Romans 12:9-21 – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” NASB
This passage gives much more than my title suggests, but I want to focus on those three things for this discussion. Paul gives us the foundation leading up to his powerful prescription in verse 12 by telling us to Love without hypocrisy, abhor evil, cling to the good, be devoted to brotherly love, honor one another, and to be diligent, fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord with our all. Then he comes to the three keys to victory:
REJOICE IN HOPE. (Without hope life becomes an almost impossible task for the human soul. Jesus is our Hope, not the government, not the church, and not man – JESUS! If we have Hope, we have an expectation of life that will enable us to walk through anything.
PERSEVERE IN TRIBULATION. (Trials, troubles, difficulties, setbacks, problems come to each of us and how we handle those problems largely depends on the first item on the list – Hope. If we are living in “hope” we are more able to walk through the time of tribulation than if we are Hopeless. When our focus is on our Great Hope, we have an Expectation of Ultimate Victory and therefore a renewed strength and determination that enables us (Grace) to walk through the fire and the flood.)
DEVOTED IN PRAYER. (Without this the first two fall apart. Without determined, consistent, committed communication with the Lord, we will be in danger of falling into self-pity, self-focus, and self-centeredness rather than making Him the center of our universe we will be. At that point, we are candidates for despair rather than victory. But if we keep our eyes on the prize of the High Calling and on the Lord Jesus Christ, we can go through anything that is set before us because of our assurance and hope in Him.)
As you begin your day, begin it with a commitment to Hope, Perseverance, and Prayer. I pray that the LORD will give you the Grace to walk through the situation and empower you to overcome anything you face. It may not be easy or pretty, but you will come out on the other side in Victory!
Blessings as enjoy this wonderful day the LORD has given.
Mark 1:35 –“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” NASB
Several years ago, I spent months with intense hip pain. It was a pain that did not have a definitive diagnosis. The doctors were giving me no real explanations as to the root cause of the pain. The pain became persistent and at times acute. I learned a much-needed new lesson through that alone time with God.
I don’t know if you have experienced it, but many times friends and family proved to be physicians of no value. They meant well and their words and actions are well-intentioned, they produce no comfort, give no answers, and only brought more questions. I even had one person tell me, “Well everybody hurts.” I tried numerous types of therapy, had X-rays, a C.T. Scan, saw several specialists, listened to explanations by radiologists, had adjustments, laser treatment, and tried water therapy, yet the pain and problem were persistent. That continued for about four months.
There were times I tried to tell myself, as did Paul, that the situation was a thorn in the flesh to keep me focused. In those times, I would find myself saying, “Roy, shake yourself and tell myself to just deal with it.” It did not take long for me to realize that this was not something to keep me focused but a physical issue that had a cause and an answer.
I discovered that although I was normally good at communicating with others, I had difficulty getting people in the medical profession to comprehend what I was telling them about what I felt. They listen but didn’t listen. They looked at the reports, X-rays, C.T. Scans, treatments, and formed a conclusion before they even talked to me. Once that came into the examination room, they would attempt to press upon me what they perceived to be the problem. They did not often grasp the severity I was experiencing and would leave me without answers or solutions.
Sometimes even sitting with a doctor I would feel that I was in a room by myself and completely alone. Pain is a strong enemy to health, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and relationally. It can become a virtual “prison” and must be addressed either by receiving relief or learning how to manage it. Otherwise, it will become the dominating factor in our thinking.
My only solution to this problem was found in the “alone time” with God. I discovered that when I was alone with God I was not alone! I know that the one who made this body knows exactly what is going on and exactly what to do. Even more importantly I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me NO MATTER WHAT!
I have had issues with my back for years. I have some malformations in my spine that I’ve had from birth. I have degenerative discs and joint disease, arthritic symptoms, conditions, and signs, inflammation of tissue, possible nerve damage, etc. yet no real plan on how to address those issues. I have learned to roll this on the One and Only One who “truly knows” exactly what the situation is and what to do about it.
