Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Levels

New Levels
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)

God’s desire is that we continually progress, that we reach higher heights and go to new levels. Oftentimes, as soon as we make the decision to step out in faith and obey God, the enemy brings in fear to try to stop us.  He’ll bring thoughts like, “What if you fail? What are other people going to think? You don’t have what it takes.” He’ll do his best to use fear to try to convince us to shrink back and stay where we are.

The Bible says that fear is a spirit. It plays on our emotions and holds us back. But the good news is that we have power over fear! The Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear. When we receive God’s perfect love, we will have confidence about the future because we know His plans are for our good. I’ve heard it said that fear is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Understand that fear is a lie. Today, choose to believe God’s Word and receive His love so that you can overcome fear and move forward into the good life He has prepared for you!

Father in heaven, thank You for taking me to new levels. I know You have equipped me with a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Fill me with Your confidence and assurance to embrace everything You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sword for Sword!

Sword for Sword!

Reading: Psalm 75
"All who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Mt 26:52)

Jesus was always a teacher. Even at the hour of horror and agony, He made it a point to teach timeless truths to His disciples. O how much the Lord was concerned about the future life and ministry of His disciples! Peter might have been wondering what the use of the sword was if it had not been used! After all it was Jesus Himself who had urged the disciples to buy swords even if they had to sell their clothes to mobilize money for it! (Lk 22:36).
Vengeance is God's (Rom 12:19; Dt 32:35a; Heb 10:30). Vengeance is right, but we humans are incapable of handling it (Lev 19:18). Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome who were experiencing injustice in their social life, "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, `Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord" (Rom 12:19). This is an oft-repeated truth in the Scriptures (Dt 32:35; Heb 10:30). Sooner we learn this, fewer will be the casualties and less the losses in the Kingdom of God. It was perfectly natural and logical for a disciple to hit the enemy who lays hand on his master. That's what Peter did. But Jesus wouldn't allow even that. When God's word does not permit us to use a sword even against an enemy, how can we ever use it against another child of God or His servant?
David did not earn the title of "Man-after-God's-own-heart" easily. God was not playing favoritism with him. When David secretly cut off a corner of Saul's robe at the prompting of his men, "David's heart troubled him." He said to his men, "The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord" (1 Sam 24:1-7).
A secret information one has about his brother is a sword. "Put it in its case!" (Mt 26:52a). Dr. Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984), one of the most voluminous Christian writers from England, in his book, The Sins of Saints, writes, "Those who are jealous of the abilities of others often settle for assassination of character." Dr.W.L.Watkinson asserts, "The lives of the most gifted and delightful of mankind have been blasted by envy. It seems to vitiate the whole creation."
Next time you are tempted to lift a sword against a brother, pause a while, look yonder! You will see "a ram caught by its horns in a bush!" (Gen 22:13). Remind yourself of Paul's challenge: "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died and is pleading for us" (Rom 8:33,34).
Thanks to StanleyOnBible.com

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