VIDEO Paws to Consider This

Paws to Consider This

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

Milo, an Oklahoma puppy, was born with his front paws upside down, a disability that kept him from walking. A veterinary team at Oklahoma State University performed surgery, and now Milo is in rehab, where he’s working hard with his treatment and exercises. At this writing, he’s only taken “baby steps,” but Milo’s got grit and that’s what counts.

God has put that same tenacity into all His creation. We have a drive to overcome, to persevere, and to be victors rather than victims. But as Christians, we have more than determination and grit. We have the Holy Spirit within us, enabling us to walk by faith. What does it mean to “walk in the Spirit”? Every morning we should say, “Lord, I belong to You today. I ask for Your will to be done every moment during the next 24 hours. May I be filled with Your Spirit so Jesus can live through me.”

Be emptied of self and filled with Scripture—and then take one step at a time as you go through the day.

The whole Christian life, from the moment we are born again until we come into His presence, is a walk by faith—a faith that rests upon the indwelling Holy Spirit. J. Vernon McGee


Walking In The Spirit – Galatians 5:25 – Jon Courson

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Can We Relax?

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Darnell entered the physical therapist’s office knowing he would experience a lot of pain. The therapist stretched and bent his arm and held it in positions it hadn’t been in for months since his injury. After holding each uncomfortable position for a few seconds, she gently told him: “Okay, you can relax.” He said later, “I think I heard that at least fifty times in each therapy session: ‘Okay, you can relax.’ ”

Thinking of those words, Darnell realized they could apply to the rest of his life as well. He could relax in God’s goodness and faithfulness instead of worrying.

As Jesus neared His death, He knew His disciples would need to learn this. They’d soon face a time of upheaval and persecution. To encourage them, Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to live with them and remind them of what He had taught (John 14:26). And so He could say, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (v. 27).

There’s plenty we could be uptight about in our everyday lives. But we can grow in our trust in God by reminding ourselves that His Spirit lives in us—and He offers us His peace. As we draw on His strength, we can hear Him in the therapist’s words: “Okay, you can relax.”

By Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

What causes you stress? What characteristics of God can help you learn to trust Him more?

Teach me, Jesus, to trust Your faithfulness, to know Your presence, to experience Your peace—to relax.

Does God Want You to Succeed?

Proverbs 16:1-3

Is success a legitimate goal for believers? Is this something God wants for His children? The answers depend upon your definition of success. Many people define it as the achievement of wealth, prominence, or fame. If that’s what you’re seeking, then you are following the world’s definition, not the Lord’s.

In His eyes, true success begins internally—the first step is a relationship with Jesus, whereby you have trusted Him as Savior and are following Him obediently. His goal for you is ongoing growth in Christlike character and spiritual maturity, but that’s not all. He also has some work for you to accomplish here on earth (Eph. 2:10). God planned these tasks specifically for you and designed them with your personality, talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts in mind. You could think of them as your unique calling and responsibility in life.

Genuine success involves doing what the Lord has called you to do, not just occasionally but continually. It has to do with persistence rather than perfection. When this is your definition of success, you can know that the Lord wants you to succeed. And He’s committed to helping you become the person He designed you to be—and to accomplish the goals He’s set for you.

The ultimate evaluation of our success will take place when we stand before God and give an account of our life (Rom. 14:12). Any self-centered earthly achievements will be left behind. But if we’ve lived by His definition of success, our treasure will await us in heaven—along with the words “Well done!”

Jesus and Study of Scripture

“And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” (John 7:15)

In the midst of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, “Jesus went up into the temple, and taught” (John 7:14), and the unique caliber of His teaching (literally “indoctrinating”) caused the Jewish scholars there to “marvel.”

Their question on this occasion was how an uneducated man, who had never been taught by the scribes and rabbis, could have acquired such a remarkable understanding of the Holy Scriptures. He had never had formal training in the Word; yet, when He taught, “he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29).

His answer to their question was amazing: “My doctrine [or ‘teaching’] is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16).

