A rich young ruler comes to visit Jesus, at first appearing to humbly seek the way of eternal life. However, it quickly becomes apparent that his real aim is to affirm his righteous standing before God as a result of keeping the commandments. But Jesus knew something was holding the man back from experiencing true freedom. “Jesus looked at him and loved him. One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” Mark 10:21 However, even while standing face-to-face with the Son of God Himself, the young man concluded that what Jesus had to offer could not possibly be more valuable than the riches he possessed. He chose to remain a slave to his possessions, clinging to his false security. How about you? Are you clinging to something that might be preventing you from following Jesus with all your heart? Are you willing to surrender your all to Him?
We don’t have to strive in our own strength to love and do good for the purpose of ticking off some religious requirement. The apostle Paul said that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts” (Romans 5:5), and it is with this same love that we can love others. We also read that “it is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). Even the very desire to do good comes from the Lord through his Holy Spirit. May this thought encourage us today!
“For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? …‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:35-40)God sees what we do with what He gives us. Are we spending the time, resources, energy, and talents He has given us on ourselves, or care we using these blessings to minister to others for His glory?
In the Old Testament, God said, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). And to emphasize its importance under the new covenant, He repeats the same verse in the book of Hebrews. You’re not being holy and humble by doing penance or by continuing to remember what God has forgotten! God’s Word says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). But when we want to bring again before the Lord that fault that has already been confessed, God says to us, “What are you talking about? There’s no record of that here in heaven. No, you confessed that. I see you through the blood of Jesus. I see you perfect through My Son.” That’s the gospel message! Let’s rejoice in that truth today!
I will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and rampart. Psalm 91:2-4 Assuredly no subtle plot shall succeed against the one who has the eyes of God watching for his defense, we are foolish and weak as poor little birds, and are very apt to be lured to our destruction by cunning foes, but if we dwell near to God, He will see to it that the most skillful deceiver shall not entrap us and no plague will come nigh our dwelling.
EXODUS 12:7,13 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.The Egyptians had no protection from the destroyer, but the people of Israel who put the blood of a lamb on their dwellings were safe.The blood represented the Blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world – Jesus Christ (Revelation 13:8)..The blood applied stopped the destroyer. With blood on the door of the Israelites in Egypt, no evil dared enter their dwelling. Christ is our Passover Lamb. Likewise, we are kept safe through the protection of the divine Blood of Jesus. 1 CORINTHIANS 5:7 For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
In Psalm 34 David gives an invitation:Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him– Psalm 34:8 David had been through the most trying times. He was hunted by Saul, at one time his friends plotted to stone him, his sons betrayed him and he had to live like an outcast even though God promised he’d be king one day. In and through all this David had a taste of His God. He knew His God was gracious, trustworthy, just, true and faithful. He had made God His refuge, and even once, God did not fail him. Have you put your trust in this God with your life, with your future. Do it today, you’ll know He’s good.
“Praise be to the Lord, for He showed me the wonders of His love when I was in a city under siege.” Psalm 31:21 The situation David went through could be similar to what some of us may be going through. It may seem that there is no way out of this dilemma. Thank God David did not stay in that place forever. Instead, he tells the Lord, “Yet You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” We too can call on Him for help. And when we do that like David, He will set us free and plant us in a safe and spacious place.
“Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands …” – Acts 7: 48I do believe, in the words of the song, “The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.” But I also believe that sacred spaces matter. Our buildings ground us in a particular place and provide continuity with the generations that have worshipped there. But in the wake of the current situation where churches are closed, Christians don’t have to despair. Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.“ That’s our greatest confidence. He’s there in our midst and He hears our cries and answers us. So, people of God, pray alone, pray with someone, if you have no one to pray with, call someone on the phone and pray with them. Immanuel-God is with us!
Asaph wrote eleven Psalms. Yet Asaph confessed,“Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart” “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped” (Psalm 73:1-2). Why? Because he saw the wicked around him prospering,Like some of us wonder why blessings are heaped on people who live duplicitous lives? Perhaps you’ve seen an ungodly coworker rewarded instead of you or a wicked neighbor acquire material things while you struggled to make ends meet.It can be very easy for suffering Christians to slide into doubt. They may think, “I’ve been living right but all my diligence have been in vain. In spite of all I do, I still suffer.”That is when you need to guard your heart. Don’t let your faith or your confidence be shaken. God is still on the throne. God will help you. Asaph saw that he had almost slipped but he held on to proclaim, “I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works” (73:28). And you can do the same!