Can’t … or Won’t? Part One
by Charles R. Swindoll
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul Hebrews 10:35-39
No offense, but some of you don’t have any business reading this today. Normally, I do not restrict my words to any special group of people. But now I must. This time it is for Christians only. Everything I write from now to the end of these readings on excuses is strictly for the believer in Christ. If you’re not there yet, you can skip parts one and two because you lack a major ingredient: the power of God. Non-Christians are simply unable to choose righteous paths consistently. That divine response upon which the Christian can (and must) draw is not at the unbeliever’s disposal. That is, not until personal faith in Jesus Christ is expressed. This is one of those now-not-later issues that’s limited to believers only.
Now then, if you know the Lord, you are the recipient of limitless ability … incredible strength. Just read a few familiar lines out of the Book, slowly for a change:
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father … that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His spirit in the inner man. (Ephesians 3:14, 16)
He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4)
And one more:
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Wait a minute now. Did you read every word—-or did you skip a line or two? If so, please go back and slowly pore over those five statements written to you, a Christian. It’s really important.
Okay, what thought stands out the most? Well, if someone asked me that question, I’d say, “Special strength or an unusual ability from God.” In these verses it’s called several things: strength, power, divine nature, ability. God has somehow placed into the Christian’s insides a special something, that extra inner reservoir of power that is more than a match for the stuff life throws at us. When in operation, phenomenal accomplishments are achieved, sometimes even miraculous.
We’ve been given the amazing power of the Holy Spirit!
So, why do we still struggle so much with making wise choices and living uprightly?I can’t wait for tomorrow!!! I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I Pray as you close your eyes in sweet repose, that the Holy Spirit keep a watch over you as you rest. I pray that He guard your heart and mind while you sleep. I pray that your mind will focus on His Words as you learn to rest in Him; I pray that you think on these things as you sleep; whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good… I Pray that as you sleep the Holy Spirit will grant you His peace so you can relax in His everlasting arms. I pray that you awaken refreshed and ready to start your day with a thankful heart realizing that when you are truly thankful your visits with Jesus can be more intimate and fill you with gladness!!! I pray that you realize that that we were made for this. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6n399q
I Pray TONIGHT that you forgive all those who have hurt or sinned against you and that you are healed from every wounded area in your life. Even now, a balm of Gilead flows to you from the throne room of heaven! I break any mentality of a victim, for Christ has made you victorious! I call forth a personal revival in your life - that the Presence of God would consume and overtake you - that God would be first in your life with preeminence and priority over all things concerning you! I command all impediments to your destiny to be removed and bind every hindering and debilitating spirit in the name of Jesus! I command doors of opportunity and elevation to be opened and doors of lack and struggle to be shut permanently - let all stolen virtues, goodness and blessings be retrieved for the glory of God! YOU ARE FAVORED!!! In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen and Amen. I Love you all… God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6mc2yN
God’s Selective Memory
by Skip Heitzig
I once read that we don’t really forget anything. Everything we see, do, read, or hear is seared into our hard drive. Well, having it in the hard drive is one thing; recall is quite another. We forget people’s names; we forget our promises. We also forget God. How easy it is to go through the day and get so busy with the world around us that we forget God gave us breath and saved us from our sins. Forgetting is typically thought of as a human attribute, but there is something even God said He forgets.
In Jeremiah 31, Jeremiah prophesied how God would bring Israel a Savior and establish a new covenant with them: “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:33-34).
In this text, God promised that He would forget. That’s a bit unnerving. It sounds irreverent because God is omniscient; He knows everything (see 1 John 3:20). So when we talk about God forgetting, we need to lay down a few ground rules.
First of all, God doesn’t forget to maintain His creation. The Bible says concerning Jesus, “In Him all things consist” or are held together (Col. 1:17). He lavishes the earth with sunshine and rainfall. He opens the doors of heaven, so to speak, and lets the sun out in the morning and parks it inside in the evening. God keeps all of that going. There are a hundred billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, but scientists tell us there are billions and billions of galaxies beyond that. God doesn’t forget that.
Second, God doesn’t forget His children. Like I talked about last week, Jesus said, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:30). If God does indeed maintain His universe, He won’t forget His children.
Listen to this beautiful promise: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isa. 49:15). Even though it’s possible for a woman to neglect her own child—in some tragic cases, it happens—God said, “I will not forget you.” To Him, you’re not some number or face in a crowd. You’re an individual. It could be that friends and family have forgotten you—but God will not forget you.
Third, God doesn’t forget His promise. Specifically, He promises to save for eternity anyone who calls on Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So then, what is the one thing God said He forgets? It is your sin. It is my sin. I want your heart to lay hold of that truth. When I say, “God forgets,” it’s not an accidental act of forgiving; it’s a purposeful choice of not remembering. Do you know why? Because Jesus Christ did such a good job of washing away your sin that there’s no stain left. There’s nothing left to remind God of it. Jesus “was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him” (Isa. 53:5). God has chosen not to remember our sins because of what Jesus did. God’s selective memory is one of our greatest benefits. Let’s rejoice in that today! I hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I pray that you refuse to worry!!! Look to Jesus for everything that you need He will never leave you or forsake you!!! I pray that you get a real hunger for His Word in these last days so that you can hide His Word in your heart so that you will have it there when you need it. Rest in the comfort of HIS Presence and remember that ALL THINGS are possible through Him!!! When worry tries to wedge its way into your thoughts, remember that you have a Shepherd who will take care of you and you need not worry at all!!! Though sometimes this fallen world can seem dark and dangerous, know that the safest place that you can be is in HIS will for your life. For He has a plan for you and they are good!!! Simply thank Him and trust Him for all the good that will come out of this trial. Rest in Him and He will strengthen you and prepare you for what lies ahead! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God Bless You!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6ljw4R
Living with Purpose
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. —Acts 11:23
If you were asked to complete the sentence “My purpose of life is …” what would you say? As Christians, I know we would quickly say, “God.” But let’s be honest and not just say what we think is the right thing to say. What really is your purpose in life?
To put it another way, where do you channel most of your energy? What do you think about the most? What is the most significant thing to you in life?
Some people, if they answered honestly, would say, “My purpose in life is to have fun.” Someone else might say, “My purpose in life is to experience pleasure.” Another might say, “My purpose in life is to be successful.” Another might say, “My purpose in life is to make money.”
The book of Acts tells us that when Barnabas came to Antioch, he exhorted the believers there “that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (Acts 11:23). And Paul said, “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]” (Philippians 3:10, amp).
Paul knew where he was going. And if you don’t know where you are going, then you won’t know whether you get there. Paul was essentially saying, “My purpose in life is to know Him. Yes, there are other things that I do, but my primary purpose is to intimately, deeply, and personally know God.”
Is that your purpose in life right now? I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I Pray that you get a real hunger for the Word of God so that you won’t be deceived by churches that just want to tickle your ears and not preach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that as you grow closer to the Lord through His Word that you will be able to have HIS eyes and discern the wolves in sheep’s clothing from genuine shepherds who preach the Word of God. I pray that as you dwell more in the Word that the Holy Spirit will lead you where He wants you to be, realizing that He goes before you and also beside you, so that you are never alone. I pray that HIS Peace be with you as you rest in Him. Allow it to settle over you and enfold you in His loving Presence!!! Jesus love is the same Yesterday , Today and Forever!!! Walk in the warm light of HIS Great Love!!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen!!! I Love You All!!! God bless you!!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6lDyBj
by Charles R. Swindoll
Jesus Teaches at the FeastAfter these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly.
If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him. So Jesus *said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.
Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews. But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. John 7:1-14
As we’ve been discussing, there are certain times when it’s necessary to keep quiet, to relax, to back off. Intensity often leads to futility. Like the little boy who plants the seed and then nervously digs it up every day to see if it is growing. Waiting is as necessary as planting and fertilizing.
When the fish aren’t biting, banging on the water with an oar won’t help. You can’t get sap out of a hoe handle. Nor can a relationship be corrected by legislation and force. Remember, God says there is a “time to shun embracing” (Ecclesiastes 3:5) just as there are times to embrace. “To give up as lost” (3:6) may, on some occasions, be the wisest response, though extremely painful. Sometimes that means simply being silent and allowing God to work. In other words, back off so God can move in. This is never more essential than among family members in a home. Allowing some slack in the rope is, at the right time, a mark of real wisdom.
What a difficult pill for up-tight parents to swallow! Kept edgy by impatience, rigidity, and unbending determination, they foolishly rush in where angels loathe to tread. The result? Exasperated kids. Rooms choked with threats and irritating pressure.
Young guys can do this with girls they date. She wants room to breathe, some space to think things out for herself, but he continues to smother. We can do this with people we have offended. They need time to reason, freedom to forgive without being hurried. To push for a quick closure is like a hard-sell salesman pressing you to buy when you are trying to decide what’s best. The faster he talks and the harder he pushes, the less interested you become in buying—-even something you need. The wise salesman knows when to allow you the privilege of deciding for yourself—-when to back off and leave you alone.
Nobody is able to eat while they’re weeping. Serving more food isn’t the answer. The appetite will return when the agony subsides … and not until. That takes time.
Stop and think. Think first about your family. Then your other friends. Are you being wise or foolish? Are you using force or providing freedom? Are you being pushy or patient? Are you intimidating by your intensity … or backing off and relaxing? Are you allowing the ground fog to roll back, or are you launching blindly into dangerous flight?
Want to go deeper? Read John 7:1-14 and notice how Jesus “backed off” on occasion. Study closely His words throughout John 7 to find the keys for knowing when to back off and when not to. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
TONIGHT I PRAY that you seek His face so that you will find fulfillment of your deepest longings. I pray that when you see the beauty in this world that you will recognize His Glory and abiding Presence ever near to you. He is here for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear Him. I pray that His precious Holy Spirit lights up all of the dark corners of our minds with HIS light and love, so that He will literally glow through us as a beacon to others who are lost in the dark and cold. If we let our pride go and give everything to Him, His Glory will reflect through our lives to save a dying world. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen…. I love you all!!! God bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6kj1Ff
TONIGHT I PRAY that you linger in His Presence for a while each day. So that the Holy Spirit can teach you in how to rest in Jesus. I pray that the Holy Spirit shows you that starting your day alone with the Lord Jesus is essential preparation for a successful day. He will equip you with everything that you need. He knows what is going to happen to you this day and if you walk with Him you will not grow weary or lose heart. I pray that as you learn to rest in Jesus that you will grow as a Christian. Relax in Him and He will get you ready to face anything that will come your way this day. Just hold tightly to His hand and keep your eyes on Him. Rest in the Light of His Mighty Presence so your spirit will be filled with the warmth of His great love and let that love just shine through you!!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6kBcVR
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. —1 Corinthians 16:13
There will come times in all of our lives when we will be tested in our faith. There will be times when what we believe will be challenged. There will be temptations to do the wrong thing.
We might ask ourselves, Will I be able to stand strong spiritually when this happens? That is entirely up to you. It isn’t up to God. It is up to you. God wants you to stand, but He will not force you to stand. He will give you all the resources you need. He will give you the power to resist. He will even give you a way out. But you have to cooperate. There are some things only God can do. And there are some things only you can do.
Only God can forgive sin. But only you can fall into sin. Only God can give you the power to change your life. But you need to be willing to have your life changed. You need to cooperate with Him. He is not going to force you to resist what is evil. You have to be willing to resist it on your own, then take hold of the resources that He gives you. You decide today whether or not you will fall tomorrow. The stand you make today will determine what kind of stand you make tomorrow.
When you are building a house, the most important time is not when you lay carpet or paint; it’s when you lay the foundation. If you don’t do that well, then all of your decorative additions will be for nothing. You have to get the foundation right.
Therefore, you determine today what kind of situation you will be in tomorrow. I love this devotional today and I hope you did as well. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
No Place for Islands
by Charles R. Swindoll
Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.Romans 15:1-7
Nobody is a whole chain. Each one is a link. But take away one link and the chain is broken.Nobody is a whole team. Each one is a player. But take away one player and the game is forfeited.Nobody is a whole orchestra. Each one is a musician. But take away one musician and the symphony is incomplete.Nobody is a whole play. Each one is an actor. But take away one actor and the performance suffers.Nobody is a whole hospital. Each one is a part of the staff. But take away one person and it isn’t long before the patient can tell.
Cars are composed of numerous parts. Each one is connected to and dependent upon the other. Even if a tiny screw comes loose and falls out of the carburetor, it can bring the whole vehicle to a stop.
You guessed it. We need each other. You need someone and someone needs you. Isolated islands we’re not. To make this thing called life work, we gotta lean and support. And relate and respond. And give and take. And confess and forgive. And reach out and embrace. And release and rely.
Especially in God’s family … where working together is Plan A for survival. And since we’re so different (thanks to the way God built us), love and acceptance are not optional luxuries. Neither is tolerance. Or understanding. Or patience. You know all those things you need from others when your humanity crowds out your divinity.
In other words:
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. (Romans 12:10-13 NLT)
Why? Because each one of us is worth it. Even when we don’t act like it or feel like it or deserve it.
Since none of us is a whole, independent, self-sufficient, supercapable, all-powerful hotshot, let’s quit acting like we are. Life’s lonely enough without our playing that silly role.
The game’s over. Let’s link up. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day. God bless you!!!
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