VIDEO The Time Is Now – Because God Meant It for Good

She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. Genesis 39:12

The time to buy life insurance is not the day you die. The time to install smoke detectors is not while your house is on fire. And the time to develop convictions about holiness is not in the midst of an emergency. In all those examples, it’s too late. Or, at the very least, it’s much harder after the fact. It’s easier to prevent a crisis than to recover from a crisis.

Somehow, Joseph was prepared for the crises that hit him in Egypt—the most serious being a full-on attempt at seduction and immorality by the wife of his owner, the man who had entrusted everything to Joseph. When Potiphar’s wife tried to tempt Joseph to immorality, he did what Paul would later advise Timothy to do when faced with temptations: “Flee!” (2 Timothy 2:22) Joseph took the only way of escape open to him: He fled! (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Draw a biblical line in the sand today, beyond which you will not go. Don’t wait for the crisis to consider your convictions. The time is now.

No temptation is more frequently before us than that of easing up. Sinclair Ferguson


Joseph: Because God Meant It for Good (Selected Scriptures)

Servant’s Heart

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all. Mark 9:35

 

Cook. Event Planner. Nutritionist. Nurse. These are just some of the responsibilities regularly performed by modern moms. In 2016, research estimated that moms likely worked between fifty-nine and ninety-six hours per week doing child-related tasks.

No wonder moms are always exhausted! Being a mom means giving a lot of time and energy to care for children, who need so much help as they learn to navigate the world.

When my days feel long and I need a reminder that caring for others is a worthy pursuit, I find great hope when I see Jesus affirming those who serve.

In the gospel of Mark, the disciples were having an argument about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus quietly sat down and reminded them that “anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (9:35). Then He took a child in His arms to illustrate the importance of serving others, especially the most helpless among us (vv. 36–37).

Christ’s response resets the bar for what greatness looks like in His kingdom. His standard is a heart willing to care for others. And Jesus has promised that God’s empowering presence will be with those who choose to serve (v. 37).

As you have opportunities to serve in your family or community, be encouraged that Jesus greatly values the time and effort you give in service to others.

By:  Lisa M. Samra

Reflect & Pray

How might you serve someone today? How could you take time to say “thank you” to someone who has graciously loved and served you?

Jesus, thank You for reminding us of Your loving care for children and any who are vulnerable. Help us to follow Your example of service.

Suffering a Spiritual Failure

Deuteronomy 1:19-46

No one likes to fail at anything, and a spiritual fall is particularly distressing. The word failure immediately drums up uncomfortable thoughts of a blemish on our walk with God. Try as we might, however, we simply cannot and will not go through life without missing the mark from time to time.

Most troubling to believers are those instances when we know the right thing to do but don’t do it. That’s what happened with the Israelites, who refused to enter the land God had said to conquer and possess. They allowed fear to short-circuit their obedience to the heavenly Father. But the ultimate reason for their disobedience was a lack of trust in God.

Think about a time you failed to follow one of the Lord’s commands. Did you look at the circumstances around you and conclude that it was too risky to do what God had said? Or perhaps your way simply seemed like a better approach. In both cases, the temptation began with doubts about God. Is He powerful enough to handle the circumstances if I follow Him? I’m not convinced He knows what’s best for me.

Every time we trust in ourselves and doubt God’s wisdom, power, and goodness, we are headed for failure and its aftermath. Although He always forgives us when we come to Him with a repentant heart, we may still face the consequences of our self-willed rebellion.

The Lord wants us to have enough confidence in Him that we choose to follow His directions and thereby avoid the pitfalls of self-reliance. Remember that the God who calls us empowers us to obey whatever He commands.

Dead to Sin and Alive unto God

“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20)

One of the greatest doctrinal truths of the Bible is that the Christian life is one of victory over sin. The law of God has condemned us as lawbreakers (James 2:10), but Christ died for our sins, and “ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4).

We should live in victory over sin, but somehow we still stumble. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The remedy for such lapses is at hand, of course. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

Nevertheless, if Christ is really living in us by His Spirit, if we have really been born again, then we cannot continue to live in sin. “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2). “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (vv. 6-7).

The secret to making this doctrine practical reality in our lives is simply the motivation of gratitude. In the words of our text, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We already have the necessary resources: forgiveness, freedom from guilt, eternal life, and the indwelling Spirit of Christ. We must simply avail ourselves of His power, because He loved us and saved us. “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). HMM

The Right Road to the Desired Correct Destination

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

—Jeremiah 10:23

The prophet here [in Jeremiah 10:23] turns to a figure of speech, one which appears in the Scriptures so frequently that it is not easy to remember that it is but a figure. Man is seen as a traveler making his difficult way from a past he can but imperfectly recollect into a future about which he knows nothing. And he cannot stay, but must each morning strike his moving tent and journey on toward—and there is the heavy problem—toward what?

It is a simple axiom of the traveler that if he would arrive at the desired destination he must take the right road. How far a man may have traveled is not important; what matters is whether or not he is going the right way, whether the path he is following will bring him out at the right place at last. Sometimes there will be an end to the road, and maybe sooner than he knows; but when he has gone the last step of the way will he find himself in a tomorrow of light and peace, or will the day toward which he journeys be “a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness”?   SOS105-106

I look around me, Lord, and everywhere I see aimless wanderers on a course toward eternal destruction. Help me to be more faithful, even today, to point them toward the right destination. Amen.

 

According as His divine power

According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.—2 Peter 1:3.

 

We often try in vain to cut up our errors by the roots, to fight evil hand to hand on its own ground, where it has us at a disadvantage, whereas our most sure way to victory is by developing and fortifying the good that is in us. We have but a certain measure of strength and activity; as much of this as is added to the good is taken from the evil.

Madame Swetchine.

 

I think you will find that it is not by making resolutions in a difficulty that you will conquer a fault—tackling it, I mean,—but much more by opening a window to Almighty God, and letting Him speak to you. As long as we are young we set so much importance on our own efforts, whereas often, if we will just do nothing but listen quietly to what God has to say to us, we shall find that He sets us thinking and mending our faults by a quiet way which looks as though it had nothing to do with it; and then, when we come to about where our fault used to be, we find it gone, imperceptibly as it were, by our having been strengthened in another direction which lay, though we did not know it, at the real root of the matter.

Henrietta Kerr.

 

Love And Seek True Wisdom From God

“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shalt find me.” Prov. 8:17

Wisdom loves her lovers, and seeks her seekers. He is already wise who seeks to be wise, and he has almost found wisdom who diligently seeks her. What is true of wisdom in general is specially true of wisdom embodied in our Lord Jesus. Him we are to love and to seek, and in return we shall enjoy His love, and find Himself.

Our business is to seek Jesus early in life. Happy are the young whose morning is spent with Jesus! It is never too soon to seek the Lord Jesus. Early seekers make certain finders. We should seek Him early by diligence. Thriving tradesmen are early risers, and thriving saints seek Jesus eagerly. Those who find Jesus to their enrichment give their hearts to seeking Him. We must seek Him first, and thus earliest. Above all things Jesus. Jesus first, and nothing else even as a bad second.

The blessing is that He will be found. He reveals Himself more and more clearly to our search. He gives Himself up more fully to our fellowship. Happy men who seek One who, when He is found, remains with them for ever, a treasure growingly precious to their hearts and understandings.

Lord Jesus, I have found thee; be found of me to an unutterable degree of joyous satisfaction.