April 3, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE

TO GIVE THE TRUE BREAD

JOHN 6: 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

WHAT A MIRACLE! God faithfully sent food from Heaven day after day to the children of Israel, and year after year. That had not happened before, and has not happened since. God’s miraculous provision. God provided physical bread for them to survive. It was literally bread from heaven, but in John chapter six, it was not “that bread of heaven” that Jesus was referring to. So Jesus made it clear that He was speaking of the “true bread from heaven”. Jesus is the True Light, the True Tabernacle, the True Vine, the True God, and the True Bread.

You see, “bread from Heaven” could feed these people for days and weeks and months and years. But the “true Bread from Heaven” can feed for an eternity. And this “true bread” we are told that God the Father, though He loved the Son, took that “true bread” from Heaven and gave Him to us. What does than mean, Pastor?

*          John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

There had always been just too much “temporary bread”. But Christ provided for us the possibility of never more hungering, and never more thirsting. No more searching for something more or different. Christ is the only, “true bread”. But Jesus explains here that while the “true bread” has come to you, you now must come to Christ, “the true bread”. He came to you, so now you must come to Him. And then the greatest news:

*            John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

God gave Jesus to us; Jesus came to us; we then come to Jesus, and the Jesus will never cast us out. That my friend is “True Bread”.

April 2, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO MANIFEST HIS LIFE IN US

II CORINTHIANS 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Let me explain:

*          “DISTRESSED” means totally overwhelmed.

*          “DESPAIR” means having no hope.

*          “FORSAKEN” means abandoned.

*          “DESTROYED” means destroyed, LOL, Or of no more use.

None of those are very encouraging words, but it is encouraging that none of these words will take place in our lives. God has promised that. God never promised that we would never have trouble, but He promised that the trouble does not have to overwhelm us. God never promised that we would never be down or discouraged, but He promised that we would never have to get to the point that we would have no hope. God never promised that we would never face persecution, but He promised that if we do, He would never leave us or forsake us. God never promised that we would never be faced with sickness, brokenness, disease, or physical suffering. But God promised that if we do, it could never destroy us. And He promised to never put on us more than we could bear. And God promised that there may be some things that could destroy the body, but our spirit and soul could never be destroyed.

You see, as we face some of these things, we must remember the death and suffering of Jesus Christ. We must remember what He went through. We must remember how He faced it. We must remember how He was crucified and died. We must always “bear about the dying of the Lord Jesus”. But we must remember how Jesus rose again and defeated death. When we remember His suffering and death, we remember how He defeated it and not only had new life, but that He has given us new life. The more that you and I face the difficulties of life, and we continue to trust Christ based on His victory over death, we are able to “manifest” Christ in our life.

When people see that we have hope in the midst of suffering, that shows them Christ in our life. When people see us face troubles without being distressed, they see Christ. when people see us face perplexing situations without ever losing hope, they see Christ. When others see us face persecution, but always hear us speak of the never ending presence of Christ in our life, they see Christ. When people see us face things that would break others, and yet they see us still trusting God and claiming victory through Him, they see Christ.

Dear friend, I am persuaded today that He is able to manifest His life in our life every day. May we always remember what Jesus faced, what battles Jesus fought, and what Jesus overcame to remind us each day that He can do the same in our life.

March 31, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO PROVIDE EXCELLENT POWER

II CORINTHIANS 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are “earthen vessels”. We are vessels that are of the earth. The Bible says that God created man out of the “dust of the earth”. And our physical bodies will go right back to earth one day when we die, but our soul will live forever.

The verse also says “in” earthen vessels. This means that God created us as vessels for the purpose of being “filled” with something. For God to say that something was “in” us as earthen vessels, means we were made to “hold” something. We were made to “House” something. We are empty vessels that have the capacity to be filled up. This verse tells that as believers, we have a treasure that is in us. That treasure has filled that empty area that we were created with as earthen vessels.

Now here is what is interesting. The vessel isn’t that valuable, but the treasure is. If you bought me a Rolex watch and wrapped it in a box, I would not throw away that watch and keep the box. The box wasn’t what was valuable, the watch was. What makes us “earthen vessels” valuable here on earth is the fact that we are carrying a treasure inside of us. What is that treasure? Well the treasure in us is God the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit in us provides the “excellency of power” directly from God the Father Himself. We were made to be filled by the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit came to fill us with excellent power. As long as we know that the excellent power is “not of us”.

