Thursday, June 1, 2023
REIGNING IN LIFE
“They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” Romans 5:17.
ENERGIZING POWER TO PERSEVERE
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” – Phil. 4:13. The Philippian racers were appropriating the same grace as Paul (1:7) to become crown winners. II Cor. 12:9, “And he (the Lord) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Oh, what encouraging statement of spiritual fact. The Lord had let Paul know more than once that His grace was enough to enable him to bear any trouble, and endure or deal with any problem.
THE POWER PLANT
The secret to the power plant of grace is the same as the peace plan (Phil. 4:6-7) for it is found “in Christ” who strengthens us for all things. I am not speaking of a mechanical thing, but of that which is living and spiritual. As we yield to Him, we are infused by the Spirit with inner strength, thus we are sufficient in Christ’s strength.
The power to persevere, that is, to run constantly, consistently, keep on running, with (excuse the expression) “stickability” is far beyond all human resources. This Christian race takes far more than all I have to finish my course with joy – Acts 20:24, as Paul did.
This is an endurance race therefore we are taught to run with patience, looking unto Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. Heb. 12:2-3. We must learn that it is by waiting on the Lord that we are enabled to run and not be weary and walk and not faint – Isa. 40:31. Over the long course we are made to realize that there is much human weakness.
Those truly running find it necessary to take hold of the promise by faith of “being strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man.” And oh, yes it is according to the power that worketh in us – Eph. 3:16. We learn to lean upon Him who “strengthens us with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” – Col. 1:11.
Paul questions some saints that had started well, and had run successfully for a while; “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you” – Gal. 5:7-8. Our adversary’s persuasion is always toward hindrance of any spiritual progress. Paul had made it clear in the preceding verse, that all that avails is of “faith which worketh by love.”
Paul could truthfully say; “NOT US!” But rather, “We desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” – Heb. 6:11-12. On our race we may reign in life over indifference. We read of a wonderful example of Abraham who after he had patiently endured he obtained the promise – V. 15.
“I CAN DO”
Confidence: Paul here expresses the confidence of an experienced runner, a veteran warrior, and is for us an stalwart example of grace at work. Paul speaks of some things that he learned by experience. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” – Phil. 4:11-12.
James wrote, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised them that love him” – Jas. 1:12. Paul told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ – II Tim. 2:3.
Contents: Everything included, Paul here expresses the total contents of the contest. Whatever the hurdles, however high the obstacles, or hard the hindrances are to mount over, no matter how steep the climb, or how long the race, or strong the winds of adversity against me, or how swift the winning pace. Let it all be included.
Completeness of Divine Capacity: The demands of this competition are beyond all human resources as Jesus said; “Without me ye can do nothing” – Jn. 15:5. Paul said “When I am weak, then am I strong” - II Cor. 12:10.
“WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME”
Capability to be constant and consistent: The power to persevere, keep on running, making spiritual progress is from Him, personal enablement. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful” – I Tim. 1:12. He is my peace, He is my power!!
Part 3 – next issue
At Thy Word
Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
“And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5
Try to imagine this scene. Simon Peter is a fisherman by trade, and certainly knows how to catch fish. Jesus is a carpenter who knows carpentry (as far as Simon knows). It seems like Simon might have thought that he knew better than Jesus what to do for catching fish.
This statement “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net” is a clear indication of Simon’s recognition of Jesus as Lord. He fully trusted that Jesus knew something he didn’t. As if to say, “regardless of what I know or think, I trust you to know best.” It is a statement of yielding to Jesus.
Jesus speaks about this topic when he asks this question: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46. His point here is that, if He is Lord, he deserves obedience. True faith is always followed by action. True reverence (fear of the Lord) will be followed by obedience.
I have been so impressed by this verse. What an example for us to follow. As I meditated on this, I thought about some in the Old Testament that had this similar attitude, and one that needed to be led into this attitude.
Abram was called by God to leave his country and his people and go to a place that he knew nothing about. He did not have the internet to look up all manner of information about the place he was going to. He did not know anyone there, but we read this in Hebrews: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” Hebrews 11:8.
Abraham could have chosen to stay with what was already familiar to him, but He would have missed out on God’s great blessing. In Romans we read that he believed God. This attitude of obedience only comes from true faith and trust. We sing a hymn; “Trust and Obey.” This is a good phrase. We will not care to obey God’s Word unless we have come to trust Him. And we will not trust Him completely unless we are reading and studying His Word.
There are others in the Old Testament that are examples to us of obedience, and some that are examples of what not to do. Saul failed to obey in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Samuel. This is what Samuel had to say about that: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22. God is not expecting some great sacrifice from our personal efforts, he is looking for obedient children.
In 2 Kings 5, we find Naaman looking for a cure for his leprosy. When Elisha told him to go wash in the river Jordan, he was mad and did not want to do it. There were certainly better rivers to go to, and it did not fit his expectation. Fortunately for Naaman, his servant was able to convince him to do as Elisha said. He would have missed out on the blessing and healing had he not obeyed.
There are others: Daniel and his friends chose to obey God even though it did not seem right to the person in charge of their care. Noah built an ark when it seemed like a silly thing to do. From the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, we come to realize that obedience goes hand in hand with faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul tells us that we can bring every thought unto the obedience of Christ. Not just our actions, but even our thoughts. We understand from scripture that our actions originate in our heart, so the only way for our actions to be in obedience to our Lord, we must have our heart in obedience. How do we do that? We yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We yield to the life of Christ that dwells in us.
Time in God’s Word will enable us to know what God desires from us, and it is also the means by which the Holy Spirit works in our lives to enable us to be obedient to our Lord. Obeying God’s Word is not a harsh duty, it is a privilege that will bring great blessing and bring glory to Him for eternity.
THE CALLINGS OF GOD
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
Throughout the Old and New Testament, we see God calling individuals to do His work on the earth. In the Old Testament it is recorded that God called Abraham, Moses Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others to come to Him and obey and serve Him. In the New Testament God called John, the Baptist (or baptizer), Paul, the Apostle, the twelve Disciples, and He is still calling people to serve Him in various ways as part of His Body, the Church in these days. The scripture in Romans 11:29 states, “For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.”
The phrase “without repentance” speak to us in (the amplified version) “For the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.” This verse speaks in the New Testament of all of the ones God chose: Jesus, the Messiah, John, the Baptist (or baptizer), Paul, the Apostle to the Church Age, the twelve disciples. The calling of God did not change.
In I Corinthians 12:12-14, Apostle Paul speaks about the body of Christ. Verse 12 tells us, “All the members of that one body, being many are one body, so also is Christ (or Christ’s body- the church).” This Scripture says, it does not hinder God’s work whether we are Jew or Gentile. This portion of the Word gives what God says about the individuals of the Body (or Church). Those who are born again and are the “called according to His purpose.” Verses 17-20 tells us that each member of the body of Christ (made up of each believer in Christ) has been placed by God “as it pleases Him” – Vs. 21-27. Verse 28 states, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, second prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Verse 27 tells us “Now we are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” The word “particular” means in the Gk. “Each part severally and distinct, each with his own place and function.”
In the verse in Romans 11:29, Paul spoke of the “...the gifts and callings of God.” The word “gifts” means “the endowment, religious qualification or miraculous faculty.” The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the believers, and He does not make a mistake in His giving it or in His choice of whom He calls. There was a call to Israel about their Messiah Jesus Christ. They as a whole rejected Him, but some accepted Him, so, He turned to the Gentiles. And the message of salvation is for anyone who will accept Jesus as their Savior.
