VIDEO Lord, Use This for Good!

God meant it for good. Genesis 50:20

A new survey of 2,000 American millennials reveals that a third of them believe their lives are more stressful than the average person’s life. Some of the contributing factors to their stress levels include—being stuck in traffic, waiting for appointments, and having issues with their smartphones. For 41 percent of millennials, a damaged phone screen is more stressful than seeing a “check engine” light on their dashboard. Many of them felt stress when they got zero “likes” on a social media post, and 33 percent felt having their phone die was worse than a fraudulent charge on their credit card. About half the survey respondents say they don’t feel they deal with stress very well, and two-thirds would love to find better methods of coping with stress.

For most of us, the small daily aggravations of life can feel like the straw that broke the  camel’s back, and we all need better methods of coping.

One of the best ways of dealing with trials is saying, “Lord, use this for good!” That prayer will work when we lose our credit card or when we lose our jobs. It will work when we’re stuck in traffic or when we hear of a friend’s illness. Maybe today you have a problem that can be handled by this simple prayer: Lord, use it for good.

In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good.  Max Lucado


Why does God Allow Evil? – John MacArthur Q&A [Genesis 50:20 Romans 8:28]

Sovereign Intervention

God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. Exodus 2:25

Barbara grew up under the care of the British government in the 1960s, but when she turned sixteen, she and her newborn son, Simon, became homeless. The state was no longer obligated to provide for her at that age. Barbara wrote to the Queen of England for help and received a response! The Queen compassionately arranged for Barbara to be given a house of her own.

The Queen of England had the right resources to help Barbara, and her compassionate assistance can be seen as a small picture of God’s help. The King of heaven knows all of our needs and sovereignly works out His plans in our lives. As He does, however, He longs for us to come to Him—sharing our needs and other concerns—as part of our loving relationship with Him.

The Israelites brought their need for deliverance to God. They were suffering under the burden of Egyptian slavery and cried out for help. He heard them and remembered His promise: “God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them” (Exodus 2:25). He instructed Moses to bring liberty to His people and declared that He would once again release them “into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (3:8).

Our King loves it when we come to Him! He wisely provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. Let’s rest in His sovereign, loving provision.

By Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

Reflect & Pray

Why is it important for us to bring our needs to God in prayer? How can you learn to rest in God’s provision—whatever that may be?

Loving God, thank You that I can bring my needs to You. Help me to be content in whatever paths and provisions You choose.

The Person of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

If asked who the Holy Spirit is, would you say He is a ghost, a power, or a person? The Bible provides many details about Him that point to His personhood, yet many of us do not think of the Spirit as someone we can know. Perhaps we have received incomplete teaching about Him or have misunderstood translations that call Him the Holy Ghost. Maybe when we read about His power, we assumed He was merely a force. It could even be that we have focused on the Father or Son to the exclusion of the Spirit. But the personhood of God’s Spirit is clearly revealed by the Bible’s descriptions of Him:

He acts as a person—living, teaching, testifying, convicting, guiding, and speaking.

He has a personality, as shown by His will, thoughts, and knowledge.

He is called by many names, including Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, and Spirit of Holiness—all of which represent His divine nature.

He can be treated like a person: He can be lied to, resisted, obeyed, and called on.

Believing anything less than what Scripture teaches about the Holy Spirit robs Him of His glory and diminishes our understanding of the Trinity. Furthermore, a faulty perception of the Spirit hampers our Christian life because we won’t recognize the magnitude of His transforming power, which allows us to triumph over sin and obey God.

But there is a solution. Ask the Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures so you can know Him in all His fullness. He is the one who helps you find in Christ a life that is joyful, peace-filled, wise, discerning, and submissive.

Who Is Really Faithful?

“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6)

Faithfulness is like a rare and precious gem. It is difficult to find a real such gem, though there are many who will offer their virtues as a substitute.

Moses, however, was one such man. “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:5). So was Abraham. “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians 3:9). Moses and Abraham were full of faith in God’s Word; therefore they were faithful to God’s Word. The very word “faithful” means “full of faith.”

God is not impressed with those who boast of themselves and their qualifications or who belittle others. “It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory” (Proverbs 25:27). Actions speak louder than words, and it is better to let one’s works speak for themselves. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). The rare quality of faithfulness—firm and reliable commitment to one’s convictions and responsibilities, in accordance with God’s Word and God’s leading—is proved in practice rather than proclamation. May God help us to be faithful servants, for “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). It is quality, not quantity, of service that God measures. Faithfulness—not fruitfulness—is required.

There is one glorious promise regarding faithfulness—not our faithfulness, but the faithfulness of our Savior. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith [literally, ‘faithfulness’] of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be [found] true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:3-4). HMM

Speaking the truth in love may grow up into him

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

—Ephesians 4:15

In an effort to get the work of the Lord done we often lose contact with the Lord of the work and quite literally wear our people out as well. I have heard more than one pastor boast that his church was a “live” one, pointing to the printed calender as a proof—something on every night and several meetings during the day…. A great many of these time-consuming activities are useless and others plain ridiculous. “But,” say the eager beavers who run the religious squirrel cages, “they provide fellowship and they hold our people together.”

To this I reply that what they provide is not fellowship at all, and if that is the best thing the church has to offer to hold the people together it is not a Christian church in the New Testament meaning of that word. The center of attraction in a true church is the Lord Jesus Christ….

If the many activities engaged in by the average church led to the salvation of sinners or the perfecting of believers they would justify themselves easily and triumphantly; but they do not. My observations have led me to the belief that many, perhaps most, of the activities engaged in by the average church do not contribute in any way to the accomplishing of the true work of Christ on earth. I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid I am right.   TIC136-137

Help us, Lord, to be willing even today to look at our church programs and evaluate what we do in the light of the truth of this challenge. Amen.

 

I will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth

Behold, I will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.—Jeremiah 33:6.

Glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good.—Romans 2:10.

 

True peace is when the soul revolves around its centre, Almighty God, craving for nothing but what God continually supplies, its passions subdued to itself, itself lovingly loyal to God, in harmony with its God and His laws. God made the soul for Himself, to have its bliss in His infinite, unchanging, exhaustless love. The soul then “must needs be restless, until it repose in Him.” Everything, whether it belongs to the keenest intellect, or the lowest senses, is an idol if the soul rests in it, apart from God. The souls craving for peace is its natural yearning for its End, its Maker and its God. Since the soul is large enough to contain the infinite God, nothing less than Himself can satisfy or fill it.

Edward B. Pusey.

 

With those who have made ready to receive Him in peaceful trust, He will come and dwell in love and joy; and great is their rest and blessedness.

Abbé Guilloré.

 

Encampment of Angels

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Ps. 34:7

We cannot see the angels, but it is enough that they can see us. There is one great Angel of the Covenant, whom not having seen we love, and His eye is always upon us both day and night. He has a host of holy ones under Him, and He causes these to be watchers over His saints and to guard them from all ill. If devils do us mischief, shining ones do us service. Note that the Lord of angels does not come and go, and pay us transient visits, but He and His armies encamp around us. The headquarters of the army of salvation are where those live whose trust is in the living God. This camp surrounds the faithful, so that they cannot be attacked from any quarter unless the adversary can break through the entrenchments of the Lord of angels. We have a fixed protection, a permanent watch. Sentineled by the messengers of God, we shall not be surprised by sudden assaults, nor swallowed up by overwhelming forces. Deliverance is promised in this verse — deliverance by the great Captain of our salvation, and that deliverance we shall obtain again and again until our warfare is accomplished and we exchange the field of conflict for the home of rest.