VIDEO Going Through Spiritual Confusion

Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask.” —Matthew 20:22

There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.

The Shrouding of His Friendship (see Luke 11:5-8). Jesus gave the illustration here of a man who appears not to care for his friend. He was saying, in effect, that is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember— He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?

The Shadow on His Fatherhood (see Luke 11:11-13). Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father— as if He were callous and indifferent— but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives…” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.

The Strangeness of His Faithfulness (see Luke 18:1-8). “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will He find the kind of faith that counts on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord”;… The Highest Good—The Pilgrim’s Song Book, 537 L


Matthew 20:20-28, Greatness In The Kingdom

A Great Act of Love

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. Romans 5:18

In Oregon’s Malheur National Forest, a fungus popularly known as the honey mushroom spreads through tree roots across 2,200 acres, making it the largest living organism ever found. It’s been “weaving its black shoestring filaments” through the forest for more than two millennia, killing trees as it grows. Its shoestring filaments, called “rhizomorphs,” tunnel as deep as ten feet into the soil. And although the organism is incredibly large, it began with a single microscopic spore!

The Bible tells us of a single act of disobedience that caused widespread condemnation and a single act of obedience that reversed it. The apostle Paul contrasted two individuals—Adam and Jesus (Romans 5:14–15). Adam’s sin brought condemnation and death “to all people” (v. 12). Through one act of disobedience, all people were made sinners and stood condemned before God (v. 17). But He had a means of dealing with humanity’s sin problem. Through the righteous act of Jesus on the cross, God provides eternal life and a right standing before Him. Christ’s act of love and obedience was powerful enough to overcome Adam’s one act of disobedience—providing “life for all people” (v. 18).

Through His death on the cross, Jesus offers eternal life to anyone who puts their faith in Him. If you haven’t received His forgiveness and salvation, may you do so today. If you’re already a believer, praise Him for what He’s done by His great act of love!

By:  Marvin Williams

Reflect & Pray

What do the single acts of Adam and Jesus tell you about the impact of sin? How does Jesus’ sacrifice ignite or renew your desire to live a life that honors Him?  

God, thank You for providing salvation and eternal life through Jesus! Help me to reveal Your saving way to others.

Sunday Reflection: That All Might See the Light

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Many churches around the world proudly display their stained glass windows­—art that serves a two-fold purpose: to enhance the beauty of the space and teach Scripture (as well as church history, in many cases) through narrative or symbolism. This is why these gorgeous works are often referred to as the “Poor Man’s Bible.”

The oldest examples of stained glass in the world, dating back to the 11th century, are the Prophet Windows in Germany’s Augsburg Cathedral. These windows—all that remain from a larger set—feature five Bible “greats”: David, Jonah, Daniel, Moses, and Hosea, all members of the great cloud of witnesses who encourage us as we “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1-3).

Like those figures who brighten the cathedral and encourage the hearts and minds of those who view them, we too are “windows” to the world. Through us, the Lord reaches those lost in darkness. We are the portals through which light and hope from God’s kingdom can be seen.

Think about it
• Think of people who need to experience God’s light and love in a tangible way. How can you serve as a “window” for them?

Two Faithful Friends

“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.” (Philippians 2:19-20)

Paul cited Timothy and Epaphroditus as two faithful ministry friends (Philippians 2:19-30). Their activities provide a great inventory to follow as we “work out [our] own salvation” (Philippians 2:12).

  • Likeminded: The Greek word is isopsuchos, or “equal in soul.” Effective ministry friendships agree in purpose (Amos 3:3).
  • Genuine Care: The Holy Spirit used merimnao, a burden for others’ needs. Philippians 2:2-4 lists the restrictions.
  • Seek Christ’s Things: Edify each other (1 Corinthians 14:12), focus on heavenly ideals (Colossians 3:1), and crave the kingdom and God’s righteousness more than our welfare (Matthew 6:33).
  • Serve Together: Timothy was to Paul like a “son with the father” serving with him “in the gospel” (Philippians 2:22). To be acceptable, that service must be in “righteousness, and peace, and joy” (Romans 14:17).
  • Companion in Labor: Similarly, Epaphroditus is said to work with Paul (Philippians 2:25). As with Timothy, their focus was “to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).
  • Fellow Soldier: Military metaphors abound in the Bible, with a common thread of the spiritual warfare defined in Ephesians 6:10-18. We must “endure hardness” when we assist in the ministry (2 Timothy 2:3).

Not every Christian meets the excellence of these faithful friends. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). HMM III

His Conquest-Psalm 110

The Lord is at Your right hand; He will crush kings on the day of His anger. He will judge the nations, heaping up corpses; He will crush leaders over the entire world. He will drink from the brook by the road; therefore, He will lift up His head (vv. 5-7).

