VIDEO Be Passionate, Not Passive, In Context

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:6

Years ago when Brad Hathaway of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, was in his mid-fifties, his doctor suggested he start walking as a way to deal with his diabetes and heart problems. Hathaway took the advice seriously and determined to walk around the circumference of the earth—not literally, but in equivalent distance. Day after day and year after year, Hathaway walked through rain and shine, anywhere from three to ten miles every day. Last fall, he finished mile number 24,901. To great local fanfare, he had walked the exact distance of the equator’s band around the earth. His current age is 88.

“As time went on, walking got a little harder,” he said. “I had a walking stick for a few years and now I have this walker to help me walk.”[1]

It’s impossible to make progress in our Christian walk if we don’t make the effort to live with discipline, obedience, holiness, love, the input of truth, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We have to work on our Christian walk. We’re God’s channels on earth, but we’re not simply passive pipelines. We are onward-bound servants.

If you walk with God, and keep close to him, you will be sure to go in the right way.

Henry Scudder

[1]Sam Read, “Massachusetts Man, 88 Will Have Walked About the Circumference of the World,” News Channel 19 ABC, September 11, 2020.

Paul Washer | 1 John 2 | University Lectures

Small Fish

Come, follow me. Matthew 19:21

Over several years, a British couple living in West Africa developed a strong friendship with a man in their town and many times shared the love of Jesus and the story of salvation with him. Their friend, however, was reluctant to relinquish the lifetime of allegiance he had to another religion, even though he came to recognize that faith in Christ was “the greater truth.” His concern was partly financial, since he was a leader in his faith and depended on the compensation he received. He also feared losing his reputation among the people in his community.

With sadness, he explained, “I’m like a man fishing with my hands in a stream. I have caught a small fish in one, but a bigger fish is swimming by. To catch the bigger fish, I have to let go of the smaller one!”

The rich young ruler Matthew wrote about in Matthew 19 had a similar problem. When he approached Jesus, he asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (v. 16). He seemed sincere, but he didn’t want to fully surrender his life to Jesus. He was rich, not only in money, but also in his pride of being a rule-follower. Although he desired eternal life, he loved something else more and rejected Christ’s words.

When we humbly surrender our life to Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation, He invites us, “Come, follow me” (v. 21).

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What one thing does Jesus require of us to receive salvation and the promise of eternal life with Him? What’s keeping you from fully surrendering to Him?

Dear Father, thank You for offering Your Son as payment for my sin. Help me to surrender wholly to You.

Our God Is Able

Jude 1:24-25

Unfortunately, there are times when, no matter how hard we try or how talented we may be, we fail. How are we to succeed when the odds are against us? For believers in Christ Jesus, the answer is to live with the knowledge that God works despite our weaknesses.

In Genesis, Sarah doubted when the Lord prophesied the birth of her son. “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” He replied (Gen. 18:14). Within a year, Sarah gave birth to baby Isaac. She saw that God was able.

Moses was scared when God sent him to Pharaoh to demand that the Hebrew slaves be released. “Who am I,” he asked, “that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11). God replied that He Himself would release Israel, which He did in a miraculous way. Moses saw that God was able.

On our own, we can accomplish nothing (John 15:5). But with God, we have access to power beyond our comprehension (1 Chronicles 29:12). If you are overcome by burdens in your life, it is time to trust the only One who can carry your heavy load (Matt. 11:28-30). Then you will see for yourself that He is able.

The Prayer of Moses

“O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14)

This majestic yet reflective psalm is the oldest of all psalms. The superscript of the psalm identifies it as “a prayer of Moses, the man of God.” While we are not directly told to do so, it is helpful to consider this psalm as the dying song of this man of God as he reflected back on his long life, including the 40 years in Egypt, the 40 years in Midian, and most importantly the recent 40 years of wilderness wanderings. As we survey this psalm, think of Moses pondering his life’s work shortly before he died.

