More Than Self-Effort…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on More Than Self-Effort…

Ephesians 3:14-16 (KJV)

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Everyone wants to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

To become physically fit, we need to exercise our muscles vigorously and regularly.

If our goal is to be stable in soul (our thoughts, will, and emotions), then we must apply our minds to learning and train ourselves to be self-controlled.

However, to become mighty in spirit requires something more than self-effort.

You see, none of us were born with a spiritual connection to God.

Because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, we were all dead in our sins and separated from the Lord (Eph. 2:1). No amount of personal effort can bring an individual to life spiritually.

Although we are unable to change this condition for ourselves, nothing is impossible for God (Matt. 19:26).

By accepting Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross as payment for our sins, we are forgiven, reconciled to God, and made alive in our spirit (Eph. 2:5).

This is the beginning step of the Christian life.

Once we are born again, the indwelling Holy Spirit teaches us how to view life as Jesus did, embrace His values and priorities, and follow His example.

The more we yield to the Spirit’s control, the sooner we’ll be transformed into Christ’s image, equipped to carry out the Lord’s will, and strengthened in our inner spirit to serve Him.

God desires followers who will dedicate themselves to His plan and serve as ambassadors for Christ to a lost and hurting world.

He doesn’t expect that we will train ourselves for this task—He has sent His Holy Spirit to prepare us for the work ahead. Have you answered His call to service?

Please follow and like us:

Leaning on Him During Delays…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Leaning on Him During Delays…

Isaiah 40:28-31 (KJV)

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

God has a purpose and plan for your life, and His timing is perfect.

Sometimes He answers our prayers with “yes” or “no.”

But at other times, He says “not now”–when that is the case, we can avail ourselves of the rich rewards that come when we wait.

One very practical blessing is that God strengthens us as we lean on Him during delays.

 Isaiah 40:31 tells us that “those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.”

We are given the metaphor of an eagle with wind beneath his wings. It is interesting to note that the words “wind” and “spirit” come from the same Greek word–pneuma.

The spirit of God lifts us up, and His energy and strength sustain us as we abide in Him.

When we are facing a difficult decision, the real key is learning to wait.

There is no verse of Scripture that tells us to take control and fight our own battles.

God is the one who fights them on our behalf (2 Chron. 20:15). We are to be patient and trust in Him.

When David faced his greatest battles, he waited upon the Lord. God delivered him from destruction and set his feet on solid ground. (Ps. 40:1-3)

He will do the same for you.

When you abide in Him, He gives supernatural energy to accomplish the things He requires of you–His Spirit does for you what you cannot do for yourself.

In reading through the Scriptures, we see that every time one of God’s saints gains a victory, he or she is waiting and trusting in the Lord.

You can likewise experience triumph in your life. When you have the omnipotent Creator of the universe acting on your behalf, you can’t lose.

Please follow and like us:

Refusing His Offer…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Refusing His Offer…

Romans 1:21-32 (KJV)

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God has revealed Himself to mankind and provided all that is necessary for a relationship with Him.

Yet many people foolishly refuse His offer.

By choosing to live without God, a person will spiral downward into sin and a skewed view of the truth.

As ignorance overpowers the capacity for intelligent understanding, an ever-darkening heart develops. The individual hungers for something to fill his emptiness but fails to recognize that only the Lord can satisfy his longing.

Desiring to fill his spiritual void, the person will look for an idol to worship.

It won’t be a statue of wood or gold, but rather something on which to focus his affections. “Idols” occupy a person’s passion, time, and energy; in today’s world, they often take the form of money, prominence, and relationships.

The “worshipper” begins to indulge in earthly pleasures and desires, yet nothing can satisfy the emptiness.

Eventually, as Romans 1:28 makes clear, the Lord will turn such a person over to a depraved mind—one that can no longer make right judgments.

Remember, the heavenly Father desires a relationship with us.

He even gave His own Son to make this possible. It is man who rejects Him and begins the journey toward godlessness and emptiness.

Look around. Notice the manifold evidence that points to a holy, loving God who desires an intimate friendship with you.

Don’t put off accepting His offer of relationship—the consequences of rejection are far too dangerous, and the benefits of saying yes are beyond what you can imagine (Eph. 3:20).

Please follow and like us:

Design, Beauty, and Order…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Design, Beauty, and Order…

Psalm 19:1-6 (KJV)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.#where…: or, without these their voice is heard: Heb. without their voice heard
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,#line: or, rule, or, direction
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

There is no greater privilege than knowing God—and no greater tragedy than failing to develop a relationship with Him.

Yet many people live their entire life apart from Jesus, and therefore, when they die, they are separated from Him eternally.

While on earth, both the righteous and unrighteous enjoy benefits of divine blessing (Matt. 5:45), so those who choose to live without Christ probably have no clue how dreadful a godless eternity will be.

Some people seem to ignore the Bible’s warnings about “outer darkness,” “weeping,” and “gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30).

Or perhaps they’ve simply never heard the good news of salvation.

Yet Romans 1:18-20 tells why such an excuse won’t hold up: Creation offers so much evidence of God that man is held accountable for unbelief.

Consider nature’s design, beauty, and order—these things don’t just evolve.

Furthermore, God reveals Himself in the human conscience (Rom. 2:14-15). Even societies with no access to Scripture forbid ungodly behaviors like rape, murder, and theft.

And as if all that weren’t enough, we also have God’s revelation of Himself through both His Word and the incarnation of Jesus (John 14:7-9).

Christ, who was fully God, became fully man. His life perfectly demonstrates the heavenly Father’s character and heart.

Can you recognize evidence of the Almighty in creation and in the “law” written on your conscience?

Do you seek to know Him better through His Word and the example of Christ?

The Lord desires a relationship with you and is calling. Answer with a seeking heart, and watch for God to show up.

Please follow and like us:

Waiting for God’s Timing…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Waiting for God’s Timing…

Psalms 25:3-5 (KJV)

3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Waiting for God’s timing is neither passive nor idle–it takes discipline and commitment.

These are four basic requirements for successful waiting.

Faith. 

The Lord’s ways and timing are nothing like ours (Isa. 55:8-9). From a human standpoint, He usually does things in a totally different way than we expect. But as we trust Him more, we’ll discover that His approach isn’t so strange after all. And when we live in harmony with God’s will, His timing starts to make sense.

Humility. 

To wait for the Lord, you must be convinced of your need for Him. Submission to His divine will requires humility–you cannot charge ahead with your own plans and at the same time be fully surrendered to God.

Patience. 

Are you willing to remain in your current position until you receive clear divine direction? Pausing for clarity from God does not mean that you disengage and allow circumstances to fall apart around you. Waiting upon the Lord is a deliberate decision that requires patience.

Courage.

Waiting for God often takes courage, especially when there is pressure to act. If you’re not careful, you might stop listening to the Lord and follow other advice. So keep your ear attuned to the voice of Almighty God, and you won t go wrong.

Waiting upon the Lord is one of the wisest, most important decisions we make in life.

And contrary to popular assumptions, it is an active endeavor that requires faith, humility, patience, and courage.

When you rely upon God and wait for His timing, the various facets of life fall into place.

Please follow and like us:

Guilt or Joy and Gratitude…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Guilt or Joy and Gratitude…

Romans 6:1-4 (KJV)

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Some Christians have a hard time with the doctrine of grace because they think it’s a license to sin.

It just seems too easy to believe in Jesus and then do as you please.

Shouldn’t believers still be required to live a certain way in order to please the Lord?

The problem with this reasoning is that it mixes legalism with grace by saying, “Sure, we are saved by grace, but after salvation, you’d better follow the rules to stay in God’s favor.”

Such thinking cuts the heart out of grace and poisons the message of hope.

What we need to realize is that grace is a greater motivator than law.

When you have to perform in order to please the Lord, guilt is your constant companion because you can never be good enough.

