VIDEO Trust In The Lord

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5–6

We can go through this world in one of two ways: remembering God, focused on eternity, and trusting Him with all our hearts or forgetting God and leaning on our own understanding to make it through this life.

Which camp are you in?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . . and He shall direct your paths.” God makes this great promise to us, a covenant that offers great blessings to those who will heed it daily. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” It’s a primary lesson of Christianity, a seemingly simple essential of our faith. Yet we seem to find it so difficult to learn. We learn to trust in God just a little bit and think we’ve made great progress in the spiritual realm. But then we face situations that reveal vast areas of our hearts that we’ve never entrusted to God.

In these times, we may believe we’ve given our trust to God and wonder why He hasn’t responded. But really, we lean on our own understanding and strength to work it out. We attempt to achieve our will through praying certain ways and doing good deeds. But it isn’t until we’ve exhausted our resources and truly trusted God, laying our burdens at His feet, that He provides a way. “Acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Who are you trusting to carve out your life paths—you or the Lord? God says, “Trust me.” How can you do that today?

““… They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true …”” —“Like A River Glorious” (Hymn)

Trust in the Lord: Proverbs 3:5–6 – with Nick Vujicic

Exploring the Stars

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one. Isaiah 40:26

In 2021, a multination effort led to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope—deployed nearly a million miles from Earth to better investigate the universe. This marvel will peer into deep space and examine the stars and other celestial wonders.

This is indeed a fascinating astronomical piece of technology, and if everything works, it will provide us with amazing photos and information. But its mission isn’t new. In fact, the prophet Isaiah described searching the stars when he said, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one” (Isaiah 40:26). “Night after night” they speak of our Creator who hurled this imperceptibly immense universe into existence (Psalm 19:2)—and with it the countless luminous bodies that silently grace our night sky (v. 3).

And it’s God Himself who decided how many of the shining objects there are: “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4). When mankind sends complicated, fascinating probes to explore the universe, we can enjoy with spellbound wonder the discoveries they make, because each observation points back to the One who made the solar system and everything beyond it. Yes, the “heavens declare the glory of God” (19:1)—stars and all.

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

How do the stars and the entire universe speak of God and His creative ways? What thoughts and emotions strike you as you think about His power?

Heavenly Father, thank You for creating such an amazing universe for me to enjoy.

Sunday Reflection: What’s Yours Is Mine

God equips His children to participate in His work on earth

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout.

Imagine water flowing down a rock to a stream, then a river, and ultimately flowing out into the ocean. In a similar way, everything flows out of God’s provision for us. When God gives us abilities or other blessings, it’s not an accident, a product of our own hard work, or the result of good genes. Our God is a God who knows what He is doing—and He very specifically and intentionally gives us each different gifts, sometimes just for the benefit of others (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).

If you have particular skills, strengths, or financial blessings, give Him thanks. The purpose of our gifts isn’t to make us feel better about ourselves or improve the way other people see us. God’s gifts are an opportunity for us to know Him better and participate in building His kingdom. Through them, and in obedience to Him, we fulfill His mission.

Think about it

• What do you think it means to be “good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10) in today’s culture?

• How do you feel, knowing that God gifts us differently on purpose?

The Elect Lady

“The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth.” (2 John 1:1)

The Greek word for “lady” (kuria) is used only two times in the Bible, and both of these occurrences are here in the one-chapter epistle of 2 John. It is also fascinating to note that kuria is the feminine form of kurios, which is the Greek word for “Lord.”

Evidently this “elect lady” was a special woman, very highly esteemed by the apostle John as a capable and conscientious mother to her children.

It is uncertain, however, whether this distinguished lady was a literal mother in the church with literal children or possibly a metaphor for the church itself, with the “children” its individual members. Good reasons can be given for both interpretations, and it may even be that John wrote his letter with this dual meaning in mind under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In either case, it is significant that this mother is called “lady” instead of the much more frequently used “woman” (Greek gune), or even “mother” (Greek meter). The Greek kuria was evidently used to stress deep respect and honor to such a mother in the church. She clearly was training her children in “the truth,” much as Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, had brought him up to have “unfeigned faith” in “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15).

In addition to faith in God’s truth, of course, there should be genuine love. The second use of kuria is in verse 5: “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another” (2 John 1:5). HMM

God’s Response To Pride And Humility

From the 14th floor of my apartment I am looking out over the City of Singapore on an early morning as the sun peaks its way through the clouds.

Across the heavily trafficked road beneath me lies a mud-soaked lot a city block in size that is under preparation for the building of a massive apartment complex.

Boxcar-type housing of clapboard construction dot the edges of the property where imported laborers live. Like ants below, I can observe 2 or 3 of them as they pick their way through the mud while moving from one wood-framed living structure to the next.

In juxtaposition to this mired lot lie high rise apartments 25 stories in height that are architecturally modern, and possess a breathtaking view of the harbor. The expensive cars parked below give evidence of easy affluence.

In my reading this morning from Isaiah 40, I was struck with the fact that God has great contempt for anything that smacks of man’s pride, while possessing limitless compassion for the weak and downtrodden of this earth:

  • He brings princes to nothing and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing(He) sweeps them away like chaff.“(verses 23, 24)
  • He gathers the lambs in His arms, and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have youngHe gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.“(verses 11, 29)

Appearances of course can be deceiving and only God knows the condition of the heart, as people of every station in life represent both the proud and the humble.

But one must admit that humility does not come easily when one possesses what the world esteems as status and success.

So, if you happen to be among the so-called “successful“or “privileged“of this world, you may want to keep in mind God’s admonition:

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.“(Jeremiah 9:23, 24)

“Man doth not live by bread only.”

Deuteronomy 8

WE will take another passage from the discourse of Moses—Deuteronomy 8.

Deuteronomy 8:1

Obedience must be given to “all” the commands of God.

Deuteronomy 8:2, 3

The end of the Lord’s providence is to school us to faith. All too slowly do we learn the lesson. What a sweet series of sentences are those—”humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna.”

Deuteronomy 8:4

How much grace have we received in forty years! What wonders have we seen!

Deuteronomy 8:7-9

brass or copper.

Deuteronomy 8:10-14

Temptations grow out of prosperity. Has the Lord been very good to this household? let us not be lifted up so as to despise his poor people, or forsake his lowly worship, but the rather let us love our Lord the more.

Deuteronomy 8:17

O for grace to banish far from us all boasting. It is hateful both to God and man.

Deuteronomy 8:20

Yet were the Lord’s grace to be withdrawn, we should surely be disobedient and perish in our sins. Keep us, good Lord; keep us evermore.

I knew thee in the land of drought,

Thy comfort and control,

Thy truth encompass’d me about,

Thy love refresh’d my soul.

And if thine alter’d hand doth now

My sky with sunshine fill,

Who amid all so fair as thou?

Oh let me know thee still:

Still turn to thee in days of light,

As well as nights of care,

Thou brightest amid all that’s bright!

Thou fairest of the fair!

Our Thoughts Reveal What We Are Becoming

... If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

The Bible has a great deal to say about our thoughts; current evangelicalism has practically nothing to say about them. The reason the Bible says so much is that our thoughts are so vitally important to us. The reason evangelicalism says so little is that we are overreacting from the “thought” cults, which would make our thoughts to be very nearly everything and we counter by making them nothing. Both positions are wrong.

Our voluntary thoughts not only reveal what we are—they predict what we will become. The will can become the servant of the thoughts, and to a large degree even our emotions follow our thinking. Thinking stirs feeling and feeling triggers action. That is the way we are made and we may as well accept it.

Thinking about God and holy things creates a moral climate favorable to the growth of faith and love and humility and reverence. We cannot by our thinking regenerate our hearts, nor take our sins away nor change the leopard’s spots. But we can by Spirit-inspired thinking help to make our minds pure sanctuaries in which God will be pleased to dwell.

The best way to control our thoughts is to offer the mind to God in complete surrender. The Holy Spirit will accept it and take control of it immediately. Then it will be relatively easy to think on spiritual things, especially if we train our thought by long periods of daily prayer, even talking to God inwardly as we work or travel.