There are two factors at work here. First of all, His working knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures was encyclopedic, acquired in the same way any other student of the Word can acquire it—by diligent and prayerful personal study thereof. He had done this all His life from the time He was a small boy. Remember how He had “asked questions” of the astonished doctors in the temple, and then how He was “subject unto” His parents, and how He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:46; 51-52). In all of this, He is a perfect human example to us as we also seek to learn the Scriptures and to grow in wisdom and in favor with God.

But beyond His human understanding of the Word, of course, was His own innate divine wisdom and authority. He was eternal God, as well as perfect man. Thus, He not only has authenticated the former Scriptures and given us an example in their study and use, but has also conveyed perfectly to us, through His holy apostles and prophets, the Scriptures of the New Covenant as well. HMM

Pass Beyond Thanksgiving

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

—Psalm 145:3

The dictionary says that to admire is “to regard with wondering esteem accompanied by pleasure and delight; to look at or upon with an elevated feeling of pleasure.” According to this definition, God has few admirers among Christians today.

Many are they who are grateful for His goodness in providing salvation. At Thanksgiving time the churches ring with songs of gratitude that “all is safely gathered in.” Testimony meetings are mostly devoted to recitations of incidents where someone got into trouble and got out again in answer to prayer. To decry this would be uncharitable and unscriptural, for there is much of the same thing in the Book of Psalms. It is good and right to render unto God thanksgiving for all His mercies to us. But God’s admirers, where are they?

The simple truth is that worship is elementary until it begins to take on the quality of admiration. Just as long as the worshiper is engrossed with himself and his good fortune, he is a babe. We begin to grow up when our worship passes from thanksgiving to admiration. As our hearts rise to God in lofty esteem for that which He is (“I AM THAT I AM,” Exodus 3:14), we begin to share a little of the selfless pleasure which is the portion of the blessed in heaven.   TIC127

Almighty God, I want to be one of Your admirers. Help me to pass beyond thanksgiving to lofty esteem and selfless admiration. Amen.

 

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.—Jeremiah 17:7.

 

Thus will I live and walk from day to day,

Contented, trustful, satisfied, and still,

What life so shielded, or what life so free,

As that within the centre of Thy will!

Jane Woodfall.

 

Follow Christ in the denial of all the wills of self, and then all is put away that separates you from God; the heaven-born new creature will come to life in you, which alone knows and enjoys the things of God, and has his daily food of gladness in that manifold Blessed, and Blessed, which Christ preached on the mount.

William Law.

 

Divine tranquillity grows from the life of God in the soul, which is the same as the life of pure love, Why should a soul be otherwise than tranquil, which seeks for nothing but what comes in the providence of God; and which, forgetful of self, has nothing to do but to love? It has an innate conviction, strong as the everlasting foundations, that, if there is a God above us, all is well, all must be well.

Thomas C. Upham.

 

Exceedingly Precious to Him

“They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.” Mal. 3:17

A day is coming in which the crown jewels of our great King shall be counted, that it may be seen whether they answer to the inventory which His Father gave Him. My soul, wilt thou be among the precious things of Jesus? Thou art precious to Him if He is precious to thee, and thou shalt be His “in that day,” if He is thine in this day.

In the days of Malachi, the chosen of the Lord were accustomed so to converse with each other that their God Himself listened to their talk. He liked it so well that He took notes of it; yes, and made a book of it, which he lodged in His Record Office. Pleased with their conversation, He was also pleased with them. Pause, my soul, and ask thyself: If Jesus were to listen to thy talk would He be pleased with it? Is it to His glory and to the edification of the brotherhood? Say, my soul, and be sure thou sayest the truth.

But what will the honor be for us poor creatures to be reckoned by the Lord to be His crown jewels! This honor have all the saints. Jesus not only says, “They are mine,” but, “They shall be mine.” He bought us, sought us, brought us in, and has so far wrought us to His image, that we shall be fought for by Him with all His might.