SPECIAL ARTICLE: Hope in the Midst of Crisis

SPECIAL ARTICLE:  Hope in the Midst of Crisis

In the midst of this worldwide health crisis known as the Corona virus, it’s important that we recognize that we believers have a hope that the world does not know.  It’s at times like these that we must hold onto our faith, and be a light in the midst of darkness.

Let’s consider some Biblical truths:

. . . according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  (Eph 3:11-12)

Our Father God accomplished His eternal purpose through Jesus Christ by giving mankind the gift of salvation.  In Jesus, through Him and by Him, all who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, have been given access to our Father God; and as a result, we may have full confidence in our relationship with Him.  Hallelujah!

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.  (Heb 10:35)

So do not abandon your assurance and faith in Jesus Christ and in His salvation.  Hold onto your faith; take a firm grasp of your salvation and never let it go!

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

This is a precious promise from God for us TODAY.  We know that when we ask for something that agrees with the will of God, He hears us AND He gives us the specific answer for which we have asked.

You may ask, “How do I know if it’s God will for me to be healthy and well?”  Here is how you may KNOW:

  • Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 Joh 2)  This passage would not be in the Bible if God did not want us to be healthy.
  • My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. (Pro 3:1-2)  God shares His wisdom with us that as we hide His Word in our hearts, it will add long life and peace to us.
  • It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Pro 3:8)  God is again telling us that His Word, sown into our hearts and minds, will give health to our physical bodies and strength to our very bones.
  • For I am the Lord who heals you. (Ex 15:26c)  The Lord declares that He is our Healer!  If it was not His will for us to be healthy, He would not declare Himself to be the Mighty One who heals us.

Believe in and rely upon these supernatural words of power from God.  Place your faith in Him and in His Word.  Be unshakeable and stubborn in your faith in God, dear brothers and sisters!  Hope in Christ who is our health, our strength, our life.

Rewarded for Your Works

Rewarded for Your Works

We don’t often think of this, but the Scriptures tell us that the Lord rewards people for their good deeds.  What a kind, generous, and loving God we serve.

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.  (Mt 16:27)

. . . who “will render to each one according to his deeds” . . . (Rom 2:6)

. . . knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.  (Eph 6:8)

Just think of it:  WHATEVER good that we do for anyone else, the Lord says that we will receive the same from Him.  This is the best source of motivation that anyone could hope for!  It is the promise of a blessed reward.

When you pay for someone’s gas who’s in front of you; when you help an elderly friend by cleaning their home or taking them grocery shopping; or any of the thousands of other kind and good deeds that you could perform—ALL be rewarded.  Don’t worry!  God has no problem with keeping track of each and every one of us, and our good deeds.

The Lord knows the number of hairs on our heads (Mt 10:30; Lk 12:7), and He cares about everything that concerns each one of us.  He is our protector.  (Deut 20:4; Ps 91:7; Heb 13:6) 

The Lord doesn’t forget His promises to us.  He keeps each and every one.  And we can be confident that the Lord will keep this promise of giving us His rewards.  Praise God!

. . . knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.  (Col 3:24)

Children of Promise

Children of Promise

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.  (Gal 4:21-26, emphases added)

That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.  (Rom 9:8, emphasis added)

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. (Gal 4:28)

Children of the Promise is another way of saying “children of God.” (see Rom 9:8 above)  But what, exactly, is the significance of this for us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior?

One thing to note is that the Bible says that we become children of the promise when we’re baptized into Christ through water baptism. 

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”  (Act 2:38-39)

This teaching is verified in Ephesians 3:

. . . that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . . . (Eph 3:6)

Upon our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and our water baptism into Christ, we become Children of Promise—children of God!  Hallelujah!

For you are all sons [children] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  (Gal 3:26-29, explanatory word inserted)

Being Children of the Promise means that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ!  Glory to God!  (Rom 8:17) 

This means that we are entitled to all of the blessings that Jesus earned for Himself by living a sinless, perfect life in loving obedience to His Father while He lived on earth.  In accepting Christ as Savior and being baptized into Him through water baptism, we become qualified to receive this vast and rich inheritance!  Rejoice, O children of promise!

An Eternal House

An Eternal House

The Bible tells us that our spirit groans within us, yearning to be clothed with our “habitation from heaven.”  Our spirit longs for the eternal body (habitation) that we each shall receive when we move out of our earthly body and into eternal life.

