LEARN TO ‘CAST’
‘Cast all your anxiety on Him.’ 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Learn to ‘cast all your anxiety on Him.’ Only when you have done that will you be able to ‘catch yourself’ when you begin to open the door to worry, allowing it to move in, set up shop and start doing business. What’s your top ten list of worries? Health? Money? A relationship? Children? Your looks? Get to know your most common worries so well that you’re able to treat them like mosquitoes. You don’t procrastinate when a blood–sucking bug lights on your skin. You don’t say, ‘I’ll take care of it in a moment.’ No, you give the creature the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety. The moment a worry surfaces, deal with it. Don’t dwell on it. Head it off before it gets the best of you. Instead of ulcerating over what your boss thinks, ask him. Before you diagnose that mole as a cancer, have it examined. Instead of assuming that you’ll never get out of debt, consult an expert, draw up a plan, and take back your power. As long as you’re willing to live with worry, you’ll never overcome it. Instead of allowing worry to cast a big shadow over a small problem, rise up in faith and say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ (Hebrews 13:6 NKJV) Who’s your helper? The Lord! So give your worries to Him and don’t take them back. The Psalmist said, ‘Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.’ (Psalm 55:22 NAS) Peter writes, ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’ Learn to ‘cast’.
GET READY FOR JESUS
Matthew 24:38 “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”
Jesus is prophesying that just as in Noah’s day, people will be dominated with the temporary affairs of this life instead of eternal spiritual truths, when Jesus returns. Before our Lord’s second return, there will be plenty of signs to show that the time is drawing near, but few will heed them. Preoccupation with the affairs of this life can dull us to the spiritual realm. The Lord kindly but seriously, points out the urgent need to be ready for His return. In the same way that a thief comes when people are the least prepared, so our Lord will return in a time when people are not looking for Him. This is not because our Lord desires to surprise everyone and see how many He can catch unprepared. On the contrary, He is urging us to be watchful so that we will be prepared. Jesus gave us the signs of the end times to help us be prepared. He is simply prophesying that there will be a condition of apathy in the latter days that will tend to lull even the faithful to sleep if they don’t take heed to His words. Believers will not be assembled on a mountaintop somewhere waiting for the Lord’s return. They will still be going about their daily routines. The Lord told us to “occupy till I come” (Lk. 19:13). We should be ready for the Lord to come back at any moment, yet work as if His return was still far off.
APPOINTMENTS OF DIVINE FAVOR
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. – Ephesians 2:10, AMP
God has already prepared paths for you to take in your future! When God laid out the plan for your life, He lined up the right people, the right circumstances and the right breaks. In your future, He’s already released favor, supernatural opportunities and divine connections. The breaks you need in life have already been preordained to come across your path. If you will stay in faith and go out each day and be a person of excellence, you’ll walk right into these appointments of favor. It will be just as if you stumbled into God’s blessings! When you really understand this principle, you’ll begin to get excited about every single day! You’ll have a spring in your step as you think about what blessing is coming next. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week. Keep expecting. Keep believing. Stay focused on the fact that God has already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Start declaring seasons of increase over your life. Declare that favor is on you and look for those appointments of divine favor!
“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel” (Isaiah 45:2-3).
When you are in the will of God, you receive the benefit of divine protection and prosperity in every area of your life. Your submissiveness to His leading will clear a path for victory!
Every believer has received the grace & fullness of God. Everything He is, we now possess in our born again spirits. We are complete in Him!
OUR HOPE IS IN ETERNITY
Luke 21:18-19 “But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.”
Jesus says the disciples were betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, friends, and some disciples were even put to death. Yet, the amazing statement of Christ is that not a hair of their head will perish. The context of this statement speaks of some of the disciples dying, so this is not a promise that no physical harm will ever come. This could only refer to the resurrection.
The Greek word for “resurrection” means “a standing or rising up.” The resurrection is a major theme of New Testament teaching. Out of the 13 sermons in the book of Acts, 11 stress or imply the resurrection.
The hope of the believer is the resurrection. The natural, earthly, terrestrial, corrupt, weak, mortal, vile body is said to be raised, changed and fashioned into a spiritual, heavenly, celestial, incorrupt, glorious, powerful, and immortal body. This is the completeness that has been purchased for all of us in Christ.