Excellent power is created by God, it is delivered to us by the Holy Spirit, and it is manifested in our lives when we rely upon God for it, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

March 30, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO DEFEND ME FROM THOSE THAT RISE UP AGAINST ME

Psalm 59:1 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

It sure is difficult, when individuals are against us, to stay still and let God take care of it. The word “enemies” is used here in this verse. I do not know about you, but so called “enemies” don’t really bother me so much. It is the so called “friends” that cause me issues. I guess David understood that also. We believe that David is writing this as he is running from Saul who is trying to kill him. Saul was his so called “friend”. Saul was his king, his mentor, and his father-in-law. There are occasions where you friends or family can feel like “enemies”. Now I dare say that none of us are running from for our lives from an individual, hiding in caves, bushes, and mountains as David did. I sure hope not. If you are, stop reading this devotional and call the police. 😁

In all seriousness, people in our lives do not usually throw spears at us as Saul did David. However, they throw words, criticisms, lies, and accusations. Sometimes that hurts worse than maybe a spear would. A spear wound might eventually heal, but words can hurt for a lifetime. David here asks for God to “deliver” him, and “defend” him from that. That phrase “them that rise up against” is interesting. It means individuals that you did not expect to do that. There are some people that you know are against you, and it won’t surprise you if they say something about you. But then there are people that you never thought would do that, and that hurts the worst. It literally, as described in this verse, came out of nowhere. Usually it is an individual that you have done a lot for, or spent a lot of time with. It is sometimes a person that you care about, or even love.

Please hear this from me today, if you hear anything. There are just some things that we cannot defend ourselves from. There will always be things said that we didn’t know were said. There may be lies told about us that we will never hear. There could be critical remarks spread around that we can never seem to be able to trace back to who started it. You can be frustrated your entire life, and trying to defend yourself your entire life, and never get anywhere. Your true friends won’t believe it, your enemies won’t believe you, and the rest do not care. You will wear yourself out and everyone around you will be tired of hearing you complain. Just let God do the defending. He knows you, He knows them, and He knows the truth.

David said here to God, “you are ‘my God’”. And dear friend, if you are redeemed by the blood of Christ, He is your God to. Ask Him to “deliver” and “defend” you from it. And He will!

March 29, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO PROVIDE GRACE DURING GRIEF

 

Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever: 32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. 33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

 

Sometimes discipline is necessary. Let me remind us of these verses:

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?   8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

The first thought is an encouraging one, that when God disciplines us, it will not be forever. It may feel like it, and it may take longer because of our stubbornness, but God will not put on us “more than we can bear”. “The Lord will not cast off forever.”

I do find the next two verses very interesting and extremely personal. Think about this statement, “Though He cause grief, yet will he have compassion”. What a personal statement. Even more specific, what a “parental” statement. God the Father is acknowledging that although He must, at times, discipline His children; God will still always have compassion for us. There are occasions where grief may come to our life, but if it comes as a result of God’s purpose, it is for our good. God is trying to encourage us here. Yes child, grief may be necessary, but I still feel compassion, and have a multitude of mercies available. After all, the chastisement is proof that we are God’s children.

The most personal is verse thirty three. “He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” God is lovingly, and meekly letting us know that He may have to allow difficult things in our life, but He does not enjoy it. God doesn’t do it “willingly”. God would rather love you back to where you need to be, and I am sure He has been trying to. is His “last resort”.

I do not love disciplining my three sons, but I love them enough to discipline them. One thing we need to get beyond right now is this: People are sometimes convinced that much grief has come into their life because God was picking on them, and that somehow God was enjoying ruining their lives. As if God gets some sick satisfaction from your pain. That is simply “Satanic” thinking. That sounds exactly like Satan’s lie to Eve in the garden. Most grief in our life is caused by us, not God. But even the discipline that God must do to us, He makes it very clear that He does not enjoy it in the least bit. In fact it breaks his heart.

SOMETIMES DISCIPLINE IS NECESSARY. WHEN IT IS, GRACE IS THERE WITH THE GRIEF.

March 28, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE GOOD TO THOSE THAT WAIT (part 2)

LAMENTATIONS 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

“WAIT AND SEEK”
May I point out first what the verse does not say. It does not say, “the soul that seeketh a solution”. It does not say, “the soul that seeketh a way out”. While you and I wait for God, we are to seek God, not just what God can do for us. Instead of seeking a solution, why don’t we seek God? Instead of trying to get out of our problem, why don’t we seek God presence in it. Instead of complaining during our trials, why don’t we seek to know God better through our trials.

The point here is not to just sit back and wait. The point here is to seek God while we wait. To use the waiting season as an opportunity to get closer to God. To use our trials as an opportunity to know God better. Even Job, after all the suffering that He went through, finally saw the point of seeking God while we wait. This is what Job said was the result of that:
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye
seeth thee.

You see, Job knew a lot about God, but after seeking God while he waited, he ended up “seeing” God. Then God says in our key verses “that a man should both hope and quietly wait”. Let me give you a little outline:

WE SHOULD:
1. WAIT
2. WORSHIP
3. WATCH

What are we to hope for; “The Salvation of the Lord”. That is our hope. Knowing that somehow, some way, God will come through and accomplish something good. Do you see it?
* WE LEARN TO WAIT ON GOD
* WE LEARN TO SEEK GOD WHILE WE WAIT
* WE LEARN TO TRUST THAT GOD IS DOING SOMETHING GOOD
* GOD DOES SOMETHING GOOD
* WE ENJOY THE GOOD THING THAT GOD DID
* WE NOW KNOW GOD BETTER BECAUSE WE SOUGHT HIS FACE THROUGH IT

That is how it works my friend. “The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him.”