Salvation is what you need if you realize that you have sinned.
Written by Hope on 11/01/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Look at the people around you: the people in your home, at your job and on television. Every single one of them is a sinner. Everyone has sinned against God. The Bible says it like this: “No-one is righteous — not even one” (Romans 3:10). So what can you do when you realize you have sinned?
God Promised Salvation
As humans, we are naturally sinful. We turn away from God, choosing sin rather than living the life God wants for us. But from the very beginning, God had a plan to save us. The plan is called Salvation. The Prophet Isaiah wrote in God’s Word about the Savior. “I will make You a light to the Gentiles, and You will bring My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus (His Son) in the form of a human. Jesus lived a sinless life and taught people how to live in God’s ways. He became the payment for our sins when He sacrificed his life and died on the cross. However, the power of death could not stop Jesus, so He rose from the dead. When we believe in Jesus, He promises forgiveness for sin and eternal life. Learn how to receive God’s forgiveness and salvation by clicking here.
Salvation is for Everyone
No matter how terrible your life seems, God can help you. When you accept God’s Salvation through Jesus Christ, God can remake your life so you will live a life God is pleased with. You no longer have to be a slave to sin and death! God’s Word tells you to “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Salvation Is Eternal Life
In a prayer, Jesus described the way to eternal life: “to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth” (John 17:3). If you know the Lord and have accepted Jesus Christ, you have been guaranteed God’s love for all eternity in Heaven. When we live our life with faith in God, His eternal rewards are tremendous. Remember, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Pray this week:
to thank God for saving you and giving you eternal life.
Have you accepted God's free gift of salvation? Do you want to talk about it with anyone?
Alexa has broken through to 27,400, 20,600 Membership subscriptions have risen past 12,000 15,500, 1/3rd of our projected funding ($100,000) has been reached!
We have built a social and market network on the blockchain. Over 20 years of developing, 4 years in beta, now we are listed on an exchange and ready to come out of beta with nearly 10,000 members, an Alexa ranking of 30,020 over 50,000 followers on our social networks.
Markethive coin has increased in value from 1 penny $.01 to a dime $.10 to $.20 in a short amount of time. The crypto Bull Market has returned and will continue to grow in magnitude for the rest of the year.
By summers end the growth of the industry should be staggering. Two well know protagonist billionaires agree, Tim Draper and Tom Lee. https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/bitcoin-price-will-hit-4-million
This is one of the indications it is time to launch Markethive. After nearly a year with the new engineering firm and new engineers on the team, the platform is now stable and the next two months will be focused on bringing on many new upgrades, enhancements and new services.
Buy $1,000 worth of MHV coin through our Markethive account (Markethive will transfer the coin to your Markethive account or your MEW wallet) and receive a .12 share of an ILP.
Buy $2,500 worth of MHV coin through our Markethive account (Markethive will transfer the coin to your Markethive account or your MEW wallet) and receive a .35 share of an ILP.
Buy $5,000 worth of MHV coin through our Markethive account (Markethive will transfer the coin to your Markethive account or your MEW wallet) and receive a .8 share of an ILP.
Buy $10,000 worth of MHV coin through our Markethive account (Markethive will transfer the coin to your Markethive account or your MEW wallet) and receive 2 shares of an ILP (one ILP and one shadow ILP). A rotator: Plus earn an equal share of new ILP purchases in our official crowd funding launch of Markethive this summer (proposed)
Additional bonus: Existing ILP owners will also receive equal shares in the rotator Crowd Funding Launch and if you purchase an additional ILP via this offer we will double an equal amount of shares (not shadow shares) you currently hold. ie: [If you currently hold 3 ILP shares, and purchase 2 ($20,000) new ILP accounts “receiving 2 x 2 ILPS = 4” 2 of your 3 existing ILPs will also be doubled. Giving you a new total of 9 ILPs.] 3 + 1 now equals 9!
The following budget is what determined my decision to do one more private crowd funding before we launch our official Blockchain Crowd Funding and the Markethive Awareness campaign.
We need to raise the money to launch a huge ICO (like) public crowd funding campaign (AWARENESS CAMPAIGN) and need to raise $300k or more to make it a huge campaign. 60% of this money goes to launching our crowd funding campaign in June of this year. 40% goes to Markethive enhancements to prepare for the onslaught of new membership. We need to finish our Markethive.io site. It needs to be replicated. Our front page of Markethive is also getting a new face lift. And Markethive.net will be retrofitted as an ICO rating system
An online form to sign up for this offer is found at the bottom of this article or by tapping this link ILP SIGNUP
Phase One ($20,000):
We will need to publish large Press Release campaigns to the following Crypto News Sites
FINDICO.IO ONE MONTH PREMIUM: 3ETH Alexa: 1,172,488
ICOTOP.IO ICO Rating Agency Free to Add your ICO Alexa: 2,270,743
THETOKENER.COM Full Ad package $2220 Alexa: 2,279,375
SUB TOTAL $16,000.00
Advertising Channel for Email distribution, Social Networks Broadcasting, Banner advertising
BUYSELLADS.COM Crypto Bundle to 16 high ranked domains, social networks and email distribution runs $17,000 Alexa: 60,163
Required Development before Launch ($52,000)
Final Leg Project Priorities
1. New Root Domain front page to qualify us for a banner account — $4200
2. Floating video on home page. Replaces video in Upgrade Level page. Videos 1:Tutorials | 2:Entrepreneur | 3:Social Account Setup with associated links to the designated pages, sections or groups. — $840
3. The “NewsFeed” GROUP whereas members of the group posting to the group distributes the post to all Markethive members Newsfeeds from that member, not the group. Whereas pinning a post makes that post default on all new accounts made thereafter until Unpinned. https://markethive.com/group/default_newsfeed
NewsFeed Upgrade: New signup notification on all newsfeeds. Notification alerts to a new signup, their name and link to the Profile Page, ability to friend request and send a tip and (who signed them up?) $1400
4. NewsFeed repair: Anyone who is a friend should see your Newsfeed posts on their Newsfeed, This is broken and inconsistent. Mostly with new members. When a post is deleted by the author or Group admin, it should be deleted for all. I can show you where this is not working. $560
5. When a friends Group is posted to, it should not appear on my News Feed unless I am a member of that group. Right now that is broken and appears on my NewsFeed $560
6. NewsFeed Upgrade: We need a search and filter. Search allows searching keywords, members, date range, group posts, and GEO. Filter determines what default displays. Same ranges. $3500
7. Blocking a member. Hides all newsfeed posts from being viewed both ways, removes the blocked member from the group and deletes all posts in owners groups, removes all comments from owners blogs and hides all blog comments from member to owner and owner to member. Prevents blocked member from commenting on a blog, but allows viewing, and subscribing, but not SWIPING. $2800
8. Gateway: Payment Methods “Bitpay”, “AuthNet”, “Paypal”, “Amazon”, “Apple Pay”. All, payment processing is used for Entrepreneur monthly and yearly subscriptions and purchase of Markethive Ad Credits. Ad Credits can be used to purchase Markethive Coin to be used to purchase Advertising Services, such as News Feed Ad boosts, Banners, sponsored articles, Press Releases, Markethive Social Account broadcasts. $4200
9. Entrepreneur “Upgrade Level” redesigned $350
10. Picwic Tracking Broken: IT BUDGET $350
a. Capture Pages
b. Capture Widgets
c. WP Plugins
d. Profile Page
f. Mini Url
11. Leads Control Panel broken IT Budget $140
a. Empty folders disappear.
12. Autoresponder issues IT BUDGET $140
a. Drag and drop reorganizing is broken
13. Markethive.io (Crowd Funding Promo Site)
a. Secure Certificate
b. New ICO like template
c. Finish Markethive IO videos
14. API coin transfer (First wallet) — IT BUDGET $32,500
15. Remove Paypal, designate verified when the phone number has been verified. Replace the image with a new Image – IT BUDGET $70
16. Super Groups
a. Press Release Group. Customer built as a super group for just Press Release publishing and payment to publish standard, advanced and master levels. IT BUDGET $10,000
b. Sponsored Articles Super Group payment options for published to front page, distributed to social networks, distributed to WP blogs IT BUDGET $10,000
c. Curation function in all groups to add 3rd party RSS feeds and a deliver keyword(s) filter IT BUDGET $10,000
17. Automated Tutorial System IT Budget $5000
Proposed budget for IT upgrades is $90,000
Total proposed cash required ($193,000)
is a conservative estimate and we also want a treasure chest for additional development unforeseen at the moment.
