2You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.—Matt 10:22
Standing firm is not a way to be saved but it is the evidence that a person is really committed and devoted to Jesus. Endurance is not a means to earn salvation either; it is a by-product of a truly devoted life for Christ. Endurance grows out of commitment to Jesus Christ. In Matthew 10:22, Jesus predicted that his followers would be severely persecuted by those who hated what he stood for. In the midst of terrible persecutions, however, they could have hope, knowing that salvation was theirs. Times of trial serve to weed out true Christians from false or fair-weather Christians.
When you are pressured to give up and turn your back on Christ, don’t do it. Remember, the benefits of standing firm and continuing to live for Christ far outweigh anything the enemy has to offer.
Remember to praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful—Colossians 3:15
We don’t have to face our worries alone. We have a faithful partner in the Holy Spirit, who lives within us to guide us, direct us, and show us the way to having faith that overcomes our worry. Letting Him lead is key to leaving our worries behind.
Thankfulness is also the result of remembering all God’s benefits instead of dwelling on the circumstances that tend to rob us of peace. Counting our blessings in this way insures the rule of Christ’s peace in our life.
Therefore, we don’t have to let our concerns and worries bury us in a sea of unrest. Christ’s peace, which is available no matter what we are facing, can strengthen our confidence and trust in Him.
After reading James chapter 1 in the bible I am struck by the idea of our need for faith. It is something we must have and direct toward God, the Father.
James 1:2-3 says we should consider it all joy when we are faced with various trials in life. These trials will test our faith with the idea that our faith will in turn produce endurance.
Sometime trials are not brief in duration but instead can last for a long time. God wants us to know He is there with us and will be with us during those trials and testings giving us the endurance we need.
Another key component in facing our trials is having wisdom from God. He gives us wisdom liberally if we ask Him for it. I believe He wants us to ask Him so we can be successful in facing our trials and making decisions.
I pray Father that this day you will give me your wisdom to face the day and make the right choices with faith through your Holy Spirit. Bless me with your Holy Spirit, O’ Lord. May I be sensitive to His leading.
I praise you Father for these and all other blessings you give me. In Christ’s name…..Amen.
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself”—2 Timothy 2:13
Have you ever doubted God? At some point in life, every one of us could probably answer yes. Doubts come when our expectations are not met—for example, when we believe that God will act a certain way, but He doesn’t. Then we start to question His love and wonder whether He truly has our best interest at heart.
The most famous doubter in the Bible is Thomas. He wasn’t with the other disciples when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them. Later, when they told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, he refused to believe. He’d left everything to follow Jesus, but the crucifixion had dashed his expectations of a glorious messianic kingdom. In his doubting state, Thomas demanded proof before he would believe.
Have you ever considered how bold Thomas’s ultimatum was? No human being has the right to demand anything of the Son of God. Yet the following week, the Lord appeared to the doubting disciple and graciously offered the proof Thomas wanted. Jesus knew this wasn’t a case of rebellious unbelief, because Thomas belonged to Him (John 18:9).
When we are the Lord’s, we never have to fear that He will cut us off. Remember Scripture’s words of assurance: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). Our doubts should be a reminder that we have much more to learn about God. So let’s think of them as a challenge to dig deeply into His Word to discover why our expectations have led us astray. The more we grow in our knowledge of our Lord, the more we’ll trust Him.
“You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness”—Romans 6:16
If professing believers were really honest, many would say their lives bear little resemblance to the Christian life described in Scripture. They struggle repeatedly with the same sins, feel that God rarely answers prayers, and wonder why He hasn’t given them the desires of their heart. How is this possible?
The problem may be a lack of submission to Jesus Christ. People often want the forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven but are not willing to place themselves under the lordship of Christ. Therefore, they are disconnected from what He wants to do in their life. In refusing to submit, they forfeit the blessings that come to those who know Christ as Savior and Lord.
As today’s passage states, “You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness” (v. 16). Although we strongly dislike the concept of slavery, that is the reality for every person who enters the world: We are all born as slaves of sin. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the final word. Anyone who turns to Christ in repentance and faith is set free. However, this is not freedom to simply do whatever we want. In fact, doing so would naturally head us back to our old slave master of sin.
Avoiding submission to God results in wasted years of chasing after His blessings through our own cunning. True freedom and blessing are found only in being a slave to God, who is always good, wise, and loving. In obedience to His will, we find freedom from sin, answers to prayer, and new desires that come from a changed heart.
(Presented with permission | Charles Stanley | In Touch)
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”— James 5:16
Given the righteousness that we have in Christ Jesus, anyone in Christ may come before God in prayer with a clear conscience and without fear of condemnation. In point of fact, anyone in Christ may come before God with the expectation of good results.
Hebrews 4:16 says “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” We don’t have to grovel before God or get someone better than us to get what we need. Every Christian may come before Him with great confidence.
When you experience pain or suffering, what’s your first reaction? Is it something like, “Why me Lord?” or is it more like, “Thank you Father for this experience allowing me to draw closer to you.” If you’re like most people the first reaction is probably the one you have.
We all will have our trials and troubles because we live in a fallen world. As Paul says in Romans, “The wages of sin is death.” So when we have a problem we won’t necessarily experience death but we should be reminded that something we said or did might be the cause of our situation. Sometimes it is God working in us.
Let Christ sanctify you when you have pain and trouble instead of hanging on to disappointment, anger, and bitterness. The key to contentment in every situation is a willingness to look below the surface of your pain and see both the good that Christ is working in you and the glory that is guaranteed to follow.