June 2, 2010 – Begg

Christ Is My Teacher

Matthew 19:16

If the young man in the Gospel used this title in speaking to our Lord, it is only right that we should address Him in this way. He is indeed my Teacher in that He rules and teaches me. I am glad to run His errands and to sit at His feet. I am both His servant and His disciple and count it my highest honor to serve Him in this way. He is a good teacher. If He should ask me why I call Him “good,” I could answer easily.

It is true that “no one is good except God alone,”1 but then He is God, and all the goodness of Deity shines in Him. In my experience I have found Him to be good, indeed so good that all the good I have has come to me through Him. He was good to me when I was dead in sin, for He raised me by His Spirit’s power; He has been good to me in all my needs, trials, struggles, and sorrows. There could never be a better Teacher, for His service is freedom, His rule is love: I wish I were one thousandth part as good a servant. When He teaches me, He is unspeakably good, His doctrine is divine, His manner is gracious, His spirit is gentleness itself.

There is no error in His instruction: Pure is the golden truth that He presents, and all His teachings lead to goodness, sanctifying as well as edifying the disciple. Angels know that He is good and delight to worship at His footstool. The ancient saints proved Him to be a good Teacher, and each of them rejoiced to sing, “I am Your servant, O Lord!”

My own humble testimony must certainly be to the same effect. I will declare this before my friends and neighbors, for possibly they may be led by my testimony to seek my Lord Jesus as their Teacher. O I long that they might do so! They would never regret the decision. If they would submit to His easy yoke, they would find themselves in such royal service that they would never want to leave. The school of grace rejoices to have such a Teacher!

1Mark 10:18.

June 1, 2010 – Stanley

The Priority of Life Matthew 6:31-33

What is the priority of your life—the one thing around which everything else revolves? Jesus tells us that God’s kingdom and righteousness are to be our highest priority.

Such a lofty goal will never be achieved through passivity. Rather, it demands continuous, diligent effort. “To seek” means to be active and aggressive in our quest. This isn’t an issue that is settled once and for all in life; it must be pursued every day, moment by moment.

We live in a world of two opposing realms, which are in constant conflict—the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God. Our only protection against the Devil is the authority of the King of Kings. To seek the Father’s kingdom is to submit to His rule over every area of our lives. The bottom line is obedience. Every decision must be subjected to His will.

To seek God’s righteousness means submitting to His process of transforming us into Jesus’ image. An integral part of this procedure is the renewing of our minds with Scripture. The Word of God washes away worldly thinking and replaces it with the Father’s viewpoint and instructions. By yielding to His promptings, we will begin to sense His presence and discover the most satisfying relationship possible.

Stop and evaluate your priorities. Who or what dominates your thoughts and affections? Where do you invest time and money? How do you come to a decision? Making Christ top priority requires you to surrender your time and submit your will—but the rewards far outweigh any sacrifice.

June 1, 2010 – Begg

In the Wilderness

For the Lord . . . Makes her wilderness like Eden.

Isaiah 51:3

In my mind’s eye I see a howling wilderness, a great and terrible desert, like the Sahara. I perceive nothing in it to relieve the eye; all around I am wearied with a vision of hot and arid sand, on which are ten thousand bleaching skeletons of wretched men who have expired in anguish, having lost their way in the pitiless waste. What an appalling sight! How horrible! A sea of sand without boundary and without an oasis, a cheerless graveyard for a forlorn race.

But look and wonder! All of a sudden, springing from the scorching sand I see a well-known plant; and as it grows it buds, the bud expands—it is a rose, and at its side a lily bows its modest head—and, miracle of miracles, as the fragrance of those flowers is diffused, the wilderness is transformed into a fruitful field, and all around it blossoms abundantly like the glory of Lebanon, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. Do not call it Sahara; call it Paradise. Do not refer to it any longer as the valley of death, for where the skeletons lay bleaching in the sun, a resurrection is proclaimed, and up spring the dead, a mighty army, full of life immortal. Jesus is that well-known plant, and His presence makes everything new.

The wonder is no less in each individual’s salvation. I can see you, dear reader, cast out, an infant, unclothed, unwashed, defiled with your own blood, and left to be food for beasts of prey.

But look, a jewel has been thrown into your bosom by a divine hand, and for its sake you have been pitied and guarded by divine providence; you are washed and cleansed from your defilement; you are adopted into heaven’s family; the fair seal of love is upon your forehead, and the ring of faithfulness is on your hand—you are now a prince to God, though once an orphan and a castaway. Cherish then the matchless power and grace that changes deserts into gardens and makes the barren heart sing for joy.

Memorial Day Devotion: A Memorial Wish

Acts 3:7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
If I had the ability to have a wish completely answered on Memorial Day, it would be that all injured, wounded, and disabled veterans were healed today – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Wars come and go, but wounds and scars remain. Many true combat veterans will not speak about their experiences because of the horrific and inhumane experiences they endured. Night after night, they relive former battles, campaigns, and skirmishes in their hearts and minds. Even decades after terrifying and sickening events, veterans wake up sweating all over and never find real peace.
Years ago, when I ministered to fishermen on the West Coast of Scotland, I can remember making a house call to an elderly couple. During the visit, the woman of the house told me that her husband suffered nightmares every night and that she had to comfort him. He had been on a British navy ship that was torpedoed during World War 2. He was one of the few survivors and had spent several hours in the sea before being rescued. Thereafter, every night for more than forty years, he experienced the same nightmare. The fear and anxiety never went away.
Today, we commemorate Memorial Day in the United States. Some people have a romantic nostalgic notion of making this day a red, white, and blue flag waving celebration. It is all that, but much more besides. We patriotically remember  and proudly honor those who gave their lives to protect us, but we should also be aware of the many veterans at home, in hospital, or veteran’s homes who still relive their time of combat and have wounds, physically and internally, that will never be healed on this side of glory.

May 31, 2010 – CS

Remembering God’s Priority Numbers 15:37-41

At times, people will say, “I’ve made Jesus a part of my life.” But this statement reveals that they have missed the point. The truth is, Jesus can never be simply a part of life; at salvation, Jesus becomes our life—everything revolves around Him, because He is the central focus.

For the believer, the essence of living is to walk in childlike obedience to Christ. That means we express His righteous life simply by faith; to do this, we depend on the power of the Holy Spirit for enablement and divine grace for forgiveness when we stumble. And stumbling will occur because we live amidst two kingdoms that are in constant conflict. On the one hand, there’s the pull of the world, and on the other, the pull of God. In other words, Satan throws temptations our way, but from our Father comes the appeal of holiness, peace, and joy in Christ.

That’s why Jesus taught, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The way to do this is by opening God’s Word daily and letting Him use Scripture to flush from our minds anything that doesn’t fit with His priority (Rom. 12:2). We are also to remind ourselves frequently of His commands and His greatness (Ps. 105:4-5; Num. 15:37-41).

The battle is ongoing. And it rages not just in the realms of education, science, politics, and finances but also within every human heart. Since there’s no way to make it in life without Christ, it’s critical that we keep God’s priority as our own and make continual course corrections to stay on track.

May 31, 2010 – AB

Healing of a Divine Physician

. . . Who heals all your diseases.

Psalms 103:3

Humbling as this statement is, yet the fact is certain that we are all more or less suffering under the disease of sin. What a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both able and willing to heal us! Let us think of Him for a moment tonight.

His cures are very speedy—there is life for a look at Him; His cures are radical—He strikes at the center of the disease; and so His cures are sure and certain. He never fails, and the disease never returns. There is no relapse where Christ heals, no fear that His patients should be merely patched up for a season. He makes new men of them: He also gives them a new heart and puts a right spirit within them.

He is well skilled in all diseases. Physicians generally have some specialty. Although they may know a little about almost all our pains and ills, there is usually one disease that they have studied more than others; but Jesus Christ is thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as much at home with one sinner as with another, and He never yet met an unusual case that was difficult for Him. He has had extraordinary complications of strange diseases to deal with, but He has known exactly with one glance of His eye how to treat the patient. He is the only universal doctor; and the medicine He gives is the only true panacea, healing in every instance.

Whatever our spiritual malady may be, we should apply at once to this Divine Physician. There is no brokenness of heart that Jesus cannot bind up. “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”1 We have only to think of the myriads who have been delivered from all sorts of diseases through the power and virtue of His touch, and we will joyfully put ourselves in His hands. We trust Him, and sin dies; we love Him, and grace lives; we wait for Him, and grace is strengthened; we see Him as he is, and grace is perfected forever.

11 John 1:7

May 29, 2010 – CS

Jesus: The Only Way to Heaven John 10:1-11

While there are many religions, there is only one way to heaven. Jesus clearly states that “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He used several picturesque descriptions to emphasize this point—He called Himself the way (14:6), the door (10:9), the living bread (6:51), and the good shepherd (10:11).

God does not expect people to follow a ritual to make Jesus Lord of their lives—you can use any words you’d like. However, some biblical elements are essential when beginning a relationship with Him:

1) Confess your sin and admit your need for a Savior (1 John 1:9).

2) Place your trust in Jesus Christ as the only possible Savior, acknowledging that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:3-4).

3) Believe that your sins are forgiven and your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life (1 John 5:11-13).

Every person has a choice to make. Death is inevitable, but we can decide whether, on exiting this world, we will enter God’s presence or eternal torment. Let me make this very clear: What a person believes about heaven and hell won’t influence God in the slightest. People will be judged not by their attitudes but by the truth of His Word.

The Bible declares that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. His gospel is a straight path from the pit of sin to the glory of heaven—with the promise of an abundant life in between. What we must do is go through the Door and follow the Way to taste the Living Bread.

May 29, 2010 – AB

What Will You Do?

Cursed before the Lord be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.

Joshua 6:26

If the man who rebuilt Jericho was cursed, how much more does the man who works to restore false religion among us deserve the same. In our fathers’ days the gigantic walls of false religion fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would like to rebuild those false systems upon their old foundations.

Lord, we pray, be pleased to thwart these unrighteous endeavors, and pull down every stone that they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error that tends to foster the spirit of falsehood, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world.

This we may accomplish only in secret by fervent prayer and in public by faithful witness. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined toward the errors of false religion; we must instruct the young in gospel truth and tell them of the dark doings of falsehood in earlier times. We must assist in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for false teachers, like owls, hate daylight.

Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the Gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of the heretics. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the antidote to falsehood? Are we sending out good, sound gospel writings? Luther once said, “The devil hates goose quills,” and, no doubt, he has good reason; the writer’s pen blessed by the Holy Spirit has damaged his evil kingdom greatly. If the thousands who read this short word tonight will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord’s glory shall spread quickly among the sons of men.

Reader, what can you do? What will you do?

Encouraging Note for this week

This has been the best week for the Blog since I started it this year, you guys have averaged about 8 hits a day. keep it up, make this a real part of your DAILY routine. I will have more about this in the next Spiritual Warfare article (it is one of the ways of putting on the Armor of God)

The key is daily and making a commitment to it each day. Physically you eat each day and drink so Spiritually you need the same (again, more on that coming up)

Also I would like some feedback about the Daily Devotionals, how do you feel about Alistair Begg/Truth for Life and how is Charles Stanley working for you? I like have both so you can pick one or do both if you have time.

Just to add another dimension I have been getting the daily devotionals from Ravi Zacharias / Let my people think  ministries and they are more in-depth and require more study with references and notes and stuff. If you feel so challenged you can go to his web site and add your self to his mailing list.

The key is to be in the Word!

Time for some feedback, send a comment or just let me know what you think.

This week was a real break through and next week lots more is coming! PTL!

May 28, 2010 – CS

Heaven—Our Eternal Home
John 14:1-4

Jesus warned the disciples that He was going away. However, the Lord also promised to return and take them to a home He had prepared (John 14:3). This verse confirms that heaven is a real place. According to the Bible, Christians have a citizenship in paradise (Phil. 3:20), our treasure is stored there (Matt. 6:20), and it will be our eternal home (1 Thess. 4:17). God is not describing a celestial dream world. Rather, all believers will be gathered to a tangible dwelling place.

