September 26, 2011 – Stanley

When We Act Deceptively
2 SAMUEL 11:1-27
 

From his youth, King David was a committed follower of God. Yet there was a time when this devoted believer gave in to temptation and committed adultery with Uriah’s wife. His walk of integrity was severely compromised.

Ethical and moral failings have beset Christians throughout the ages. When a believer decides to do whatever it takes to obtain something he wants, then selfishness or greed is the root cause. At other times the desire for acceptance can tempt us to manipulate people and circumstances—or fabricate lies in order to seem more desirable. And fear of conflict can result in compromised standards; many people try to fit in so they can avoid arguments.

At first, even those close to us may not notice our deception. But God sees. He will use our conscience to produce guilty feelings so we might confess our sin and turn from it. Self-protection will take over if we continue in unrighteousness—we will try to quiet our conscience by justifying the behavior. Over time, we will draw away from certain people so they won’t discover our ungodly behavior. By keeping them at a distance, we hope to avoid their scrutiny. Habitual sin may result in lost job opportunities, damaged friendships, and broken families.

When confronted by Nathan, David recognized his sin, acknowledged it, and received forgiveness (2 Sam. 12:13). How do you respond when the Holy Spirit convicts you of ungodliness? Do you see the reality of your behavior and repent? Or do you try to justify and persist in your conduct

September 26, 2011 – Begg

God’s Church   –   He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen.

Zechariah 1:8

The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah’s day; but being interpreted in its aspect toward us, it describes the Church of God as we find it now in the world. The Church is compared to a myrtle grove flourishing in a glen.

It is hidden, unobserved, courting no honor and attracting no attention from the careless gazer. The Church, like her Head, has a glory, but it is concealed from carnal eyes, for the time of her breaking forth in all her splendor is not yet here.

The idea of tranquil security is also suggested to us, for the myrtle grove in the glen is still and calm, while the storm sweeps over the mountaintops. Tempests spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the Alps, but down where the stream flows that makes glad the city of our God, the myrtles flourish by still waters and are unshaken by the impetuous wind. How great is the inward tranquillity of God’s Church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a peace that the world does not give and that, therefore, it cannot take away: The peace of God that passes all understanding keeps the hearts and minds of God’s people.

Doesn’t the metaphor forcefully picture the peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints? The myrtle does not shed her leaves-she is always green; and the church in her worst time still has a blessed covering of grace about her; indeed, she has sometimes exhibited most vegetation when her winter has been sharpest. She has prospered most when her adversities have been most severe.

Hence the text hints at victory. The myrtle is the emblem of peace and a significant token of triumph. The brows of conquerors were wreathed with myrtle and with laurel; and isn’t the church always victorious? Isn’t every Christian more than a conqueror through Him who loved him? Living in peace, don’t the saints fall asleep in the arms of victory?

The family reading plan for

September 26, 2011

2 Samuel 22 | Galatians 2

September 24, 2011 – Stanley

A Life of Integrity
PSALM 15:1-5
 

In the Psalms, King David described the life of integrity that believers are to cultivate. God wants us to increasingly pursue truthfulness, righteousness, and honesty.

To develop and maintain a lifestyle of integrity, we need to . . .

Formulate beliefs on the basis of Scripture. Mankind’s need for a Savior, our helplessness to save ourselves, Christ’s death on our behalf, salvation by faith alone, and the Father’s free gift of eternal life are foundational truths upon which to build our lives. Identity and priorities should flow from our position as God’s adopted children. We must align our thinking with the Bible and not compromise.

Submit to the Christ’s lordship. Jesus commands us to deny ourselves and follow Him (Mark 8:34). Wholehearted commitment to Him will help us to stand against temptations and choose righteousness.

Build relationships with individuals who value godly living. The influence of mature Christians strengthens us in our dedication and obedience to the Lord.

Acknowledge our mistakes. Everyone misses the mark at times. As believers, we are to confess any known sin to God and turn away from the wrong behavior (1 John 1:9). Asking forgiveness from others may also be necessary.

We live in a culture that approves of ungodly values and behaviors. Because God understands our struggle to resist temptation and choose righteousness, He has sent His Holy Spirit to teach us how to live with integrity. Ask Him to help you become more like the person described in Psalm 15

September 24, 2011 – Begg

Consider What Your Actions Say

For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, ‘the hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him

Ezra 8:22

A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but Ezra was ashamed to ask for one. He feared that the heathen king might think his professions of faith in God were mere hypocrisy or might imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshipers. He could not bring his mind to depend on human instruments in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, and yet guarded by Him who is the sword and shield of His people.

It is to be feared that few believers sense this holy jealousy for God; even those who in some measure walk by faith occasionally spoil the sparkle of their life by seeking help from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek government funds for their church if they remembered that the Lord is dishonored by their asking for Caesar’s help? As if the Lord could not supply the needs of His own cause! Would we run so quickly to friends and relatives for assistance if we remembered that the Lord is glorified by our obvious reliance on His solitary arm? My soul, wait only on God.

“But,” says one, “are means never to be used?” Certainly they are. But our fault seldom lies in their neglect: Far more frequently it springs from foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the arm of man; but many sin greatly in making too much of it.

So learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them you would dishonor the name of the Lord.

The family reading plan for

September 24, 2011

2 Samuel 20 | 2 Corinthians 13

September 23, 2011 – Stanley

Worship God Only
JAMES 4:4-8

In people, jealousy is a negative trait. But for the Almighty, it’s a holy attribute. God wants to be our top priority—the love of our lives—and He is unhappy when we worship anyone besides Him. This is justified, as only the Lord deserves our praise.

When reading in the Old Testament, we might not understand why the people would bow down before idols they had made with their own hands. Surely, they did not think that these were living and powerful! But we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on our own “idols,” like money, relationships, appearance, and power. Though not bad in themselves, these can become objects of worship if we let them have too much importance. That’s why God is jealous for our hearts.

There are two reasons that our Father doesn’t let His children’s devotion stay out of balance. First, He deserves the glory. And second, His love for us is so great that He wants what is best in our lives. Praising Him above all else is actually in our own best interest. Therefore, when our hearts do not belong solely to Christ, He disciplines us. Often, this means allowing challenges in our lives to mature our faith and remind us who is the one and only God. Hardships are not pleasant, but we can be encouraged that God is making us complete in Him.

This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, ask the Lord to reveal whatever has become an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask for help in making God the object of your devotion

 

SEE HOMEWORK UPDATE POST BELOW!

September 23, 2011 – Begg

Objects of Divine Satisfaction     –   He has blessed us in the beloved.

Ephesians 1:6

What a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term “blessed” in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine satisfaction, even of divine delight. How marvelous that we-worms, mortals, sinners-should be made the objects of divine love!

But it is only “in the Beloved.” Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience-at least that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could only see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters. This One is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. How much happier they would be, and how much more they would honor the Savior if they could grasp Him!

Rejoice then, believer, in this: You are blessed “in the Beloved.” You look within, and you say, “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if everything is not acceptable there. Your sins trouble you; but God has cast your sins behind His back, and you are accepted and blessed in the Righteous One. You have to fight with corruption and wrestle with temptation, but you are already accepted in Him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts you, but be of good cheer-he cannot destroy you, for you are accepted in Him who has broken Satan’s head.

Know by full assurance your glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than you are. They are only blessed in heaven “in the Beloved,” and you are even now blessed in Christ after the same manner.

The family reading plan for

September 23, 2011

2 Samuel 19 | 2 Corinthians 12

Home Work Update

As of  8:15pm on Thursday Night I have received and exactly total of O (that’s  ZERO answers) to the Home Work questions.

Maybe you lost them? or put them down and forgot to pick them back up? Or Miss Honey got it, Or you cleaned your room and accidentally threw it out.  Whoa, lets not get carried away…

So just in case, here they are again; ( and Yes I Want Them Done! – sooner rather than later)

Bible Home Work – All about Moses A question a day all week long home work assignment

Events in Moses life – time to learn and do some research – Turn in each day on my desk with a print out or send me and e-mail.

Monday Question – What did Moses learn while a prince in Egypt?

Tuesday Question – What where the names of Moses sons, how many and what did they do in their lives?

