VIDEO From Childhood the Future Looks Uncertain…but God

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might. Daniel 2:23

Chloe Newman was born without a limb, and for years she received medical care from a hospital in Massachusetts. She’s eighteen now, and just donated more than four hundred Barbie dolls with prosthetic legs to the hospital. “I think [the patients] would feel better about themselves,” she said. Because of her disability, she’s become a blessing to many others.1

It’s painful to see children suffer. Of all the experiences in life we rightly feel that childhood trauma is the most unfair. Yet even then, the mercy of God can guide and provide. The prophet Daniel was a youth when he was seized by Babylonian soldiers, ripped from home, and placed in the service of a pagan despot. But by God’s grace and mercy, Daniel maintained his resolve to follow and obey the Lord; and look at how the Lord used him to bless others!

When adversity comes early in life, we have to trust the One who holds our times in His hands. If His eye is on the sparrow, He will watch over us, our loved ones, and our little ones.

At great risk to himself, again and again, [Daniel] maintained his undivided devotion to God. In turn, God gave him knowledge and skill.
Anne Graham Lotz

  1. https://www.people.com/human-interest/teen-donates-barbies-prosthetic-legs-hospital/.

The Future Looks Uncertain…but God – Daniel 2 – Skip Heitzig

How to Stay on Track

The Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie.

1 John 2:27 nlt

As the world’s fastest blind runner, David Brown of the U.S. Paralympic Team credits his wins to God, his mother’s early advice (“no sitting around”), and his running guide—veteran sprinter Jerome Avery. Tethered to Brown by a string tied to their fingers, Avery guides Brown’s winning races with words and touches.

“It’s all about listening to his cues,” says Brown, who says he could “swing out wide” on 200-meter races where the track curves. “Day in and day out, we’re going over race strategies,” Brown says, “communicating with each other—not only verbal cues, but physical cues.”

In our own life’s race, we’re blessed with a Divine Guide. Our Helper, the Holy Spirit, leads our steps when we follow Him. “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray,” wrote John (1 John 2:26). “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know” (v. 27 nlt).

John stressed this wisdom to the believers of his day who faced “antichrists” who denied the Father and that Jesus is the Messiah (v. 22). We face such deniers today as well. But the Holy Spirit, our Guide, leads us in following Jesus. We can trust His guidance to touch us with truth, keeping us on track.

By: Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

How attuned are you to the Holy Spirit’s guidance? How can you listen better when He guides, warns, and directs?

Dear God, attune our hearts to Your Holy Spirit’s guidance so we’ll run to Your truth and not to lies.

Read about the filling of the Spirit at discoveryseries.org/q0301.

How Comforters Are Created

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

When Job was suffering, he said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). Even hardship and pain have a place in God’s plan for each believer.

During a particularly painful time in my life, I decided that I should learn something from my distress, as Job did. That allowed God to develop greater compassion in me—which helps me understand and relate to those facing similar trials.

Consider the truth in Paul’s words—that God “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Think about the kind of people you seek out when you’re hurting. You want someone who has felt your pain, right? A person who has already walked the path you’re on can understand your suffering and share wisdom. Going through what we sometimes call a “valley experience” prepares us to be a blessing and encouragement to others. But we must first accept that God has allowed this adversity in our life and then choose to learn from the situation.

God is the Lord of our life, and He has the right to use us as comforters and encouragers to those around us. As His servants, we must be willing to do His will, even when it hurts. Don’t waste your suffering! Instead, use it to bring God glory.

Holy City

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:2-3)

On the night of the last supper, Jesus made a wonderful promise to His disciples: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And . . . I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). Eventually, at His second coming, those who belong to Him shall be with Him.

That this promise applies to all His disciples (not just the 11 in the upper room) is evident in His prayer right after this conversation: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. . . . Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am” (John 17:20, 24). When the Lord returns, or when we die as believers, “so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

That place where we shall be with Him, which He is still preparing for us, is the Holy City, new Jerusalem; for our text says that “he will dwell with them” there and be their God. The last two chapters of the Bible describe in some detail that beautiful “tabernacle of God” in which we who believe in Christ will all have our Christ-prepared mansions some day.