Over these months of excruciating pain, I learned afresh and anew the value of “alone time” with God. Not so much me talking and telling Him my troubles but sitting in His presence listening. There would be times when I sensed that He was cradling me in His loving arms and comforting me through His presence. I renewed my appreciation for His word and being sensitive to the “still small voice” of the Spirit of God.
I knew that although I did not know what the final outcome in the natural would be, I knew that I knew that “in God”, I am Never Alone and would Never Be Forsaken. I know that when I am alone with God I am not alone!
I pray that the Holy Spirit will enable you to have some “alone time” with God today. Blessings!
Joel 2:28-29 – “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;And your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29 “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” NASB
Genesis 1:2 –“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” NKJV
Many Christians view the Person of the Holy Spirit as an “it” rather than a “person”, a member of the Godhead a part of and God Himself. I don’t relate to an it very well, but I do relate to people. An “it” is an inanimate object without feelings, mental capacity, emotional capacity, it just is; but the Holy Spirit exhibits characteristics of “mind”, “will”, and “emotions”. He is a “teacher”, a “guide”, a “comforter”, an “attorney”, an “equipper”, and “one who empowers” in our Christian walk. He brings conviction, correction, comfort, confirmation, inspiration, and inspires. He is a very active member of the God-head and should be active in our lives. He teaches us to pray when we do not know how to pray.
On the Day of Pentecost, referring to Joel’s prophecy, Peter identified that what they were seeing, and hearing was, in fact, the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8 we are told that He searches our hearts and knows the mind of God and intercedes for us. In 1 Corinthians 12, we find that He gives gifts for the purpose of furthering God’s Kingdom purposes and does so severally as He chooses.
The Holy Spirit can be grieved, thus demonstrating emotion as we see in Ephesians 4. He can be rebelled against as is evidenced in Isaiah 63. He brings joy as is seen in Luke 10 and 1 Thessalonians 1. He teaches and is a counselor as seen in John 14. He testifies of Christ as revealed in John 15. He brings conviction as described in John 16 and leads as is revealed in Romans 8. He reveals truth as seen in John 16, strengthens and encourages as reflected in Acts 9, and He comforts as described in John 14:16. He helps in our weaknesses according to Romans 8, searches the deep things of God as revealed in 1 Corinthians 2, sanctifies as Romans 15 details, and bears witness according to Romans 8. He can be resisted according to Acts 7, blasphemed as we read in Matthew 12, Quenched as we are informed in 1 Thessalonians 5:19. All those indicate Personality and being a Person.
Therefore, if He is a Person, persons are relational beings and we can develop a personal relationship with Him. That means we can hear His voice, sense His checks, pricks, prods, nudges, urging, and recognize His warning signs. He brings the anointing or the power of God into our lives. He enables us to utilize the weapons of warfare. Therefore, we should seek to understand Him. In our relationship with the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to understand the Father and in understanding the Father we learn to understand the Son.
As our relationship with Jesus grows into the oneness of being, our relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit grows on a parallel plane. We learn to hear that still small voice and sense the warning signs before others around us see what is happening. We are guarded, guided, girded, and gifted to fulfill the purposes of God in our lives.
I caution you that this is not a relationship that just happens; it is one that is developed. We enter the gates of God through thanksgiving and His courts with praise. We become what we focus on and as we focus on “the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” we will find ourselves becoming more and more attuned to the ministry of the Spirit of God and walk in greater peace, power, and purpose.
Galatians 5:13-16 – “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” NASB
There is much said today about “freedom” and “liberty” and rightly so. I hear a lot about “rights” and that’s not a bad topic to discuss. Yet, I must ask, “What shall we do with freedom, liberty, and rights?” If we are talking politically that is one matter. If we are talking socially that is yet another matter. But, if we are speaking spiritually then we find some very clear directives from the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which not only affect our spiritual lives but also every facet of our existence. Here in Galatians he gives us some clear and easily understood guidance:
We were called to FREEDOM. (Freedom from the bondage and ravages of sin. Freedom from eternity in Hell. Freedom to move from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. Freedom to love, forgive, serve, and live the abundant life Jesus purchased for us.)
