VIDEO I Am Abounding! – Pray for Love

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more.   Philippians 1:9

One day we’ll live in a sinless and pure world—the new heaven and new earth where righteousness will dwell. But until then, we’re stationed by God on a corrupt planet where we are light in the darkness. But even here we can abound. Our attitude today should say: “I am abounding!”

Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will abound with blessings.”

Romans 15:13 states, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Second Corinthians 8:7 tells us to “abound in everything”—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in diligence, and in your love—and see that you abound in this grace also. We’re to abound in “every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

And Peter tells us that if we abound in virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, we’ll never be barren or unfruitful (2 Peter 1:3-8).

So let’s abound!

If you abound in Christ, you’ll confound the devil, astound the world, expound the truth, and surround your environment with grace.

Abounding grace has abounding work for its aim. And abounding work needs abounding grace as its source and strength. Andrew Murray


Pray for Love – Philippians 1:9-11 – Skip Heitzig

Really Just a Touch

Then he placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:17

 

It was just a touch, but it made all the difference to Colin. As his small team was preparing to do charitable work in a region known for hostility to believers in Jesus, his stress level began to rise. When he shared his worries with a teammate, his friend stopped, placed his hand on his shoulder, and shared a few encouraging words with him. Colin now looks back on that brief touch as a turning point, a powerful reminder of the simple truth that God was with him.

John, the close friend and disciple of Jesus, had been banished to the desolate island of Patmos for preaching the gospel, when he heard “a loud voice like a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10). That startling event was followed by a vision of the Lord Himself, and John “fell at his feet as though dead.” But in that frightening moment, he received comfort and courage. John wrote, “He placed his right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last’” (v. 17).

God takes us out of our comfort zone to show us new things, to stretch us, to help us grow. But He also brings the courage and comfort to go through every situation. He won’t leave us alone in our trials. He has everything under control. He has us in His hands.

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

How is God taking you out of your comfort zone? What friends has He given you for support and comfort?

Jesus, help me recognize Your presence and Your touch in the midst of things that frighten me.

 

Spiritually Shortsighted

Luke 16:19-31

An old gospel song says, “This world is not my home / I’m just a-passing through. / My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” It’s a good reminder for all of us that this life is not the end goal. As Christians, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and are not to love this world or what it offers (1 John 2:15). In fact, to do so makes us enemies of God (James 4:4).

In today’s passage Jesus tells a story about a rich man who lived for himself and ignored the Lord. He was a success by earthly standards but discovered too late that his riches and comfort were only temporary. After death, he experienced the consequences of his choices—eternal separation from the Lord.

It’s important to realize that this man wasn’t judged harshly by God because of his wealth. The rich man’s mistake was that he prepared everything for the body but nothing for the soul. Our culture practices a similar style of living. Acquiring material riches and satisfying oneself is the primary pursuit of many in our world. In fact, fulfilling personal desires seems to be the goal whether one’s bank account is overflowing or nearly empty.

Despite what our culture thinks, this life is not about us. It’s about being reconciled to God. Whoever repents of sin and turns to Christ for salvation will live eternally with Him in heaven. But those who reject or simply ignore the Lord will suffer eternally. Death comes to all of us, and we never know when. Therefore, if you haven’t trusted Christ as Savior, do so today. Your eternal destiny is at stake.

His Power of Grace

“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” (Ephesians 3:7)

In the New Testament, the words for gift and grace are very closely related. The Greek term charis is most frequently translated “grace,” and charisma is most often rendered “gift.” We who are twice-born are to use our “gift” with one another as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

When God gifts us with faith so that we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8), we are then “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). This “new man” is granted the potential to understand the “exceeding greatness of his power” (Ephesians 1:19) and to participate in the “divine nature” so that we are able to escape the corruption that pervades the lust of this godless world (2 Peter 1:4).

When we preach the gospel, we are using “the power of God” that will result in the salvation of those who respond (Romans 1:16). Right after the day of Pentecost, the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in a demonstration of that power so that “great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). The message and the power and the grace of God are inseparable.

When our lives radically changed in response to the “new man” created in us by God, they did so by “the grace of our Lord” that is “exceeding abundant with faith and love” (1 Timothy 1:14). When we access the strength to rise above our infirmities or difficult circumstances, we are experiencing the Lord’s grace that is sufficient to deal with or overcome whatever may be hindering us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we “work out” the salvation God has “graced” us with, we can be sure that God is working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). HMM III

Be Coworkers Not Competitors

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

—Colossians 1:18

God’s servants are not to be competitors, but coworkers….

A local church, as long as it is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, cannot entertain the psychology of competition. When it begins to compete with another church, it is a true church of God no longer; it has voided its character and gone down onto a lower level. The Spirit that indwells it is no longer divine; it is human merely, and its activities are pitched on the plane of the natural….

The Holy Spirit always cooperates with Himself in His members. The Spirit-directed body does not tear itself apart by competition. The ambitions of the various members are submerged in the glory of the Head, and whatever brings honor to the Head meets with the most eager approval of the members.

We should cultivate the idea that we are coworkers rather than competitors. We should ask God to give us the psychology of cooperation. We should learn to think of ourselves as being members in particular of one and the same body, and we should reject with indignation every suggestion of the enemy designed to divide our efforts.   NCA056-057

Lord, forgive us for the sin of comparison and competition. Replace it in our hearts with a spirit of cooperation as coworkers. May the glory all go to the Head. Amen.

 

Your life is hid with Christ

Your life is hid with Christ in God.—Colossians 3:3.

Put on therefore a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other; even as the Lord forgave you so also do ye.—Colossians 3:12-13 (R. V.).

 

It is not the deed we do,

Though the deed be never so fair,

But the love that the dear Lord looketh for,

Hidden with holy care

In the heart of the deed so fair.

Harriet McEwen Kimball.

 

These are duties which belong to us alike, whatever our outward lot be, whether rich or poor, honored or despised, amid outward joys or sorrows. For as our life is hidden in Christ, so have we all an outward and an inward, a hidden life. Outwardly, we seem busied for the most part about common things, with trivial duties, worthless tasks. Inwardly we are, or ought to be, studying how, in all, to please God, walking in His sight, doing them in His Presence, seeking to know how He would have them done. So amid trivial things we may be, nay men are, in every station of life, pleasing God, that is, leading angels’ lives, in that they are doing His will on earth, as the angels in heaven. They are “servants of His, doing His pleasure.”

Edward B. Pusey.

 

Have Godly Stability

“And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord’ Jer. 15:20

Stability in the fear and faith of God will make a man like a wall of brass, which no one can batter down or break. Only the Lord can make such; but we need such men in the church, and in the world, but specially in the pulpit.

Against uncompromising men of truth this age of shams will fight tooth and nail. Nothing seems to offend Satan and his seed like decision. They attack holy firmness even as the Assyrians besieged fenced cities. The joy is that they cannot prevail against those whom God has made strong in His strength. Carried about with every wind of doctrine, others only need to be blown upon, and away they go; but those who love the doctrines of grace, because they possess the grace of the doctrines, stand like rocks in the midst of raging seas.

Whence this stability? “I am with thee, saith the Lord”: that is the true answer. Jehovah will save and deliver faithful souls from all the assaults of the adversary. Hosts are against us, but the Lord of hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch; for the Lord Himself holds us in our place, and there we will abide for ever.