And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. – Matthew 23:10-12
In Romans 12:10 we are admonished to desire the welfare of others more than our own; to like others better than ourselves. That is an awesome command that is only obtainable through God’s supernatural love. If this very simple, yet very profound truth could be understood and applied, then strife would cease (Prov. 13:10). The world would see Christianity as never before, and we would discover the true joy that comes from serving someone besides ourselves.
There is much confusion today on the subject of love because we have only one English word (love) to describe a broad aspect of meanings. For example, if I said, “I love my wife, I love apple pie, and I love my dog,” obviously I am not talking about love in the same degree or definition.
God’s type of love; the highest kind of love, is AGAPE. This is when we seek the welfare or betterment of others even when we don’t feel affection. AGAPE love does not come from one’s feelings. Jesus displayed this AGAPE kind of love by going to the cross and dying for us even though He didn’t feel like dying. Jesus sought the betterment of you and me, regardless of His feelings.
We, too, can AGAPE love our enemies even though we don’t have a warm feeling of affection for them. If they are hungry we can feed them; if they are thirsty we can give them a drink. We can choose to seek the betterment and welfare of others regardless of how we feel.
If anyone becomes a servant and humbles himself with the motive of being exalted, then he is not truly fulfilling Jesus’ command. Jesus is teaching about a true, servant’s heart, that loves others more than itself and will joyfully go without so that someone else may prosper.
HE HAS ANOTHER SEED FOR YOU :
..For God has appointed another seed for me… – Genesis 4:25, NKJV
In Genesis, Eve went through a great disappointment. Her son Cain killed her son Able which was the first murder in the Bible. I’m sure Eve, like any mother, was devastated and heartbroken at the passing of her son. But I love what Eve said in Genesis 4:25, “God has appointed another seed for me.” In essence, she was saying, “I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense, but I trust God. This is not the end. He has appointed another seed.”
Friend, when you go through things that you don’t understand, it is not the end. Nothing is lost in the kingdom. God is going to appoint another seed, and that seed represents the future. It indicates what is coming. If you will let go of what didn’t work out, let go of the hurts and pains, then for everything you’ve lost, God will appoint another seed. You’ll give birth to more in the future than you’ve lost in the past. Keep praying, keep believing, keep hoping because God is for you. Trust Him and embrace the good things He has in store for your future!
“O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him” (Psalm 34:8, AMP).
It is a great blessing to experience the goodness of the Lord through His manifested promises. We are fortunate and happy when we trust and take refuge in Him.
SPIRITUAL ARMOR FOR SPIRITUAL WAR :
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know the first thing about fighting the kind of war in this scripture. For, as Ephesians 6:10-12 says, it’s not a battle of flesh and blood, but of the spirit.
Most believers are so earthly minded (or carnally minded) that they never even realize the actual source of the enemy’s attacks. They blame circumstances and people. They waste their energy fighting natural conditions instead of supernatural causes.
We need to wake up to the warfare that’s going on in the heavenly realm!
We can get a glimpse of it in Daniel 10:12-20. There, we find that Daniel had been fasting and praying for 21 days, awaiting a word from the Lord. Then, an angel appeared to him 21 days later with the answer. What took him so long? He was fighting the enemy in the heavens.
That confuses some people. They say, “Devils fighting in heaven? I thought God reigned in heaven!” What they don’t understand is that the Bible teaches there are three different areas called heaven:
1. The heaven where God resides.
2. The stellar heavens (what we call “outer space”).
3. The heavens around this earth (the atmosphere surrounding this planet).
This last heaven is where spiritual war takes place. (That’s why Ephesians 2:2 calls Satan the prince of the power of the air.) The air is where wicked spirits operate. From there, they attempt to rule the nations assigned to them.
And rule them they will unless the prayers of God’s people keep them from it.
God has an army marching in this land. If we band together, we can prevent the wickedness in high places from ruling our nation. The time has come for us to pray. So, put on your full armor and take your place in the ranks of the faithful in intercession for our country and the nations of the world!
