Guest Post – Truths to Live By – One Day at a Time

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StudyLight.org

Devotional: February 5th

“I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 NASB)

No purpose of God can be thwarted. Man may have his wickedness, but God has His way. Man may have a lot to say, but God will have the last word. Solomon reminds us that “there is no wisdom or counsel against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30). And Jeremiah adds his testimony that “every purpose of the Lord shall be performed” (Jeremiah 51:29).

Joseph’s brothers decided to get rid of him by selling him to a band of Midianites. But all they succeeded in doing was accomplishing the will of God. The Midianites provided free transportation for Joseph to Egypt where he rose to be Prime Minister and the savior of his people.

When the man who was born blind received his sight and trusted the Savior, the Jews excommunicated him from the synagogue. Was it a great victory for them? No, Jesus would have led him out anyway because the Good Shepherd “calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out” (John 10:3 NASB). So they merely saved Jesus the effort of doing it.

Men’s wickedness reached its Everest when they took the Lord Jesus and, nailing Him to a cross, put Him to death. But Peter reminded them that He was delivered up by “the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). God overruled man’s gargantuan crime by raising Christ up to be Lord and Savior.

Donald Gray Barnhouse told the story of a wealthy landowner who had beautiful trees on his estate. “But he had a bitter enemy who said, ‘I will cut down one of his trees; that will hurt him.’ In the dark of the night the enemy slipped over the fence and went to the most beautiful of the trees, and with saws and axes he began to work. In the first light of morning he saw in the distance two men coming over the hill on horseback, and recognized one of them as the owner of the estate. Hurriedly he pushed the wedges out and let the tree fall; but one of the branches caught him and pinned him to the ground, injuring him so badly that he died. Before he died, he screeched out, ‘Well, I have cut down your beautiful tree,’ and the estate owner looked at him with pity and said, “This is the architect I have brought with me. We had planned to build a house, and it was necessary to cut down one tree to make room for the house; and it is the one you have been working at all night.'” 

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Truths to Live By – One Day at a Time‘ Copyright 2007 © William MacDonald. ‘Truths to Live By – One Day at a Time‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

Praying for Our Loved Ones

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We pray for our loved ones to be saved, but we do it through our own limited understanding and not through faith in our Lord. ~ Lisa Blair

In reading the Doctrine of Election, we are reminded that only God can provide salvation. The parts that stood out to me most are:

  1. “People are so ruined by sin that they are unable to respond by faith…unless God first gives the ability to respond.” 
  2. “God must draw people Himself and awaken faith in the dead hearts.” (John 6:37-40, 47)
  3. “By grace, God calls individuals to faith” (Eph. 2:8-9)
  4. “This favor of God is undeserved and unearned.” (Romans 9:20)
  5. “God must work in individual hearts to draw them to Himself.”
  6. “Because salvation is God’s work from start to finish, all the glory belongs to Him.”

As ambassadors of Christ, it is our mission to share the Word with them (nonbelievers). We are watering the seed that was placed in them before they were born. At some point, most if not all, of our loved ones will recognize the seed of faith growing within causing them to question their lifestyles and who they are in Christ. When that happens, God calls them to Him. Age is not the crucial factor, surely, we want our loved ones to be saved early in life, but we must not give up it may not occur until they are old. Our prayers are not in vain. A prime example is the life of Abraham. God’s promises may escape us in our youth where our free-will seems strongest, and blossom in the later years of life. Don’t give up on them. It is never too late, and our prayers continue to water the seed God placed in them before they were born.

My prayer is:
Lord cover my son/daughter/loved one in your Blood until they call out your name and receive salvation. Protect them on their walk in sin. Cause them to step back from temptation through faith they do not yet know they have. Thank you for planning our paths before you created life on earth. Help me to accept the things I don’t understand. Help us “embrace the struggle with this truth” and “settle our hearts on Your goodness and your unconditional love”. We thank you for standing by us in all times, circumstances, and situations. We will continue to share the Word with our loved ones knowing you are there to retrieve them from death. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

References: Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 16, Genesis 25-26. https://www.bsfinternational.org

Other Resources:

What is the Doctrine of Election. http://www.gotquestions.com;

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">What is the Doctrine of Election? Grace to You. John McArthur. https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A331/what-is-the-doctrine-of-electionWhat is the Doctrine of Election? Grace to You. John McArthur. https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A331/what-is-the-doctrine-of-election

Photo – LAB Photos

God’s PEACE is Conditional

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We must release anxiety and fear to receive God’s peace in our lives.

~ Lisa Blair

The conditions leading to peace are explained in Philippians 4:6. God’s peace is achieved through prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. The peace is associated with releasing anxiety and fear, handing them over to God, who will then replace the void caused by releasing anxiety and fear with His peace. You cannot receive His peace if you are consumed with anxiety and fear. His peace is conditional. You must release the cause for anxiety and fear to receive the Lord’s peace. He promises peace to those who believe (have faith) and overcome being fettered by anxiety and fear. Further, the release rests on one’s ability to shift from what we see with our eyes (those things around us)* to what we know in our hearts to be true. God ensures peace to those who welcome Him into our hearts.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Associated Scripture References:

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭9:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Resource – Bible.com

Photo – Dave Hoefler, Unsplash

A Prayer for All of Us

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Lord, we follow and we stray, help us to continue down your path looking forward as we travel through 2021.

~ Lisa Blair

Dear Lord,
So much is going on in our Nation; the COVID 19 virus is continuing to take lives and fill hospitals with little to no available beds. Our democracy is being stressed beyond our wildest thoughts. Our economy is suffering as the virus brings us to our knees. It is my prayer that while we are on our knees, we pray to you for forgiveness. I pray we, hi as a Nation, recognize you as our Lord and Savior, the only one that can save our Nation. Please save us of our sins, heal us (spiritually, emotionally, and physically), Lord, and help us put you first in our lives, forever seeking you in all conditions.

Lord, by your grace we entered the New Year, 2021. We are survivors. We are here! Let us proclaim you King above all kings and leaders. Let us surrender to your will, your way, and your life. Let us become more dependent upon you. Teach us to obey your Word. Please help us to heal historical wrongs against one another in the USA and abroad. Please help us save the earth and quit polluting and wasting valuable resources. Let us become a world of people seeking to help one another as you expect us to do, loving one another, helping those in need, and treating our neighbors as we want to be treated. Help us to be strong and courageous. Not to fear or be afraid of any outside forces. (Deut. 31:6 NIV)

Lord, do not allow us to return to the old norms that caused us to suffer from fractured relationships with you. Let us create new norms that are ensconced in your Word.

We are your handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which you have prepared us to accomplish. (Eph 2:10 NIV) Since we are in Christ, we are new creations in Christ. the old man is gone; we stand here new. (2 Corinth. 5:17 NIV)  

This is my prayer for 2021.

Images: Google Images

* Scriptures are paraphrased and personalized.

The Medium Does Not Matter

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God can call you wherever you may be, in any number of ways, answer the Call.

~ Lisa Blair

The medium does not matter, He can call you via Skype, Zoom, radio, television, advertisements, a stranger, or silently speak to your inner self. The important thing is that you answer His Call. It doesn’t matter what sins you committed, God will receive you and forgive you of your sins. He is a loving God who is waiting patiently for you to call His name and receive His son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior.

God knew you before you were born. He knew the path you would take in life and knew what you were going to experience, and (He) uses those experiences to lead you down the path of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. For many this is difficult to believe, they feel undeserving of a chance to live an eternal life with Christ, but the beauty of His story is that God wants us all to be saved and reconciled to Him.

There are many stories of people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, from an innocent child, to atheists, to those who grew up with other religious affiliations, to those who only believe in science, to frightened tormented souls, to those willing to give up their lives to receive Christ and spread the gospel in deadly environments. God will receive you anywhere and everywhere, including on your death bed. His sole concern is your everlasting soul, your eternal life with Him.

My Uncle was a scientist and only believed in science and the Big Band theory. He rejected the notion that God created the world. No one could convince him otherwise. It is not our place to try to force our loved ones to believe in Christ. All we can do is what two sisters have done for their mother, who was a nonbeliever. Their Mom, a Buddhist, accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior after her daughters had shared the gospel with her for many years. The story is the same for my Uncle. Both had heard the gospel and rejected it time and again. Still, the time eventually came when the seeds planted in their hearts overtook their belief systems when they openly received Christ as their Lord and Savior and received eternal life. There is a saying that one plants, one waters, and God sows. Only God can Call us at that moment, both the sister’s mother and my Uncle answered. She was in her nineties and very ill, my uncle was in his mid-nineties, and death was not far off. Later he experienced doubt as did she, but their hearts were already connected to Christ’s heart, and they were overcomers. At the moment, they accepted Christ; they became new people. Both received eternal salvation.

Experiences of two people finding Christ late in life

God knew them before they were born. He knew what path they chose to take, and knew when they would accept His Son as their Lord and Savior. People do their part sharing the gospel (the Great Commission), the seed is planted and when the day arrives, they are ushered to the place of reconciliation. I say reconciliation because God has always been with us, sitting patiently for us to return to Him.  My prayer is that everyone will rest in peace in Jesus’ arms during their life on earth. It is never too late to receive Christ. The time is always the perfect time.

If you have not received Christ as your Lord and Savior and want to have a relationship with Him, recite Romans 10:9 NIV, If you declare (confess) with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Reference Scriptures

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be sav.” Romans 10:13 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

It is important to find a church home or a body of believers to help support you as you walk down the path of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. The gospel is a living word and meets you where you are. The Bible (Word) is what will begin to inform your decision making. It is the warmth that fills your soul. It becomes the language you use to strengthen your relationship and conversations with God. It becomes your go-to. This is not a walk you want to take on your own. If you have no one to share your walk with, pray to God to send someone. He does not intend for you to do it on your own. The grace of God can change your heart.

Peace be with you.

Scriptures: knowing-Jesus.com

Image: Biblestudytools.com