VIDEO His!, Yes His!

They were Yours, You gave them to Me… —John 17:6

A missionary is someone in whom the Holy Spirit has brought about this realization: “You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). To say, “I am not my own,” is to have reached a high point in my spiritual stature. The true nature of that life in actual everyday confusion is evidenced by the deliberate giving up of myself to another Person through a sovereign decision, and that Person is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit interprets and explains the nature of Jesus to me to make me one with my Lord, not that I might simply become a trophy for His showcase. Our Lord never sent any of His disciples out on the basis of what He had done for them. It was not until after the resurrection, when the disciples had perceived through the power of the Holy Spirit who Jesus really was, that He said, “Go” (Matthew 28:19; also see Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8).

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). He was not saying that this person cannot be good and upright, but that he cannot be someone over whom Jesus can write the word Mine. Any one of the relationships our Lord mentions in this verse can compete with our relationship with Him. I may prefer to belong to my mother, or to my wife, or to myself, but if that is the case, then, Jesus said, “[You] cannot be My disciple.” This does not mean that I will not be saved, but it does mean that I cannot be entirely His.

Our Lord makes His disciple His very own possession, becoming responsible for him. “…you shall be witnesses to Me…” (Acts 1:8). The desire that comes into a disciple is not one of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The missionary’s secret is truly being able to say, “I am His, and He is accomplishing His work and His purposes through me.”

Be entirely His!

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The sympathy which is reverent with what it cannot understand is worth its weight in gold.  Baffled to Fight Better, 69 L


John 17:6-19 In the world, not of the world

Rediscovered

He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 34:30

In 1970, a car executive visiting Denmark learned that a 1939 Buick Dual Cowl Phaeton was owned by a local resident. Since the car never actually went into production, it was a rare find—a one-of-kind vehicle. Delighted with the discovery, the executive bought the car and spent his time and money to have it restored. Currently, this unique car is featured in a world-renowned collection of classic vehicles.

Hidden treasures can take many forms, and in the book of 2 Chronicles we read about another discovery of a lost treasure. Eighteen years into his reign as king of Judah, Josiah began to repair the temple in Jerusalem. During the process, the priest Hilkiah found the “Book of the Law in the temple” (2 Chronicles 34:15). The Book of the Law, the first five books of the Old Testament, had likely been hidden away decades earlier to keep it safe from invading armies. Over time it had been simply forgotten.

When King Josiah was told about this discovery, he realized the importance of the find. Josiah called all the people together and read the entire Book of the Law so they could commit themselves to keep all that was written in it (vv. 30–31).

Still important for our lives today, we have the amazing blessing of access to all sixty-six books of the Bible, a treasure of infinite worth.

By:  Lisa M. Samra

Reflect & Pray

How did you come to know the Bible as a treasure? How have you grown in your understanding of its great worth?

Heavenly Father, help me to delight in the treasure of the Scriptures today.

In All Things, Love

Are you making the effort to invest well in those around you?

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

Relationships are among God’s greatest blessings in life. He made us to need and flourish with one another, and the people He surrounds us with are meant to walk alongside us in both good times and bad. (See Romans 12:15.) But these bonds don’t magically happen—they’re built over time. For that to happen, we must clearly articulate our needs and also willingly listen to the desires of those we care about.

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same wants and needs we do. For instance, perhaps you feel cherished when someone gives you a thoughtful gift. But if someone important to you finds gift giving difficult and avoids it, you might feel unappreciated. Or perhaps a friend feels most loved through deep conversation. If that’s not in your wheelhouse, some work will be required. It may not be easy, but doing the work to love well always leads to blessing.

Think about it

  • List some things that make you feel loved and valued. In what ways do your relationships with friends and family members add to the sense that you’re appreciated?

How to Respond to Defamation

“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” (1 Corinthians 4:11-13)

Bible-believing Christians today, especially creationists, have become the object of intense vilification by the news media and by self-appointed spokesmen for the scientific and educational establishments. The natural reaction is to respond in kind.

But this is not the spiritual reaction. “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23).

We not only have Christ’s example before us but also His direct commandment. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake….Love your enemies, bless them that curse you” (Matthew 5:11, 44).

