Did you know that fear works just like faith but in the opposite direction? Faith opens the door for God to work in our lives; fear opens the door for the enemy to work in our lives.
The Bible says that fear has torment. Fear has no mercy. If you act on fear instead of acting on faith, it will keep you depressed, miserable and lonely. So many people today are missing out on God’s joy, peace and victory because they keep giving in to fear. They feed fear by what they watch on TV or at the movies. They worry and dwell on all the bad things. Don’t let that be you! Romans tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The more you fill your heart and mind with God’s Word, the stronger you will be so you can stand against the powers of darkness.
Remember, the power that is in you is greater than the power of fear. When thoughts come that say, “You’re not able,” choose faith by saying, “I can do all things through Christ!” Choose faith today so you can overcome fear and live in the freedom and victory God has in store for you!
ARE YOU JEALOUS?
‘Jealousy is like cancer in the bones.’ Proverbs 14:30 NLT
Christian educator Henrietta Mears said, ‘The man who keeps busy helping the man below him, won’t have time to envy the man above him.’ Doctor Seuss wrote hundreds of children’s stories. One of his most famous is about the Grinch, a cartoon character who gets so jealous of others that he ends up biting himself. Jealousy does that. It targets others, but ends up consuming you. God blessed King Saul and lifted him from obscurity to the highest position in Israel. But when David slew Goliath and won the adulation of the people, Saul started acting insecure and threatened. Instead of rejoicing that God had sent David to help him, he grew resentful and became ‘David’s enemy from that time forward.’ (1 Samuel 18:29 NRS) The Bible says, ‘A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.’ Jealousy is malignant; left unchecked it can destroy every relationship in your life. It poisons your attitude by making you compare yourself with others. It robs you of joy and contentment. You become ungrateful and self-centred. It makes you assume that God’s resources aren’t sufficient for Him to bless others and still bless you. Saul’s jealousy cost him his throne, his family, his respect in the eyes of the people, and ultimately his life. Don’t let jealousy do that to you. Repent before it robs you of your destiny. God made all of us His children when none of us deserved it. So when you feel resentful of somebody else’s blessings, ask God to remind you of the many ways in which He has blessed you even when you didn’t deserve it.
How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! —Psalm 119:103
A while ago I attended a conference on the Middle Ages. In one seminar we actually prepared several foods that would have been common in medieval times. We used pestle and mortar to grind cinnamon and fruit to make jam. We cut orange rinds and broiled them with honey and ginger to produce a sweet snack. We crushed almonds with water and other ingredients to create almond milk. And, finally, we prepared a whole chicken to serve as a main dish with rice. As we sampled these dishes, we enjoyed a tasty culinary experience.
When it comes to spiritual food for our souls, God has given us a varied menu that we can chew on and savor. In doing so, we can be filled and satisfied. The historic books, poetry, wisdom literature, prophecy, and other parts of the Bible strengthen us when we are weak, give us wisdom and encouragement, and nourish us for the day’s journey (Ps. 19:7-14; 119:97-104; Heb. 5:12). As the psalmist tells us: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103).
So what are we waiting for? God has set before us a banquet of delectable spiritual food and calls us to come and dine. We are all invited!
Thank You, Lord, that You call me to Your table to feast on Your Word. I know that I need it for my spiritual nourishment and to grow close to You. I open my heart to You now.
The Bible is the bread of life, and it never gets stale.
“Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]” (Hebrews 4:11, AMP).
“Laboring to enter into the rest” sounds like an oxymoron, but it means to do what we need to do in order to believe. Entering His rest simply means we resign from trusting our own human abilities to succeed in life. Instead, we trust His ability.
The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Genesis 39:2).
Beloved, have you ever wondered what was it about Joseph that made him successful? The Bible says that even when he was a slave in Egypt, with not a cent to his name, he was a successful man. Success is not defined by what you have today, but who you have! You may not have the necessary academic qualifications, natural connections with the right people or a bank account filled with money, but when you have Jesus, you have everything! Just like Joseph, because the presence of Jesus is with you, you are already a success.
JESUS COMMANDS US TO LOVE AND TO GIVE
Too often we look only at what other people are doing for us instead of what we are doing for them. However, the Bible instructs us to look out for the needs of one another, to look for ways to serve others, and to walk in love with each other.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands us to love: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love is so important, because every person needs love. People in the world are hungry for love; they’re looking for a source of real, genuine love. Proverbs 19:22 tells us that What a man desires is unfailing love.
We, as Christians, have an opportunity to give that love, which the world desperately desires. So instead of wondering why you’re not getting the love you should get, decide to give the love you should give.
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height —
19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
BE JOYFUL AT ALL TIMES
Jesus promises that we will suffer. In Matthew 10:17-18, Jesus warns his followers, “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. “Although that quote may seem distant or irrelevant to Christians today, the point remains that, in the words of Christ, “if the head of the house [Jesus himself] has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!”
Not only does Jesus promise that believers must suffer, the Apostle Paul assures us that the path to being an heir of God demands sharing in the sufferings of Christ (Romans 8:17). Similarly, Paul writes this to those in the church at Philippi: it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him (Philippians 1:29).
Clearly, we, as Christians, will not be spared affliction. (In addition to the Scriptures above, see Acts 9:15-16, Philippians 3:10-11, and 1 Timothy 1:8-9.)
Despite being assured affliction and suffering, Christ-followers can be joyful nonetheless.
We can be joyful not by creating a bubbly-faced facade of happiness to hide reality but rather by confidently knowing that, in the face of immense sin and suffering, we are secure in Christ. Why fear and be saddened by those who can only kill the body when you’re protected by Him who can keep you from hell (Luke 12:4-7)? Or, to put it positively, rejoice that you have received the Holy Spirit, who guarantees your eternal salvation—and thus, your eternal joy (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
The faith that justifies is the very same faith that satisfies. Saving faith satisfies us by weaning us from the short-lived satisfaction of sin to ultimate satisfaction in Christ.
Thus, despite the fact that suffering will come even—or, perhaps, especially—to us who profess faith in Christ, we can have great joy not because we are spared affliction but because we are completely satisfied in Christ.
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