The call to salvation is still going on today. I Corinthians 1:26-27 says, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” There was a call to Israel during the time Jesus was here on the earth. John 1:10-11 says, “He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His name.” They as a whole rejected Him, but some accepted, such as the disciples, and Paul the Apostle.
The call to salvation is still going on today. So, You believers in Christ are the “Called” and the “Chosen.” Hebrews 3:1 says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Note that Apostle Paul said, “partakers” which means in the Greek, “sharers or participants” of the heavenly calling.
Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:1, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called.” The word “vocation” means “the calling.” God calls us to follow Him and give Him our all. II Timothy 1:9 tells us another precious thing speaking of God, - “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His Own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” We are all called to be saved from our sins and to follow God, but there are particular callings God has for each of us. Romans 12:4-8. Verse 6 through 8 especially show many different callings or ministries, as it says in verse 6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us... “ Apostle Paul said about his calling of God, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” In I Timothy 1:6, He speaks to Timothy about his divine calling, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”
It is very important for the believer in Christ to listen to the voice of God, as He calls us to enter into a work that He is calling for us to do. In I Timothy 4:14, Paul admonished Timothy, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee: which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things. Give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”
One more important portion of Paul’s writing is Philippians 3: 7-15 where he speaks of the race of the believers of this age. In verse 14 he writes, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” This “high calling” is our being called by the Holy Spirit to fully yield to God, by dedicating our bodies as living sacrifices to God, totally for His use. This the highest calling of all! It is the divine call to be yielded and watching and waiting for the coming of our precious Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are ready to this “high calling” will rule and reign with Christ one of these days very soon. The trumpet will sound and the “...dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds. To meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thess. 4:13-18.) Be ready! It will not be long.
LEARNING THE HIDDEN TRUTHS
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing but the honor of kings is to search out a matter” - Prov. 25:2.
OUR THIRD POINT IS “TO SEARCH OUT A MATTER.”
Again, search means “to penetrate, hence to examine intimately, find out or seek out.” How then are we to search out a matter? The Lord has quickened eight ways to me on how this is done:
1) BY THE WORK OF THE PROPHETS.
Read I Peter 1:10-12 and notice – “the prophets…, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you;” and “…When it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ,” And also “…But unto us they did minister the things.” I believe there would be a serious lack without the prophecies, the testimonies, and the ministry of the prophets. These things are very fundamental and necessary to understanding God’s Word. We receive the good from their preaching. II Peter 1:19-21, especially verse 21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” These prophets spoke by the Holy Spirit, and don’t we need to listen to what the Spirit has to say also? Rom. 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning;” and II Tim. 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. For doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in Righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” We need to understand the work and the ministry of the prophets if we are to learn from them. Their lives can and should profit us. And as we learn from them we are being built up unto a perfect man – the new man – the life of Christ within. Read Rom. 16:25-26, “…according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”
2) BY THE MINISTRY OF THE APOSTLES.
Remember in Mark 16:15, Jesus said, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” And this was a work that the apostles did. This was their responsibility. Certainly others had a part and do have a part, but they laid the foundation. Ephesians 4:11-12, “And He gave to some apostles; and to some, prophets…for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” These have a past in the perfecting work that God is doing in our hearts. Praise God for them! In Eph. 2:20 we see that we “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” Can we do without this foundation? Not if we are to stand and withstand and come to a place of maturity. The foundation is a very important part of a building. A building is only as good as its foundation. The superstructure depends upon it. If the foundation is weak and crumbles over time, the building will weaken and eventually be ruined. Thank God we have a good, strong foundation that has stood the test of time.
3) BY PAUL’S REVELATION.
Read Col. 1:24-29. God gave Paul the revelation – the interpretation – to these mysteries that had been hidden in ages past. Also consider Gal. 1:11-12. Paul labored and strived according to the grace of God that was at work in him to preach, to warn every man and to teach them so that all who lay hold of their opportunities would be perfect in Christ Jesus. We need Paul’s gospel!
4) BY FAITHFUL MINISTERS, PREACHING GOD’S WORD.
Ephesians 3:2-10, God has given grace to faithful ministers “to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery.” Again in Eph. 4:11-12, “He gave…to some, evangelists and to some, pastors, and to some, teachers; for the perfecting of the saints.” I believe that it is very important to sit under the ministry of the Word. If our heart is right before God, He will quicken something to our heart that will help in that perfecting work He is doing in our lives.
5) BY DAILY STUDY.
Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” I believe that we need to receive the Word that God is speaking to us with a readiness of mind (in the NIV – “with great eagerness”). But also it is important that we search the scriptures daily ourselves to see whether what we are being taught is true. We need a personal daily study on our own to come to an understanding of God’s Word. Paul told Timothy in II Tim. 2:15 study to show approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We need to know the Word of God for ourselves, in part so that when we are asked questions regarding our faith we can give a scriptural answer. Not what our pastor said, or our teacher said, or an evangelist said; but this is what God’s Word has to say!
6) BY MEDITATION.
I Tim. 4:15-16 “Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” God can and does bless those who meditate on His Word day and night; consider Psalm 1. God promises to make us prosperous, successful, and victorious as we learn to meditate on His Word, Joshua 1:7-9. We need to meditate on what we have heard taught and preached upon and on what we have studied and read.
7) BY PRAYER
Eph. 1:15-19, Paul prayed for the Ephesian saints “that God…may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe.” Paul realized that despite the most gifted ministers preaching under the anointing of the spirit it would not be enough to bring the saints to maturity. Personal study though vital, is not enough. Meditation, though very important, can not bring a child of God to maturity alone. It also takes prayer. We learn to ask God to help our understanding, to quicken His Word to our hearts and to reveal these precious truths to us. If we ask, He will answer. He is faithful to do so. I love the song “My Precious Bible.” Verse five reads; “I love my Bible; may I ne’er consult it but with faith and prayer.”
8) BY THE QUICKENING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
I Cor. 2:7-12, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.” Often as we are reading, studying or listening to the Word given forth, the Spirit will quicken a portion to us, we never saw or noticed before. The Word will become clear and make sense. The scriptures will come together. It is the Holy Spirit that gives this understanding to us.
So we need: 1)the work of the prophets; 2) the ministry of the apostles; these prophets and apostles laid the foundation. We need as well 3) Paul’s revelation; 4) faithful ministers who preach God’s Word; 5) personal daily study; 6) meditation on the Word; 7) prayer to ask God to make His Word clear to our hearts; and certainly we need 8) the quickening power of the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word to our heats. All of these are beneficial in coming to a full knowledge of God. All of these are instrumental in the development of the life of Christ within and to enable us to come to the measure of the stature and fullness of Christ, that the new creation life might be fully developed in us.
We will not come to perfection overnight or to a complete understanding of God’s Word instantly, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” May we be willing to grasp a little here and a little there.
Rev. 19:7, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lord is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” She learned His Word and to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Praise His name!
Debra Isenbletter, PastorChristian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Jonah 4:6— “And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” In this verse we have the second of four things that God prepared for Jonah. In the first chapter it was the fish, Ch. 4 the gourd, the worm and the wind. I have divided this verse into three parts: Preparation—Protection—Praise.
