Resurrection Victory for Effective Christian Living
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1Co_15:57-58)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ brings spiritual victory over sin and death to all who believe in Him. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." As we allow the Lord to be our guide through each day, He "leads us in triumph in Christ" (2Co_2:14). When this process is unfolding, an effective Christian life is developing, by the grace of God at work in us.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast." It is the will of God that our lives be marked by steadfastness (constancy and stability). Paul rejoiced concerning fellow believers who manifested such attributes: "rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ" (Col_2:5). He later added that they were to be "rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith" (Col_2:7).
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be . . . immovable." Our heavenly Father also wants us to be "immovable" (firmly persistent, unable to be swayed). Paul was a good example of this. Although he faced many threatening difficulties, he professed "But none of these things move me" (Act_20:24). When Paul wrote to the saints at Ephesus, he warned of another threat to spiritual persistency: "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph_4:14).
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be . . . always abounding in the work of the Lord." Our Lord wants us to be abundantly laboring with Him. This is one of the purposes of Jesus' redemptive work for us: "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Tit_2:14). Yes, living by grace will produce abounding good works. The glorious fact is that such labors are actually the Lord at work in and through us: "always abounding in the work of the Lord." As the Lord sustains His work with us, we can grow in a certainty that this kind of laboring will be effective: "knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Note the key word that indicates the basis for all of these desirable traits: "Therefore." This refers back to the resurrection victory provided by the Lord Jesus. In light of this victorious work of Christ on our behalf, anyone trusting in this reality will find these spiritual virtues developing in their lives, by the grace of God at work.
Dear Lord, I long to walk in spiritual stability. I yearn for a life that cannot be swayed. I want to abundantly labor with You. Therefore, Lord, I place my confidence in the reality of Your resurrection victory. Work in me by Your grace, I pray, Amen.
Daily Devotion - Bob Hoekstra, e-sword
ďRemember the poor.Ē
Why does God allow so many of his children to be poor? He could make them all rich if he pleased; he could lay bags of gold at their doors; he could send them a large annual income; or he could scatter round their houses abundance of provisions, as once he made the quails lie in heaps round the camp of Israel, and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no necessity that they should be poor, except that he sees it to be best. ďThe cattle upon a thousand hills are hisĒ-he could supply them; he could make the richest, the greatest, and the mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of his children, for the hearts of all men are in his control. But he does not choose to do so; he allows them to suffer want, he allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this? There are many reasons: one is, to give us, who are favoured with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We show our love to Christ when we sing of him and when we pray to him; but if there were no sons of need in the world we should lose the sweet privilege of evidencing our love, by ministering in alms-giving to his poorer brethren; he has ordained that thus we should prove that our love standeth not in word only, but in deed and in truth. If we truly love Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by him. Those who are dear to him will be dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lordís flock-remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, ďInasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.Ē Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart-recollecting that all we do for his people is graciously accepted by Christ as done to himself.
Healing is one of Godís Benefits
By Dr. Dale A. Robbins
A story is told of a young Irishman who once sought to purchase a boat fare to America, where he hoped to immigrate. From his years of savings, he discovered that he had sufficient to pay the fare, but not enough to pay for his meals aboard the ship. However, determined to seek the opportunity for a new life, he booked his passage and managed to scrape a few cents together for a meager bag of cheese and stale bread to carry him through his long journey.
One evening during the first two weeks at sea, the Captain was walking the deck when he noticed the Irishman sitting near the bow eating his cheese and bread.
"Why arenít you in the galley eating supper with the other passengers?" asked the Captain. The Irishman replied, "I regret sir that I only had sufficient funds to buy passage, but not enough to pay for meals." The Captain looked at him curiously and said, "Son, didnít you know that when you bought your ticket that your meals were included with your fare?"
Just as the Irishman didnít realize that his meals were a benefit paid for in the price of his ticket, many Christians are unaware that Christís atonement on the cross paid for other benefits besides eternal life. The psalmist said, "Donít forget all the Lordís benefits! He forgives all your sins, and also heals all your diseases!" (Psalm 103:2-3).
Five Steps to Receive Healing from God
(1) Submit yourself to God ó As much as it is Godís will and desire to heal, such things as unconfessed sin, disobedience, unbelief, or unforgiveness toward others can hinder your reception of healing, and in some instances, could actually be the original cause of your illness. Any affliction should be a time for self-examination, to come before the Lord in humility, surrendering yourself and drawing near to Him. James wrote, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:7-10).
(2) Look to Godís Word ó Read and meditate continuously upon the healing promises in the Bible. As you let them absorb into your inner man, it will bring a great sense of assurance. This is the confidence of faith that comes as you open your heart to the Word of God (Rom 10:17). "My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (Proverbs 4:20-22). How important it is that we focus upon Godís Word, as this is the source of His healing power. "He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions" (Psalms 107:20).
(3) Pray in Faith ó Place your faith in the finished work of Christís sufferings in behalf of your sickness or disease. Christ has already paid for your healing and has placed it into effect, making it available to you. Now itís up to you to accept His finished work by faith. "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24).
(4) Call for Church Elders ó Request for the elders or ministers of the church to anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith over you. The Bible says, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15). Notice that it says the prayer of faith SHALL SAVE THE SICK! Ask the elders and other believers to lay hands on you and pray. "...they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:18). Again, notice that it says THEY WILL RECOVER!
(5) Keep Believing ó Donít stop praying and believing! This is the most common reason why some people donít receive healing. They get discouraged and give up their faith. Most would prefer to have instantaneous healing, but most healings occur gradually over time. Be patient and be steadfast in your faith. Keep praising and thanking Him for your answer. God will be faithful to His Word, if you will be faithful to believe! "...Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12).
Jesus is my God who heals me
Jesus heals all my sicknesses
Jesus sends his Word and heals me
Jesus took up my infirmities
Jesus carried my sorrows
Jesus took the punishment to bring me peace
By Jesus woundís I am healed.
Jesus binds up my wounds
Jesus heals my brokenheartedness
You can confess them again
And then pray this prayer for healing.
Loving Heavenly Father,
I come into your holy presence believing in your promises; have mercy on me and heal me. If there is anything in my life displeasing to you, kindly forgive me the same. Wash me with the blood of Jesus and make me pure, O Lord. I believe that you are the Lord who heals me and that you are all powerful to heal all my sicknesses. Send your Word and heal me now O Lord. Bind my wounds and heal my broken heart dear Lord.
I believe that by Jesus wounds I am healed. Because of your great love and mercy for me, kindly heal me and glorify yourself dear Father.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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Today's Bible Verse
ďAs the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent itĒ (Isaiah 55:10, 11).
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