Monday, August 31, 2009

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 161

Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed." (Isaiah 49:23)

The Bible says,
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5)

Abraham, called by God at around age 75, whilst living among moon worshippers was promised by God of many things of which one was:"To your offspring I will give this land." He did not see an offspring of his for the next 10 years and when he did, it was through his Egyptian maidservant turned wife Hagar. That was not the offspring of promise through his wife Sarah.

This must have been a good cause for disappointment and discouragement to Abraham. Yet the Bible says,
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead - since he was about a hundred years old - and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:18-21)

1. Against all hope, in hope believed
2. Did not weaken in his faith
3. Did not waver through unbelief
4. Was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God

The waiting must have been a torture, but God rewarded him finally.

Much for us to learn.

In the promise for today, God says,
"Those who hope in me will not be disappointed."
Hope against hope and you will see a miracle. God bless you.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 160

He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend. (Proverbs 22:11)

And if you are a child of God with the qualities described above, you will have the King of Kings, Jesus, as your friend.
Once Jesus told his disciples:
You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:14, 15)

What's this "master's business" that Jesus is talking about? The master's business is doing the will of God. For the disciples and for us it means being a true witness for Jesus Christ and bearing fruit that will last. That's what Jesus told his disciples:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16)

If you are fulfilling the commands of Jesus to be a witness for the kingdom of God and bearing fruit that lasts, you have Jesus as your friend.

What better friend can one have? A friend who is always with us; helping, saving, healing, delivering, nurturing, pacifying and consoling.

The words of this song written by Charles W. Fry puts the matter quite aptly:
I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll......

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 159

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

Wonderful promise from Jesus to the disciples after giving them orders to fufill the Great Commission. This promise holds true not only for them but for every disciple of Jesus Christ. There's nothing too hard to understand these words of Jesus. Plain and simple- He says, he's with us at all times. But what's the point of Jesus being with us and him not doing anything when we are in trouble? Can that happen? The disciples once thought so. This is what really happened,

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" (Mark 4:35-38)

In short, the disciples were hinting- What's the point of you being with us if you are not doing anything to save us?

Sometimes we may feel like what the disciples felt when they were drowning despite Jesus being with them. Have you ever cried out like the disciples did-- Wake up Jesus, wake up..don't you care if I/We....whatever??

But Jesus is in control at all times. He knows every detail about the storms in our lives. We may feel we are drowning, but his everlasting arms are beneath us holding us and ours safe at all times.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39)

Another great miracle...and the disciples were awestruck...They exclaimed, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Mark 4:41)

So be strengthened this day, dear brother/dear sister; he is with us at all times according to his promise, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."God bless.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 158

Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, "When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, `Work a miracle,' then you shall say to Aaron, `Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.' " (Exodus 7:8, 9)

Moses and Aaron had obeyed the command of the Lord and had spoken to Pharaoh to release the Israelites. But Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go." (Exodus 5:2)
Moses and Aaron pleaded with Pharaoh, but instead of releasing the Israelites, he made them work more harder and stopped providing them with straw to make bricks. Their foremen were beaten. The foremen in turn poured out their anger on Moses and Aaron by blaming them for this sudden worsening of their working conditions.

Moses was discouraged and complained to the Lord,
"O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? "Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all." (Exodus 5:22, 23)

God again commanded Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh. He promised to do a miracle. When Aaron threw his staff down in the presence of Pharaoh, it would become a serpent. And that is exactly what happened. But other things happened that God had not revealed to Moses and Aaron.

Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. (Exodus 7:11)

Each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. That really must have startled the brothers Moses and Aaron. Something that God did not reveal to them. For a moment they must have wondered what was happening, whether God Almighty was in control, but soon their doubts were cleared when they saw the power of God manifested in front of them. The Bible says,
Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. (Exodus 7:12)

Moses and Aaron must have immediately realized that the power that they had with them was greater than the power that the magicians and Pharaoh had.

The Bible says,
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

John the Apostle here is speaking of the spirit of the Antichrist that is in the world. No doubt like the magicians of Egypt, the satanic spirits have power but there is a far greater and higher power in you and me who have accepted Jesus and Christ.

Like Aaron's staff could swallow the staffs of the magicians, the power of the Holy Spirit in every believer overcomes the power of the the evil one who is in the world.

Always remember, the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. So do not fear.