…Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side… – John 20:19–20
After Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, His disciples hid in the Upper Room, confused and terrified of what their Jewish brethren might do to them. Knowing exactly why they were there, and understanding their fears, the risen Lord appeared in their midst, and immediately said, “Peace, be with you.” Then, He did something significant—He “showed them His hands and His side.”
My friend, His pierced hands and side speak of His finished work. Jesus was telling His disciples that He had paid the price for their sins, that they needn’t be afraid of what was happening anymore, and that they could come boldly to God in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Perhaps there are fears swirling in your mind today. Maybe it’s the thought of losing your job, or maybe it’s an alarming symptom in your body. Beloved, focusing on your problems won’t help you. Center your thoughts, instead, on the person of Jesus and all that He has accomplished for you at Calvary. When you keep your eyes on Jesus, His grace and His finished work, His peace will guard your heart and mind, and lead you to experience the victory He has already purchased for you.
LOVE THE JOB YOU ARE IN …
Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. – Colossians 3:23, NLT
Some people think that loving their work means they won’t have to work hard, or that they won’t have frustrations. No, those things are all a part of life. But ultimately, God can help you enjoy what you’re doing. When you’re in God’s will, there will be a joy on the inside and in your spirit, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. When you’re serving in your purpose, you will be fulfilled and enjoy your life. You’ll live the best life that God intended for you — and He’ll take you places that you’ve never even dreamed of! You’ll experience the abundant life He has in store. Our deepest desire for you is that you discover and follow God’s perfect will — knowing your calling, so that one day you can look back and say, “This is why God put me here.”
JUST DO IT!
Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished – I Chronicles 28:20, ESV
Fear not. That is the message David had for his son, Solomon. For many years, David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. But God told Him that specific job belonged to his son, Solomon. Solomon was young and inexperienced, and even though he knew he had a mandate from God, he was intimidated by the prospect of building a great house of worship, one that would be a dwelling place for the Most High. You can probably understand his apprehension.
But his father David had some good advice for him. He told his son, “Forget your fear. God is bigger than your problems. He is bigger than the temple you are going to build. He is bigger than any adversity that you might face. So just get busy and do your part and God will do the rest.”
Perhaps as this new year approaches, you have some changes that need to be made. Maybe you need a renovation in your marriage, finances, health, or emotions. Whatever your individual needs may be, notice the words of David, “Be strong and courageous, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.”
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE …
Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
What a statement! If we just believed this, how different our lives would be!
From birth we are trained to know our limitations. You can’t have this. Don’t touch that. Don’t put things in your mouth. You can’t touch the fire. On and on the list goes.
As we grow up, it’s actually a sign of maturity to recognize our limitations and learn to live within them. There are limits to everything. It’s a fact of life.
But God has no limits. When we enter into the realm of the supernatural, we have to take off all the limits. We have to renew our minds with the truth that God is not like us. He can do anything.
We have an awesome God whose power is so great that we can’t even comprehend it. He created the universe and it didn’t even tax His ability. Yet many times we find ourselves wondering if our situation is too hard for the Lord. We can’t see how even God can pull us through.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27) The answer is a resounding NO! The only thing that limits God is our unbelief (Dt. 7:17). Today, let’s honor God by believing that nothing is too difficult for Him.
WHEN FATIGUE THREATENS YOU
‘God…told His people…”Let the weary rest.”‘ Isaiah 28:12 NLT
Ruth Barton coined the phrase ‘dangerous tiredness’. Its symptoms include:
(1) Irritability/hypersensitivity. Things that wouldn’t normally bother you, like a
motorist cutting you off or a friend’s annoying habits, put you on edge.
(2) Restlessness. A vague sense something isn’t right…you feel like running away…you’re exhausted but can’t sleep.
(3) Compulsive overworking. Checking emails late into the night…the inability to unplug completely and go on holiday…struggling to enjoy uninterrupted family time.
(4) Emotional numbness. You don’t ‘feel’ anything, good or bad, and you’re afraid if you did you’d be overwhelmed.
(5) Escapist Behaviour. Compulsive eating, drinking, overspending, watching TV, pornography, surfing the internet. You lack the will to exercise, connect with friends, pursue a hobby, or read a good book. Feeling disconnected from your calling. You go through the motions, missing a sense of who you are and what God called you to do. You’re at the mercy of people’s expectations and your own inner compulsions. You’ve no internal plumbline against which to measure these demands. Neglecting yourself physically. You’ve no time to eat right, take a walk, get enough sleep and do everyday things like washing the car or picking up the laundry.
