ALL THE WRONG REASONS :
Luke 15:28 “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.”
If this elder son had considered his brother, he would have rejoiced at his return even as his father did. Rather, he was totally self-centered (that’s pride) and became angry. This illustrates Proverbs 13:10; “only by pride cometh contention.”
How can we esteem others better than ourselves when in truth we really think we are better than others? Some people are better athletes than others. Some are better businessmen than others. Some are better speakers than others, and so forth. First, we need to recognize that our accomplishments don’t make us better than others. There is a difference between what we do and who we are.
Better performance does not make a better person. A person’s character can be severely wanting even though his performance is good. A classic example of this is found in the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They did the right things for all the wrong reasons. Inside they were corrupt. So our evaluation of others needs to change. God judges by looking on the inside, not the outside (1 Sam. 16:7). We need to esteem others on a different basis than what most of us do.
Secondly, to esteem someone better than ourselves simply means to value them more than we value ourselves. To some that may seem impossible, but it isn’t.
It is exactly what Jesus did. If Jesus, who was God in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), could humble Himself and value our good above His own welfare, then we should certainly be able to do the same. It can happen when we die to self and live to God.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO FALL :
Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. – 2 Peter 1:10
You shall never fall. When you think about it, that’s a startling statement, isn’t it? Most of us have been tripped up by the devil so many times we don’t like to think about it.
But the Word of God says it doesn’t have to be that way. He says there’s something that can keep us on our feet. What is it? Diligence.
If you haven’t already, you need to realize how important diligence is. You need to face the fact that you simply can’t live a life of victory without it.
You can’t stand strong on the Word of God and not pick your Bible up during the week. Sunday morning alone isn’t going to get the job done. Yet most believers try to get by on that. That’s precisely why we have thousands of churches all over the world filled with born-again people who don’t have enough faith to blow their hats off. No diligence.
I remember several years ago when I ministered to a lady who was healed of cancer. She’d gotten into the Word, taken a stand of faith, and had been delivered. But several years later she called me and said, “Brother Copeland, I wish you’d pray for me. This cancer has come back on me again.”
Right away I recalled the scripture the Lord had given us to stand on those years before: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” So I said, “Get your Bible and let’s go back to Isaiah 54:17.”
In the background I could hear her whispering to someone else in the room,
“Where’s my Bible?” When I heard that, I almost cried out. I knew she wasn’t going to make it. Why? No diligence.
Listen, this is a daily thing. The devil’s out there 24 hours a day devising ways to make us fall. Jesus is on the throne 24 hours a day giving us power to resist him, and we need to be exercising our faith all the time.
If you’re going to stand in the days ahead, you’re going to need a lot more than Sunday school faith. You’re going to need some full-grown, mountain-moving faith, and there’s only one way to get that: By giving yourself to the Word more diligently than you ever have before.
Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; and no matter how slippery the situation gets, you won’t have to fall!
GET GOD’S WORD FOR IT :
MATTHEW 4:4 – …He [Jesus] answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
When the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus turned the Word of God on him, saying, “It is written…It is written…It is written…” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)
Likewise, should the devil remind you of the pain in your body, say what God’s Word says: “It is written, ‘By His stripes I am healed!’” (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24) And tell Daddy God, “I have Your Word for it and I am standing on Your Word. I am not trying to be healed. My healing has already happened. I don’t care what this body says. It has to line up with Your Word because by Jesus’ stripes I am healed!”
And if the devil says to you, “Look at the meager balance in your bank account. How are you going to pay your bills?” just say, “I’m not going to worry because I know that my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) It doesn’t matter how much I have in the bank. God’s Word tells me that as the need arises, the supply will be there!”
When fear grips you, don’t say to yourself, “This fear is stupid. Come on, what are the chances of it happening to me?” Don’t try to rationalize or reason your fear away. Instead, speak God’s Word into the situation. Say, “It is written, ‘For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’” (2 Timothy 1:7) What if the fear returns? Speak God’s Word again. Say, “It is written, ‘For God has not given me a spirit of fear…’”
When the devil tries to deceive you, give him the Word of God. There is something about the Word of God that causes him not to want to hang around those who use it. It reminds him of Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), who rendered him powerless and of no effect when He said, “It is written…”
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7
The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, are known for their beautiful sweaters. Patterns are woven into the fabric using sheep’s wool to craft the garments. Many of them relate to the culture and folklore of these small islands, but some are more personal. Each family on the islands has its own trademark pattern, which is so distinctive that if a fisherman were to drown it is said that he could be identified simply by examining his sweater for the family trademark.