THE ULTIMATE REUNION
We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them. —1 Thessalonians 4:17
I’ll never forget the vigil of sitting by my dad’s bed as he spent his last few days with us before slipping into eternity. To this day the moment of his passing continues to have a profound effect on me. My dad was always there for me. I could call him whenever I needed counsel. I have great memories of our days fishing together; we would talk about God and the Bible, and I would prompt him to tell those fun stories from his youth on the farm.
But when Dad took his last breath, I became aware of the irreversible finality of death. He was gone from this world. And my heart had a vacancy sign hung on its door.
Yet, even in the midst of such loss and grief, God’s Word speaks encouragingly into the emptiness. The apostle Paul teaches us that at the coming of the Lord Jesus, those who have gone on before will rise first and we “shall be caught up together with them . . . . And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). Now that’s a reunion I’m really looking forward to! Not only to be reunited with my dad, but to be with Jesus forever.
C. S. Lewis said, “Christians never say goodbye.” I’m eagerly awaiting that ultimate reunion!
Lord, in the midst of our sorrow and loss, remind us of the glorious eternal reunion that is waiting for us. Comfort us in our grief and fill our hearts with joyful anticipation of the day You will return!
O Death, where is your sting? —1 Corinthians 15:55
SIMPLY SERVING (3) :
‘If you think you are too important to help… you are only fooling yourself.’ Galatians 6:3 NLT
Author of Swim with the Sharks, Harvey Mackay, wrote in his column about Philip Pillsbury of the famous Pillsbury milling family: ‘The tips of three of his fingers were missing… the unmistakable mark of a journeyman grain miller, albeit a somewhat less-than-dexterous one. Philip Pillsbury had an international reputation as a connoisseur of fine foods…but to the troops his reputation as a man willing to do a hard, dirty job was the one that mattered… And you can be sure everyone was aware of it.’ Following in the footsteps of Jesus calls for being service-oriented, not self-absorbed. Often the reason we don’t volunteer is because we think we can’t do it as well as somebody else. We’ve made the mistake of making excellence an idol by buying into the philosophy, ‘If I can’t do it right, I won’t do it at all.’ The fact is, less-than-perfect service is better than the best of intentions. If you’re not willing to do it imperfectly in the beginning, you’ll never get out of the starting gate. Almost everything we do is done poorly at first. That’s how we learn. God’s plan has always been to involve as many people as possible, not have everything run by a few experts. The best of people make mistakes; it’s how you gain knowledge and develop character. The Bible says, ‘If you think you are too important to help… you are only fooling yourself.’ Sometimes you’re called to serve upward to those in authority; other times you’re called to serve downward to those in need. Either way, you’re serving God only when you’re willing to do what’s required.
LET THE LORD BE YOUR DEFENSE
Psalm 94:22 – But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.
Imagine being a poor widow, a stranger in the land and holding one of the lowliest jobs in society. That was Ruth’s situation, so it would have been easy for her to feel vulnerable and defenseless. But because she trusted the Lord (Ruth 1:16), He placed her under Boaz’s protection.
Boaz, the owner of the field she worked in, commanded his young men saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.” (Ruth 2:15) What he was saying to his men was this: “She might be a gleaner, but because I care for her, treat her with respect and make sure she is not put to shame.”
Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus. If you are feeling vulnerable and defenseless right now, imagine Jesus commanding His angels, “Watch over this one who belongs to Me. Make sure he is treated with respect and not put to shame because he is someone I love and someone whom I died for.”
God’s Word tells us that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) No one who has set himself against us can prevail because when God is for us, His protection is upon us. That is why I have never answered any of the poison email messages which I have received in the course of my ministry.
My attitude is this: Jesus is my defense. If He does not defend me, it means that there are things in my life that are not to be defended, and I would be glad to find out about them now rather than later. On the other hand, because I take the Lord as my defense, and He defends me, what can those who are against me do to me?
When you defend yourself, you have only your two hands and your own human resources. But when you let Jesus take up your defense, He defends you with His nail-pierced hands and His legions of angels! The results will be amazing.
Beloved, the Lord is your defense and refuge. Trust Him to defend and protect you!
Thought For The Day
If the Lord is your defense, what can those who are against you do to you?
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