A Cry for Truth

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In his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, Mark Twain wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

As writers of fiction no matter how outlandish the tale, the reader needs to be able to believe the story is possible—even if the world is make-believe. God’s truth transcends the believable and includes the impossible. Gabriel gave testimony of it to Mary as did Jesus to his disciples.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible …

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,

with men this is impossible;

but with God all things are possible.”

Luke 1:37;Matthew 19:26

The writer of Hebrews, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that God’s unchanging promises and oaths show us lying is the only thing impossible to God.

“That by two immutable things,

in which it was impossible for God to lie,

we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge

to lay hold upon the hope set before us;

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,

both sure and stedfast,

and which entereth into that within the veil.”

(6:18,19)

We have the whole of scripture and numerous fulfilled prophecies proving the truth of God’s word.

  • He created all,
  • He delivered the  son of promise to Sarah when she was ninety years old and Abraham one hundred,
  • He made Abraham into a nation,
  • He parted the Red Sea,
  • He raised the dead,
  • and He has given life to all who will believe.
  • Truth is our comfort and sure, steadfast hope.

A Cry for Truth

“O send out thy light and thy truth:

let them lead me;

let them bring me unto thy holy hill,

and to thy tabernacles.

Then will I go unto the altar of God,

unto God my exceeding joy;

yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.”

Psalm 43:3,4

A Promise of Truth

“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him,

to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him:

he also will hear their cry, and will save them …

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,

he will guide you into all truth:

for he shall not speak of himself;

but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:

and he will shew you things to come.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine,

and shall shew it unto you …

For the promise is unto you,

and to your children,

and to all that are afar off,

even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

(Psalm 145:18,19; John 16:13,14;Acts 2:39)

With truth being a precious commodity in our world, we need discernment to recognize truth from error. It is time to cry out with the psalmist for the Lord to— send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; It is ours for the asking. We have God’s word on it, and as we already know He cannot lie. When we’ve asked and believed Him to be true, then we give—

Praise for Our Belt of Truth

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

and into his courts with praise;

be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good;

his mercy is everlasting;

and his truth endureth to all generations …

I will praise thee with my whole heart:

before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

I will worship toward thy holy temple,

and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness

and for thy truth:

for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me,

and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.”

Psalm 100:4,5; 138:1-3

Ask, believe His word, praise Him, and tighten your belt of truth to stand in the confidence and strength of the Lord.


If you are not familiar with the “belt of truth” you can find it Ephesians 6:14 and read more from my blog, “Truth Comes in One Size.”

Practicing Righteousness

Righteousness

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“Little children, let no one deceive you;

the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.

The Son of God appeared for this purpose,

that He might destroy the works of the devil.

No one who is born of God practices sin,

because His seed abides in him;

and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious:

anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God,

nor the one who does not love his brother.”

1 John 3:7-10; NASB

When a child, practicing the piano was torture. As a result, I didn’t come close to mastering the music. I didn’t come close to playing the music. I could read the notes, understand the fingering, and the tempo. But to get that information to cooperate and make music didn’t happen for me. Playing the music never made its way to my heart.

On the other hand, I have a cousin who had the same piano teacher as I did. We were taught the same things, but what she knew made it to her heart, and her fingers responded. She didn’t practice the music, the music engulfed her. It became a part of what made her, her.

The righteousness the apostle John wrote about isn’t the righteousness that believers inherit in Christ when we enter God’s family. That is ours through faith by God’s grace. 2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB says,

“He(God) made Him(Jesus) who knew no sin

to be sin on our behalf,

that we might become

the righteousness of God in Him.”

Through Christ in us, we carry the stamp of God’s righteousness in us. We are declared righteous. Now comes in the learning to live out our new character in Christ—the righteousness that has been born in our heart. This is where practicing comes in.

Practicing the piano is like the righteousness John speaks of. People know what’s right, that it’s good to do what’s right, and even how to perform what’s right. But what people of the world know has not engulfed their hearts.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day believed they had a corner on righteousness—and they did—self-righteousness. When we set our own standard of right, we become like the Pharisees—puffed up like a balloon full of our own hot air. Sooner than later, the balloon bursts into pieces revealing our motivation, self promotion. It leaves us deflated.

When our righteousness is of God, we fade into the background and Christ becomes our boasting, our glory.

“He who pursues righteousness and loyalty

Finds life, righteousness and honor.”

Proverbs 21:21, NASB

According to Proverbs we must intentionally pursue righteousness. According to Jesus we must hunger, thirst and seek righteousness.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they shall be satisfied …

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness;

and all these things shall be added to you.”

(Matthew 5:6; 6:33, NASB)

According to John, the righteous in Christ will practice it.

“the one who practices righteousness is righteous,

just as He is righteous;”

We have the power in us, through the Holy Spirit, to live out the righteousness of Christ—to practice righteousness moment by moment. Occasionally, we will hit a wrong note, showing us where God is still working to bring us to a piece of beautiful music reflecting His glory. After all, He is the conductor. He encourages us not to quit, but—

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

God will complete His work.

A Prayer: Heavenly Father, increase our hunger, our thirst, our passion to practice the righteousness of Christ before a world held in bondage to the devil, deceived by him. Help us live out the righteousness we have in Christ Jesus to your glory. Thank you, for the righteousness that is ours in Him.

For Thought: What promises are given to those pursuing, seeking, and practicing righteousness?

Keep Praising, Praying, and Believing

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“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil …”

Matthew 6:13a, KJV

Job of the Old Testament knew it, Paul knew it, and we all know someone, if not ourselves, experiencing long term trials that Satan wants to use to make us doubt the goodness and love of our heavenly Father. But our God tells us—

“You are from God, little children,

and have overcome them;

because greater is He who is in you

than he who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4; NASB

The “them” in that verse refers to the antichrist spirits that belong to the “he”-Satan who is in the world seeking anyone he can convince— that God is not good. But the greater He lives in His children and gives us His promises He will deliver.

The devotional publication from, Mornings With Jesus, the Jan/Feb issue, included a piece written by Cynthia Ruchti. She began with a scripture which will be our first promise.

“When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and through the rivers,

they shall not overwhelm you.”

Isaiah 43:2(ESV).

Cynthia followed it with a text image quote that said, ‘“I asked Jesus why He was taking me through troubled waters. He answered, ‘Because your enemies can’t swim.’” She went on to remind us of the account of Moses leading the Hebrew children through the Red Sea successfully, and the Egyptians drowning.

The Father’s Promises for Victory:

“No temptation has overtaken you

but such as is common to man;

and God is faithful,

who will not allow you to be tempted

beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation will provide

the way of escape also,

that you may be able to endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13, NASB

  • There are no trials we face that another has not faced—and endured.
  • God has the final say over the trials we face.
  • He will not allow one to come to us without providing a way out  before we would deny our faith.
  • His strength in us is that way.

“And He has said to me,

‘My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is perfected in weakness.’

Most gladly, therefore,

I will rather boast about my weaknesses,

that the power of Christ may dwell in me …  

But the Lord is faithful,

and He will strengthen and protect you

from the from the evil one …

then the Lord knows how to rescue

the godly from temptation,

and to keep the unrighteous under punishment

for the day of judgment …

 And after you have suffered for a little while,

the God of all grace,

who called you to His eternal glory in Christ,

will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you …

We know that no one who is born of God sins;

but He who was born of God keeps him

and the evil one does not touch him …

The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed,

and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom;

to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 5:10; 1John 5:18; 2 Timothy 4:18; NASB

  • These promises are why those who have gone before us could rejoice in their trials—
  • they knew their faithful God would deliver,
  • their trial was not without purpose,
  • and their heavenly Father had supplied faith and strength to endure to victory.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;

and this is the victory that has overcome the world—

our faith.

And who is the one who overcomes the world,

but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

1 John 5:4,5

For Us:

  • Praise God—deliverance is coming.
  • Pray for God not to let us enter into temptation but be delivered from evil by the grace of God which is your strength to endure.
  • Cling to the Promises of God and rejoice for He is faithful.

“FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,

HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME,

AND WILL NOT DELAY.”

Hebrews 10:37

Deliverance Will Come

blogcross-792538__340“And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil …”

Matthew 6:13a

Do you have the same lack of understanding of this phrase as I have had? Hopefully, through this week’s post and your comments we will all come to understand it better. Vines Expository Dictionary explains temptation as—trials with a beneficial purpose and effect. Jesus is our perfect example.

The night held a darkness that could be felt as Jesus led eleven of His disciples across the Kidron Valley, past the distant smoldering fires of the Hinnom Valley where Jerusalem burned its refuse, then up the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane.

“And when He arrived at the place, He said to them,

‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’

And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, Saying,

‘Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me;

yet not My will, but Thine be done.’”

Luke 22:40, 41; NASB

It would be sadistic to want to experience the trial Jesus faced that night and through the next day. One thing made it possible for Him to complete the work given to Him. He—

“for the joy set before Him

endured the cross, despising the shame,

and has sat down

at the right hand of the throne of God,”

Hebrews 12:2b

Jesus kept His eyes on the goal, the prize, the deliverance. Paul, the disciples, Job, Abraham, Joseph, the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lions’ den—were men who knew their Deliverer. Knowing Him they had hope, and their hope was not without merit.

Our Praise and Rejoicing:

“Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to Thee

in a time when thou mayest be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters

they shall not reach him.

Thou art my hiding place;

Thou dost preserve me from trouble;

Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance …

Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;

This I know,

that God is for me.

In God, whose word I praise,

In the LORD, whose word I praise.

In God I have put my trust,

I shall not be afraid.

What man can do to me …

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,

The God who is our salvation.

God is to us a God of deliverances;

And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”

Psalm 32:6-7; 56:9-11; 68:19,20; NASB

In the trials that do come to us, we take our eyes off the suffering(which we despise) but look to the deliverance and the reward of endurance.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren,

when you encounter various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 

And let endurance have its perfect result,

that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing …

In this you greatly rejoice,

even though now for a little while, if necessary,

you have been distressed by various trials,

that the proof of your faith,

being more precious than gold which is perishable,

even though tested by fire,

may be found to result in praise and glory and honor

at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

and though you have not seen Him,

you love Him,

and though you do not see Him now,

but believe in Him,

you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

obtaining as the outcome of your faith

the salvation of your souls.”

James 1:2,3; 1 Peter 1:6-9; NASB

The joy doesn’t come from being in the trial but in knowing its end. So, we are to pray not to enter into the trial which may tempt us to lose hope and deny the One who will deliver and reward our faith. Instead we are to fix—

“our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,

who for the joy set before Him endured the cross …”

For Thought: Jesus told us trials will come in this world. If we take a glance at our world, we know this is true. How will you be prepared to endure?

Kingdom Promises

Kingdom Promises

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“Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:10, NASB

The evening began much like the Passover celebration of years gone by, sharing of the eventful night when the death angel passed over those who applied the blood of the lamb to their doorposts. It was a night of separation between the kingdom of death and the kingdom of  life. But instead of following the usual story line Jesus took his disciples down a different path—a path He would have to walk alone, so they would not have to.

Simon Peter shook his head and rubbed his whiskery face. “Lord, where are you going?”

“You can’t follow me now, Peter—but later you will.”

The other disciples didn’t get it either. Jesus switched gears and left them with a promise.

“Let not your heart be troubled:

ye believe in God, believe also in me.

  • In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
  • I go to prepare a place for you.
  • And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
  • and receive you unto myself;
  • that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3, KJV

Jesus must leave them for a time. Their hearts cried for understanding. What about the kingdom? How would they manage while He was gone? They didn’t want to be left alone to walk through this kingdom of darkness. Jesus gave them another promise.

“And I will pray the Father,

  • and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
  • Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not neither knoweth him;
  • but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
  • I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18, KJV

The kingdom would live in them through the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them until the time when Jesus would return and reign over the earth. They would not walk alone in this hostile kingdom alone. They would walk in the kingdom of light with the light of life living in them.

The same promises the Lord gave to his disciples then, He gives to us today.

He is preparing a place in his kingdom for us; He will come again to take us to be with him; Until then, He has not left us in this world alone. He has given us His Spirit of truth. And He promises He will come.

Until then—

  • “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised:) …
  • Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
  • For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE,

AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME,

AND WILL NOT TARRY.

NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH:

BUT IF ANY MAN DRAW BACK,

MY SOUL SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM.

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;

but of them that believe to the saving of the soul…

For we, like Abraham of old are looking —for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God—

It is a—better country, that is , an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 10:23, 35-39;11:10, 16)

The prayer of the kingdom has come in part. We, as follower of Christ, are citizens of another country. One day we will take our place in the kingdom of Christ. Until then, we wait, we watch, and we work with Christ while it is still day, in building the kingdom that is to come. For we are— of them that believe to the saving of the soul … And—he is faithful that promised.

Giving to Give

bloglove-699480_960_720“Finally brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted,

be like-minded,

live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

2 Corinthians 13:11, NASB

be like-minded—We have been given the mind of Christ in order to think and live like him.

Jesus, God the Son, came from his throne in his kingdom of light to a manger—a feed trough—in a stable housing donkeys, goats, cattle, camels, and sheep belonging to other weary travelers—and into a kingdom covering its subjects in darkness.

  • He left his home a king to live as a servant to his creation.

“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger …

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

who, although He existed in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,

and being made in the likeness of men.

And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself

by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

It is not so among you,

but whoever wishes to become great among you

shall be your servant …

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,

but to serve,

and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Luke 2: 11,12; Colossians 2:5-8; Matthew 20:26,28; NASB

Christmas is about a new way of life.

  • It epitomizes a life of service.
  • God has given His Son to bring us into His eternal family as sons and daughters in His kingdom of light.
  • He has given us the mind of Christ to know Him
  • and to live as Christ lived by humbling ourselves as His children
  • to serve Him by serving one another—even as He served us.

For Thought: During this season we exchange gifts, but what gift/s can we give without expecting anything in return for ourselves?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us Jesus that we may be called your sons and daughters. As your children may we live a life of service to you by serving others, giving of the love, the joy, and peace, the mercy you have given us—that your kingdom of light be filled with children of light.

Praise for So Great a Grace

2 Corinthians 12: So Great a Grace: Praise, Promise, & Prayer

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This Week’s Scripture:

“And He has said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is perfected in weakness.”

Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Did you know, in the King James Version of the Bible, the word grace appears 170 times in 159 verses? People seek it, receive it, and describe it more in action than word. Paul’s description seems understated when compared to how grace is revealed.

The apostle John says Jesus came—

“full of grace and truth …

of His fulness we have all received,

and grace upon grace …

For the Law was given through Moses;

grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ …

He has explained Him(God).”

(Excerpts from John 1:14, 16-18, NASB)

Vine’s Dictionary uses the words pleasure, delight, kindness, goodwill, Divine favor, and joy to define God’s grace—it is his inherent character to give gifts to his people. He delights in giving; It brings him pleasure to show us kindness. So much so, James writes—

“But He gives a greater grace …”

and reminds us,

“Every good thing bestowed

and every perfect gift is from above,

coming down from the Father of lights,

with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”

James 4:6; 1:17, NASB.

How appropriate at this season we should take a look at God’s greater grace, His greatest gift, His perfect gift, sufficient for all our need.

Grace’s Promise & Sufficiency:

“For God so loved the world,

that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him should not perish,

but have eternal life.”

John 3:16, NASB

In Praise of God’s Grace:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

  • who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love
  • He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

to the praise of the glory of His grace;

which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

  • In Him we have redemption through His blood,
  • the forgiveness of our trespasses,
  • according to the riches of His grace which,
  • He lavished upon us.
  • In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will,
  • according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.” Ephesians1: 3-9, NASB

For Thought: Without the sufficient grace of God what do you really have to celebrate in this Christmas season or any time? His grace is sufficient and available. He delights in giving—ask and receive.

