VIDEO What Love Is This – Approved to God

Approved to God

If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don’t, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God’s truth clearly. Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I’m not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others. Try to state to yourself what you believe to be the absolute truth of God, and you will be allowing God the opportunity to pass it on through you to someone else.

Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Wherever the providence of God may dump us down, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labour along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought—“I am of no use where I am,” because you certainly can be of no use where you are not! Wherever He has engineered your circumstances, pray. So Send I You, 1325 L

 


 

Kari Jobe: Where I Find You: Christmas Edition. New Song in 2012.

Water into Hope

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  John 7:37

 

Tom and Mark’s ministry refreshes lives. This is clear in the video they share of a group of fully clad children laughing and dancing in the refreshing water of an open shower—their first ever. The men work with indigenous churches to install water filtration systems on wells in Haiti, easing and lengthening lives as diseases connected to contaminated water are prevented. Access to clean, fresh water gives the people hope for their future.

Jesus referred to “living water” in John 4 to capture a similar idea of a continual source of refreshment. Tired and thirsty, Jesus had asked a Samaritan woman for a drink (vv. 4–8). This request led to a conversation in which Jesus offered the woman “living water” (vv. 9–15)—water that would become a source of life and hope within them, like “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (v. 14).

We discover what this living water is later in John, when Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink,” declaring that whoever believed in Him would have “rivers of living water [flowing] from within them.” John explains, “By this he meant the Spirit” (7:37–39).

Through the Spirit, believers are united to Christ and have access to the boundless power, hope, and joy found in God. Like living water, the Spirit lives inside believers, refreshing and renewing us.

By: Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

How has Jesus satisfied your thirst through His Spirit? How will you share what Jesus has done for you?

Dear God, thank You for leaving us Your Spirit. Work in us so that our lives point others to You.

The Priority Struggle

Matthew 6:31-34

In everyone’s life, there tends to be one central issue around which all else revolves. Perhaps it is family, financial security, or a career. In a believer’s life, however, the first priority should be to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33). People sometimes say, “I’ve made Jesus a part of my life,” but that is not enough. Jesus is life for His followers. Without Him, the believer’s life has no purpose or meaning.

Our top priority is where we invest our time, effort, and money. Therefore, to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness means we make the pursuit of Christlikeness our primary goal. Obedience is a sure indication that we are growing in an intimate relationship with the Lord.

Seeking God’s will requires perseverance. Rather than simply taking life as it comes and reacting to each situation, we must make our decisions according to the principles of Scripture. In personal prayer and Bible study, we learn to discern God’s will as we become more familiar with what He desires. If we find ourselves veering away from the Lord, we quickly get back on track through confession and repentance.

When you honestly think about your priorities, you may discover that you’ve been distracted or sidetracked by lesser pursuits. Although Scripture tell us to care for our families and work diligently, putting those things ahead of God is idolatry. Look at your calendar and ask yourself, What is my priority in life? If the answer is Jesus, it will be evident because everything else will take a back seat.

Zechariah’s Visions of Joshua and the Branch

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” (Zechariah 3:1)

Joshua is pictured standing before the face of the angel of the Lord, who (as before) is the Second Person of the Godhead. Satan is there to “resist” (the same word) the angel of the Lord. “Satan” is a title—a noun to describe the character of an adversary. The Hebrew term satan appears 30 times in Scripture, sometimes applying to human adversaries as well as that chief angelic being.

In this vision, Joshua appears in “filthy” clothing unfit to come before the presence of the Lord—a picture of the human sinful condition (Psalm 14:2-3; Isaiah 64:6). But, since Joshua is a “brand plucked from the fire” by the Lord Himself (Zechariah 3:2), Joshua has the filthy garments taken away and a change of clothing given.

Suddenly, the scene shifts as the angel of the Lord announces the promise of the Lord of hosts: “I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (Zechariah 3:8-9).

Many previous prophetic promises must have passed through Zechariah’s mind as he heard these words. Jeremiah spoke of a “Branch of righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:15-16). Isaiah promised the son who would rule the world (Isaiah 9:6-7). Even Hanani the seer spoke of “the eyes of the LORD” that would “shew himself strong” (2 Chronicles 16:9). These visions were given to encourage the returning remnant (and us) to reset their focus on the timeless promises of the everlasting God. HMM III

Back Side of the Desert

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

—Exodus 3:1

We should quickly review here the kinds of preparation Moses had gone through for his leadership role under God. Reared in Pharaoh’s palace, he had been educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He had the prerequisites for almost any kind of career. In our day a man with his qualifications would be sought for election as a bishop or the president of any of the great church denominations.

Then, too, Moses had a most unusual but highly effective postgraduate course. God took him out of the activity and the noise of Egypt and placed him in the silence of the open spaces. He kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law. Tending the sheep, he learned lessons of meditation and observation that he could only have learned in the silence.

Probably more important than anything else, Moses learned to know himself. That knowledge was a part of God’s preparation of the man for his future tasks. We, today, know everything but ourselves. We never really come to know ourselves because we cannot get quiet enough.   MMG070

Lord, I pray for the hurting pastor who is languishing in “the silence of the open spaces.” Encourage him; instruct him; then show Him how You can use him mightily in Your way and in Your time. Amen.

 

These things I command you

These things I command you, that ye love one another.—John 15:17.

 

Yet habits linger in the soul,

More grace, O Lord! more grace!

More sweetness from Thy loving heart,

More sunshine from Thy face!

Frederick W. Faber.

 

If thy disturbance of mind proceeds from a person who is so disagreeable to thee, that every little action of his annoys or irritates thee, the remedy is to force thyself to love him, and to hold him dear; not only because he is a creature formed by the same sovereign hand as thou art, but also because he offers thee an opportunity (if thou wilt accept it) of becoming like unto thy Lord, who is kind and loving unto all men.

Lorenzo Scupoli.

 

The habit of letting every foolish or uncharitable thought, as it arises, find words, has a great deal to do with much evil in the world. Check the habit of uttering the words, and gradually you will find that you check the habit of thought too. A resolution always to turn to some distinctly good thought when a complaining or unkind one arises in the mind is a great help—as it is to turn every thought condemnatory of our neighbor into a prayer for him. We never can long continue to dislike people for whom we pray.

H.L. Sidney Lear.

 

World In Concord

“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” Isa. 2:4

Oh, that these happy times were come! At present the nations are heavily armed, and are inventing weapons more and more terrible, as if the chief end of man could only be answered by destroying myriads of his fellows. Yet peace will prevail one day; yes, and so prevail that the instruments of destruction shall be beaten into other shapes and used for better purposes.

How will this come about? By trade? By civilization? By arbitration? We do not believe it. Past experience forbids our trusting to means so feeble. Peace will be established only by the reign of the Prince of Peace. He must teach the people by His Spirit, renew their hears by His grace, and reign over them by His supreme power, and then will they cease to wound and kill. Man is a monster when once his blood is up, and only the Lord Jesus can turn this lion into a lamb. By changing man’s heart, his blood-thirsty passions are removed. Let every reader of this book of promises offer special prayer today to the Lord and Giver of Peace, that He would speedily put an end to war, and establish concord over the whole world.

 

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