FEAR NOT

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THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S

2 Chronicles 20:15 – …Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

When faced with a problem or challenge, we tend to ask ourselves, “What am I going to do?” And well-meaning family members and friends will come along and ask, “What are you going to do?”

Jehoshaphat faced a multitude of enemies. But instead of focusing on what he would do, he prayed, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)

When we turn our eyes to God, we will hear Him say, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…” (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17)

But standing still is the last thing we want to do when the enemy is coming against us. It is also the most difficult thing to do because we feel that we cannot just stand around and do nothing—we must try to save the situation. But God wants us to stand still and see Jesus our salvation fight for us.

So what do you do the next time you are faced with a battle and don’t know what to do? Jehoshaphat sent his singers to the front of the army to proclaim, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21) Some people will wonder, “Does that mean that I just sing and don’t do anything else when I have a problem?” No, that is not what I am saying.

Do what the situation requires, but don’t worry and don’t trust in what you do. Like Jehoshaphat, rest and trust in His mercy that endures forever. When you do that, God will turn your battlefield into the Valley of Berachah. Berachah means “blessings”. The children of Israel gave the battlefield this name because it took them three days to gather all the spoils of war! God turned their situation into a great blessing! (2 Chronicles 20:25–26)

Do you have a battle to fight? Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Thought For The Day :

God wants us to stand still and see Jesus our salvation fight for us.

EVIDENCE OF GOD’S GRACE …

‘He…saw…evidence of the grace of God. – Acts 11:23 NIV

Where there’s grace, there’s growth. And where there’s growth, there’s clear evidence of it. The church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to the church at Antioch, and ‘when he arrived and saw…evidence of the grace of God, he was glad.’ As believers, we should be growing in ‘grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.’ (2 Peter 3:18 NIV) And there should be evidence of it! When you accept Christ, He ‘[equips] you with everything good for doing His will’ (Hebrews 13:21 NIV); you become ‘a new creation…old things have gone; everything is made new!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV) Grace makes you more caring and compassionate, and less critical and judgmental. It makes you slow to speak and quick to consider the other person’s point of view. You’re less likely to react in anger when things don’t go your way, and more likely to put the good of others ahead of your own (1 Corinthians 10:24). Jon Walker says: ‘When you become a believer your role changes. You no longer have the job of looking out for your own interests; your job is to represent the interests of Jesus. You are the face of Jesus; showing up in the lives of others on His behalf… in hospitals… at funerals… at weddings… across the table as you share coffee with a friend… You’re on the job for Jesus, and the more you serve others in love, the more you’ll influence them toward Christ.’ Paul wrote, ‘Though I am free…I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ (1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV) That’s what it’s all about!

WHEN OTHERS WON’T FORGIVE

Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the goal. —Philippians 3:13-14

I was having lunch with two men who had opened their lives to Christ while they were in prison. The younger man had been discouraged by the fact that the family from whom he had stolen would not forgive him.

“My crime was violent,” the older man said. “It continues to haunt and affect the family to this day. They have not forgiven me, . . . the pain is just too great. At first, I found myself paralyzed by this longing for their forgiveness.” He continued his story: “Then one day I realized I was adding selfishness to my brokenness. It’s a lot to expect that the family forgive me. I was focused on what I felt I needed to heal from my past. It took some time to realize that their forgiveness of me was a matter between them and God.”

“How can you stand it?” the younger man asked.

The older man explained that God did for him what he didn’t deserve and what others simply can’t do: He died for our sins, and He keeps His promise to move our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12) and “will not remember [our] sins” (Isa. 43:25).

In the face of such great love, we honor Him by accepting His forgiveness as sufficient. We must forget what lies behind and keep pressing forward (Phil. 3:13-14). —Randy Kilgore

Thank You, Father, for the work of Christ on the cross. Help me to understand and accept what it means for me, and to be a messenger of that forgiveness to those I meet along the way.

The work of Christ is sufficient for every sin.

YOU WERE BORN TO WIN

“If God is for us, who is against us?” – Romans 8:31, NASB

The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Rise up and see yourself as a champion in Him! You can be and you will be victorious through Him. The problems that so often intimidate and defeat many people won’t have a firm hold on you when you’re walking with Christ and have the joy of the Lord! When you walk with Christ, strength and victory is yours through Him. Here’s something to remember today: if Christ is on your side, it doesn’t really matter who is against you! The opponents you face don’t really matter, and don’t amount to much. Friend, take another look at your life today, YOU are a friend of God! No matter what you may face or who may seem against you let this truth anchor deep within you — God is for you. Now go out in joy making a difference for Him today, knowing who is on your side!

 GET HOLD OF FAITH PICTURES

Then He brought him [Abram] outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” – Genesis 15:5

Abram saw himself childless since his wife, Sarah, was barren. But the Lord saw just the opposite. He saw Abram with not just one, but countless descendants! That’s why He changed Abram’s name to “Abraham,” which means “father of many nations.”

The new name helped Abraham to see himself with many children. The Lord also gave him another faith picture—the numerous stars in the sky. “So shall your descendents be,” the Lord said. So whenever Abraham heard his name called or looked at the night sky, he would remember the Lord’s promise and “see” all his children. Eventually, he had Isaac through Sarah!

Beloved, get hold of faith pictures from God’s Word. See what the Lord says about you and your particular situation. Don’t let these faith pictures depart from your eyes. Keep them in your heart. And one day, you’ll be experiencing what you have beheld in faith!

THE MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Matthew 3:1, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea.”

These scriptures record the ministry of John the Baptist. He spent thirty years in the deserts of Judaea preparing for this ministry. Then it only lasted about six months before He baptized Jesus and men started following the Messiah. Yet in those brief six months He turned an entire nation to God.

He did not take the normal approach and go where the people were. He was out in the wilderness and the people came to him. He had no advertisements other than the testimonies of those who had heard him. He wasn’t a flashy evangelist wearing the latest styles of the day. He didn’t do anything the way the religious leaders taught it was supposed to be done in their seminaries, yet it worked.

In six short months, an entire nation was stirred in anticipation of their Messiah through a man who was not “normal.”

One thing that keeps many of us from being used by God is our “herd instinct.” We are so afraid of what someone else will think. We try to be like everyone else and then we wonder why we are getting the same results as everyone else. That’s not smart.

John was completely yielded to the Holy Spirit and he succeeded against all the odds. Dare to follow the Holy Spirit, even against the crowd, and you will get supernatural results, too!

LIFE IS ABOUT CHOICES (2)

Give your servant a discerning heart to…distinguish between right and wrong. – 1 Kings 3:9 NIV

Choices—they’re the determining factor in how your life turns out. When Solomon came to the throne as a young man, he prayed for wisdom to make the right choices in life. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, ‘There’s a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.’ Some of us make life harder by making bad choices; others move through life more easily because they make good choices. The truth is, you don’t always get what you want but you always live with the consequences of your choices. Observe:

(1) Your choices reveal who you really are. Theologian HP Liddon observed, ‘What we do on some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are; and what we are will be the result of previous years of self–discipline.’

(2) The higher you rise, the more difficult your choices become. King Solomon could have had any woman he wanted. Sadly, he chose women who turned his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:4).

(3) Your choices change you for good or evil. Once you choose, you become a servant of that choice. It impacts your life and often on the lives of others. CS Lewis said: ‘Every time you make a choice you are turning the central point of you, the part… that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature.’ So you must make your choices prayerfully and wisely.

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