A TEST

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YOU CAN’T HAVE A TESTIMONY WITHOUT A TEST …

A testimony is often a way of sharing what God has done in a person’s life. However, in order to have a testimony there almost always was a test through which that person had to persevere.

It is, therefore, understandable that we are told to rejoice during trials — not because of the trials themselves, but because of the end result of the trials. In James 1:2-4, we are told, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In other words, we can have joy during trials, because we know that they help make us mature and complete — they refine us into the person God wants us to be.

A few verses later (in James 1:12), we are told the reward of enduring difficult times: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

The challenging events that we go through are what refine us and make us more like Christ. Indeed, 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that one of the purposes of going through grief and trials is so that our faith can grow and be proven genuine.

Therefore, a real testimony of growing in faith and becoming like Christ requires going through a test. So, instead of despising your tests and trials, look forward to your testimony; after all, you can’t have a testimony without a test.

JESUS IS YOUR RESTORER AND NOURISHER

Ruth 4:15 – And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…

Famine impoverished the life of Naomi, an Israelite. But it was the deaths of her husband and two sons that left her completely destitute. (Ruth 1:1–5) Or so she thought, until Boaz, who was a wealthy and close relative, entered her life.

As her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz married Ruth, Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law. And through that union, Naomi had a grandson. The birth of her grandson gave her a new lease of life, causing the womenfolk in her village to declare that the restorer of life and the nourisher of her old age had come into her life. (Ruth 4:14–16)

Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our kinsman-redeemer. Jesus became our kinsman when He was born into this world as one like us. And He became our Redeemer when He paid with His life and blood at the cross to redeem us.

Jesus gave Himself to us as our restorer of life and nourisher of our old age. When the restorer of life is in our lives, what we have lost can be restored. (Joel 2:25−26) And with the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years.

That is why when Moses died at the age of 120, his eyes were not dim and his natural vigor was not diminished. (Deuteronomy 34:7) Caleb, at 85 years old, could still drive out the giants from the land. God had literally nourished his body and made it strong for war. (Joshua 14:11) Sarah was certainly rejuvenated in her old age by God for she was still desirable to a king at the age of 90. (Genesis 20:1–2) God even renewed her womb. She received strength to conceive seed (Hebrews 11:11), giving birth to Isaac in her old age.

Beloved, God is outside of time and your faith in Him brings you into this timeless zone. There, what the years have stolen will be restored. And even as your years increase, you will not grow weak and weary because the restorer of life and nourisher of your old age is in you!

Thought For The Day :

With Jesus the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years

JESUS – THE NAME ABOVE NAMES

Luke 23:9 “Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.”

Not only does Jesus’ refusal to defend Himself show His humility, but His refraining from venting His wrath against the man who senselessly killed His friend who was the greatest of the Old Testament prophets (Mt. 11:11), also displays His humble nature.

Because of Christ’s humility and obedience to the Father, God gave Him a name that is above every name in heaven, earth and under the earth. There is no exemption for anyone or anything from coming under the Lordship of Jesus. He is Lord of ALL.

Jesus has not only been exalted above every “being” that has a name, but He is also highly exalted above anything else that can be named. If you can put a name on it, Jesus is above it. Sickness, poverty, depression, anger – everything has to bow its knee to the Lordship of Jesus.

Every knee of men, angels, and demons will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. Those who have denied His existence will bow in worship. Those who have spent their lives rebelling His authority will finally bow in submission.

Every being from all ages will ultimately bow and worship Jesus. If we bow our knee to His Lordship now, we will enjoy a wonderful life here on earth, and an eternity in His blessings hereafter. Those who deny His rightful claim to the Lordship of their lives will suffer for it in this life as well as in the next. They still will have to bow their knee to His authority, so there is nothing to gain and everything to lose if they refuse to make Jesus Lord of their life.

HAPPY ENDING

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. —Revelation 21:1

In its “plot,” the story of the Bible ends up very much where it began. The broken relationship between God and human beings has healed over at last, and the curse of Genesis 3 is lifted. Borrowing images from Eden, Revelation pictures a river and a tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2). But this time a great city replaces the garden setting—a city filled with worshipers of God. No death or sadness will ever darken that scene. When we awake in the new heaven and new earth, we will have at last a happy ending.

Heaven is not an afterthought or an optional belief. It is the final justification of all creation. The Bible never belittles human tragedy and disappointment—is any book more painfully honest?—but it does add one key word: temporary. What we feel now, we will not always feel. The time for re-creation will come.

For people who feel trapped in pain or in a broken home, in economic misery or in fear—for all of us—heaven promises a timeless future of health and wholeness and pleasure and peace. The Bible begins with the promise of a Redeemer in the book of Genesis (3:15) and ends with that same promise (Rev. 21:1-7)—a guarantee of future reality. The end will be the beginning.

Beyond earth’s sorrows, the joys of heaven;
Eternal blessings with Christ my Lord;
Earth’s weeping ended, earth’s trials over,
Sweet rest in Jesus, O blest reward!

The gains of heaven will more than compensate us for the losses of earth

 INNER BEAUTY …

‘He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit.’ Ephesians 3:16 TLB

A lady flew across the country to tell a talk show host how her husband had left her for another woman. The lady, who was young, vibrant and beautiful, pulled out a photograph and said, ‘Just look at her. He left me for that!’ The host concluded, ‘Sadly, we’ve been conditioned to think that “looks” are all–important, when, in fact, they’re not.’ Nevertheless we keep measuring, comparing, and beating ourselves up because we fall short. If you can’t enjoy who you are because of what you’re not, you’ll never be happy. Advertisers spend billions getting us to decorate a shell that’s in a losing battle with Mother Nature and Father Time—all in an effort to create what we think will attract others. And when it doesn’t work, we get depressed and wonder what went wrong. Of course, it’s important to look your best but, when you’re obsessed with your appearance, you become superficial. And others lose respect for you because they discover that although the box is beautifully wrapped, it’s empty. If you want to know what ultimately wins hearts and attracts the right people, read these words: ‘I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love…And may you have the power to understand…how long, how high, and how deep His love [for you] is…Then you will be made complete.’ (Ephesians 3:16–19 NLT)That’s the secret to inner beauty!

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