It’s been said that humility doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. And there’s no better example of this than Christ. From start to finish, Jesus always put the will of the Father before His own. He never boasted of His great power, nor sought His own glory. Instead, the Lord’s joy was found in being a servant. He gave His life to give us the grace we don’t deserve. And apart from Him, there is nothing in us worth boasting about. No amount of money, fame, or power can stack up against the privilege of calling Jesus, Lord. The mighty Creator of the universe left His glorious throne in heaven to come to earth to save you and me! And through the blood of His Son, we get the amazing honor of calling Him Father. And through the indwelling of His Spirit, the wondrous privilege of knowing Him intimately! Now that’s something for Believers to brag about!
In contrast to the Israelites who hardened their hearts to the Gospel, we want to seek and follow the Lord. And we do this by opening our hearts to God in order to seek His full blessing and live out His holy will. But to accomplish it Paul tells us that we need to do these three things.
Have you ever said to yourself, “If only I had..?” or, “I wish I didn’t…!” The Bible is filled with story after story of those who made both wise and unwise decisions. And the consequences of their choices. It also teaches us a very important Biblical principle. We reap what we sow. That’s why before we sow, we need to first seek counsel from the Lord. Because by doing so, we save ourselves from reaping a life filled with regret. So how do we receive God’s advice, power, and grace? By applying practical principles. These include surrendering our will to His. Meditating on His Word. Spending time in prayer. Having patience in waiting to hear from Him. And finally, trusting completely in the answer He gives. Each day we find ourselves facing decisions to be made, both big and small. And with each one God wants us to come to Him.
Tired of being persecuted by the Canaanites, the people cried out to God for a deliverer. When Barak was afraid to answer God’s call, Deborah, a prophetess and judge of Israel, stepped up to the plate. And under His direction, her plan of attack resulted in the defeat of Canaan and it’s king. Yet after the victory, instead of patting herself on the back, Deborah sang a song giving God all the glory. Because she knew that Israel’s win only came through the power of God. Deborah’s story shows us that that no matter who we are, when we are open and willing to be used by God, through His power, we can accomplish great things. All we need is to be open to God’s direction and following His plans. Ready and willing to go to battle to see His will done!
Imagine being an Israelite. Personally chosen by God to enter into a glorious covenant with Him. Witnessing His power firsthand. Traveling day and night surrounded by His glory and protection. Now imagine experiencing all of that only to turn around and reject His love. It’s easy to make a covenant with God when we feel surrounded in His glory. Maybe it’s because of a received blessing, answered prayer, or a need fulfilled. We resolve to faithfully follow His will and not our own. Then life goes on. And our focus wanders on things other than our relationship with the Lord. We spend our time and energy pursuing our fleshly desires. And instead of trusting Him, we attempt to meet our needs on our own. But the wonderful news is this. No matter how much we reject God, He will never reject us. He is always there waiting to welcome us back into His loving arms.
Human nature tells us that when others hurt us we need to retaliate. To give just as good as we get. But Jesus says that as Christians we don’t follow the fray. And we should rejoice when suffering for Him because it’s one of the greatest blessings we can receive. Look at the apostle Paul. He experienced much tribulation for his faith. Yet he was content with the horrible things he suffered. Why? Because Paul knew that it was when he was at his weakest, he could feel the power of God the strongest. That’s the amazing blessing God speaks of. The blessing of peace and even joy when facing suffering. For in our own power we are easily defeated. But when we rest in God’s, nothing is impossible. Because no matter the trial, the grace Jesus gives us is sufficient for everything we face.
Do you ever get frustrated because you ask God for forgiveness then keep going back to the sin? Paul understood very well the struggle all Christian’s face. Wanting to do what is right before the Lord, but doing exactly the opposite. The truth is until we get to heaven, we will be under the influence of sin. But no matter the temptation, because we have the Spirit of the living God inside of us, we have the power to say no. The Spirit longs for us to turn to Him in every spiritual conflict. To lean on Him in our times of weakness, and draw from His unlimited power. Do you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle? Trapped in a cycle of sin, unable to break free? Turn to the Lord. For His mighty power can break any bondage. And rejoice, giving thanks to God. Because our deliverance isn’t dependent on ourselves but “through Jesus Christ our lord.” (7:25)
At Austin New Church in Austin, Texas, several parts of last Sunday’s Mother’s Day service featured feminine pronouns and imagery for God. In her message, Creative Pastor Samantha Beach Kiley says, “We profess that we all bear the image of God, but how can we see God in ourselves if we don’t see ourselves in God? If God is only male, if God is only white, what possibilities does that limit for those of us whose identity markers are different?” She quotes from Christena Cleveland’s book “God Is a Black Woman,” about how a “narrow” view of God restricts our imagination. The worship team also changed the lyrics in the song “Wonderful Maker” by singing that God has “the heart of a mother.” Read more about the message here.
First Pastor To Defy Covid Orders Wins Case In Court Two Years Later
Tony Spell, the first pastor to publicly defy COVID-19 lockdown orders, has won his legal battle against the state of Louisiana two years later. The state Supreme Court decided 5 to 2 on Friday that the governor did not have a good reason to block Spell’s Oneness Pentecostal church from meeting for worship while other venues received exemptions from public health restrictions. The pastor, who leads Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, said, “I’m guilty of having church. I’m guilty of preaching. I’m guilty of praying. But I’m not guilty of breaking any law. I’m not guilty. The only thing I’m guilty of is doing what the Bible told me to do: ‘Do not forsake the assembly of ourselves together.’” Read more about the case here.
Woman Responds In A Christlike Way After Being Robbed
The neighborhood the Collier family lives in has been targeted for theft in several occasions, but this time around the thief came for the family’s leaf blowers. But despite the theft, they are taking a more spiritual approach. “The greatest commandment in the Bible is to love the lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your soul. Second commandment directly following that is to love your neighbor as yourself,” says home owner Jennifer Collier. about the robber she added, “I left a Bible for you on my front porch. If you want to return what you took, it’s there for you because the things that you took that’s not going to make you happy,” says Collier. The family says the Bible will remain on the porch until the man comes back and says if he does come back, they will not even try to have him arrested. Read more about the theft here.
Australia Island Thriving After Being Rid Of 300,000 Rates and Mice
The rats were relentless, said Hank Bower, who has lived on Lord Howe Island for 15 years. At night, they would run up and down the trees, eat food, destroy gardens, destroy the native environment and push animals to extinction. As if to taunt those on the island, they would also leave paw prints in the sand in the morning. But three years ago, an eradication program was put in place. Now the island’s ecosystem is thriving, with native animals and fruit making a quick return. To do the business, poison was placed inside 22,000 lockable traps around the island, while in inaccessible areas, pellets were distributed via helicopter. Just to be sure, rat-catching dogs scour the island every few weeks—but one hasn’t been seen since last August. Read more about the eradication here.
When Uzziah became king of Judah, he was only 16 years old. And during his 52 year reign, through the power of God, Uzziah did amazing things. But when Uzziah let his fame go to his head, he learned how far the proud fall before the Lord. Thinking himself all powerful, Uzziah ignorantly decided he didn’t need to follow God’s laws. And in response, God struck the arrogant king with leprosy. Shunned, all alone, and banned from God’s temple, the once mighty ruler died alone. We would do good to remember the only power we have in this world is what is given to us through God. And He alone deserves all the glory. Because only through Him are we able to accomplish anything good and lasting. And in humility, we are to use the gifts He gives us not to increase our pride, but His kingdom.
After following Moses for forty years, it became Joshua’s turn to lead over two million people. And not just any people, God’s chosen people. But Moses left some sage advice to calm the fears of both Joshua and us. When we get a calling by God, don’t be afraid. Because when He gives us a job to do, God never asks us to do it alone. He is always with us, working hand in hand. Before we even take our first step, the Lord is already ahead of us clearing the path. And He will supply all we need to get the job done. While it’s true through our own power we are limited, through God’s there’s nothing we can’t do! So when you hear God’s call, answer it bravely, boldly, and eagerly. And be prepared to do amazing things!