Andrew McCutchen is an outfielder, currently playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, whose milestones include scoring over 1,000 career runs and 350 doubles. Along the way, he’s had his share of injuries, defeats, aches, and pains. But McCutchen is an outspoken Christian who has learned to deal with adversity by trusting God. When injured a few years ago, he said, “God is using this for good. Romans 8:28—He’s using what I’m going through, He’s using it for His good. And I realize that. He shows me here and there that the injury was tough… but there’s beauty that comes out of it.”
We have abundant promises of God’s guidance, steadfast love, instruction, and protection. Best of all, we have the eternal promise of everlasting life.
Because we know that God works all things for our good, we can worship Him in the midst of trials. When we’re on the disabled list, we know He is still able! Trust the God of Romans 8:28.
Jesus’ love never changes. It doesn’t matter how well I do or how bad I do, His love for me never, never changes and it never will.Andrew McCutchen
The Greatest Promise in the Bible | Dr. David Jeremiah
Astonishingly, it took Handel only twenty-four days to write the orchestral music for the Messiah oratorio—today perhaps the world’s most famous musical composition, one performed thousands of times every year around the world. The magnificent work reaches its climax nearly two hours after it begins with the most famous part of the oratorio, the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
As the trumpets and timpani announce the beginning of the chorus, voices layer on top of each other as the choir sings the words of Revelation 11:15: “And he shall reign for ever and ever.” It’s a triumphant declaration of the hope of eternity in heaven with Jesus.
Many of the words in Messiah come from the book of Revelation, the apostle John’s account of a vision he had near the end of his life describing events culminating with the return of Christ. In Revelation, John returned again and again to the theme of the return of the resurrected Jesus to earth—when there would be great rejoicing with the sound of choirs (19:1–8). The world will rejoice because Jesus will have defeated the powers of darkness and death and established a kingdom of peace.
One day, all the people of heaven will sing together in a magnificent choir proclaiming the majesty of Jesus and the blessing of His forever reign (7:9). Until then, we live, work, pray, and wait in hope.
Abraham began walking with the Lord many years before he was asked to offer Isaac on the altar. His first step had been to leave his home and relatives and travel to the land that God would show him (Genesis 12:1). But now he was being told to give up Isaac, who was the son of promise: Through Isaac, the Lord had promised to bring forth a great nation and bless the entire world.
Abraham’s obedience in this crucial test was based on his faith in God. He believed that the Lord would keep His promise to give him descendants through Isaac, even if it required raising the boy from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). That’s why Abraham confidently declared to his servants that he and his son would return to them after worshipping (Gen. 22:5). He knew the Lord was faithful.
If you’re going through a time of testing, God is seeking to increase your trust in Him. He wants to prove to you that He’s faithful to fulfill His promises. This challenge is designed to help you grow in faith, obedience, and spiritual maturity. The testing may be painful, but the Lord will wrap you in His love and carry you to victory.
“He was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.” (Mark 11:12-14)
Many detractors of our Lord have pointed with glee to what on the surface seems like a fit of petty anger on Christ’s part, spawned by His selfish appetite. In reality, it was probably unrealistic to expect figs at that time of year, a fact that He must have known quite well.
Perhaps the key to the whole passage is in the fact that “his disciples heard it.” When we look at the surrounding passages, we see that Christ was using the barren fig tree to teach His disciples something they desperately needed to know. This might be called a living parable.
Our Lord had just come from His triumphal entry into the city, having been proclaimed as King by the multitude (vv. 7-11), knowing their shallow adoration would soon turn into cries for His death. Leaving the fig tree, he drove the money changers from the temple grounds, having recognized that they were not only exploiting all the Jews who entered but had taken over the court of the Gentiles, using it as a shortcut through town (v. 16) and a place of business (v. 15), thus denying the possibility of true worship to all, both Jews and Gentiles.
