VIDEO Hello Heaven! – Walk In The Dark

Hello Heaven!

I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside. 2 Peter 1:13-14, NIV

Peter wrote his final letter shortly before his execution. He wasn’t discouraged; he was looking forward to the future. He spoke of “looking forward to these things.” and “[looking] for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13-14).

Life is full of hardships and heaviness. We have the promises of God to help us in difficult days, and we have the Holy Spirit within us. We have a purpose for being here—to refresh the memory of others regarding the things of the Lord. But we’ll soon put aside the tent of our earthly body, and what a relief! Goodbye hardship and heaviness. Goodbye trials and troubles. Hello Jesus! Hello heaven! Hello golden streets, glorified bodies, endless days, and the fresh air of New Jerusalem!

During difficult times, the hope of eternity gives us strength. If you’re prone to worry yourself to sleep each night, turn your thoughts upward and close your eyes thinking of heaven and its eternal throne.

A tent or a cottage, why should I care? They’re building a palace for me over there. Harriet Buell, in her hymn “A Child of the King”


How To Walk In The Dark – 1 Peter 1:13-18 – Skip Heitzig

Prayer As a Daily Habit

Prayer is one of those things you learn by doing. I can give you Bible promises on prayer and share with you some of my own experiences with prayer, but I can’t do your praying for you. Until you begin to pray yourself, you will never understand prayer.

Martin Luther said, “Just as the business of the tailor is to make clothing, and that of the shoemaker to mend shoes, so the business of the Christian is to pray.”

The secret of Luther’s revolutionary life was his commitment to spend time alone with God every day. I encourage you to take time every day to talk with God. Don’t just give Him 30 seconds while you’re rushing around in the morning: “O Lord, bless this day, especially since it is Monday.” Set aside a specific time each day for personal prayer.

As you pray, strive for order (see “An Exercise in Prayer”) and faithfulness. It helps to establish a set time to pray, but avoid legalism. Don’t feel guilty if you miss your intended time or even an entire day. Keep trying. On certain occasions you may need to adapt your schedule to talk to the Father. Nothing is wrong with that. Aim for consistency. Don’t look at prayer as a duty to be “checked off” your list. Prayer is simply an honest conversation with our heavenly Father who loves us.

I find the early hours of the day are the best to pray. Evangelist D. L. Moody said, “We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man. If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God ever intended.” Make room in your schedule to begin each day alone with God in prayer.

On the other hand, prayer is something that should take place during the entire day. The Bible says, “Pray continually” (1 thessalonians 5:17). At any moment, whatever the occasion, we are free to speak with our Father. We enjoy communion with the living God, who lives within us, through prayer.

It’s always surprising to see how much time Jesus dedicated to prayer. He never considered himself too busy to pray. As the obligations increased and He faced big decisions, He went away alone to pray (luke 5:15–16). Will you form a similar habit?

Confidence in Prayer

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 john 5:14–15).

Look at that! God has gone on record as saying that whatever we ask for according to His will, He will give it to us! But what do we do if we don’t know God’s will? Helpfully, God has revealed much of His will in the Bible. By becoming better acquainted with God’s Word, you will learn many things about His will for your life.

Read 1 John 5:14–15 again. If you are not sure a prayer request is according to God’s will, ask Him about it; He can tell you. And don’t worry about making mistakes when you pray. Do you think the sovereignty of God will be shattered because one of His children makes a mistake while praying? Isn’t it a bigger mistake not to pray at all?

If the answer to your request is “no,” the Lord will communicate with you by the internal witness of the Holy Spirit. But the answer may not be immediate. God may be developing your patient trust in His perfect will. A consistent prayer life in your walk with God will help a sensitivity develop between you and your heavenly Father.

When God says “no” to a request you make, trust His goodness. Jesus made the point that parents do not give their children worthless or bad gifts when they request something. How much more can we trust our heavenly Father, who always gives us what is good (matthew 7:7–11). But we need to ask according to His will.

An Exercise in Prayer: Keep a Prayer Notebook

Why Do We Doubt?

James 1:1-8

How would you currently characterize your faith? Is it up one day, down the next? The short book of James contains practical advice for those whose faith fluctuates because of difficult circumstances. When we start doubting God and His Word, we’re driven and tossed about like the surf of the sea.

James says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. To be double-minded is to go back and forth in our thinking. We may begin with strong confidence in God, but as time goes by and the difficult situation continues, we may start to doubt that the Lord will do what He’s promised.

