Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Talk Tuesday-The Wisdom of GOD

The CROSS offers hope to the hopeless, power to the powerless and strength to the weak. The CROSS promises victory to the defeated and courage to the fearful. The CROSS is the wisdom of GOD, where justice and mercy meet, and where love triumphs over judgment. Yet it holds two different meanings to two different sets of people; “18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,'” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

When JESUS came, many of the learned missed it; yet the humble, meek and unlearned grasped it. “At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes,'” Matthew 11:25. In this world, we are encouraged to accept empirical 'truth' and reject faith. If it cannot be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, heard, quantified or qualified by modern scientific standards, it is not valid nor valuable. Yet the Apostle Paul asks,“20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe,” 1 Corinthians 1:20-21. The message of the CROSS is incredibly simple, yet what it accomplishes is utterly complex. Romans 10:9 tells us, “ that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Colossians 2:13-15 explains some of its complexity, “13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

So, when you are challenged in your faith, speak up boldly! Do not think you are not good enough, instead meditate on this reality: “26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord,'” 1Corinthians 1:26-31.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lessons From The Battlefield Pt. III-The Power of Victory

Two weeks ago we began the series, Lessons From The Battlefield, based on 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30. During the first week, we read that King Jehoshaphat, the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem had heard that a vast army was coming against them. In Pt. I, The Power of Faith, we saw how they sought the LORD. In Pt. II, The Power of Praise, we witnessed them worshiping GOD as the battle was about to begin. Join us as we conclude with Pt. III, The Power of Victory, and experience the faithfulness of the LORD.

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. 27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets. 29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. 2 Chronicles 20:22-29

GOD brought such a resounding victory to the Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. They were amazed and filled with great joy. Their plunder was so great, it took three days for them to collect it all. Not only did this victory increase their faith, but it brought glory to GOD throughout all the surrounding kingdoms.

When faced with your own personal battles, make GOD your first line of defence. Trust Him, seek Him, praise Him, then stand back and watch Him fight on your behalf. Hold on tenaciously until the very end. Do not give up, you may be turning away on the cusp of victory. Lastly, when you taste the power of victory, remember to testify of His goodness. Share with others what the LORD has done for you! Give Him all the glory, it will bring encouragement to others. And remember, there is no testimony without  a test!