VIDEO Fear Is a Liar

Do not fear. Deuteronomy 1:21

We all encounter circumstances in our life which cause us to experience fear. These could be mental, physical, or spiritual struggles. The characters in the Bible were no exception. They, too, experienced fear. Think of the disciples rowing on the Sea of Galilee or David battling against Goliath. Fear and the courage to conquer it are mentioned often in God’s Word. But it is important to remember the role of faith in conquering fear.

Joshua and Caleb were men of faith. When they and the other spies left Kadesh Barnea to enter the land of Canaan and inspect the land that God had given them, their cohorts were afraid. But not Joshua and Caleb. They didn’t let fear keep them from God’s plan for the people to enter the Promised Land. Nor did they let fear convince them to disobey His commands. While others rebelled against God, Joshua and Caleb remained steadfast in their faith in God and His promises. And they were eventually blessed because of it.

Deuteronomy 1:21, 30 says, “Do not fear or be discouraged…. The Lord your God…He will fight for you.” Reflect upon the promises found in God’s Word; they will enable you to conquer all your fears.

The only known antidote to fear is faith. Woodrow Kroll

Deuteronomy 1 – Skip Heitzig

Running on Empty

They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

“I just don’t think I can do this anymore,” my friend said through her tears as she discussed the overwhelming sense of hopelessness she faced as a nurse in a global health crisis. “I know that God has called me to nursing, but I’m overwhelmed and emotionally drained,” she confessed. Seeing that a cloud of exhaustion had come over her, I responded, “I know you feel helpless right now, but ask God to give you the direction you’re seeking and the strength to persevere.” At that moment, she decided to intentionally seek God through prayer. Soon after, my friend was invigorated with a new sense of purpose. Not only was she emboldened to continue nursing, but God also gave her the strength to serve even more people by traveling to hospitals around the country.

As believers in Jesus, we can always look to God for help and encouragement when we feel overburdened because “He will not grow tired or weary” (Isaiah 40:28). The prophet Isaiah states that our Father in heaven “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (v. 29). Though God’s strength is everlasting, He knows that we’ll inevitably have days when we’re physically and emotionally consumed (v. 30). But when we look to God for our strength instead of trying to sprint through life’s challenges alone, He’ll restore and renew us and give us the resolve to press on in faith.

By:  Kimya Loder

Reflect & Pray

When have you tried to handle overwhelming situations alone? How might you look to God for help?

Dear God, thank You for helping me when the challenges of life seem unbearable.

For further study, read Why Doesn’t God Answer Me? Trusting in Times of Doubt and Trial.

How to Acquire Wisdom

The immense rewards of wisdom make pursuing it well worth the effort Proverbs 2:1-7

Knowledge may be a prized commodity in the world, but what the Lord values is wisdom (Proverbs 8:11). He wants us to see life from His viewpoint and evaluate everything according to biblical principles. 

So how do we gain wisdom? The obvious answer is that we must pursue it. Too often, however, people who say they want to be wise do little to actually make that happen. 

The first place to look for wisdom is the Bible. There, we are told to pay attention to God’s life-giving words and hold His commands in our heart (Proverbs 4:20-22). Another source of wisdom is the counsel of godly men and women (Proverbs 12:15); God brings fellow believers into our life to offer biblical advice, encouragement, or reproof. In fact, according to that same verse, those who ignore the words of a righteous person are labeled “fool.” So surround yourself with other followers of Christ who pursue what the Lord values. 

Our heavenly Father ensures that those who seek wisdom will find it (Prov. 8:12, Proverbs 8:17). Diligent believers will discover they possess abundant treasure: In addition to godly insight, they’ll have knowledge, discernment, and prudence—rare riches in the modern world and indispensable tools for furthering God’s kingdom.

Jesus and the Flood

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:38-39)

The Lord Jesus Christ not only believed in the special, recent creation of all things by God (note Mark 10:6-8), but also in the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day, including the special preservation of life on the Ark. The Flood in which He believed was obviously not a “local flood,” for He compared it to the worldwide future impact of His Second Coming.

Neither was it a “tranquil flood,” nor a “selective flood,” for Jesus said, “The flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27). It is clear that He was referring to—and that He believed—the Genesis record of the great Flood! There it says that the whole earth was “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:13), having first been filled with people, and that the resulting world-cleansing deluge was so cataclysmic that “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth” (Genesis 7:23). Indeed, “the flood came, and took [literally ‘lifted’] them all away.”

This is what Jesus said, and what He believed, and therefore, those who are truly His disciples must also believe this. The destructive effects of the Flood can still be seen today not only in the biblical record, but also in the abundant evidences of cataclysmic destruction in the rocks and fossil graveyards all over the world. To refuse this evidence, as do many modern intellectuals, can only be because they “willingly are ignorant,” as Peter said in referring to this testimony (2 Peter 3:5). HMM

Walking the Waves to Jesus

Matthew 14:22-33

AFTER feeding the five thousand, our Lord got away from the multitude eager to make Him king and retired to a mountain to pray alone. He knew the danger of the superficial enthusiasm of crowds. Again and again in His ministry, we see such a reaction to the threat of popularity (John 2:23-25; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 1:37-38; John 6:22-26). Today we measure men by the approval of the multitude; but Jesus only had compassion upon them, as sheep without a shepherd.