The fig tree was an object lesson on barrenness, typifying the Jewish nation’s condition in spite of their privileged heritage. This type of hypocritical fruitlessness receives condemnation (vv. 20-21), exhibits a lack of faith (vv. 22-23), and hinders our prayers (vv. 24-26).
Our desire must be to bear much fruit in our worship, in our faith, in our prayers, and in our lives. JDM
Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. —2 Samuel 22:50
All good and beneficial things the world affords are gifts of Almighty God and come to us out of His lovingkindness. Add to these all the wealth of grace which comes to us through blood atonement: revelation, redemption, mercy, the gift of eternal life and in the indwelling Spirit. For all this, for everything we are in debt to God forever. We can never repay our heavenly Father for the least of His goodness.
In view of all these things, a thankless man must be a bad man if for no other reason than that he is thankless. Ingratitude is a major sin.
The man of enlightened mind will always feel deeply humbled when he considers God’s goodness and his own insignificance. He is likely to be very modest about demanding anything further; he will be too conscious that he already enjoys far more than the circumstances warrant. TET003-004
There are…holy tongues, yielded to the Holy Spirit and under the control of the fire of Pentecost. The good tongue is often a silent tongue. We all talk too much. Hand your tongue over to God; ask Him to take it and help you to remember it is not your own. PC070
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.—2 Corinthians 3:17
Modern approaches to the subconscious can do no more than throw the pale light of information into it. The message of the Bible, however, is not merely information but transformation: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” So if the Spirit of the Lord is within us, there is freedom from the conflict between the conscious and the subconscious.
If such a freedom is possible, why do so many live out their lives in conflict? Because they have never appropriated the power and presence of the Spirit available to them and channeled Him into the deeper regions of their personality through self-surrender. God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit will never barge their way into any area of the personality. They come in when we put up the white flag of surrender and, by a conscious act, agree to their residing and presiding within us.
It’s surprising how many Christians say with the conscious mind, “I surrender all,” and yet with the subconscious say, “I want some areas for myself.” We must take ourselves in hand and decide whether or not we want the Holy Spirit simply to evangelize certain areas of our personality, or whether we want Him to occupy our entire being. If you haven’t properly settled this issue, then ask yourself today: “Am I just kidding myself when I say I want to be filled with God? Is there a part of me that says, ‘Come in,’ while another part of me says at the same time, ‘Keep out’?” The Holy Spirit only comes into the areas where He is freely admitted.
O Father, I think You have put Your finger right on my problem. Perhaps the reason I have never felt the Holy Spirit’s full control is because deep down I never wanted it. But now I do. My whole being cries out for its rightful Lord. I surrender now. Amen.
At the beginning of your petitions an answer went out, and I have come to give it, for you are treasured [by God]. So consider the message and understand the vision:—Daniel 9:23
“For you are beloved.” Could there be any words from God more welcome than these? Daniel was in exile in Babylon as a result of his nation’s utter defeat by the Babylonians. He desperately wanted to make sense of his circumstances. So he did what he had done so many times before: he prayed. God immediately dispatched the angel Gabriel. Gabriel revealed that God had sent him to Daniel at the beginning of his supplications. God did not even wait for Daniel to finish his prayer. Why? Because God loved Daniel greatly. What a marvelous testimony! There had been times when Daniel’s love for God had been put to the test. Now, when Daniel was in need, God was quick to respond in love to him.
God wants to answer the prayers of those whose hearts are completely His (2 Chron. 16:9). God can accurately orient you to the events of your day. Media, public opinion, and political leaders cannot tell you the truth of your circumstances. Only God can. God loves you and will speak to you in His time. His answer may come immediately as it did in Daniel’s case, or it may be delayed, but it will come (Dan. 10:13). If it seems as though everything is crumbling around you, and you wonder why you do not see God’s activity, take comfort in knowing that you are loved in heaven. If you are genuinely seeking God’s answers, you can go to your Father confidently with your questions. He will respond to you in love (Luke 11:5–13).