Preparation: “the Lord God prepared a gourd,” It is the “Lord God, the Eternal One and the Strong One that prepared the gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” It is the God of Creation, the God of the Covenant who continues to reveal Himself to Jonah.” He “ordained” and “appointed” it for a specific purpose. He looked ahead to what Jonah needed and prepared it for him. He did this at the right time, in the right place. Jonah looked at what he had experienced and was experiencing and understood the Lord was in control. If we see whatever we experience, good and bad, as part of God’s Will, then we are able to pass through those experiences and overcome and not be overcome. The Lord sees everything, knows everything and controls everything. He knew Jonah’s heart and his hurt and even his hate. He knew Jonah would reveal His Word and what Nineveh’s reaction would be and Jonah’s reaction. He knew Jonah would not leave but would remain, that he would build a shelter and that he would need shade. The Lord knows everything. In each of the times that the Lord prepared something, it was specifically for Jonah (1:17; 4:6-8). Each was prepared before time in preparation for the time it was needed. Each was prepared to correct Jonah or to comfort him. So, the Lord prepared “a gourd.” The potential was in the ground waiting to grow. It was there in the exact spot that Jonah sat. The plant was dormant until God gave the command to grow. This word is only found here in the Old Testament. This is a caster-oil plant that grows from 8-10 feet high with large leaves that would provide good shelter.
Protection: The Command: “and made it to come up over Jonah.” The rapid growth of this plant was not natural, it was miraculous. It had the capacity to grow but the Lord accelerated it. We see God’s Power and God’s Purpose because it came up “over Jonah.” It grew where Jonah was and it grew fast. In the natural the plant does grow, but it takes up to three months to mature and reach six feet, and this plant was fully mature. It was waiting for the God’s Command, to Grow! The Covering: “that it might be a shadow over his head,”— this is the purpose of the gourd. It was for Jonah, to make his life bearable, even though he was in a place and position the Lord did not want him to be. The word “shadow” comes from the idea of “hovering over.” It speaks of “shade,” here it is literal shade. It also speaks of “defense.” The head is the most vulnerable to heat. It also pictures the mind. This was a literal shadow but it also is a picture of something that when Jonah saw it and felt it, made him think about it. The shadow can picture several things. God’s attributes that Jonah just mentioned (Jonah 4:2). God’s promises and provisions. The Old Testament promises. In the New Testament Paul tells us about the “shadow of heavenly things” (Heb.8:5) and the “shadow of good things to come” (Heb.10:1)—all of which are found in and fulfilled in Christ. What is interesting is that the shadow of the gourd is greater than the shadow provided by his shelter. The shelter was the work of Jonah’s hands and the gourd was the work of God’s Hands. What the Lord provides is far greater than anything man can make or provide. The Comfort: “to deliver him from his grief.”— to “deliver” Jonah, to “save” and “defend,” to “rescue” and “recover” him. To save Jonah from himself, from the discomfort and suffering that he brought upon himself. And in the saving and delivering through the provision of the gourd, Jonah will be “rescued” and “recovered” so that he can continue to minister as a prophet of God. That is grace! It is not about taking away the danger, it is about showing him the danger. The danger is Jonah’s attitude is self-destructive. Jonah puts himself in a dangerous place. He sits in a shelter, knowing the danger and does not care. He wanted to die, he has given up. God wants to change his attitude. He has lost his purpose and he has lost his way. The Lord God will first show grace and then withdraw it to teach Jonah the value of it, how precious it is and to appreciate it.
Praise: “So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.”— Jonah was not only glad, but “exceeding glad,” he “rejoiced with great joy.” This was a relief because Jonah was experiencing “great” discomfort. This shows that Jonah was miserable, hot and suffering. What Jonah did not yet see is that all this was self-inflicted. God did not tell him to go and sit there and wait, he chose to do that and there were consequences because of that choice. Sometimes we choose to do something and there are consequences, and the result brings greater adversity. It is not that the Lord did that, it is that we did it to ourselves and the Lord allows it so that we might learn. The gourd is a lesson in grace for Jonah. It was provided not because of Jonah’s prayer, but because of Jonah’s need. Did Jonah see the miracle in the plant? Did he acknowledge the One who provided it? Did he think that provision of it meant God approved of what he was doing? Jonah acknowledged the gourd but did he acknowledge God? The gourd is a picture of grace, it is the protection that is provided not by ourselves but by the Lord. Jesus spoke of the protection that He could and would provide to God’s people if they would accept it. He said He would have gathered them under His wings (Mat.23:37) but they refused. Jonah does not refuse grace, he accepts it but does not yet understand it. Without acknowledging that grace it will be taken away so that he might see what it is he has taken for granted. Jonah did not see the grace that provided the gourd? This is what we need to do when we experience the grace of the Lord in our lives, it the little things and the big things. Often if it is a great matter we give thanks, but often if it something little, something small, we take it for granted. Let us see the gourd in our lives, the rejoice not just in it but in the grace that has provided it.
God’s Timing and Purposes – Ecc. 3:1-8
Pastor Vicky MootsKingman, Kansas
Ecc. 3:8a: “A time to love…” Love actually began before time began, before the foundation of the world, with the love that God had for His Son. God then chose to share that love with His creation, as we read in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Before I go any further, I need to discuss the different types of love that are mentioned in the New Testament. The Greek word “eros,” from which we derive the word “erotic,” referring to a sexual, sensual type of love is not found in the New Testament. There are two other Greek words for love which are used: “phileo” and “agape.”
“Phileo” is often referred to as “brotherly love” and denotes fondness or affection including kissing. This is used to express our natural love for each other, exclusive of sensual love.
“Agape” is the purest form of love. It is selfless, unconditional, committed to the highest good, a self-sacrificial type of love, irrespective of the worthiness of the object and expects nothing in return. It is not possible for us to possess this type of love apart from a relationship with God, as John informs us in I John 4:7-8: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love [agape] is of God; and everyone that loveth of born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
In vs. 9-10, John makes it clear that love [agape] was first sent to us by God in the form of His Son: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [atonement] for our sins.”
As believers, we are commanded “to love’ (“agapao,” the verb form of “agape”) others and God. It is not an option. It is now our “time to love.” Jesus, Himself, gave us this commandment in John 15:12-13.
First of all, in v. 9, He states, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” That means that Jesus loved us with the same quality and intensity of love that His Father loved Him! Now He desires for us to receive the fullness of that divine love and to remain steadfast in it, to continue walking in it day by day.
Then in vs. 12-13, He commands us to love others with the same kind and intensity of love (agape) with which He loved us, a love that caused Him to willingly sacrifice Himself for us: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” That same love also caused Him to lay down His life for His enemies, for we were yet enemies when Christ died for us.
Are we really expected to be able to do that, to love even our enemies? How is that possible? It is not possible if we try to do it on our own. However, anything that we have been commanded to do in the Scripture, we are enabled to do, not by our own efforts, but through the life of Christ in us. Therefore, it is “not I but Christ,” as Paul said in Gal. 2:20.
Agape, divine love, is not based on our emotions; it is the fruit of the Spirit, as Paul tells us in Gal. 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…” We read in Rom. 5:5, “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost…” but we need to share it.
We can choose to manifest God’s love, in spite of our emotions, by yielding to the Holy Spirit in our lives and allowing the “Christ in us” to love through us. It is only then that we are able to love someone who is undeserving, or someone who has hurt us, with the same kind of love that God showed to sinful mankind. That love was placed in our hearts in the person of Jesus Christ when we were born again.
In I Cor. 13 Paul discusses the necessity of divine love (agape), translated “charity,” and states that we are nothing apart from it, no matter how many good deeds we do. He then lists the characteristics of agape in vs. 4-7: “Charity [agape] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things…endureth all things.”
As you can see, all of these characteristics describe the life of Jesus. They are the exact opposite of human nature, and can only be manifest in our lives through the life of Christ in us, as a new creation, as we walk in the Spirit.
So, when is it our “time to love”? Today, and every day, from now through eternity, for Paul tells us in v. 8 that “Charity [agape] never faileth [comes to an end] …” Paul ends the chapter with v. 13: “And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity [agape].” Why is it greater? Because faith and hope will come to an end when we see Christ face to face, but love will continue for eternity. Why not start sharing God’s love now!
The Encouraging Word
“But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory – making us conquerors – through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57 AMP
“He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might He increases power.” Isaiah 40:29
“The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9
“Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His mercy and loving-kindness endure for ever!” Psalm 118:1
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your Name give glory, for your mercy and loving-kindness and for the sake of your truth and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1
Praise the Lord for His faithful working in our lives; revealing the “riches” of His Grace.”
Grace upon Grace
Monday, May 1, 2023
REIGNING IN LIFE
“They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” Rom. 5:17. Herein we read of the present overcoming activity of the believer in fellowship with the dependance upon our dear Lord Jesus Christ. We might also express it like this, living victoriously, being a crown winner, prevailing. There will be no prevailing without availing ourselves of an abundance of God’s grace.
Grace must be received, appropriated, claim, laid hold of, seized upon or grasped by faith. “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” Rom. 5:2. Oh, who can tell the full measurement, and total contents of such a room? Such a standing should produce wholehearted rejoicing from recipients of amazing grace divine.
By the new birth we are destined to reign with Christ, but our capacity for reigning then is being determined now, developed now. Marvelous development is taking place during this life by the present workings of grace. Grace works; The apostle Paul could say I am what I am by the grace of God, it was not bestowed upon me in vain. He found it sufficient to make him something special for God’s glory and so may we. I Cor. 15:10.
Paul spoke of the saints at Philippi as being partaker’s of his grace, and they were in many ways. In this series I would like to consider three aspects of reigning in life. Receiving the grace of God’s peace plan, power plant, and provision pavilion. In the grace of God’s peace plan we find incomprehensible peace whereby we are preserved. At the power plant we may receive energizing grace to persevere, and in His provision pavilion we gain exhaustless supplies to prevail.
INCOMPREHENSIBLE PEACE: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation by known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Phil. 4:4-7.
The grace of God’s peace plan is enjoyed by those who by faith are at peace with God – Rom. 5:1. We experience a peace that “keeps” (guards as with a garrison) our “hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This is realized when we let our requests be made known unto God with thanksgiving. God does resist the proud and give grace to the humble, that cast their care upon Him. Therefore we are challenged to come boldly to the throne of grace, and thus enjoy the comfort of his peace.
OUR ATTITUDE: In Col. 3:15 we are admonished as to what we are to do with this peace. “Let it rule” in our hearts, hence submit to divine control. “Let” expresses yieldedness, obedience. In other words we are to allow his peace act as umpire or be the ruling principle of our living. We may permit peace to decide all issues, each decision may be made in relation to that which accommodates real deep-settled peace. We are told to let God’s peace rule in our hearts, ah, there is the secret of it’s protection.
I have read that archaeologist have discovered castles and forts that have been built over or around deep springs of fountains giving important protection of this water supply which was guarded by a peace force during time of siege. A channel bringing their water supply from without could be cut off, or controlled by their enemy. But they could not stop the spring from within. In Jesus Christ, with Him within, our hearts are wonderfully supplied with an eternal peace, not as the world could give. The world’s peace? Depends on surrounding conditions, and in times of trouble such is cut off, but divine peace is also for us a personal well or spring within. Jesus said, “My peace.” He is the peace bringer, peace maker, prince of peace. His peace overcomes the anxieties and fears that would arise in our hearts and minds as we stay focused by faith on Him. Unbelief and fear of a troubled heart are related, See John 14:27.
Jesus said; “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” – John 14:1-3. Does it not give peace to our heart to know that Jesus wants us with Him? Can we believe all that He went through to prepare a place for us?
“I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me, because he trusteth in me” – Isa. 26:3. We are so prone to fear the unknown, but how comforting to know that our future is in His hands. Now it is the Holy Spirit’s place to reproduce the peace of Christ within us. He inspired Paul to write, “to be spiritually minded is life and peace” – Rom. 8:6. We are told to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” - II Cor. 10:5.
That which only Jesus can impart, is a deep settled calm. It is not a downer that can wear off or leave bad after effects. This that He gives does far more then subdue our anger, or quite our anxieties. His preace is enjoyed by faith which enables us to rise and reign, lifting us above our troubles. We are able to look beyond this earthly scene, and to being caught away to our eternal home. What will all the little daily frets and worries amount to then? How will those things actually be that seem now to loom so large and threatening? Ah, Yes, remembered then will only bring a smile.
Our peace, will be entwined with Jesus; who could be at rest and sleep in the midst of a threatening storm. We certainly face frustration, anxious moments and pass through very disturbing experiences here. They seem to grow and glow and rage. The elements against us on our course seem to multiply as we near the end of this age. The sea and waves are roaring. Yet He can still any storm, speaking to the winds and waves and say “Peace be still” Mk. 4:35-41. Oh, yes, He did it the, and does it now, even in our most troublesome times. SOON HE WILL AGAIN!! He will arise and rebuke the winds and the sea, and there will come the greatest calm the world has known since the fall of man.
The grace of God extends unto us, and provides for a perfect peace, which we cannot explain, for we do not fully understand it. Yet His peace is promised as our’s to enjoy and employ to make us victors.
Part 2 – next issue
Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
MY’OPE, n. A near-sighted person.
This is a physical condition that occurs when the eye can no longer focus well on things at a long distance. It requires glasses or contacts or surgery to fix. If left unfixed, it can lead to unexpected collisions and other clumsiness, as well as many missed opportunities. Some people will take a long time to do something about it, because they don’t want to wear glasses. People might laugh at them.
Unfortunately, many of God’s dear children have this condition spiritually. They can not see well. They are unable to focus on the person of Jesus, and this leads to spiritual collisions and other clumsiness. Fortunately, this is an easy condition to remedy, but we sometimes would rather run around not seeing well. Maybe we are afraid people will laugh at us. Maybe we are a little prideful. Maybe we are just happy with what little we can see.
God wants us to have our eyes focused on Jesus. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2. If we get focused on the burdens of life, we might get depressed. If we get focused on what the world has to offer, we might get distracted. If we get focused on other people, we might get discouraged, or even prideful. If our eyes are on Jesus, then we will not lose sight of the prize, for He IS the prize.
In John 1:29, when John sees Jesus coming, he immediately focuses everyone’s attention on Him. “Behold the Lamb of God.” This Lamb was so important, that John says about Him, “I am not worthy to untie His sandals.” Also, “I must decrease, but He must increase.” John had a great ministry at that point, but he wanted everyone to have their eyes focused on Jesus, and not himself or his ministry.
Just as we might focus our attention, or even our gaze upon someone that we care about deeply, so we ought to focus on Jesus. He is the one that we love. As we get our focus on Him, He will change our lives, and make us more like Him. Our outlook on life will be different. We will begin to see from His viewpoint, and not the viewpoint of this world.
