Man does not have much if anything to boast about in himself. I certainly do not. However, those that know Jesus have a lot to boast about. Not about themselves, but about the one that loves them and saved them. There is a song we sing often in church who’s refrain goes:
Scripture teaches us that we are a whole person. Our spiritual life effects our physical life. Each and everyday we come across people that are hurting spiritually. Harold Vaughan once preached a message entitled, “The Ministry of Encouragement.” What a great ministry! We should all be encouragers. When you encourage someone it is like given someone a dose of spiritual medicine for their soul. Each day we should ask ourselves, “Who can I encourage today?”
Have you ever wandered how can you possibly continue? Have you ever found yourself running out of strength to run the race before you? Have you ever been faced with incredibly difficult circumstances of life that make you want to throw in the towel? Well join the club! However, when you are at that point you must realize that you are on the cusp of having the power of Christ upon you. So when you get to the point where you say, “I cannot go on anymore I am out of strength” you are almost there, but not quite. You must then go on to admit your weakness and accept God’s grace to give you strength. Then you can say, “I can do all thing through Christ that strengtheneth me.”
When I read this verse I am reminded to make sure my heart is in my service to the Lord. God does not want us to serve Him begrudgingly, but with genuine desire and reverence. Half-hearted service to the Lord is not pleasing to God; neither is service done to please men. It is a good practice to check our hearts from time to time.
How many of us could honestly say this about ourselves. Can we say that the only purpose in my life is to live for Christ? Can we say that we truly believe that to die is gain? Do we have a greater desire for the things of the world or the things of Christ? What evidence is their in our lives to support our claim to love Jesus? In the case of the Apostle Paul there was plenty of evidence to support this verse to be true in his life.
Yesterday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. But, where is He now? Well my friend, look at what Stephen saw as he was being stoned to death because of his witness for Christ. Stephen got a glimpse of Jesus standing on the right hand of God. What comfort that must have been for Stephen! Notice this, before he saw Jesus he stedfastly looked into heaven. I do not know what you might be going through today, but I know this, if you want to see Jesus in the midst of trouble, if you want the comfort of Christ, you need to take your eyes off of the trouble and look to where He can be found. He is not hard to find. He is still in the same place that Stephen saw Him.
Imagine for a moment, the day we call Good Friday, the day the Son of God was crucified on the cross of Calvary. Beaten beyond recognition, treated with contempt and disdain, mocked and spat upon; rejected by those who just a few days before we’re shouting “Hosanna in the highest” this Messiah, Israel’s Deliverer….DEAD! Satan and the multitude of fallen angels must have been celebrating their victory over the one called “the Son of God”. Imagine, if you will, how Satan and his minions must have felt! Now, it’s Sunday and some women are headed toward the tomb but they notice that Jesus isn’t there! Where could He be. He’s risen! Just as He said He would! God ALWAYS keeps His promises. Jesus conquered the grave, He conquered death, He conquered sin and He conquered Satan. The celebration abruptly ends once the Devil discovers what happened at the tomb. His minions scurry like bugs do when a rock is turned over and they’re exposed to light…..they were exposed to Light! Hallelujah! He’s risen! Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone! Praise God, He’s Risen.
Do you fondly remember the song we used to sing in Sunday School when we were little? “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for life, I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.” Oh dear Christian, is the Bible the book for you? It’s the only book that has the words of life, the power to save, to make the simple wise! It’s God’s love letter to us! Do you love the Word of God? When we stand on the Word of God we’ll not easily fall for the wiles of the devil.
We call today Good Friday. What is so good about it? After all, it is a day that Jesus suffered the most brutal beating and death that an innocent man has ever endured. The disciples at the time certainly did not see the day as good. They saw it as a day they were losing someone they loved; their friend and leader. Yet we call it good. You see, the problem that all of has is that we see things from our perspective and not God’s. So things that he sees as good we do not always see as good. The answer to the question lies in a verse we often quote:
Meditation: These two verses have blessed me tremendously through the years. They assure me that although I may feel at times that in my walk with the Lord I’m taking a step forward and two steps back, I’m God’s workmanship created in Jesus unto good works.I can be confident that what He has ordained will come to pass.Reminds me of a song I used to sing to the kids when I would push them on the swing: