Charles Stanley – God Acts on our Behalf

Charles Stanley

Life Principle 14

God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

Isaiah 64:4

In this hurry-up world, waiting for anything can cause us to lose our temper and our good sense—more frequently than we care to admit! No one enjoys waiting in line. We don’t like waiting at stoplights. We don’t like waiting for dinner. We don’t even like waiting for good things, like for fish to bite. We want what we want right now.

Yet the Word of God insists that we learn some of life’s greatest lessons while we wait. Waiting rooms can be hard classrooms, but God promises vast rewards to those who wait for Him. God plans to use the long pauses in our lives for our blessing . . . if we let Him.

Why does God so often ask us to wait? Let’s consider five major rewards of waiting.

  1. We discover God’s will.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him” (Lam. 3:25). God does not allow delays in giving us the desire of our heart to lead us along. Rather, we know that even as we wait, He is working all things together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). Yet, as we eagerly anticipate His provision, we must keep our eyes on Him—listening for His voice and direction. In that way, we learn to do His will and our relationship with Him grows deeper.

  1. We receive supernatural energy and strength.

God invites us to claim His promise in Isaiah 40:29–31: “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

Just as God deepens our relationship with Him through times of waiting, He also increases our energy, faith, endurance, and strength. We grow in the likeness of Christ and all of His attributes—including in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22, 23). Surely, waiting on Him is never wasted time!

  1. We win battles.

“Wait for the Lord, and He will save you” (Prov. 20:22). How wonderful to see the Lord rescue us and bless us with His favor. When we do things our way, in our own hurried time, we end up defeated. But when we wait on God and obey His commands, He ensures our victory and keeps us from foolish and precipitous acts.

  1. We see the fulfillment of our faith.

“Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame” (Is. 49:23). In the end, we’ll never feel embarrassed for waiting on God; it’s always the smart thing to do. Although others may encourage us to forge ahead instead of waiting on the Lord, we must remember that He is the only One who can truly help us and that He will never let us down. And when we trust Him and obey, surely we will see the fulfillment of every hope we’ve entrusted to Him.

  1. We see God working on our behalf.

Isaiah spoke of the God “who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Is. 64:4). What a wonderful promise! While we actively wait, He actively works. Think of this: every single day, we have the greatest Mediator working on our behalf. Even when things seem to go wrong, He is making sure that everything works according to His purpose.

Although waiting can be one of the more difficult things in the Christian life, it is not wasted time. God gives us instructions through periods of actively waiting. He may change our circumstances while we wait. He keeps us in step with Himself and prepares us for His answers. He uses the time to sift our motives and strengthen our faith. And when we choose to wait, God rewards us with blessings both large and unexpected.

Think of waiting on God as something like planting a garden. You put a seed under the soil and water it. And then you wait.

And wait.

And wait.

After the sun and rain nourish the earth, the seeds begin to grow; and one day, finally, you begin to see evidence of what you’ve planted. Now, suppose you had grown impatient and dug up your seeds because nothing seemed to be happening? You would have ruined your garden.

Remember, some fruit takes a long time to mature—and the One who wants to bring it forth in our lives knows exactly how long we need to wait. Therefore, trust Him and be patient, because He is producing the most wonderful and precious fruit that you could ever hope for or imagine.

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

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Our Daily Bread — For Sale— “As Is”

Our Daily Bread

Revelation 5:1-12

For you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood. —Revelation 5:9

A house listed for sale “As Is” usually means the seller is unable or unwilling to spend any money to repair it or make it attractive. Any necessary repairs or desired improvements are the responsibility of the buyer after the purchase is complete. “As Is” on a real estate listing is equivalent to saying, “Buyer beware. Home may require significant further investment.”

How remarkable that when Jesus died, He paid the highest price for each of us, regardless of our condition. Revelation 5 describes a scene in heaven where only “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” is found worthy to open and read a sealed scroll (vv.3-5). He appears as a Lamb and becomes the object of praise in a new song, “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (vv.9-10).

Jesus Christ willingly purchased us for God with His blood. We were bought “as is,” faults, defects, needed renovation included. By faith we are now under His ownership, in the process of remodeling for God’s glory. How wonderful that God knew us, loved us, and bought us just as we are. —David McCasland

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe.

Sin had left a crimson stain;

He washed it white as snow. —Hall

God knows us inside and out. No renovation project is too big for Him.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

Alistair Begg – Ready for Battle

Alistair Begg

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.  Revelation 12:7

War always will rage between the two great sovereignties until one or the other is crushed. Peace between good and evil is an impossibility; to pretend otherwise would signal a victory for the powers of darkness. Michael will always fight; his holy soul is vexed with sin and will not endure it. Jesus will always be the dragon’s foe, and not in any quiet sense but actively, vigorously, with full determination to exterminate evil. All His servants, whether angels in heaven or messengers on earth, will and must fight; they are born to be warriors. At the cross they enter into a covenant never to make a truce with evil; they are a warlike company, firm in defense and fierce in attack. The duty of every soldier in the army of the Lord is every day, with all his heart and soul and strength, to fight against the dragon.

The dragon and his angels will fight back; they are incessant in their onslaughts, prepared to use every kind of weaponry. We are foolish to expect to serve God without opposition: The more zealous we are, the more we can expect to be attacked by the ruffians of hell. The church may become lazy, but her great antagonist does not; his restless spirit never allows the war to pause; he hates the woman’s seed and would happily devour the Church if he could. The servants of Satan share a great deal of the old dragon’s energy and are usually an active crew. War rages all around, and to dream of peace is dangerous and futile.

Glory be to God, we know the end of the war. The great dragon will be cast out and forever destroyed, while Jesus and those who are with Him will receive the crown. So let us sharpen our swords tonight, and ask the Holy Spirit to make us ready for the conflict. Battle was never so important, and the crown never so glorious. Every one to their positions as warriors of the cross, and may the Lord tread Satan under your feet shortly!

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The family reading plan for November 30, 2014 * Micah 5 * Luke 14

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Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Charles Spurgeon – Manasseh

CharlesSpurgeon

“Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 1:18-25

It takes ten thousand times more faith to be an unbeliever than to be a believer in God’s revelation. One man comes to me and tells me I am credulous, because I believe in a great First Cause who created the heavens and the earth, and that God became man and died for sin. I tell him I may be, and no doubt am very credulous, as he conceives credulity, but I conceive that which I believe is in perfect consistency with my reason, and I therefore receive it. “But,” saith he, “I am not credulous—not at all.” Sir, I say, I should like to ask you one thing. You do not believe the world was created by God. “No.” You must be amazingly credulous, then, I am sure. Do you think this Bible exists without being made? If you should say I am credulous, because I believe it had a printer and a binder, I should say that you were infinitely more credulous, if you assured me that it was made at all, and should you begin to tell me one of your theories about creation—that atoms floated through space, and came to a certain shape, I should resign the palm of credulity to you. You believe, perhaps, moreover, that man came to be in this world through the improvement of certain creatures. I have read that you say that there were certain monads—that afterwards they grew into fishes—that these fishes wanted to fly, and then wings grew—that by and by they wanted to crawl, and then legs came, and they became lizards, and by many steps they then became monkeys, and then the monkeys became men, and you believe yourself to be cousin ape to an orang-utan. Now, I may be very credulous, but really not so credulous as you are.

For meditation: If Manasseh, the greatest of idolaters (2 Chronicles 33:3), could be converted and worship the one true God, your most ardent evolutionist neighbours or colleagues can be converted and worship the God who created them!

Sermon no. 105

30 November (1856)

John MacArthur – An Unlikely Heroine

John MacArthur

“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace” (Heb. 11:31).

Rahab illustrates the depth and breadth of God’s amazing grace.

Our final Old Testament hero of faith is an unlikely addition to the list. Not only was she a prostitute, she also was a Gentile—and a Canaanite at that.

The Canaanites were an idolatrous, barbaric, debauched people, infamous even among pagans for their immorality and cruelty. Yet in the midst of that exceedingly wicked society, Rahab came to faith in the God of Israel.

