Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Forward In FAITH

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Loving God has to do with obedience, “If you love me, keep my commands,” John 14:15. It is hard to obey God and to live in this world. It may oftentimes seem as though the standards of this world are in opposition to the Word of God. There are instances when doing the right thing seems to yield rejection, exclusion, ridicule, persecution and suffering. Yet Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:10.

Hold fast to His Word and go forward in FAITH. The Bible reminds us that, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see,” Hebrews 11:1; “For we walk by faith, not by sight,” 2 Corinthians 5:7. 

Whatever it is that GOD has promised you, hold on in FAITH. Do not let sight cause you to fall, and should you stumble, get back up on your knees and pray to the ONE who is able to restore. JESUS says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36; “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. When we look towards this world for our reward, we will find ourselves feeling disappointed. Remember, “...the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” Romans 14:17.  

For those who have never experienced the blessing of knowing the LORD, the invitation is always open to you! “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Watch and Pray

Jesus models what it means to watch and pray. In the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-38) Jesus is tempted to succumb to the flesh and resist death on the cross. In his humanity, he cries out for the cup of suffering to pass from him. Yet he denounces his will with a determination rooted in obedience and opts for the will of the Father instead. The Bible describes the depth of the agony of soul Jesus endured at that hour. He knew the weakness of the flesh and prayed against its will. Jesus Christ came as fully man, even though He was fully God.

When he came back to the disciples, whom he asked to watch and pray with him, he found them asleep. Disappointed, he asked them, “Could you not watch one hour?” Mark 14:37. The warning He issued is both poignant and instructive; “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

How many times have we experienced this very dilemma? The Apostle Paul describes it aptly, “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am!” Romans 7:21-24

God has given us the power to overcome, but we are to partner with Him through prayer, watchfulness and obedience. His instructions are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to “guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” (Proverbs 4:23), to be realistic about your sinful nature, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), to remain rooted in His Word, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:11), to "walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh,"(Galatians 5:16) and to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” James 4:7. Remember Him in the hour of your temptation, for His promise is that:

“13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Watch and Pray, for the hour is at hand! And if you fall, remember this, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9

Godspeed for the journey ahead!