This magnificent city is not heaven, for John saw it “coming down from God out of heaven.” Right now, therefore, it is in heaven, where the Lord Jesus is, along with the souls of those believers who already have gone “to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). There in the Holy City, “the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” with eternal joy (Revelation 22:3). HMM

There Are Preachers without Power

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

—1 Timothy 1:5-7

 

Another thing that greatly hinders God’s people is a hardness of heart caused by hearing men without the Spirit constantly preaching about the Spirit. There is no doctrine so chilling as the doctrine of the Spirit when held in cold passivity and personal unbelief. The hearers will turn away in dull apathy from an exhortation to be filled with the Spirit unless the Spirit Himself is giving the exhortation through the speaker. It is possible to learn this truth and preach it faithfully, and still be totally devoid of power. The hearers sense the lack and go away with numbed hearts. Theirs is not opposition to the truth, but an unconscious reaction from unreality. Yet scarcely one of the hearers can tell another what the trouble is; it is as if they had been hearing an echo and not the voice, or seeing a reflection and not the light itself.   PTP055

Lord, that’s a challenging thought. Deliver us from the error of preaching and teaching in our own strength, without the filling and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Depravity Is No Excuse

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

—Psalm 40:8

 

Because of the treachery of the human soul, it is possible to hide behind the fact that all have sinned. There is a kind of universal reaction which becomes an acceptable philosophy; that “if this is what is wrong with everybody, then nobody need worry about it.”

Therefore, when I say that man is a moral wanderer, away from God and still hiding, I do not want you to hide behind that and take comfort in it. I want you to know that it is a very personal thing and that the Holy Spirit never meant to give anyone a sense of comfort in universal depravity.

Actually, the Holy Spirit is saying throughout the Scriptures: “Thou art the man!”

God is calling us with many, many voices, but there is no doubt that He entreats mankind most perfectly in the revealed Word of God. EFE098

May Jesus enter into us and clear out and cast away all hindrances of soul and body, to the end that we may be one with him here upon earth and there in heaven. So help us, God. BME047

 

To Stand in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:30

We read in the Bible that once God said, “I looked for a man” (Ezekiel 22:30). Why was God looking? In this instance it was for the purpose of “building up the wall.” The wall of Jerusalem had been a sacred monument of Israel’s pride and glory. Within it the temple had proudly stood, the visible reminder of God’s sovereignty and His election of a chosen people.

God’s search for a man to be a builder was more than for a repair job with bricks and cement. He was looking for a man to be a leader for the rebuilding of the wall of faith and obedience in the hearts of His children. The invisible wall was the covenant of his promise and protection. Within it was the preservation of sound doctrine, the practice of pure worship, the execution of justice and the witness to God’s goodness.

This man was not only to build the broken wall, he was also to “stand in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30). The gap in a city wall was vulnerable to the attacks of enemies. The gap in things of the spirit gives opportunity for the enemy of our soul.

God was, and still is, looking for a man or a woman to “stand in the gap,” to help with the repair of those sacred things that have become broken, to be the watchman on the alert, to be the preserver of the faith.

During the June 4, 1989 massacre in Beijing, China, one lone man trying to make a point stood in front of an army of heavy tanks. His flesh and blood challenged the firing squad inside the metal monsters. He was indeed standing “in the gap” caused by an oppressive regime in his land. Few people in the world know his name, but his image has been etched deeply onto the hearts of millions. That man in China was a student. Behind him were tens of thousands of other students, all with the same goal, to bring freedom to China. I sensed the hopelessness on that day in front of the television set, watching the Chinese army open fire on the defenseless crowd. I never openly sobbed so much in my life.

What about the gaps in life all around us—in the lives of people, in our nation, in the world? Who will stand in these gaps for the Lord? Our Bible text reads: “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap… but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). May we respond, “But Lord, there is someone! It’s me. I am that man. I am that woman. I will stand in the gap for You and help rebuild the sacred things that are broken.”

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