VIDEO Before You Give Up, Watch This

In that day you will ask in My name…for the Father Himself loves you… —John 16:26-27

“In that day you will ask in My name…,” that is, in My nature. Not “You will use My name as some magic word,” but— “You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.” “That day” is not a day in the next life, but a day meant for here and now. “…for the Father Himself loves you…”— the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.

“…whatever you ask the Father in My name…” (John 16:23). “That day” is a day of peace and an untroubled relationship between God and His saint. Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).

“…He will give you” (John 16:23). Jesus said that because of His name God will recognize and respond to our prayers. What a great challenge and invitation— to pray in His name! Through the resurrection and ascension power of Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit He has sent, we can be lifted into such a relationship. Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name— in His nature. This is a gift granted to us through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “…whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested and proved by His own statements.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark—the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our heart; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight.  The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 669 L



*This is an original narration recorded specifically for this video in the Lion of Judah studio*

Death Zone

But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1

In 2019, a climber saw his last sunrise from the peak of Mount Everest. He survived the dangerous ascent, but the high altitude squeezed his heart, and he passed away on the trek down. One medical expert warns climbers not to think of the summit as their journey’s end. They must get up and down quickly, remembering “they’re in the death zone.”

David survived his dangerous climb to the top. He killed lions and bears, slew Goliath, dodged Saul’s spear and pursuing army, and conquered Philistines and Ammonites to become king of the mountain.

But David forgot he was in the death zone. At the peak of his success, as “the Lord gave David victory wherever he went” (2 Samuel 8:6), he committed adultery and murder. His initial mistake? He lingered on the mountaintop. When his army set out for new challenges, he “remained in Jerusalem” (11:1). David once had volunteered to fight Goliath; now he relaxed in the accolades of his triumphs.

It’s hard to stay grounded when everyone, including God, says you’re special (7:11–16). But we must. If we’ve achieved some success, we may appropriately celebrate the accomplishment and accept congratulations, but we must keep moving. We’re in the death zone. Come down the mountain. Humbly serve others in the valley—asking God to guard your heart and your steps.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

Are you climbing your mountain or near the top? How might you avoid the pitfalls that come with success?

Father, grant me success, and protect me from its excess.

Building Solid Friendships

Proverbs 27:5-9

Friendships are precious. Acquiring quality companions—who laugh with us in good times and stand by us during hardship—requires shared commitment and an investment of time and energy. Here are some ways to maintain a solid friendship:

• Transparency. We must be honest and encourage honesty in return. Transparency that is tied to accountability can also help make each individual a better person. A solid relationship allows each party to gently point out errors in the other’s life and offer loving correction.

• Time. Genuine friendship takes time. We must be willing to put aside other obligations and give priority to moments spent together. Quality time includes sharing our thoughts and desires, but we should also ask questions and listen.

• Thanks. Expressing thanks when friends are helpful will show that we’re grateful for them. Moreover, we affirm our love when we remember an occasion that is special to them or communicate how much we enjoy a certain aspect of their personality.

Being a good friend is a way to serve the Lord. He designed us to be in relationship with others, so we should give our best to every companion God places in our life.

Worship of Idols and Demons

“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deuteronomy 32:17)

This terrible indictment was in the farewell song of Moses, written just before the tribes of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land. Perhaps Moses was thinking mainly of the golden calf fashioned by Aaron, who had told the people: “These be thy gods, O Israel” (Exodus 32:4).

Aaron and the people certainly knew that the man-made calf was not “gods,” but they knew that there were many invisible spirit beings in the world and that these “devils” (actually fallen angels) could indwell images made by men as objects of worship. These evil spirits do possess certain powers, which can be used to impress their worshippers with the magical insights and abilities of the images.

This was also a problem in the early church. Paul warned his converts at Corinth, “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Corinthians 10:20). John’s closing word to his own flock was “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

It is a serious problem today—not only in lands where images and animalistic spirits abound, but even in the “Christian” West, both in the proliferating New Age cults and in mainline churches that have diluted sound Bible teaching with humanism and ritualistic pantheism. And remember, too, that “covetousness” (that is, coveting money, or power, or anything more than the will of God) “is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). When the prince of these devils himself sought the worship of Jesus, the Lord answered: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). We need to remember and follow His example. HMM

“This Is My Beloved Son”

Matthew 17:1-8

RIGHT after his God-revealed confession, Peter undertakes to rebuke the Lord Jesus. Within the range of a few verses, he falls from the mountain peak of confession to the swamp of contradiction. From a rocklike disciple he changes to a stumbling block. A few moments, and he who spoke from God is told he savors not the things of God but of men.