Every believer’s spirit enters God’s presence immediately after physical death (2 Cor. 5:6). Once the Lord’s timing is fulfilled for the world’s tribulation and judgment, He will renew all things. First, our bodies will be resurrected as immortal, pain-free, and vigorous sheaths for our spirits (1 Cor. 15:42). Later, earth will be transformed into an uncorrupted paradise, and we will also have access to a heavenly city—the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10-27).

In these two spheres of heaven, God’s children will spend eternity serving and worshipping Him. Despite misconceptions about reclining on clouds and playing harps, we won’t be sitting and doing nothing! We will rest, but this holy respite is from all the things that make life on earth so wearying—temptation, trials, heartache, and pain.

Paradise is beyond our imagination, but we do know that the believer’s life goes on in heaven. As citizens of that realm, we will take up the work of serving and praising God. Moreover, we will enjoy unlimited energy and perfect harmony between the Lord, ourselves, and other saints.

May 28, 2010 – AB

Using Your Memory Well

This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.

Lamentations 3:21

Memory is frequently the slave of despondency. Despairing minds remember every dark prediction in the past and expand upon every gloomy feature in the present; in this way memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of bitter-tasting herbs.

There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection that on the one hand brings so many gloomy omens may be trained instead to provide a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron; she may encircle her brow with a tiara of gold, all spangled with stars.

Such was Jeremiah’s experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul: “My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me”; but now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.” Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge and then slew his despair with the other.

As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match that would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers’ joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as before.

Let us then remember the loving-kindness of the Lord and rehearse His deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection, which is so richly illuminated with memories of His mercy, and we will soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, “the bosom-spring of joy,” and when the Divine Comforter bends it to His service, it is then the greatest earthly comfort we can know

May 27, 2010

Our God of Comfort 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God’s care for us extends to the details of our lives. He knows when His children hurt and longs to offer comfort (Isa. 49:13).

The Lord’s compassion is personal, continuous, and always available. We receive His comfort through the Holy Spirit, who lives within us. There is no situation or time when He is inaccessible to the believer—we can be consoled and reassured at any time, day or night.

Consider how the compassion of God was demonstrated through Jesus’ life. He interacted even with the “untouchables”—people whose bodies were infected with a contagious disease (Luke 17:11-14). And no sickness of ours will prevent Him from caring for us.

Jesus had compassion on people with medical conditions (Matt. 14:14). He not only healed them physically but also gave an even greater comfort—new life through the forgiveness of sins. And while our infirmities may remain, the Lord lovingly strengthens us to persevere (2 Cor. 12:7-9).

And what about the messes we get into? Peter’s betrayal of Christ was met with forgiveness (John 21:15-17). Thomas’s doubts were answered by Jesus Himself (John 20:27). Our mistakes won’t stop Him from loving us. Even to His enemies, Jesus left the way open for repentance.

God’s comfort and care are adequate for anything we face, whether it’s declining health, insufficient finances, or family trouble. Then, once we’ve experienced His consolation, we are to become bearers of comfort to others (2 Cor. 1:4). People everywhere are in great need of His compassion.

May 27, 2010 – AB

The Humbling Impact of Grace

What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?

2 Samuel 9:8

If Mephibosheth was humbled by David’s kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known what to compare themselves to, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says the godly Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, “Apart from their open outbursts, I am too much like Judas and Cain.”

The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: A dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may appear to be worthless, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master and is faithful to death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord and do not follow His call. The term dead dog is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is not too strong to express the self-abhorrence of well-taught believers. They do not display false modesty; they mean what they say; they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary and discovered the vanity of their nature.

At best we are but clay, animated dust; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a miracle that the Lord Jesus should set His heart’s love upon people like us. Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will magnify the exceeding greatness of His grace. Could His heart not find rest in heaven? Does He need to come to these tents for a spouse and choose a bride from the children of men? Let the heavens and earth break forth into song and give all the glory to our sweet Lord Jesus.

New Page is added – Spiritual Warfare 5/26/10

I have added a new section and will be updating weekly. The first lesson is an intro and was written by Sam Robbins. It is in several parts  and will take sometime to read and understand. Don’t forget to pray and do your daily devotions as well.