In John’s first letter, the apostle describes things that are to be trademarks of those who are members of God’s family. In 1 John 3:1, John affirms that we are indeed part of God’s family by saying, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” He then describes the trademarks of those who are the children of God, including, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (4:7).
Because “love is of God,” the chief way to reflect the heart of the Father is by displaying the love that characterizes Him. May we allow His love to reach out to others through us—for love is one of our family trademarks.
Father, teach me to love with the love of Christ that others might see Your love reflected in my care and concern for them. May Your love drive and dominate my responses to life and to others.
Love is the family resemblance the world should see in followers of Christ.
RECOGNIZE WHAT YOU HAVE :
“So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him” – (1 Samuel 17:50, NIV)
So often we focus on what we don’t have, how big our obstacles are, and how bad the economy is. “I don’t have the connections. I’ve got this problem, but I don’t have anybody to help me. I’ve got this dream, but I don’t have the resources.” No, here is what I’ve learned; everything you need to fulfill your destiny is within reach. God will always use something that’s close to you. It may not look extraordinary, but you have what it takes to fulfill your destiny.
When David faced the giant, Goliath, all he had was a slingshot and five stones. It looked ordinary. He could have thought, “I’m not going to face Goliath. That would be foolish. I don’t have a chance.” No, David knew that with God on his side, those ordinary stones would be exactly what he needed. Sure enough, David defeated Goliath and made history.
Today, remember, victory isn’t about what you have, it’s about God’s anointing on what you have. With God on your side, all things are possible! Focus on Him and what He can do in your life because He has extraordinary things in store for you.
Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
Spend time today praying in the Holy Spirit. Your prayer language will help build your faith!
Say: Holy Spirit you are my daily guide and You lead me into victory in every area of life.
The “All” of Belief
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23)
Our unbelief is the greatest hindrance in our way; in fact, there is no other real difficulty as to our spiritual progress and prosperity. The Lord can do everything; but when He makes a rule that according to our faith so shall it be unto us, our unbelief ties the hands of His omnipotence.
Yes, the confederacies of evil shall be scattered if we can but believe. Despised truth shall lift its head if we will but have confidence in the God of truth. We can bear our load of trouble or pass uninjured through the waves of distress if we can gird our loins with the girdle of peace, that girdle which is buckled on by the hands of trust.
What can we not believe? Is everything possible except believing in God? Yet He is always true; why do we not believe in Him? He is always faithful to His word; why can we not trust Him? When we are in a right state of heart, faith costs no effort: it is then as natural for us to rely upon God as for a child to trust his father.
The worst of it is that we can believe God about everything except the present pressing trial. This is folly. Come, my soul, shake off such sinfulness, and trust thy God with the load, the labor, the longing of this present. This done, all is done.
The Son’s Heartbeat For You
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.3 John 1:2, KJV
Let’s say that you are now in your nineties. Someone comes along and asks you, “Sir, you have been a Christian for a very long time. You have seen much and done much with God by your side. You have prayed all kinds of prayers too. So what would you place as top priority when you pray for people?”
I believe the apostle John was asked a similar question and his reply was, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” When the apostle John wrote 3 John, he was already a very old man and probably the only disciple of the original 12 who was still alive. It had been so long ago since he last walked alongside his beloved Lord, and witnessed His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
The apostle John had also leaned on the Lord’s bosom on the night of the Last Supper. And I believe that there on Jesus’ bosom, he must have felt the heartbeat of the Son of God — that loving and compassionate heartbeat which had caused Him to go about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. (Acts 10:38) In fact, two-thirds of Jesus’ ministry on earth had to do with healing the sick.
And now, nearing the end of his life, and after all he had heard, seen and experienced, the apostle John prioritized, above all things, health as well as prosperity. He said, “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” He knew the Lord’s heartbeat. He knew that the Lord wants and will always want these for His people.
Jesus had prioritized divine healing during His earthly ministry. And Jesus, who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), will do the same for you today. His heart still beats for you. He will never miss an opportunity to do good to you, to heal you of your broken body, emotional scars and weary spirit, and to prosper you!
Thought For The Day
The Lord wants and will always want health and prosperity for His people.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY :
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” (Psalm 62:1)
Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. You arise in the midst of trumpet sounds from the east at dawn. Angels are singing hymns of praise around the throne of grace when those beautiful butterflies are hovering in the House of the Lord. Every knee shall bow and every tongue should confess before God for You are the great Creator for the living world. May the unfailing love of God cling to me like the morning dew clings to the flower!
Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!!
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