The Lord views everything in the light of eternity. Man tends to view things in the context of his brief life on earth. From man’s perspective, a person who dies for his faith in Jesus has lost a great deal. From Jesus’ viewpoint, a martyr hasn’t lost a thing. Even the very hairs on our head are numbered.
The patience that Jesus is speaking of here is the calm assurance that God knows every hurt that we feel and He will abundantly recompense us in the resurrection. This knowledge enables us to control our emotions in the face of persecution (i.e. possess our souls) instead of letting our emotions of fear dominate us.
DO THE ONE THING
…one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. – Luke 10:42
When Jesus was in the home of two sisters, Martha and Mary, Martha was busy with much serving. Mary, on the other hand, was seated at Jesus’ feet listening to His words. After a while, Martha got angry and said to Jesus, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40).
Based on Middle Eastern culture, when you invite someone to your home, you ought to prepare some food for your guest. So Martha wasn’t doing anything wrong. Yet, Jesus’ response to Martha’s complaint was this: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41–42). He gently rebuked Martha and defended Mary.
Notice Jesus didn’t rebuke Martha for her much service. He showed her how she was “worried and troubled about many things.” Jesus told Martha that “one thing is needed”—sitting at His feet and listening to His words.
My friend, if you’re troubled about many things today, take time do that one thing—sit at Jesus’ feet and draw from Him. He wants you to draw deeply from His inexhaustible grace, wisdom and supply. This is the only thing that is needful, not five or 10 other things. Do you truly believe that?
WISDOM IS TO DO NOW WHAT YOU WILL BE SATISFIED WITH LATER.
From a practical standpoint, wisdom is to do now what you will be satisfied with later.
This means that if you know doing something will be very beneficial later, then you do it now even if you don’t want to. The opposite is also true: a person who lacks wisdom will base his or her actions on what feels good right now instead of looking at the long-term picture.
For example, say you want to eat a snack, but you aren’t hungry. You might say to yourself, “Well I know I shouldn’t eat this, but … .” And then you decide to keep eating even though you are full. Your actions followed your feelings instead of wisdom, and it’s a decision that may lead to results you’re not happy with later.
Clearly, wisdom requires using self-control to choose to do what is better. A wise person looks at the end results instead of focusing only on his or her immediate circumstances. In short, wisdom is to do now what you will be satisfied with later.
YOU ARE VALUABLE
NOT BECAUSE OF WHO YOU ARE, BUT BECAUSE OF WHOSE YOU ARE.
What is it that makes you valuable? What makes you feel important? Is it your wealth? The fact that you’re well educated? Do you feel important because you get lots of cell phone calls, so that must mean you’re popular? Or do you feel valuable because you have a high position of leadership at work?
While it certainly isn’t wrong to be wealthy, well educated, popular, or in leadership, we must not let those things define our worth and value, because things can (and likely will) fail us. Cars break down; houses burn down; profits sink down; and with them, our self-worth falls down.
But God declares that you’re worth everything to him — you’re worth all Christ offered. You are not your own; you were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). That price is the life of Jesus.
You are precious in God’s sight — you’re his child (Ephesians 1:5). Almost every parent would agree that his or her child is the most precious thing in the world; and that’s the way God views you! It’s no wonder God labels his people as his treasured possession (Deuteronomy 14:2).
Don’t let wealth, education, popularity, status, or anything else define your value. Know that you worth everything to God, because you’re His.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. —John 13:35
While traveling on a road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, Scotland, I was enjoying the beautiful, pastoral countryside when a rather humorous sight captured my attention. There, on a small hilltop, was a rather large flock of pink sheep.
I know that sheep owners mark their animals with dots of spray paint to identify them—but these sheep really stood out. The owner had fully covered every animal with pink coloring. Everyone knew who those sheep belonged to.
Scripture calls followers of Christ sheep, and they too have a unique identifying mark. What is the “pink coloring” in a Christ-follower’s life? How can someone be identified as Jesus’ own?
In the gospel of John, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, told us what that identifier is: love. “Love one another; as I have loved you . . . . By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
In words and deeds, a believer should show love to all those around. “Beloved,” John writes, “if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). A Christian’s love for others should be as obvious as pink wool on a flock of Scottish sheep.
Dear Lord, remind me that this life is not about me and my needs, but about others and how Your love can shine through me to them. May Christ like love be my distinguishing characteristic.
As followers of Christ, our love should make us stand out in a crowd.
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