Doubting and questioning are not necessarily the same thing. Questioning is seeking to gain further information in order to better understand what God has said. Doubting, on the other hand, involves believing what we think, see, or feel rather than what we know He has said.

It’s natural for us to question when we’re suddenly overwhelmed by a distressing turn of events. God understands our struggle and wants us to come to Him with our pain and confusion. Sometimes He has to sift our thinking by reminding us of His truth or His past faithfulness to us in a similar situation.

Even though we may not understand all that God is doing through our trials, we can rely on what He’s revealed: The testing of our faith produces endurance and spiritual maturity, and it supplies something we lack. Knowing this, we can trust the Lord to accomplish His good and perfect will through the situation—and rejoice in how He will transform us.

Building Yourself Up

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21)

The New Testament relationship of the twice-born to the eternal condition is compared to a “building” of God (Ephesians 2:22) made up of “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5). Thus, there is often the exhortation for us to build a holy association with each other (Romans 14:19) and to seek to build a strong assembly as we work together (Ephesians 4:16).

Each of the many references uses some combination of descriptive preposition or adjective along with the term for house. The general application assumes that since we will be “housed” together in eternity, we should seek to be building that house while on Earth. Even those who are in authority in the “house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15) are to be focused on building that house (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Jude addresses the individual. He presumes we are aware that we are “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” with “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). Even with a “wise masterbuilder” like Paul to give us inspired instructions (1 Corinthians 3:10), we need to be very careful how we build on the foundation that Jesus Christ has laid for us. Our work can be “gold, silver, and precious stones, wood, hay, [or] stubble,” and will be evaluated by the “fire” of God’s timeless judgment (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

The construction of the building—both the larger house and the individual “lively stones” that make up the house—are to be built up on the “most holy faith.” Once the foundation has been laid by Jesus Christ, we are to be “rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). HMM III

Many Just Nibble at the Truth

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

—Acts 20:26-27

This is one of the marks of our modern time—that many are guilty of merely “nibbling” at the truth of the Christian gospel.

I wonder if you realize that in many ways the preaching of the Word of God is being pulled down to the level of the ignorant and spiritually obtuse; that we must tell stories and jokes and entertain and amuse in order to have a few people in the audience? We do these things that we may have some reputation and that there may be money in the treasury to meet the church bills….

In many churches Christianity has been watered down until the solution is so weak that if it were poison it would not hurt anyone, and if it were medicine it would not cure anyone!   ITB030-031

Lord, don’t ever let me be guilty of watering down the truth or playing to the crowds, concerned about my “reputation” or “money in the treasury.” Amen.

 

Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit

Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.—Romans 12:11.

 

Let us begin from this moment to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and do everything, whatsoever we do, as service to Him and for His glory, depending upon Him alone for wisdom, and strength, and sweetness, and patience, and everything else that is necessary for the right accomplishing of all our living. It is not so much a change of acts that will be necessary, as a change of motive and of dependence. The house will be kept, or the children cared for, or the business transacted, perhaps, just the same as before as to the outward, but inwardly God will be acknowledged, and depended on, and served; and there will be all the difference between a life lived at ease in the glory of His Presence, and a life lived painfully and with effort apart from Him. There will result also from this bringing of God into our affairs a wonderful accession of divine wisdom in the conduct of them, and a far greater quickness and dispatch in their accomplishment, a surprising increase in the fertility of resource, and an enlargement on every side that will amaze the hitherto cramped and cabined soul.

Hannah Whitall Smith.

 

Your Song of Confidence

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.” Ps. 138:7

Wretched walking in the midst of trouble. Nay, blessed walking, since there is a special promise for it. Give me a promise, and what is the trouble? What doth my Lord teach me here to say? Why this “Thou wilt revive me.” I shall have more life, more energy, more faith. Is it not often so, that trouble revives us, like a breath of cold air when one is ready to faint?

How angry are my enemies and especially the arch-enemy! Shall I stretch forth my hand and fight my foes? No, my hand is better employed in doing service for my Lord. Besides, there is no need, for my God will use His far-reaching arm, and He will deal with them far better than I could if I were to try. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” He will with His own right hand of power and wisdom save me, and what more can I desire?

Come, my heart, talk this promise over to thyself till thou canst use it as the song of thy confidence, the solace of thy loneliness. Pray to be revived thyself, and leave the rest with the Lord, who performeth all things for thee.