VIDEO Nothing Can Separate Us From The Source of Abundant Joy

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. —Romans 8:37

Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in all these things we are more than conquerors.” We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

We begin our Christian life by believing what we are told to believe, then we have to go on to so assimilate our beliefs that they work out in a way that redounds to the glory of God. The danger is in multiplying the acceptation of beliefs we do not make our own. Conformed to His Image, 381 L


Nothing Can Separate Us (Romans 8:35-39)

Pleading with God

I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures. . . . So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition. Daniel 9:2–3

A family’s prayer time ended with a surprising announcement one morning. As soon as Dad said, “Amen,” five-year-old Kaitlyn proclaimed, “And I prayed for Logan, because he had his eyes open during prayer.”

I’m pretty sure praying for your ten-year-old brother’s prayer protocol isn’t what Scripture has in mind when it calls us to intercessory prayer, but at least Kaitlyn realized that we can pray for others.

Bible teacher Oswald Chambers emphasized the importance of praying for someone else. He said that “intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and perspective.” It’s praying for others in light of what we know about God and His love for us.

We find a great example of intercessory prayer in Daniel 9. The prophet understood God’s troubling promise that the Jews would have seventy years of captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11–12). Realizing that those years were nearing their completion, Daniel went into prayer mode. He referenced God’s commands (Daniel 9:4–6), humbled himself (v. 8), honored His character (v. 9), confessed sin (v. 15), and depended on His mercy as he prayed for His people (v. 18). And he got an immediate answer from God (v. 21).

Not all prayer ends with such a dramatic response, but be encouraged that we can go to God on behalf of others with an attitude of trust and dependence on Him.

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

When you pray for others, how are you seeking the mind of God? How do you seek His perspective?

Dear heavenly Father, help me to know You better so that when I pray for others, I can filter my requests through my knowledge of Your will.

Sunday Reflection: Passions and Patience

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

When young children want something they can’t have immediately, it often becomes their unrelenting focus. They persistently ask for new toys, experiences, or additional treats, perhaps even throwing a tantrum when their request is denied. If we’re honest, there are times we behave like that with God.

During the early days of the church, the word passion referred to these persistent, uncontrolled desires of the flesh that draw us away from God. When Paul wrote to the Galatians, this is exactly what he wanted them to remember—that to belong to Jesus means that these passions have been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20; Gal. 5:24).

We deal with harmful desires by taking slow, measured steps away from them and toward the Lord. It’s only as we relinquish our passions and retrain our focus that we’ll realize our fulfillment comes from Christ alone. But remember, you don’t have to get there all at once. It takes patience to surrender your passions and actively seek the Lord.

Think about it
• Throughout the day, notice what things you’re attached to by asking, What holds my attention most of the time? Consider writing them down or discussing them with a trusted friend.

There Is a Fountain

“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6)

Christian hymns were often written as deeply moving poems and later added to music. We dare not exegete hymns to discover spiritual truth, but we can use them as spiritual aids to help focus our scriptural study. One such old-time poem is the favorite “There Is a Fountain” sung in churches today. Its five verses can inspire Christians. Verse one reads:

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.


Before Jesus came, His unique birth was foretold by an angel and prophesied in Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel,” meaning “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He referred to Himself as “a well of water” (John 4:14) available to all.

The true understanding of the communion table, couched in the symbolic, precious words of Scripture (and our hymn), undergirds a lasting memorial to the work of Christ. “This cup is the new testament [i.e., covenant] in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance [i.e., a memorial] of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25).

The blood that was shed applies to believers, blessedly taking away our sin, for “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). A blessed truth indeed! JDM

Personal Identity

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.—1 Timothy 4:12

This problem of personal identity not infrequently troubles the faithful minister. The congregation has called him as their pastor and teacher, but the members have a hard time forgetting the saintly predecessor who died or who was called to another ministry. They find it hard to make room for the new minister—mainly because he is not enough like the former one. His voice is different. So are his gestures. His hair is not gray. His wife is not as friendly.

Be careful! God blesses people for their faith and obedience, not because they are old or young, bald or gray, pleasant voiced or raspy. God expects each one of us to let Him use us in helping people to a walk of spiritual blessing and victory. Not necessarily must we have had a long record as heroes in the faith to qualify.   JAF070

Lord, I pray for any of my brothers who may be facing this struggle today. Challenge the congregation to move on and love their new pastor. Give grace to the pastor; help him to faithfully demonstrate faith and obedience. Weld pastor and people together in a deep love relationship. Amen.

The Spirit’s Call

For…we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office.

—Romans 12:4

While there is only one way to become a true preacher, unfortunately there are many doors into the pulpit. One is to be endowed with what is sometimes called a “good pulpit presence.” Many a tall Absalom whose commanding presence and sonorous voice mark him as a natural leader of men is attempting to speak for God when he has not been sent by God. His call is from the people instead of from the Spirit and the results cannot but be disastrous.

Others have become ministers from a genuine but altogether human love for mankind. These have a strong sense of social obligation which they feel they can best discharge by entering the ministry.

