Friday, March 5, 2021

"He Overcame"

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"I have overcome the world." When Jesus walked the earth as a man, He faced the same temptations we face. He was tempted in every area we are tempted- the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. He was tempted to hold grudges, receive offense, give in to bitterness, be unforgiving. He was tempted to gossip and talk about others. He was tempted to follow His own desires. There was no area that He wasn't tempted in.

Yet in the times of temptation He did not yield to the temptations. He did not give in to them. He, at the cross, became sin but He knew no sin. He did not know it from first hand experience. Reason number one is because He was born sinless. Reason number two was because He never gave into sin's temptations- He did not indulge in sin.

That is good news for us! He overcame showing us that it can be done. He overcame and then left us the example to follow so that we can overcome. He overcame and left us His Spirit and His word to show us how He did it. He overcame and left His victory with us so that we can overcome. Remember the next time that you are tempted that Jesus has already gotten the victory for you in all areas and you do not have to give into sin. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (John 4:4)

Have a great day. He overcame the temptations of sin and through Him so can we.

For further reading:
1 John 2:16; 3:5
1 Peter 2:21-24
1 Corinthians 15:57
Hebrews 4:15

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"Renewed In Hearing"

"Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 7:13

We say we want to hear from the Lord, but do we really? How many times has the Lord spoken to your heart but you ignored what He said or pretended that you did not hear? Eight different times in His earthly ministry Jesus admonished the people to "have ears to hear". I thought it was interesting that He used that same phrase eight times- the number eight represents new beginnings; newness. (I see a message within His message to "have ears to hear".)

The Lord desires to speak to His people, and we need to learn how to listen and heed what He is saying. When He speaks, it is for our good- even when He says something that we don't necessarily want to hear. God always has a reason for everything He says.

But also, hearing what He is saying when you are going through a difficult time is like a breath of fresh air- it gives renewed hope, renewed faith, renewed peace and renewed strength. When David and his men arrived at Ziklag and found their homes destroyed and families gone, they were so distressed that they cried until they couldn't cry any more. David went before the Lord and sought for a word from Him. The Lord spoke to David and gave Him instructions concerning what he should do in this situation. After David heard from the Lord his strength and hope was renewed and he went forth and regained all that the enemy had stolen.

When we hear from the Lord in the problems that we face, there is something that happens in us- that something is a renewing of hope that says it is possible; a renewed faith that cries out, "this is not impossible for God"; a renewed strength to stand firm and not wavier; a renewed peace that all is well because He is with me; and a renewed joy to continue on.

Have a great day. Hear what He is saying, there is something "new" attached to it.

For further reading:
1 Samuel 30
Matthew 11:15; 13:43
Luke 5:4-6

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

"Come"

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17

Throughout all the ages (from Genesis to Revelation) the Lord God has expressed the desire for us to come to Him. And not only has He expressed this desire, He has made Himself accessible and approachable so that we can come to Him. He has provided the way into His presence and invites us to come.

If you are tired and thirsty- come to Him and He will give you living waters so that you will never thirst again. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1)

If you are heavy ladened, burdened down with a load of cares- come to Him and He will give you rest. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

If you lare iving in sin, He invites you to come and let Him wash them away. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

If you are hungry, He invites you to come and dine in His presence. "Come and dine." (John 21:12)

Though these invitations have been given, and the way provided, it is still up to you as to whether you will come to Him or not.

One day there will be another invitation given to come and inherit the Kingdom. This invitation will be given to those who have accepted His other invitations while they were here on earth. "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34) Will you be one of them?

Are you accepting His invitations to come to Him? Don't refuse or reject them. Accept His invitation of salvation, of strength, of help, of grace and of everything else you need. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)

Have a great day. His greatest desire is for you to come to Him- the invitation has been given and the way provided.

For further reading:
John 6:35; 4:14

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

"The Process"

"By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land." Exodus 23:30

While speaking to the Israelites in the wilderness concerning their entering into the promised land, the Lord told them that He was going to drive the other nations out of the land little by little. He was not going to drive them all out at one time. It would be by the conquering of one city after another. Could God drive them all out at once? Sure He could, but He was not going to. He was going to do it through a process.

At salvation there is something that takes place in our lives right then- we become a new creation. But that is only the beginning, from there we go through a process. God could totally deliver us from all the vain imaginations of our heart, from the lusts of the flesh, from our flawed thinking, but He doesn't. The destruction of our biggest enemy (our own flesh) and transformation into the likeness of Christ, takes place through a process- a daily process of denying self, of renewing our mind and of presenting ourselves before the Lord as living sacrifices.

How nice it would be if He would just instantaneously change at salvation all the things about us that have to be put to death. But instead we have to do that on a daily basis as we encounter each one. So today, remember that you are in a process and every "enemy" you encounter has to be dealt with then and "driven out".

Have a great day. We are in a process- I must decrease and He must increase.

For further reading:
Exodus 23:25-31
John 3:30
Romans 8:13

Monday, March 1, 2021

"Follow Me"

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23

When Jesus said to, "Follow Me", He also said that there would be a cross to bear involved. In modern day Christianity we have a "one-sided" view of what it means to "follow" Jesus. We want to follow Him for the blessings and what He can do for us, like the multitudes that followed Him did while He was here on earth. "And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole." (Mark 6:56)

We want to follow Him in the works. We want to do the same works He did- miracles, heal the sick, teach, preach, minister. We want to follow His power. We want to follow in the glory. We want to be used in the gifts of the Spirit. And this seems to be our whole focus and desire when it comes to following Him. But there is more to following Jesus than what we consider the "glamorous" side of ministry- this is only one side of following Him.

There was a reason why Jesus said that those who would follow Him would also bear a cross. There is no gospel without the cross. There can be no discipleship without the cross. Jesus bore a cross and we do too.

So what does it mean to "follow Him"? It means to follow Him down the same path He walked. We are to follow Him on the path of obedience, the path of suffering, the path of sacrifice and self-denial. It is a path that surrenders to the will of God no matter what it cost us- “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39b- NIV) Following Him means that we will suffer pain, rejection and sorrow. And eventually it will mean death- death to self-- self-will, self-desire, self-ambition, self-love.

When you say you are a follower of Jesus, what do you mean? Do you mean that you are following His blessings, His power, His glory, His works? Or are you following Him by following Him to the cross as well?

Have a great day. What kind of follower are you?

For further reading:
Mark 10:21; 37-39
Hebrews 5:8
Philippians 3:10