(6) Hoarding your energy. You fear people will drain the last of your resources, so you withdraw to conserve what you have left. Letting your spiritual habits slip.Things that normally energise you and are good for you, like praying, reading, keeping a diary and self–examination, feel like burdens. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are you’ve hit a wall. It’s time to pay attention, pray, and reorder your priorities.
MISTAKES MADE BEAUTIFUL
[Jesus] touched his ear and healed him. —Luke 22:51
Early in his career, jazz player Herbie Hancock was invited to play in the quintet of Miles Davis, already a musical legend. In an interview, Hancock admitted being nervous but described it as a wonderful experience because Davis was so nurturing. During one performance, when Davis was near the high point of his solo, Hancock played the wrong chord. He was mortified, but Davis continued as if nothing had happened. “He played some notes that made my chord right,” Hancock said.
What an example of loving leadership! Davis didn’t scold Hancock or make him look foolish. He didn’t blame him for ruining the performance. He simply adjusted his plan and turned a potentially disastrous mistake into something beautiful.
What Davis did for Hancock, Jesus did for Peter. When Peter cut off the ear of one of the crowd who had come to arrest Jesus, Jesus reattached the ear (Luke 22:51), indicating that His kingdom was about healing, not hurting. Time after time Jesus used the disciples’ mistakes to show a better way.
What Jesus did for His disciples, He also does for us. And what He does for us, we can do for others. Instead of magnifying every mistake, we can turn them into beautiful acts of forgiveness, healing, and redemption.
Lord, You understand how prone we are to make selfish and foolish mistakes. Forgive us and restore us. Please, for Your name’s sake, use Even the worst aspects of our lives for Your glory.
Jesus longs to turn our mistakes into amazing examples of His grace.
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT RIGHT DOING BUT RIGHT BEING
Romans 4:5 – But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
What do you think righteousness is about? Something you do or something you are? Right doing or right being?
The Bible tells us that after Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross, God imputes righteousness not to those who strive to obey the law (Galatians 2:16), but to anyone who believes in His Son. Because Christ took our sins and gave us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), the moment we believe in Him, God treats us as righteous apart from our works or obedience. (Romans 4:5–8) This is new covenant righteousness—a righteousness that comes by faith and not works.
You are not righteous because of how morally upright you are. You are not righteous because you exercise self-control. You are not righteous because you read 10 chapters of the Bible daily. You are not righteous because you feel righteous. But you are the very righteousness of God in Christ solely because the sacrifice of Jesus made you so. When you believe this, your faith is accounted for righteousness.
And this is what God wants you to use your faith for. If you are righteous by your deeds, you don’t need faith. You also don’t need faith to know that you are sinful. But you need faith to believe and declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, in the midst of your struggles with temptation and sin.
For example, when you feel lousy because you have just shouted at your wife, God wants you to exercise your faith to see yourself as still righteous in the midst of that failure. This living revelation that you are still righteous will give you the strength to love your wife and reconcile things with her.
The devil may remind you of your foul temper and question your integrity: “How dare you call yourself righteous when you just did that!” Just ignore his lies and boldly declare, “I am not righteous because of what I have done or not done. I am righteous only because of the blood and finished work of Jesus at the cross!”
Thought For The Day :
You are the very righteousness of God in Christ solely because the sacrifice of Jesus made you so.
KNOWING GOD’S WILL IS NOT ENOUGH …
Luke 1:34, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
Contrast Mary’s question and Gabriel’s response with the question that Zacharias asked Gabriel and the response that he received (Luke 1:18-20). You will find the questions are similar but the responses are totally different.
Both Mary and Zacharias asked how these miracles would occur but it is evident that Mary was asking “how” in faith while Zacharias was asking “how” in unbelief. It is a clear Bible teaching that unbelief doesn’t please God (Heb. 11:6), but the Lord doesn’t mind us questioning Him for the purpose of instruction so we can cooperate with His will in our lives.
Abram knew that it was God’s will for him to have a son but Abram and Sarai came up with their own plan which caused them and the world much grief (Gen. 16:1-6). Abram would have avoided many problems if he had asked the Lord how He was going to accomplish this miraculous event.
If Mary had not questioned this angel, she might have reasoned that Jesus would be born through the natural union of her and Joseph. This would have been a grave mistake. It would have disqualified her from being used.
It’s not enough just to know God’s will. We need to continue to seek the Lord until we know God’s plan for accomplishing that will.
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