VIDEO Don’t Forget the Giver – Ben Watson: My Faith Journey

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord.  Deuteronomy 6:12

 

It was just before Christmas, and her kids were having a difficult time with gratitude. She knew how easy it was to slip into that kind of thinking, but she also knew she wanted something better for the hearts of her children. So she went through the house and placed red bows on light switches, the pantry and refrigerator doors, the washing machine and dryer, and the water faucets. With each bow there was a handwritten note: “Some of the gifts God gives us are easy to overlook, so I’ve put a bow on them. He is so good to our family. Let’s not forget where the gifts come from.”

In Deuteronomy 6, we see that the future of the nation of Israel involved the conquest of existing places. So they would move into large flourishing cities they did not build (v. 10), occupy houses filled with good things they didn’t provide, and benefit from wells and vineyards and olive groves they didn’t dig or plant (v. 11). All these blessings could be easily traced back to a single source—“the Lord your God” (v. 10). And while God lovingly provided these things and more, Moses wanted to make sure the people were careful not to forget (v. 12).

During certain seasons of life it’s easy to forget. But let’s not lose sight of God’s goodness, the source of all our blessings.

By: John Blase

Reflect & Pray

Name five blessings in your life. Why are you grateful for them? How will you thank God for them today?

Loving Father, You are the source of every blessing in our lives. In our pride we often imagine otherwise, but we know better. We do. Thank You for all Your gifts.


Ben Watson: My Faith Journey

The Place for Ministry

“His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ ” (Mark 9:28). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “This kind can come out by nothing but” concentrating on Him, and then doubling and redoubling that concentration on Him. We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him.

When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it as an irritation, or by going up and over it, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ. Then that very problem itself, and all that you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jesus Christ in a way that you will never know until you see Him face to face.

We must be able to “mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), but we must also know how to come down. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and in the living that is done in the valley. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and what he was referring to were mostly humiliating things. And yet it is in our power to refuse to be humiliated and to say, “No, thank you, I much prefer to be on the mountaintop with God.” Can I face things as they actually are in the light of the reality of Jesus Christ, or do things as they really are destroy my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Always keep in contact with those books and those people that enlarge your horizon and make it possible for you to stretch yourself mentally. The Moral Foundations of Life, 721 R

Reaching The Closed Minds

Acts 26:1-20

Do you know someone whose mind is closed to the gospel? That describes a lot of people, and we often find it discouraging that despite our prayers for them, they can’t see their need for the Savior.

Responses to the gospel vary. Some people are quick to respond in faith while others resist. Those who reject Christ may respond with polite indifference, or they could be aggressively antagonistic toward those who speak of Him. At times we might wonder if God’s message of salvation can penetrate those whose minds are shut.

The answer is yes, and the proof is in Acts 9:1-18—the story about the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (later known as the apostle Paul). Saul was a devout Pharisee who professed faith in God the Father but rejected Jesus as God the Son. Hating all those who followed the Messiah, Saul went to great lengths to persecute believers and coerce them to recant their faith in Christ.

But Saul was no match for the omnipotent God. The Holy Spirit convicted this violent man of his sin, gave him an awareness of his own need for salvation, and revealed that Jesus was the only Savior. Then Saul’s spiritually blind eyes were opened.

Today the Holy Spirit is still working to bring men and women under conviction. He uses believers’ lives and testimonies to reveal the truth about Jesus to those with closed minds and hard hearts. If you are currently trying to reach someone like this, be encouraged and continue to pray for that person’s salvation. Then rest in God’s ability to save.

Be Alive in Him

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 2:20)

The final verse of Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” provides a fitting climax to what’s gone before:

No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, with all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, thru Christ, my own.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). “Who is he that condemneth?” Not Christ! “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (v. 34).

We’re now alive through Christ’s work on the cross, with a standing beyond our comprehension. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10). The song calls Him our “living Head.” Peter calls Him a “living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. . . . The same is made the head of the corner” (1 Peter 2:4-7).

In response to His love, we “put off concerning the former conversation [way of living] of the old man . . . [and] put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Dressed in His righteousness, “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8). JDM

Criticism or Abuse

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

—1 Thessalonians 2:4

“Let not thy peace depend on the tongues of men,” said the wise old Christian mystic, Thomas à Kempis; “for whether they judge well or ill, thou art not on that account other than thyself.”

One of the first things a Christian should get used to is abuse….

To do nothing is to get abused for laziness, and to do anything is to get abused for not doing something else.

Was it not Voltaire who said that some people were like insects, they would never be noticed except that they sting? A traveler must make up his mind to go on regardless of the insects that make his trip miserable….

One thing is certain, a Christian’s standing before God does not depend upon his standing before men. A high reputation does not make a man dearer to God, nor does the tongue of the slanderer influence God’s attitude toward His people in any way. He knows us each one, and we stand or fall in the light of His perfect knowledge.   NCA094-095

Lord, I know this truth, but it’s so hard to “let not thy peace depend on the tongues of men.” The stinging insects are so annoying! Give me peace in Your approval today. Amen.

 

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.—Colossians 2:6.

We have the mind of Christ.—1 Corinthians 2:16.

 

Never further than Thy cross,

Never higher than Thy feet,

Here earth’s precious things seem dross,

Here earth’s bitter things grow sweet.

 

Here we learn to serve and give,

And, rejoicing, self deny,

Here we gather love to live,

Here we gather faith to die.

Elizabeth R. Charles.

 

Are we assimilating His mind, His way of looking at things, His judgments, His spirit? Is the Christ-conscience being developed in us? Have we an increasing interest in the things, which interest Him, an increasing love of the things that He loves, an increasing desire to serve the purposes He has at heart? “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you,” is the test by which we can try ourselves.

Hugh Black.

 

This I saw, that when a soul loves God with a supreme love, God’s interests and his are become one. It is no matter when nor where nor how Christ should send me, nor what trials He should exercise me with, if I may be prepared for His work and will.

David Brainerd.

 

Gift of Strength and Peace to Bless

“The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” Ps. 29:11

David had just heard the voice of the Lord in a thunderstorm, and had seen His power in the hurricane whose path he had described; and now, in the cool calm after the storm, that overwhelming power by which Heaven and earth are shaken is promised to be the strength of the chosen. He who wings the unerring bolt will give to His redeemed the wings of eagles; He who shakes the earth with His voice will terrify the enemies of His saints, and give His children peace. Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours? Jesus, the mighty God, is our strength; let us put Him on and go forth to our service. Jesus, our blessed Lord, is also our peace; let us repose in Him this day, and end our fears. What a blessing to have Him for our strength and peace both now and for ever!

That same God who rides upon the storm in days of tempest will also rule the hurricane of our tribulation, and send us, before long, days of peace. We shall have strength for storms, and songs for fair weather. Let us begin to sing at once unto God our strength and our peace. Away, dark thoughts! Up, faith and hope!

 

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