Showing posts with the label Assurance

Freedom Robbers

I know I distressed you greatly with my letter. Although I felt awful at the time, I don’t feel at all bad now that I see how it turned out. The letter upset you, but only for a while. Now I’m glad—not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets. (2 Corinthians 7:8-10) Any great pain or sorrow that weighs us down and almost keeps us from moving is not meant to keep us down, it is meant to drive us to God. Elements of physical suffering, or some mental anguish might have us under its control right now. Some call this "trouble", while others use a more sophisticated term like "affliction" or "trib

Your promise me what?

Have you seen the hope of a promise and what influence it has over a person? The "pulling" or "pushing" effect of the promise they hold onto is often the only thing keeping them going, isn't it? If you have ever really taken any kind of look into scriptures, you will see they are filled with promises. Some make immediate sense to us, causing us to just simply latch onto them quickly, while others take a little "getting used to" in order to have any real kind of impact on us. By definition a promise is something which gives hope - it is what we base our expectations on. If we have been given a promise - we hold out for the fulfillment, don't we? Now, in terms of God's promises, they actually serve to "pull us on" when we don't have the energy to make another move ourselves! With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s

I hold these truths to be self-evident....

There are times when we just need a reminder of certain things.  I know I experience times when I need someone to remind me I can do whatever lays before me because I have done it before and this time won't be any different. I also think we need the encouragement of those who act as our "reminding" friends to never forget God's presence with me when we go through the stuff we go through.  There are moments when we might just lose sight of the purpose of our lives, or the "perspective" becomes a little "collapsed" because of all the other "cluttered thoughts" coming in around us.  These are the times when we need to stop for just a moment and consider the truths about God's consistent, compassionate, and caring character.  What can we say about God's character?  To be honest - we cannot say enough! What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave

What is your distress doing to you?

Distress is any great pain or sorrow which weighs us down and almost keeps us from moving as we should.  It could be some element of physical suffering, or some mental anguish.  Some call it "trouble", while others use a more sophisticated term like "affliction" or "tribulation".  Either way, it is junk we don't want to have to deal with, but somehow it always manages to find us. In wartime movies, you might see a plane billowing black smoke, pilot frantically attempting to send out a distress call indicating his location as he plummets to the earth.  The call is something of a plea for someone to notice he is "going down" in hopes he might be rescued at some point if he survives this horrific event.  I think there are times we view distress almost in a similar way - as if we were "going down" - so we cry out, hoping someone, anyone will notice us and come to our rescue.    Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us aro

You listening?

When I took my business classes in school, one of the things I was taught was how to write a formal business letter all the way through an informal memorandum.  You learned the various components of each because you never knew what you'd be called upon to draft.  In a formal letter, there is a structure to it - the heading, inside address, salutation or greeting, introduction (or purpose), the body, the conclusion or complimentary close, and the signature line.  In essence, the introduction gave you a synopsis of what the body would elaborate upon.  The complimentary close was just a short ending to the letter, often thanking the reader for their consideration, and driving to some action.  One of the things I have observed in the epistles (or letters to the believers at the churches of the First Century) which make up our New Testament is the opening comments which outline the purpose of writing and the concluding comments which summarize the information outlined.   My purpose in

Hey, you...mighty warrior!

11-12  One day the angel of  God  came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of  God  appeared to him and said, " God  is with you, O mighty warrior!"   13  Gideon replied, "With  me , my master? If  God  is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, 'Didn't  God  deliver us from Egypt?' The fact is,  God  has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian."   14  But  God  faced him directly: "Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven't I just sent you?"   15  Gideon said to him, " Me , my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan's the weakest in Manasseh and I'm the runt of the litter." (Judges 6:11-15) For seven years, Israel was under the

Everything comes out right

43-44  And so  God  gave Israel the entire land that he had solemnly vowed to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and made themselves at home in it. And  God  gave them rest on all sides, as he had also solemnly vowed to their ancestors. Not a single one of their enemies was able to stand up to them— God  handed over all their enemies to them.   45  Not one word failed from all the good words  God  spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right. (Joshua 21:43-45) Israel is coming into possession of their land - after about 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of their rebellion and unbelief - after they had dispossessed the strong armies that inhabited the region.  They are about to take possession - but the one who gave them the land was God himself.  There are times in our lives when we think that the actions of our own hands and the schemes of our own brains have been exactly what brought about the success we are enjoying.  This seldom is the cas

The key is in the control

13  Moses spoke to the people: "Don't be afraid. Stand firm and watch  God  do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you're never going to see them again.    14   God  will fight the battle for you.       And you? You keep your mouths shut!" (Exodus 14:13-14) Battles come our way - not those fought on enemy soil with automatic weapons, tanks, and grenades - but those things that give us "fits" internally (emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even physically).  We struggle with the outcome because we try to remain in control of the situation instead of turning it over to God.  The battle becomes a burden we "slug" through rather than having the unlimited resources of heaven at our disposal. Moses was given a direct message from God to tell the people - the battle lies ahead - here's what you should do in the midst of the battle!  Most of us don't get some messenger of God sent into our lives,