God has conquered all our enemies

God has conquered all our enemies

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Are you wearing the full armor of God?

Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.

Ephesians 6:10-18

About This Week’s Promise

This is perhaps the Bible’s most comprehensive teaching about the resources believers have to overcome evil. Spiritual forces lurk behind many of our conflicts. Therefore, you should not attack the people manipulated by evil but focus directly on the evil itself. Rely on truth, faith, the power of your testimony, the wisdom of God’s word, and the power of prayer. When these are mobilized, evil succumbs, God wins, and you win.

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

Lies will be exposed

Lies will be exposed

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

What’s wrong with a little plagiarism?

“I hate and abhor all falsehood, but I love your law.”   Psalm 119:163 

Kidnapping of the Brainchild

“In an essay for Time magazine, Lance Morrow writes about “kidnapping the brainchild”:

book critic for a newspaper plagiarized an old essay of mine. Someone sent the thing to me. There on the page, under another man’s name, my words had taken up a new life — clause upon clause, whole paragraphs transplanted. My phrases ambled along dressed in the same meanings.…It argued and whistled and waved to friends. It acted very much at home. My sentences had gone over into a parallel universe, which was another writer’s work.…The thoughts were mine, all right. But they were tricked up as another man’s inner life, a stranger’s…

The Commandments warn against stealing, against bearing false witness, against coveting. Plagiarius is kidnapper in Latin. The plagiarist snatches the writer’s brainchildren, pieces of his soul…

The only charming plagiarism belongs to the young. Schoolchildren shovel information out of an encyclopedia. Gradually they complicate the burglary, taking two or three reference books instead of one. The mind (still on the wrong side of the law) then deviously begins to intermingle passages, reshuffle sentences, disguise raw chunks from the Britannica, find synonyms, reshape information until it becomes something like the student’s own. A writer, as Saul Bellow has said, “is a reader moved to emulation.” Knowledge transforms theft. An autonomous mind emerges from the sloughed skin of the plagiarist.”

Lance Morrow, “Kidnapping the Brainchild,”, Time, 3 December 1990, 126. Quoted in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes by R. Kent Hughes (Tyndale) p 133

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

Overcoming discouragement

Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

How do you remind yourself of God’s leading in the past?

Joshua said to the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: …I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him to the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendents through his son Isaac.… Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I brought terrible plagues on Egypt; and afterward I brought you out as a free people.… With your very own eyes you saw what I did.… Finally, I brought you into the land of the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave you victory over them, and you took possession of their land.… When you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you. There were also many others who fought you. … It was not your swords or bows that brought you victory. I gave you land you had not worked for, and I gave you cities you did not build—the cities in which you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them.

Joshua 24:2-13

Joshua’s story of hope

Joshua reminded a discouraged people of all the times God had provided for them and demonstrated his goodness. Reviewing past blessings can encourage us to continue to serve God faithfully. Keep records—through a journal or a scrapbook—of the love God has shown for you. When you need encouragement, review what God has already done, revisiting the mementos of his work in your life. And read the Bible in order to refresh your knowledge of the many blessings God has given his people throughout history.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 208

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

Have you seen leaders unable to overcome “drag coefficient”?

Have you seen leaders unable to overcome “drag coefficient”?

Return unto the Lord thy God

O God, have mercy on me. The enemy troops press in on me. My foes attack me all day long. My slanderers hound me constantly, and many are boldly attacking me.

Psalm 56:1-2 NLT

Without wise leadership, a nation fails; with many counselors, there is safety.

Proverbs 11:14 NLT

The drag on leadership

Leaders have grand vision, and great visions are reached overnight.… Leadership by nature pushes against a high drag coefficient. Drag is the resistance air gives to the body of airplanes or automobiles as they move through air.… The drag on leadership is so great that it threatens to bring leaders to a grinding halt unless they have an extraordinary level of God-inspired perseverance.

