VIDEO There Is No Limit To Limitations

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. John 3:34, NIV

There’s no limit to our limitations in life. Our dreams, desires, and usefulness can be frustrated by physical frailties or disabilities of a thousand kinds—by financial problems, by geographical barriers, by legal restrictions, by family considerations, and more.

But you can do whatever God calls you to do despite your limitations, for He gave His Spirit to Jesus without limit, and we are the extension of Jesus in this world. 

In practical terms, that means we should stop worrying about what we can’t do, and start doing what we can do. We should do it with enthusiasm, as working for the Lord and not for men (Colossians 3:23). We should wave off discouragement, and trust God to finish what He has begun in us.

Don’t focus on your limitations. Acknowledge them, yes. But focus on the unlimited grace, power, mercy, and plan of your Savior.

If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory. Warren W. Wiersbe

Jesus Is Superior to John (John 3:31-36)

Do We Matter?

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.Psalm 90:14

For some months now I’ve been corresponding with a young man who’s thinking deeply about faith. On one occasion he wrote, “We’re no more than teeny, tiny, infinitesimal blips on the timeline of history. Do we matter?” 

Moses, Israel’s prophet, would agree: “Our days . . . quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). The brevity of life can worry us and cause us to wonder if we matter. 

We do. We matter because we’re deeply, eternally loved by the God who made us. In this poem, Moses prays, “Satisfy us . . . with your unfailing love” (v. 14). We matter because we matter to God. 

We also matter because we can show God’s love to others. Though our lives are short, they’re not meaningless if we leave a legacy of God’s love. We’re not here on earth to make money and retire in style, but to “show God” to others by showing them His love. 

And finally, though life here on earth is transient, we’re creatures of eternity. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we’ll live forever. That’s what Moses meant when he assured us that God will “satisfy us in the morning with [His] unfailing love.” On that “morning” we’ll rise to live and love and be loved forever. And if that doesn’t create meaning, I don’t know what does.

By:  David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

When have you struggled with wondering if your life counts? How does Psalm 90 help?

I’m grateful, loving God, that I matter to You. Help me to share You with others.

Better To Be a Godly Influence

Daniel 1

You don’t have to be prominent in the world’s eyes to be an influential person. Through your example and testimony, you can help others understand who Jesus Christ is and what it looks like to live for Him.

Scripture includes many examples of righteous men and women who were influential in their generation. One of them was Daniel, who was a godly influence not only on his friends but also on kings. Even as a youth, he was committed to obeying God’s law. Consequently, when Daniel was offered food from the Babylonian king’s table, he requested vegetarian meals instead, to comply with Jewish dietary restrictions. His commitment to the Lord outweighed any fear of reprisal for rejecting the royal provisions. And God protected Daniel by giving him favor with his overseer.

Although most of us won’t have an opportunity to influence global leaders, our example can impact a workplace, neighborhood, home, or future generations. As was true of Daniel, a godly example is rooted in obedience to Scripture because it’s the source of wisdom. In a world that is tossed about by upheaval, fear, and uncertainty, our confidence in the Lord stands out and influences those around us.

We Are Qualified to Inherit

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:11-12)

Having been “made strong with all strength” through “his glorious power,” we are then enabled to complete the assignment that God has granted to us on Earth.

The power of God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). The same power displayed when God raised Jesus “from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20) is more often needed on Earth for “patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” The word for “patience” in this text describes a quality of temper that does not easily succumb under suffering. That emphasis is not merely a contextual byproduct. Much of the godly life demands a temperament that opposes cowardice or despondence. We should “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

Many of our brothers and sisters in history suffered beyond human endurance, ultimately giving their lives for the Kingdom of God. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25). Therein lies the longsuffering that does not hastily retaliate after a wrong. This temperament opposes wrath and revenge.

These godly traits, earned and experienced only while on Earth, reveal us to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Now, we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Later, He will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). HMM III

Our Carnal Desire to Make Good

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. —2 Corinthians 4:5

Our Lord died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society and forsaken by His friends. The man who ordered Him to the cross was the successful statesman whose hand the ambitious hack politician kissed. It took the resurrection to demonstrate how gloriously Christ had triumphed and how tragically the governor had failed.

Yet today the professed church seems to have learned nothing. We are still seeing as men see and judging after the manner of man’s judgment. How much eager-beaver religious work is done out of a carnal desire to make good. How many hours of prayer are wasted beseeching God to bless projects that are geared to the glorification of little men. How much sacred money is poured out upon men who, in spite of their tear-in-the-voice appeals, nevertheless seek only to make a fair show in the flesh.

The true Christian should turn away from all this. Especially should ministers of the gospel search their own hearts and look deep into their inner motives. No man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail. No man is morally worthy of success in religious activities until he is willing that the honor of succeeding should go to another if God so wills.   BAM058

Lord, deliver us from pride. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

Accepting and Deciding

He that overcometh…shall be clothed in white raiment…I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. —Revelation 3:5

It is time for us to seek again the leadership of the Holy Ghost. Man’s lordship has cost us too much. Man’s intrusive will has introduced such a multiplicity of unscriptural ways and unscriptural activities as positively to threaten the life of the Church. These divert annually millions of dollars from the true work of God and waste Christian man-hours in such vast numbers as to be heartbreaking.

There is another and worse evil which springs from this basic failure to grasp the radical difference between the natures of two worlds. It is the habit of languidly “accepting” salvation as if it were a small matter and one wholly in our hands. Men are exhorted to think things over and “decide” for Christ….By a complete misunderstanding of the noble and true doctrine of the freedom of the human will, salvation is made to depend perilously upon the will of man instead of upon the will of God. POM037-038

There is no genuine repentance where there is no forsaking of sin. Still to go on in sin, to practice iniquity with greediness, with constancy, and with perseverance, is incompatible with the nature of that sorrow which is unto salvation. DTC093-094

The Therapy of Humor

Proverbs 17:22

To their pious claim of superior knowledge of God’s ways with man, Job retorted: “Doubtless you are the people and wisdom will die with you” (Job 12:2). Andrew Blackwood calls this “the most humorous verse in the entire Bible.”

This was a new Job taking the offensive. For the first time he reacted with sarcasm to the harsh judgments of his would-be comforters. In his three-chapter rebuttal, he called his contestants “quacks”: “You are worthless physicians, all of you!” (13:4) And like the speaker of whom it was said that he could not have said less unless he had said more, Job satirized: “If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom” (13:5).

Job may have lost his possessions, but he had not lost his sense of humor. To be able to see the humorous side of a situation redeems many an otherwise hopeless predicament. Norman Cousins has written in The Anatomy of an Illness:

“I was greatly elated by the discovery that there is a physiological basis for the ancient theory that laughter is good medicine.”

The writer of Proverbs expressed this truth centuries earlier: “A cheerful heart is a good medicine” (17:22). The preacher in Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is “a time to laugh” (Eccles. 3:4). Learning to see the humorous side of things is one of the most serious subjects in the world to master. When life loses its humor, it is hard to be spiritual. Thomas Merton wrote: “The mark of a saint is the ability to laugh.”

When Victor Frankl was in a German concentration camp, he made a pact with another prisoner. Every day they would find a joke in their experience in that hell that was Auschwitz. Incredible as it may seem, they were able to do just that, and it helped keep them sane and able to survive.

Are you going through a difficult experience? How instructive it is to note that the Book of Job, the saddest story of the Bible, contains some of the most humorous verses of the Bible. Stand back for a moment and capture a perspective that will enable you to laugh through your tears and trials. Humor and laughter are great gifts of God and can be a therapy in time of trouble.

Henry Gariepy, Portraits of Perseverance