December 2, 2018 Verse Of The Day

Ephesians 2-8_9

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Hebrews 4:16 Approach With Confidence

 

Father and son

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Approaching a person with a lot of power or a very high position is usually very intimidating for most people. People are afraid of making a mistake in what they say or do. They also fear the person that they are approaching. This can be especially true when the person has the power to lift the person up or remove the person out.

Another time people are often afraid of those in authority is when the person did something wrong. Children are often afraid of being around a parent when he has done something wrong, for fear of being found out. Adults avoid the boss or the police when they have done something wrong.

Along with fearing approaching people in authority, many people fear approaching God. They often see God as a harsh God who is out to destroy them because of some sin that they did. Many feel as though they do not have the right to approach God, that they are not worthy to stand before Him.

While it is true that no person, in and of himself, is worthy to stand before God, what Jesus has done makes the person worthy. He removes all sin, making the believer righteous before God.

God wants every believer to come before Him for every need, even when they are in trouble and did something wrong. God is full of mercy and grace. He knows that every believer will mess up and sin. That is why Jesus came to die on the cross. He did it out of love for people.

When the believer approaches God for a need, He is ready to answer and help him out. He is ready to forgive and guide a person in the right path.

Every time that you have a need, do not be afraid to go before God and present that need. God loves it when you approach Him with a need, just as a parent loves his child coming to him with a need.

You can approach God with confidence, knowing that He loves you and will do what is best for you. He will not destroy you.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s mercy for you; that you will know God’s grace for you; that you will not fear approaching God; and that you will approach God with confidence.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 Dealing With Opposition

 

Girl with rabbit

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26

The majority of the world is against Christians. They do not believe in God and do not want anything to do with Jesus. There are some who are violently against believers and will get physical in their opposition. The rest just oppose believers in words. Either way they act, they are opponents to those who follow Jesus.

All of these people have been taken captive  by the traps of the devil. They are living as the devil desires, doing his will to oppose Jesus.

Many believers are willing to take a stand against those who oppose Christ. The problem is that there have been many who have done so in a way that is not the way Jesus would respond to opponents. They have harshly condemned the opponents, struck them, physically destroyed their property and more.

Jesus rarely used violence. The only time He used a little violence was in the temple against those who were religious, and then it was not against them physically, but against their stuff. Jesus had spoken with kind words almost every time. He worked to draw people to Him, not push them away.

Paul told Timothy to speak gently with his opponents. He is to show love and care to them. Jesus had stated that believers are to love their enemies.

Speaking gently is to speak kind words as one points out where a person may be wrong. It is pointing a person to Jesus and His words. It is showing love, compassion, mercy and grace to a person. The goal is to get them to become a follower of Jesus, not beat them down.

You will have people who will be an opponent to you. Some may be just verbally violent, while others may be physically violent. Jesus had both types against Him. How you speak and react to them will show how much of a follower of Jesus you are.

Give them a chance to change and choose to follow Jesus. Do not just condemn them and give up on them. Jesus did not speak harshly with you and did not give up on you.

I pray today that you will know the gentleness of Jesus; that you will show God’s love to all people; that God will give you the words to speak to your opponents; and that many will come to Jesus through your message. 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Encouragement, Strength & Hope

 

Hope in prayer

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Life is tough. There are never ending problems everywhere. There is pain. There is suffering. There is violence, hatred, sickness, death and sin. When a person looks at the world, there does not appear to be any hope.

People all around the world are committing suicide because of the loss of hope and the amount of pain they are in. All types of drugs are used by people to help cope with all the pain that they are going through, both physical and emotional. Doctor’s prescribe many different types of drugs to people to help them calm their nerves and be able to deal with life.

Fear runs rampant among people. Fear of the government, fear of other people. Fear of death or sickness. Fear of the unknown.

Even in the church, there runs a level of fear. People fear that they are not good enough for God and will not be allowed into heaven in the end. They fear that God has not forgiven them.

Yet, God does not work with fear, He works with love and grace. God is there to encourage a person and give Him real hope and strength to make it. Believers have a hope of a better life, one that will be found in eternity. This can encourage a believer to stay strong and true to God’s word, despite what this world looks and acts like.

God, in His great love and grace, is giving every believer strength to do what needs to be done, to do the good works He has called every believer to do. He is giving strength to overcome sin and be His witness in this world, and to look past the momentary and painful sufferings of this world.

Take a look at what God has given you. Take a look at what God has promised you. Be encouraged and rely upon His strength to keep moving forward in His ways, to do good and be His witness.

Know that some day you will inherit eternal life in heaven. All that you are going through today will be worth it when you step into eternity with God.

Be encouraged and strengthened today.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know the salvation He is giving you; that you will know God’s love and grace to you; that God will strengthen you; and that God will encourage you to keep going in Jesus.

Colossians 4:5 Using Opportunities Correctly

 

Immigrants

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5

All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.

When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.

The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?

Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.

Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.

The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.

Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.

Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?

Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom.