Jesus

Our Unmet Needs

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God has promised to supply all our needs, yet fulfillment is sometimes slow in coming.  What could be the problem?  Perhaps we are.

When our Father fails to meet our expectations, we generally look outside ourselves for the reason.  But while God’s love is unconditional, many of His promises are not.  For example, Philippians 4:19 is a “family promise” – it can be claimed only by those who rightly call the Sovereign of the universe “Father.”  His unlimited resources are not available to men and women who reject salvation through Jesus Christ.  Moreover, when we look at the whole framework of Scripture, we see that the Lord makes obedience a condition for fulfilling our needs.  (See Ps. 81:10-12.)  He will not condone sin by blessing us while we rebel against Him.

Think of yourself as part of an army at war – which is what you are, in a spiritual sense.  A top military priority is to keep the supply line open, as victory is impossible if the soldiers are weaponless, cold, and starving.  Our willful disobedience allows Satan to cut our supply line from the Lord.  Restoring that connection is a matter of repentance.  Those who walk in God’s way are protected, provided for, and satisfied (Ps. 81:13-16).

Taking a promise out of its biblical context is very dangerous.  And expecting God to keep a conditional pledge when we aren’t meeting its requirements is even more unwise.  The heavenly Father keeps His word but rightfully expects us to do our part.  Thankfully, His expectations of us are not burdensome but reasonable:  What He requires is that we simply love, honor, and obey Him.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, July 7, 2017.

Take the actual steps laid out in God’s word to be nearer to the Lord-He wants to meet our needs.  Taking any other steps are no steps at all.

The Value of Knowing Christ

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After Paul considered everything he had accomplished in his life, he said that it was all worthless when compared with knowing Christ.  This is a profound statement about values; a person’s relationship with Jesus is more important than anything else.  To know the Lord should be our ultimate goal.  

Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional NT, July 7.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2003.

God Knows the Heart

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The amount of money we have is not so important as the way we use it.  Rich people can be generous or stingy – and so can those with less money.  What is your attitude toward your possessions?  Do you hoard them selfishly, or do you use them to bless others?

Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional NT, July 8.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2003. 

Releasing the Holy Spirit’s Power

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{Romans 8:26-27}

God’s Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13).  God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.

First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will.  No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient.  Sometimes Christians become prideful about the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved.  Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.

Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk – as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships – as God desires.  His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.

Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord.  Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power.  It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.”  Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.

Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough.  Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life.  Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can – I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory.  That’s the kind of life that overflows with the Holy Spirit.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional, by Charles Stanley, June 30, 2017.