I hope that you will be interested and challenged by this subject. I know that I am and in this type of format I think I can get you more information and it will be more available to your in your busy schedules.

Also I added a new section for Bible research sites – They are very interesting but you must remember that, like anything, you must listen to the Holy Spirit help as you learn and to test everything you read and study. most information I have read is good, yet there always is a little garbage out there so be on your toes and if you have a question as me, e-mail or blog me.

Enjoy! – Dad

May 26, 2010 – CS

Conquering Loneliness Psalm 25:15-22

I know the pain of loneliness. I was the only child of a single mother who had to work long hours to support us. My adult life has been marked by periods of emotional isolation as well. However, God has never abandoned me to these feelings.

The Lord desires that all people feel connected to Him and to each other. And in fact, we can be quickly comforted when we respond wisely to loneliness.

The first step is to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Believing He exists is not enough. The Lord created mankind for fellowship, which is why a relationship with Him gives people a sense of oneness. The love of Christ squeezes loneliness out of the lives of God’s children.

Second, we must admit that we’re lonely. Some Christians incorrectly think they shouldn’t be susceptible to normal human feelings. But nothing in the Bible says we won’t endure emotional isolation. Not only men like David and Paul, but even the Lord Himself knew the ache of feeling deserted (Ps. 25:16, 2 Tim. 4:16; Matt. 26:40; 27:46).

Finally, we ought to develop godly friends. These are the Christian brothers and sisters who will laugh, cry, and empathize with us. Above all, believers need friends who will continually point them to God and pray over them.

We can’t deny feelings of loneliness, nor can we run from them. A person who seeks ways to escape those feelings only broadens the gap between the Lord and himself. There is just one way to close the chasm and conquer loneliness—by drawing near to the Lord.

May 26, 2010 – AB

Wear the Badge of Perserverance

Continue in the faith.

Acts 14:22

Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not only a beginning in the ways of God, but also means continuing in those ways as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the great Napoleon: He said, “Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me.” So under God, dear believer in the Lord, conquest has made you what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be, “Aim higher.” The only true conqueror who shall be crowned in the end is he who continues until war’s trumpet is blown no more.

Perseverance is, therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies.

  • The world does not object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can tempt you to quit your pilgrimage and settle down to trade with her in Vanity Fair.
  • The flesh will seek to ensnare you and to prevent your pressing on to glory. “Being a pilgrim is weary work and makes me wonder: Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Can I not have at least a holiday from this constant warfare?”
  • Satan will make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the target for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service: He will insinuate that you are doing no good and that you need to rest. He will endeavor to make you weary of suffering; he will whisper, “Curse God, and die.” Or he will attack your steadfastness: “What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as others do, and let your lamp go out like the foolish virgins.” Or he will assail your doctrinal sentiments: “Why do you hold to these doctrinal creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks: Fall in with the times.”

So, Christian, wear your shield close to your armor and cry earnestly to God, that by His Spirit you may endure to the end.

May 25, 2010 – CS

When We Are Lonely Hebrews 13:1-5

God created humanity for companionship with Himself and each other. He doesn’t want people to suffer the emotional turmoil of loneliness. That’s why His Word contains pledges of His constant presence as well as instructions to prevent loneliness among church members.

The Lord stressed His constant presence because He knows our need for assurance, especially when we feel deserted or isolated. His vow never to forsake believers is found throughout the Bible: He spoke this comforting word to Joshua, the Israelites, and the disciples who were about to witness Jesus’ ascension (Josh. 1:5; Matt. 28:20). Some biblical saints picked up the theme in their writing as well. David often sought God’s solace (Ps. 25:16). And Paul preached that nothing compared to drawing close to Christ (Phil. 3:8). God wants every believer to implicitly trust that He is near.

The church is designed to meet our need for person-to-person intimacy. A spiritual body works much like a human body—parts are both independent and interdependent, each needing others in order to function well. We require support from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Knowing this, Paul admonished people to accept one another (Rom. 15:7), bear each other’s burdens (Gal. 6:2), and avoid judging (Rom. 14:13).