He warns against turning our FREEDOM into an opportunity for the flesh. (Instead of making ourselves the center of our universe we are to make our universe – – Christ, then others, then self and through His grace, love, and mercy minister to and serve one another. We are to be Good Samaritans demonstrating LOVE. Loving others as much as we love ourselves and for some that would be an enormous undertaking.)
He warns us that if we bicker and squabble we do so to our detriment. (So often in Church the squabbles are over petty things, not real issues. That is true in so many areas of life that it would take too long to try to enumerate them. We too frequently major on minors and minor on majors.)
Then he gives us the key – “Walk by the Spirit, and you WILL NOT carry out the desire of the flesh.”
That is a simple charge but difficult for human beings to do! The only way we can fulfill this directive is to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.” We must follow the truth of Scripture that “We must decrease but He (Christ) must increase.” We must submit our will to His will and become a true doulos or bond-slave of Christ, which is not servitude but service and relationship. It is allowing Him to live His life through us and “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Let’s make that our objective as we turn the next page of our life and begin writing the next chapter!
I pray the blessings of the LORD upon you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus. May your day be joyous and filled with the peace, power, and presence of the Lord!
I am going to share this in my blogs and what I am going to say will resonate with some and possibly turn some off. I am speaking strictly from my Christian perspective and the desire of my heart for a deeper relationship relationship with God and my love for my nation. This is a different type of post I am placing in www.roybeaird.com but a more normal one for www.royscovenantcorner.com but I hope it is meaningful and helpful.
The LORD is stirring my heart more than He has in a long time over what is happening in America, the world, and the church. I am shaken to the core of my being and drawn to seek the LORD more than ever. I take the command and commission of Jesus extremely seriously and am seeking to understand and pursue Him with my entire being.
Jesus gave us some incredibly specific and pertinent instructions in Matthew 6. In verses 9-13 we are given what we have called the “Lord’s Prayer” but it is actually the prayer that Jesus gave us an example or pattern for us, His disciples. Then in verses 33-34, we are given instruction or our our mission and assignment in life. This is paramount over all else that we can think or do. I believe it is the key to success or failure. It is the key to liberty or tyranny. It is the key to life or death. It is something that we mentally ascribe to but practically bypass.
The directive here and elsewhere in including a dozen or more places in the Old Testament is that we are to Love and Seek God with our entire being, body, soul, and spirit. Seeking God FIRST is critical but what is the purpose of seeking Him first? Is it that we can feel good about ourselves, get goosebumps, have notoriety, or do some exploit?
In order to answer that question, I ask that we go back to the earlier part of Matthew 6 and the prayer. We are instructed to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We are to seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and our purpose is to bring the manifestation of that Kingdom to the earth so that God’s will is done here as it is in heaven.
How do I seek the Kingdom of God? Is it through petition and prayer pleading for God to come to us? I suggest that everything that Jesus did was for the purpose of action and was our example. He was fully God and choose to live and operate as fully man. A man totally obedient to God and filled with the Holy Spirit. He thought with a heavenly mind. Jesus revealed that He only did what He saw the Father do and only said what He heard the Father say. In John 5:30 our LORD said, “By myself, I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him that sent me.”
What could Jesus do in His own power? NOTHING! Before you protest and say, “But He is God and God can do anything.” Remember that Jesus chose to operate fully as man, a man dependent upon the Spirit of God and the Father. Jesus is an example of what one person can do who is totally dependent, totally obedient, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us that with God all things are possible. The Bible tells us that we are IN Him and seated WITH Him in heavenly places. He has given us power and authority over all the power of the devil. Therefore, we can do all things through obedience and faith. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE to them that believe (Mark 9:23).
THE WARNING AND PROBLEM:
We become what we focus on. Our lives, thoughts, actions, and conditions are determined by what we fill our hearts and minds with. Whatever most fills our hearts and heads determines who we are and what we do. It determines whether we live and operate in faith, victory, and power, or fear, defeat, and bondage.