From my perspective there’s something wrong with just about everything these days! But these verses assure me that someday soon everything will be set aright, the books will be balanced, and the enemies of God defeated once and for all!

Without the revelation of the New Testament, however, we would be in the dark about his passage. Later witness from God informs us that Christ will come again, accompanied by saints of all ages, to reign on the earth. At that time he will rule from his position of sovereign authority at the right hand of God, the Father. From that vantage point, he will crush kings and judge the nations (v. 5). He will drink from the brook by the road and lift up His head (v. 7).

These are lofty thoughts. What do I learn from all of this? I learn that wickedness will give way to righteousness, that suffering will succumb to good health, that war will be replaced by perennial peace, that unfairness will be supplanted by justice, and that righteousness will reign on the earth.

I derive enormous security from the fact that all conflicts—from international and national to relational and personal—will be finally and ultimately resolved. Only the Lord can do that. Bless his holy name!

Personal Prayer

Dear Lord, I look forward to the dawn of a new day, when you will make all things right. The glorious prospect of the future gives me hope as I face the frustrations of today.

God And One Man Makes A Majority

When I was a teenager, my sister gave me a Bible that had a quote written on the inside cover that said ‘God and one man makes a majority’. I really liked this statement. But at the time, I didn’t understand the volume it spoke.

I believed it meant that if God was on your side you didn’t need anyone else. He would be the overwhelming factor to bring you the victory in your situation.

God can change and use you

Over the years I have seen this statement come to life, not only in the Bible, but in my life and in the life of many around me. I have seen God take me out of being just another young girl growing up in a rural village area. A girl with not much hope, to being a woman of much worth in the things He has allowed me to accomplish.

God has literally taught me almost everything I needed to know to be a success in my jobs at every level. He gave me the courage to complete my education (up to this point). God has taken me out of a few situations that I feel would have left me in a terrible position. He vindicated me when people came against me.

God’s Blessings fall on those who trust Him

I have also watched and seen God bless my friends and family for trusting in Him and placing Him first in their lives. After many years of struggle He blessed a relative with their own building and business; He blessed my friends with promotions who wholeheartedly serve God and place Him first and work as unto the Lord; I have seen Him restore marriages and taken care of health issues.

Is there anything too hard for God to do

So my question today is – is there anything too hard for God to do? And, can these dry bones live?

In Ezekiel 37: 3-6 God was speaking to Ezekiel in a valley with many bones and asked if these dry bones could live.

God asked him to prophesy to them to live.

In verses 5 and 6 the Bible says “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews upon you and bring up flesh upon you and cover you with skin. And I will put breath spirit in you. And you [dry bones] shall live. You shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord.

Today you shall live, as God intended you to live. Don’t be overwhelmed by the waters or the fire all around you. He is the same God that caused these dry bones to come to live and form ‘an exceeding great host’.

Today, your dreams may be all dry and dusty in a valley, lost and forgotten. But if God has given you these dreams, then I say unto you to trust in the Mighty Right Hand of God. Speak to your bones to come to life and live, Amen.


ByZoe

A Testimony of Salvation

Romans 5:1-2

It was in the open street that this great change passed over me. If I could only have possessed the flagstone on which I stood at that happy moment, the sight of it occasionally might have been as useful to me as the stones carried up long ago from the bed of the Jordan were to the Israelites who had passed over them dry-shod.

The entrance to the heavenly kingdom was closed against me by an evil act of the past which required restitution. In a boyish trading affair I had managed to make a profit out of my companions, whilst giving them to suppose that what I did was all in the way of a generous fellowship. As a testimonial of their gratitude they had given me a silver pencil case. Merely to return their gift would have been comparatively easy, but to confess the deception I had practiced upon them was a humiliation to which for some days I could not bring myself.

I remember, as if it were but yesterday, the spot in the corner of the room under the chapel, the hour, the resolution to end the matter, the rising up and rushing forth, the finding of the young fellow I had chiefly wronged, the acknowledgment of my sin, the return of the pencil case, the instant rolling away from my heart of the guilty burden, the peace that came in its place, and the going forth to serve my God and my generation from that hour.

I felt that I could willingly and joyfully travel to the ends of the earth for Jesus Christ and suffer anything imaginable to help the souls of other men.

One reason for the victory I daily gained from the moment of my conversion was, no doubt, my complete and immediate separation from the godless world. I turned my back on it. I gave it up, having made up my mind beforehand that if I did go in for God I would do so with all my might.

William Booth, They Said It