VIDEO Having God’s “Unreasonable” Faith

Having God’s “Unreasonable” Faith

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. —Matthew 6:33

When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “…seek first the kingdom of God….” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.

“…do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.

It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

“I have chosen you” (John 15:16). Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God, but that He has got you.  My Utmost for His Highest, October 25, 837 R


Fallen A Short Animated Film Unreasonable Faith

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A Prayer of Forgiveness

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27–28

In 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to integrate an all-white public elementary school in the American South. Every day for months, federal marshals escorted Ruby past a mob of angry parents shouting curses, threats, and insults at her. Safely inside, she sat in a classroom alone with Barbara Henry, the only teacher willing to instruct her while parents kept their children from attending school with Ruby.

Noted child psychologist Robert Coles met with Ruby for several months to help her cope with the fear and stress she experienced. He was amazed by the prayer Ruby said every day as she walked to school and back home. “Please, God, forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing” (see Luke 23:34).

Father, You have so graciously forgiven us. Help us today to forgive others who have wronged us.

The words of Jesus spoken from the cross were stronger than the hatred and insults hurled at Him. In the most agonizing hours of His life, our Lord demonstrated the radical response He taught His followers: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you . . . . Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27–28, 36).

This remarkable approach is possible only as we consider the powerful love Jesus has given us—love stronger than even the deepest hatred.

Ruby Bridges helped show us the way.

Father, You have so graciously forgiven us. Help us today to forgive others who have wronged us.

Bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.

 

By David C. McCasland 

INSIGHT

Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive [someone] who sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). In that day, if you forgave a person three times, you were considered magnanimous. So Peter must have thought he was a super saint to forgive an offender seven times. Jesus corrected him, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (v. 22). Jesus is saying that when it comes to forgiving another, you can’t keep score. We never reach a limit when we can say we have forgiven enough. Although forgiveness doesn’t excuse an offense, we can choose to “be kind and compassionate to one another, [forgive] each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us]” (Ephesians 4:32).

Is there someone who needs your forgiveness today, yet again?

K. T. Sim

How Christ Modeled Humility

Philippians 2:1-11

Although humility is not highly valued in our society, it’s essential in the Christian life. And the one who set the pattern for it is Jesus Himself. Therefore, as His followers, we too should seek to have a humble spirit. Humility is lowliness of mind that does not seek to exalt or assert self, and from today’s passage, we learn that it’s characterized by several traits:

Humility is other-focused (Phil. 2:3-4). Christ was looking out for our interests when He came to earth to rescue us from sin and condemnation.

Humility doesn’t grasp rights and privileges (Phil. 2:6-7). Although Jesus was fully God, He emptied Himself and took on the limitations of humanity.

Humility willingly serves others (Phil. 2:7). The Lord didn’t come as a self-serving ruler who wanted to conquer and subjugate the world. Instead, He came as a lowly slave serving others.

Humility obeys God (Phil. 2:8). The Son came to earth in full obedience to the Father. He did and said only what His Father commanded Him (John 5:19), including His ultimate act of obedience: laying down His life on the cross to pay for the sins of mankind.

These qualities are the exact opposite of the ambition, self-promotion, and self-advancement our culture values. From the world’s perspective, humility is weakness. But which takes more strength—to deny self or to promote self? Humility requires the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to overcome our natural self-centeredness. Instead of being a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of Christ’s life in us.

God’s Sovereignty Alone

“And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11)

This divine rebuke to Moses was occasioned when Moses complained of his inability to speak eloquently for God before Pharaoh. It is also a rebuke to each of us who would dare question God’s wisdom in making us as we are—even with all our innate defects and handicaps. With our very limited knowledge of God’s purposes and our very short-range view of eternal priorities, we are ill-equipped to prejudge His ways with us.

To those who questioned why a man should be born blind, for example, Jesus answered: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). As another example, when certain believers complained about the lethal illness of a loved one, Jesus replied: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4).

The steadfastness of Stephen’s faith as he was stoned to death led to Paul’s conversion, though at the time it must have seemed difficult for his Christian brethren to understand and accept. In another context, but stating a principle highly relevant to such questions, Jesus reminds us, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7). God is not capricious, but He is sovereign. Whatever He does is right, by definition, and whatever He allows is for a holy purpose. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20).

It should be enough for now to know that He knows, and that when suffering comes for His sake, it is “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). HMM

Judge not according to the appearance

John 7:2-24

John 7:6-8

Our Lord’s relatives did not yet understand him. Any trembling faith in his commission which they possessed, was exercised selfishly in wishing to see him become a man of influence, in whose honours they might share. Meanwhile he was bringing down upon his own head enmity and abuse for honestly rebuking the sins of the times. So wide a difference was there between the Lord Jesus and his nearest kindred. He lived for others, and they, until they became renewed in heart, sought only themselves.

John 7:13

By whom is chiefly meant the rulers. The people were so much in fear of these great ones, that they spoke with bated breath in reference to the object of their enmity.

John 7:14-16

His doctrine was not from himself, it was authorised by the Father, who had sent him.

John 7:17-19

How plaintive are these words! The loving heart of Jesus was wounded at their ingratitude and wanton malice.

John 7:20-24

Excellent advice, which we should all do well to follow. We ought not to allow ourselves to be swayed by prejudice and influenced by superficial appearances. Good men and good things are often despised. Truth and holiness have had to run the gauntlet of mankind. All is not gold that glitters, and there is much true gold which never glitters at all. May we be taught by the Holy Spirit to abhor that which is evil, and cleave only to that which is good and true. On the Saviour’s side may we always be found.

 

Faithful amid unfaithfulness,

‘Mid darkness only light,

Thou didst thy Father’s name confess,

And in his will delight.

 

Unmov’d by threats or flatt’ring wiles,

Or suffering, shame, and loss:

Thy path uncheer’d by earthly smiles,

Led only to the cross.

 

Give us thy meek and lowly mind;

We would obedient be;

And all our rest and pleasure find

In learning, Lord, of thee.

 

Geared into All Things Eternal

Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God. (Hebrews 9:14)

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was a gracious experience of fulfillment and blessing and direction for the Christian church.

It was the continuing emphasis for believers that we must live to gear ourselves into things eternal and to live the life of heaven here upon earth. We must yield our first obedience and loyalty to Jesus Christ, at any cost!

Anything we try to offer God that is less than that really is a degradation of the Christian church.

Frankly, I would rather be a member of a group that meets in a little room on a side street than to be part of a great activity that is not New Testament in its doctrine, in its spirit, in its living, in its holiness, in all of its texture and tenor. The Spirit-filled and Spirit-led congregation will be a joyful people. Beyond that, it will be useful and caring and compassionate! I do believe that the Christian church ought to be a helpful influence to the whole community!

 

Rain Without Clouds? Never!

“If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.” Eccl. 11:3

Why, then, do we dread the clouds which now darken our sky? True, for a while they hide the sun, but the sun is not quenched; he will shine out again before long. Meanwhile those black clouds are filled with rain; and the blacker they are, the more likely they are to yield plentiful showers. How can we have rain without clouds?

Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will. They are the dark chariots of bright grace. These clouds will empty themselves before long, and every tender herb will be the gladder for the shower. Our God may drench us with grief, but He will not drown us with wrath; nay, He will refresh us with mercy. Our Lord’s love-letters often come to us in black-edged envelopes. His wagons rumble, but they are loaded with benefit. His rod blossoms with sweet flowers and nourishing fruits. Let us not worry about the clouds, but sing because May flowers are brought to us through the April clouds and showers.

O Lord, the clouds are the dust of thy feet! How near thou art in the cloudy and dark day! Love beholds thee, and is glad. Faith sees the clouds emptying themselves and making the little hills rejoice on every side.

 

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