John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.”—John 3:27 NLT
John the Baptist was a true man of God. He knew that a person cannot do anything for God unless God sends the person and bestows the necessary spiritual gifts for the mission. It doesn’t matter what a person thinks he should do for God. What matters is what God thinks a person should do for Him.
A true man or woman of God does not go beyond the call of God, does not go beyond the gifts that have been given. There is no place for jealousy, envy, and covetousness about someone else’s ministry in the Kingdom. Like John, we should be satisfied with what God has given us to do for Him.
John’s message to us is this: Be you and not somebody else. Be at peace and happy with the special tasks and callings God has given to just you in His Kingdom.
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance”—Romans 5:3
The apostle Peter says that when professing believers are beset by trials yet remain steadfast in the Lord Jesus, their faith is proved genuine. The result is confidence in their salvation, and with each new trial, assurance and trust in Christ grows. Their continued perseverance is the fruit of salvation that demonstrates they are abiding in Him.
That’s why we can rejoice even in our sufferings—because through them, God is assuring us of our salvation and conforming us to His image. Knowing this should give us hope and encouragement to continue the process of sanctification, because we have confidence that our salvation will be completed with the resurrection of our bodies.
The next time you face trouble, remember God wants you to know that your salvation is genuine. So hold tightly to Christ and keep trusting Him.
Salvation is simple enough for a child to understand, but it’s also so profound that we can’t plumb its depths. One thing we can know for certain is that it’s a work of God, whereby He regenerates a spiritually dead sinner into a new creation filled with the life of Christ.
How does Jesus receive us? I know how he treated me. I was a sinful twenty-something on a downhill path. Though I’d made a commitment to Christ a decade earlier, you wouldn’t have known it by the way I lived.
Finally I came to Jesus, and he welcomed me back. Please note– he did not accept my behavior but he accepted me, his wayward child. He said, “Come back. I’ll clean you up.” He was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Not just grace, but also truth. Not just truth, but also grace.
Grace and truth. Grace told the adulterous woman at the well, “I do not condemn you.” Truth told her, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Jesus shared truth but did it graciously. Jesus offered grace but did it truthfully. Grace and truth. Acceptance seeks to offer both.
“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.” — Galatians 1:3-5
Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.
To achieve the comfort and peace we share with others in their time of trial, we can receive help through prayer to almighty God, our Father in heaven. In a similar post at https://lifereference.wordpress.com, the author describes the necessity of earnest prayer to our Father given in private and not in public. Take a moment to read this post for additional enlightenment.
He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.—Proverbs 14:29
There are verses from the book of Proverbs that emphasize the value of being slow to anger. This is especially important when facing a verbal attack. Quiet listening, however difficult, protects us from speaking rashly and offers the opportunity to ask God for help in responding as Christ would.
A calm, gentle reply can defuse a tense situation, but without taking time to process what was said, few of us will be able to answer wisely. When we are slow to anger, we can gain understanding of the situation and the hidden motives that a hot-tempered person can’t objectively comprehend. The Holy Spirit will provide insight on how to answer in a tense situation.
A calm, gentle type response is unnatural, but that shouldn’t surprise us since the One who modeled it is supernatural. Our priorities need to change if we’re to emulate Jesus. Love and understanding must supersede the need to defend ourselves, and preserving the relationship must replace safeguarding our rights. So be calm in all situations, and let Christ be your defender and protector.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.—Romans 12:17-18; 21
We must confess unrighteous anger as sin and then begin to deal with it immediately. Anger is often a response to hurt and care must be taken not to excuse or defend it in the name of justice. Even when someone has sinned against you, it’s important to realize that holding onto anger in response is also a sin. Scripture tells us to overcome evil with good, not to repay it.
Some people want to hang on to ill feelings, but nursing a resentful attitude isn’t sustainable; anger must be put aside. If we retain our “right” to hold grudges, we can’t expect to live in the new nature Christ has created for us.
The place where we will find strength is in our new Christlike personality. Our responsibility is to put it on. He invites us to cooperate with Him in the process of transformation. With each step of obedience, the peace of Christ will increase and anger will diminish.
“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me”—Philippians 4:13
How do you respond when you sense the Lord is calling you to a task that seems beyond your abilities? Do you list all the reasons why you can’t possibly do it? God already knows everything about you and the situation. He’s not asking your permission to proceed; rather, He is calling you to move forward with faith in Him. You can refuse, but you risk missing out on the blessings of a life lived in obedience to Him.
The Lord will equip you for whatever He calls you to do. And because the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer, we have everything we need to fulfill our divine mission. Instead of allowing inadequacy to deter you from obeying, let it drive you to your knees so you can depend on God’s insight and power.