Wednesday Question – Why was God going to kill Moses on the way to Egypt, right after He sent him to go there?

Thursday Question – Who was in Moses family, Mother, Father, Brother and Sister. Names and what did they do to help him.

Friday Question – Was Moses married to someone other than Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah

Saturday Question – Is to come with a question about Moses for me. (make sure you have an answer)

September 22, 2011 – Stanley

The Spiritual Discipline of Fasting
ACTS 13:1-3
 

Fasting has two important components. One is abstention from food or activities, which eliminates distractions. The other is undivided attention on God, which allows connection with Him on a deeper level.

Daniel was living under captivity in Babylon when he read God’s promise to free the Israelites after a certain period of time. He earnestly sought the Lord by means of prayer and fasting (Dan. 9:2-3). Then through the angel Gabriel, God gave the young man greater understanding of what He had previously pledged.

Scripture has other examples as well. When King Jehoshaphat learned that a powerful army was on the offensive, he called for all Judah to come together and fast (2 Chron. 20:1-4). God gave encouragement and strength for the future. Fasting was also part of the early church’s preparation for choosing its first missionaries. The Holy Spirit directed the commissioning of Barnabas and Saul for the work (Acts 13:2).

Fasting does not bring us a quicker answer from God or persuade Him to follow our plan. Instead, it prepares us to see our situation through His eyes and to act on what we learn. At times I have sought the Lord to get His assessment of how I am doing. This discipline has helped me gain His perspective on my life and work.

Fasting involves a strong desire to hear from God, a period of time to connect with Him, and a willingness to abstain from food or some activity. If the idea intimidates you, remember its purpose is preparation so we might draw closer to God and receive His encouragement and direction

September 22, 2011 – Begg

Rejoice in God’s Attributes    –    Let Israel be glad in his maker.

Psalms 149:2

Rejoice, believer, but take care that your gladness has its spring in the Lord. You have much cause for gladness in God, for you can sing with David, “God my exceeding joy.”1 Be glad that the Lord reigns, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits on the throne and rules all things!

Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. The fact that He is wise should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty should cause us who tremble in our weakness to rejoice. That He is everlasting should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither like grass. That He is unchanging should provide a perpetual song, for we change every hour. That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us, that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory-all this should serve to make us glad in Him.

This gladness in God is like a deep river. So far we have only touched its edge; we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams, but further on the depth is greater, and the current more powerful in its joy.

The Christian feels that he may delight himself not only in what God is, but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were keen to make much of God’s actions and to have a song concerning each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord! Let them tell of His mighty acts and “sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously.”2 Let them never cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts of providence and grace should display itself in continued thanksgiving.

 

Be glad, children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God.

1Psalm 43:4

2Exodus 15:1

The family reading plan for

September 22, 2011

2 Samuel 18 | 2 Corinthians 11

September 21, 2011 – Stanley


The Powerful Practice of Fasting
NEHEMIAH 1:1-11
 

Nehemiah’s brother arrived from Judah with some bad news: the Israelites living in Jerusalem were in great trouble. After hearing about their plight, Nehemiah fasted and prayed to the Lord for several days. During this time, he discovered God wanted him to ask the king of Persia for help.

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps us center our attention on the Lord and discover His will so we may act according to it. People fast in different ways: some abstain from food while others refrain from various activities. The period of time can vary as well. But the focus in each case is to be the same—to seek God and know His will.

When we begin to deny ourselves, several things happen. First, the Holy Spirit will enable us to set aside earthly matters. Relationships, work, and pleasure will take a lesser place in our mind as we concentrate on Him and His purposes. Second, our attention will shift from ourselves to the Lord. Thinking will become clearer, and our ability to understand God’s plans will sharpen because we are not distracted by other things.

Third, the Lord is probably going to do some spiritual housecleaning in our lives. His Spirit will convict us of sinful attitudes or behavior. Upon confession of our sin, we’ll be forgiven and cleansed (1 John 1:9).

