VIDEO I Never Felt Like Quitting

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Last December, Donzella Washington walked across the stage to receive her bachelor’s degree in social work at Alabama A&M University. She graduated magna cum laude. At eighty, she became A&M’s oldest graduate. “Even though there were a lot of tears and late-night studying at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, I was determined. I never felt like quitting,” she said. Now Donzella plans to work on her master’s degree and volunteer at nursing homes.

We should guard against the desire to quit. Sometimes we grow weary in the work, but we should never become weary of the work the Lord gives us to do. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 warns against becoming “weary and discouraged in [our] souls.”

God has done so much for us. We should never become weary in doing good for Him. Make up your mind to stay enthused, determined, and active in whatever task God gives you today. Never grow weary in doing good. It’s always too soon to quit.

Can we be casual in the work of God—casual when the house is on fire, and people are in danger of being burned? Duncan Campbell


Be Not Weary In Well Doing – 2 Thessalonians 3:13 – Jon Courson

Let Us Praise!

May the nations be glad and sing for joy.  Psalm 67:4

When the alarm on Shelley’s phone goes off every day at 3:16 in the afternoon, she takes a praise break. She thanks God and acknowledges His goodness. Although she communicates with God throughout the day, Shelley loves to take this break because it helps her celebrate her intimate relationship with Him.

Inspired by her joyful devotion, I decided to set a specific time each day to thank Christ for His sacrifice on the cross and to pray for those who have yet to be saved. I wonder what it would be like if all believers in Jesus stopped to praise Him in their own way and pray for others every day.

The image of a beautiful wave of worship rolling to the ends of the earth resounds in the words of Psalm 67. The psalmist pleads for God’s grace, proclaiming his desire to make His name great in all the nations (vv. 1–2). He sings, “May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you” (v. 3). He celebrates His sovereign rule and faithful guidance (v. 4). As a living testimony of God’s great love and abundant blessings, the psalmist leads God’s people into jubilant praise (vv. 5–6).

God’s continued faithfulness toward His beloved children inspires us to acknowledge Him. As we do, others can join us in trusting Him, revering Him, following Him, and acclaiming Him as Lord.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

When can you take a few minutes today to praise God? What do you have to be thankful for?

God, You are worthy of all our praise!

God of Heaven

“And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.” (Jonah 1:9)

It was by these words that the prophet Jonah identified himself to the merchants of Tarshish as he was fleeing on their ship from the presence of the Lord. This special title, “the God of heaven,” seems generally to have been used by the Jews when they were talking to men of other religions, stressing that their God was no mere tribal deity but the true God who had created the very heavens.

The title was first used by Abraham, speaking to his servant: “And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth” (Genesis 24:3). At this time, the nation of Israel existed only in the promise of this “God of heaven.”

It also appears frequently in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, first in the decree of Cyrus the Persian: “The LORD God of heaven…hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:2). Even though the Persians followed lesser gods, Cyrus knew that the one God of heaven was the Creator. The name then reappears several times in the book of Daniel, who was living in the palace of the heathen king of Babylon. Its final Old Testament occurrence is Daniel 2:44: “The God of heaven [shall] set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.”

In the New Testament it occurs only twice, both in Revelation. In one instance, John writes that the ungodly nations “blasphemed the God of heaven”; in the other, he says they “gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 16:11; 11:13). In our own witnessing today, especially to those who don’t know or believe the Bible, it is also good to stress that our God is not just the God of Judeo-Christian tradition but the Creator of all things. HMM

Purpose of Life

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

Why am I here? Everyone wonders this at some point. Some theories suggest that we’re merely taking up space and will return to nothingness when we die. There are also people who say we are masters of our own destiny. Both are untrue! The Lord has placed you on earth to fulfill His purpose.

God has a unique plan for every person’s life, but Christians all share one goal: to be conformed to His image. This process begins here on earth and is finished when we reach heaven. Much of the work the Lord does in our earthly life centers on our character. He shows us how to be as loving, kind, and peaceful as Jesus.

We might think this is hard. But the truth is, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and then lives the life of Christ through him or her. We should be submissive to His guidance. That means we should respond to situations in life with this question: “How can You use this to make me more like Jesus?”

The Lord is behind everything that happens to you—either He directly instigates the situation, or He allows it to take place. Both trials and triumphs are engineered to fulfill God’s great purpose: crafting a life that reflects His love and glory to the world.

A Utilitarian Christ

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seem thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

—Job 42:5-6

 

Within the past few years, for instance, Christ has been popularized by some so-called evangelicals as one who, if a proper amount of prayer were made, would help the pious prize fighter to knock another fighter unconscious in the ring. Christ is also said to help the big league pitcher to get the proper hook on his curve. In another instance He assists an athletically-minded parson to win the high jump, and still another not only to come in first in a track meet but to set a new record in the bargain. He is said also to have helped a praying businessman to beat out a competitor in a deal, to underbid a rival and to secure a coveted contract to the discomfiture of someone else who was trying to get it. He is even thought to lend succor to a praying movie actress while she plays a role so lewd as to bring the blood to the face of a professional prostitute.

Thus our Lord becomes the Christ of utility, a kind of Aladdin’s lamp to do minor miracles in behalf of anyone who summons Him to do his bidding.   ROR024

Lord, help me not to demean the person of Christ or the sovereignty of God with this cheap sham of prayer. Amen.

 

Walking in Holy Ways

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.

—Leviticus 20:7

 

Men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask us and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God, who is holy.

The doctrine of holiness may have been badly and often wounded—but the provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for a life and spirit well-pleasing to God.

When a good man with this special quality and mysterious Presence is morally right and walking in all the holy ways of God and carries upon himself without even knowing it the fragrance of a kingdom that is supreme above the kingdoms of this world, I am ready to accept that as being of God and from God! ICH068

[H]oliness depends upon contact with God. Anything that breaks or impairs this vital contact, however slight it may be, interrupts our communion with Christ and brings defeat instead of victory into our lives. CDL180

 

A Portrait of Love’s Obedience

Revelation 13:8

In a commanding voice the Lord instructed Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen. 22:1-15). The message was clear and has significance for us as a portrait of love’s obedience.

If ever an account so clearly parallels the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it is this. Significant beyond its time, the record was not kept simply as a trial of faith for one man. Affirming the historical and religious importance of that event is, in the midst of a mosque in Jerusalem, the rock upon which Isaac lay beneath the point of Abraham’s dagger.

Isaac was Abraham’s life, the heir apparent to his father’s treasures. “Take now your son,” (Gen. 22:2) said the Lord. No comforting preamble, just a succession of statements, ending with one command. Isaac must be sacrificed!

The burnt offering of Hebrew animal sacrifices became known as the “holocaust”—an offering totally consumed and ascending in the smoke of its altar fire. Such an offering connotes complete consecration to God.

Steadily up the steeps of Mount Moriah, Abraham ascended toward the rocky summit. That moment is symbolic to Christ’s walk toward His crucifixion. Abraham and Isaac simply prefigured the provision by God as Christ became “the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). The experience of both Isaac and Jesus is filled with holocaustal meaning. Each walked on a Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow). Each would have its peculiar altar and fire, offerer and victim. But in Abraham’s case the angel of the Lord, satisfied with Abraham’s obedience and Isaac’s submission, halted the process by saying, “Do not lay a hand on the boy… Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Gen 22:12).

In Jesus’ case God the Father, satisfied with His Son’s gracious love, accepted Him, with no one else to stand in His place. Jesus’ life was offered with the only words that would finalize the essential act: “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

The crucifixion event culminates in the verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

David Laeger, The War Cry