VIDEO Come, Holy Spirit!

God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:19, NIV

If you’re facing hardship right now, consider Philippians 1:19. Paul was also dealing with hardship and opposition, but he was convinced of victory because of God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Notice the presence of the Trinity in that phrase: “God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ!” (emphasis added) God the Father, who knows all your needs and loves you at all times, pours out the most essential provision for our sanity and saintliness—the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit brings the resources of Jesus Christ into our heart—all His peace, all His patience, all His calmness, all His wisdom, all His strength, and all His eternity.

Staying focused on the calling we have from Christ enables us to endure whatever difficulties come our way. When we know we are living in obedience to Him, He will guide us and be with us, no matter what we face.

Pray for the unceasing, surging, filling, overflowing provision of the Holy Spirit today! Pray for His fullness, and let God’s provision flood into your heart.

Come, Holy Spirit, every cloud dispelling, fill us with gladness, through the Master’s name; bring to our memory words that He hath spoken, then shall our tongues His wondrous grace proclaim. Fanny Crosby


Can You Predict Your Future? – Philippians 1:18b-21 – Skip Heitzig

The Source

Create in me a pure heart, O God. Psalm 51:10

It was 1854, and something was killing thousands of people in London. It must be the bad air, people thought. And indeed, as unseasonable heat baked the sewage-fouled River Thames, the smell grew so bad it became known as “The Great Stink.”

But the worst problem wasn’t the air. Research by Dr. John Snow would show that contaminated water was the cause of the cholera epidemic.

We humans have long been aware of another crisis—one that stinks to high heaven. We live in a broken world—and we’re prone to misidentify the source of this problem, treating symptoms instead. Wise social programs and policies do some good, but they’re powerless to stop the root cause of society’s ills—our sinful hearts!

When Jesus said, “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them,” He wasn’t referring to physical diseases (Mark 7:15). Rather, He was diagnosing the spiritual condition of every one of us. “It is what comes out of a person that defiles them,” He said (v. 15), listing a litany of evils lurking inside us (vv. 21–22).

“Surely I was sinful at birth,” David wrote (Psalm 51:5). His lament is one we can all voice. We’re broken from the beginning. That’s why David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (v. 10). Every day, we need that new heart, created by Jesus through His Spirit.

Instead of treating the symptoms, we must let Jesus purify the source.

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

In what ways might you be treating symptoms instead of letting Jesus clean up the source? How can you share the good news of what Jesus did for you?

Heavenly Father, guard my heart and help me be attentive to Your Spirit within me.

Our Heavenly Father

God is a perfect Father, whose love and care for us are constant Matthew 6:9-13

When Christ taught His disciples to pray, He began by addressing God as “Our Father.” All of us who’ve been born again into God’s household have this same right. Since our concept of the heavenly Father is limited by our perceptions of earthly dads, let’s consider what Scripture says about His care for us. 

Our heavenly Father loves us. 1 John 4:16 tells us His love will never cease. Even when we disobey, it’s demonstrated in discipline (Hebrews 12:6).  

He hears our prayers. God is never too busy for us. He invites us to draw near to His throne with confidence to receive grace, mercy, and help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). 

The Father is our provider and protector. He promises to supply all that we need and protect us from the evil one (Matt. 6:11; Matt 6:13). Every event in our life is filtered through His sovereign will. 

The Lord is our guide. He’s given us His Word to direct our path (Psalm 119:105).

By viewing the Father through the truth of Scripture instead of our preconceptions, we’ll see Him as He truly is and discover a security we’ve never known before.

Words of Peace and Truth

“And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth.” (Esther 9:30)

The book of Esther is unique in that it contains no explicit mention of God. Yet, the hand of God is more evident in this book than in almost any other. It was after their remarkable deliverance from the genocide that had been contrived for them by Haman that Mordecai wrote his “words of peace and truth” to all the Jews, establishing an annual holiday to commemorate the providential winning of peace with their enemies, with the triumph of truth over evil and deception.

This incisive though unusual combination of words (“peace and truth”) was also used by Hezekiah when the Lord promised safety for his kingdom as long as he lived. “Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?” (2 Kings 20:19). Similarly, God promised His people delivery from their Babylonian captors: “I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth” (Jeremiah 33:6). Finally, through Zechariah, God promised His people a future lasting peace that they were to commemorate four times a year with “joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace” (Zechariah 8:19).

