Bigger picture!

 Faith  Comments Off on Bigger picture!
Dec 112017
 

“So, when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was…” (John 11:1-6).

He stayed away from Mary and Martha and Lazarus.
… longer?

Nobody does that.
If you hear that someone you love is in trouble, you get over to them fast.

Three times in the surrounding verses we read how deeply Jesus loved these three friends.
So why did He stay away?

We can totally understand why Martha’s face had a big question mark:
“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

This is the hardest moment in any crisis.

From our perspective-
– the problem is growing,
– the prayers are rising,
– but the provision is not coming.

We draw a dotted line from delay to deception and conclude that-
God doesn’t love us and then spend many dark, disappointing nights believing our own lie.

Here’s an important truth gleaned from this situation:
God doesn’t love the way we love.
What appears unloving may in fact be the greatest kindness of all.

We expect God to work our solution on our timetable.
Can you imagine the complexity of the tapestry God is weaving in the universe?

We’re over here in our limited little corner without a clue about what’s going on in the bigger picture!

Faith says that what God is doing is right-even when we don’t understand.
I believe the whole tapestry will unfold for us someday.

But for now I have to believe-
– in spite of what I see that He is after my good and His glory in every situation.
I must trust that what appears unloving may in fact be His greatest kindness.

God is at work in your times of crisis.

Whatever is challenging and stretching you right now in your family, your workplace, or in your personal walk with God-
He is at work in that.

He is building your faith in every circumstance.
He knows all about that thing that is breaking your heart.
Will you believe He is at work?

(PA)

Depend upon God!

 Faith  Comments Off on Depend upon God!
Dec 042017
 

Does God Really Help Those Who Help Themselves?
This phrase isn’t found in the Bible.

While it is right up to a point-
– it isn’t entirely accurate in light of the Bible’s teaching.

People need to work and be responsible for their actions, and when they aren’t, society suffers (as do they).

God didn’t intend for us to spend our lives pursuing pleasure or ease.
He gave us work to do.
Even ordinary tasks are important when they are done for Him.

The Bible says:
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

When we do that-
God will bless our labours.

But on the other hand-
– we are dependent on God for everything,
– even the next breath we take.

It’s easy to forget this and think that we’re strong enough to do everything we want to do.
But we aren’t.

We need to depend upon God!
And He should be at the heart of everything we do.

The Bible says that He “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).

Never forget, however, that no matter how hard we work-
– we can never win God’s favour or save ourselves by our own efforts.

We need Christ.
Because even our best efforts are tainted by sin.

Have you given your life to Him?
Are you trusting Him alone for your salvation?

(PA)

Con game!

 Faith  Comments Off on Con game!
Nov 272017
 

Getting swindled-
– is one of the most humiliating and hurting experiences you can go through.

I have gone through that experience!

People set you up by gaining your confidence.
Then mislead you in order to swindle your money and properties.

It’s called a “con game!”
Short form of “confidence game!”

And it’s as old as the Garden of Eden.
Satan conned Adam and Eve.

He was cunning and charming.
They put their confidence in him.

They lost not only their innocence-
– but their God-given dominion over the earth.

Since that time-
– Satan has been the “prince of this world.”
And his confidence games are played daily causing loss to thousands of unwary people.
Living in a world like this-
– you may wonder at times:
“Is there anybody I can trust?”
God wants you to know where your confidence must be placed-
– if your life is to be eternally blessed.

Despite the advice of this world-
– it is not in “self-confidence,”
– nor by trusting some other human being!
God is the only solid Rock in whom you can place all your confidence:
“On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” Psalm 62:7.
You can have complete confidence in God because of His name and nature:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
Because of who God is, you should trust Him without wavering:
Your trust and confidence in Christ affects every part of your Christian life.

Neither you yourself (by working up ‘”self-confidence”),
– nor any other human being,
– can give you what you need for the Christian life and for facing the future.
This comes only from God.
Write down some areas where you feel your trust in the Lord is weak.

Meditate on Psalm 62:7 and think about how you can strengthen your confidence in God in those areas.

Memorize Hebrews 4:16 and repeat it out loud every time you feel your walk with Christ getting jittery.

(PA)

Nov 222017
 

“And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17.

If someone asks if you’re aware of God, what will you say?

Maybe you’d reply, “I go to church, read my Bible, and pray all the time. I’m definitely aware of God.”

But the real question is this:
Are you aware of God’s presence and activity in your daily life?

This second question makes it a bit more personal, doesn’t it?
It refers to God being in our daily lives all the time.

We’d like to have that constant awareness of God’s presence, but it’s difficult.

When hardships and trials come from nowhere, we sometimes feel confused.
We may feel like God has left us so alone.

During difficult times, we might pray even harder and longer.
We plead for help, but see little result.

The problem is that our prayers usually revolve around our desires.
Even when communicating with God, we may be aware only of ourselves, leaving the Lord out of the matter entirely.

At that point, we may find we’re not really talking to the Father at all; we’re talking to ourselves.

Perhaps we’re focusing on the problem and actually wishing for the ability to handle it on our own.
We can, in effect, become completely blind to how God may be working.

Second Kings 6:15-17 gives us a clear picture of what happens when we remove our self-centered blinders and truly see God’s hand at work. 

Open your eyes!
You may be shocked to discover the help God has already sent your way.

(PA)

I Hope You Answered No!

 Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on I Hope You Answered No!
Nov 162017
 

“Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4).

The three-headed monster of-

– inferiority,
– insecurity and
– inadequacy

-can paralyze a Christian into inactivity.

God’s desire is to destroy the monster with the truth and render him impotent in our lives.

Satan’s desire is to feed him with lies until he’s big and strong.

Who are we going to believe?

Believing who we are in Christ destroys feelings of inferiority.

Believing where we are in Christ destroys feelings of insecurity.

Believing what we have in Christ destroys feelings of inadequacy.

What a transformation when a Christian believes the truth.

I do not want you to think I am always victorious and never struggle with the three-headed monster.

He still rears his ugly head every now and then.

When Satan tells me, “Who do you think you are?”

Let me tell you what I would say:

“I am light in the world. I am salt in the earth. I am a child of God. I am the bride of Christ. I am a joint-heir with Christ. I have the power of the Holy Spirit. I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ. I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.

I know that without Him I am nothing but an empty vessel.

However, because of Him, I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing!

I can be confident because of who I am as a child of the King.

I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me!”

Now it’s your turn!

When is the last time you had a case of the “I can’ts?

Where do you think those feelings of insecurity come from?

Do you believe that the power of God lives in you?

Do you think there is any incident in which God would say “I can’t?”

I hope you answered no!

Look up these two verses and write them down.

Post them in a visible place and look at them every time your confidence begins to wane this week.

Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37.

(PA)