Saturday, January 25, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Rebellion's Defence

This week I came across a quote from Thomas Cranmer (16th century Archbishop of Canterbury ). “What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” I began to ponder this. Why do we choose rebellion and sin over God's commands, when His ways bring us protection and blessing instead of pain and hardship?

Adam and Eve were given every provision in the Garden of Eden, and lived at ease. Yet, Satan beguiled them to eat the forbidden fruit, launching them into the consequence of sin that has been painful for all mankind. As I reread the Genesis account of The Fall, I noted how Eve's response differed from Jesus' response, when tempted by Satan:

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:2-6

Eve repeats the Word of God only once; she resists the Serpent only once. Jesus repeats the Word of God THREE times, resisting Him all three times, until the Devil finally flees:

3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, 
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. Matthew 4: 3-10

God's Word is life. It is our defence. Stay in His Word, and remember, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Hold on to His Word for a safe journey through this perilous world.

“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
 that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Faith In 2014

What is FAITH? The Bible tells us that, " is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see," Hebrews 11:1. Jesus says, "...for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you," Matthew 17:20. The Apostle Paul reminds us that, "...we walk by faith, not by sight," 2 Corinthians 5:7. So what is it about FAITH that is so God-honouring yet powerful in the hands of the Christian?

FAITH is an unwavering trust in GOD. Romans Chapter 4 tells us about Abraham's faith. He was very old and childless when GOD promised him that he would become the father of many nations:

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:18-25

Such powerful words! This New Year, we can choose to walk in FAITH, believing in the power of the JESUS' death and resurrection, knowing that we are justified, redeemed and forgiven by His blood shed on the Cross. We have the promise of eternal life, and as His people, we can choose to live out His purpose for us in 2014. And when sight comes to blind us and our circumstances speak fear, let us stand in faith on the truth that, " all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us," Romans 8:37.