VIDEO Running Tips

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Outside magazine ran an article on the best running tips of all time, based on forty years of articles. Among the suggestions: (1) Strengthen your whole body; don’t just focus on your legs. (2) Run more hills; it’s good for your hips. (3) Find a routine, then stick to it—maybe even down to wearing the same clothing. (4) Take recovery days seriously.[1]

All those suggestions are true spiritually. In running the race, we need to train ourselves—body, soul, and spirit. Don’t be afraid of the hill ahead. Establish your spiritual routines and stick with them. And learn to rest and recover in Jesus.

Our walk with God is like a race, which we must be prepared to run and to be aware of any challenges that may interfere with our success. A race that is run well has great rewards. We will see Christ one day, so don’t despair about today. Look with faith toward the finish line. Remember God has our future in His secure hands.

We run for Him—for Christ’s glory and for the honor of His name. We run for the advancement of His kingdom. Joseph M. Stowell


Verse of the Day – Hebrews 12:2 | Life Without Limbs

Walk On

My word . . . will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

Walk On is the fascinating memoir of Ben Malcolmson, a student with virtually no football experience who became a “walk on”—a non-recruited player—for the 2007 University of Southern California Rose Bowl champion team. A college journalist, Malcolmson decided to write a first-person account of the grueling tryout process. To his disbelief, he won a coveted spot on the team.

After joining the team, Malcolmson’s faith compelled him to find God’s purpose for him in this unexpected opportunity. But his teammates’ indifference to discussions of faith left him discouraged. As he prayed for direction, Malcolmson read the powerful reminder in Isaiah where God says: “My word . . . will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Inspired by Isaiah’s words, Malcolmson anonymously gave every player on the team a Bible. Again, he was met with rejection. But years later, Malcolmson learned one player had read the Bible he’d been given—and shortly before his tragic death had demonstrated a relationship with and hunger for God, who he discovered in the pages of that Bible.

It’s likely that many of us have shared Jesus with a friend or family member, only to be met with indifference or outright rejection. But even when we don’t see results right away, God’s truth is powerful and will accomplish His purposes in His timing.

By:  Lisa M. Samra

Reflect & Pray

How have you seen the power of Scripture at work? How has that brought blessing?

Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Word will achieve Your purposes.

God Works Within Us

What are you asking God to do in your life? Ephesians 3:20-21

Let these words from Ephesians 3:20 slowly sink in: “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” What an amazing description of God’s ability to work within His followers! So often we focus on what we want Him to do around us, but He invites us to think and ask bigger—He wants to change us! 

The Lord has a purpose for your life, and He is constantly working to achieve it. Although the Father has unique plans for each one of His children, He also has the goal of conforming every believer to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish this, He may have to bring us through some struggles and heartaches. It might make no sense to us, but God knows exactly what He’s doing. Spiritual fruit takes time to grow and mature. That’s why we need patience and faith to believe He is working even when we don’t see the results right away. God is never in a hurry and won’t ever give up on us. 

What would you like to see the Lord do within you? As you read the Scriptures, look for qualities that God considers precious, and ask Him to work them out in your life. Then rely on His wonderful promise to do even more than you have asked or imagined. 

Magnifying Jesus, the Word of God

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2)

This verse is a powerful declaration of praise to our mighty God in remembrance of His lovingkindness and truth. The word for lovingkindness (hesed) is also often translated as mercy. Psalm 108:4 says, “Thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.” But what about the startling declaration connected to God’s great mercy: “For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name”? Would this not put God and His Word on par with one another?

At the beginning of the gospel of John, we have our answer. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The literal Greek rendering for the final clause is “and God was the Word.” We have even further clarification by John in his gospel that the Word is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). It is this same person of the triune God (Yahweh Elohim) by which “all things were made…and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).

And when Jesus returns in consummation and judgment at the end of this age, the description we’re given is “his eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:12-13).

Praise be to Jesus, our coming King! JPT

No Truth apart from the Spirit

Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.John 19:11

Everywhere…we find persons who are Bible-taught but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something which they can grasp with the mind.

If a man holds to the fundamentals of the Christian faith he is thought to possess divine truth. But it does not follow. There is no truth apart from the Spirit.

The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act which inspired the text.

“Except it were given thee from above” (John 19:11). Here is the other side of the truth; here is hope for all, for these words do certainly mean that there is such a thing as a gift of knowing, a gift that comes from heaven. POM077

It is blessed to be sanctified, and even more blessed to be intelligently sanctified. Happy is the man who enjoys the blessing of perfect love in connection with an informed mind, experienced head and sound judgment. SAN167

Missing by Inches

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13

We are looking today at what I consider one of the greatest truths we can discover about receiving from God: “God does not just answer prayer—He answers you.”

The Almighty does not just listen to the words we weave into the air when we pray; He listens also to the attitude of our hearts. If the two are not properly correlated, then we miss out on many of God’s blessings. And this missing out is not because God is stingy about the way He dispenses His blessings, but because we short-circuit our own spiritual system and become imperfect receivers. To put it another way: our failure to receive isn’t due to the fact that God is not good at giving, but because we are not good at receiving. The fault is always in us, never in Him.

Are you a fully integrated person? When you present your requests to God, are your heart and mind as one? Is what you ask with your lips fully supported by what you are saying in your heart? If not, then when you attempt to climb higher with God, you will not have the precise coordination you need in order to scale the precipitous heights. The awesome fact that has to be faced by all those who want to climb the mountains of God is this—it is possible to miss your step on those steep slopes not by feet, but merely by inches. And it is in those seemingly trivial inches that our spiritual direction is often determined.

Prayer

O Father, I am seeing more and more the perils that come from being inwardly at cross-purposes. Help me, however, to see that although the challenge is great, the power behind me is greater than the challenge in front of me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Jl 2:1-13; Dt 6:5; Ps 119:2

What was God’s message through Joel?

When are we blessed?

Revival

Lord, I have heard the report about You;

Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds.

Revive [Your work] in these years;

make [it] known in these years.

In [Your] wrath remember mercy!—Habakkuk 3:2

Only God can restore life to something that has died. If you find that your heart has grown cold to God, that the spiritual life of your family or church has waned, call out to God to revive you, for only He can give life. It is not your activity but your relationship with God that brings life!

Spiritual fervor can ebb if left unattended. We all begin our walk with the Lord enthusiastically, with an excited sense of anticipation. But over time, busyness creeps in. We become distracted and let our sin go unchallenged. We may take our relationship with God for granted and not notice the gradual decline until we find ourselves drained of spiritual vitality.

This descent can happen in your church just as it does in your personal life. Do you remember a time when the Holy Spirit was moving mightily in your church, and the members sensed God leading in an exciting direction? Are the services now lifeless and the power of God only a memory?

At a time like this it is futile to try to bring back life yourself. You can organize many activities and exhort those around you, but only God can resurrect what is dead. If God has initiated something in your life, or family, or church, only He can sustain it or revive it. If you sense that the spiritual vigor has gone out of your life or the life of your church, this is God’s invitation to pray. He wants you to intercede with Him so that He might revive His work. Jesus said that He is Life. It is unnecessary to remain spiritually lifeless when He has promised vibrant, abundant life if you will claim it.