"It's pointless to serve God. What do we gain if we meet His standards or if we walk around feeling sorry for what we've done" (Malachi 3:14) - This what the world says. What does the Lord say to us? - "The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings for you people who fear My Name" (Malachi 4:2). The Sun is shining upon us. It's not just the sun that's up in the sky. It's Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He makes everything new. It's not pointless. Life has a purpose. It's God's purpose for our life. There is gain. We don't just think in terms of financial gain. There's spiritual growth. There's moral strength. Our life is better when we see it through the eyes of the Lord. Many times, we have let our Lord down. He will not let us down. He will lift us up - above the world's way of thinking, and into His way of living. He will lead us in His way of blessing. "I have decided to follow Jesus ..…
MATTHEW When the tempter comes, we must stand on God’s Word: ‘every Word that comes from...God’ (Matthew 4: 4).________________________________ From religion to revival Standing upon divine revelation – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), Jesus received God-given strength for challenging the “bread alone” of human religion – the religion of “the hypocrites” (Matthew 6:2,5,16). Their religion was centred upon themselves. Jesus had this to say about their religion – “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1). The “hypocrites” added their own ideas to the Word of God – and the power of God’s Word was lost. Jesus shows us the better way – looking to the Lord, listening to the Lord and learning from the Lord. He calls to live a God-centred life: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). He calls us to put God first: “Seek fir…
What does this mean? It may be helpful to think, first, about what it doesn't mean.
must never think of the Holy Spirit as a reward that is given to us
because we have faith - the more faith we have, the more the Holy Spirit
is given to us. Where does this kind of thinking come from? It comes
from human pride. We make too much of our faith - and we get things the
wrong way round.
When faith is real, it changes us. This is
something that we must always emphasize - but we must make sure that we
never give the impression that the Holy Spirit is a reward - God's way
of recognizing how well we are doing in the life of faith. When we think
that we are being rewarded, the focus is on ourselves - 'Look at what
I've achieved. Look at the progress I've made.'
We are called to
make progress in the life of faith - but we must never forget where this
progress comes from. It comes from the Lord. Every thought of holiness
comes from the Lord. He puts it into o…