Paul constantly encourages us to look to Jesus. We are to be looking for His coming. Phillipians 3:20, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 9:28. Those that truly love Jesus will be looking for Him to come at any time. This means that we will not be so occupied with this world that we are not ready for Him to come right now.
In keeping focused on Jesus, we also are to keep focused on eternity. The things of this world will seem dim in the view of eternity. We can endure the trials here, because we look for a day when all this will be done away, and we will no longer suffer, but rejoice in His presence.
If you need some spiritual sight correction, just ask the Lord. He will use the Holy Spirit to do spiritual eye surgery so that you can get focused on Jesus, and the eternal hope that we have with Him. This spiritual surgery will require some reading. We cannot be focused on Jesus if we are not reading His Word. We need time for prayer, so we can spend time in His presence. It is necessary to have some time alone with Jesus if we are to be focused on Him.
As we get older in the natural, we find we need more light to see well. The same is true in the spiritual. We need more light to see better. You will find God’s Word will give you light. The more light you get, the better you see. Don’t allow Satan to remove or even reduce your spiritual light as he is always trying to do.
Having good spiritual vision allows us to see far away, into the future where we find that Jesus has a place prepared for us, and a reward for those that have kept their focus on Him. He is always encouraging us to look beyond this world to our eternal future with Him.
So, don’t be a myope. Get some vision correction and get focused on Jesus. Nothing else matters. You’ll never be sorry, and it’s guaranteed, forever. Read Ephesians 1:18. This is my prayer for you.
WE SEE JESUS
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor: that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9.
Right now in reading these words from the Bible, let your mind think about how Jesus Christ did this for us, and all humanity.
The phrase “We see Jesus,” in the Greek means “to look at, or regard or take heed.” First, we see how Jesus came down from His high position with His Father. Apostle Paul speaking of Jesus Christ says in Philippians 2:6-8, “Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant (Gk. slave) and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the fashion of a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Can you in your thoughts see Jesus hanging there? He is no longer on that cross of shame, but now on high at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us. There are eight instances where the Scripture states, that Jesus is right now sitting on the right hand of God.
Jesus Christ, if not made a human being could not have died for our sins. Hebrews 7:25-26 says, “Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him; seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens.” Remember, Jesus did not stay on the cross or in the grave.
Notice our beginning verse, and the phrase, “Jesus - crowned with glory and honor.” Praise God - He is exalted, at the right hand of God the Father, waiting to take His rightful place on His throne. (Read Rev. 4:1-3; 19:1-16). I Timothy 6:14-16 Paul says, “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable. until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in His times He shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, (sovereign God), the King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
Notice our first verse where Paul says, “by the grace of God.” The word “grace” means “unmerited favor, or something for nothing to the undeserving.” None of us can be good enough to receive salvation by our strength because none of us can measure up. Titus 3:4-5, tells us, “But after the kindness and love God our Saviour toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us...”
Looking at Hebrews 2:10, we see, “”For it became Him. For whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” Wasn’t Jesus Christ already “perfect?” Yes, in Who He was as God, but His suffering there on the cross, caused Him to understand the weakness and hurt of the human race.
Without His human suffering, we could say, “He doesn’t understand my weakness, or how much I’m hurting, or how I feel.” Because He became human, He does understand. He has compassion on us. Because He has a human nature, He understands our feelings and emotions.
Verse 11 says, “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” The word “sanctifieth” means “set apart to God.” In verse 14, Paul says, Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” When Jesus died and rose again, He destroyed the devil having the power of death.”
Verse 15 gives us assurance when it says, “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Verse 17 is such a dynamic verse. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
Verse 17 says, “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Now, He knows how we feel and what we suffer. Now, He is a merciful High Priest. He has made “reconciliation” between the people and God.
The word “reconciliation” means “to atone for sin - to be merciful.” He paid the price that was brought to God and accepted for our salvation. Praise the Lord!
LEARNING THE HIDDEN TRUTHS
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing but the honor of kings is to search out a matter” - Prov. 25:2.
By way of introduction, I would like to define the words used here. The word “glory” means splendor or lavishness, honor (-able). The word “conceal” means to hide, be absent, keep close, keep secret. The word honor is the same word as glory used already. The word “search” means to penetrate, hence to examine intimately, find out, seek out.
FIRST OF ALL WE WANT TO LOOK AT THE FACT THAT GOD DOES HIDE TRUTH.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing…” and in Isaiah 6:9-10, “Hear ye indeed, but understand not, and see ye indeed, but perceive not.” God does not have to reveal His Word to everyone. We hear so often by the ungodly and even the carnal that there are so many contradictions in the Bible and that many things don’t make sense. Those that say such things are often bitter toward God and His word, but actually they don’t appreciate God’s Word and don’t really want to know and understand it. Paul spoke in I Cor. 14:38, “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” If they choose to be ignorant there is nothing that we can do. And God, again, is not in any way obligated to reveal these truths found in His Word to them.
Then Jesus quotes from Isaiah 6, in Matthew 13:10-18, in the parable of the sower. Notice his disciples came and asked about the parable. Jesus said in verses 14-15, “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall not perceive. For this people’s (and this tells why God hides truth, they don’t understand) heart is waxed gross, their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” In verse 16, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” In verse 18, “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.” And Jesus went on to explain the truths within this parable. Did everyone in this audience understand what Jesus was talking about? We would conclude that they didn’t. Did they want to? Apparently not. Do even the vast majority of God’s people want to know and understand His Word today? Sadly, we often come to the conclusion they do not. They don’t seem to care enough to stick around and ask Him to explain it. They don’t take the time to learn. The disciples heard the same thing others heard and likewise didn’t understand, but they hung around and asked Him to explain the parable, which Jesus did. God is the same today. To those who earnestly care and want to know, He is faithful to reveal His Word to that heart. If our heart is at all tender and wanting to know the Word of God, He will reveal it to us. I’m very confident of this. But again, many simply don’t want to know.
Remember in ACTS 7:54 (Stephen’s sermon), “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth,” and V. 57, “and stopped their ears.” Notice they were cut to the heart and stopped their ears. This faithful brother anointed by the Holy Spirit was sharing God’s precious Word with them and they did not want to hear. They were convicted by the truth and turned from it. And so it is today, that many simply don’t want to hear. It’s uncomfortable for them (they stop their ears, close their eyes and heart) because the Word convicts them. Because God’s Word does convict and convince of sin and unrighteousness, many don’t want to responsibility. They choose to stay in sin and to be ignorant of God’s Word that would set them free from the power and bondage of sin. Another reason men don’t understand these wonderful truths is that they don’t want or can’t appreciate them. Read and consider Matthew 7:67-8. “Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” A dog cannot appreciate nor discern what is valuable. We would not be so foolish as to put a necklace of pearls about a pig and turn him loose in his pen. Before long he would lost the pearls and destroy them. They are of no value to him. Therefore, a pig cannot appreciate a necklace of pearls. And many today cannot appreciate God’s Word enough to care for, protect, keep it and allow it to enhance the life of Christ within. God has placed His Word above His name. He values it and does not feel that He has to share it with those who do not appreciate it.
There is a story of a little girl who had a pig. She brought him in cleaned him up placed a bow about his neck and then turned him back into his pen. He soon was wallowing in the mud again. A pig doesn’t appreciate these things. Sadly, the world doesn’t appreciate God’s Word. Even sadder, perhaps, many of God’s own people have too little regard for the Word also. I like what Job said in Job 23:12, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job appreciated God’s Word and valued it, and God was faithful to reveal wonderful truths to him.
Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” V. 8 – “For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” God is faithful to reveal His Word as we ask Him to help our understanding. Luke 10:21, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” We think of the wise and prudent as having ability to really appreciate the Word. The scripture talks about the foolishness of peaching – to the wise of this world it is foolishness. But to those who are of a humble spirit, God does reveal His Word to them. To those who despise and reject His Word it will remain hidden. They will never understand God’s Word. Even with all of their so-called wisdom, knowledge, and education, they will not come to a good understanding of the Word. This is by choice. Those who do go on and come to an understanding of God’s Word have made a conscious effort to do so.
SECONDLY: “…BUT THE HONOR (GLORY) OF KINGS...”
Consider Rev. 1:5-6, “…and hath made us Kings and priests unto God,” also Rev. 5:8-10,”…And hath made us unto our God kings and priests.” Who are these kings and priests? Those, first of all, that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 1:5). And secondly, I believe those that are laying hold of God’s Word.
Next issue – The third point – Searching out a matter.
Debra Isenbletter, PastorChristian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Jonah 4:5—”So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.” In this verse we can see five things concerning Jonah and what he does, Separation; Observation; Preparation; Relaxation and Expectation.
Separation: Jonah “went out” of the city after he had preached and after he had prayed. He went out weary but also angry. He went out with an attitude. He had seen the people’s repentance and he knew that God had seen their repentance. I believe that Jonah went out of the city with the same attitude that he went into the city. The people had changed their mind, but not the prophet. He still felt they deserved to be destroyed and still felt they did not deserve mercy. His attitude reflects the attitude of legality, it is rigid and unbending. Jonah “went out” of “the city” of Nineveh. It was in “the city” where both the people and the prophet were tested. He is like those that Paul said began well (Gal.3:3) and who did run well (Gal.5:7). He has forgotten that the Lord had begun a good work but was not finished (Phil.1:6). It is not enough to simply do what the Lord asks, we must do it wholeheartedly not grudgingly, or resentfully. Jonah’s separation does not seem to be with the right attitude of heart.
Observation: The first thing we see is that Jonah “sat” and then where he sat “on the east side of the city.” To “sit” can mean “to sit and wait” and Jonah was sitting and waiting to see if God would change His mind. To “sit” can mean “to be set” and Jonah was “set” in his attitude, he would not change his mind. To “sit means “to sit as a judge” and Jonah had already judged the city guilty and deserving of destruction. Jonah chose to sit on “the east side of the city.” The Bible does not tell us why he chose this place but it must have been both a place of good observation and at the same time a place of good protection. Jonah wanted to be close enough to see and safe enough to be secure. He chose the place but God knew exactly where Jonah would go and was waiting for him. “Nineveh” had fifteen monumental gateways that people could use to enter the city. Five of them have been excavated and located and their names found. One gate was used to take livestock to water, and one was used for ceremonial purposes. One gate was located near the south end of the eastern city wall and was considered one of the most important gates.” Jonah leaving the city may have used this gate.
Jonah departed the city and sat to wait to see what he thought God should do. He did not wait to see the salvation of the Lord, instead he waited to see the judgment of the Lord. We can sit and wait on the Lord with a right attitude or a wrong attitude. Ruth is an example of the right attitude, she waited to see “how the matter would fall” (Ruth 3:18). She sat in faith. Jonah waited to see “how (he thought) the matter (should) fall.” Jonah sat in fury. There is a difference in the words would and should. In “would” Ruth did not know. She waited on the Lord. Jonah did not wait to see what the Lord “would” do, he already knew what he thought the Lord “should” do. There are different ways we can sit and wait, Jonah sat and waited but not in faith in God’s mercy.
Preparation: “and there made him a booth,”— Since Jonah does not know how long he will have to wait he makes a “booth,” a “temporary shelter;” “a tabernacle.” If Jonah only preached one day, then he would have to wait for 40 days. If he preached for 40 days, he would still have to wait but not as long. He made a booth because he knew how to do this. He had done this for the Feast of Tabernacles, to celebrate the harvest (Exo.23:16; Deu.16:13) and to rest and remember deliverance (Lev.23:33-43). Jonah forgot what the booth represented, deliverance and not destruction. He should be celebrating God’s deliverance instead he wants to celebrate God’s destruction. He made a booth, a temporary shelter but it will be used to teach him a permanent lesson.
Relaxation: After building this booth, Jonah sat under the “shadow” or shade it provided. He sat there and it became a place of contemplation, a place of deliberation, a place of protection and a place of instruction. The moment we sit still is the moment the Lord can show us what we need to see. The Lord does not speak to Jonah in words but nonetheless He speaks to Jonah clearly. This shelter would not be enough to meet his need. God would use this to reach him and to teach him. What God teaches Jonah is grace.
The word “shadow” is found in the Psalms and there are two different types. There is the shadow of death which can be a place of testing (Psa.23:4); a place of discipline (Psa.44:19,22) and a place of despair (Psa.107:0-11). There is the shadow of God (of His wings). This is a place of hiding (Psa.17:8); a place of love (Psa.36:7); a place of mercy (Psa.57:1) and a place of rejoicing (Psa.63:7). Jonah in attitude is sitting under the “shadow of death” but the Lord will show Jonah “the shadow of His wings.” Jonah can sit there and look at death or look at life, he can grieve or he can rejoice.
Expectation: Jonah still had hope that the city would still be destroyed. Why? One reason is because God said He would do this in the beginning and another reason is that God had not actually said that He would not do this at the end. Jonah suspected that God might not destroy the city but did not know for sure. He knew God saw evil and judged it. He knew God saw repentance and received it. He knew what God could do but not what God would do. Sometimes the Lord does not have to speak directly to us because we already know. Jonah already knew but did not want to believe it nor want to see it. He may have thought their past evil outweighed their present repentance. He saw what they did but did not think it was enough or that it would last. He saw uncircumcised Gentiles, idolaters, He saw what he wanted to see not what God saw.
Jonah knew what God might do, he was afraid He would do it and he would not believe it. It is God’s character, that description that Jonah gave earlier that told Jonah what God would do. Those wonderful attributes: “gracious;” “merciful;” “slow to anger;” “great kindness” and “repenting of evil.” The Lord does not have to speak to us to show us what He will do, all we have to do is look in the Word and He shows us. All we have to do is know His character and He shows us. The question is, will we accept what the Lord shows us concerning Himself? Jonah could not accept these attributes of God when applied to the Gentiles. Jonah wanted the city to be destroyed.
God’s Timing and Purposes – Ecc. 3:1-8
Pastor Vicky MootsKingman, Kansas
Ecc. 3:7c: “…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” Jesus remained silent at the time of His trial, but He did not remain silent on the cross. Even though it was physically difficult for Him to speak while enduring the suffering of the crucifixion, it is recorded in the Gospels that He spoke seven specific things before He died. It was now His time to speak.”
First, He asked His Father to forgive those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34); second, He assured the repentant thief who was hanging next to Him that he would be with Him in Paradise (Luke 23:43); third, He committed the care of His mother to the beloved disciple, John (John 19:26-27); fourth, He cried out in despair, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46); fifth, He stated, “I thirst” (John 19:28); sixth, He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30); and His seventh and final cry was to dismiss His spirit into His Father’s hands (Luke 23:46).
Each of these things which Jesus spoke were important, but I would like to specifically discuss the sixth one: “It is finished,” for it is the victor’s cry. Because of Jesus’ “time to keep silence,” He was condemned to die. But because of His death on the cross, the work of redemption was accomplished. It was finished, completed, once for all. The Lamb of God that was able to take away the sin of the world had to be slain, but that was not defeat. It was victory because He rose triumphant from the grave: the Victor over death itself.
It is now our “time to speak.” The angel at the empty tomb told the women, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said…go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead…” (Matt. 28:6-7).
Just prior to ascending into heaven, Jesus commanded his disciples, and the other believers with them, to preach the Gospel, and He promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower them, and us, to be witnesses of His resurrection, not only in Jerusalem but unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Ten days later, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, and 3,000 people were saved. The good news began to spread even farther after the lame man at the temple gate was healed through the ministry of Peter and John.
But then the persecution began. The religious leaders were “grieved that they (Peter and John) taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2), so they arrested and questioned them. At this point they tried to silence them by threatening them: “and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:18-20). Isn’t that what witnesses are supposed to do: to speak what they have seen and heard? We are to do the same, as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses, and not to keep silent.
We read of further attempts to silence the early apostles in Acts 5:18-21, which states that they “laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.”
They could not be silent, for it was their “time to speak”, as they had been commanded by God. When they were discovered teaching in the temple, the high priest asked them, “Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this name? …Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28-29). Then they were beaten and commanded again not so speak in the name of Jesus before they were released. But they did not keep silent, for v. 42 declares, “…they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”
Neither did Paul and Silas keep silent when they were beaten and cast into the inner prison and placed in stocks for preaching the gospel. Acts 16:25 tells us, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” You would think that midnight would be a time to keep silent! But it was their “time to speak,” and they could not be silenced.
In the midst of our darkest night and our deepest trial, when there seems to be no way out, and we are imprisoned by doubt and fear, we need to lift our voices to God in praise and not allow Satan to silence us. In addition, in these last days, we are living in a time of deep spiritual darkness, and midnight is fast approaching. Now is not the time to keep silent, for the spiritual prisoners in bondage all around us need to hear us singing and praying and praising God so that they can be set free.
We have been called to be witnesses to speak “the truth, nothing but the truth.” Satan is, through various means, including the pandemic, still trying to silence the voices of ministers and other Christians at this present time, even here in America, just as he did 2,000 years ago. Last summer, the governor of California instituted a policy banning singing or chanting in church since it might spread the virus, and yet large crowds of protesters were allowed to shout and chant while marching in the streets. Don’t be fooled into thinking that persecution won’t come to Christians in America.
Satan knows that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and he is using fear to close churches and to close the mouths of believers in order to try and prevent the Word of God from being spoken. We need to pray in the same manner as did the early apostles, in Acts 4:29, when they were under persecution: “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” Then we, too, will have the holy boldness to do as God commanded in Isa. 58:1: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet…” for now is our “time to speak.”
Song: The Camel Train
V.1 T’was a day in early springtime
By an ancient wayside well,
Eleazar paused to rest his camel train;
He had found a bride for Isaac
E’er the evening shadows fell,
And his weary journey had not been in vain.
So he took the fair Rebekah,
Decked in jewels rich and rare,
Back to Abraham who waited far away;
Where Rebekah loved her Isaac
And he loved Rebekah fair -
O, it must have been a happy wedding day!
Chorus: O, get ready! – the evening shadows fall!
Don’t you hear the Eleazar call?
There is going to be a wedding;
Our joys will soon begin -
In the evening – when the camel train comes in.
V.2 So the blessed Holy Spirit
From the Father-God above
Has come down to earth
To find a worthy bride;
For our Isaac over yonder
Has prepared His tents of love,
For He wants His fair Rebekah by His side.
We have left our kinfolks gladly,
We have bid the world goodby,
We shall soon behold our Isaac
In our home beyond the sky -
What a happy, happy wedding that will be!
O, get ready! – the evening shadows fall!
Don’t you hear the Eleazar call?
There is going to be a wedding;
Our joys will soon begin
In the evening –
when the camel train comes in.
V.3 We are on our camel journey
to the land beyond the sea,
Where our Isaac waits
to meet His happy Bride;
What a holy consummation! What a glorious
When he sees the fair Rebekah by His side.
That will be a joyful meeting
When the camel train comes in,
When Rebekah leaves her camel by the way;
When we close our weary journey
Midst the joyful noise and din -
That will truly be a happy wedding day.
O, get ready! – the evening shadows fall!
Don’t you hear the Eleazar call?
There is going to be a wedding;
Our joys will soon begin
In the evening –
when the camel train comes in.
Saturday, April 1, 2023
BELIEVERS DAILY BUSINESS
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:23-24
We each have our own responsibility that the Lord gives the members of His body. “But let every man prove his own work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” Gal. 6:4-5. It is good that each individual count it a privilege to be faithful in his personal task. Those that will not deny themselves, will find self occupation too heavy a load to also bear another’s weight. The weight of a dead man is far too much to carry, daily.
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Paul said I count the things gain to me, loss for Christ. When Jesus said, “Follow me” He was on His way to the cross and death, but praise God, from death unto life everlasting he passed and we follow him there. What a wonderful and comforting promise we find in Deut. 33:25 – “as thy days so shall thy strength be.” However many or long our days may be, whatever each day may contain in events, circumstances, trying situations, daily vexing detours or exceeding joys, we are to find in Him sufficient strength.
Paul said, “I die daily” – I Cor. 15:30-31. He also said that he carried a daily care of the churches – II Cor. 11:28. He spoke of the life of Christ being manifest in our mortal bodies, and “to live is Christ, and die is gain.” As a living sacrifice Paul’s life was poured out unto the Lord, and flowed out in service unto the people.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah” Psalm 68:19. From other translations we get the thought of blessing the Lord for daily sustaining us, bearing our burdens and winning for us the victory. Who can tell all the benefits, or number them every day? He has indeed a special load ready for us to pick up daily. What shall we say? Oh, well, I’ll just skip what the Lord has for me today. I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Who can guarantee that there will be the same availability tomorrow or that we will have the same need? It doesn’t seem that He would have us satisfied with leftovers or go on yesterdays load. Of course on occasion He could give us a meal like He fed Elijah, once.
“Give us day by day our daily bread” Luke 11:3. We may live from hand to mouth, His hand to our mouth. Whether we need natural or spiritual nourishment, He would have us ask, look to him, and expect from him, daily. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”– Luke 4:4. Oh, I thank God more and more for His beneficial words of life.
What does it seem that people are most likely to complain or murmur about? Is it food and drink? I am afraid that God’s people are far more consistent in murmuring than in gathering divine provisions. There were problems in Israel’s history, Exodus 16, and also in the early church that they had to deal with, when complaints were made about the service– Acts 6:1. Israel, having come out of Egyptian bondage it seems that some of them still hand an appetite for Egyptian cuisine, Leeks and garlic. “And the children of Israel said unto them, would to God we had died at the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full, for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger” – Ex. 16:3.
Well, God heard their complaints, opened the windows of heaven, and poured out for them their daily victuals morning and evening, manna and quail. The supply was absolutely sufficient for the multitude of that nation. The one main stipulation was that they were to go out and gather daily each day’s supply, every man according to His eating. On the sixth day they were to gather two day’s supply, and rest on the Sabbath. They could take what they would want or need, but, like we tell our children, eat what you take.
The bread from heaven typified our precious Lord Jesus Christ in His wondrous condescension. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”– Jn. 6:47-52. As the true bread from heaven Jesus has given us not just to hold to as a theory, but we are to assimilate all that we receive of him for practical use. He wants to meet the whole need we have for Him, every day. It is our sweet privilege to enter into the preciousness of Christ as the bread of life, day after day.
BUSINESS OF NOBILITY
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”– Acts 17:11. It is so very important how receptive we are to the word of life, written or spoken. To be attentive to God’s precious Word is to experience marvelous changes of it’s effectual working in all those who truly believe- I Thess. 2:13. David said, O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him– Psa. 34:8. Peter said, “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious”– I Pet. 2:3.
Elihu told Job and his comforters, “Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that hath knowledge. For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat”– Job 34:2-3. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food”– Job 23:12. An important attitude was manifested in those at Berea. They not only had a readiness of mind, but were studious, searching the scripture, daily. Paul told the saints at Thessolonica, “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” – I Thess. 5:20-21. As we feed on the whole counsel of God, daily we will develop a healthy appetite for the rightly divided word of truth. We then will know better than to try to satisfy ourselves with religious junk food, or hog’s husks.
We do well to gather all we can during this Age of Grace. It will soon be over. Let us now appropriate and share what we take in daily while it is alive in us and to us. The Hebrews were told, But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” – Heb. 3:13. Let us urge, encourage, admonish each other every day, reminding ourselves of the imminence of that glorious event upon us, as protection, and prevention against hardness in both the exhorted and the exhorter. GOOD DAILY BUSINESS.
Believe It Or Not
Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
There was a show called “Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” and also a museum by the same name. They have collected many things that are hard to believe. Ripley was intrigued by things that seemed hard to believe. Sometimes, even after seeing them with our own eyes, we wonder if they are really true. It is our nature to be skeptical of things we are not familiar with or have not seen with our own eyes.
God has called on us to believe His Word. Even though we cannot see God, with our natural eyes, we take Him at His Word. Why would I want to do that? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. In verse 6 we are told that “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Those that come to God must do so in faith, believing. So, faith is the very basis of our relationship with God. We believe God’s Word, because we have seen that it is true and that He keeps His promises.
None of us has seen God at any time, and so we must believe, by faith in His Word, that He is God. We must believe by faith, that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place, and to forgive us our sins. We must accept by faith the free salvation which God offers us. But that is not all. We must also continue by faith to walk with God in close fellowship. We will not enjoy the fulness of what God has to offer, until we accept it by faith.
In His Word, God tells us about the things that He has done, and the things that He will do. We see that God is ABLE to DO, and always DOES what He says He will do. When we read about God’s faithfulness in the past, the Holy Spirit increases our faith in God for the future. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.
So, when God makes promises to us about our future, we can take Him at His Word, and simply believe. God has made many great and precious promises to those that believe on Jesus Christ as their Saviour. “... Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: ...” 2 Peter 1:4. These promises present us with a great hope. “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” Colossians 1:5.
One of those promises is found in Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” This promise is hard to believe. It is beyond our imagination to understand what it could mean to be glorified together with Jesus. Well, I choose to believe it and am incredibly grateful for what God is doing in my life.
God deals with us according to His Word. We cannot expect to know about God’s dealings without reading and studying His Word. As we begin to understand God’s way of dealing with us, our faith will increase, because we will see that He is doing just what He said, and that even the suffering here is working right now in lives of those that yield to Him. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18.
As we read God’s Word more, we come to realize the immensity of His promises, and they might seem hard to believe, but our faith increases with each time we read. So, spending time in the Word of God is important because it is also how we are “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.”
When we spend too much time in the things of the world, it can tend to diminish our faith. That is one reason that we gather together in church to take in God’s Word and encourage one another. However, church should not be the only place we hear God’s Word. We need to study every day to let God speak to us and increase our faith. We can read and study anytime. Also, so that we can have fellowship with others of like faith. It is very important to be in church at every opportunity that we get.
THE WORK OF GOD IN US
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“For we are labourers together with God, ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” I Corinthians 3:9-10.
Apostle Paul is the “wise masterbuilder” (Vs.10). In verse 9, we see that we “are God’s building” which means, “God’s structure.” Apostle Paul was the wise master builder. God appointed him to bring forth the message of GRACE, which is the very important means to produce in the believers the growth which is needed to be established and ready to reign with Christ one of these days very soon. God gave the ability to Apostle Paul as he wrote the fourteen epistles to various churches while he was here on earth. God is “the ultimate master builder,” but He used Apostle Paul to write the message of truth down. How blessed we are to have these wonderful epistles available for us.
In Philippians 2:13-16, says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” He Has a divine blueprint. Note this phrase, “His good pleasure.” It pleases the Father when we walk in the Spirit and yield to the working of God in our lives. He gets much pleasure when He sees us “presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice” to Him and His will (Rom.12:1). What He is creating is beautiful and perfect! Our part is to let Him work. Apostle Paul is our example of letting God do His work in us, as he went through many trials.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work, to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever” (Heb.13:20-21). Notice the words in Vs 21 “make you perfect.” This phrase means in the Greek, “to complete throughly.” Notice- it is “in every good work.” We are ordained to do good works, this is what God has called us to do. This is the manifestation of the life of Christ which dwells in us, “through Jesus Christ.” He gives us power to overcome and do His will.
“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory; For this cause also thank we God without ceasing because when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the words of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thess. 2:11-13). In I Thess 1:5, it says “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost...”
How Important is God’s Word? Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The Word of God is the only true authority. What you or I think means nothing, if not absolutely in tune with God’s Word. Apostle Paul admonished in II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” As we believe the Word of God, it works in our lives and changes us. Other things that work in our lives is found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Apostle Paul says in II Corinthians 4:16-18, “For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Our outward man, our body carries the life of Christ in us, known as “the inner man.” The inner man (Christ in us) is renewed day by day, as we yield ourselves to God’s working in us. Notice the words “day by day.” This divine work is going on continually, until the Lord comes, or until we go home to Christ by death. There is not one day, as we get up in the morning, that God is not working to change us - day by day (Vs 16).
We have a will. We must let Him do His work in us. I always marvel at Paul calling his trials and tribulations a “light affliction.” These tests are “but for a moment.” How can these troubles be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in heaven? Romans 8:18 says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This is the secret of overcoming in our trials and tests - don’t look at these trials, and tests etc. II Corinthians 4:18, “While we look not at the things which are seen:
Psalms 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.” The word “strength” in the Hebrew language means “a fortified place, fortress, rock or stronghold.” We as humans are weak, we need the strength of our God to get us through life. God helped His people in Bible times in very ample and abundant ways.
When Moses brought Israel out of Egypt, and faced the Red Sea, the armies of Pharaoh were close behind. God caused the waters to go back, and Israel was able to cross over in deliverance. Exodus 15:1-2, Moses and Israel sang to the LORD, “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” In I Samuel 17, we find a young man named David (who later became the king of Israel). He fought against a great enemy of Israel, Goliath, a giant, a champion of the Philistines. God helped young David win the battle - killing this terribly wicked man, and delivering Israel. I Samuel. 17:47, David said, “...the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you (the giant) into my hands.”
There are many examples in the Bible of people who were in circumstances that seemed to be absolutely impossible to be delivered from, but God delivered by His great strength. In II Corinthians 12:9, God spoke to Apostle Paul, and said, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” – Eph.6:10.