Tag Archives: Satan

My Hope

David said….. “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope”   Act 2:26

Photo credit: www.reformingculture.com

God loved man so much that he made a garden for him and provided all he needed…at that point, Adam had no need for hope. Right?

But then Adam fell – and he fell hard – so hard in fact, that we are still paying for it to this day! His mistake ushered sin into this perfect world God had created – and since God could not abide by sin, man became lost and without hope. 

Yes there is hope for us – it does exist – but our hope is in Jesus Christ alone! Our faith leads us to wait for his return which means, we have nothing to hope for but Jesus Christ!  This is not something we “wish” for like a birthday present…….

When I was young, I remember being asked what I wanted for my birthday.  I shared my wish with anyone who would listen…but then I waited impatiently because I was never really sure if my wish would come true – sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn’t.  Of course, I was always encouraged to blow out all the candles if I wanted my wish to come true.  I could never understand why my wish wouldn’t come true if I told anyone……..  Where did that come from?

Jesus did not die so we would need to “wait and see.“….nor do we need to search this world for his hope……our hope is the blessed assurance that he was raised from the dead and that he is coming back for us!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

I remember being left at the babysitters and my mother promising to come back at the end of the day to pick us up. That was always a long day, because I was never quite sure if she was really coming back for us…but of course, she always did………

Satan has been trying to convince us that God is not coming for us….and by the looks of things more people are believing that every day!

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:5

A lot of things offer us hope in this world, but because they are attached to this world, they will never be anything but short-term illusions because God does not intend for us to remain here and he paid the high price for our souls so we wouldn’t need anything else!  Our society is designed as if this is our final destination!  Don’t be fooled…..there is a force at work in this world intent on ensuring we never reach our true destination!

I remember having to live with relatives while growing up and how I would always hope for a place of my own…….

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.”  John 14:2

As for our nation….Aren’t you getting tired of being told, “if we just get the right man in the white house or….”just a little more tax…..”   or  ……” with a little sacrifice ….”  Can anyone tell me how long we’ve been fooling ourselves with this false hope? Why are people pushing Jesus aside while waiting for “something more?”  It makes no sense to push aside the hope that has already been given us, in search of false illusions. Hasn’t our hope already been delivered to us?

I believe our hope first arrived the moment that Jesus Christ was born – but the hope that we can now be reconciled with God and have eternal life actually was given to us the moment he died! 

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”  John 19:30

Sin is still in the world – and always will be – so, does that mean there is no hope for man?

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  Romans 5:2

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”    John 14:6

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In Christ alone my hope is found………

Visit Mark at Planting Potatoes.

Sowing Seed, Seeing Fruit

There is an interesting parable that Jesus told about a farmer and his field. It was really a story about the word of God and our lives. Here’s the story explained to the disciples,

Mark 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Any farmer worth his pay will know that if you don’t put seed in the ground you will never see a harvest. Somehow, in our day, many Christians I meet don’t believe this is true. They have the strange idea that somehow God should just make fruit grow in their lives without any attempt on their part to, 1. put some seed in the ground or, 2. to be a field that can grow something.

The story Jesus told speaks to an interesting reality- it’s easy to get distracted and end up without any fruit in your life. There’s a lot that catches a life and makes it unproductive. If you know that you will realize how important this sowing seed thing really is.

Here’s another thing to note- all this soil, these different kinds of soil, are all in the same field….in the same life. I have times when nothing grows and other times and places in my life that are wonderfully fruitful. It’s all part of a life lived with distractions. A life lived in a fallen world.

But the key for me is this- I have to throw some seed in my field! If I don’t do that then nothing can grow. In other words I have to get into God’s word and read it! If I don’t put his word in my mind, in my heart then the world will put it’s seeds there. My life is like that field, ready to grow whatever I throw on the soil. It doesn’t care what kind of seed it is, it’s job is to produce fruit. And so, each life will see a harvest. Some rich with produce and other lives full of thorns and loss.

The key for me is this- that I get God’s word into my life, my field. If I do that then God can make something grow….there’s a harvest coming. There will be a harvest IF I plant good seed.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Who Do You Answer To?

1 Cor. 11:3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ,

This morning I came upon this phrase in a passage I am reading and it caught my attention in a new way. Suddenly I saw that it doesn’t say Christ is the head of every CHRISTIAN man, but in fact the claim of this passage is that Christ is the head of EVERY man. Every man answers to Christ because he is their authority, their boss, their Lord. The great battle of mankind is this battle over who do we answer to. The world claims, “I’m my own boss! I answer to no one! I have no head over me.” But this verse claims that every man is accountable to Christ, he is the boss. It’s this rebellion against his reign in their lives that is the great battle of the human race. It was Satan’s rebellion. It was his temptation to Adam and Eve. It’s his temptation to me to rebel and be my own boss. It is his invitation to you as well….you don’t have to answer to anyone. You are the lord of your own life, but it’s not true. Paul is not vague on this when he writes, I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ. What we see around us is the great cosmic rebellion against the Lord of heaven and earth, but one day….one day soon….

at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Have You Considered My Servant

Marie is @spreadingJOY on twitter and through her Non Profit Spreading Joy, she is encouraging everyone to do what they can, where they are – with what they have.  Making a difference has never been easier.  May the JOY of the Lord be your strength and your heart be encouraged as you consider this passage of scripture today.


And the LORD said unto satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth…. Job 2:3

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, or what financial status you achieve – YOU are going to have problems.  I realize I’m not being little Miss Sunshine with that statement nor am I spreading joy, but let’s face it, it is the truth.

The question then becomes, what are you going to do with your troubles?

When we are looking at our troubles, our hearts are tired, weak and weary.  We aren’t thinking straight because we are desperately searching for a way to escape, a way to fix what is broken or a new path because the old one is nothing more than a huge sink hole, waiting to swallow us into the belly of the earth.  Desperation is not fun. Then the horror really sets in when you think your friends will be there to help you and they decide to tell you why you are deserving of what you are receiving.  You were simply looking for some comfort, some support or even just some company and that just never happened as your friends decided to explore the possibilities of how you brought your trials upon yourself.

Troubles come at us for so many reasons.  Here are just a few.

  1. To grow our faith. When we have endured the night of horrors, our faith is strengthened for the next time. Each trial, each tribulation and every victory over them increases our faith.  Have you ever really thought about what you are praying when you pray “Lord, increase my faith?”
  2. To allow us to help others. I do not know the pain and grief of sending a child on to heaven before me.  I have several friends who do know this.  In the year 2000, both of my children’s best friends died.  Megan was 5 and Todd was 9.  I encouraged, prayed and helped where I could but I still had my children.  When a friend is grieving over the loss of their Dad and she happens to be a daddys girl – THAT kind of pain…I know.  There are so many ways we can encourage each other.  I’ve prayed for many people who needed jobs, but until recently, I did NOT know their frustrations in looking for one. Filling out the endless ocean of boxes and questions that take an hour to apply for one job is nothing short of a nightmare.  When I pray for those who need jobs now, I pray with more of an understanding of what they are going through in even looking for a job.
  3. For God’s glory. Sometimes we have troubles just so that when God has brought us through and we sing “how great is our God” because His mercy and grace were enough, our Lord is glorified and all those around us see.
  4. We reap what we sow. Then there are times that we have troubles because we have brought them upon ourselves.  Sure we may have asked for forgiveness, sure we may have stopped sowing that which would produce trouble, but the fact remains that sometimes we bring it on ourselves.  The bad part about this is that we don’t simply hurt ourselves when we do this, we hurt everyone around us.  You never just hurt your own self.  Ever.

 

What I really want to get through to you is, maybe JUST MAYBE the reason your troubles are mounting up one right after the other, the mountain is getting bigger by the minute and you’ve been beat down time and time again very well could be because God said…. “have you considered my servant………………?” and you may as well insert YOUR name there.

Out of everyone on the earth at that time, God PERSONALLY picked out Job and asks satan if he had considered him.  I know Job probably didn’t realize what an honor this was nor did he consider it an honor at the time, but have you ever really thought about that statement? I don’t know how many people were on the earth at that time, but God named JOB.  Can you imagine with me the kind of love Job had to have for the Lord for him to be singled out by God in that fashion? Do you wonder what Job must have done day in and day out to grab the heartstrings of the Lord so that he would call him by name, saying there is none like him on the earth?

If you feel like you are enduring the worst times of your life and you know you’ve been faithfully serving the Lord. Stay faithful, keep trusting in the One that holds your soul in His hands.  Allow him to carry you through. Just as His grace was enough for Job, it will be enough for you. Look around and see what you can learn, see what you can carry with you and rest safe in your Father’s arms. I Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that He will not give us more than we can handle.  Please do consider that the trials you are going through could be because God said to satan “have you considered……..?”

If things are going good for you right now and you are faithfully serving your redeemer, consider this – is it enough to grab His attention the way Job did?  Would you be willing to endure the trials if the Lord said your name instead of Job’s?

I don’t know about you, but I want the Lord elbowing the angels….pointing down at me and saying…hey – there she is – THERE’S my girl!!!  Essentially, that is EXACTLY what he did in Job’s case.

Have you considered……..?