A person who has to swear or make a promise to validate his statements is a person whose word is no good. The thrust of Jesus’ teaching here is that we should live in such a manner that no one would ever have to have additional proof that we are telling the truth. Our word should be our bond.
We have all heard the story of the young shepherd boy who cried wolf when there was no wolf until finally no one believed him when the wolf really came. Our lack of integrity in performing our word has the same effect on people today.
Very few people conduct business anymore with their word and a handshake. Even contracts are not sacred if an individual can afford a good enough lawyer. But this is not the way God intended it.
God has fulfilled every word He has ever spoken. We were created in His image and He planned for us to be the same way. Even our physical bodies respond adversely when we lie. That’s why lie detectors work.
Today, commit yourself to be a new man or woman of your word. You will not only experience a new respect from others, but you will find the joy of a clear heart and mind.
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. —Acts 17:16
As an early riser, my wife enjoys the quiet moments before the house wakes up and uses it to read the Bible and pray. Recently she settled into her favorite chair, only to be confronted by a rather messy couch left there by “someone” watching a football game the night before. The mess distracted her at first, and her frustration with me interrupted the warmth of the moment.
Then a thought hit her, and she moved to the couch. From there, she could look out our front windows to the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean. The beauty of the scene God painted that morning changed her perspective.
As she told me the story, we both recognized the lesson of the morning. While we can’t always control the things of life that impact our day, we do have a choice. We can continue to brood over the “mess,” or we can change our perspective. When Paul was in Athens, “he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16 niv). But when he changed his perspective, he used their interest in religion as an opportunity to proclaim the true God, Jesus Christ (vv.22-23).
As my wife left for work, it was time for someone else to change his perspective—for me to let the Lord help me to see my messes through her eyes and His.
Dear Lord, grant us the wisdom to change our perspective rather than linger over messes. Help us to see—and fix—the “messes” we make for others.
Wisdom is seeing things from God’s perspective.
SUPPLIED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
Aren’t you glad that God’s supply toward us is not according to the state of the world’s major economies? Neither is it according to whether natural calamities or economic woes have paralyzed these key economies. No, He supplies our needs—He protects, provides and restores to us what we have lost—according to His riches in glory, which are limitless and totally unaffected by world events!
So come what may today or tomorrow, be encouraged to know that God is well able to supply ALL your needs. There is no problem in your life that escapes His attention, or that is too big for His grace to provide. When His supply is according to His riches in glory, He not only has your back covered, but He has also gone before you and made available every provision to you (Psalm 139:5, NLT).
We all face difficulties. We all have obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. But, we all have access to God’s overcoming power through faith in Jesus Christ!
My friend, you can live life with confidence and boldness. Your heavenly Father watches over you and has already provided you with whatever you need to live victoriously as an overcomer! Yes, God can and will fix any mess in your life!
GOD IS AT WORK WITHIN YOU (1)
‘…God, who began the good work within you, will continue…until it is finally finished…’ Philippians 1:6 NLT
When Paul wrote to the Philippian believers, he told them God was at work in each of them. What an awesome truth! He wrote: ‘I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.’ (Philippians 1:9–11 NLT) You say, ‘That’s a tall order!’ Yes, and you’ll never accomplish it through willpower, good intentions or self–effort. You must seek God for direction, submit to Him in all things, and draw strength from Him. Trying to do for yourself what only God can do is like trying to pick yourself up by your own bootstraps; it doesn’t work. You must entrust to God the job of equipping you for the work He’s called you to do. Yes, you need to do your part, but don’t try to do God’s part! ‘…We all…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory [degree by degree]…by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV) What is it that changes us? ‘The Spirit of the Lord.’ He takes the pressure off, and relieves us of the stress and anxiety we so often feel when we try to ‘change’ ourselves.
IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR GOD?
Jeremiah 32:27 – “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
Do you have a problem believing that the moment a sinner receives Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, he is saved? I believe that you will say, “No.”
Let me then ask you which is harder for God (though in reality, we know that nothing is hard for God): To save a soul from hell or heal a sick body? Of course, it is “harder” to save a soul from hell because God had to send His Son to the cross.
So if God has already given you the greatest miracle that you can ever receive, which is to pluck you out of the clutches of eternal damnation and give you eternal life, what is healing your body, saving your marriage, turning your rebellious teenage son around or giving you that business deal to Him?
Therefore, don’t think that when you come to God with a headache, He says, “No problem,” but should you come to Him with cancer, He says, “Cancer? Wow! Not that easy. This is more problematic. I will need more power!”
No! It may appear more difficult to us, but with God, nothing is too hard for Him because He says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
This was indeed the case for a church member who was suffering from ovarian cancer. After I had prayed for her, I told her, “This cancer is not a problem for God. Just believe that when God said that nothing is too hard for Him, it is so!” In a matter of weeks, she came back with tears in her eyes, testifying that she went back to the doctor and he pronounced her healed after he could find no traces of cancer in her.
Beloved, if it is a miracle you need, it is a miracle you will get. God has already given you the greatest miracle of eternal life, so why would He not give you all the other lesser miracles?
God from the beginning chose you for salvation. —2 Thessalonians 2:13
When our children were small, I often prayed with them after we tucked them into bed. But before I prayed, I sometimes would sit on the edge of the bed and talk with them. I remember telling our daughter Libby, “If I could line up all the 4-year-old girls in the world, I would walk down the line looking for you. After going through the entire line, I would choose you to be my daughter.” That always put a big smile on Libby’s face because she knew she was special.
If that was a smile-worthy moment for her, think of the grace-filled fact that the Creator-God of the universe “from the beginning chose you for salvation” (2 Thess. 2:13). Before time began, He desired to make you His own. This is why Scripture often uses the picture of adoption to communicate the amazing reality that, through no merit or worthiness of our own, we have been chosen by Him.
This is stunning news! We are “beloved by the Lord” (v.13) and enjoy the benefits of being part of His family. This glorious truth should fill our lives with humility and gratitude. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us . . . establish you in every good word and work” (vv.16-17).
I will be forever grateful that I am Your child, Father, and that You love me! Teach me to remember all the benefits of belonging to You, and may I serve You faithfully as part of Your family.
It’s God’s choice to love you and to make you part of His family.
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