Jesus next laid down the terms of discipleship in self-denial, cross-bearing and obedience. There is a difference between a believer and a disciple—not every believer is a good disciple. Scripture gives us the paradox of Christian experience: he who loses his life for Christ’s sake saves it. To gain the world and lose the soul is man’s worst bargain. At the judgment, we who are believers are to be rewarded according to our works.

The statement “There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom” is fulfilled in the transfiguration which immediately follows (Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36). The whole scene is a miniature picture of Christ reigning in His future kingdom. He is the center of it all. Moses represents dead saints resurrected and Elijah the living saints caught up at the rapture. Peter, James and John represent Israel, while the multitude at the foot of the mountain represent the nations to be brought into the kingdom after it has been established over Israel. Peter himself later speaks of the profound significance of this occasion (2 Pet. 1:16-19).

Impulsive Peter wanted to catch the glory and house it and stay on the mountaintop; but there is work to be done in the valley, and he must go down to meet human need. The heavenly voice bears testimony to the beloved Son, as at the baptism of our Lord; and when the majestic glory passes, the three men see Jesus only. We must not fix upon our rapturous experiences as the norm of our Christian lives. Mountaintop experiences come and go, but Christ remains.

Observe also, that after such a glorious experience Jesus bids them, “Arise and be not afraid.” After our visions and revelations, we are to arise. The strength that comes through them must be expended on the multitude who are at the foot of the mountain. Mountaintop hours are not for purely personal enjoyment. They are to brace us for practical service ahead.

The disciples ask Jesus about Elijah who is to come (Mal. 4:5-6). Malachi’s prediction had already been fulfilled in John the Baptist, but there is a greater fulfillment ahead when he comes as one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. Two separate comings of “Elijah” are clearly taught, the first in the person of John the Baptist but another yet future.

Luke, in his account, says, “And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone.” We have our great days, when voices from heaven speak to the soul. But Jesus Himself abides when the vision fades and no voice is heard. Look not to voice and vision, but unto Him who remains the same.

Family Within a Family

God in His holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows.—Psalm 68:5

The second word in our Master’s model of prayer is “Father.” In Christian circles the term “Father” is probably the most common term used when addressing God, and rightly so, for this is the pattern Jesus set when teaching His disciples the art of effective praying.

This raises the much debated question: Is God a Father to all men and women everywhere or only to those who are committed members of the Christian church? For many years now liberally minded theologians have taught that God is everyone’s Father, so we are all His children and thus all brothers and sisters. This teaching, known as the universal brotherhood of man, makes conversion unnecessary and puts to one side the redemptive sufferings of Christ on the cross.

The Bible teaches that God is a Father in two senses. Firstly, He is the Father of the human family by virtue of creation. Malachi 2:10 says: “Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us?” In Acts 17:28 Paul said: “We are…His offspring.” In the sense of creation, yes, God is our Father.

In the sense of a familial relationship, He is not. Jesus said to the Jewish leaders: “You are of your father the Devil” (John 8:44). Quite clearly, the fatherhood of God is seen in the Bible in two senses. He is the Father of all as their Creator, but He has another family—a family within a family—consisting of those who have committed themselves to Jesus Christ, the Son.

Prayer

O God, I am so grateful that I know You as my Father—not only in the creative sense, but in the familial sense. May the wonder of this closer relationship grow within me hour by hour and day by day. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 8:1-17; Isa 64:8; Jn 1:12

How have we “received the Spirit of adoption”?

What is our cry?

An Awful Day

John 14:1

Today, Lord, has been awful!

It started badly.

Imps of depression sat on the bedposts

waiting for me to wake,

ready to pounce on me,

to harry me

and fill me with their gloom.

My head ached, my nerves were edgy

and I felt irritable.

And then it rained …

Not a decent sort of rain, soon over and done with,

but a penetrating, miserable, drooling kind of rain

that wet-blanketed soul as well as body.

There are days like that, Master.

Days when life is heavy, boring, meaningless;

days when no ray pierces the inward gloom,

just plain bad days.

What is your recipe for such hours, Lord?

I am reminded of some words which were often on Your lips:

“Take heart!”

They must have comforted Your followers many times,

You used them when they were startled,

when they had lost their nerve,

when they needed encouragement.

I need encouragement, Master,

So I quiet my mind and wait to hear You say:

“Take heart!”

Thank You, Lord.

Flora Larsson, Just A Moment, Lord