GOD’S GREAT LOVE FOR US ….
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. – John 10:24-25
There were many ways in which Jesus already revealed who He was. His miraculous works certainly revealed who He was. Jesus had also clearly revealed that He was the Christ, both in the synagogue at His hometown of Nazareth, and when speaking to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
Jesus, in His pre-existent state, was in the form of God. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1).
Jesus was God, manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). However, Jesus did not demand or cling to His rights as God, but laid aside His Divine rights and privileges in order to take the form of a servant and be made in the likeness of men. He further humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the Father, even to the point of death.
This was the supreme sacrifice that identified Jesus totally with humanity and enabled God to redeem mankind. By dying a criminal’s death upon the cross, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy in Deuteronomy 21:23 and bore our curse in His own body. This redeemed us from that curse and opened wide God’s blessing of justification through faith in Christ and the promise of His Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:13-14).
Jesus left His state of being recognized and worshipped by all the hosts of heaven as the Supreme God to become a man who was despised and rejected. The Creator became the creation; the Lord became the servant; the Highest became the lowest. All of this was done because of God’s great love for us.
IT’S ONLY TEMPORARY
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. – 2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV
Troubles and trials are only temporary. In fact, today’s verse tells us they are momentary. Compared with eternity, our troubles don’t last long at all! When you stand strong in faith during times of adversity, Scripture says that you are achieving eternal glory. When you confess your trust and reliance on God, you are passing the test.
If you are in the middle of tough times today, look to Jesus. The Bible says that He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. He is the one who writes faith on your heart and then develops it to completion on the inside of you. Your part is to open your heart and choose words of faith and victory.
Remember, your words set the course for your life. As you remind yourself that your troubles are only momentary and confess your trust and hope in Him, you will see His hand moving in your life. Focus on that eternal glory every day. As you do, you’ll move forward in victory and experience all He has for you!
AFFAIR-PROOF YOUR RELATIONSHIP
‘…Be careful not to fall.’ 1 Corinthians 10:12 CEV
Most people don’t plan on getting into an affair. They just happened to be with the wrong person, at the wrong time, in the wrong frame of mind. The Bible plainly warns, ‘Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall.’ When you think, ‘It couldn’t happen to me,’ you’re a target for Satan! So how can you affair–proof your marriage? By consistent communication.
(1) Communicate regularly with God. Jesus said, ‘…when you pray, [say]…Give us this day our daily bread’ (Matthew 6:7–11 NKJV). Daily communication with God arms you against marital mischief. He also knew you’d need to pray together. ‘Our Father…give us…forgive us our sins’ (Matthew 6:9–12 NLT) assumes we’re needy people praying together. Couples pray-ing together are harder to pry apart.
(2) Communicate faithfully with God’s Word. Books about marriage can inform you, but only the Bible, God’s mar-riage manual, has the power to transform your life together. Shared Bible reading illuminates your understanding; it exposes, sensitises, and purifies your hearts’ intentions; it safeguards your relationship.
(3) Communicate openly with each other. Build ‘relationship hedges’ so that temptation doesn’t get a foothold. Establish sensible guidelines for interacting with the opposite sex. Be open and honest with each other about your social, workplace and church relationships. Anything that makes your spouse uncomfortable should be noted, and, where possible changed. Next to God, you are each other’s best protection against failure. So, listen, learn, and love!
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. —2 Timothy 2:3
Having served in World War I, C. S. Lewis was no stranger to the stresses of military service. In a public address during the Second World War, he eloquently described the hardships a soldier has to face: “All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity . . . is collected together in the life of the soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love.”
The apostle Paul used the analogy of a soldier suffering hardship to describe the trials a believer may experience in service to Christ. Paul—now at the end of his life—had faithfully endured suffering for the sake of the gospel. He encourages Timothy to do the same: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3).
Serving Christ requires perseverance. We may encounter obstacles of poor health, troubled relationships, or difficult circumstances. But as a good soldier we press on—with God’s strength—because we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who sacrificed Himself for us!
Dear Father, help me to be faithful in my service to You. Thank You for the strength You provide to help me persevere through suffering.
God’s love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them.
WE MUST RECEIVE …
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? – Luke 13:10-17
This sickness was the work of Satan – not the work of God. Jesus said it had bound her – not blessed her – for eighteen years. The teaching that says that sickness is actually a blessing in disguise, because the Lord is working His plan in one’s life, is not found in scripture. As Acts 10:38 says, Jesus “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil,” not “oppressed of God.”
There are 17 times in the Gospels when Jesus healed all of the sick that were present. There are 47 other times when He healed one or two people at a time.
Nowhere do we find Jesus refusing to heal anyone. Jesus said that He could do nothing of Himself, but only what He saw the Father do. His actions are proof enough that it is always God’s will to heal!
Jesus provided for physical healing as well as forgiveness of sins. The very word “save” (Gk.-“sozo”) is translated “made whole” in reference to physical healing in Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, and Luke 8:48. James 5:15 says “the prayer of faith shall save (Gk.-“sozo”) the sick.” Many scriptures mention the healing of our bodies in conjunction with the forgiveness of our sins.
Healing is a part of our salvation, just as much as the forgiveness of our sins.
It is God’s will that no one should perish, but many do because of their unbelief. Likewise, it is God’s will that we all be healed, but not all are healed because of failure to believe. It is a mistake to assume that whatever God wills will automatically come to pass. We play a part in receiving from God. Believe His Word today.
HIS POWER AT WORK
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us – Ephesians 3:20
God is able to do more than you could ever ask or imagine! But notice, this verse says it’s according to the power that is at work within you. How does God’s power work within you? His power works in you when you are walking in love. It is at work in you when you choose to forgive those who have wronged you. God’s power is at work in you when you bow before Him with an open and humble heart. He is at work in you when you are serving others and putting their needs above your own.
Remember, God wants to move on your behalf. He loves to bless you! Choose today to let God’s power work in and through you by choosing to walk in love!
LEAD WITH YOUR STRENGTHS
‘…I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit…’ – Isaiah 48:17 NKJV
In case you’re wondering whether or not God wants you to succeed, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ He told the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.’ (Isaiah 48:17 NKJV) But you’ll only succeed if you know and do the right things. Only as the leader grows, will the company or ministry grow. It’s amazing how much time, money and energy we spend on things that can’t produce growth. Logos, websites, brochures and slogans are all important, but they’ll never make up for incompetent leadership. So what should you do? Once you know you’re walking in God’s will and your private life is in order, the keys to success are priorities and concentration.
John Maxwell offers the following guidelines:
(1) Focus 70% of your energy on developing your strengths. Effective leaders who reach their potential spend more time on what they do well than on what they do badly.
(2) Focus 25% on new things. If you want to get better you have to keep changing and improving. That means stepping out into new areas. If you dedicate time to new things related to your strong areas, you’ll grow as a leader.
(3) Focus 5% on areas of weakness. Nobody can entirely avoid working in their areas of weakness. (Note: we’re not talking here about sin or character weaknesses that must be dealt with.) The key is to delegate to gifted people the things that you’re not particularly good at. That way you’re free to concentrate in the areas of your God–given strengths.
GOD IS A GIVER, NOT A TAKER
Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Some Christians mistakenly believe that God gives and also takes away. At funerals, we sometimes hear the minister say, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
I remember an occasion when I was looking at a baby who was suffering from cancer. I heard one of his family members comment, “You can’t be sure what God’s will is. He may or may not heal.” What that person meant was that although the Lord had given the parents this baby, He might later take the baby away from them.
Job displayed this very same attitude when he received the news that he had lost his property and children. Thinking that God was the source of his problems and not knowing that it was actually Satan who had come against him, he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) Such a statement seems to honor God, but in reality, it reveals an erroneous view of our heavenly Father.
As children of God, we know what the Father’s will is for us. He is a giver, not a taker! Jesus said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) It is the devil who is the thief. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus came to give us life more abundant. (John 10:10)
Jesus met every need and healed every sickness brought before Him, and at the cross, He gave His own life. Never once did He take anything away from the people who came to Him. And the Bible says that whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father. (John 14:9)
Beloved, your heavenly Father wants you to know today that He is the one who gives you all good things. And if He has already given us heaven’s best—Jesus, “how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things”?