The first stanza of the psalm (vv. 1-2) contrasts the unchanging eternity of the Lord, “even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (v. 2), with the perpetual changes of the recent wilderness wandering in which the people had no “dwelling place” (v. 1). The next stanza (vv. 3-6) notes the frailty of man and the death of a whole generation. But God is the ever-living One; His years do not fail (v. 4). God is also a holy God, justly exercising righteous wrath. The open iniquities and secret sins of all mankind, particularly the people of God, merit His judgment (vv. 7-8).

In verses 9-12 we see the transient, carnal experiences of man contrasted with the permanent, spiritual nature of God. We need to recognize the intensity of His anger (v. 11) and govern our lives accordingly. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (v. 12).

Perhaps the climax of this psalm is reflected in verses 13-15, where we see the beauty of the Lord our God described as the crowning adornment of human character. The only assurance of the permanent establishment of the work of a man is in its identity with the work of God. Our request of God should be: “Establish thou the work of our hands upon us” (v. 17). JDM

Keep Your Dependence

And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. —1 Kings 17:4

We can learn important lessons by considering God’s disciplines in dealing with Elijah. As Elijah fled to the wilderness following his first confrontation with King Ahab, God said to him, “Elijah, go to the brook Cherith, and I will feed you there.” God sent big, black buzzards—ravens, scavenger birds—each morning and evening with Elijah’s meals. What humiliation! All his life Elijah had been self-sufficient. Now he waited on scavenger birds to deliver him his daily bread….

Elijah was like so many faithful preachers of the Word who are too true and too uncompromising for their congregations.

“We don’t have to take that,” the people protest. And they stop contributing to the church. More than one pastor knows the meaning of economic strangulation. Preach the truth, and the brook dries up! But the Lord knows how to deal with each of us in our humiliations. He takes us from truth to truth.   MMG096

Lord, I commit myself anew today to never compromise the truth, even if it costs me my job. Amen.

Keep The Habit of Holy Thought

The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. —Romans 8:7

Every normal person can determine what he will think about. Of course the troubled or tempted man may find his thoughts somewhat difficult to control and even while he is concentrating upon a worthy object, wild and fugitive thoughts may play over his mind like heat lightning on a summer evening. These are likely to be more bothersome than harmful and in the long run do not make much difference one way or another.

The best way to control our thoughts is to offer the mind to God in complete surrender. The Holy Spirit will accept it and take control of it immediately. Then it will be relatively easy to think on spiritual things, especially if we train our thought by long periods of daily prayer. Long practice in the art of mental prayer (that is, talking to God inwardly as we work or [relax]) will help to form the habit of holy thought. BAM047

This is what the Holy Spirit brings to us, the vision of the Lord, power to see divine things as God sees them….The Spirit also thinks in us by giving us divine instincts, intuitions and enablements. HS571-572

Walk the Talk

Philippians 2:15

In the cut and thrust of business, entrepreneurs are constantly seeking that “winning edge.” One corporation established as a requirement for its merchandise the following standard: “zero defects.” The level of excellence was set; the company would not tolerate a blemished product on the market.

The very nature of Christian integrity is that it calls us toward zero defects. When our actions, thoughts, words or deeds become compromised, Christian integrity becomes blemished.

It is only by the grace of God that such integrity can be attained. This is an inner disposition rather than a coded set of behaviors. Such a high criterion, however, is possible, and when engaged it can be a witness to the grace of Christ.

General Arnold Brown has written of The Salvation Army: “If we are to hope that as a movement we will last through the next century, let alone the next millennium, then our byword and our hallmark must be integrity.”

In due course, integrity will stand out in an influential way simply because it will be in contrast to so much else: “Become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Phil. 2:15).

The essence of integrity is utter honesty. The word literally means “not a fraction.” In other words, there is wholeness between who we are and what we profess. It means we are for real. It answers the question, “What do you do when no one is looking?” There is a perfect match between our words and our deeds. In the language of the street, we “walk the talk.”

One can sense the desperate need for people of integrity in the world today. Many among the generation of young adults have become cynical regarding the notion that politicians or even church leaders are people of honest principle.

Into this uncertain moral climate every Christian has an opening to be a refreshing agent of the gospel, in the privacy of home and in the openness of the workplace.

Richard Munn, The War Cry