“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.
This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.—1 Timothy 2:3-4
The Scriptures speak clearly of existence after death—people will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Yet many individuals consider this truth inconsistent with other facts about the Lord. While their objections are understandable, the Bible provides the answers:
How can the Lord be good if He lets some people spend eternity in hell? God is love (1 John 4:8), and He doesn’t want anyone to live without Him (1 Timothy 2:4). According to His plan, every person can turn from sin and receive the Savior, enjoying His presence both now and throughout eternity. Some, however, reject Jesus Christ and live apart from Him all their days. Unless they change that tragic decision, their separation from divine love will continue eternally.
Why would God create certain individuals, knowing they’d never turn to Him? To some, this seems unloving. Yet God so values our free will that He won’t force anyone to go to heaven against his or her will. Doing so would amount to creating robots who are unable to truly respond, love, and worship.
An endless penalty seems unfair, especially if a non-Christian never heard the gospel. As long as unbelievers are alive, the heavenly Father goes to great lengths to keep them from eternal punishment—except He won’t violate their free will. He gives enough time and evidence so that nobody has a valid excuse for rejecting the one path to salvation (Rom. 1:20).
Jesus wants you to spend eternity with Him. So do you know Him as your Lord and Savior?
“God is strong and can keep you from falling. He can bring you before his glory without any wrong in you and give you great joy”— Jude 1:24 NIV
On what basis can we make it all the way to the glory of the next life and everything it includes? Does it all depend on us? Does it all depend on our ability to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong? Not according to our verse for today.
According to our verse, it all depends on God. It all depends on God’s strength. We will make it through to the end because God is strong. He is the awesome and almighty Lord of heaven and earth who controls the destiny of all things and He can make sure that we stand firm to the end. He can make sure that we receive the three things promised in our verse.
First, He can keep us from falling. That is, God can keep us from falling away from faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the one who predestined us to be conformed to the image of His son and He can keep us from falling away from the son (Romans 8:29). Even though we may still sin, we will not abandon the faith. Although we may stumble, we will not fall, for the Lord upholds us with His hand (Psalm 37:24).
Second, God can bring us before His glory without any wrong in us. That is, God’s glory will be revealed on Judgement Day and He can make sure that at that time we are “blameless and holy” (I Thessalonians 3:13) and “without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22). Our righteousness before Him will not be due to anything we have done, but because He has sustained our faith in Jesus Christ.
Finally, He can give us great joy. On Judgement Day we will have great joy because we will be found acceptable in the sight of God. As a result, we will inherit all the blessings of the next life. We will have great joy knowing that we have been rescued from sin, sorrow, and an eternity in hell.
If you have stumbled, don’t forget that God is strong. He will keep you from falling all the way down.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.— Acts 1:8 NLT
Power from the Holy Spirit is not limited to strength beyond the ordinary—that power also involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability, and authority. The disciples would need all these gifts to fulfill their mission. We need this power to fulfill our mission of making disciples throughout the world.
If you believe in Jesus Christ, you can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. If you have yet to invite Jesus Christ into your life and heart, today is the day to take advantage of His awesome gift of salvation and have the Holy Spirit empower your life.
“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)