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, may those who do not know the grace of God reach out to him today, knowing we can—

“draw near with confidence to the throne of grace,

that we may receive mercy and

may find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16.

May we all,

“be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,”

2Timothy 2:1.

And may—

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

be with you all.”

2 Corinthians 13:14, NASB

May you all have a grace filled Christmas!

And if you don’t celebrate Christmas,

may each day be filled with the fullness of of God’s grace!

Grace Trumps Excuses

2 Corinthians 12: Grace Trumps Excusesblog ten comthL1JRHTI7

The Story: (adapted from Exodus)

Step, staff, step, staff—Moses leaned heavily on the staff with each step up the sandy mountain. He leaned one hand above his knee and the other on the staff as he walked around the huge boulder—and stopped. A fierce orange, red, and blue flame encased a scraggly broom bush—but it stood unharmed in the midst of the fire. No smoke, no crackling twigs. Moses scanned the area for footprints, stroked his long gray beard, and fixed his eyes on the burning bush engulfed in flames but not destroyed. He took a step closer.

“Moses! Moses! Stop!” The voice roared like a fire fed by a fierce wind’s updraft.

Moses froze—leaning on his staff with both hands, and answered, “I— am— here.”

“This is holy ground. Take off your sandals.”

So began the discourse between God and Moses when God chose Moses to be his voice and his avenue of deliverance for his people from Egypt. Moses began to argue with the Lord’s choice.

“I can’t go before Pharaoh.”

“I can’t speak.”

“The people won’t believe me.”

Fear of failing a second time, fear of Pharaoh’s wrath, fear of the people were the fires that consumed Moses in the beginning.

Moses fully felt his weakness and knew he couldn’t do the job God had chosen him to do—a feeling many others, who came after him, understood.

  • Joshua had to follow in Moses’ footsteps.
  • Gideon could hardly believe what he heard when the angel of the Lord called him a valiant warrior.
  • Isaiah knew he was merely a man of unclean lips—how could he be the right one to deliver God’s message.
  • Jeremiah was too young and no one was going to listen to him anyway.
  • Peter was a coward when courage was needed.
  • And Timothy—he didn’t offer excuses, but Paul had to encourage him concerning what others thought about his youthfulness—apparently he also had a weak stomach.

Speaking of Paul—he had to overcome his past, times of discouragement, persecution, and a thorn in his flesh. But he didn’t use them as excuses to quit. Instead he saw them as opportunities for God to display his power through him.

God delights in taking the weakest, which Paul claimed to be among the apostles, and reveal his strength. He answered each man’s weakness with his strength. He said—

To Paul—

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, NASB

To Moses— “Certainly I will be with you.”

To Joshua—“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

To Peter—“but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Exodus 3:12; Joshua 1:9;Luke 22:32, NASB)

God has called us to represent him and his kingdom of light in a kingdom of darkness.

 “Now all these things are from God,

who reconciled us to Himself through Christ,

and gave us the ministry of reconciliation …

Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ …”

2 Corinthians 5:18, 20

We are no longer walking in the flesh but in his Spirit. He is with us as He has always been with his own. He supplies our every need.

“And my God shall supply all your needs

according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever.

Amen.”

Philippians 4:19,20

For Thought: Have you accepted God’s calling on your life? How are you living it out? If you’re not, what fear holds you in its grip?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us all we need to live the life you have called us to. When we grow weary or feel weak, help us remember your joy is our strength—through Christ we can do all things. Help us remember it is through our weakness your power is made evident. May we be quick to answer as Isaiah did—“Here am I. Send me!” —and be ready to serve whenever and wherever you go with us.

Old Friends

IMG_06062 Corinthians 12: An Old Friend

My daily routine, when I remain faithful to it, includes a walk down the country road my house sits near. My daughter ducks her head as another car passes by. I wave and smile.