Loneliness can cripple a person emotionally and spiritually. Human beings are not designed to walk through this world alone. We are made for relationship, which God gladly supplies. Lest we forget that the Lord is near, He gave the Bible this consistent theme: I love you and I am with you always.

May 25, 2010 – AB

Declare Great Things

And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. . . . Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them.

Luke 24:33, 35

When the two disciples had reached Emmaus and were refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious stranger who had so enchanted them on the road took bread and broke it, made Himself known to them, and then vanished out of their sight. They had constrained Him to stay with them because the day was far spent; but now, although it was much later, their love was a lamp to their feet, indeed wings also. They forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and immediately they headed back the seven miles to tell the wonderful news of a risen Lord who had appeared to them on the road. They reached the Christians in Jerusalem and were received by a burst of joyful news before they could tell their own tale.

These early Christians were all on fire to speak of Christ’s resurrection and to proclaim what they knew of the Lord; they happily shared their experiences. This evening let their example impress us deeply.

We also must bear our witness concerning Jesus. John’s account of the sepulcher needed to be supplemented by Peter; and Mary could speak of something further still; the combined accounts provide us with a complete testimony from which nothing necessary is missing. Each of us has peculiar gifts and personal experiences; but the one object God has in view is the maturing of the whole Body of Christ. We must, therefore, bring our spiritual possessions and lay them at the apostles’ feet, that we may share all of what God has given to us.

Withhold no part of the precious truth, but speak what you know and declare what you have seen. Do not allow the toil or darkness or possible unbelief of your friends to dissuade you. Let us rise and march to the place of duty, and there declare what great things God has shown to our soul.

May 24, 2010 – CS

How to Have a Daniel-like Faith Hebrews 11:1-31

The apostle James challenges us to understand the connection between faith and obedience. In James 2:17, he writes that faith without works is dead. In other words, we cannot have unshakable beliefs without obeying.

Developing steadfast trust takes time. We are born spiritually through simple, childlike faith that receives Jesus as Savior. Convictions are nourished by a growing knowledge of God and a deepening confidence in Him. Experiencing His protection, provision, and power in moments of testing strengthens our beliefs. Each time Daniel’s loyalty was tested, he chose to depend on God. Sometimes the circumstances were thrust upon him—such as whether to eat food sacrificed to idols. At other times, he voluntarily initiated a difficult situation in order to help (Dan. 2:24). In each case, he followed God’s leading.

Hebrews 11 shows that obedience is critical to steadfast faith. Noah, when warned about things not seen, obeyed God and built the ark. At the Lord’s direction, Abraham left home to go to a place not yet known to him. The apostle Paul was planning to arrest Christians when he encountered the Savior. He did a complete turnaround—despite threats, beatings, and shipwrecks, he obeyed the Lord and preached the gospel.

Knowing and trusting God through His Son, experiencing His presence, and living obediently are the elements needed to develop an unshakable faith. Jesus Himself said that our work is to believe in Him (John 6:29). With the Holy Spirit’s help and our cooperation, each of us can have a Daniel-like faith.

May 24, 2010 – AB

Be Worthy

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Philippians 1:27

The apostle’s concern is not simply with our talk and conversation with one another, but with the whole course of our life and behavior in the world. The Greek word translated “manner of life” signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: And in this way we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. What “manner of life” is this?

  • In the first place, the Gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behavior that simplicity that is the very soul of beauty.
  • The Gospel is preeminently true. It is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lusterless and valueless without the jewel of truth.
  • The Gospel is a very fearless Gospel; it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not. We must be equally faithful and unflinching.
  • But the Gospel is also very gentle. We see this in Jesus: “a bruised reed he will not break.”1 Some professing Christians are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and deeds.
  • The Gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s command to His disciples was, “Love one another.” We need more real, hearty union with and love for all the saints, more tender compassion toward the souls of the worst and vilest of men!
  • We must not forget that the Gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: It pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the Gospel, we must shun not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ.

For His sake, for our own sakes, and for the sake of others, we must strive day by day to let our manner of life be more in accordance with His Gospel.

1 Matthew 12:20

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