Men have longed for peace through the centuries, but it continues to elude them. After the so-called “war to end all wars,” Armistice Day was established to celebrate the lasting peace the war supposedly secured. Now, of course, it is called Veterans Day—still a day for honor, but hardly one of light and gladness. Peace can only endure in truth.

Although God was never named in Esther, He was there! Mordecai’s “words of peace and truth” implicitly spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will only be real peace when men accept the real truth. HMM

The Holy Spirit IS a Spiritual Flame

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.Romans 7:19

The Holy Spirit is also a spiritual flame. He alone can raise our worship to true spiritual levels. For we might as well know once for all that morality and ethics, however lofty, are still not Christianity.

The faith of Christ undertakes to raise the soul to actual communion with God, to introduce into our religious experiences a supra-rational element as far above mere goodness as the heavens are above the earth….

The joy of the first Christians was not the joy of logic working on facts. They did not reason, “Christ is risen from the dead; therefore we ought to be glad.” Their gladness was as great a miracle as the resurrection itself; indeed these were and are organically related. The moral happiness of the Creator had taken residence in the breasts of redeemed creatures and they could not but be glad. POM103-104

The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion. POG013

The Belt of Truth

You are near, Lord, and all Your commands are true.Psalm 119:151

Paul, in listing the six main pieces of a soldier’s equipment, illustrated the six main ways by which we can defend ourselves against the power of Satan—truth, righteousness, steadfastness, faith, salvation, and the Word of God.

Most commentators believe that the reason why Paul chose these six pieces of armor to describe the Christian’s protective system against satanic attack was because he was chained to a soldier as he wrote the letter (Eph 6:20). Although it is probably unlikely that the soldier standing guard in prison would have worn the full armor of an infantryman on the battlefield, the sight of him would have kindled Paul’s imagination.

The list begins with the belt of truth. Why, we ask ourselves, does the apostle start with such a seemingly insignificant item? Why did he not begin with one of the bigger and more important pieces of equipment, such as the breastplate, the shield, or the sword of the Spirit? The order in which these pieces are given to us is an inspired order, and if we change the order we make our position extremely perilous. For example, the reason why many Christians fail to wield the sword of the Spirit effectively is because they have not first girded their waist with truth. If we reverse the order, we succeed only in weakening our spiritual defense.

It is very important that we grasp this. Girding our waist with truth is always the place to start whenever we are under satanic attack. If we don’t start right, then we will not finish right. We cannot do battle with the Devil until we first gird our waists with truth.

Prayer

Gracious and loving Father, help me to absorb this thought into my inner being this day so that it will stay with me for the rest of my life: I cannot do battle with the Devil until I first gird my waist with truth. Amen.

Further Study

2Pt 1:1-12; Pr 23:23; 3Jn 1-4

In what are we to be established?

In what did John rejoice?


Losing Your Life

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.—Matthew 16:25

Christians are commanded to lose their lives. This means they ought to deliberately release their lives to God and His kingdom. One of the greatest hindrances to you being on mission with God will be your view of what constitutes your “legitimate rights”; that is, those things that you feel you have a right to experience and enjoy. It’s not difficult to turn over to Christ those things that are not a sacrifice or that you would prefer to do without anyway. Rather, it is the things that are good and that are dear to you that may stand between you and God’s will.

It’s good to be near your grown children and grandchildren, for example, but God may want you to go to another city or continent on mission with Him. It’s good to get adequate rest, but you may receive a call of distress in the middle of the night. You may assume that you have a right to certain material things, yet God may ask you to release all of your possessions to Him and His purposes (Matt. 19:21).

Jesus modeled perfectly this attitude toward life. He had a legitimate right to enjoy the comforts of heaven. Yet, He did not look at it as a right He should hold on to, nor did He see leaving all that was His as a sacrifice too costly to make (Phil. 2:5–11). As a result, God highly exalted Him and brought salvation to a broken world.

Has the world convinced you that there are certain rights that you must protect? Are you trying to save your life? Have you noticed that in so doing, you are actually losing the life God wants you to have?