“Mom, who was that?”

I shrug. “I don’t know. With those dark windows and the sun’s glare, it’s next to impossible to recognize who’s inside. But it’s good to be friendly.”

She shakes her head. We keep walking and I keep waving.

And yes, I greet strangers in the stores, too. You never know when you might meet a new friend who could become an old friend—one who knows you from the inside out, stands with you no matter what, and is a constant source of encouragement and strength. This week’s scripture is one of those old friends I like to visit often. For when “I can’t” tempts me, my old friend reminds me why, “I can.”

This Week’s Scripture:

“And He has said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is perfected in weakness.

Most gladly therefore,

I will rather boast about my weaknesses,

that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

For Thought: What is a scripture you run to often—one you find in your thoughts just when you need it?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your all-sufficient grace that covers the many times my spirit becomes weary and my strength leaves me wanting. Thank you for the power of Christ in me that whispers in my ear, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me”—another old KJV friend.”

The Overcomers’ Promises, Praise, & Prayer

2 Corinthians 11: Dwelling in devotion to Christblogreligious-2598299__340

“But I am afraid,

lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness,

your minds should be led astray

from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ …

And no wonder,

for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

2 Corinthians 11:3,14,NASB

Paul feared, not for himself, but for the Corinthian followers of Christ. He feared they were being led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. Paul understood the power and schemes Satan uses to destroy the witness of Christ in his people.

  • He urged the Corinthians to be suited in the armor of God.
  • He urged them to humble themselves before God and walk in pure devotion to Christ.
  • He urged them to walk in victory, to be overcomers through the power of the Spirit of Christ in them.

Paul wanted them to know the same things he wrote to Timothy.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner;

but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel

according to the power of God;

who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling,

not according to our works,

but according to his own purpose and grace

which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

But is now made manifest

by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who hath abolished death,

and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

2 Timothy 1:7-10,KJV

Jesus Christ overcame death with life and darkness with light. We no longer have to live in fear of death or the power sin. For we are governed by the power, love and mind of Christ in us. We are overcomers—for He brought us the victory.

His Promises to the Overcomers:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches ..

  • Life in the Presence of God—

To him who overcomes,

I will grant to eat of the tree of life,

which is in the Paradise of God …

  • Deliverance from eternal death—

He who overcomes

shall not be hurt by the second death …

  • Bread from heaven, a name that gives entrance to Christ’s kingdom—

To him who overcomes,

to him I will give some of the hidden manna,

and I will give him a white stone,

and a new name written on the stone

which no one knows but he who receives it …

  • The authority of Christ and life forever with him—

And he who overcomes,

and keeps My deeds until the end,

TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON,

AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES,

as I also have received authority from My Father;

and I will give him the morning star …

  • The righteousness of Christ, life and a witness—

He who overcomes,

shall thus be clothed in white garments;

and I will not erase his name from the book of life,

and I will confess his name before My Father,

and before His angels …

  • A Permanent place of belonging in God’s kingdom —

He who overcomes,

I will  make him a pillar in the temple of My God,

and he will not go out from it anymore;

and I will write upon him the name of My God,

and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem,

which comes down out of heaven from My God,

and my new name …

  • To be seated with Christ—

He who overcomes,

I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne,

as I also overcame

and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

The Overcomers’ Praise:

“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY,

who was and who is and who is to come …

Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God,

to receive glory and honor and power;

for Thou didst create all things,

and because of Thy will

they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4:8, 11

Our Prayer:  Heavenly Father, be our strength to endure, to resist the devil when he roars after us or comes to us as an angel of light; and to resist the pull of the flesh when it promises to satisfy our need. May our devotion be simple and pure. So after we have done your will we will receive your promises. For you tell us in a short while you are coming and nothing will delay your coming. So we pray—

“Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” Revelation 22:20,21


(Unless otherwise noted scriptures are from the NASB95. The promises are found in Revelation 2:7, 11,17, 26-28;3:5,12,21)