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven . . .  (2 Cor 5:1-2)

The Bible gives us dependable and precious promises verifying that our glorious inheritance does indeed include eternal life, spent in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  (Mt 19:29)

. . . who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.  (Mk 10:30)

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  (1 Joh 5:13)

We have no way of knowing what the appearance of our eternal home will be.  Will we live in separate, unique homes; in a mighty, luxurious castle; or an untold number of beautifully appointed “heavenly condominiums”?  In this, we must simply trust God.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  (Rev 21:3)

Yes, the Lord has prepared each one of us a heavenly body in which to spend eternity praising and serving the Lord.  Such a hope should fill each one of us with joy and peace. 

This is a promise given to us by our loving, Heavenly Father, who cannot lie and who never fails His people.  (Tit 1:2; Zeph 3:5; 1 Cor 13:8)   Hallelujah!

 

God Blesses Our Food & Drink

God Blesses Our Food & Drink

How often do we realize that God protects us in many and varied ways, DAILY?  He blesses even our food and drink!  Let’s think about this and see what God says.

So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. (Ex 23:25) 

God’s promise is to bless [sanctify, approve, validate] everything that we eat and drink as well as to remove [eradicate] sickness and disease from within us.  If we truly believe and stand upon this promise of God, it will operate in our circumstances. 

Why is God’s blessing upon our food important to us? 

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Ps 103:5) 

God not only blesses us with the provision of food to eat, but by His blessing upon our food and drink, God renews our youth day by day, moment-by-moment! 

. . . because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.  (Neh 13:2)

In Nehemiah 13, God not only set Himself against Israel’s enemies, but He also reversed the curse placed upon His people and He caused the Israelites to be blessed. 

We are God’s New Covenant people and He has given us even BETTER promises than He gave to the people in the Old Testament!  (Heb 8:6)  It’s time to acquaint ourselves with what belongs to us through Jesus, our Lord and Savior!

I encourage you to read the Bible every day to collect and to meditate upon the blessings and precious promises that Jesus suffered and died to purchase for each and every one of His children. 

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.  Whoever assails you will fall because of you.  (Isa 54:15 NASB, emphasis added)

The Lord is declaring Himself as our protector and defender in this verse!  What a promise—what a breathtaking gift!  He says this many times in various ways in the Bible.

Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.  (Isa 41:11 NASB)

For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.  (Isa 49:25b NKJV)

Contend means to resist, oppose, or challenge.  The Lord says that when someone opposes or challenges one of His children, HE will be the One to deal with them.  Not only will He save us, but He’ll save our children. 

These are wonderful, powerful and precious promises to rely upon.  Don’t think that they’re only in the Bible to encourage us and to reassure us.  They are provided to us as weapons of our spiritual warfare!  (2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6:17 NKJV)

The Bible teaches us that the Word of God is living and powerful—active.  It goes on to say that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, able to perceive (detect) the thoughts and purposes of a person’s heart!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 NKJV)

Use the Word of God as the weapon that it truly is.  Meditate upon it; speak with the Lord about it; and let Him know that you not only believe it but you depend up it to come to pass in your life.  Believe the Word and stand upon it by faith.

Your faith and trust in Him and in His Word will please the Lord as well as improve your life immeasurably.

The Unchanging Nature of Salvation

The Unchanging Nature of Salvation

In this article, we’re considering the unchanging nature of our salvation.  As I think about this subject, I believe that our salvation is based upon three important cornerstones.

God’s Will for Mankind

The covenant God made with His children is unwavering, for God (who cannot lie) has made a promise and then confirmed it by an oath.  (see Num 23:19 & Heb 6:13-18)

For I am the Lord, I do not change . . .  (Mal 3:6a)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jam 1:17)

God’s Word

God’s Word is eternal.  The Bible reminds us that we should never add to or delete anything from God’s Word. (Deu 4:2; 12:32; Pro 30:5-6) 

The Bible also warns us not to confuse the teachings of men with the Word of God.  (Mt 15:8-9; Mk 7:6-8)

God’s Word will stand forever; it shall be entirely fulfilled.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.  (Isa 40:8)

. . . having been born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever . . . (1 Pet 1:23)

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.  (Mt 5:18)

Our Savior—Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  (Heb 13:8)

But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  (Heb 7:24)

Jesus, who is the Living Word, has an unchangeable priesthood and an unchanging character.  He is steadfast and trustworthy.  He has completed the mission that our heavenly Father gave to Him.  He has redeemed mankind and reconciled to the Father all who have accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord.   All glory to God!