Luke 12:58 “When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.”
Jesus had just spoken about relationships before He gave this parable of delivering ourselves from the judge. The warning is clear that we should do everything within our power to avoid strife (Rom. 12:18). However, the consequences of failing to settle the differences are more than just physical prison or punishment.
Strife can produce spiritual and emotional prisons. James 3:16 says, “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Depressions, fears, loneliness, bitterness, sicknesses, financial problems, and many other things can become prisons from which we will not be delivered until we reconcile.
The dictionary states that to reconcile means “to re-establish friendship between; to settle or resolve, as a dispute” (American Heritage). The key to reconciliation is effectively dealing with the enmity, ill will, hatred, or hostility that has caused the dispute. There are several approaches to reconciliation that may be applied. For instance, If we’ve offended someone by an unkind word that we’ve spoken, we can apologize. If we owe money to someone, we can pay the debt. If we’ve done something to someone we can make the necessary restitution. But in every case, reconciliation lies in dealing effectively with the root cause of the enmity.
The enmity between man and God was sin. God took the initiative to remove this barrier through the means and agency of Jesus Christ, thus leaving Him and man as friends once again. Thank God for His great love!
SMALL WAYS IN SMALL PLACES
For who has despised the day of small things? —Zechariah 4:10
Often I meet with people who serve in what they think are seemingly small ways in small places. They are frequently discouraged by loneliness, feeling that their acts of service are insignificant. When I hear them speak, I think of one of the angels in C. S. Lewis’ book Out of the Silent Planet. He said: “My people have a law never to speak of sizes or numbers to you. . . . It makes you do reverence to nothings and pass by what is really great.”
Sometimes culture says bigger is better—that size is the truest measure of success. It takes a strong person to resist that trend, especially if he or she is laboring in a small place. But we must not “pass by what is really great.”
It’s not that numbers aren’t important (after all, the apostles counted their converts; see Acts 2:41). Numbers represent living people with eternal needs. We should all work and pray for large numbers of people to enter the kingdom, but numbers mustn’t be the basis for self-esteem.
God doesn’t call us to find fulfillment in the amount of work we do for Him, or the number of people who are a part of that work, but in faithfully doing our work for His sake. Serving our great God with His strength in a small way is not a stepping-stone to greatness—it is greatness.
Lord, help me remember that there are no small places or small people. All are precious in Your sight. May I see the value of my work and cherish it as You do.
Anyone doing God’s work in God’s way is important in His sight.
GIVE MORE–NOT LESS :
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that with holdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. – Proverbs 11:24
When money gets tight, it’s always a temptation to cut down on your giving. After all, it seems like the logical thing to do. Don’t do it! You’ll end up cutting off the flow of God’s financial blessings just when you need them most.
I faced that kind of situation just a few years ago. This ministry had fallen behind financially–one million dollars to be exact. Gloria and I had been living by faith for 20 years at that time. We knew firsthand that God would meet our needs–“according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). We’d seen God prove that over and over again, not only in our personal lives but in the life of our ministry as well.
Yet this particular time, all the prayers and the faith that had brought us victory before just didn’t seem to get the job done. In fact, as time went on, the situation grew worse instead of better.
By the end of the year our deficit had grown to be a million dollars.
Frustrated and weary, I finally went to God one day and laid the situation out before Him. “Lord,” I said, “You see the condition of this ministry. I need a million dollars just to break even.”
“Oh no, you don’t!” the Lord replied.
I could hardly believe it. How could He possibly be telling me that I didn’t need a million dollars? Hadn’t He looked at the books? Hadn’t He talked to my accountant? I was stumped. All I could figure was that I’d misunderstood something. So I went through it all again.
Again He said, “Oh no, you don’t.”
Despite my initial confusion, as I kept asking and listening, I began to understand what the Lord was telling me. He was saying that the red ink on the books wasn’t the only thing wrong. There was a bigger problem behind it.
Then He showed me what I needed to do was to start giving ten percent of the ministry’s income into ministering to the poor.
To the natural mind that looked like no solution at all. How do you solve a deficit by giving away what money you’ve got? But when I applied that solution, the million dollar deficit began to disappear.
Remember that next time the devil tries to put the squeeze on you. Break his hold on your finances by giving more instead of less. It won’t be long until the prosperity of God is poured out on you!
THE LONELINESS OF LEADERSHIP :
‘…That you may not bear it yourself alone.’ Numbers 11:17 NKJV
Moses said to God, ‘Why have You…laid the burden of all these people on me?’
(Numbers 11:11 NKJV) God replied, ‘…Gather to Me seventy men… I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them…that you may not bear it yourself alone.’ (Numbers 11:16-17 NKJV) Identify your God-given strengths, then delegate the rest to those who have strengths in your areas of weakness. Every leader is responsible for areas in which they have little or no competence. And when they try to exercise authority in those areas, they hinder everything and everybody under their watch. Put bluntly, there are things you are responsible for that you’ll never be good at, that you need to keep your nose out of and give to others!
Why do we have such a hard time doing this?
(1) Pride. Success is intoxicating and intoxicated people don’t think too clearly. We assume our abilities are broader than they actually are. Admitting weakness doesn’t make you less effective; it just confirms what everybody around you already knows!
(2) Ignorance. We feel bad about delegating our weak areas because we assume everybody hates to do what we hate to do. Not so. You’re allowing others to shine; your limitations are opportunities.
(3)Independence. We think if the job is to be done ‘right’ we must do it ourselves. But leadership isn’t just about getting things done; it’s about getting things done through others. If you can’t find somebody to hand things to, look in the mirror! The people who follow you are exactly where you’ve led them! If you’ve nobody to delegate things to, guess who needs to change?
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.
SEE THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED :
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. – John 19:30
What do you see when it comes to healing for your sick body, restoration for your failing marriage or breakthroughs for your financial woes? Do you see a finished work or a work that is yet to be completed?
God wants you to know that what you desperately need Him to do for you has already been done! Jesus’ finished work at the cross so satisfied the Father’s heart that from heaven’s throne came the pronouncement, “It is done!” (Revelation 16:17) in response to Jesus’ cry, “It is finished!” on earth. So God wants you to have this revelation that whatever you need Him to do for you has already been done because Jesus has accomplished it all for you.
If you need healing, know that your healing has been accomplished. If you need restoration for your marriage, know that your restoration has been accomplished. You are not going to die from any lack — you have been abundantly supplied. All these things have been accomplished, not by you, but by Christ alone!
My friend, if you are bothered by a pain in your body, God wants you to see your healing finished or accomplished for you by His Son’s death on the cross. If it is a loss or debt you face, or a certain sin that you are struggling with, believe that your provision, restoration and deliverance have been accomplished for you.
Don’t worry about what you see or feel, or the presence of contradicting reports. These are lying symptoms and though they may seem very real, they are temporal and not the truth. God’s Word is the truth and it will remain because it is eternal. And when you believe that only what God’s Word says about your situation is the truth, all the lying symptoms will eventually have to line up with His Word.
God the Son says, “It is finished!”
God the Father says, “It is done!”
What do you say?
Thought For The Day :
Whatever you need God to do for you has been done because Jesus has accomplished it all for you at the cross.
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