Weekly Bible Verse

All of us, to different degrees, want to be well thought of by others. Sometimes this plays out in a positive way. At work, we work more diligently. In sports, we play harder. With others, we may serve more readily. On one could go with the positive possibilities...

 

But the opposite can also be true. Because we honor the opinion of others we might do things we shouldn't do. Or, we might hold back from doing things we should do. We might spend extended periods of time wondering what someone thinks about us. Did I say the right thing? Did I do the right thing?

 

This week's memory verse sounds a warning and raises a question. The warning is to stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath. The question is for of what account is he? It's a powerful verse with powerful implications for our daily lives. What God thinks is that which is truly, eternally important. Man is just a "breath away" from death. What man thinks about you may have some moment of importance. What God thinks is everything.

 

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Contrary to this being worrisome, it is comforting. As someone noted, the fear of God is the one fear that casts out all other fears. And that certainly includes the fear of what others may think about us.

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It's a strange thing to realize, but the closer you get to Jesus the more the world will hate you. Don't try to rationalize or figure out why it's happening. Don't try to debate or argue. Certainly, don't try to fight back.

 

Make sure the reason for the world's hatred is because of Christ in you and not because of "me". I do have certain tendencies and temperament that can be unlovable. I must "put to death" those things and yield all of myself to be used by Christ (Romans 6:12-13).

 

As the family of God, we must continue to draw close together for fellowship and encouragement. Continue to remain humble and looking to your Shepherd for guidance. He has chosen you and He will never let you go.

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Sometimes when we have a full moon it seems as if I have trouble sleeping. I'm not sure if that's physiological or psychological!

There are also times when something "heavy" is weighing on my mind and seems far away. I play and replay the troublesome situation over and over again. Alas, what am I to do? (besides counting sheep!)

David reminds us in this week's memory verse that we are to take it to the Lord in prayer. In Psalm 3:1 he speaks about how many had risen up against him. But then he says, "I cried aloud to the Lord, and He heard me from His holy hill." And then? He lay down and slept. How? The Lord sustained him.

Like the cool side of the pillow, that's a comforting word from scripture.

 

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It doesn't take a rocket scientist or sociologist to recognize that this world is broken. Each of us experience this brokenness on a personal level in our fight against sin. We also experience this brokenness in our families, community, and our nation. You don't have to watch the nightly news or read the morning paper to verify your suspicions. Both Christians and non-Christians would agree that we live in a chaotic broken world.

But the Bible reminds us in our memory verse that it wasn't always that way. In the beginning everything God made was good. Make that "VERY GOOD".

What happened?


 

Most of you know the rest of the story. Our first parents sinned against God and now mankind is "in Adam". We've inherited sin's curse and consequences and its burden and brokenness. As one author noted, man retreated into his cave.  Is there any hope?

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The truth that has been impressed lately is that the Christian life is one that is full of life and action. Of course, this is made possible when we realize the victorious position when have in Christ Jesus.

This life of vitality is displayed by the images found in the New Testament. In our memory verse for this week Paul uses the image of a boxer and a runner. Other scripture speaks of us as soldiers.

So, lets's put these images into practice. Let's "take up our bed and walk". Yes, there is a time of brokenness and confession but the overall life of the Christian is marked by His victory. Yes, life will be a "fight" at times. But faith in God guarantees our victory!

Here is some GOOD NEWS... not advice, not a "to do list" but GOOD NEWS...

Based on the context of Romans 6, the Apostle Paul says that when you were saved you died with Christ.  In verse 6 he says that "our old self was crucified with Him".  In verse 3, we were 
baptized into his death".  The Apostle is saying that positionally you are FREE from sin.  You are no longer a slave to sin.  You are no longer under the rule of Satan.  You are FREE, free indeed! 

Did not the Lord Jesus say the same blessed truth? So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 

-John 8:36

But if we walk in the light, as he is in

All of us at some point have found ourselves stumbling in darkness and looking for a flashlight. Maybe the power had gone off or we needed to go outside at night to look for something. Life outside of Jesus Christ is like walking in darkness. We stumble and are unable to find our way. Our relationships suffer - both with God and others.

This week's memory verse calls us to "walk in the light" and the promises are beautiful - fellowship with one another and cleansing from all sin.

Reminds me of that great hymn...
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

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This statement is addressed to Israel, God's chosen people. Amazingly, they left God, the One who could fill their every need (living waters), and they went after things (broken cisterns) that could never satisfy.

As God's people, in Christ, do we not often do the same? Why?

Conclusion is that we fail to trust God. When we don't immediately feel satisfied or see His hand at work, we turn to SELF or the things of this world (broken cisterns). But honestly, how has that turned out? Has that truly satisfied?

May we commit this verse to memory today. But more importantly, let each of us return to God and trust Him.

Moment by moment.

Drink from His living water.

Can you taste it?

Refreshing...

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One of the side effects of the STRESS caused by this pandemic is the hastened ability to find fault with others. All of our schedules have been turned "upside down" so patience has been running thin. More than ever, families are under the same roof. Our faults are so easily seen (or heard)!

Jesus Himself has a word for us: Before wanting to point another's "speck" we must first take notice of our "log". This is not pleasant but it is necessary.

How will we respond to our Lord's penetrating question?

We hope you are resting in the Lord today and are being filled with the peace and joy He graciously provides. He promises to fill us as we walk in the Light, as He is in the light. (John 1:6)

Sadly, sin can break that fellowship and then we fail to experience all He has for us. One of the main areas is broken fellowship with another. Roy Hession writes "God nearly always tests us through other people."
Our fellowship, or lack of, often reveals what's in our hearts.

This leads us to this weeks Memory Verse:
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Ephesians 4:26

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Sometimes our anger towards another can be "righteous" or it can be "unrighteous". Allow the Holy Spirit (not you) to speak on the nature of your anger. But either way, don't let anger spill over into the night or the next day. Just as must keep short accounts with God, we must seek the same with others. Of course, we cannot determine the heart response of others. But we can determine ours.......