Worthy of the Gospel

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.

~ Philippians 1:27

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, conform my conduct such that it is worthy of the Gospel of Christ, that I might stand fast in the Spirit and with a renewed heart and mind serve Jesus in the hope of the Gospel. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tents & Houses

The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish.

~ Proverbs 14:11

God is faithful to both the wicked and the righteous. Sound strange? Think about it. His promises towards both are sure and certain. The Lord’s Word stands as true to one as it does the other. In our passage before us, we are told the house of the wicked will be overthrown. The meaning is all the wicked do, all they establish here on earth, any accumulation of power or prosperity, even they themselves, will one day come to nought. While the tent of the upright will be blessed, it will flourish and ultimately prosper under God’s faithful care.

Consider one other caveat from this text, notice the contrast between the house of the wicked and the tent of the upright. A house may appear more stable than a tent. The house may give the resident a greater sense of safety and security than the one dwelling in a tent. But in the Lord’s plans, the house will fall while the tent shall stand. Though the upright may do with less in this world, and live by humbler means than the wicked, God is faithful to both, and it is the upright who will flourish while the wicked are fully and finally overthrown.

~ apl

Endless Possibilities

“[F]or with God all things are possible.”

~ Mark 10:27b

This verse is the summum bonum of the Christian’s hope. Hidden deep in the truth of these seven little words is the greatest treasures of the Lord. Here lies the key that unlocks the power, glory and love of the living God – with Him all things are possible! There is no trial too great nor petition too small that God cannot affect. Nothing stays His hand. No need goes unnoticed. With God every concern can be comforted, every affliction assuaged, and every trepidation tamed. The real question is: Do we believe it? Does our faith carry us to the sure arms of a strong God with whom all things are possible? Do you rest in the assurance of this truth as one who belongs to Him? May we experience the hope, grace and love of the God of all things.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, may I take my every care and concern to You for in You lies all the grace, power and majesty of God to guide and strengthen m all my days. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Take Time

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

~ William D. Longstaff

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, please continue to shower me in Your holiness that I may reflect it in my thoughts, words and deeds. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Justified From All Things

“I was a sinner, less perfect than God. By conviction of the Holy Spirit I learned that my condition would incur the eternal condemnation of God if I did not submit to His grace. I acknowledged myself a sinner and threw myself on His mercy and grace, recognizing that He had brought salvation to earth through His Son Jesus Christ. After God the Father put God the Son to death on the cross, He could proclaim grace and pardon to all who would submit to Him. I came to the cross, believed His promise about His Son, and God declared me righteous even while I was ungodly and gave me authority to become His child. I ceased to be a child of wrath and became a child of God, justified from all things.”

~ Donald Grey Barnhouse

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, You sent Your blessed Son down from heaven to be our Savior, Redeemer and Friend. May You open the eyes of faith to those who need the Gospel that they might come to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking In His Ways

“Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”

~ Hosea 14:9

The Christian is called to be wise in the ways of the Lord. We are to exercise understanding – that is – we are to possess a working knowledge of God’s ways as presented in the Scriptures. Likewise, Believers ought to exhibit prudence in life and character. What is prudence? It’s living in the present with an eye toward showing consideration and thought for the future. The sinful lack this care and concern. Sadly, many wander aimlessly with little to no true purpose or plan. The transgressor stumbles in the ways of the Lord. To them, God’s ways are a hinderance not a help. But the righteous, those to desire to be in and follow God’s will, shall walk in the wisdom and prudence of the Lord.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, show me the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Help me to live in Your wisdom, looking ahead in my life with full assurance of Your presence and control. In Jesus’ name, amen.

For Your Good

“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good…”

~ Genesis 50:20

The story of Joseph’s rise to prominence in Egypt is filled with unlikely twists and turns. It begins when Joseph receives the covenant blessing of Jacob indicating his rise as the leader of God’s people, Israel. But because of the jealously and hatred of his brothers again him, Joseph’s life would take an unexpected turn towards violence, suffering, slavery and attempted murder.

Though his brother’s sought Joseph’s demise, he remained faithful to the Lord, and as a result, God favored and blessed him, even in a foreign land. Joseph rose to great power in Egypt. So that after the death of their father, and during a terrible famine, Joseph’s brothers went up to Egypt to plead for Joseph’s help. And oddly enough, Joseph was in the perfect place to assist.

What Joseph’s brother meant for evil against their brother, God meant for good. Their jealousy drove them to want to kill Joseph, to drive him away, and to prevent him from taking his rightful place as their leader. Yet God preserved Joseph and used him mightily despite them. Joseph remained faithful to God through it all and the Lord blessed him for it.

Sometimes everything can seem to be working against you. It can feel like God has let you go and the world is winning. Still remember, even in our darkest hour, God can bring good out of it. He can bring good out of pain, sorrow, and affliction. Maybe today you are in the pit of life, and like Joseph, with little reason to hope. Yet, be faithful; trust in the Lord. For what others mean for evil against you, your good and faithful God can mean ultimately for your good.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, when I feel the evils of this world pressing in on me and I can’t seem to grasp the meaning of it all, help me to know with a blessed assurance I’m still in Your hand and my goodness is You goal. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Faithfulness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The idea of the word faithfulness, as used here, seems to be that of fidelity. It denotes the believer who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit will be earnest and dependable in their words and promises. Our yea will be our yea, and our nea will be our nea. A Christian can be trusted and confided in. A closer relationship with God in Christ stirs up greater and greater faith. The Christian will grow in faith and show that faithfulness as a husband, wife, neighbor, and friend. Faithfulness in the life of Christ’s people shows our love and devotion to Him and our desire to be faithful as He is faithful to us.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to be a faithful Christian; one others can confide in and depend on so that Jesus is glorified in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Goodness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The spiritual fruit of goodness could be said to be a continuation of the fruit of kindness. While kindness is a disposition of heart and character, goodness is the tangible results of kindness. Goodness is kindness in action. It is where the believer acts on behalf of the benefit and well-being of others. Jesus would tell His followers, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you” (Mt. 5:44). Show goodness in all circumstances, even difficult ones. The Apostle Paul would put it this way, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21)

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to see and seek out opportunities to do good to others. May the fruit of goodness be evident in my life each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.