If we hear what the Mainstream Media says more than what God says we will live in fear, anger, jealousy, envy, and defeat. We will be unable to exercise the Christ-given authority that the Cross won. We will not be able to bring the Kingdom of God into our present world or situation.
If we focus on the abuses or perceived abuses or other injustices of the world and any inequalities, we will live defeated and driven by our emotions. On the other hand, if we realize that we have authority over the powers of darkness we will bring the Kingdom of God into the present situation, and through our lives and actions, we will bring peace and become a drawing light to Christ.
Paul taught us the importance of our thoughts and instructed us to “think heavenly thoughts not earthly thoughts.” There is no contest between God and the devil. We do not have two all-powerful gods we have The Living God and the devil, a created being. God could mash him like a bug anytime. But God has chosen to operate in this world through our invitation and obedience.
Let me illustrate it this way and hopefully, it will resonate. If I own a home and rent it to you. I am the owner and have a master key but without your invitation, I cannot enter that house. While you are meeting the requirements of the lease agreement it is your home. I own it. I am ultimately responsible for it, but I have made an agreement with you to manage it. God owns all things. He created man but He has chosen to allow us to be fruitful and replenish His creation. He has chosen to allow us to follow the desires of our hearts. He has given us choice and we either live in obedience or rebellion. We either trust the arm of flesh or the arm of God.
The problem with this present day is not people! It is not even what they do! The problem is the existence and operation of evil and our disobedience or ignorance of God’s provisions, purposes, and desires.
If we focus on what is wrong and what people are doing, or people, we will be controlled by earthly thinking and never see the full victory He has promised and provided. God has invited us to enter into a relationship with Him where we can have the Kingdom of God live and manifest in us. In that relationship, we view everything from the perspective of What Is in Him not What Is in the Present World. We move from what we see with our natural eyes, hear with our natural ears, and experience in our natural emotions to a Kingdom Consciousness and a God Consciousness.
The Spirit of God in us is not a Lake it is a River. He is in us to flow out from us and impact those around us. We do not have His presence to simply make us feel good we have His presence to impact our world. We are salt and light. We are the flavor the world needs. When we walk into the room, things change, or they should. Why? Because of the presence of God in us and the Expectation that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
God has given us an Impossible Assignment. A commission that we cannot fulfill in our own strength. The only way we can complete our Life Purpose is in Total Reliance on God. We must become totally obedient.
Believers, if we want to see America and the World saved we must change our mindset and worldview from what we see in the natural, what we can do in the natural to GOD, and become people who have a limitless expectation.
I have so much I’d like to say but for the sake of a little brevity and the limitations of posting on social media, I conclude saying, “What happens in the world is up to the Body of Christ.” We either become who God says we are and exercise the authority of Christ and enforce the victory He won on the Cross or we operate in our own strength and flounder from battle to battle often defeated and relishing momentary and temporary victories. We win a few battles but not the War!
I am determined to become a vessel that He can use and allow the Holy Spirit to enable me to end my stinking thinking and become Kingdom and God-conscious. I refuse to live in defeat when He has provided the Victory. I refuse to allow the devil to steal, kill, and destroy when Jesus said, I have authority over Him. I will resist the devil by seeking God and expect the devil to retreat. IT IS UP TO US, IN AND THROUGH HIM!
Isaiah 43:1-3 – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! 2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. 3 “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” NASB
All of us face times of trepidation and experience times of deep concern. There are times when we are fearful. Many of those times we handle the situations reflecting on the promises of God. We utilize rational thinking or perseverance and receive His peace. Yet, there are times when we are overwhelmed and need a comforting touch from the Master.
A few years ago, on the night before I visited an Orthopedic surgeon, I had difficulty sleeping. During the night the hip pain increased to almost unbearable levels. I don’t know if it was stress if I was laying wrong, or what the problem was but by 4 AM I was up taking a shower, and getting dressed for my day. That experience gave me a significant amount of time to pray, meditate on the things of God, and talk to the Father about my situation!
