VIDEO Power Addiction

 

How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations. Daniel 4:3, NLT

Some presidents and politicians—and some of us—suffer a craving addiction for power. King Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful man on earth, dreamed of greater power. He said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power?” (Daniel 4:30)

But he met his match in the God of Daniel. When the Hebrew youths were thrown into the fiery furnace, “the fire had no power” (Daniel 3:27). When Daniel was tossed into the lion’s den, God delivered him “from the power of the lions” (Daniel 6:27).

Daniel said, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his” (Daniel 2:20, NIV).

We face many problems as we press onward toward heaven, and we have a powerful enemy who tries to block us at every point. But we have the powerful grace of God around us, the powerful hand of God upon us, the powerful presence of Jesus with us, and the powerful promises of God beneath us. To Him belongs all power, might, glory, and honor!

In and through every outward thing, look only to the power of His Spirit, and the merits of His Son. John Wesley


A Warning to Every Proud Ruler (Daniel 4)

Rich Toward God

Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Growing up during the Great Depression, my parents knew deep hardship as children. As a result, they were hard-working and grateful money stewards. But they were never greedy. They gave time, talent, and treasury to their church, charity groups, and the needy. Indeed, they handled their money wisely and gave cheerfully.

As believers in Jesus, my parents took to heart the apostle Paul’s warning: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9).

Paul gave this advice to Timothy, the young pastor of the city of Ephesus, a wealthy city where riches tempted all.

“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” Paul warned. “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10).

What, then, is the antidote to greed? Being “rich toward God,” said Jesus (see Luke 12:13–21). By pursuing, appreciating, and loving our heavenly Father above all, He remains our chief delight. As the psalmist wrote, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14).

Rejoicing in Him daily relieves us of coveting, leaving us contented. May Jesus redeem our heart’s desires, making us rich toward God!

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

How have you mishandled money, or made it more than it ought to be? How might you give your financial concerns to God this day?

Satisfy us in the morning, God, with Your unfailing love—replacing our greed with holy hunger for You.

The Unshakeable Peace

Philippians 4:4-9

Have you ever thought that a vacation would relieve your anxiety or that you could work out your worries at the gym? I know I have. But the truth is, no one can achieve total freedom from heartache, burdens, or trouble.

However, we can have peace during anxious times. Serenity is a gift from our heavenly Father—it can’t be manufactured. The Holy Spirit produces a sense of calm in believers who seek the Lord’s protection against anxiety. In the often-quoted passage of Philippians 4:6-7, the Greek word translated as “guard” means “to keep with a garrison.” God wraps our heart and mind in His peace, safeguarding both against all-consuming worry or fear. Notice that He doesn’t make all of our problems go away. So while we may still be under pressure or prone to weep, we are cushioned against anxiety and surrounded by calm instead.

Jesus said to seek peace in Him because He has overcome this troublesome world (John 16:33). Let’s shift our focus from our vexing problem to God and ask for His peace to surround us today. Remember, He’s the only one with limitless resources and power, and He wants to meet our needs (Psalm 50:10; Rom. 8:11).

Lessons from Amos Walk with God

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

Amos was a prophet during the reign of Jeroboam II (son of Joash), who ruled the northern 10 tribes of Israel from 825 to 784 BC (2 Kings 14:23). Some 100 years earlier, Jeroboam I (son of Nebat) had led a rebellion against the son of Solomon and started the northern nation of Israel (1 Kings 12). In order to keep his people from returning to Jerusalem, Jeroboam I “made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 12:30; 16:26; etc.) by developing a “new” religion centered on an image of a golden calf, with idol temples in Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:28-29).

Those northern tribes never returned to the worship of Jehovah but “sinned against the LORD,” and Israel “feared other gods” (2 Kings 17:7). The list of their sins is long and grievous in God’s sight.

  • They “did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD” (2 Kings 17:9).
  • Israel set up “images and groves in every high hill” (2 Kings 17:10).
  • They “wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger” (2 Kings 17:11).
  • They “worshipped all the host of heaven” (2 Kings 17:16).
  • They “used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger” (2 Kings 17:17).
  • They “feared the LORD, and served their own gods” (2 Kings 17:33).

