VIDEO The God Who Changes Us

He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind! 1 Samuel 15:29 NLT

Almighty God never becomes more, less, or different than He is. That’s why He can change us and make us more and less and different than we are. Only the Unchanging One can change us!

Ask God to make you more than you are. Ask Him for more wisdom in your daily decisions, more graciousness in your everyday speech, more cheerfulness in your disposition.

Ask God to make you less than you are—less selfish, less upset, less worried, and less undisciplined. Ask Him to make you different than you are. Perhaps there’s one particular area in which you need more Christlikeness. “He who is the Glory of Israel” will not lie nor change His mind. But He will change your heart—and keep changing it from glory to glory until you get to Glory!

Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change. Peter Marshall


   1 Samuel 15 – 16 God Rejects King Saul/ Anoints David

In This Together

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. 2 Timothy 4:16

Kelly was battling brain cancer when the COVID-19 crisis hit. Then fluid developed around her heart and lungs, and she had to be hospitalized again. Her family couldn’t visit because of the pandemic. Her husband, Dave, vowed to do something.

Gathering loved ones together, Dave asked them to make large signs with messages. They did. Wearing masks, twenty people stood on the street outside the hospital holding signs: “Best Mom!” “Love You.” “We are with u.” With the help of a nurse, Kelly made her way to a fourth-floor window. “All we could see was a facemask and a waving hand,” her husband posted on social media, “but it was a beautiful facemask and waving hand.”

Late in his life, the apostle Paul felt alone as he languished in a Roman prison. He wrote to Timothy, “Do your best to get here before winter” (2 Timothy 4:21). Yet Paul wasn’t totally alone. “The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength,” he said (v. 17). And it’s also apparent that he had some encouraging contact with other believers. “Eubulus greets you,” he said to Timothy, “and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters” (v. 21).

We’re created for community, and we feel that most keenly when we’re in crisis. What might you do for someone who may feel entirely alone today?  

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt most alone? How have you sensed God’s presence during times of separation from loved ones?

Thank You, dear Father, for the gift of Your Spirit’s comfort, and for the community of believers You’ve brought into my life.

Set Apart for God

Believers are set apart to be reflections of Christ in the world

Romans 12:1-3

When a person places faith in Jesus Christ and becomes a believer, he is sanctified—that is, set apart for God’s purpose. Unlike salvation, which takes place in a single moment, sanctification is a lifelong process. As the Word of God and the Holy Spirit work in our life, we are being sanctified. In other words, we’re progressively maturing in our faith.

In Romans 8:29, the apostle Paul explained God’s purpose for believers: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” Our character, conduct, and conversation should be reflections of Christ. On our own, we’d place too much emphasis on behavior and get caught up with following rules and rituals that look Christian without truly reflecting Jesus. Thankfully, we have been given the Holy Spirit, who works through God’s Word to renew our mind. But we must cooperate in the sanctification process by filling our mind with Scripture.

You’ll never be perfect this side of heaven, but the Lord shows you how to think and act so you can “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

All Things Well

“And [the crowds] were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well!” (Mark 7:37)

At one point in Jesus’ earthly ministry, “great multitudes came unto him,” and He healed the physical maladies of those who “were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others” (Matthew 15:30). Mark 7:31-37 illustrates the healing there of a hearing-impaired man. Verses 33-34 are packed with verbs underscoring the precision of the Master Surgeon. He “took him aside,” “put his fingers into his ears,” “spit,” and “touched his tongue.” Then, looking up to heaven, Jesus commanded, “Be opened.”

Immediately the man’s ears heard and his mouth spoke plainly (v. 35)—a healing that was complete, unlike “huckster healing” practices that only alleviate pain temporarily. And the people present were “beyond all measure” (hyperperissōs, a forceful adverb used only here in the New Testament) “astonished” (exeplēssonto), or struck with amazement (v. 37).

Notice the crowd’s commentary, reacting to the many miracles they had seen Jesus perform: “He hath done all things well [kalós, good].” Their declaration echoes God’s words at the beginning of creation. Genesis 1:31 states, “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Not only did God see His creative work as good, but the people in Mark 7 saw Christ’s miraculous work in the same way!

How amazed are you with the Creator God, the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you believe He spoke His creation into existence in six days, as Genesis 1 records? Are you amazed that He has done all things well as our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Savior, including His saving work of propitiation on the cross? Is He your Lord and Savior? CM

A Forgotten Yesterday, an Unborn Tomorrow

The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee.1 Chronicles 28:9

If you…trace [the] word everlasting in the Hebrew language, you will find that it can mean “time out of mind,” or it can mean “always,” or it can mean “to the vanishing point.” It can also mean “to the beginningless past.”

From everlasting to everlasting, God is God! From the beginningless past to the endless future, God is God! That is what the Holy Ghost says about the person and the eternal nature of God.

Now, if you have one of those mousetrap minds—open and shut—you will…dismiss it and leave it, or tuck it away in your memory among the unused items in the attic of your soul.

But…if…the Holy Ghost is allowed to bring His radiance to it, there can be great meaning; for we are between the everlasting vanishing point of a forgotten yesterday and the equally everlasting vanishing point of an unborn tomorrow. CES051-052

If you accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will have all the power of God back of you to defend you; all the will of God on your side; all the justice and righteousness of God pledged to your defense, as well as all the infinite love and mercy of God to welcome and bless you. CTBC, Vol. 2/100

No Need for Dead Reckoning

In fact, I myself supposed it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus the Nazarene.Acts 26:9

The place where we can see life as a whole is in the sanctuary of God, or, if you prefer, in the presence of God. There we are reminded of things we have forgotten or ignored. See how the Good News Bible translates Acts 26:9: “I myself thought that I should do everything I could against the cause of Jesus of Nazareth.” Here you see the root of Paul’s problem: “I myself thought.” And is not that the underlying cause of many of our problems too? We say, “I myself thought …” instead of asking: “What does God think?”

Sometimes sailors will attempt to establish the position of their ships by estimating the distance and direction they have traveled, rather than by astronomical observation. This is called “dead reckoning.” It is sometimes necessary in foul weather, but it is fraught with peril. One mariner has said: “Undue trust in the dead reckoning has produced more disastrous shipwrecks of seaworthy ships than all other causes put together.”

There are people who attempt the voyage of life by dead reckoning, but there is no need. God has charted the map for us with loving care in the Scriptures, and our plain duty is to study the chart so that we might become better acquainted with His purposes and His ways. For the better we know the Scriptures, the better we will know God. We cannot ignore the facts of history or science—they help—but if our perspective is not drawn from the Scriptures it will lead us astray. We must not rely on dead reckoning but on divine reckoning.

Prayer

O Father, just as the art of navigation requires definite and fixed points from which to take a bearing, so does my voyage through life. I am grateful, dear Father, that in You I have all the fixed points I need. Amen.

Further Study

Jdg 17:1-6; 21:25

What was said of the children of Israel?

Can the same be said of us?
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A Loyal Heart

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter, for from now on, you will have wars.”2 Chronicles 16:9

If your heart is loyal to God, you do not have to look for Him, He is already looking for you! God told King Asa that He continuously watches for those who are steadfast in their commitment to Him. When He finds them, He makes His presence powerfully evident to them. King Asa had experienced God’s awesome power when he faced a menacing army from Ethiopia (2 Chron. 14:9). God gave Asa victory, despite the overwhelming odds he faced. In spite of this miracle, the next time Asa faced an enemy he failed to trust God. Even though the army Asa faced was smaller than the one God had previously defeated, Asa’s faith in God faltered. God encouraged Asa to take courage in knowing that God never rests or sleeps. He is never distracted, but diligently seeks individuals whose hearts are completely committed to Him.

Life’s challenges sometimes seem impossible. Do you feel you are too weak to fight the battle? Don’t give up! Keep your heart loyal to God, for He constantly watches over you, and He desires to demonstrate His strength in your life. God is willing and just as capable of giving you victory in your current challenge as He was with those in times past. The question is not whether God is looking for His people, but whether His people are seeking Him. Take comfort in God’s promise that He watches over you and He wants to give you victory.
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