Week Eleven – blue plate special

Monday

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Victory is Yours”

Oswald Chambers has declared, “It is a crime for a Christian to be weak in the Lord.”  Believers are not called to failure but are called to victory.  Unfortunately, many of us are wallowing in fear and failure – not victory.  What is the problem?  Are the promises of God not valid or is it a problem with us?

Our passage today clearly states that no temptation, no trial is unique to us.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ have encountered the very same problems.  Not only that, Jesus Christ was tempted just as we are!  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).  Jesus knows what it is like to live on earth as a man.  Without the INCARNATION, He wouldn’t have been able to identify with us.  But, He can!  And He was able to endure temptations and trials without sin.  Our High Priest, the one that we can and should go to for guidance and direction, knows our problems and triumphed over them.  He will help you: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).

Look at how Jesus dealt with temptation in Matthew 4.  Satan tempted Him in three broad areas: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and in the area of pride.  Each time, Jesus came back at him (the tempter) with Scripture – the Word of God.

Our trials and temptations will come in some form or another in these three general areas.  Your weapons are the resurrection power of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  The lesson is that Jesus trusted in God’s sufficiency – physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Secondly, His plan for His life was God’s plan – He conquered His pride.

When trials and temptations come, don’t question God.  Deal with the problems according to the Scripture.  Jesus set the standardAnd remember, the Scripture tells us to flee potential sin (1 Corinthians 10:14, 1 Corinthians 6:18).  Don’t check it out.  Run away while you are firing off Scripture behind you!


Tuesday

For this is what the Lord says – He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it, He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited — He says: “I am the Lord, there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18

“I am the Only One”

God desires our worship.  Isn’t that astounding?  Why does God even bother with man?  Human beings are driven by pride – many have spent a lifetime explaining away the world around them with philosophy that denies the very existence of God and His Creation.  So, why is it?

I don’t think that we will have the answer to this question until we “see Him face to face.” (1 John 3:2).  But, the fact remains that we are called to worship the Only God, the Creator of everything.  He desires our worship!

Worship has many facets including personal worship and corporate worship (in church).  Most of the tenets of personal worship can be applied when we are together in church.  The worship of the “Body of Believers” is dependent on the individual’s quality of worship.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman (see John 4) that true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth.  Spirit and truth — that is the foundation of our worship.  We are to be led by the Holy Spirit; we are called to acclaim the truth of what God is like.

What are the truths about God?  There are really too many to mention.  But, here’s a sample: “ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord glory due His name.” (1 Chronicles 16:28-29).  “Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.”  (1 Chronicles 16:29b).  “Acclaim the Lord as Creator; as the one and only true God. (Isaiah 45:18).  “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34).

Application: As you start your morning prayer time, focus initially on the attributes of God.  There are so many of them that you will never run out of options…strength, justice, mercy, love, glory, holiness, creator.

And, as you live out each day, apply the truths of Romans 12:1 – “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” He wants your worship – you know what to do!


Wednesday

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6

“You Have Been Made Righteous”

Look at the world around you.  Unrighteousness reigns!  If you are conformed to the world and its agenda, you are being conformed to darkness, not light.  That’s why the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).

John tells us that we are not to love the world or anything in the world.  Furthermore, he says, “For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – does not come from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16).  In fact, no one who is born of God will continue to sin.” (1 John 3:9).  It is clear, the world is dark and filled with unrighteousness.

The path to righteousness is the opposite direction – it’s the Lord.  First and foremost, each person must put to death his pride and realize that there is no way we can be righteous apart from Jesus Christ.  This is God’s plan for us.  Our plans are not valid.  You cannot know God and have one foot in the world.  It’s God’s way exclusively.  He sets the rules; He defines the morals and ethics.  It is for us to repent and obey.

By trusting in His plan of redemption through Jesus and committing our way to Him, then we can shine with righteousness according to Psalm 37.  This righteousness is not self-righteousness – it’s Christ righteousness.  The course of our lives will be pure and just if it is bathed in the righteousness that is ours through Jesus Christ.

Remember this, a Believer will fall short intermittently.  But the spirit of God will lead him/her back in humble repentance.   But remember this, anyone who is born of God does not sin continuously. (1 John 5:18).  Don’t be fooled by these counterfeit “children of light.”


Thursday

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.  Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 2 Chronicles 16:9,10

“Praise the Lord!”

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1).  “In the beginning was the word (Jesus), and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of man.”(John 1:1-4).

Stop and contemplate these truths.  Before there was anything, God existed with Jesus.  From Him everything was created.  Every breath you take, every beat of your heart is dependent on Him.  Not only has He made your life on earth possible, but also more importantly, He has given you the gift of eternal life – if you will believe in Jesus and His work on the cross of Calvary.

What does he want in return?  He wants our worship and praise.  Let’s review how each of us can worship and praise the Lord.  The most important issue is your commitment to the priority of time alone with God.  You know your own schedule and when you can have some quiet moments without the cares and needs of the world roaring into your time.  As you pray, consider the acronym of ACTS.  “A” is for adoration.  The others are Confession, Thanksgiving, and lastly Supplication (prayer for others or yourself).

The benefit of ACTS is that it sets a priority on adoration and praise of the Lord and His character.  You can sing to Him; you can consider His character; you can just glory in His holiness and His plan for you.  Having worship be the first priority in your time alone with God sets the tone.  Then, confession plays a part in order to remove barriers of sin between you and God.  Thanksgiving ensures that our hearts are properly prepared.  After adoration, confession, and thanksgiving, then the Spirit can direct us to pray, as we should for others and ourselves. (Romans 8:26).

The Lord wants our praise and worship.  Consider starting with Romans 11:33-36.  It’s an awesome praise to the Lord.


Friday

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

“You Have God – He’s All You Need”

There are certain passages of Scripture that are so helpful in times of trial and tribulation.  Our passage from Psalm 73 today is one of those passages.  When trials hit, our perspective is often turned inward.  We see how the seemingly adverse circumstances affect us and those close around us.  We try to control the outcome – but we just cannot.

It’s not until we just “let loose” that we really see the Lord.  The fact is that you cannot ever determine the next minutes and hours of your life, but God can!  If there were no God, then this situation would be unbearable.  There would be no hope – life would be depressing.

But, when we focus on God, we are acclaiming the Creator of the universe who has a personal interest in each one of us.  He desires that all will come to Him.  When we focus on Him for our total sustenance and provision, we do not need to be in control.  What do we need besides Him?  Absolutely nothing the earth has to offer in comparison to the greatness of the eternal blessing He has for us.

We are frail.  We will fail.  But God is our sustainer.  When your eternity is secure, there is nothing to fear.  God is the strength of your heart and your eternity is secure as a Believer in Him.

#The best news in all the world (THE GOSPEL) is that God has decreed a way of salvation that also upholds the worth of his glory, the honor of His Son, and the eternal salvation of His elect. He has given His son to die for sinners and to conquer their death by His own resurrection. JOHN PIPER