Amos was commissioned in those dark years to openly confront the nation to “walk” in “agreement” with the God they professed to worship. Hypocrisy is at the core of the judgment and warnings that God recorded for us in the little book of Amos. We must learn the lessons or suffer the same judgment. HMM III

Holiness and Worship Needed First

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;… That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

—Titus 3:5, 7

 

To teach that the filling with the Holy Spirit is given to the Christian to provide “power for service” is to teach truth, but not the whole truth. Power for service is but one effect of the experience, and I do not hesitate to say that it is the least of several effects. It is least for the very reason that it touches service, presumably service to mankind; and contrary to the popular belief, “to serve this present age” is not the Christian’s first duty….

The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to restore the lost soul to intimate fellowship with God through the washing of regeneration….

God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. It is inconceivable that a sovereign and holy God should be so hard up for workers that He would press into service anyone who had been empowered regardless of his moral qualifications….

Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and spiritual worship come first.   TIC036-037

Oh, Lord, where has the hunger for holiness gone? Remind us of the priority of holiness and spiritual worship. Amen.

 

Who Is Praying?

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.

—Romans 8:26

 

The spiritual quality of a prayer is determined not by its intensity but by its origin. In evaluating prayer we should inquire who is doing the praying—our determined hearts or the Holy Spirit? If the prayer originates with the Holy Spirit, then the wrestling can be beautiful and wonderful; but if we are the victims of our own overheated desires, our praying can be as carnal as any other act.

Two examples are given in the Old Testament, Jacob and the prophets of Baal. Jacob’s wrestling was a real exercise, and at first it was not Jacob’s doing….The wrestling [became] of divine origin, and the blessed results are known to every Bible student.

The other example does not turn out so well. The prophets of Baal wrestled also, much more violently than Jacob, but they wrestled in the flesh. Their writhings were born of ignorance and superstition and got them nowhere….They were wrong in spite of their zealous praying….Only the Spirit can pray effectively. TWP016-017

This is the spirit of prayersincere, humble, believing, submissive. Other prayer than this the Bible does not requireGod will not accept. DTC155

 

Hot Saints

Revelation 3:15-16

Hot saints have such a halo round about them that they reveal—make manifest sins in others. They do this by contrast. “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). The light of God flashed from a hot saint onto the dark consciences of sinners makes them feel their sin.

A dark soul cannot dwell in the presence of a soul full of light without either repenting or opposing; if it does not submit, it will rebel. It was under the hot blaze of this light that the Jews round about Stephen “were cut to the heart, and gnashed upon him with their teeth” (Acts 7:54 KVJ). When intense spiritual light and darkness are brought in contact, their innate antipathy makes them reveal each other.

Heat cleanses, purges away dross. The burning fire of the Holy Spirit purifies the soul which is filled, permeated with it, hence, hot saints are pure. They purify themselves, as He is pure. They keep themselves “unspotted from the world”

(James 1:27 KJV). They improve the moral atmosphere wherever they go.

Heat burns. Hot saints set on fire the hearts of other saints. They singe the consciences of sinners, melt the hearts of backsliders and warm up those who have left their first love.

Hot saints are mighty. The fishermen of Galilee produced more impression on the world in a few years than all the learning of the Jews had done in centuries, because they were hot in the love and service of God.

Hot people are not only able to work, but to suffer. They can endure hardness, suffer reproach, contend with principalities and powers, fight with wild beasts and hail persecution and death!

To be hot ensures opposition, first from the Pharisees. A formal, ceremonious, respectable religion they do not object to; but a living, burning, enthusiastic Christianity is still Beelzebub to them. To be hot ensures opposition from the world. The world hates hot saints, because they look with contempt on its pleasures, set at naught its maxims, trample on its ambition, ignore its rewards, and live altogether above its level. To be hot also ensures opposition from the devil.

Let me remind you, in conclusion, that to be hot ensures God’s special favor, protection and fellowship, and final victory. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 KJV).

Catherine Booth, Practical Religion