When unexpected news greets us, we—like Nehemiah—may find our emotions in turmoil. He wisely sought the Lord through fasting and prayer. This powerful practice can also help us to hear clearly from our heavenly Father, who knows the best way through every situation

September 21, 2011 – Begg

God’s Delight    –    I will rejoice in doing them good.

Jeremiah 32:41

How heartwarming to the believer is the delight that God takes in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we do not even take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened, conscious of our sinfulness and deploring our unfaithfulness. We are fearful that God’s people cannot take much encouragement from us, for they surely can see our many imperfections and our follies, and so be caused to lament our infirmities rather than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so the Lord rejoices over us.

We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains or the sparkling stars, but we do read that He delights in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not even find it written that angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “Thou shalt be called Hephzibah . . . for the LORD delighted in thee.”1 But He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves-debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace.

In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the Eternal One bursting into a song? Yet it is written, “He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”2 As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”; but when He looked on those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy.

 

Should we not utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love and sing, “I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation?”3

1Isaiah 62:4 KJV

2Zephaniah 3:17

3Habakkuk 3:18

The family reading plan for

September 21, 2011

2 Samuel 17 | 2 Corinthians 10

September 20, 2011 – Stanley

Wisdom for the Trials of Life
JAMES 1:5-8
 

At first glance, today’s passage on wisdom doesn’t seem related to the subject of trials, but James is actually continuing His thoughts from the previous three verses. We need wisdom to know how to respond to suffering. This means we should see trials from the Lord’s viewpoint and understand His purposes in allowing them in our lives.

If you want to profit from struggles, be sustained in them, and come through with joy and victory, you must be persuaded of the following truths:

1. God is in full control of the timing and intensity of your trial and will not allow it to go beyond His boundaries.

2. He has a specific purpose for your suffering which you may not understand until it is over.

3. This trial will prove to be profitable if you submit to God and trust Him through it.

4. Trying situations are opportunities for faith to prove genuine and grow stronger.

5. When you endure extreme pressure with unexplainable peace and joy, the Lord will demonstrate His sustaining power to a watching world.

6. Your difficulties are used by the Father to produce Christ-like character.

7. God will walk with you through all trials.

8. The Holy Spirit will enable you not only to survive but also to come out a conqueror.

If you believe all these principles, they will shape how you respond to difficulties in your life. This perspective eliminates the negative reactions normally elicited by trials and makes supernatural responses possible. Instead of feeling miserable and hopeless, you’ll experience amazing peace and joy

September 20, 2011 – Begg

What We Must Do    –   ‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!’

Judges 7:20

Gideon ordered his men to do two things: Covering up a torch in an earthen pitcher, he had them, at an appointed signal, break the pitcher and let the light shine. Then he had them blow the trumpet, crying, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”

This is precisely what all Christians must do. First, you must shine: Break the pitcher that conceals your light, throw aside the container that has been hiding your candle, and shine. Let your light shine before men; let your good works be such that when men look at you, they will know that you have been with Jesus.

Then there must be the sound, the blowing of the trumpet. There must be active exertions for the gathering of sinners by proclaiming Christ crucified. Take the Gospel to them. Carry it to their door; put it in their path; do not allow them to escape it; blow the trumpet right against their ears. Remember that the true battle-cry of the church is Gideon’s watchword, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” God must do it; it is His own work.

But we are not to be idle; He uses instruments–”A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” If we only cry, “A sword for the LORD!” we will be guilty of idle presumption; and if we shout, “A sword for Gideon!” alone, we shall display an idolatrous reliance on man: We must blend the two in practical harmony: “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” We can do nothing in ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God; let us, therefore, in His name determine to go out personally and serve Him with our flaming torch of holy example and with our trumpet blasts of sincere declaration and testimony, and God will be with us, and the enemy will be put to confusion, and the Lord of hosts will reign forever and ever.

The family reading plan for

September 20, 2011

2 Samuel 16 | 2 Corinthians 9

September 19, 2011 – Stanley

Trials and Joy
JAMES 1:2-4,12
 

“Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2)—what a preposterous statement! How can that make sense when joy and trials don’t fit together? But James is presenting a divine vantage point, not a human one. There are some surprising benefits in suffering which are not readily discerned by most people.

First of all, we need to understand that these verses are not telling us to be happy in our pain, but rather to rejoice in the blessings that accompany suffering. The word consider is an accounting term that means “to evaluate.” When we look at hardships from God’s perspective and place the proper value on them, we can rejoice in the beneficial outcome, even while experiencing pain. Humanly speaking, trials hurt; but from the Lord’s point of view, they help.

The only way to rejoice during trials is to understand what God designed them to accomplish. Regardless of the difficulty’s source, we can know that the Lord wants to use it to test our faith and thereby produce endurance and spiritual maturity. In every trial, He has hidden a beautiful and precious character gem, but whether we receive it depends upon our response. Those who really want to be transformed into the image of Christ can rejoice in the many benefits that accompany suffering.

How about you? Does your hunger to know the Lord and be transformed by Him exceed your dread of suffering? None of us want to experience pain, but since it’s an unavoidable reality in this fallen world, why not respond in a way that produces eternal benefit? Let’s not waste our suffering

September 19, 2011 – Begg

For freedom Christ has set us free.

Galatians 5:1

This “freedom” is established in heaven’s charter–the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”1 Here is another: “The mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.”2

These Scriptures set you free in believing. You are a welcome guest at this table of promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you wish, without any hindrance.

Come in faith; you are welcome to all the covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word that will be withheld. In the deepest tribulations let this freedom comfort you; overwhelmed by waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround you let it be your solace. This is your Father’s love-token; you are free in it at all times.

You are also given free access to the throne of grace. It is the believer’s privilege to have access at all times to his heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread them all before Him. It does not matter how much we may have sinned, we can ask and expect pardon. No matter how poor we are, we may plead His promise that He will provide everything we need. We have permission to approach His throne at all times–in midnight’s darkest hour or in noontide’s most burning heat.

Exercise your right, believer, and enjoy this privilege. You are set free to all that is treasured up in Christ–wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It does not matter what your need is, for there is abundant supply in Christ, and it is there for you. What a “freedom” is yours! Freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

1 Isaiah 43:2

2 Isaiah 54:10

The family reading plan for

September 19, 2011

2 Samuel 15 | 2 Corinthians 8

September 17, 2011 – Stanley

The Supreme Moment in History
1 PETER 2:21-24
 

Sin is so atrocious in the Lord’s eyes that it costs a life. Without the shedding of blood, there’s no forgiveness and no remission of sin (Heb. 9:22). God set up a system of animal sacrifice as a temporary solution to the problem. An Israelite would take a spotless lamb to the priest, lay hands on its head, and confess his sin. The priest would sacrifice the animal and sprinkle its blood on the altar. The Israelite went away purified.

Throughout history, countless beasts were slain, which seems like an awesome waste from a human perspective. The Lord, however, was making an eternal point: Holy God cannot accept sin.

The Lord is vehemently opposed to sin because of its devastating power. Look at the television news or the front page of the newspaper to see the results of wrongdoing in people’s lives. It brings harm and ruin. Our heavenly Father does not want us to suffer those destructive consequences. Therefore, the Father made one final sacrifice by putting Christ on the cross to die as our substitute. On that day, God judged sin. He put the weight of mankind’s wrongs onto Jesus’ shoulders and exacted the death penalty from His only Son. Animal sacrifice was instantly obsolete because the Lamb of God took away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

God deemed sin so horrible and destructive that He willingly killed His own Son in order to break its power. For His part, Jesus offered Himself as a substitute. He purchased victory over sin for those believe in Him. That was the supreme moment in human history

September 17, 2011 – Begg

Bring Your Children Today    –   ‘Bring him to me.’

Mark 9:19

Despairingly the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed, but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus’ word, “Bring him to me.”

Children are a precious gift from God, but much anxiety comes along with them. They may be a great joy or a great bitterness to their parents; they may be filled with the Spirit of God or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one prescription for the cure of all their ills: “Bring him to me.”

We need to engage in agonizing prayer on their behalf while they are still babies! Sin is there; so let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries that herald their arrival into a world of sin. In the days of their youth we will see sad evidences of that dumb and deaf spirit that will neither pray properly, nor hear the voice of God in the soul, but Jesus still commands, “Bring him to me.” When they are grown up, they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God; then when our hearts are breaking we should remember the Great Physician’s words, “Bring him to me.” We must never cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives.

The Lord sometimes allows His people to be driven into a corner that they may learn how necessary He is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts, drive us to the strong for strength, and this is a great blessing to us. Whatever our morning’s need may be, may it like a strong current carry us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow; He delights to comfort us. Let us hurry to Him while He waits to meet us.

The family reading plan for

September 17, 2011

2 Samuel 13 | 2 Corinthians 6

September 16, 2011 – Stanley

The Ruler Is Cast Out
JOHN 12:27-32
 

 

When Christ was hanging on the cross, Satan was celebrating. He thought he’d won a strategic battle against God. But instead, the Enemy was defeated decisively.

However, we don’t always feel as if Satan has been conquered. That’s because we still struggle against the principalities and powers in this world. You see, the Enemy was not annihilated at the cross—that will happen later (Rev. 20:2, 10). For now, he continues to reign over those who are without Christ. Yet his power over believers was broken at Calvary. As Christians, we are not of this world, but rather, we’re part of God’s kingdom (John 17:16). Therefore, the Lord has sole control of our destiny.

But remember that Satan is a deceiver. He wants people to believe he reigns supreme on earth—and to be disheartened when they look around at the havoc he wreaks. Indeed, Jesus does call him “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). But don’t miss the rest of the verse, which says the ruler “will be cast out.”

The Devil cannot makes believers sin. He can tempt and taunt but is powerless to force disobedience (Rom. 6:14). Moreover, Satan cannot condemn Christ’s followers (Rom. 8:1). He’ll incite guilt in your heart if you let him, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a saved, beloved, and heaven-bound child of God.

When Jesus was here, Satan gave it his best shot to destroy God’s plan and power on earth. He failed miserably. The Enemy was defeated when the Lord humbly paid the price for mankind’s sin debt—past, present, and future—and rose in triumph over death. Believers share in the victory

September 16, 2011 Begg

What Does Partake Mean?      –     Partakers of the divine nature.

2 Peter 1:4

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there will always be a fixed gulf in terms of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a diviner sense made in the image of the Most High and are “partakers of the divine nature.”

We are, by grace, made like God. “God is love”;1 we become love-“whoever loves has been born of God.”2 God is truth; we become true, and we love what is true. God is good, and He makes us good by His grace, so that we become the pure in heart who will see God.

Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in an even higher sense than this-in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood that flows in the head flows in the hand: And the same life that quickens Christ quickens His people, for “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”3 As if this were not enough, we are married to Christ. He has betrothed us to Himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined to the Lord is one with Him.

Marvelous mystery! We look into it, but who will understand it? One with Jesus-so much so that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made “partakers of the divine nature” will display this high and holy relationship in their relationships with others and will make it evident in their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!

 

1John 4:8

21 John 4:7

3Colossians 3:3

The family reading plan for

September 16, 2011

2 Samuel 12 | 2 Corinthians 5

September 15, 2011 – Stanley

The Truth about Salvation
ACTS 16:31
 

Do you ever wonder if faith in Jesus is really the only way to be saved? Satan is a crafty liar who will twist God’s Word to cause confusion. In order to steer people away from following Christ, he tries to create the impression that eventually everyone will make it to heaven. But that is not what Scripture teaches.

The truth is that we can choose to reject the salvation that Christ freely offers. John’s gospel tells us, “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (3:17-18).

God clearly states that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will be saved (v. 16). And the Bible stresses that we have only this earthly life in which to make a choice—there are no second chances after death.

So if you would like to be sure of your salvation, you can do so by inviting Jesus to be your personal Savior today. God, who wants you to spend eternity with Him, offers compelling reasons to make this all-important decision: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the wrath of God abides on him who does not obey Christ” (v. 36).

The possibility of a second chance is seductive, but do not be fooled. There are no more chances to be saved after death. The free gift of salvation is available only in this life—and only through Jesus (14:6). Receive the Savior now, and you never have to wonder what awaits you in eternity

Scriptures, Lessons, News and Links to help you survive.