VIDEO Diligence – 3 Habits of a Healthy Heart

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

Moses had a favorite adverb in the book of Deuteronomy. See if you can detect it: “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, let you forget the things your eyes have seen…. You shall teach them diligently to your children…. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God…. Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth… (4:9, 6:7, 6:17, 28:1).

The apostle Paul was fond of the same word. He warned us to never lag in diligence (Romans 12:11), to abound in all diligence (2 Corinthians 8:7), and to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God (2 Timothy 2:15).

The word “diligent” means to make a constant, earnest, and sustained effort in what we undertake. It’s one thing to follow the Lord Jesus, and it’s another to do so with diligence. The quality of diligence authenticates our experience and makes us a blessing to others. So keep your heart with all diligence, and serve Christ the same way!


3 Habits of a Healthy Heart | Pastor Steven Furtick

Canceled Debts

The Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.  Deuteronomy 15:2

In 2009, Los Angeles County stopped charging families for the costs of their children’s incarceration. Though no new fees were charged, those with unpaid fees from before the change in policy were still required to settle their debt. Then in 2018 the county canceled all outstanding financial obligations.

For some families, canceling the debt aided greatly in their struggle to survive; no longer having liens on their property or wages being garnished meant they were better able to put food on the table. It was for this kind of hardship that God called for debts to be forgiven every seven years (Deuteronomy 15:2). He didn’t want people to be crippled forever by them.

Because the Israelites were forbidden to charge interest on a loan to fellow Israelites (Exodus 22:25), their motives for lending to a neighbor weren’t to make a profit, but rather to help those who were enduring hard times, perhaps due to a bad harvest. Debts were to be freely forgiven every seven years. As a result, there would be less poverty among the people (Deuteronomy 15:4).

Today, believers in Jesus aren’t bound by these laws. But God might occasionally prompt us to forgive a debt so those who’ve been struggling can begin afresh as contributing members of society. When we show such mercy and generosity to others, we lift up God’s character and give people hope.

By: Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

How have your “debts” been forgiven? Who can you lift up by forgiving a debt owed or a wrong done to you?

Jesus, thank You for caring about the financial burdens we carry.

How God Does Work

2 Peter 3:9-18

God is at work everywhere. In the very first verse of the Bible, He is creating the heavens and earth. In the last verses of Revelation, He is calling people to be saved. Throughout Scripture and in the world today, the Lord is active in the lives of believers and unbelievers, although in very different ways.

We will be able to see God move in our life if we understand how He works—and He operates in both dramatic and seemingly insignificant ways. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, everyone could see by his face that he’d had a dramatic encounter with God. In contrast, Joseph entered Potiphar’s household as a slave. That may seem like an inconsequential situation in an incredible life, but it was important to God’s plan for Joseph.

In a similar way, God’s work in us always has purpose. Our life may seem routine, but God is busy every day conforming us to Christ’s likeness. He may allow circumstances we dislike, but those situations accomplish His goal. And we can see from examples like Gideon and Samson that He works differently with each person.

However God chooses to work in our life, we must trust Him. For instance, the Lord promised Abraham a son but silently waited 25 years to honor His vow. What appears slow to us is not slow to God. He is working out the perfect timing of events. Our patience to wait on Him demonstrates our trust, which is rewarded when we come ever closer to God’s goal: to become more like Jesus.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

“God . . . hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:8)

Every believer has some awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, if there is no such awareness, then there is absolutely no relationship with God (Romans 8:9). Just what, then, is the ministry of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives?

All who have come to God by faith have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit prior to salvation. From the world’s perspective, that constitutes His ministry. The Holy Spirit is commissioned by Jesus Christ to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). Acting as God the Father’s operative Agent, the Holy Spirit draws us into a personal consciousness of our sin, Christ’s righteousness, and the absolute certainty of judgment to come.

This reproof has but one goal: to bring about regeneration (Titus 3:5) and give us witness that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16). What is born from above (John 3:3) is nothing less than a “new creature” by the triune Godhead (2 Corinthians 5:17), created like God in “righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). The Holy Spirit energizes our “dead” spirit and causes us to “live” (1 Peter 4:6).

And that is just the beginning! Once regenerated, the Holy Spirit sees to it, as the “Spirit of truth” (John 16:13), that we are led (Romans 8:14) into truth—because the Holy Spirit will not invent information but will take truth directly from the mind and heart of God.

With that leading, we are sanctified (both positionally and progressively), having been chosen to salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:13). With the Holy Spirit’s power (Acts 1:8), we can exhibit His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and come under His filling (Ephesians 5:18). May the glorious ministry of the Holy Spirit be yours both as promised and in practice. HMM III

Easter can’t be without Good Friday

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

—Philippians 1:29

 

God will crucify without pity those whom He desires to raise without measure!…

God wants to crucify us from head to foot—making our own powers ridiculous and useless—in the desire to raise us without measure for His glory and for our eternal good….

Willingness to suffer for Jesus’ sake—this is what we have lost from the Christian church. We want our Easter to come without the necessity of a Good Friday. We forget that before the Redeemer could rise and sing among His brethren He must first bow His head and suffer among His brethren!

We forget so easily that in the spiritual life there must be the darkness of the night before there can be the radiance of the dawn. Before the life of resurrection can be known, there must be the death that ends the dominion of self It is a serious but a blessed decision, this willingness to say, “I will follow Him no matter what the cost. I will take the cross no matter how it comes!”   ITB096-099

Lord, I come before You on my knees to say, “I will follow [You] no matter what the cost. I will take the cross no matter how it comes!” Amen.

 

Light is sown for the righteous

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.—Psalm 97:11.

 

Sun of the soul,Thou light divine,

Around and in us brightly shine,

To strength and gladness wake us.

Where Thou shinest, life from heaven

There is given; we before

Thee For that precious gift implore Thee.

Michael Schirmer.

 

That is what our sacrifice of ourselves should be—”full of life.” Not desponding, morbid, morose; not gloomy, chilly, forbidding; not languid, indolent, inactive; but full of life, and warmth, and energy; cheerful, and making others cheerful; gay, and making others gay; happy, and making others happy; contented, and making others contented; doing good, and making others do good, by our lively vivid vitality,—filling every corner of our own souls and bodies, filling every corner of the circle in which we move, with the fresh life-blood of a warm, genial, kindly Christian heart. Doubtless this requires a sacrifice; it requires us to give up our own comfort, our own ease, our own firesides, our dear solitude, our own favorite absorbing pursuits, our shyness, our reserve, our pride, our selfishness.

Arthur P. Stanley.

 

Trust And Do and Do And Trust

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Ps. 37:3

Trust and do are words which go well together, in the order in which the Holy Spirit has placed them. We should have faith, and that faith should work. Trust in God sets us upon holy doing: we trust God for good, and then we do good. We do not sit still because we trust, but we arouse ourselves, and expect the Lord to work through us and by us. It is not ours to worry and do evil, but to trust and do good. We neither trust without doing, nor do without trusting.

Adversaries would root us out, if they could; but by trusting and doing we dwell in the land. We will not go into Egypt, but we will remain in Immanuel’s land — the providence of God, the Canaan of covenant love. We are not so easily to be got rid of as the Lord’s enemies suppose. They cannot thrust us out, nor stamp us out: where God has given us a name and a place, there we abide.

But what about the supply of our necessities? The Lord has put a “verily” into this promise. As sure as God is true, His people shall be fed. It is theirs to trust and to do, and it is the Lord’s to do according to their trust. If not fed by ravens, or fed by an Obadiah, or fed by a widow, yet they shall be fed somehow. Away, ye fears!