The two doctors I have seen agreed on the likely ultimate treatment just had differing opinions as to the steps to that achieve that end. I had been waiting for the time to see the specialist who was supposed to the “the man” regarding hip replacement in this area. That was his primary specialty. Did that relieve my anxiety, No! I was holding on to the Lord for His ultimate and complete healing. My attitude was that if He chose to use a medical practitioner to accomplish that, I was okay with that. However, it was not my preference.
As my spirit calmed down and I read in Isaiah. I came to Chapter 43 and the words so familiar just leaped off the page at me. I could hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Son, why are you anxious and allowing an element of fear to enter your heart. We’ve been through much worse than this and have I ever failed you?” Of course, the answer is a resounding NO! He said, “You’ve been through troubled waters even to the point of death and I was there. You’ve been through the fire where you despaired of life and I was there. What would make you even consider that I won’t be there this time?”
It was in a moment of humble repentance, that I cried out to the Lord and peace flooded my heart, mind, and soul. I did not know what would take place, but I knew that God was in control. I knew that I was in His hands and as I listen to the direction of His Spirit, I knew that everything was going to be okay! As I prepared for the evaluation from the “top dog” in the specialty I did so with Complete Peace because I experienced God’s “comfort in a time of trouble.”
I am always grateful for God’s comfort. I knew then and know that the peace I that flows out of His love and the prayers of friends are always instrumental in bringing about God’s perfect plan.
I pray God’s Blessings upon you as you embark on another day’s journey in Jesus!
John 18:33-38 – “Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” NASB
That is not only a question that Pilate asked but one that has been asked down through the ages and is still being asked today. Jesus in the previous chapter answered that question – John 17:17- “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
Paul admonished Timothy and the church in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” KJV
He also taught the Ephesian church the reason and function of the Gift Ministries, in Ephesians 4:11-16, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. “
If you find yourself asking this question in your life, consider what Jesus and Paul said. The Word of God is Truth! The more we study that word the more stable we become in God’s truth and able we are to recognize truth. Avail yourself to godly men and women and fellowships capable of equipping you for your service to the Lord and to help you learn truth. One more thing, learn to rely upon the Holy Spirit for we are told that He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Remember the words of our Lord, John 8:31-33
Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Truth, God’s Truth liberates! Man’s distortions bring into bondage.
It is my prayer that you will be able to walk in Truth and be free in Jesus as you continue to enjoy this wonderful day! May you be blessed beyond measure!
Jeremiah 1:12 – “Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” NASB
I have had promises and commitments made to me that for one reason or another did not come to pass. Sometimes it was due to the lack of credibility of the one making the promise and at other times it was due to some unforeseeable circumstance that prevented them from fulfilling their word. Yet, with God that Never happens.
In the Old Testament, we find the powerful words of Balaam when Balak tried to entice him to curse Israel. Balaam found that he could not, and explained it this way: Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? “ NASB
I trust God! He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent! He does not have the capacity to lie it’s not part of His nature or character. He is Truth just as He is Love! Therefore, there is no circumstance or situation wherein God is unable to fulfill His Word. We may rebel and place ourselves outside His favor but that does not negate His Word nor His ability and willingness to fulfill His Word.
I grew up being taught that “My word was my bond.” I was taught that if I committed to something and shook hands on it there was no need for a contract because I had placed “my name, my being, my character, and my integrity” into the promise. To have done less would have resulted in dire repercussions from my parents as well as my grandparents. It was unthinkable and unacceptable.
Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:4, “…He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” NIV The greatest promise is Eternal Life through the sacrifice of Jesus. If that passage was the only promise it would be enough but it’s not the only promise. The Bible is filled with “promises” to us, as believers. We know that many either do not know, believe, or receive.
It is part of the Abundant Life that Jesus said we would have in Him. I Trust God’s Word because I Trust God! If He said it, that’s good enough for me! I encourage you to not only trust God’s Word but invest yourselves in His Word. Make it as important as natural food and you will be amazed at the change in your life, circumstances, relationships, and understanding.
May God richly bless you as you continue your week in Him.
Colossians 1:19-23 – “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” NKJV
Although it may not be popular in some circles to talk about the shedding of blood and the Cross upon which Jesus died. That message is the central part of the Gospel and cannot be eliminated.