The apostles endured far more insults and opprobrium for Christ’s sake than any of us shall ever have to suffer. Yet Paul, speaking for them all, could say, in effect, “Being reviled, we bless; being defamed, we entreat, even though they call us the filth of the world!”

We can trust the Lord to take care of our reputations, for He is more concerned even than we, and His Word tells us: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). HMM

In Silence or in Storm

The desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.Isaiah 26:8

If God knows that your intention is to worship Him with every part of your being, He has promised to cooperate with you. On His side is the love and grace, the promises and the atonement, the constant help and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

On your side there is determination, seeking, yielding, believing. Your heart becomes a chamber, a sanctuary, a shrine in which there may be continuous, unbroken fellowship and communion with God. Your worship rises to God moment by moment.

Two of Spurgeon’s greatest sermons were “God in The Silence” and “God in The Storm.” The heart that knows God can find God anywhere. I surely join with Spurgeon in the truth that a person filled with the Spirit of God, a person who has met God in a living encounter can know the joy of worshiping Him, whether in the silences of life or in the storms of life. There really is no argument. We know what God wants us to be. He wants us to be worshipers! WHT127-128

It is not the man who spends his time in the crowd and merely reflects the opinion, spirit and attainments of men who most benefits the world, but the man who listens to and speak of things that have their birth beyond and far above the street. SAN104

“Lord, Help Me”

God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.—1 Corinthians 10:13

One perspective on the phrase “Do not bring us into temptation” tells us that if we pray for the ability to recognize temptation when it comes our way, then we will be able to confront it and turn it to advantage.

Another interpretation explains that this is a prayer for us to be kept back from more temptation than we can cope with. It’s like saying: “Lord, help us not to get involved in more temptation than we can handle.” This view, as I am sure you can see at once, makes good sense and could well be what Jesus meant.

One of the biographers of an intrepid missionary tells how, in his early days in China, Hudson Taylor met with several great disappointments. One day, after a spate of troubles, he took hold of a guide who had demanded an outrageous fee from him, and shook him violently. A few hours later, he realized he had denied his Lord by this action, and after searching his heart for the reason why he had succumbed to anger and violence, he realized that he had been so preoccupied with his problems that he had failed to commit his ways to the Lord. His biographer says: “If Hudson Taylor had prayed the prayer, ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ and committed his ways to the Lord, then perhaps the Spirit would have been able to direct his path so that he would not have faced more temptation than he could bear.”

It is an intriguing thought.

Prayer

Father, though the meaning of this phrase is not yet clear, one thing is—I need Your help at every stage of my earthly pilgrimage, for I cannot face temptation alone. So stay with me, every day and every hour. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

Ac 5:1-11; Pr 1:10; 4:14; Rm 6:13

Why did Ananias and Sapphira yield to temptation?

What is Paul’s antidote?

The Key to Prosperity

He was diligent in every deed that he began in the service of God’s temple, in the law and in the commandment, in order to seek his God, and he prospered.2 Chronicles 31:21

There is a way to ensure that you prosper in what you do: serve the Lord with all your heart! Hezekiah, king of Judah, lived in a dangerous and tumultuous time. He faced powerful enemies. Idolatry was the popular religion of the day. His parents had rejected God and encouraged people to worship other gods (2 Chron. 28). Hezekiah had the opportunity to reject God as well, yet he chose to serve God with all of his heart. He did everything in his power to promote worship of the true God. He diligently followed God’s commandments. As a result of Hezekiah’s determination to serve God, God blessed him. Hezekiah thrived in an unsettled time because he resolved to follow God despite popular opinion.

God will honor the heart that commits to follow Him (2 Chron. 26:5). In times when worshiping God is not in vogue and when the forces of the day oppose Him, it takes courage and resolve to seek after God. God is pleased to prosper those who strive to please Him rather than to seek the approval of people (1 Sam. 2:30). Hezekiah stands in stark contrast to Rehoboam, an earlier king of Judah. It is said of Rehoboam that “he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord” (2 Chron. 12:14). When you do not set your heart to seek the Lord, calamity is the inevitable result. The surest way to prosper in your endeavors is to diligently pursue the will of God.