How often is it difficult for us not to look back on our past?
And even more difficult to look forward to our future?
This question comes after several encounters this week with other believers.
We can feel as if we are in a place that seems so unfamiliar to us. At times,
we may even long to go back to the familiarity of when life was comfortable for us!
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul said his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ has in mind for him. This goal absorbed all his energy. This is an example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal-Christ.
Paul had reason to feel sorrow about the past-he held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:57, 58), he is called Saul here). Most of us do not have the type of guilt that Paul had due to his past when he was a persecutor of Christians. We all have done things for which we are ashamed. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of the past guilt, as well as the comforts of familiarity and look forward to what He will help us become. We should not dwell on what we had (that which we thought was so good), instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on our relationship with Him now.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: We know that we are forgiven, and then we move on to a life of faith and obedience. We need to look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of our hope in Christ. He has the BEST PLAN FOR US!
Let’s start living the life that Christ wants us to have today and every day! 🙂 No looking back…only FORWARD FOR HIM:) Take the first step!
Some days are better than others aren’t they? It seems that situations can happen and redirect our entire day.
We can depend on one sure area that will never redirect us, and that is God’s Word.
God’s Word is real and beautiful. Stay true to God and His Word no matter how bad the world becomes.
Obedience to God’s law is the only way to achieve real happiness.
This is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible. It may have been written by Ezra after the Temple was rebuilt (Ezra 6:14, 15) as a repetitive meditation on the beauty of God’s Word and how it helps us stay pure and grow in faith.
This psalm has 22 carefully constructed sections, each corresponding to a different letter in the Hebrew alphabet and each verse beginning with the letter of its section. Almost every verse mentions God’s Word. Such repetition was common in the Hebrew culture.
People did not have personal copies of the Scriptures to read as we do, so God’s people memorized His Word and passed it along orally. The structure of this psalm allowed for easy memorization. Remember, God’s Word, the Bible, is the only sure guide for living a pure life.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: Storing God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. This alone should inspire us to memorize Scripture. But memorization alone will not keep us from sin; we must also put God’s Word to work in our lives, making it a vital guide to everything we do.
Some days are harder than others at staying the course as we go along in this daily life.
Have you ever thought about John the Baptist as he went about his daily life in the wilderness? I wonder if he ever questioned his decision to carry out the mission for Christ?
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
At Jesus’ baptism John the Baptist declared Him the Messiah. At this time, God gave John a sign to show Him that Jesus was indeed sent from God (1:33). John and Jesus were related, so John probably knew who He was. But it wasn’t until His baptism that he understood Jesus to be the Messiah. Jesus’ baptism is described in Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; and Luke 3:21, 22.
I can’t help but think that John must’ve had a GREAT SIGH of relief that ALL of his hard work was finally paying off and that it had truly been worthwhile:)
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: John the Baptist’s Job was to point people to Jesus, the Messiah for whom they were looking. Today people are looking for someone to give them security in an insure world.
Let’s do our job today and every day to point people to Christ and to show them that He is the ONE they seek!
Do you ever feel challenged or a little-disappointed when trying to share God’s Word with others? It can seem as though they think that you may be too excited about studying a boring history book of days long ago. I want to encourage you not to get discouraged for one moment:))))))) God is working in our heart and mind! I feel a real sadness for people who don’t show any concern or excitement about our God that they profess to ‘believe’ in for their eternal salvation.
1 Blessed is the man
that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
God doesn’t judge people by race, sex, or national origin. He Judges them by their faith in Him and their response to His revealed Will. Those who diligently try to obey God’s Will are like healthy, fruit-bearing trees with strong roots (Jeremiah 17:5-8) And God promises to watch over them. God’s wisdom guides their lives. In contrast, those who don’t obey God have meaningless lives that blow like dust.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: As a tree soaks up water and bears luscious fruit, we also are to soak up God’s Word, producing actions and attitudes that honor God. To achieve anything worthwhile, we must have God’s Word in our heart.
Let’s soak up God’s Word today and every day! Man-made sources are temporary…But salvation is FOREVER:)) We NEED the correct WATER SOURCE:)
As Christians, do you know that we are told to RESIST the devil? Scripture tells us to resist the devil, and he will flee from us
I don’t know about you, BUT I for one am TOTALLY resisting him.
I have had it with him sneaking around, as well as slipping right on up and using people. We must be aware of what God’s Word tells us to do and live as He has called us to live.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Although God and satan are at war, we don’t need to wait until the end to see who will win. God has already defeated satan (Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 12:10-12), and when Christ returns, satan and all he stands for will be eliminated forever (Revelation 20:10-15). satan is here now, however, and he is trying to win us over to his evil cause. With the Holy Spirit’s power, we can resist satan, and he will flee from us.
How can you draw close (“nigh“) to God? James gives five suggestions? (1) “Submit to God“(4:7), Realize that you need his forgiveness, and be willing to follow Him. (2) “Resist the devil” (4:7). Don’t allow him to entice and tempt you. (3) “Cleanse your hands… and purify your hearts”(that is lead a pure life) (4:8). Be cleansed from sin, replacing it with God’s purity. (4) Let there be fears, sorrow, and sincere grief for your sins, (4:9). Don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for them. (5) Humble yourself before God, and He will lift you up (4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: God has given us what we need to live a powerful and victorious life in Christ. The same power that raised our LORD and SAVIOUR from the grave is alive and available to us as Christians today. We must make ourselves disciplined to reading and applying His Word in our lives DAILY!
LET US DO OUR PART AND RESIST THE devil AND he WILL FLEE…he HAS NO CHOICE BECAUSE OUR SCRIPTURES TELL US THAT he WILL FLEE!!
(I always put my Armour on (EPHESIANS 6:11-17) first thing in the morning and rebuke the devil in JESUS NAME!!)
So I ask you today, what comes to your mind when you think of rusty nails? Odd question, huh? This morning as I took my puppy Jack for a walk, I wandered beside my son’s old wooden swingset. I stood there for a moment and thought of all the wonderful memories and fun laughter that once filled the air. As I turned to leave, I noticed the tree with the nails that he had so carefully hammered on a day long ago.
My mind automatically thought about Christ, and the nails that had pierced His body. Now a distant memory for most, as well as some that doubt that it ever actually happened, but as Christians, it should remain at the forefront of our mind and heart.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Jesus was hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his skepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and Jesus himself. Some need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, the questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, and then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness become a lifestyle that doubt harms faith.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: When you doubt, don’t stop there. Let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answer.
Let’s do our best today and every day to believe without seeing!