12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.—1 Cor. 10:12-15 NASB
God exalts those He chooses to exalt for times and purposes that He chooses. Just because we prayed for someone’s healing and they were healed, we should not get the idea that we can decide who to pray for and when they will get healed. We need to understand that we can do nothing for the Kingdom unless we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. God often times can’t use a person for a particular job because it would cause that person to become prideful. God only allows those things in our lives that He knows He has strengthened us to handle. There is nothing happening in our lives that has not happened to others before us. Yes, there is a larger quantity of ways to present the temptations. but as King Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun”.(Ecclesiastes 1:9). When the tempter comes with his temptations, we need to look for the open door and run, just as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife. This is wisdom, we need to get wisdom and with it, get understanding.7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.–Prov. 4:7 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
In Psalm 53, the Psalmist says that the fool says that there is no God. We, as believers can know for sure that there is a God and that He loves us very much. We need to live a lifestyle that reflects our belief that God is real and that Jesus is alive. We must be very careful in our actions and words. The words that we speak can be live giving or destructive. That is our choice. So, our words and speech should not be a knee-jerk reaction to a situation. Our words should be wrapped in love. We can only live this lifestyle, if we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Focusing on and meditating in God’s word will cause us to be joyful and our hearts will naturally sing praises to the Lord. We must be careful not to take our blessings for granted. We should always have an “attitude of gratitude”. Always giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Drink deeply of God’s Word, walk wisely and speak with wisdom.
If we have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, we will always show the love that we have for others. We must always put Jesus first, then others next. The only way the world will know that we love Jesus is if we show that love to them and to each other. Jesus loved us to the point of laying down His life for us, even while we were still sinners. How much of your life are you willing to lay down to witness to your neighbors? Laying down our lives for others is about more than just taking time to talk to them, it is also about living a Holy life before them. Jesus has commanded us and He has also given us the power to speak words of life to those that He puts in our paths. But they won’t listen to us, if our walk doesn’t reflect our talk. As the saying goes, people don’t care what we know until they know that we care. Let each of us show how much we care by showing compassion in every situation.
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” — Proverbs 3:27, 28 NLT
Have you ever had this happen to you? You are in a public place and you see someone and suddenly you have this strange notion that you should speak to them. You don’t know this person, you may or may not have seen them somewhere before. You think about speaking but you turn and walk away. But minutes later, you come face to face with this same person and you feel that nudge to speak to them. Looking at them, you can discern no particular need, but the urge to speak to them lingers. No, I just don’t have time to engage anyone in conversation right now or he/she probably doesn’t have time or doesn’t want to be bothered is what we think. So, we turn and we walk away. If this should happen to you today or at anytime in the future, let me encourage you to just stop and simply say “Hello, how are you doing today?” and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit from that point on. You might well be surprised at the blessing both of you will receive from that simple start. We have to understand that the command to “go and make disciples” is a constant command and Jesus would not have told us to “go and make” if He wasn’t going to give each of us an opportunity to do just that. Going and making disciples starts with our next encounter with any person. Just follow the example of Jesus who “went about doing good”.
What an encouraging thought to know that God has promised to rescue those that love Him and protect those who trust in His name. No other entity of any kind can make such a brash claim and then live up to it without ever failing. There will be times in our lives when our parents can’t rescue. our friends can’t protect us but God will be there to deliver us from every evil. Nations have trusted in other so-called gods only to find that they have no power. Man-made idols have hands but they can’t touch or feel us, they have feet but they can’ run to your assistance in times of need. They have mouths but they can’t speak to us., they have ears but they can’t hear us. Only our God, the Creator of the universe and every thing in it is able to do exactly what He says He will do and nothing or nobody can stop Him from fulfilling every promise. So, let us run to Him and allow Him to protect us and provide everything we need. He is waiting with open arms.
Lazarus was wrapped head to toe with graveclothes and a headcloth, yet, when Jesus called him out, he came forth. Not walking or seeing, but transported by the power of the words that Jesus had spoken. Regardless of how seemingly impossible the task may seem, when Jesus speaks, things happen. God created the universe and everything in it by speaking them into existence. His words bring with them the power to create. Jesus said ” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. His words bring light and life to a world of darkness and death. We are told this many times in various ways in the Bible. In Romans, we are told that God speaks of things that are not as though they were.
