March 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE MY ANCHOR

HEBREWS 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Some of you might remember this hymn:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

CHRIST IS AN ANCHOR OF HOPE
This verse teaches that we do not just have an anchor, we have an anchor of hope.
An anchor is an instrument that holds something in place, securely and safely,even when danger and disaster are threatening. The Lord keeps us stable. God does not change. The only hope we have when life brings confusion, doubt, suffering, and loss is Christ.

CHRIST IS AN ANCHOR TO THE SOUL
What does this mean? It means that even if our physical body and well being are in question, are soul can still be hopeful. It means even in sickness, we have a peace that passes understanding. It means when the body is tired, the soul can be refreshed.

CHRIST IS AN ANCHOR THAT IS SAFE
That is what “sure” means. No slipping here. No fear of the Lord letting go. No chance of the chain breaking. Jesus said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”. it does not matter how dangerous a storm may be, your Anchor will hold safe

CHRIST IS AN ANCHOR THAT IS STEDFAST
It does not matter how bad things get, our Anchor is holding. And it doesn’t matter how long it last, God is not letting go. God is “stable”. You can depend on Him. You and I never have to wonder if God is there, or if He cares. Storms come and go, but Jesus is always there. Ships sail in and out, but our Anchor is “stedfast”. Winds may be fierce, but Our Anchor is faithful.

March 23, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO COMFORT

MATTHEW 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

There is much we could say about this subject, and I am sure that we will discuss it many times this year. This passage interest me though mostly because of what is not said. Sometimes you can learn as much from what is not said, as you learn from what is said. We need to use our brain when we read God’s Word, but even more important we must use our heart. Let’s take a closer look.

“BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MOURN”
The Greek word here for mourn means “to grieve”. There is no specific requirement given in this verse to qualify for God’s comfort. God just says, “they that mourn”. There is no mention of why a person might mourn. There is no adjectives given. It does not say they that mourn because of failure, or loss of loved one, or relationship falling apart, or discouraging doctor report. It just says, “they that mourn”. There are many things that can grieve a person. Many things can happen to bring grief into our hearts. Maybe if God had given a specific circumstance, some may thing their grief does not apply. So God makes sure to include every emotion and circumstance. Whatever has caused it, if you are grieving, God has made a promise to you.

“THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED”
God uses the words “shall be” here, not “may be” or “could be”. So it is a promise. It is a commitment. This is not just a passing comment or empty statement. Notice also here what is not said.

God never said “how” He would comfort a person grieving. There is not just one or two things God is limited to. God does not explain the process. God does not share how He will comfort, He just said He would. I don’t know what you may be going through, and I do not know what would help your grief. However, I do know that God does. And whatever it takes to comfort you, God will do it.

God never tells us when. I know when I am grieving, I want to get rid of it as soon as I can. I want to get it fixed. I want relief from it. I want the problem to go away. I want a solution found. But God does not tell us when, He just said He will.

God never said that He would take the problem away. Whatever may be causing grief, sometimes it must stay in our life. Sometimes it is not something that can be fixed or even changed. What God has promised to do, is to comfort us as we go through it. God may not fix the problem, but God can fix you!

Take comfort today. If you are grieving, I am persuaded that he is able to comfort you.

March 22, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO WELCOME ME BACK

II CHRONICLES 30:9 “…..for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.”

Grace and mercy! It is the common theme through scripture. Grace, receiving what we do not reserve; and Mercy, not receiving what we do reserve. There are many things that set apart our faith from other religions and belief systems. But this is one that never gets as much attention. Grace and mercy are hard to find when it comes to the leaders and founders of other religions. You will find them benefiting from their believers and followers, but you will not find their followers benefiting from the leaders. How wonderful is “the Lord your God”.

Unfortunately, we each have wandered away from God at times. To be clear, God has never wandered away from us. We really have no good reason to ever gradually distance ourselves from God. He has been so good to us. Oh we will blame some “Christian”, or some “circumstance”, or some “comment” someone made. We will come up with excuses but no real reasons. Even when we face tragedy, why do we always blame God? If anything, blame Adam and Eve. Take it out on them.

It would be great if the verse could say “when” you return to Him. But it says “if”. There are some people that never do. They have begun to believe their own excuses. Or maybe they admit it to be of their own doing, but just cannot seem to get back to where they should be. Some get to the point that they just do not care anymore. One thing is for sure, God will not make you come back. God will continue to love you, care about you, and desire to be close to you. But God will not force anyone to come back.

But if you do!
We are promised here in this verse that God will not turn his back on you. God will not ignore you. God will not bring up everything you have done and throw it in your face. To turn your face away from a wayward child would mean rejection. It would mean disappointment. It would mean “I have given up on you”. Not God. He won’t turn away. God will turn to you. God will receive you with open arms. God will welcome you home.

Could I encourage who may need this today? Please come home!

March 21, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

“Blessed be the Lord”
We start where we should start; acknowledging the fact that everything begins with God. Every good thing we have is from the Lord. Bless His Name! We have nothing apart from The Lord. When things are good, Bless the Lord. When things are bad, Bless the Lord. When we are confused, Bless the Lord. No matter what comes or goes, “Blessed be the Lord”.

“Loadeth us with benefits”
This is a very interesting way to put this. I love God’s Word. God uses a Hebrew word here which means “loadeth” or “to load up”. God is not just good, God is great. God does not just provide, He unloads. I love what Matthew Henry says in his commentary about this verse; “So many, so weighty, are the gifts of God’s bounty to us that He may be truly said to load us with them”. God literally gives us more than we can hold. He “loadeth” us with blessings. Our “cup runneth over”. Look at this verse:

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

“Daily”
What an important detail. God loads us with benefits and blessings “daily”. God is faithful every day to do this. We don’t always read God’s Word daily. We don’t witness daily. We cannot claim that we have earnestly prayed daily. But God sire has loaded us with blessings “daily”. He has been faithful even when we have not.

How about we take time today to thank God for the “load” He has blessed us with. Let us bless the Lord, because the Lord has blessed us.

March 20, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO DISCERN THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF MY HEART

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is certainly alive. That is what the word “quick” means. It means that the Word of God is living. It is the Living Word. It is not just a book, or list, or collection of essays. It does not just have an impact on your mind, it has an impact on your mind, body, and soul. When you activate the Word, the Word activates you. It is “quick”.

The Word of God is certainly “powerful”. It is more powerful than you or me. We will never outlast, outthink, or overcome His Word. The Word of God has parted waters, shaken mountains, and raised the dead. Last time I checked, we could not do those things, or even one of them. So far, God is alive and powerful.

The Word of God is “sharp”. It is so sharp, in fact, that it cuts through bones and ligaments without even cutting the skin. It is so sharp that it can get to places and accomplish things that nobody and nothing else can do. We cannot find where soul and spirit divide, but God’s word can. God’s Word cuts through everything that doesn’t matter, and gets right to the things that do matter. It gets to the point. It gets to the heart of the matter.

The Word of God is a “discerner”. If you read the Word of God, the Word of God can read you. You and I can fool people but we cannot fool God. We can fool our boss, our mate, our children, and even our pastor. But the Word of God can see right through you and me. In fact, the Word of God can see things about us that we cannot see about ourselves. The Bible teaches that we cannot put confidence in our own flesh. We can literally fool ourselves, but we cannot fool God. Many times we do not even really know what our heart is thinking, and we do not know what our heart is intending. Our heart can have desires and faults that we do not see. We can have intentions that we do not admit to. God can see it even if we can’t. That is why the Bible says that man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart. He is the only one that can read it. We cannot read the hearts of others, and we cannot even read our own heart. that is why you and I need to be faithfully in God’s Word. God will point out things to us from His word, that we could never see on our own. It is the only book that reads you. God’s Word is ALIVE, ALMIGHTY, ACCURATE, and AWARE. If you did not notice, that is a good outline of this verse.

God is able to discern both the thoughts and intentions of my heart.

March 19, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE

I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

What a discouraging word: TEMPTATION. It brings to each of our minds past struggles and failures. Many of us have been “taken” by temptation at different times in our lives. We have probably said some ignorant things in the past like “I couldn’t help it”, or “nobody would understand”. We have acted as if we were the only ones to have had such difficult, particular temptations come our way. And we have probably convinced ourselves at times that we had no other real choice but to fall to it. All of which is incorrect.

God says in this verse that any temptation we have had to go through is a temptation that many have had to go through. It is “common to man”. There is nothing new under the sun. Although temptation has always been around, and although there is nothing new to Satan’s tactics when it comes to temptation, there is good news. God has always been faithful, just as temptation has always been a struggle. God was faithful before Satan first tempted Eve, and God will still be faithful when Satan is chained and silenced. If God was not faithful, then you and I would have a point by saying we could not help it. If God was not faithful, then we would be correct in saying that we had no choice but to fall to the temptation. But God is faithful.

What is God faithful to do?

1.) God is faithful to make sure that you and I are never tempted beyond our ability to say no. God will never allow for us to be tempted beyond our “ability”. There will never be a temptation in your life that will leave you helpless to resist. God is faithful to make sure of that. Without God, you and I would have no chance to resist Satan. So whatever temptation comes your way, rest assured that you can resist it with God’s help.

2.) God is faithful to always give you an avenue to escape the snare of that temptation. God did not say that you can always escape the temptation. God just says that when temptation comes, He will always provide a way to escape the snare of it. I think of how Joseph left his coat in the room of Pottifer’s wife and ran. He saw the way of escape that God had provided and he got out of there. This will require two things from you. First is “resistance”. God’s Word says that if you resist Satan, He will flee. You and I must learn to resist instead of indulging in every temptation. Second, we must “rely” on God and His Word. We will not resist temptation and less we are in God’s word faithfully and fully reliant upon it. I don’t know about you, but if I am not in the Bible, the Bible is not in me.

3.) God said that He will be faithful to make sure that you and I can “bear it”. Resisting temptation will be difficult, but we can get through it and get beyond it. At times we will think that we will die, but if we resist and rely, it is bearable. Thank God that He has promised “never to leave thee nor forsake thee”.

He is able to make a way to escape!