VIDEO Then Came Surrender

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

Samuel Chadwick was a British Methodist, born in 1860, who began working twelve-hour shifts in the cotton mill at age eight. He was converted at ten and started preaching when he was sixteen. He developed fifteen sermons and preached with all his might. When no one was converted, he discerned something was wrong. A biographer said, “He realized that God must be in control of everything. Then came surrender, which brought him to realize Christ’s full salvation, a fresh vision of the Almighty, and a heartfelt yearning to see people saved.”

The very next day Chadwick led seven people to Christ, and it was the beginning of a fruitful ministry that lasted for decades and led thousands to Christ.

As we worship God and give Him glory, He does mighty works on our behalf. It’s not our skill, but His strength; not our will, but His willingness; not our ability, but His capability.

Let your work for the Lord flow from your worship of Him—and there will be power.

The energy of the flesh can run bazaars, organize amusements, and raise millions; but it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes a Temple of the Living God. Samuel Chadwick


Not by Might – Zechariah 4:6

The Story Isn’t Over

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

When British drama Line of Duty concluded, record numbers watched to see how its fight against organized crime would end. But many viewers were left disappointed when the finale implied that evil would ultimately win. “I wanted the bad guys brought to justice,” one fan said. “We needed that moral ending.”

Sociologist Peter Berger once noted that we hunger for hope and justice—hope that evil will one day be overcome and that those who caused it will be made to face their crimes. A world where the bad guys win goes against how we know the world should work. Without probably realizing it, those disappointed fans were expressing humanity’s deep longing for the world to be made right again.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is realistic about evil. It exists not only between us, requiring forgiveness (Matthew 6:12), but on a grand scale, requiring deliverance (v. 13). This realism, however, is matched with hope. There’s a place where evil doesn’t exist—heaven—and that heavenly kingdom is coming to earth (v. 10). One day God’s justice will be complete, His “moral ending” will come, and evil will be banished for good (Revelation 21:4).

So when the real-life bad guys win and disappointment sets in, let’s remember this: until God’s will is done “on earth as it is in heaven,” there is always hope—because the story isn’t over.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

Why do you think we hunger for hope and justice? How can praying the Lord’s Prayer help you face evil and disappointment?

Heavenly Father, may Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!

For further study, read Living Justly, Loving Mercy.

Confronting Conflict

Because God is in control, we don’t have to react to conflict with fear and anger

Galatians 2:11-16

When people argue, they can say harsh words, create turmoil, and cause emotional pain. But there’s hope—our beliefs can positively influence how we respond in conflict. Consider God’s sovereignty, for example. If you believe the scriptures proclaiming God’s rule over nature (Psalm 135:6), government (Job 12:23), and mankind (Acts 17:25), then you know that nothing in heaven or on earth is hidden from Him or outside of His control. 

This means our heavenly Father, who has promised to protect His children, knows when people verbally attack us. Nothing can touch us apart from His permissive will. His sovereign control also gives Him the power to work pain into something beneficial (Romans 8:28). We have hope because His will cannot be thwarted, even in bad circumstances. When we believe in the Lord’s sovereign rule, our perspective on conflict changes. Instead of responding with fear, anger, or resentment, we turn to Him for guidance. 

Fighting is inevitable in our fallen world. When it’s our fault, we are to apologize; when others are responsible, we may have to confront them. But regardless of the circumstances, we’re called to forgive without exception—and we can because God is in control. As Christ’s ambassadors, the way we respond matters.

The Creation of Plants

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:11)

One of the favorite biblical arguments used by Christian advocates of an old earth comes from a forced interpretation of this verse. While the verse seems to teach “sudden” creation, old-earth advocates interpret the verse to necessitate an indefinite time period, at least long enough for seeds to grow up into mature, seed-bearing plants. Plants differ widely and are thought to have evolved all throughout Earth history. The third day, then, must be understood as long enough to witness the appearance of all “kinds” of plants and is equated with a vast stretch of geologic time. However, there are many biblical problems with this view—a few of which follow.

Scripture teaches that “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11; see also Genesis 2:1-4), and no meaning other than a solar day is biblically defensible. The “herbs” and “trees” mentioned can only mean small or woody plants that supposedly arrived late on the evolutionary scale, for the same words are used to identify food plants on Day 6.

Furthermore, the verb “bring forth” (Genesis 1:11) is also used when God made animals, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature” (v. 24), on the sixth day. It cannot be referring to the growth of a seed out of the ground but rather must imply the sudden creation of both plants and animals in abundance.

Such compromises are impossible biblically and are quite unnecessary. There are no true facts of science that are incompatible with the young-earth teaching of Scripture. We can be sure of its teachings. JDM

Blessings through Obedience

So will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.Zechariah 8:13

Christ is to His people so many wonderful things and brings to them such a wealth of benefits as the mind cannot comprehend nor the heart find words to express.

These treasures are both present and to come. The Spirit of Truth, speaking through Paul, assures us that God has in Christ blessed us with all spiritual blessings. These are ours as sons of the new creation and are made available to us now by the obedience of faith.

Peter, moved by the same Spirit, tells us of an inheritance guaranteed us by the resurrection of Christ, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us.

There is no contradiction here, for one apostle speaks of present benefits and the other of benefits yet to be conferred upon us at the coming of Christ. And both exhaust human speech to celebrate the many blessings which we have already received. OGM153-154

[A]s soon as thou givest thyself to God from thy whole heart, and seekest neither this nor that,…thou shalt find thyself united and at peace. JAS115

“Keep Your Eyes on the Tide”

Your people will volunteer on Your day of battle.Psalm 110:3

Has God something bigger for us than we are at present seeing? I hope I have convinced you that He has! How can we be open to receiving it? It comes at the precise moment God appoints but it is carried down from heaven on the wings of fervent, believing prayer. Dr. A. T. Pierson said: “From the Day of Pentecost until now, there has not been one great spiritual awakening in any land which has not begun in a union of prayer though only among two or three, and no such outward or upward movement has continued after such prayer meetings have declined.” Revivals are born in prayer and sustained by prayer.

Just as there are signs concerning the second coming, so there are signs that the Lord is not far from reviving His whole church. In the early days of the Salvation Army in France, the eldest daughter of General Booth, known by her French rank as the “Marechale,” found herself at one point in an extremely discouraging situation. She wrote to General Booth asking for his advice, which came in these words: “Take your eyes off the waves and fix them on the tide.”

I give you now that same advice. Don’t let your eyes become focused on the waves, with their advances and retreats. Keep your eyes on the tide and ask yourself: Is it rising? If you look with the eye of faith I think you will see that it is. When it breaks I pray that it will not find us unprepared but that we shall be a people who are willing in the day of God’s power.

Prayer

Father, I don’t know whether I will live to see a worldwide revival, but I want to live to experience a personal revival. Take me on from this point to know You in a much greater way. In Christ’s name I ask it. Amen.

Further Study

Ezk 37:1-14; 2Kg 3:16-17; Isa 40:3-5; Rv 22:1

What was God’s message to Ezekiel?

What will you do to bring about revival?

Revenge

Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.Romans 12:19

One of the hardest areas in which to trust God is in the matter of justice. When we perceive an injustice, we want to see the guilty party punished. We want justice to prevail, especially if we are the victim. We become impatient if we are not avenged quickly. Yet God warns us that vengeance is not our prerogative. We are to desire justice, but we are not to seek vengeance (Mic. 6:8). When someone offends us, our responsibility is to respond to the offense with forgiveness (Matt. 5:44). God takes the responsibility to see that justice is done. God loves people too much to allow sin to go unchecked.

Peter claimed that God is not slow about His promises to us, but He is patient and long-suffering before He brings about judgment (2 Pet. 3:9). Yet ultimately God has prepared for absolute justice. There will be no sin committed that He will leave unpunished. Either the punishment will fall on His Son or it will be charged against the sinner, but everyone will ultimately give an account for everything they have done (2 Cor. 5:10).

God is absolutely just, and only He can ensure that justice is fully carried out. If we are impatient and seek revenge, we presume that we are wiser than God, and we reveal a blatant lack of trust that God will do the right thing. Only by trusting God’s sovereign wisdom will we be free from our anger and preoccupation toward those who have committed evil. If we refuse to trust God’s justice, we become enslaved to bitterness and anger. We must guard our hearts and trust God to exercise His judgment against those who oppose Him.