As Bitcoin Surges, so will the Markethive Coin and subscriptions and paid services. Our timing could not be better. We survived the Crypto Winter and it is now time to go to the moon.
Markethive is this hybrid symbiotic phenomenon. Unique, exponentially powerful and will be a major driving force in unbelievable revenue generation as well as widespread respected service.
A Case study: Let’s look at the Media Content suppliers for the Crypto media. They have very big traffic and they publish banners, press releases, sponsored articles, ICO analysis all for fees and many make over a $million a year. The tools they use are not unlike the tools we deliver to you in Markethive. That being said, it is not difficult to grasp the fact many Markethive members can build a similar success with our system like we are building for you @ http://aboutbitco.in/
Keep in mind, we have not promoted it nor finished it, but it will be no different than a WordPress portal you could build using the same tools found in Markethive
Markethive is a market network and these tools are equally commanded by each individual which means any member at Markethive could produce similar traffic and revenue because of Markethive but not by Markethive. It is the entire vision to empower our members to achieve great heights.
A second [commandment] is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
When Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:18, He was not teaching us to love ourselves. In stating that we already love ourselves, He was using the quality of that already-present love for ourselves to teach us how to love others. One who really loves is fully-invested in the loved one's best interests. Here are three ways that attitude towards self is supposed to be altered when God gives us a new heart (Psalm 51:10) with His love poured out (Romans 5:5) in it.
1. Practice repentance: Guilt brings shame and hopelessness.
The whole time God is working through the things which happen to you to conform you to Christ's image (Romans 8:28-29), the world is also trying to force you to conform to its own. (Romans 12:2) One of the ways this is done is through subtle reasoning meant to make you arrogantly ignore God and your obligation to obey Him. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Two equally harmful reactions to guilt feelings are often advised by the wisdom of this world. We can excuse them by labeling them "false guilt", or we can blame others (parents, teachers, or other authorities) for them. But the Bible warns us, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Guilt feelings are usually due to real guilt. Our new nature still wars with an old one, (Galatians 5:17) and we still sin. Obeying God, (and loving ourselves His way), means confessing and agreeing with Him about our sin. (1 John 1:7-9)
2. Practice humility: We do not want to be judged by our actions.
An unhealthy self-image tends to bounce back and forth between the hopelessness of guilt and the pride of accomplishment. Spiritually speaking, you are in one of two categories. If you are "in Adam," you are destined to be judged by your works—and will perish. If you are in Christ, you are credited with His perfection—and destined for eternal life. (1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21) Embracing God's plan to conform you to His image (Romans 8:28-29again) means making God's will, (Christ's exaltation, not yours), the point of your life. (Matt. 5:16; Luke 22:42; Philippians 2:5-9)
3. Accept Assurance: We have value to God!
Look to Jesus to find your identity. To keep from bouncing back and forth from pride to shame, center on God Himself. He wants all people everywhere to turn away from sin and a selfish life, (Acts 17:30), and find security in Jesus' statement on the cross: "it is finished!" (John 19:30) Your sin has been paid for. Christ's sinless record can be credited to you.
Esteem means value. Value of self, apart from what God says about us or wants for us, is idolatry. On the other hand, God's investment in you is total. He has invested His image in you. (Genesis 1:27) He has invested His life's blood in you. (Acts 20:28) He is not ashamed to call you His children, brothers and sisters to Christ. (Hebrews 2:11-13, 1 John 3:1) Will His investment in you bring a return?
Pray this week:
Father, I confess I have gone my own way like a straying sheep. I have no confidence in my own work but only in what Jesus has done for me. Show me His way, and help me to follow it, I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
I answered, 'Why should someone like me have to run and hide in the temple to save my life? I won’t go!'
Nehemiah was a leader who did not let pressure, apathy, ridicule or opposition stop him. He knew what to do and how to do it. Most of all, he knew his identity: a chosen and beloved servant of the most High God.
Here are three ways God can give you the same identity:
1. God makes sure you can relate to sinners
Sometimes new believers are surprised to find that their old nature is not gone. You’ll always need God’s grace. Without Christ as your center, you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5) Colossians 2:6 says "As you have put your trust in Christ Jesus the Lord to save you from the punishment of sin, now let Him lead you in every step." If you have nothing you did not receive, (1 Corinthians 4:7), and nothing to hide, (Proverbs 28:13) judgmentalism and hypocrisy make no sense.