Joshua 2:9-11 records her confession of faith to the two men Joshua had sent into Jericho as spies: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And when we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (emphasis added).

Rahab demonstrated the genuineness of that profession by risking her life to hide the spies from the king of Jericho, who sought to capture them.

Because Rahab lied to protect the spies (vv. 4-5), some people question the validity of her faith. Surely genuine believers wouldn’t lie like that—or would they? Abraham did. Sarah did. Isaac did. Jacob did. But the important thing to understand is that God honored their faith, not their deception.

As with all the heroes of faith before her, Rahab’s faith wasn’t perfect, nor was her knowledge of God’s moral law. But because she trusted God, she was spared during Jericho’s conquest, then given an even greater honor. She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the great-great-grandmother of David, thereby becoming an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5).

Suggestions for Prayer; Praise God for receiving even the vilest sinner who turns to Him in faith.

For Further Study; Read all about Rahab in Joshua 2:1-24, 6:22-25, and James 2:25.

Joyce Meyer – Your Attitude Speaks for You

Joyce meyer

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. —Matthew 12:35 NLT

You don’t always have to verbalize your thoughts for people to see them. Think about how you act on a first date with someone you like. You show signs of acceptance and approval. You smile a lot, and you encourage him or her with your eyes and head nods to show your interest. You haven’t said a word, but your body language says: “I like you!”

Now think about how you act when you are in the grocery line and the cashier is taking forever. You shift your weight from side to side, cross your arms, huff, or even roll your eyes. Again, your posture speaks for you. You may think your thoughts are hidden, but your thoughts show up in your attitudes, body language, words, and actions. Make sure you display a good attitude.

Power Thought: I will think good, godly thoughts so I can have a good heart and attitude.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Peace and Joy

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“Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

Don and Ann wanted with all their hearts to please the Lord and worked at being victorious Christians. They diligently kept their quiet time and memorized Scripture, and they were faithful in church attendance. They did everything right. But as they said, “Even though we’ve claimed the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith and tried to understand and apply identification truths [in which they sought to identify themselves with Christ, his crucifixion, burial and resurrection,] we just don’t seem to be enjoying the Christian life. There’s something missing.”

“In Philippians 4,” I told them, “you will find a surefire spiritual formula for victory in the Christian life. Just allow the Holy Spirit to make this passage a reality to you and apply the following as He enables you:

As an act of your will, decide that you’re going to be full of the joy of the Lord. You are the one who decides whether you’re going to rejoice or be discouraged and sad. Demonstrate before all men an unselfish, considerate attitude. Remember that the Lord can come at any moment, and be prepared.

Do not worry about anything.

Pray about everything.

Thank Him in faith for His answers.”

The results of practicing these steps is the most priceless and wonderful experience one can know, the supernatural peace of God that cannot be purchased or acquired in any other way. In order to succeed in this formula for supernatural living, of course, you must already be studying the Word of God, applying its truths to your life daily, living in the power of the Holy Spirit and sharing your faith in Christ with others.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 12:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, as an act of my will, I shall claim the supernatural resources of God by faith and continue to experience and share the abundant life which is the heritage of all who trust and obey Him

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Responsibility

ppt_seal01

When God called Ezekiel to speak to Israel, He strictly warned him that if he didn’t declare His message, He would hold him responsible. He also forewarned Ezekiel that Israel wasn’t going to listen to him. Ezekiel may have wondered, then, why God sent him to preach in the first place. If he did question it, Ezekiel nevertheless obeyed, trusting in God’s direction and purposes.

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.

Ezekiel 3:17

Though God knew Israel, as a whole, would not turn to Him, He gave individuals opportunity to repent. “But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 3:21) The gospel message is one of repentance and salvation (Mark 16:15-16).

Take responsibility every day to pray for United States citizens and leaders to turn to God in obedience. Trust Him for His answers. Thank the Lord for the leaders who do serve in ways that please Him…and be careful to take responsibility by being ready to reply to anyone “who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (I Peter 3:15)

Recommended Reading: I Peter 3:8-17