I’ll keep following the thoughts on fear, trust, faith and how these all relate to our walk with Christ. The key to spiritual success (which I’ll define as Godly endurance) is your source of strength. The Bible is filled with examples of people in hard situations.
Isaiah 41:10 is a really good verse that both educates and encourages. “Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.”
In reading the full text, we see that GOD is doing the talking, He is addressing the Nation Israel which is in the midst of a 70 year captivity. The encouragement is in that GOD is with them, even in the middle of the worst situation. The same with us, if we’re in a good relationship with GOD we can be sure He is with us. That in itself is encouraging. GOD also says He will help us and strengthen us and support us. If we break this verse down, GOD tells us five things; He is with us, He is our GOD (make it personal), He will give us strength, He will help us, and He will support us. No matter what we face, no matter what GOD reveals to us about ourselves or a loved one, no matter what He asks us to do in service to Him and the Kingdom, no matter how difficult the challenge or dire the situation, GOD IS ALL WE NEED! Count on it, GOD said it and it’s Truth we need to embrace for a successful walk with Christ. With Much Love, Mike
Today’s devotional thoughts are from 2 Peter. Peter closes his letter (2 Pet 3:18) with an encouraging statement or maybe a very strong suggestion, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” This verse is packed with teaching points for us as followers of Jesus. My focus is on “growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus”. Grace encompasses so many facets of our walk with our LORD and Savior. Growing in grace means our faith becomes stronger, our love for GOD and others is more apparent, our humbleness in receiving correction is deeply felt and our joy in the everyday activities is visible to all we encounter. And as we grow in grace, it follows that our knowledge of Jesus as LORD (King) and Savior increases as well. The relationship between grace and knowledge is a two-way street, as one increases the other follows. The true transformation occurs in the heart when grace takes root everything else follows. Once transformed, knowledge of Jesus supplies the grace we extend to others with the characteristics of love and mercy and humility. Praying we remain humble and know that we still have a long way to go (grow) in our relationship with Jesus and with others. Mike
There are some things that need little effort to accomplish, those things always yield little in the way of results. And truth be told, many of us are content to spend our days and effort accomplishing little trivial things that really aren’t significant. Anything lasting and worthwhile requires effort and commitment. Great resolve is necessary to accomplish great things. Great ideas will not bear fruit without a lifetime of effort.
The apostle Paul may not have had this thought in his mind when he spoke these words recorded in Acts 20:24, “But I count myself as nothing; nor do I regard my life as valuable to myself, so that I may complete my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear solemn testimony to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Paul dedicated his life, better said Paul sacrificed his life to telling the (known) world about Jesus Christ and His Grace. That was Paul’s purpose for living. As a result of his life’s work, we have (give or take) 2/3’rds of the New Testament. His letters contain spiritual guideposts and principles for spiritual living that have reached hundreds of millions of believers in the 2000 years since they were written. Not too bad for a lifetime of work. We’re not Paul, but if with the dedicated effort we can impact our families, our congregations and our communities for Christ. A lifetime of work is accomplished one day at a time with dedication and focused effort. Praying we begin to earnestly work for the LORD today. Mike
Matthew 15:33 “And his disciples said unto him, From where should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?”
The disciples came to Jesus with a problem. Many had been following Jesus wanting to be healed of many illnesses, at the end the multitudes were without food and darkness was falling. Thus the problem, how to feed the multitudes. Jesus knew the solution, what was about to happen was a miracle. With every problem we present to Jesus is an opportunity for a miracle to happen. Have you let Jesus work a miracle with you? Mike
We’re still in Isaiah for tonight’s thoughts. Isaiah 49:15-16 reads “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
There are times when we feel so alone, like we’re isolated, cut-off, forgotten by friends and family. For GOD’S children, all we need to do is to remember these verses from Isaiah. No woman who has borne children can forget her children, the joy of new life almost immediately outweighs the pain of childbearing. That’s the comparison GOD makes. He goes one step further in His explanation. GOD tells us that we’re written in the palms of His hands. The nail pierced hands of Jesus are proof that GOD constantly sees, the evidence that His own will always be in His thoughts. Beloved, never forget that we’ve been purchased with a price and as a result, we are precious and cannot be forgotten. Mike