Tag: faithful

Escaping the Fire!

Scripture reading for November 30th: Daniel 1-3, Revelation 2

Key Scriptures: Revelation 2:9-11 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.'”

John was taking dictation from Jesus Christ for the churches he had been assigned to oversee.  Smyrna was a church undergoing persecution from Jews under Satan’s deception and Jesus told them that they would have a short time of imprisonment and possible martyrdom.  They were to be faithful and the reward was a crown of life eternal–never to be hurt by the second death.  The second death is the lake of fire made for the devil and his angels and followers.

Daniel 3:27 “And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men.  The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had com upon them.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promises to those who suffer persecution in the last days and example from Daniel.  Help me to stay faithful and reap the reward–a crown of eternal life!  Amen.

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God’s Faithful Word!

Scripture reading for October 25th:  Jeremiah 13-15, Hebrews 10

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 10:23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  For if we go on sinning deliberately, after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

God honors faithfulness and application of truth revealed.  Christians have a great responsibility to live in obedience and hold Christ’s return in their thinking and actions.   God is faithful and also just!  Willful sinning when the knowledge of God’s truth has been received will bring judgment and eternal loss.  What a joy to delight in His Word!

Jeremiah 15:16  “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words  became to me a joy and delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of Hosts.” 

 Prayer:  Lord, Thank You for Your faithfulness and Holy Word of encouragement and warning.  May I always delight in Your Word and be called by Your great Name!  Amen.

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The Compassionate King!

Scripture reading for July 11th:  Psalm 144-147

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 145:8-12  “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.  All you have made will praise You, O Lord; Your saints will extol You.  they will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.” 

God’s heart of compassion for the hurting, lonely, poor,, needy, orphan and widow is known by all His people.  They are thankful for His great heart of compassion and unfailing love of God for His creation.  His people are especially thankful, because without God’s compassion and mercy, they know they would not know the glory of His kingdom and be able to tell of His mighty acts!

The God of all Comfort:  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  (2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)

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“I AM THE LORD”

Scripture reading for January 18th:  Exodus 5-8

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 6:6-9  “Therefore, say to the Israelites:  I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God.  Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.  I will give it to you as a possession.  I am the Lord.”  

God is The Lord!  He will do as He says!  Nothing will deter His word and will. He desires to be our Lord and us to be His people.  He has promised His people a land as an everlasting possession.  He will deliver us from our enemies.  He will bring it to pass!

Cause for thankfulness and joy:  God is faithful and true to His promises, what He says, He will do.  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”  (Matthew 24:35)

 

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Not talk but power!

Scripture reading for July 10th:  1st Corinthians 4

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.  What do you prefer?  Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love with a gentle spirit?”  (1st Corinthians 4:10-11)

Paul considered the Corinthians believers as his own spiritual children.  Through the preaching of the Gospel, he had laid a strong foundation for their spiritual walk and become their ‘father’.  Their worldly behavior was bringing them into danger so he wrote to warn them and call them to imitate his own spiritual walk.  This walk included hardship, suffering, ridicule, slander, and fear of death!  (1st Corinthians 4:9-13)  In spite of this, Paul worked hard and blessed those who sought to mistreat him!  His life demonstrated the spiritual power of Jesus Christ living in him and helping him to show the fruit of love for the lost who would harm him.

The kingdom of God is not just a matter of words and spiritual ideas, but it is a kingdom of power!  Christ Jesus enables His followers to live largely and generously in a hostile world.  They live by the power of the Spirit indwelling them and love all in order to win them to Christ.  This is how Paul urged his spiritual children to follow Christ!  Does your live exhibit the power of Christ?  Are you just talking the talk, or walking the walk of power through following the Holy Spirit!  Will Christ come to you with a whip?  Or love with a gentle spirit?

 

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God’s concern for people and connections!

Scripture reading for February 11: Numbers 1-4

The book of Numbers is so named because of all the counting and lists of numbers.  God was apparently very interested in numbers and specifically assigned jobs to each family group.  According to the reading today, there were 603,550 men 20 years old or more that could serve in the army and fight from 11 of the tribes.  (Numbers 1:46) The only tribe excluded from the duty to fight was Levi.  The Levites belonged to God and were set apart to serve in the Tabernacle.  (Numbers 3:5-7)

Many people think that God doesn’t really care about numbers or individual people.  The reading today shows just the opposite.  God cared about each person and family group.  He wanted the leaders to know how many they had to help with the work and protection of the nation.  God uses people and knows each one by name!  He knows the purpose and jobs that He has designed and gifted them to do.  God is looking for people who are faithful, available, and teachable!

To the Gershonites clans was given the care of the tent curtains and coverings. (Numbers 3:21-26)  God assigned the Kohathites to be in charge of the sanctuary.  (Numbers 3:27-32) He assigned the Merarite clans to carry the poles of the tabernacle. (Numbers 3:33-37)  All these men were called by God to do a specific job and to do it as unto the Lord.  (Numbers 3:38)

God is still looking for faithful and available workers.  They must be teachable and willing to obey orders.  When He finds these workers, He shows Himself strong on their behalf.  They are blessed and God’s love and protection covers their homes and families.  He blesses  “F.A.T. ” people! (Faithful, Available, Teachable)

1st Corinthians 12:18– “But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, exactly as he wanted them to be.”

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God loves F.A.T. people!

Scripture reading for February 11: Numbers 1-4

Numbers is so named because of all the counting and lists of numbers in the book.  God was apparently very interested in numbers and specifically assigned jobs to each family group.  According to the reading today, there were 603,550 men 20 years old or more that could serve in the army and fight from 11 of the tribes.  (Numbers 1:46) The only tribe excluded from the duty to fight was Levi.  The Levites belonged to God and were set apart to serve in the Tabernacle.  (Numbers 3:5-7)

Often, today, many people think that God doesn’t really care about numbers or individual people.  The reading today shows just the opposite.  God cared about each person and family group.  He wanted the leaders to know how many they had to help with the work and protection of the nation.  God uses people and knows each one by name!  He knows even the hairs on their heads.  He knows the purpose and jobs that He has designed and gifted them to do.  It doesn’t matter so much what you do, as long as you are (F)faithful, (A)available, and (T)teachable!

To the Gershonites clans was given the care of the tent curtains and coverings.   God assigned the Kohathites to be in charge of the sanctuary.  (Numbers 3:27-32) He assigned the Merarite clans  to carry the poles of the tabernacle. (Numbers 3:33-37)  The Levites were to serve Aaron and his sons and they belonged to God because God took them in place of the firstborn from every Israelite woman. (Numbers 3:11-13)  He had redeemed them by the blood of the Passover Lamb!  All these men were called by God to do a specific job and to do it as unto the Lord.  If they got out of line and tried to look into the holy things when they were not assigned, they would die!  (Numbers 3:38)

God is looking for faithful and available workers.  They must be teachable and humble enough to obey orders.  When He finds these workers, He shows Himself strong on their behalf.  They are blessed and God’s love and protection covers their homes and families.  It is not how much you do, or what kind of talent and position that makes you special to the Lord.  He blesses  F.A.T. people!

1st Corinthians 12:18– “But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, exactly as he wanted them to be.”

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Sin’s deceitfulness

Scripture reading for November 1st: Hebrews 3:1-19

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.  He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was faithful in all of God’s house.  … Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future.  But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s house.” (Hebrews 3:1-2, 5-6a)

Jesus is the focus of all true believers.  When we put our faith in Jesus Christ to save us, we are adopted into God’s family and become ‘holy brothers’ with Jesus, the Son of God.  (Romans 8:14-15)  (Galatians 3:26)  Jesus was appointed by His Father to the roles He obediently assumed.  The Son of God was obedient and faithful to His calling.  In fixing our thoughts on Jesus, we can grow in our worship and understanding of who He is and who we are in Him!

The writer to the Hebrews was contrasting Jesus with Moses.  Moses, being picked by God, was faithful to lead God’s people out of slavery and through the desert for forty years. This journey should not have taken forty years.  The sin of unbelief caused the people to turn back and die in the desert!  Jesus Christ was and is God’s Son, holding a position of greater honor than Moses!  Jesus is leading us to Father’s house!

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,. . See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at the first.” (Hebrews 3:7, 12-14)  The Hebrews had not listened to God speaking through Moses during the Exodus.  They had let their flesh turn their hearts back to Egypt and this kept them from entering the promised land.  The sin was failure to trust God to bring them into their land!  Jesus promises to take us in–Today!   We must continue to pay close attention and follow Him to Glory!

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“The Mighty Men”

Scripture reading for April 18: 1st Chronicles 10-16

In today’s culture, men of God are often portrayed as not too bright, weaklings, or slightly effeminate.  Many men have lost their sense of identity when it comes to serving the Lord.  They tend to take a back seat to women and often fail to be the spiritual leaders of the home or the church.  The “mighty men” of king David would certainly not fit the current portrayal of men who serve the Lord.

The mighty men of David’s bodyguard knew how to fight and had courage!  Jashobeam, the chief of the officers, raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter! (2nd Chronicles 11:11)  Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was a valiant fighter who went down into a pit and killed a lion on a snowy day!  This man then struck down an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet tall using only a club.  He killed the Egyptian with the man’s own spear!  Three of the mighty men risked their lives just to get David a drink from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.  David was so humbled that he poured the water out before the Lord. (2nd Chronicles 11:17-19)

To be a mighty man today, we have to be just as tough as King David’s men!  We are in the army of God!  We are wrestling with principalities, powers, and rulers and authorities in the spiritual battle that is before us.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)  We need to have the full armor of God and wield the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, with skill and courage.  God has called men to lead in the home and the Church.  Men are to be men of prayer. (1st Timothy 2:8)  We are to be loyal and honor authority!  When we do, we honor God and He can honor us!

God is looking for “mighty men” who will serve Him loyally and whole-heartedly!  If you are a man, offer yourself to be one of God’s “mighty men”!  If you have a husband or son who needs to make this kind of commitment, pray for him today in faith, believing that God is able to bring them into this place of honor!  One day we will hear our King say: “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things!  Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)

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Sunday Rest and Reflection–Patience

As I read this book of Joshua and think about what he faced in his lifetime, I am reminded of my need for patience.  Patience takes strength and courage.  When you know what the Lord has said and nobody around you is listening or walking in faith it is hard to have patience.  When all around you grumble and complain and see only the problems, it’s hard to be positive and not loose your temper.

Joshua had to wait 40 years to enter his inheritance.  He saw it as one of the spies and understood from God’s Word that He it belonged to them.  He knew that God would help them with the walled cities and the giants.  He had a good attitude and a good confession.  He tore his clothes and pleaded with the people when they rebelled at Kadesh. (Numbers 14:5-9) He faithfully served Moses for the 40 years of wandering.  He was a good second man to Moses.   You never see him trying to usurp authority or grab anything for himself.  He walked with those who were destined to die in the wilderness and kept his focus.  He was so faithful that he was chosen by God to lead Israel after Moses’s departure.  The Bible tells us that the first requirement of a steward is that they be found faithful!  (1st Corinthians 4:2)  Joshua was faithful through the hard times and patient to wait until God’s time came for him to enter and possess his inheritance.

As you take time to rest and pray today, thank God for his faithfulness in sending His son Jesus Christ!  He is our Joshua.  He keeps a good attitude even when we whine and complain.  He walks with us faithfully.  He kept God’s Word perfectly and is the only one who can take us into the “promised land’!  He took the lowest place of a servant and God exhalted Him to the hightest place of authority.  His patience with us is amazing!  What courage and strength it took for Him to save us!  Are you letting patience have it’s perfect work in your life today?  Have a great day of rest and refreshing!  Remember to gather with others of faith and worship the Lord!  God bless you!  Pastor John

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