VIDEO Forget Me Not: In the Face of Need

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

God’s presence gives us assurance as we face an unknown future, a new responsibility, a situation of abundance, or a moment of fear. But God’s presence also assures us during times of need—as the writer to the Hebrews reminded his readers by quoting a classic verse from the Old Testament.

Hebrews appears to have been written to Jews who had put their faith in Christ but were tempted to revert to life under the law and temple worship. Perhaps, given the persecution of first-century Christians, their material resources had become limited and they had begun to covet the possessions of others. In Hebrews 13:5, the author of Hebrews warned his readers against covetousness, to be content with what they had. Why? Because God has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Why would we covet something material when we know the God of all creation?

If you have a need today, tell God what it is. He has promised to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19) and to give us peace as we await His provision (Philippians 4:6-7).

God’s purposes always have God’s provision. John Blanchard


Hebrews 13:1-6, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

A Great Ending

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. Revelation 22:12

My husband and son surfed television channels looking for a movie to watch and discovered that their favorite movies were already in progress. As they enjoyed watching the final scenes, the search became a game. They managed to find eight of their favorite flicks. Frustrated, I asked why they wouldn’t just choose a movie to watch from the beginning. My husband laughed. “Who doesn’t love a great ending?”

I had to admit I too look forward to the endings of my favorite books or movies. I’ve even skimmed through my Bible and focused on my favorite parts or the stories that seem more palatable and easier to understand. But the Holy Spirit uses all of God’s reliable and life-applicable words to transform us and affirm that His story will end well for believers in Jesus.

Christ declares Himself to be “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). He proclaims that His people will inherit eternal life (v. 14) and warns those who dare to add or subtract from “the words of the prophecy of this scroll” (vv. 18–19).

We may not know or understand everything in the Bible, but we do know Jesus is coming again. He’ll keep His word. He’ll demolish sin, right every wrong, make all things new, and reign as our loving King forever. Now, that’s a great ending that leads to our new beginning!

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How does the certainty of knowing Jesus is coming again help you live for Him today? What excites you the most about Christ’s promised return?

Come, Lord Jesus! Come!

The Father’s Resources

Luke 11:1-13

When you were a child, where did you go when you needed a snack, a bike repair, comfort for a skinned knee, or a referee for a dispute with a sibling? More than likely, you sought out your mom or dad or a trusted guardian, because God gave them the responsibility of caring for your needs.

But no human can parent perfectly, as all mankind is affected by brokenness. However, if you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you are a child of God. So when you pray, you’re bringing whatever’s on your mind to the heavenly Father, who always gives what it right and best.

How much do you truly rely on God for all your needs? When you are feeling lonely, rejected, or discouraged, is your first response to read His Word and pour out your heart to Him? Instead of worrying about financial struggles, do you ask for Jehovah Jirah (the God who provides) to give what you need? (See Gen. 22:14.) If you’re suffering from a health problem, do you cry out to Jehovah Rapha (the God who heals)? (See Ex. 15:26.) Since God the Father gave you the greatest gift of His Son, He will certainly give you everything else you need. So come and ask.

The Apple of the Eye

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” (Zechariah 2:8)

This common phrase is often used to identify an object of one’s special favor or affection. The apple of the eye, of course, is not a fruit but the pupil of the eye, so essential for sight that it becomes a peculiarly apt symbol for a prized possession. It is used five times in the Bible as a translation of three different Hebrew nouns, none of which refer to the actual apple fruit. In each case, however, it speaks of something highly valuable to the owner.

Three of these (Deuteronomy 32:10; Lamentations 2:18; and our text above) are in reference to the chosen people, Israel, as the “apple of the eye” of God Himself. God has often punished Israel for her sins and has allowed other nations to be His rod of judgment, but woe to that nation that touches the apple of His eye in this way!

That individual believers can also be so regarded by the Lord is evident from one of David’s prayers: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness….Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 17:7-8).

To be kept by God as He would keep the very apple of His own eye requires an implicit trust in Him and His Word. In fact, His Word must become the apple of our eye! “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye” (Proverbs 7:1-2).

