"And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time"
MEDITATIONS & WEEKLY SCRIPTURES
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2021
James 2:20-23 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"—and he was called a friend of God.
Looking at the relationship between “love and affection” ("chiba" in Hebrew) and “obligation” ("chova" in Hebrew), we find another closely related word, “chaver”, one of the Hebrew words for “friend”. Friends are people with whom we share love and affection and a sense of obligation. Our God and Father wants us to be His friends, to share love and affection with Him and to carry the sense of responsibility and obligation which friendship requires. Abraham was a friend to God. He believed and trusted His Friend, but he also came to share the awesome responsibility of that friendship. Abraham's Friend, the Lord Himself, asked Abraham to become a living picture of His relationship with His own Son, Jesus by offering his own beloved son Isaac on an altar at Mount Moriah. Abraham's response to his Friend's request expressed a level of commitment to the friendship which was probably unprecedented in all human history since the time of Adam. As we consider these Hebrew words and their common roots, we begin to see that Biblical language expresses profound realities and carries meanings which resound through history. And we find that the God of all creation desires an intimate friendship with human beings He created and loves. But that friendship involves degrees of commitment which test the very frontiers of relationship. If you are on one of those frontiers, you may count yourself blessed. Not everyone is called "a friend of God."
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020
Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for He makes His sunrise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
The Lord is quoted in this scripture in Matthew, and it contains an important principle which I think we sometimes tend to overlook. Many believe and even teach that if someone acquires much material prosperity, then God has surely given them favor, and that if someone is undergoing extreme trial, it must be because they have sinned or that they lack faith. But the Lord says that the sun rises, and the rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous alike. A life of good circumstances does not necessarily mean that God is with us. And likewise, a life of trial and suffering does not mean that God is not with us!
If we base our lives on our circumstances, we are no different than people without God. What makes us different from the world is that we have something far greater than our circumstances! We can live victoriously both in want and in plenty because we have a relationship with the living God!
There is nothing wrong with rejoicing through the good times, but we need to rejoice through the bad as well! If you are going through some hard times, choose to rejoice in the Lord today! We have a greater treasure and a more amazing victory when our lives are always centered upon Him!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020
Romans 12:17-18,21 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
One minister tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, but I also want to get even! Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has hurt me!"
The minister suggested an ingenious plan, "Why don't you go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him. Make him believe you love him. Then -- after you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, drop the bomb. Tell him you want a divorce. That will really hurt him.
With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful! Boy, will he ever be devastated!" And she did it with enthusiasm. For two months she showed love and kindness, she listened, served, and reinforced. When she didn't return to his office, the minister called. "So are you ready now to go through with the divorce?" "Divorce?" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered that I really do love him."
This woman's actions changed her feelings. Whether it's a tough relationship, a long-time fear, or a task that seems too big for us to accomplish, sometimes we need to act in faith in order to see it conquered for the Kingdom!
Whatever it may be, let's give it to the Lord today and ask Him to motivate us to go forth with strength and passion -- for His sake!
Worthy Christian Devotions 2/3/21
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2020
Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. It ought to be obvious to all of us believers that we are in a spiritual war that is taking place all over the earth -- and that we are called to fight in this battle. In the world's armies, soldiers are not sent into battle before receiving many months of serious training. They need to get physically in shape first and then to learn how to handle different wartime situations and tactics of the enemy. For us, the moment we are saved, the Lord begins our training for the ongoing spiritual battle in this world. It begins with learning to trust Him for protection as young believers, and progresses through many phases even to the place where we may enter strenuous wrestling with principalities and powers, as the apostle Paul describes in these verses. Are you struggling in your walk with God? If so, realize that He is training you. Born into war, you are both protected and also necessarily engaged in the battle. Thank God for His protection and His preparation. We need both as we mature and become more involved and useful soldiers for Him against the diverse strategies and tactics of the enemy. The Lord's weapons are spiritual; they include a knowledge of the scriptures, the anointing of the Holy Spirit which increases with a devoted prayer life, the courage which comes only with deep trust, and His divine wisdom which reveals His strategy for our present situation. Realizing that we are in a battle, we ought to reflect on and discover where our weaknesses are. We may already be aware of some of them, but the Lord will show us if we ask Him for more insight. Our part is to cooperate with His development and sharpening of our spiritual weapons. If we cooperate with Him He will always lead us in triumph. Our present trial is the battleground for our next victory. So, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. With His armor, you will stand, and with His weapons, you will win.