Saturday, February 26, 2011

Resist the Devil

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."
1 Peter 5:8-9

We have a very real enemy, the devil. He's not a red,monstrous-looking being with horns, a tail and a pitchfork in his hand, as he is often depicted in stories and cartoons. No, he is a spirit who "masquerades as an angel of light" (1 Corinthians 11:14). He once was the most beautiful of all God's angels (Ezekiel 28:17), but pride was literally his downfall. God cast him out of heaven and now he seeks to destroy God's work. He is a formidable enemy and Christians should be sober about his existence. But we need not be afraid of him.  Christ has given us an armor of protection and weapons to defeat the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18). We stand firm against him in our faith in God. Jesus used scripture against Satan in the wilderness and we are to do the same. The better we know God's word, the more natural it will be to use it against our adversary. And we pray. We pray for ourselves and for our fellow Christians around the world who are suffering for their faith in Christ. They are being persecuted daily. Take a moment to pray for them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Inexpressible Joy!

"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," 1 Peter 1:8

This is faith!  To love the Lord, though we have not seen Him. To believe in the Lord, though we do not see Him now. This is inexpressible joy full of glory. To know that He lives! This is something the  world will never understand unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to them. Pray that He will open their eyes so that they may share in our inexpressible joy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Joy of Life

"For with You is the fountain of life;
         In Your light we see light."
Psalm 36:9

David called the Lord the Fountain of Life. All life proceeds from Him, both biological and spiritual. It is the condition of our spirit that determines the joy of life. When we are in touch with the Fountain, then our parched spirits are refreshed and we experience all the delights of communion with Him. But there is more. Jesus said those who came to Him would receive living water (John 4:10). This living water is eternal. It never stops flowing, but will continue beyond the grave. We understand this when we stand in God's light. The darkness of sin -- of doing things our own way -- keeps us from seeing the truth that we are spiritually dehydrated. But when we step out of the dark and into His glorious light of truth, then the reality of our condition is exposed and we come to the Fountain of Life for living water. This is when the joy of life really begins.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Before We Build

"Unless the LORD builds the house,
         They labor in vain who build it;"
Psalm 127:1

Whatever we are building, whether it be a home or a church, a family or a nation, without God's blessing we will not prosper. The builders of the tower of Babel came to realize this when they set out to erect a great structure without God's favor. He confounded their language and made it impossible for them to succeed. Their labor was in vain. When Solomon built the temple and his own house, he did so with God's anointing. The results were much different from the Babel fiasco. It is good for us to consider these two examples before we begin construction. Have we first consulted God? Do we have His blessing?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Body Building

"but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
Ephesians 4:15-16

It is a mystery how Christians together function as Christ's body. It is supernatural. He spiritually indwells each Christian, and when those individuals join together, the result is the body of Christ. Without proper nourishment, the body will remain immature. Nourishment comes from the word of God. His truth is necessary to grow from infancy into adulthood. But it always must be accompanied by love. Truth without love can be judgmental, and weakens the body. But love for one another, with a sincere desire to see each other grow in truth, builds up the body and roots it to the head, which is Christ. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Release to the Captives

And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 
Luke 4:17-19

Jesus began His public ministry by teaching in the synagogues. On one particular Sabbath He entered the synagogue in Nazareth and read from the book of Isaiah. The fulfillment of Isaiah's prophetic words had come at last. Jesus preached the gospel wherever He traveled, offering salvation to whomever would receive it. Those who recognized their poverty of spirit caused by the bondage of sin would accept His words and follow Him. The chains of their captivity would fall away. Their eyes, once blind to the sin that oppressed them, would be opened to the truth of their imprisonment. They would look to their Redeemer and  would at last be set free. It was God's favor -- His love -- that made this possible. His love still makes it possible. Jesus is still the Proclaimer of truth. His gospel is as alive today as it was 2,000 years ago, and those who receive it experience the freedom only He can give. No longer bound by sin. Release to the captives. What a Savior!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Worship the King of Kings

"He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." 
1 Timothy 6:15b-16

What a beautiful description Paul gives of our God. The Sovereign who rules over all kings. The only Immortal One. Surrounded by light so bright it is unapproachable. No man can look upon Him. How could we ever hope to one day stand in His presence and not perish unless Christ had provided a way? To Him belongs all our worship

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