2. God means for you to make His mission your own
Hebrews 2:10 says that God "…chose to bring many children into glory.” In chapter 12, we are told how to follow Him: "…by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross…" (Hebrews 12:2) For Jesus, the joy was anticipating you with Him in glory! Soon, heaven will be your home! But while we’re still on earth, will you be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) to those who have never heard His name?
3. God gives you a new nature
Last week's devotion described turning away from a selfish life. Once you put all your hope in Jesus, many great things happen to you: Christ comes into your life, (Revelation 3:20), you become God’s child, (John 1:12) and receive the Holy Spirit, (Romans 8:15). All your sins are forgiven, (Colossians 1:14)and you have the gift of eternal life! (1 John 5:11) You go from being a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) to a worker alongside God Himself! (1 Corinthians 3:9) God even approves you to represent Him to the world: "So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'" (2 Corinthians 5:20) Like Nehemiah, you are a servant of the Most High God! https://www.fgcoetzee.blogspot.com
Pray this week:
Father, teach me what it means to represent you to the world.
What does it mean to live your life in a way that is fitting for the gospel? (Philippians 1:27)
As we learn in the book of Hebrews, Jesus offers us better hope, better promises and more.
Written by GodLife on 20/08/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Jesus, Better, Hebrews
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.
What was the point of Jesus coming to our sinful world? And how did He accomplish everything we needed in order to be reconciled to God?
We get answers to these questions in the book of Hebrews. And it starts in Hebrews 6:9 — “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.”
What are these better things, though?
Better hope — “For the law made nothing perfect; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19)
Jesus is first introduced as a better hope in Hebrews 7:19. He is compared to the law, which ‘made nothing perfect,’ but he, the better hope, is the way in which we can draw near to God. His priesthood, as opposed to the priests of the Old Testament, gives us the ability to be made perfect, through His death and resurrection (not by our own works).
Better covenant — “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” (Hebrews 7:22)
The first covenant, which came with the law, could not be perfectly upheld, because the priests and followers were themselves not perfect. But Jesus can save the ‘uttermost’ (Hebrews 7:25) because of His perfection and sacrificial death and resurrection. The covenant that included the law was good but ultimately impossible to uphold, but the new covenant (1 Corinthians 11:25) is perfect because God Himself (Jesus) fulfills every requirement.
Better promises — “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6)
We are also told in Hebrews that this new, better covenant was ‘enacted on better promises.’ What does this mean? Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 37:26-28 both show that within the Old Testament was the expectation of another covenant. This new covenant promised that He would “write his law on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33), all His people would know Him and He would no longer remember their sins against them (Jeremiah 31:34), it would be “everlasting” (Ezekiel 37:26), and He would live among His people (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Better sacrifice — “For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
Jesus died after living a perfect life, which allows His death to stand once and for all as a saving sacrifice. Before, in the old covenant, there was a requirement for spotless animals to be sacrificed over and over again, with no end in sight. But Jesus’ perfect sacrifice allows us to rest in His finished work.
Better possession — “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” (Hebrews 10:34)
Our possession — which is eternal life through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection — is infinitely more valuable than any possessions we could have on Earth. In this verse, the writer of Hebrews is saying that nothing in this world is worth giving up the possession we have of eternal life in Jesus. The writer calls it ‘lasting.’
Better country — "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:16)
Does this mean that Jesus gives us a great country here on Earth? No! We receive a heavenly country in the future. Jesus offers us a perfect community — though the church is not perfect here on Earth — in heaven to look forward to.
Better resurrection — “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.” (Hebrews 11:35)
This whole chapter is really God’s definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6). It reads like the evidence log of God’s courtroom, into which He has entered men and women who trusted Him enough to overcome the world by their faith (1 John 5:4). Several of them seemed to supernaturally know details that would only be revealed in the New Testament. In the case of the martyrs this chapter mentions, it seems God has revealed the message of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 to them: they looked forward to work that would survive the fire of testing.
Jesus is the ‘something better’ that we are all looking for. If you want to learn more about Jesus, including the miracles He performed, the prophecies He fulfilled and more, visit our sister site: somethingbetter.us.
Pray this week:
Lord, show me how to trust you to be the perfect sacrifice for me. Thank you so much that you have done what I could not — follow the law perfectly — and then be sentenced to death for my sins. I praise you for your resurrection, Jesus, and for how your work on the cross and in the grave has saved me from destruction. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Do you act as if you can earn your salvation outside of the work Jesus did on your behalf? What does Hebrews tell you that goes against that thought?