While He was at prayer, the disciples were caught in a furious storm out on the sea. It must have been fearful to alarm seasoned fishermen! Our Lord once again proved His mastery over nature by an act which cannot possibly be explained away. He went to them walking on the waves. The storm-beset disciples, already terrified by the tempest, took Him to be a ghost. His answer, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid,” carries the answer to fear. Notice the negative, “Be not afraid,” and the positive, “Be of good cheer”—and between the two observe our Lord Himself, “It is I.” He always changes negative to positive!

Impetuous Peter would walk to Jesus on the waves. He did not walk far, but at least he walked farther than any other man has gone! However, he took his eyes off Jesus and fixed them on circumstances, saw the wind boisterous and was afraid, and he sank. It is always so when we fail to look unto Jesus.

But the Lord rescued him. Are you afraid by faith to walk the waves, first this foot, then that, to Jesus? We will not have the boat of self-security if we commit ourselves to the walk of faith. We may be afraid that we will sink, but we should remember that even though we should sink, we will not drown! Peter sank, but he did not drown. We have no business getting our eyes off Jesus and going down, but if we do, let us remember that He is out there with us and will rescue us.

Our Lord rebuked Peter’s weak faith: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” We are not believing when we are doubting. What must He say to us today, afraid to walk to Him in the smallest matters!

When He was received into the ship the wind ceased. Matthew tells us that they worshiped Him and Luke that they willingly received Him, but Mark adds they were “sore amazed” and “wondered” (6:51), for they considered not the miracle of the loaves, and their hearts were hardened. If they had rightly valued and appreciated the feeding of the five thousand they would have expected no less than His walking on the sea! We forget today what Christ has done, and it lessens our expectation of what He can and will do. Our hearts are hardened! We have no right to censure these stupid disciples, for we are even as they.

Coming to Gennesaret, our Lord at once began to heal throngs again. “As many as touched Him were made perfectly whole.” If only we believed, might not a touch of Him who bore our sicknesses and infirmities still work its wonders?

The Humble Man Says: “The Mistakes Are Mine”

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29

A page in church history reveals that the godly Macarius of Optino was once told that his spiritual counsel had been helpful.

“This cannot be,” Macarius wrote in reply. “Only the mistakes are mine. All good advice is the advice of the Spirit of God; His advice that I happen to have heard rightly and to have passed on without distorting it.”

There is an excellent lesson here which we must not allow to go unregarded. It is the sweet humility of the man of God who was enabled to say, “Only the mistakes are mine.”

He was fully convinced that his own efforts could result only in mistakes and that any good that came of his advice must be the work of the Holy Spirit operating within him.

Apparently this was more than a sudden impulse of self-depreciation, which the proudest of men may at times feel; it was rather a settled conviction that gave set and direction to his entire life. His long and humble ministry which brought spiritual aid to many reveals this clearly enough.

It is our belief that the evangelical movement will continue to drift farther and farther from the New Testament position unless its leadership passes from the modern religious star to the self-effacing saint who asks for no praise and seeks no place, happy only when the glory is attributed to God and himself forgotten!

“Remember Lot’s wife.”

Genesis 19:1-3, 15-26

Genesis 19:2

Bad as his neighbours were, Lot had not forgotten to be hospitable. Grace does not flourish in bad companionship, but still it lives.

Genesis 19:3

Then at nightfall followed a horrible scene in which the angels saw for themselves that Sodom was filthy, cruel, malicious, and abominable. Those holy beings, therefore, shut to the door, and waited till the morning to execute the sentence of God upon the city. It was time that such a den of abominations should be swept away. Meanwhile, Lot went to his sons-in-law, and urged them to fly with him, but they thought him mad, and refused.

Genesis 19:15

It is true kindness to men to warn them earnestly of their danger; and we cannot be too pressing in urging them to escape.

Genesis 19:16

We must repeat our warnings, and use holy violence with sinners. At the same time let us beware of lingering ourselves. We are never safe a single moment till we have fled to Jesus.

Genesis 19:17-22

Though Lot was not such a believer as Abraham, yet being a good man his prayer was heard, and at his request a little city was saved. Was not this also an answer to Abraham’s prayer?

Genesis 19:26

Lot’s prayer saved Zoar, but could not save his wife. A minister may bring thousands to Jesus, and yet his own household may perish. The Scripture says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Remember that she was Lot’s wife, and yet was destroyed. She was half way to Zoar and out of Sodom, and yet escaped not, and all because her heart was still with sinners, and she could not leave them. She started to escape, but she started aside. O for grace to persevere.

Remember Lot’s wife, and beware of even a desire to return to old sins, lest we prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life. This terrible chapter should make us tremble if we have not reached the mountain of atoning love. Let us not delay, but flee to Jesus now, and put our trust in him.

Hasten, sinner, to be blest,

Stay not for the morrow’s sun,

Lest perdition thee arrest

Ere the morrow is begun.

Lord, do thou the sinner turn!

Rouse him from his senseless state;

Let him not thy counsel spurn,

Rue his fatal choice too late!