VIDEO Confidence!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

 

What gives you confidence? For some people, it’s the right hairstyle or clothing. Other people feel confident because of the premium credit card in their pocket. A few people are blessed with a self-confident attitude, but it sometimes appears as arrogance. Others constantly battle feelings of insecurity.

The key to confidence is Christ. Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” Fearing God means living in awe of the Lord Jesus who represents to us the Father and resides within us by His Holy Spirit.

The Savior who was with us in the beginning is the same God who will be with us until the end. He is our Alpha and Omega. Everything that happens to us from birth to death is in His hands. Don’t let the confusion of the world distress you. We can live in joyful confidence because of Christ.

Stand a bit taller today and go into your agenda confident of His care and keeping.

Lord, Thou knowest what is best, confident in this I’ll rest, till I dwell with all the blest, and with Thee in heaven. William Ebel


Getting Excited About The Book of Revelation by Dr. David Jeremiah

For the Sake of the Gospel

In every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. Titus 2:10

The year was 1916 and Nelson had just graduated from medical school in his native Virginia. Later that year, he and his bride of six months arrived in China. At the age of twenty-two, he became a surgeon at Love and Mercy Hospital, the only hospital in an area of at least two million Chinese residents. Nelson, together with his family, lived in the area for twenty-four more years, running the hospital, performing surgeries, and sharing the gospel with thousands of people. From once being called “foreign devil” by those who distrusted foreigners, Nelson Bell later became known as “The Bell Who Is Lover of the Chinese People.” His daughter Ruth was to later marry the evangelist Billy Graham.

Although Nelson was a brilliant surgeon and Bible teacher, it wasn’t his skills that drew many to Jesus; it was his character and the way he lived out the gospel. In Paul’s letter to Titus, the young gentile leader who was taking care of the church in Crete, the apostle said that living like Christ is crucial because it can make the gospel “attractive” (Titus 2:10). Yet we don’t do this on our own strength. God’s grace helps us live “self-controlled, upright and godly lives” (v. 12), reflecting the truths of our faith (v. 1).

Many people around us still don’t know the good news of Christ, but they know us. May He help us reflect and reveal His message in attractive ways.

By:  Karen Huang

Reflect & Pray

What can you learn from people whose life seems to draw others to the gospel? What things can you do (or stop doing) to make the gospel attractive to others?

Loving God, help me to be a good representative of the gospel. Help me to draw others to You.

What Is the Spirit-Filled Life?

As we surrender to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed

Ephesians 5:18-21

God wants all of His children to be filled with the Spirit, but many of us aren’t sure what this means. While every believer is indwelt by God’s Spirit, the extent of His rule is determined by our obedience. 

Try thinking of it as a voluntary choice to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control—to be sensitive to His leadership and guidance, obedient to His promptings, and dependent upon His strength. Those who have surrendered to the Spirit’s leadership are continually being transformed into Christ’s likeness, but the degree of surrender determines the level of transformation. 

Even though good works and faithful service come from the Spirit, they’re not automatically signs that we are fully yielded to Him. Remember, the surrender we’re talking about involves character, not simply our actions. Serving in some manner can sometimes be easier than loving the unlovable or being patient with difficult people. But when the Spirit is in charge of our life, He is able to do through us what we can’t do ourselves. 

Each believer decides who rules his or her life. Even those who try to avoid the issue by making no choice at all unknowingly opt for self-rule. The fullness of the Spirit and godly character await those who choose God over self. 

Eternal Responsibilities

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” (Revelation 22:3)

Frequently, Christians and non-Christians alike have a misconception about the nature of the coming life in heaven. We will not merely “go to heaven” and sit around in some semblance of holy laziness; we will be given jobs to do! Just what those jobs may be, or what they may require, is not specifically revealed to us, but it is abundantly clear that the kind of job, or the degree of responsibility, will be a privilege based on what we do here on Earth now.

In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27), the Lord Jesus illustrates judgment based on productivity. The same amount of money was given to each of the servants, and only one general instruction was issued: “Occupy till I come” (v. 13). The reward that each servant received was in direct proportion to how much profit he had earned on the nobleman’s money.