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
When you are watching the World Cup, do you shout, sing, or yell at the referees? Do you enjoy the adrenaline rush of competition?
Do games and tournaments bring out the best in you? Are there some aspects of competing that can be negative? This Summer, the nations have their eyes and hearts focused on one particular soccer championship. There are many spiritual lessons to be gleaned as you consider specific elements of the World Cup.
A clear goal
In the World Cup, each country wants to return home as national heroes and the best soccer team on earth. Teams train for four years with intense aspirations. What does success look like for you in life? Do you have goals you are trying to achieve? Many people do not recognize their purpose, and consequently conform to the patterns of the world. In Jesus, you have been given a new identity and a compelling vision for your life. The apostle Paul writes, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) God is with you, and He also goes ahead of you to set up unique opportunities just for you. Every day is a gift from God, and you have incredible abilities and timely situations that He has given you to make a difference in this world. Helping an orphan or a widow can be far more significant than playing in the World Cup in God's eyes. When you make being faithful to Jesus your ultimate goal each day, God will do wonderful works through you, and many lives will be transformed. God will give you everything you need to accomplish what He asks you to do.
A new strength
Many athletes attempt to be self-reliant. They have no source of power greater than what they can muster up themselves. It is common to go through life with the illusion of self-sufficiency. People stop acknowledging God as the giver of their life and talent. Pride swells. Egos grow. Boasting abounds. Is there a different option? The truth is your God-given assignments cannot be accomplished on your own strength, but relying on God will give you the perseverance, patience, hope, insights, and love you truly need. Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Are you still trying to call the shots, or have you given Jesus the steering wheel of your life? Make a decision today to honor Jesus in every aspect of your life and ask God for help to live out what you truly believe. There is no higher goal in life than to glorify Jesus, who is your source of strength.
An attitude shift
All participants in a competition want to win. When there is a title and a trophy on the line, motivation runs high. Even children want to finish in first place and beat their opponents. However, on the field, there are different guidelines than other arenas of life. One danger about competition is that it can promote a me-first attitude. Selfishness can destroy families, friendships, and work environments. Jesus models a life of humility for us. Matthew writes, "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Your attitude should be the same as Jesus, looking for ways to care for people and putting others first. Real love sacrifices, serves, and is marked by generosity.
There is a competition every day between good and evil, God and the devil, and light versus darkness. When you make it your primary goal to be faithful to Jesus, rely on the Holy Spirit, and seek to serve people you will consistently win. You can have confidence in God as you declare: "Thanks be to God! He has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Pray this week:
God, I pray that I would be fully reliant on you. You are the vine; I am the branches. May I remain in you and draw everything from you — not trying to do anything by my own power. I am powerless. Fill me with your Spirit to go out and serve others in the name of Jesus Christ. I love you! Amen.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
I’m sure we’ve never met before, but I wish I could take you to my favorite coffee shop. As we drank a cup of coffee together and talked, you would know that I’m not here to shame you but to help you get out of the place of bondage that I’ve found myself in before. Depression and anxiety are complex issues, and we need to address them with the same love that Jesus embraces us with each and every day. (Psalm 34:18)
You see, about four years ago, I was in a dark place. Depression and anxiety had taken up every space of my life, and it was destroying me from the inside and out. Even with professional help, the support from family and friends — and praying more than ever before — I still struggled.
It felt that I was losing the battle. But I saw God’s grace and redemption (which had been there all along!) when I took my eyes off of my myself, my feelings and circumstances and set them back upon Jesus. (Psalm 34:8-10)
What does the Bible say about depression?
In the Bible, there are many stories that remind us that we are not alone when depression and anxiety come knocking on our door. Let’s take David for example, the king of Israel, a biblical hero, author of many Psalms…one would think he had it together, right? Far from it! In many of the Psalms he wrote, he expressed anguish, grief, loneliness, fear and guilt:
“For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.” (Psalm 38:4)
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)
Even Jesus himself faced anguish over what lay before Him. He knew what God had called to a journey of suffering so that we could be truly free. In Isaiah, it was prophesied that Jesus would be “despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Did you get that? Even the Savior of all mankind faced suffering when He was on this earth. To put it in simpler terms, Jesus understands our weaknesses, suffering, depression and despair because “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18). He faced the same circumstances we are all going through when He was on earth, yet without sin.