There are many beautiful and appropriate figures used for God’s Word (“light,” “hammer,” “sword,” “milk,” etc.) but none more personally meaningful than this. May the holy Scriptures, the indispensable Word of God, truly be the apple of the eye for each of us. HMM

The Glory Of The Creator-Psalm 104

My soul, praise the Lord! Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with majesty and splendor. He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe, spreading out the sky like a canopy, laying the beams of His palace on the waters [above], making the clouds His chariot, walking on the wings of the wind, and making the winds His messengers, fames of fire His servants. He established the earth on it’s foundations; it will never be shaken. You covered it with the deep as if it were a garment; the waters stood above the mountains… He causes the springs to gush into the valleys; they flow between the mountains (vv. 1-6, 10).

Psalm 104 focuses on the glory of the Creator revealed in his majesty, his care of creation, and His rule.

The exalted poetry of these verses portray God as light. He wraps himself in a garment of radiance. The skies over the earth are envisioned as a tent, covering nomadic dwellers. His personal dwelling place is pictured above the waters of the sky, attended by the elements—winds and flames of fire.

God’s glory is also observed in his perfect maintenance of creation. He waters the animals from freshly made springs. He provides grassy meadows for cattle to graze in and for men to cultivate. Out of the rich resources of the ground come wine, oil, and bread. He provides stately trees as homes for birds and majestic mountains as havens for wild goats.

He established the intricacies of the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, and marked out the precise pathway of all the stars. He allows the sun and moon to rule the days, the nights, and the seasons. The circadian rhythms of men and animals, predetermined by these heavenly bodies, give meaning and variety to life, and further indicate the glory and imagination of the Creator.

Personal Prayer

Praise the Lord, O my soul! I praise you for your majesty, your creativity, your care, and your rule. As the seasons change and as each day fades into night, I’m continually reminded of your glory in creation.

Body and Soul—United

Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? … God’s sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.—1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Many centuries of misunderstanding have brought about a division between body and soul. This division is in evidence in some parts of the church today. Jesus, however, did not see His body as something to be ignored but as something to be used. As He said, “You prepared a body for Me” (Heb 10:5).

His body and soul were attuned. He neither neglected His body nor pampered it, but offered it as the vehicle of God’s will and purpose. And He kept it fit for God. There is no mention of His ever being sick. Tired, yes, but never ill.

It is accepted today that body and soul are a unity, that a sick soul can produce a sick body, just as a healthy spirit contributes to a healthy body. It also works the other way around—a healthy body can contribute to good emotional and mental health. We Christians tend to overemphasize the spiritual side of life while underestimating the importance of physical facts like body chemistry, weather, water, air pollution, and nutrition. But through ignorance of the way in which body and soul are related, we succeed only in tearing them apart. I believe what is said about husband and wife in the marriage service can also be applied to the body and the soul: “Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate” (Mt 19:6).

A good pianist may be able to get a lot out of a poor instrument, but he cannot give full expression to the music if the piano is out of tune. You cannot ignore the physical if you want to stay spiritually fresh.

Prayer

O Father, help me see that my body is not something over which to be offended, but something to be offered. Give me a balanced understanding of this matter so that I can be at my best for You—spirit, soul, and body. Amen.

Further Study

1Kg 19; Rm 8:11; 1Co 3:16

What was part of Elijah’s problem?

How did the angel minister to Elijah?

Choose Wisely

Joshua 24:14-16

To be or not to be—those are the parameters. Even people who do not know any other Shakespeare quotations probably recognize this contemporary version of “To be, or not to be, that is the question” from Hamlet as he is deciding whether to live or die.

Simple choices are often the easiest to make, and the most profound. They can be evaluated, measured and decided quickly. When we have options galore, we have difficulty making up our minds. When I was a kid growing up in The Salvation Army, we always had a black car since that was the only color permitted. Now deciding the color of the car is as difficult as choosing the car itself.

We make simple choices each day: go or stay, up or down, in or out, yes or no, right or wrong.

There are times when simple either/or choices become more complex. When it comes to the big decisions—life or death, and most important of all, heaven or hell—the rewards or consequences of those choices are staggering. You have to decide one way or the other.

Joshua asked an either/or question of the rebellious, complaining, disobedient people of his day. They had often forgotten the Lord’s provision and blessing while traveling from bondage in Egypt to freedom in their new homeland in Canaan. Joshua assembled the people and challenged them, saying, “Fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness… but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15).

To be or not to be—to be in Christ or not to be in Christ, to be forgiven or not to be forgiven, to serve the Lord or not to serve the Lord—those are the parameters. When it comes to accepting God’s way for your life and your eternal future, it is the most important decision you will ever make.

A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry