VIDEO Election Jitters

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Psalm 37:1-2

Elections can send us into mass panic. When competing candidates or philosophies are vying for control of a city, state, province, or nation, it creates a widespread sense of uncertainty and trepidation. But nothing should distress the believer. God controls the events of history. He makes short work of evildoers, and He tells us to fret not.

When the American Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia, Reverend Jacob Duché led them in prayer. He said, “Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation.…That order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and that truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people.”1

Let’s pray for God to guide our leaders and to remind them of the power of His providence over all of life. And remember: “Do not fret—it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:8).

O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from Thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth…look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on [us].  Jacob Duché

  1. Reverend Jacob Duché, “First Prayer of the Continental Congress, 1774,” https://chaplain.house.gov/archive/continental.html.

Psalm 37 • Wise Living in a Crooked Generation

Fully Known

Before I formed you . . . I knew you.  Jeremiah 1:5

 

“You shouldn’t be here right now. Someone up there was looking out for you,” the tow truck driver told my mother after he had pulled her car from the edge of a steep mountain ravine and studied the tire tracks leading up to the wreck. Mom was pregnant with me at the time. As I grew, she often recounted the story of how God saved both our lives that day, and she assured me that God valued me even before I was born.

None of us escape our omniscient (all-knowing) Creator’s notice. More than 2,500 years ago He told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knows us more intimately than any person ever could and is able to give our lives purpose and meaning unlike any other. He not only formed us through His wisdom and power, but He also sustains every moment of our existence—including the personal details that occur every moment without our awareness: from the beating of our hearts to the intricate functioning of our brains. Reflecting on how our heavenly Father holds together every aspect of our existence, David exclaimed, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God!” (Psalm 139:17).

God is closer to us than our last breath. He made us, knows us, and loves us, and He’s ever worthy of our worship and praise.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

For what aspect of God’s care would you like to praise Him this moment? How can you encourage someone with the thought that He cares for them today?

You’re amazing, God! Thank You for holding me up and getting me through every moment of the day.

Trust The Living Hope

1 Peter 1:1-9

Hope is a belief or expectation that something will happen. If it doesn’t, we may experience discouragement, depression, or even despair.

So how can we remain hopeful? First, remember the reason for our confidence: our relationship with Jesus. At salvation, we’re born into a living hope (1 Peter 1:3)—God made us a new creation, and we are no longer slaves to sin (2 Corinthians 5:17). His Spirit lives in us. We’ve been made co-heirs with Christ, and our true home is in heaven with Him.

Second, spend time in the Word. Romans 15:4 says that the Bible was written to give us encouragement and hope. The Psalms can be especially helpful in difficult times because they express the writers’ real feelings and provide comfort.

Third, rely on the Lord’s faithfulness. Trusting Him will always turn out for our good.

Believers shouldn’t react to trials the way the world does. Instead, we are to live by faith— “confidence in what we hope for” (Heb. 11:1 NIV). When circumstances overwhelm you, focus on Jesus. Look for encouragement in His Word and be reminded of what is yours in Christ (Eph. 1:3-8)

Just Let Him Hear

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

This is the final exhortation in Christ’s letters to His seven representative churches. It is the seventh such exhortation, one addressed to each church, so must be unusually important. The emphasis, obviously, is not merely hearing with the physical ear, but hearing with an obedient heart.

Such hearing is necessary first of all for saving faith, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Jesus said: “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

In our day, however, probably more than in any previous age, there is a cacophony of voices of all kinds that are seeking listeners. In fact, Jesus Himself cautioned: “Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4:24). There are multitudes of false teachers today—evolutionary humanists, religious liberals, “New Age” mystics, and others—all very articulate and often winsome, but speaking false doctrine. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

It is important not only to hear the right words, but also to hear the right way. “Take heed therefore how ye hear,” also said Jesus (Luke 8:18). Even if we hear the pure Word of God, it will accomplish nothing of value in our lives unless we hear with due reverence. “To this man will I look, even to him that…trembleth at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). And we must also hear with faith. “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). He that hath an ear, therefore, let him hear with reverent faith the true Word of God. HMM

Acquaintance and Not Hearsay

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

—Luke 24:32

 

 

“It is one thing,” said Henry Suso, “to hear for oneself a sweet lute, sweetly played, and quite another thing merely to hear about it.”

And it is one thing, we may add, to hear truth inwardly for one’s very self, and quite another thing merely to hear about it….

We are turning out from the Bible schools of this country year after year young men and women who know the theory of the Spirit-filled life but do not enjoy the experience. These go out into the churches to create in turn a generation of Christians who have never felt the power of the Spirit and who know nothing personally about the inner fire. The next generation will drop even the theory. That is actually the course some groups have taken over the past years.

One word from the lips of the man who has actually heard the lute play will have more effect than a score of sermons by the man who has only heard that it was played. Acquaintance is always better than hearsay.   ROR087-088

Lord, as I wait upon You I want to hear afresh the real sound of the lute. Fill me with a firsthand knowledge of You, so that my message might always be that of an alert eyewitness. Amen.

 

Silence, Unutterable Beatitude

While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them….And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

—Luke 9:34-35

 

Not all silence is spiritual. Some Christians are silent because they have nothing to say; others are silent because what they have to say cannot be uttered by mortal tongues. We…will confine our remarks to the latter.

Where the Holy Spirit is permitted to exercise His full sway in a redeemed heart, the progression is likely to be as follows: First, voluble praise, in speech or prayer or witness. Then, when the crescendo rises beyond the ability of studied speech to express, comes song. When song breaks down under the weight of glory, then comes silence where the soul, held in deep fascination, feels itself blessed with an unutterable beatitude.

At the risk of being written off as an extremist or a borderline fanatic, we offer it as our mature opinion that more spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome Presence of God than in years of mere study….The exposure may be brief, but the results are permanent. TWP041-042

Very few of us know the secret of bathing our souls in silence. It was a secret our Lord Jesus Christ knew very well….We never really come to know ourselves because we cannot keep quiet long enough. unknown

 

Temptation

James 1:12

We live in a world of temptation. Turn which way we will, we shall find something or someone ready and waiting to pounce down upon us with some kind of effort ingeniously calculated to lead us astray.

There is the world with its charms. The hermits of olden times fled into the desert to escape its attractions, but it followed them to their hidden caves and comfortless cells.

There is the devil with his heartless devices. We shall have little chance of getting very far away from him until we cross the Jordan.

But even if we could hide ourselves from the world and get out of the reach of Satan, we should still have our own selves to fight, and self is the worst enemy of the three.

Temptation is the common lot. Untried grace is said to be no grace at all. We have all to go through the furnace. No man has ever ascended the golden ladder and entered the pearly gates who has not passed through the ordeal of temptation, our blessed Lord being no exception, for we read that He was tempted in all points as we poor mortals are, although He was without sin.

Temptation is not sin. If a man offers you a bribe to tell a lie, that is a temptation. But if you refuse compliance, you have not sinned. Before temptation becomes sin the soul must consent to it. That consent refused, the temptation vanishes, leaving the soul as pure as though it had not been tested.

We must resist temptation with all our might. We cannot prevent the devil knocking at the door or looking in at the window, but we need not invite him to enter, offer him a chair, or engage him in friendly conversation! We should inform him plainly that he has got to the wrong house and bid him depart without delay.

If you will resist the devil and all his allurements boldly and perseveringly, victory is certain. Christ has purchased it with His blood. If you only fight on and keep believing, it is bound to be yours.

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12 NKJV).

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion