Nothing can hinder the LORD!

Be A Bearean Acts 17:11-Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Be A Bearean
Acts 17:11-Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

 
September 18, 2013
Jonathan’s Plan
1 Samuel 14:1-15
 
Read

“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

“Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.”

“All right then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us.

If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them.

But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the LORD’s sign that he will help us defeat them.”

When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”

Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!” “Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the LORD will help us defeat them!” (1 Samuel 14:6-12)

 
Reflect

Jonathan and his armor bearer weren’t much of a force to attack the huge Philistine army. But while everyone else was afraid, they trusted God, knowing that the size of the enemy army would not restrict God’s ability to help them. God honored the faith and brave action of these two men with a tremendous victory.

Jonathan did not have the authority to lead all the troops into battle, but he could start a small skirmish in one corner of the enemy camp. When he did, panic broke out among the Philistines, the Hebrews who had been drafted into the Philistine army revolted, and the men who were hiding in the hills regained their courage and returned to fight.

Have you ever felt surrounded by the “enemy” or faced overwhelming odds? God is never intimidated by the size of the enemy or the complexity of a problem. With him, enough resources are always available to resist the pressures and win the battle. If God has called you to action, then bravely commit what resources you have to God, and rely upon him to lead you to victory.

 
Respond

When facing a difficult situation that is beyond your control, ask, “What steps can I take now to work toward a solution?” Taking just a few small steps may be just what is needed to begin the chain of events leading to eventual victory.

 

God Conquers All

 God has conquered all our enemies

ocean-dawn-with-you-always-who-shall-separate-usAre you concerned about losing your faith?

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day, we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39 NLT

 

 

We are God’s People

“We are not babes in the woods — we are God’s people and, no matter how it looks now, we are going to inherit this earth and rule it. The devil may be prince of this world, but the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and He will set up His kingdom and His people will be in charge of it.” 

Vance Havner
Quoted in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes (Tyndale House) p 420

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Walk in the Spirit of God

GAL. 5:25

GAL. 5:25

Morning

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:25

The two most important things in our holy religion are the life of faith and the walk of faith. He who shall rightly understand these is not far from being a master in experimental theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unattended by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ. Woe unto those who seek after the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness; and there are others who have strained after holiness of life, but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said, they were “whitewashed sepulchres.” We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure. Of what service is the mere foundation of a building to a man in the day of tempest? Can he hide himself therein? He wants a house to cover him, as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we would have comfort in the day of doubt. But seek not a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house which can afford no permanent shelter, because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and, like the two abutments of an arch, they will make our piety enduring. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are alike full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace; two lamps lit with holy fire; two olive trees watered by heavenly care. O Lord, give us this day life within, and it will reveal itself without to thy glory.

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Evening

“And they follow me.”
John 10:27

We should follow our Lord as unhesitatingly as sheep follow their shepherd, for he has a right to lead us wherever he pleases. We are not our own, we are bought with a price–let us recognize the rights of the redeeming blood. The soldier follows his captain, the servant obeys his master, much more must we follow our Redeemer, to whom we are a purchased possession. We are not true to our profession of being Christians, if we question the bidding of our Leader and Commander. Submission is our duty, cavilling is our folly. Often might our Lord say to us as to Peter, “What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” Wherever Jesus may lead us, he goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long, but his everlasting arms will carry us to the end. The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because he lives, we shall live also. We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which he leads us all end in glory and immortality. It is true they may not be smooth paths–they may be covered with sharp flinty trials, but they lead to the “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant.” Let us put full trust in our Leader, since we know that, come prosperity or adversity, sickness or health, popularity or contempt, his purpose shall be worked out, and that purpose shall be pure, unmingled good to every heir of mercy. We shall find it sweet to go up the bleak side of the hill with Christ; and when rain and snow blow into our faces, his dear love will make us far more blest than those who sit at home and warm their hands at the world’s fire. To the top of Amana, to the dens of lions, or to the hills of leopards, we will follow our Beloved. Precious Jesus, draw us, and we will run after thee.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

God Conquers Our Enemies

God has conquered all our enemies

EPHESIANS 6

EPHESIANS 6Swored

How well are you running the race?

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 

Running the Race

As he watched athletes training for and competing in their games, Paul saw an illustration of the struggles and victories of the Christian life. Although our final victory over death through Christ is always assured, we must strive for daily victory over the issues and temptations we face now. 

We discipline ourselves, not in order to earn salvation, but to experience the joy and victory God intends for us now! 

Look hard at your spiritual life. Are you vigorously participating in the game, barely keeping pace, or merely watching from the stands?

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Jesus, “Please make me over!”

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Transformed by Jesus

Acts 4:1–37

When women kindly ask me to sign their copies of my books, I sometimes write, “To Susan the Beautiful!”

“Oh, no!” Susan (or Kathy or Linda) will protest, turning red. “I’m not beautiful.”

“Sure you are,” I insist, as I add my signature. “It says so right in the Bible.” As further proof, I jot down “Psalm 149:4” and encourage them to look it up. You see, it’s God’s gift of salvation that makes us truly beautiful, inside and out. Nothing transforms a woman’s appearance more than being covered from head to toe in the grace of God’s Son.

I know this beautifying process is legitimate because I’ve seen it happen again and again. When women come to know the Lord in a real and personal way, their frown lines begin to soften. A sparkle appears in their eyes, and a radiance falls over their countenance.

We have proven scientifically that such physical changes occur when we fall in love: glowing skin, sparkling eyes, increased heart rate. And for some of us, similar improvements take place when we’re expecting a child. Conventional wisdom says that “all brides are beautiful” and “pregnant women glow.” It’s chemical, hormonal, and very real.

Why not at the spiritual level too? When you allow the Lord to fill your heart with his boundless love, it shows on the outside. This beauty has nothing to do with cosmetics or plastic surgery. On the contrary, it’s an inside job: A heart full of love produces a face full of joy.

When I stepped into a church for the first time as an adult, I was amazed to see pew after pew of attractive women. Is this a requirement of membership? I wondered. Maybe they’re all Mary Kay consultants!

Soon I learned the happy truth: Such beauty is a gift from God. Unlike lipstick and blush, which seldom last longer than a few hours, spiritual beauty is timeless. It literally pours out of your pores and alters your appearance in a most appealing way. People will think you’ve had a face-lift, when in fact you’ve had a faith-lift.

—Liz Curtis Higgs

Reflection

  1. Why were people so astounded by Peter and John’s courage?
  2. Based on your knowledge of the Bible, what had happened to transform them so radically?
  3. How have you experienced a “faith-lift” since walking with Christ? How does it reflect outwardly?

Acts 4:13
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Related Readings

Psalm 149:1–9Isaiah 61:1–31 Corinthians 1:26–31

God encourages you by his promises

dailydevotion

Morning

“Bring him unto me.”
Mark 9:19

Despairingly the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed, but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus’ word, “Bring him unto me.” Children are a precious gift from God, but much anxiety comes with them. They may be a great joy or a great bitterness to their parents; they may be filled with the Spirit of God, or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one receipt for the curing of all their ills, “Bring him unto me.” O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf while they are yet babes! Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries which betoken their actual advent into a world of sin. In the days of their youth we shall see sad tokens of that dumb and deaf spirit which will neither pray aright, nor hear the voice of God in the soul, but Jesus still commands, “Bring them unto me.” When they are grown up they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God; then when our hearts are breaking we should remember the great Physician’s words, “Bring them unto me.” Never must we cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives.

The Lord sometimes suffers his people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary he is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts, drive us to flee to the strong for strength, and this is a great blessing to us. Whatever our morning’s need may be, let it like a strong current bear us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, he delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to him while he waits to meet us.

Evening

“Encourage him.”
Deuteronomy 1:38

God employs his people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, “Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan–go, encourage him.” God never works needless miracles; if his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses. A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master’s bidding than the people’s temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family. Brethren, take the text as God’s message to you. Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumblingblocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)