Archive for July, 2013

July 17, 2013: 8:38 pm: God in us

Philippians 1:12-19

12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ. 15 Some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul was in jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he could have been freed had he not appealed to Caesar. (Acts 25:10) He was in Rome under house arrest, and had a Roman guard chained to him 24 hours a day. Paul realized that tough times set up great possibilities. The guard was changed every 12 hours and every one of them knew why he was in chains. And many of the guards became Christians because of Paul’s witness. Paul was using his difficulty to spread the Word of God. As a common Roman citizen he could never have reach the people in Caesar’s palace. but as a prisoner waiting to go before Caesar, he had opportunity to bring many to Christ. Paul had learned to never give up. He knew that God was in control and that God does not always deliver us from our adversity, but He always brings us through it. It is not abnormal to have problems. Problems are a sign of life. If we do not have problems, we are in the grave. If you are going through a difficult time, don’t pray to be removed, pray for courage and direction to get through. God can heal any illness, any disease and He can bring the right people into your life for help in a time of need. Pray for strength, pray for wisdom and direction. Pray for Jesus Christ to be your focus. Read how Paul handled the tough times and see how God brought him through. God will do the same for you what ever your problem is.

Have a God Day!

 

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July 10, 2013: 9:52 pm: Sanctification

Isaiah 48:9-11
9 Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out. 10 I have refined you but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. 11 I will rescue you for my sake-yes, for my own sake! That way, the pagan nations will not be able to claim that their gods have conquered me. I will not let them have my glory!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Faith in Christ does not guarantee personal prosperity, and lack of faith does not guarantee troubles in this life. If this were so people would believe in Him simply to get what they want. Faith based on rewards or prosperity is hollow. To be unshakable, faith must be built on the confidence that God is sovereign. Believing and obeying God does not shelter us from life’s calamities. Matthew 5:45 tells, us “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Suffering in this life is a fact and our faith in God does not shelter us from it. While God may allow us to suffer for a reason beyond our understanding, He is never caught by surprise by our troubles and is always with us through the storm. We must remember that we live in a fallen world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. Not that we can see in this world, but sin will always be punished and our faith in Christ will always be rewarded by Him Who will judge us all. But in this life we will not always see or understand why things happen. Sometimes it is not for us to understand. God may allow us to suffer for a reason beyond our understanding. It is our faith in Him that will strengthen us and see us through to the end. It is always within God’s power to meet our need, but it is not always done by Him the way we think it should be. We need to trust that He is in control and that He will work all things out for our good. This is the test in suffering, “Will we trust Him?” Will we keep on praising Him when life is not fair? Will we believe that He will never leave us and that He will keep us safe in His love? Don’t allow Satan to overcome your faith in God by allowing your troubles to cause you sin. Continue to believe that God will do everything He said He would do and endure to the end even though you do not understand.

Have a God Day!

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