…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:2, NIV
Now is the time of God’s favor! Not next week, not next month, not 20 years from now. No, now is the time God wants to amaze you with His goodness and overwhelm you with His love. Too often we think, “Something great is coming in my future. I know God is going to be good to me.” But, we also need to realize that God wants to be good to us today! Right now! He wants us to know that we are living in the time of His favor.
We are favored first with salvation through Jesus. Then we are in position to receive all of the blessings and benefits that come from being in covenant with Almighty God. What are those blessings? They are found in His Word — eternal life, peace, joy, hope, health, provision, protection and so much more. His favor lasts a lifetime because it will take a lifetime to experience all the good things He has in store for you!
Today, if God appeared to you and you could ask Him for anything, what would you ask for? Solomon asked God for wisdom and the Bible tells us that Solomon’s request “pleased the Lord.”
I believe that the same request that pleased the Lord then still pleases Him today. No wonder the Bible tells us that wisdom is the “principal thing” (Prov 4:7). When we have wisdom, all the things we seek will follow after us, including honor and length of days. So beloved, ask God for wisdom today
There is NO LIMIT to what GOD can do IN YOU and THROUGH YOU when you REPROGRAM your THINKING and START BELIEVING that you are BLESSED.
GOD IS YOUR ABBA, FATHER
Galatians 4:6 – And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father!
Have you ever realized that God was never known as Father until Jesus came to earth and revealed Him as such? In His prayer to His Father, Jesus said, And I have declared to them Your Name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:26) What name was Jesus referring to? It was the name Father. If there was anything close to Jesus heart, it was to introduce God as Father to us.
In the Bible, Jesus said, Therefore, do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Matthew 6:3132) Once, He said, If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)
Jesus wants you to always have this image of God in your mind that He is your Abba, Father. Why? Because He wants you to know that there is nothing more important or too insignificant for the Father when it comes to His children.
Imagine a father playing with his five-year-old son, when he notices a splinter embedded in his little boys thumb. The concerned father asks, When did you get this?
A few days ago, the boy answers.
Why didn’t you tell Daddy about it?
I thought you were too busy and that I shouldn’t bother you.
If you were that father, wouldn’t it break your heart to hear your child say this to you?
A splinter in ones thumb may be a small thing, but there is nothing too small when it concerns your child because if it affects him, it affects you too. Now, no matter how old you are today, you are still Gods child, so don’t think that your problem is too small for God. If it is important to you, it is important to your Father too. Beloved, always remember that He is your Abba, Father!
BASE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS ON GOD
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. – Matthew 24:12
The only reason that an abundance of iniquity would make anyone’s love for the Lord wax cold, is if he were not separated from that iniquity. As with Lot, a righteous man can vex his soul from day to day by hearing and seeing the unlawful deeds of the ungodly (2 Pet. 2:8).
We have to deal with the world’s system and those in it, but we need to be careful and maintain proper balance. We should shun relationships with those who influence us negatively more than we influence them positively.
Marriage is one area where this principle is especially true. There is no closer union in life than the marriage relationship. A believer who marries an unbeliever is directly violating this scripture and is toying with disaster. The Lord should be the most important person in our life. How could we possibly become “one” with a person who doesn’t love our Lord?
It is folly to think that after marriage an unbelieving spouse will accept the Lord. Although that does happen, it cannot be guaranteed. In fact, statistics are overwhelmingly against this happening. Regardless of that possibility, a believer who marries an unbeliever is directly violating God’s instructions here. It is not a good start to any marriage to spurn God’s Word.
Being unequally yoked with unbelievers just doesn’t work. Believers and unbelievers are as different as righteousness and unrighteousness, light and dark, Christ and the devil. One has faith and the other has none. One is the temple of God and the other an idol. Any Christian who doesn’t see this conflict is deceived.
It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts. —2 Corinthians 4:6
The painting A Trail of Light by Colorado Springs artist Bob Simpich shows a grove of aspen trees with golden leaves lit by the autumn sun. The topmost leaves are brilliantly illuminated while the ground beneath the trees is a mixture of sunlight and shadows. The painter said of this contrast, “I can’t resist the light filtered through to the forest floor. It weaves a special magic.”
The apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Paul goes on to describe the reality of life in which “we are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; . . . perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (vv.8-9).
There are times when it seems that the light of God’s face is dimmed because of our difficulty, sorrow, or loss. Yet, even in these dark shadows, we can see evidence of His presence with us.
If we walk in filtered light today, may we discover anew that God’s light—Jesus—is always shining in our hearts.
Lord, shine the light of Your face on us that we may find our way to Your salvation. Shine Your light into the darkness that envelops our world that we may see who You are and show others the way to You.
In dark circumstances, God’s light is still shining in our hearts.
The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is abiding in you right now! You are infused with the power of the Holy Spirit! (Romans 8:11)
DON’T ‘DRIFT AWAY’ …
‘We must give…earnest heed…lest we drift away.’ Hebrews 2:1 NKJV
The Bible says, ‘We must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away…How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?’ (Hebrews 2:1–3 NKJV) Note the words ‘drift’ and ‘neglect’. Those words should set off alarm bells! Samson’s decline was so gradual that he didn’t even realise it was happening. Like flipping a switch, he’d become used to drawing on the power of God and overcoming every enemy and obstacle. But sin and self–indulgence became his undoing. When Delilah said, “‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!”…he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Then the Philistines took him.’ (Judges 16:20–21 NKJV) When you neglect God you begin to ‘drift away’. Your prayers aren’t as effective. You’re no longer a godly influence on those around you. You slip back into old habit patterns. You refuse to forgive those who’ve offended you. You fail to make amends to those you’ve hurt. You start doing what’s expedient and comfortable instead of what’s right. You harbour attitudes of fear and resentment. You feed your old nature and neglect your new one. These are all signs that you need a spiritual checkup. Ask God today to highlight those attitudes, activities and relationships that need to be dealt with and start weeding them out. The good news is that when you’re obedient to God’s Word and the Spirit’s leading, you regain your spiritual vitality and God can use you more effectively.
NOT SATISFIED WITH JUST BEING SAVED
Genesis 12:7 – Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
I don’t know about you, but I am not satisfied with just knowing that I am righteous by faith. I also want to get to know the One who made me righteous. I want to have an intimate relationship with my Savior!
Abraham was such a man. He was righteous by faith, but he also had a close walk with God and was blessed by God in all things. (Genesis 24:1) His nephew Lot, on the other hand, although righteous too (2 Peter 2:7–8), had no heart for God. He ended up losing a lot when Sodom, the city he dwelt in, was destroyed along with Gomorrah. He was saved by the skin of his teeth!
My friend, do you want to be a Christian like Lot, righteous but always finding yourself in trouble, or do you want to be a righteous-and-blessed Christian like Abraham? Then, like Abraham, have a heart for God.
From place to place, Abraham would build an altar to the Lord. And in between altars, he grew very rich! (Genesis 13:2) There is no biblical record, however, of Lot ever building an altar to the Lord.
What is an “altar” in today’s context? It is a place where you know that you have a close relationship with God. For example, when my late father was in the hospital, I was worried and did not know what to do. I remember driving down the road and crying. After a while, I just threw my cares to the Lord. When I reached the hospital, I just laid my hands on my father and said, “Be healed in Jesus’ name.” And he was healed!
Till today, I can remember the place where I had cast my cares to the Lord and leaned on His love for me. That is my “altar”. And it is not the only one.
We have got to have this kind of relationship with God, one full of “altars” that remind us of His love, goodness and faithfulness. Let’s not live the Christian life like Lot, saved by the skin of our teeth. Let’s walk closely with God as Abraham did, and be richly blessed in every area of our lives!
Thought For The Day :
Choose to have an intimate relationship with the One who made you righteous.
GUARD AGAINST DECEPTION ...
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. – Matthew 24:3-5
Deception can be avoided or else Jesus would not have said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Satan can only deceive those who allow him to do it.
Ephesians 6:11 tells us to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Putting on the whole armour of God will protect you from the deception of the devil. Just wearing part of God’s armour will not fully protect you. Many Christians have been running around with the helmet of salvation on but nothing else. There is more to overcoming the devil than just being saved. We have to understand our righteous position in the Lord. We also must possess faith, know the Word, and understand the gospel of peace.
The Christian life is a constant struggle against Satan, who is trying to corrupt us. Most Christians are aware of the warfare, but they don’t know where the warfare is occurring. The battle is in our mind. Just as the serpent didn’t come against Eve with brute force, but rather used words to deceive her, likewise Satan tries to corrupt us through thoughts contrary to the gospel. Satan’s original tactic was deception and that is still his method of operation today.
One of the characteristics of children is that they are easily deceived. They are gullible. One of the things that must take place to move from childhood into sonship is spiritual discernment. This comes from being grounded in the Word of God.
The way to recognize deception is not to analyze all the false claims but rather to become so familiar with what is genuine that a counterfeit will be easily recognizable. Anyone who is truly grounded in the Word of God will not be deceived.
SET YOUR DAY IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION …
When was the last time you just sat down and thought about the goodness and faithfulness of God? So often, we intend to start our days in the right direction, but then distractions come and the cares of this world creep into our thoughts. Before we know it, we are so focused on our “to do” lists and trying to stay ahead of the game that our thoughts get completely off course!
One thing you have to always be aware of is the fact that what you dwell on will set the direction and quality of your life. If you are constantly dwelling on the “what if’s” in life, it opens the door to worry and anxiety. It creates a heaviness in your mind and heart. But when you dwell on His goodness and faithfulness, it opens the door to His supernatural peace and grace. It lifts your spirit and lightens your load.
Today, I want to remind you to stop and think about what you are thinking about. Don’t just let your mind wander off in any old direction. Be intentional about dwelling on the Father. Never forget that He is with you and for you. Never forget that He is good and His love never fails. Never forget His promise to prosper you and not to harm you.
As you set your thoughts and affections on Him, you set your day in the right direction. You’ll feel the cares of this world begin to disappear. You’ll see solutions you never even thought of before. You’ll experience His peace and joy and be empowered to embrace the blessing and victory He has in store for you!
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2, NIV)
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