Every time you fail to live up to your own expectations, you may question whether He loves you—or maybe even whether you’re really saved.

God doesn’t want us to live in bondage to performance.

We’ve already received His acceptance, and there is nothing more we can add to it.

Grace not only sets us free from guilt but also motivates us to obey and serve the Lord out of love and gratitude for everything

He has done for us. Instead of feeling burned out in our service, we will have a burning passion for Him.

Are you working harder and harder to please God?

If so, you’re probably worn out. When you truly learn to understand and live in His grace, you’ll be energized because obedience and service will be a natural result of His overflowing love.

Instead of guilt, you’ll have joy and gratitude.

Please follow and like us:

His Guidance in Our Life…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on His Guidance in Our Life…

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Sadly, we frequently fool ourselves into believing that what we want to do is also what God wants us to do.

Therefore, when we believe we have heard from the Lord, it is quite important for us to ask some serious questions.

Is it consistent with the Word of God?

God will never tell you to do something that goes against His perfect, unchanging Word. If you feel called to do something contrary to Scripture, you can be certain that it is not the Lord who is urging you to do so.

Can you confidently ask God to enable you to do this?

If you are feeling uneasy about requesting God’s help and empowerment, that may be a sign the direction did not originate with Him. We must never be ashamed to call upon the Lord’s power in the endeavors He sets before us.

Is it wise?

The heavenly Father never calls us to act foolishly. Therefore, if there is no discernible purpose in the action, you may need to question whether the message was from Him.

Does it fit with your identity in Christ?

We are God’s children, who are being conformed day by day into the likeness of Christ. If you feel led to do something that goes against the image of Jesus in your life, then you can be sure God hasn’t called you to do it.

The Lord has not left us in a void without help.

He is here with us, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to hear His voice and perceive His guidance in our life.

Before rushing into action, be sure that you have heard Him correctly.

 

Please follow and like us:

Relevant for Every Situation…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Relevant for Every Situation…

Genesis 41:14-44 (KJV)

14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.#brought…: Heb. made him run
15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.#thou…: or, when thou hearest a dream thou canst interpret it
16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
18And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
19And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
20And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
21And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.#eaten…: Heb. come to the inward parts of them
22And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:
23And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:#withered: or, small
24And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
25And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
27And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
28This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
30And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
31And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.#grievous: Heb. heavy
32And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.#established…: or, prepared of God
33Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.#officers: or, overseers
35And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
36And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.#perish…: Heb. be not cut off
37And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.#be ruled: Heb. be armed, or, kiss
41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;#fine…: or, silk
43And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.#Bow…: or, Tender father: Heb. Abrech
44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

The Bible is relevant for every situation.

Although the details of our circumstances probably differ from those described in Scripture, God’s Word still applies.

From the life of Joseph, we get a glimpse of what it means to have God with us in hard times.

First of all, the young man’s faith strengthened, helping him place loyalty to the Lord above his personal welfare. For example, when Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph, he refused, saying he would not sin against God (Gen. 39:9).

Second, the Lord’s presence meant that Joseph prospered right where he was—as a slave in Potiphar’s house and as a prisoner in a foreign jail.

In both situations, those in charge recognized that God’s favor was upon Joseph. So they gave him great responsibility and authority (Gen. 39:3-4, Gen. 39:21-22).

Third, during times of suffering, Joseph gained invaluable life lessons that prepared him for the future. As a slave and prisoner, Joseph learned the details of Egyptian culture, ways to handle responsibility, and the importance of keeping God first.

An additional blessing was the opportunity to be a witness to the Lord’s power and sufficiency.

When brought before Pharaoh to interpret his dream, Joseph said he could not do it but testified that God could (41:16).

By relying on the Lord the way Joseph did, we will see our faith grow.

When we give God His rightful place as Lord over our life, His presence will strengthen us to resist temptation.

Then we, too, will be equipped to do kingdom work and ready to proclaim His greatness to those around us.

Please follow and like us:
Copyright © 2017 Giga Faith. All Rights Reserved. Created by Blog Copyright.