoke a word which the Lord endorsed by making it true. He argued from past deliverances that he should receive help in a new danger. In Jesus all the promises are Yea and Amen to the glory of God by us, and so the Lord’s former dealings with His believing people will be repeated.

Come, then, let us recall the Lord’s former lovingkindnesses. We could not have hoped to be delivered aforetime by our own strength; yet the Lord delivered us. Will He not again save us? We are sure He will. As David ran to meet his foe, so will we. The Lord has been with us, He is with us, and He has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Why do we tremble? Was the past a dream? Think of the dead bear and lion. Who is this Philistine? True, he is not quite the same, and is neither bear nor lion; but then God is the same, and His honor is as much concerned in the one case as in the other. He did not save us from the beasts of the forest to let a giant kill us. Let us be of good courage.

 

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