So take courage, my friend!
I don’t know your brokenness. Maybe you cry yourself to sleep every night, or maybe you mask your depression with fake smiles, and so the whole world thinks you’re the happiest person on earth. Today, I want you to hold onto this truth:
He listens, He cares, He loves you, He has compassion, He offers mercy, He brings hope, and His character will never change, because He is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
So, when you’re in the midst of depression, cling to His promises and endure, because Jesus has already walked before you and has felt your suffering, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Your sister in Christ and friend,
Pray this week:
“Lord, I give you my suffering, take what’s broken and make me new. Today, I choose to rely on your promises. Please help me take my eyes off of me and set them back to You.” Amen.
It’s no coincidence that you are here today. God wants to have a relationship with you regardless of your past or present decisions. Are you ready to answer His calling?
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
We all seek happiness in life, and we often look for the answer in worldly things like making lots of money, getting a great job, or even finding the perfect significant other. Can you relate? Though the world makes us believe these things will satisfy us, true comfort and happiness do not come from worldly things. Rather, happiness comes from God, and the Bible shows us this over and over again.
Let’s be reminded of Esau, the firstborn and favorite son of Abraham’s son, Isaac. In Genesis 25 and 27, it tells how he lost his birthright and blessing. Esau ignored what was important to his father. His life shows what can happen to “those who look to this world for their reward.” (Ps. 17:14) Expect trouble from the world (John 16:33), even persecution (John 15:20).
Friendship with the world is an offense to God (James 4:4). Instead, love the world the way Jesus did (John 3:16): Reject all its temptations (1 John 2:15-16), deny yourself, and embrace the cross (Luke 9:23). The only way to really win in life is to resist the satisfaction the world offers (Mark 8:35). Christians gain victory over the world by our faith (1 John 5:4)! How amazing is that?
Many of the Bible’s stories are warnings about looking for comfort from the world rather than from God to help us learn more about how we avoid making the same mistakes. Let’s learn from the stories of three men…
1. Samson: A Story Of Entitlement And Pride
Samson felt his chosen status (Judges 13:7) and great strength gave him the right to immorality. He once set eyes on an attractive pagan woman and told his parents, “I want to marry her. Get her for me” (Judges 14:2).
Can you relate to these lustful and entitled feelings? Many of us can. The world may make us believe that these feelings are okay, but what does the Bible tell us?
Samson was deceived by Delilah, blinded and enslaved in the temple of an idol. This is a warning and a reminder to us to not live our lives in the same way.
2. Demas: A Lover Of The Present World
The Apostle Paul once considered Demas a fellow worker, naming him with Gospel writers Mark and Luke. But the last mention of him is: “Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life” (2 Timothy 4:10).
Demas proved to be “The seed that fell among the thorns” in Jesus’ Sower parable, which “represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced” (Matthew 13:22).
3. Jonah: A Bitter Witness Of God’s Salvation Plan
The “overthrow” of Nineveh (Jonah 3:4) was a spiritual one. But this miraculous evangelistic call was preached by a hostile witness, Jonah. God provided him a shady shelter to observe the results, but then suddenly took it away. “And the sun’s heat came upon Jonah’s head so that he became weak and begged with all his heart to die” (Jonah 4:8). Instead of being overjoyed (the way God was — Luke 15:10), with the repentance of the city, Jonah ends with bitter opposition to God’s plan of salvation.
Christians often remind themselves of Romans 8:28-29 when trouble arises:
“…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son…”
Any time you’re dissatisfied with what God allows, remember that the trouble and persecution of the world are symptoms of its hatred for Christ—and for His children. Discipline demonstrates you’re His child, as Hebrews 12:5-14 explains. The verses following these (15-17), show God’s perspective on the world’s children: “Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”
Pray this week:
Father, I confess to seeking comfort, satisfaction, security in things. I know only you can meet my deepest needs. I would not want to gain the whole world and lose my soul, as your Word tells me Esau did. Teach me to rid my life of divided loyalties.
Jesus asked how His hearers could have the nerve to call Him “Lord” if they did not do as He said. Are you aware of everything He said to do? Do you have questions about them? That’s why we’re here! Someone is waiting to help you follow Jesus.