Leadership is more about perseverance than about speed. Psalm 132:1 says, “Lord, remember David and all that he suffered.” David was one of the greatest — and most successful — leaders in Israel’s history, yet his life was marked by continual, extreme hardship.

For example, after the prophet Samuel anointed David as the next king of Israel, King Saul repeatedly attempted to kill David. David had to wander in the desert and in foreign lands for years as a fugitive with several hundred outcasts. David was the anointed leader of Israel, but he endured a lifetime of hardships as Israel’s shepherd.

So don’t be surprised by the drag coefficient of leadership. With God’s help, you can endure it and overcome.
CRAIG BRIAN LARSON

adapted from Leadership Devotions compiled by the editors of Christianity Today International, Tyndale House Publishers (2001), pp 170-71


Being a general calls for different talents from being a soldier.
TITUS LIVY

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


 

Staying pure

Staying pure

“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules. I have tried my best to find you — don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:9-11 NLT

Piling on

In the game of football it’s called “piling on”: You’re already down when suddenly you get pummeled again by your opponent. In real life it’s called spiritual warfare, and it’s often disguised. You’re suffering through a hard time when suddenly the enemy comes at you with what actually looks like relief.

Ah, how vulnerable we are in such moments! After all I’ve had to endure lately, I think I deserve a little break! How easy it is to rationalize! Would it really be so wrong for me to ________? Why not?

Of course, this is the nature of temptation. On the front end, sin looks “heavenly.” On the back side, it is always hellish and makes bad situations worse.

Our only hope is in living out the promise that God’s Word can keep us from sin. By filling our hearts and minds with the truth of God’s Word, we are able to recognize the enemy’s lies. That is how we stay pure in hard, tempting times (see Matthew 4:1-11). It is how we avoid Satan’s deceptive attempts to hit us again when we’re down.

Praying God’s Promise:
God, when I hide your Word in my heart, I can keep from sinning! Grant me the wisdom to seek you and to hide your Word in my heart. I need discernment to apply your truth to everyday situations, especially when I am going through difficult times.

from Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Wood (Tyndale) pp 170-71

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

Peace in Relationships

Peace in Relationships

“Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must take allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NLT

Attaining peace

[Jon Farrar addresses marriages, but his comments apply to other relationships as well.] Maintaining peace in any relationship is very difficult. Each one of us is a unique individual who interprets and views things differently. Whether in relationships in the church, among family and friends, or in our marriages, conflict is natural. When conflict comes, we need to follow Christ’s example by showing love and forgiveness in difficult situations. God loved us when we were still sinners in rebellion against him (Romans 5:9). We need to show that same type of love to others by being kind, merciful, and patient.

Do you long for peace in your marriage? Ask Jesus to point out times when you have not been forgiving, areas where you need to be patient, and ways you can express genuine love to each other. That is how we have peace in our marriages — when we look for ways to love and forgive each other.

from Praying God’s Promises for My Marriage by Jon Farrar (Tyndale) pp 42-43

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

What is the best time to pray?

Our prayers bring us into God’s presence

What is the best time to pray?

We can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.

1 John 5:14-15

I love the Lord because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!

Psalm 116:1-2

Seize any time

And talking of sleepiness, I entirely agree with you that no one in his senses, if he has any power of ordering his own day, would reserve his chief prayers for bedtime—obviously the worst possible hour for any action which needs concentration. The trouble is that thousands of unfortunate people can hardly find any other. Even for us, who are the lucky ones, it is not always easy. My own plan, when hard-pressed, is to seize any time and place, however unsuitable, in preference to the last waking moment. On a day of travelling—with, perhaps, some ghastly meeting at the end of it—I’d rather pray sitting in a crowded train than put it off till midnight when one reaches a hotel bedroom with aching head and dry throat and one’s mind partly in a stupor and partly in a whirl. On other, and slightly less crowded, days a bench in a park or a back street where one can pace up and down will do.

C. S. Lewis in Letters to Malcolm
Quoted in The Quotable Lewis edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root (Tyndale House) p 493)

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