Of all wrong reasons for becoming a preacher this would seem to be the most laudatory, but it is nevertheless not a spiritually valid reason, for it overlooks the sovereign right of the Holy Spirit to call whom He will. GTM088

The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles….Things will get no better until we get back to the realized presence and power of the Holy Spirit. PRL037

Heaven’s Joys

Revelation 22:3-4

Deep within most people there is a longing for heaven, for something after this life. Jesus compared heaven to a wedding banquet: “The kingdom of

heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son” (Matt. 22:2).

Theologians and philosophers have often tackled the subject of afterlife and heaven. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica predicted: “Our scars will be seen as badges of honor; no one will rise in glory missing a limb; our senses will be enhanced, and we will be free of selfish passions.” The Christian belief is that in heaven there is no self-centeredness—everyone thinks of the other before self.

Tom Harpur, Anglican priest and author of Heaven and Hell, describes heaven as “a place where one continues the journey of growing in spiritual enlightenment.” St. Paul suggests that self-enlightenment will not be a process, but a part of the reality of heaven. On earth only certain things are revealed to us, but in heaven we shall know all things.

Will we simply be playing harps, or singing, all day and all night long? Mark Twain begged God to spare him from such boredom! There will undoubtedly be lots of surprises in heaven. No Internet will be necessary, for our search for knowledge will have been satisfied. We will have a heightened sense of spiritual identity, and God will fill our souls with ultimate joy.

We know that heaven will be a perfect place, and that there will be room for all who believe in Christ: “In My Father’s house are many rooms… I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

We also know it will be a place of peace: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

Heaven, as far as we can comprehend, is not so much above as beyond us. Anyone can reserve a place in heaven, but entrance is by God’s grace alone. We must believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Once that belief is established, there must be a willingness to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In heaven we will not only serve God, but the ultimate blessing will be to see his face: “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face” (Rev. 22:3-4).

Beverly Ivany, The War Cry

VIDEO Fight or Flight!: The Sons of Reuben

They made war with the Hagrites…. And they were helped against them…for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him. 1 Chronicles 5:19-20

People who read through the Bible for the first time are often flummoxed when they come to First Chronicles because the first chapters are genealogies. But sprinkled throughout these chapters you’ll find people or groups commended for some virtuous feat. For example, in 1 Chronicles 5:18-22, we’re told the sons of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were drawn into battle against the Hagrites. The Chronicler paused his record to tell us God helped these warriors because they cried to Him for aid in the battle. God heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him.

We all face battles in life, and the devil sends “Hagrites” our way. But we shouldn’t shrink from the conflict. The Bible likens us to soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3). Don’t fear or flee in the battles of life. Cry out to God in the battle and put your trust in Him. He heeds our prayers and gives the victory.

Outside of Christ, I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already victorious. Watchman Nee


Adrian Rogers: How to Be a Fully Committed Disciple of Jesus [#2434​]

Minding My Own Business

Mind your own business and work with your hands.1 Thessalonians 4:11

Years ago, my son Josh and I were making our way up a mountain trail when we spied a cloud of dust rising in the air. We crept forward and discovered a badger busy making a den in a dirt bank. He had his head and shoulders in the hole and was vigorously digging with his front paws and kicking the dirt out of the hole with his hind feet. He was so invested in his work he didn’t hear us.

I couldn’t resist and prodded him from behind with a long stick lying nearby. I didn’t hurt the badger, but he leaped straight up in the air and turned toward us. Josh and I set new world records for the hundred-yard dash.

I learned something from my brashness: Sometimes it’s best not to poke around in other people’s business. That’s especially true in relationships with fellow believers in Jesus. The apostle Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11). We’re to pray for others and seek by God’s grace to share the Scriptures, and occasionally we may be called to offer a gentle word of correction. But learning to live a quiet life and not meddling into others’ lives is important. It becomes an example to those who are now outside God’s family (v. 12). Our calling is to “love each other” (v. 9).

By:  David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

What happens when you meddle in other people’s business? What’s the first thing you should do instead for others?

God, teach me to know what it means to love others better.

The Words of Our Faith

Hebrews 2:1-4

Some churches today avoid using biblical language to describe what it means to be saved, because the terms can be confusing. However, since God chose these words to convey the greatness of our salvation, we should not overlook them. In order to understand grace, it is essential that we grasp the following concepts:

• Redemption refers to Christ’s payment for sin—in other words, His death purchased us for God.

• Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, in which He gives us divine life and makes us into new creatures.

• Justification is God’s declaration that through our faith in Christ, we are righteous and acquitted of guilt for sin.

• Forgiveness is the removal of our guilt; to accomplish this, Jesus went to the cross in our place and bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24).

• Reconciliation is the restoration of a right relationship with God. No longer His enemies, we’re now His beloved children. 

• Sanctification means to be set apart for God. It’s the process by which we grow in holiness and obedience. 

The more you understand the depths of your salvation, the greater your awe, gratitude, and love for Jesus will be. So meditate on these truths and the fullness of your salvation, and let them fill your mind and heart today.