VIDEO Don’t Let the Old Man In and New Beginnings

Genesis 8, New Beginnings

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

It’s fun to explore the Bible. Have you ever inspected all the 3:16s in Scripture? Have you noticed the sevens in the book of Revelation? Well, for our weekend devotions this month, let’s focus on some great chapter eights of Scripture, starting with Genesis 8, a story of new beginnings. Here the waters of the great Flood receded, and Noah led his family and animals onto dry land. He worshiped God, and the Lord gave him a promise: The natural order of creation, the cycles of day and night, winter and summer, seedtime and harvest, would remain stable as long as the earth endures.

Scientists marvel at the fine-tuning that allows life to function on earth. Everything about the laws of science on our planet—the atmospheric conditions and terrestrial nature—is designed to bless us. The sun rises every morning, making every day a fresh start. Look up into the sky and praise Him for His faithfulness.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. Thomas Chisholm, in his hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”


Don’t Let the Old Man In | Pastor Greg Laurie

The Christian no longer has to be under the power of sin, Romans 6:7. Pastor Greg Laurie shares his message “Don’t Let the Old Man In” as we continue our Sunday study in the book of Romans.

When All Seems Lost

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Psalm 22:1

 

In just six months, Gerald’s life fell apart. An economic crisis destroyed his business and wealth, while a tragic accident took his son’s life. Overcome by shock, his mother had a heart attack and died, his wife went into depression, and his two young daughters remained inconsolable. All he could do was echo the words of the psalmist, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).

The only thing that kept Gerald going was the hope that God, who raised Jesus to life, would one day deliver him and his family from their pain to an eternal life of joy. It was a hope that God would answer his desperate cries for help. In his despair, like the psalmist David, he determined to trust God in the midst of his suffering. He held on to the hope that God would deliver and save him (vv. 4–5).

That hope sustained Gerald. Over the years, whenever he was asked how he was, he could only say, “Well, I’m trusting God.”

God honored that trust, giving Gerald the comfort, strength, and courage to keep going through the years. His family slowly recovered from the crisis, and soon Gerald welcomed the birth of his first grandchild. His cry is now a testimony of God’s faithfulness. “I’m no longer asking, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ God has blessed me.”

When it seems there’s nothing left, there’s still hope.

By Leslie Koh

Reflect & Pray

What will help you to remember and cling to God’s sure and certain hope of deliverance? How has trusting in God sustained you in a difficult challenge?

Whenever I feel abandoned and alone, I cling to the hope You’ve given me through Christ’s resurrection, that I will be delivered to eternal joy one day.

Responding to Accusation

Luke 12:11-12

When conflict occurs, the natural reaction is to blame someone else and defend yourself. But believers must respond differently. Once, I was publicly chastised for a wrong I had not committed. Thankfully, the Lord enabled me to remain calm rather than react angrily. Praying before doing anything else is the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can’t muster up ourselves.

Spiritual discernment. The Lord, who perfectly understands the source of every problem, can give us insight beyond our limited perspective. Perhaps there’s been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person’s part, or a mistake we unknowingly made. The Holy Spirit can show us how to approach our accuser and see beyond hurtful words or actions.

A quiet spirit. Our human nature wants to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves. That’s why we must first deliberately focus our attention on the Lord and experience the inward peace He alone makes available to us (John 14:27).

Wisdom. Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities. He’ll do the same for you. Ask Him to put a seal on your lips until He shows you what to say and when (Psalm 141:3).

We don’t have to react to criticism with anger and self-protection the way the world does. Instead, we are called to represent Christ in every situation by depending on Him. In responding as He directs, we bring Him glory and cause unbelievers to want to know the source of our strength.

The Promise Coming

“And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)

Has Christ forgotten His promise? After His resurrection, He returned to heaven to wait “until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). Ever since the primeval promise in Eden (Genesis 3:15), God’s inspired prophets have kept assuring His people that He would come as Savior of the world and again as everlasting King, removing the curse of sin and death and bringing in everlasting life and righteousness.

But the centuries have come and gone, age after age, and the world continues to decay, growing worse and worse. With global pollution, disease pandemics, ever-increasing crime, and countless other intractable problems, there may be nothing left if He doesn’t come soon!

Has He forgotten His promise? No! says Peter, in this very same chapter. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

He has not yet returned because there are not yet enough who have “come to repentance”—that is, whose minds and hearts have turned away from the world system and have been renewed through faith in Christ as Creator, Savior, and Lord of all. We need not despair but simply “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15), seeking to lead people to Him until He comes.

His promise is sure, and one day He will return indeed! Therefore, Peter concludes, “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). HMM

Authority of God

I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith me Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear… yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

—Ezekiel 2:4-5

I don’t want to be unkind, but I am sure there ought to be a lot more authority in the pulpit than there is now. A preacher should reign from his pulpit as a king from his throne. He should not reign by law nor by regulations and not by board meetings or man’s authority. He ought to reign by moral ascendancy.

When a man of God stands to speak, he ought to have the authority of God on him so that he makes the people responsible to listen to him. When they will not listen to him, they are accountable to God for turning away from the divine Word. In place of that needed authority, we have tabby cats with their claws carefully trimmed in the seminary, so they can paw over the congregations and never scratch them at all. They have had their claws trimmed and are just as soft and sweet as can be….

I believe in the authority of God, and I believe if a man doesn’t have it, he should go away and pray and wait until he gets the authority and then stand up to speak even if he has to begin on a soapbox on a street corner. Go to a rescue mission and preach with authority! They had it in those days—when they stood up, there was authority!   COU150-151

Lord, may I always preach boldly like the apostle Paul, like Ezekiel, like Jeremiah and the prophets. Amen.

 

Thou hast been my defense and refuge

Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.—Psalm 59:16.

 

Commit thy way to God,

The weight which makes thee faint,

Worlds are to Him no load,

To Him breathe thy complaint.

Up! Up! The day is breaking,

Say to thy cares, good-night!

Thy troubles from thee shaking,

Like dreams in day’s fresh light.

Paul Gerhardt.

 

When you find yourself, as I dare say you sometimes do, overpowered as it were by melancholy, the best way is to go out, and do something kind to somebody or other.

John Keble.

 

Do not give way to depression,—but resign yourself to our dear Lord with the object of bearing bravely the discomforts and petty contradictions of this life.

Charles De Condren.

 

Never suffer yourself to be subdued by melancholy; it is amongst the things that will most injure you. It is impossible to persevere in the path of holiness, if we give not ourselves to it with joy. The love of God should impart peace to the soul.

Madame De Guyon.

 

With God in High Places

I will set him on high because he hath known my name Ps. 91:14

Does the Lord say this to me? Yes, if I have known His name. Blessed be the Lord, I am no stranger to Him. I have tried Him, and proved Him, and known Him, and, therefore, do I trust Him. I know His name as a sin-hating God, for by His Spirit’s convincing power I have been taught that He will never wink at evil. But I also know Him as the sin-pardoning God in Christ Jesus, for He has forgiven me all trespasses. His name is faithfulness, and I know it, for He has never forsaken me though my troubles have multiplied upon me.

This knowledge is a gift of grace, and the Lord makes it to be the reason why He grants another grace-gift, namely, setting on high. This is grace upon grace. Observe that if we climb on high, the position may be dangerous; but if the Lord sets us there, it is safe. He may raise us to great usefulness, to eminent experience, to success in service, to leadership among workers, to a father’s place among the little ones. If He does not do this, He may set us on high by near fellowship, clear insight, holy triumph, and gracious anticipation of eternal glory. When God sets us on high, Satan himself cannot pull us down. Oh, that this may be our case all through this day!