Why would He do that? Because when He says they are, they become whatever He says. The lame walk, the blind see, the dead arise filled with new life. So, when we read all of the many precious promises that Jesus has made to us through His word, why do we still doubt it? When we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father, why do we live in fear of what tomorrow might bring? When we are persecuted, why do we cower and remain silent? Let each of us speak the Word and God will provide the power and the oucome will be to His glory.
God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus. The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming. John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly. John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him. He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming. John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”.
Yet, Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”. How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and utltimately gave his life for Jesus? The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth. It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself. It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God. It is not as individual Christains that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingodm of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance. So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important. If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started. John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations. We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world. So, let your Light shine and speak the words of Life to those around you wherever you are and whenever you can. There is no “greater” work to be done.
28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious.29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way. — Luke 4:28-30 NLT
After His temptation in the wilderness and at the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the reigon of Galilee. He had taught in their synagouges and ministered to people in that area and was praised by the people. When He came to His boyhood home of Nazareth, He went to the synagouge on the Sabbath where He read from the scroll. As He began to teach, He explained that what He had read was being fulfilled before their eyes that very day. (Luke 4:14-27) He went on to explain to them that He could not do the miracles here that He did in Capernaum because no prophet was accepted in his hometown. In other words, it is hard to witness to those who really know us because “familiarity breeds contempt”. Those that know us best sometimes have less respect for us because they feel that we are trying to be more holy than they are. To them, Jesus was just a carpenter’s son, but to the rest of the world, He was the Son of God. Their contempt for Him caused them to become angry at His words. So, they mobbed Him and took Him to the top of the cliff intending to push Him off the cliff and kill Him. However, it was not His time to die nor was He to die in this manner. In an amazing miracle, Jesus simply walked through the crowd and went on His way. God protected Him in some fashion, we aren’t told how. The takeaway from this story is that as long as we are obedient to God, He will protect us from all danger. If we speak the words He wants us to speak, we will not die before our time or in any manner that was not planned beforehand. We should never be afraid to speak the words that are given to us by the Holy Spirit.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” 13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,14 so ignore them. — Matt. 15:12-14a NLT
Pilate washed his hands and declared that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus. He could have just as easily told the crowd that he would not allow them to take Jesus because he found nothing deserving of death in the actions of Jesus. Without Pilate’s permission and without him furnishing the guard detail to carry out the crucifixion, the crowd would not have been able to crucify Jesus. The Jews had no authority to sentence anyone to death or to carry out the death sentence. Though Pilate did not participate physcially in the crucifixion, neither did he stop it from happening even though he had the authority to do so. Pilate had worldy authority to do something. We have a hgher authority who has authorized us to speak out when the name of Jesus is being blasphemed and God’s name is being taken in vain. Do we think that we can hide behind our fear of offending others and not speak out? Do we think Jesus is pleased when we stand by and do or say nothing when injustices are taking place before our very eyes? Jesus put His life on the line by offending the religious leaders and rulers of that day. He gave up His life so that we could have the authority to speak and act in His name. If we can trust Jesus to save us and keep our souls safe throughout eternity, surely we can trust Him to protect us when we follow His example and His commands.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT
3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you. — 1 Thessalonians 2:3-7 NIV
Each of us has been approved by God to spread the Gospel. Some of us have large audiences and some of us have small audiences, nevertheless, we are all instructed to “go and make disciples”. God knows where we can be the most effective. Whether we realize it or not, we are “witnessing” all the time. The question is this: “For whom are we witnessing and what word are we spreading?” We must always be sure that when we speak or act, that our motives are pure and that we are speaking truthfully. This is particularly true when we are preaching, teaching or witnessing for God. When we are laboring for God, we should always remember that it is Him we are trying to please. We should never water down the message the Holy Spirit gives us to speak. Our mission is to spread the Word of God, not to get rich or famous, nor are we in a popularity contest. The world hears enough about those kind of things every day, yet they are still unhappy and stressed out, they are looking for some kind of relief from all those daily pressures. They are looking for something to fill the void that is inside them. We have the answer and it should be our hearts’ desire to give the answer to others. We must present the message with love and kindness, We should be as innocent as little children. We are to go out “as lambs among wolves”.
2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. — Luke 10:2, 3 NIV