We discover in Hebrews 9:22 – “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” NKJV. In Acts 20:28 we read, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” NKJV. There are many other references including Romans 3:23-25, 5:8-11, and Revelation 1:5-6 which reference the blood that purchased us from the clutches of sin.
The fact remains that the Ultimate Sacrifice for the sin of mankind was the blood of Jesus and it was shed on the cruel cross. In His Virgin birth, Sinless life, Sacrificial death, Supernatural resurrection, Divine ascension, and Definite return, He has Purchased our salvation. He suffered for us that we might live for Him and have Abundant Life, Eternally!
We can never forget the Cross and dare not forget the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. We dare not forget the price He paid to redeem us from the bondage of sin and the ownership of the devil. Through the Cross, he transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. If we always hold before us the Cross and what He did, we will find ourselves much less likely to succumb to temptation and more likely to remain Thankful and live with an Attitude of Gratitude walking in victory.
His blood makes our souls spotless and as clean as the pure driven snow. Though our sins are as scarlet they shall be white as snow is the promise of Scripture. That blood, that cross, that sacrifice brings us a Peace which Passes All Understanding and causes us to Rest in a way that cannot be explained and virtually impossible to adequately describe.
If you are struggling today, remember the Cross and I believe it will give you the encouragement to rise up and run to Him. In His arms, you will realize not only Peace but the Power of His Grace to overcome!
May you enjoy the blessings of the LORD as you embark on today’s journey in Jesus!
Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” NASB
Through the years I’ve purchased many things that came with various “guarantees”. Some of them were legitimate and good, others were not worth the paper they were written on. Money-back guarantees get a lot of attention and frequently will be a selling point for a particular product. However, even those prove to not be completely accurate. They frequently fail to let you know that you have to pay for the shipping and sometimes are charged a restocking fee and by the time you are done you’ve paid almost what you did to purchase the worthless item, to begin with.
I’ve had people give me “guarantees” with their word only to find that their word was not worth very much because they either had no intention of fulfilling their promise or were not willing to make the sacrifice required to do so. So, guarantees are only worth as much as the person or entity behind them.
That brings me to the verse above – It Is Rock Solid! It is a guarantee made by our Lord Jesus Himself and you can take it to the bank. It works all the time, every time, and anytime. It works everywhere and under any conditions and is backed up by the integrity of the Son of God! I’ve had people tell me regarding their church or pastor, “I’m not being fed.” I have several thoughts regarding that statement:
If that is true that there is no spiritual nourishment coming from your church or pastor, why are you there complaining?
Why aren’t you feasting on the spiritual nourishment that the Lord has provided in the Written Word and through fellowship with Him through the Holy Spirit?
Are you hungry and thirsty, spiritually? If so, the Lord has promised that you would be satisfied. Therefore, either He did not tell the truth, or you are not truly “hungry” or “thirsty”.
I am by no means suggesting that people hop from church to church. I have discovered that frequently the problem does not lie in the church or pastor but the individual who is issued the complaint. That is not to excuse any preacher that does not feed the sheep or any church that does not place God first and foremost.
I suggest that the first step is to allow the Holy Spirit to shine the spotlight of God upon our hearts to be sure that the problem does not lie in us. That being said, if I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I will be satisfied. There is NEVER a lack of Spiritual Nourishment available to the “hungry” and “thirsty” soul. It may mean that we have to become more than babies and feed ourselves rather than expect someone to spoon-feed us. Yet, my purpose for this devotional is not to castigate but encourage you. “Seek first, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and you will be satisfied and grow spiritually.”
As you grow, you become able to assist others along the way in their spiritual development. There is no famine for the Word of God as long as we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit. We are promised that He will not only “teach” us but “guide” us into all truth.
Be encouraged and allow your spiritual hunger and thirst to become so intense that you cannot wait until the next feeding time, either on your own, via your local congregation, or through fellowship with other believers. God wants you to be spiritually satisfied or fed and filled.
Blessings as you enjoy this wonderful day in the Lord!