In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), the nobleman gave differing amounts to each of his servants, “to every man according to his several ability” (v. 15). The reward was based on efficient use of abilities, not on amount of profit produced.

Both of these parables have a common thread: The rewards (analogous to our rewards when the Lord returns), whether based on their productivity or their effectiveness, were rewards of responsibility. To those servants who had proven themselves capable of leadership, the Lord delegated “authority over cities” and rulership “over many things,” assuring us that there will be some sort of social order in the age to come. Likewise we, in our present service for the Lord, are now given the opportunity to earn both God’s commendation and His future greater stewardship. HMM III

The Spirit as Power

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.Acts 1:8

Some good Christians have misread this text and have assumed that Christ told His disciples that they were to receive the Holy Spirit and power, the power to come after the coming of the Spirit….[B]ut the truth is that Christ taught not the coming of the Holy Spirit as power; the power and the Spirit are the same….

Our Lord before His ascension said to His disciples, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). That word until is a time-word; it indicates a point in relation to which everything is either before or after.

So the experience of those disciples could be stated like this: Up to that point they had not received the power; at that point they did receive the power; after that point they had received the power….That power, still active in the Church, has enabled her to exist for nearly twenty centuries. POM085, 087

Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God. POM088

The Shield of Faith

Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to.1 Timothy 6:12

The fourth piece of equipment in the Christian soldier’s armor is the shield of faith: “In every situation,” says the apostle, “take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph 6:16).

Some take Paul’s use of the expression “above all” (as some texts begin this verse) to mean “above everything else in importance,” and from this they go on to argue that the last three pieces of armor are more important than the first three. But the phrase really means “in addition to all this.” It is a transition phrase designed to introduce us to a section of the armor that has a different purpose.

The six pieces of armor fall clearly into two main groups, the first consisting of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. The second group comprises the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. The first three pieces of armor were fixed to the body by a special fastening, and hence, to a certain degree, were immovable. But the shield was not fixed to the body; it was something quite separate. The same applies to the helmet; that, too, was something that could be put on or taken off quite easily. And obviously the same was true of the sword of the Spirit.

The lesson, quite clearly, is this—the first three pieces of equipment should be worn at all times, while the other three are to be taken up when and where necessary.

Prayer

Gracious and loving heavenly Father, I am so thankful for the care and design that have gone into providing for me a sure defense against Satan. I have learned much, yet I see there is still much more to learn. Teach me, my Father. Amen.

Further Study

1Tm 1:12-20; 6:12; 1Th 5:8; 1Jn 5:4

What had some rejected?

History

Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness,

you who seek the Lord:

Look to the rock from which you were cut,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.—Isaiah 51:1

As Christians, we ought never to overlook our heritage. An awareness of our Christian heritage helps us to understand our identity, and it gives us a sense of where God is leading us.

The Israelites had a rich heritage. Their nation began as a result of Abraham and Sarah’s faithfulness. The generations that followed included Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph as their faithful leaders. God richly blessed His people and made them prosper. God continued to show favor on the Israelites by leading them out of Egypt into a prosperous land of their own. God established His nation through some of the most awesome miracles in history. God continued to provide strong leaders, such as Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Deborah, Samuel, David, and Solomon. He sent mighty prophets such as Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. Unfortunately, in Isaiah’s day, God’s people had reached a point where they had forgotten their heritage. They lived as spiritual paupers rather than as heirs to a rich heritage and members of a royal priesthood.

Your spiritual heritage is even richer than that of Isaiah’s generation. Your spiritual ancestors include Mary the mother of Jesus, John the Baptist, the disciples, the apostle Paul, and a host of saints down through the ages. Even more important, you look to Jesus as the author and finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:2). You may have a family history of faithfulness that goes back several generations.

Do you see the full picture of God’s redemptive work? God’s plan involves you, just as it has included each Christian throughout the centuries. God wants you to participate in His continuing work to redeem a lost world. Your obedience today will provide a legacy of faithfulness to the generations that follow.