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Tag: need

Forgiving Others When It’s Hard

Why should I forgive someone who hurt me badly?

Written by Ruth on 04/06/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Forgiveness, Freedom, Reconciliation
When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Genesis 37:4
Joseph is badly treated
Joseph’s brothers hated him because their father loved him best. “Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons…and he made him a robe of many colors.” (Genesis 37:3) Such a coat would have shouted this favoritism to everyone who saw Joseph wearing it. As a result, his brothers took an opportunity one day, when Joseph came to visit them in the fields where they were working, to get rid of him. They intended to kill him, but the oldest brother talked them out of that — so they sold Joseph to some passing traders as a slave.

Forgiving does not always mean forgetting
Often we think we must “forgive and forget.” While that is what God does (Isaiah 43:25 and Psalm 103:12) nowhere in the Bible God tells us we must forget the sin we have forgiven. Joseph’s situation is a great example of why forgetting is sometimes impossible. He was far from his home, a slave who could not leave his master, living in a situation that eventually made him a prisoner instead of just a slave (Genesis 39). Forgiving means letting go of what happened, giving what was done to you to Jesus.

We can know Joseph forgave his brothers, even though he could not tell them so, soon after he was sold. How? We see it in the way he acted toward his master in Egypt. He served Potiphar well, so well, in fact, that Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of everything he owned. It is impossible for us to live peacefully in the unwanted consequences of someone else’s action against us without having forgiven those who caused our pain or injury.

Another proof we see that Joseph forgave his brothers was that he treated Potiphar’s wife righteously when she tempted him. Had Joseph still been angry at his brothers, his anger would have transferred to this situation where he would have wronged Potiphar without anyone probably discovering his sin –he would have felt it was his right to get something for himself out of this bad situation. He did not do so.

Again, when Joseph was sent to prison because of the wife’s false accusation, Joseph would not have willingly helped other prisoners with their problems (Genesis 40) if he had not forgiven his accusers. Joseph continued to trust God even when another betrayal appeared to sentence him to a life in prison.

What helped Joseph when he could not forget? He gave the whole problem to God! He had learned from his father’s stories, how Laban and Esau had harmed him. He remembered God’s promises to Jacob, and how those promises had been kept (Genesis 35).

Forgiving means reconciling
Then came the impossible — he met his brothers again! (Genesis 42-44). Joseph, now a man of great power, second only to the king of Egypt, could easily have sought and been granted justice by the king. But rather than seeking vengeance on his brothers, he did the hard work of finding reconciliation with them. He looked for assurance that they had changed from what he had experienced in them nearly 20 years ago. He tested to see if they still harbored jealousy in their hearts. He even set up a situation to see how they would treat his own younger brother, Benjamin, differently — would they sacrifice him for their own gain? He worked toward and won, reconciliation even though his brothers were afraid of him.

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, help me to forgive ___ so that my relationship with You can remain clean.

Whom do you need to forgive? With whom do you need to seek reconciliation? Please write if you need someone to pray with you about your situation.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God is Omnipotent

The Unlimited Power of God

Written by Dan Lee on 05/07/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AttributesCreationGodPower


O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

Jeremiah 32:17

Don’t be scared when you see a big word like ‘Omnipotent.’ It simply means that God has all (‘omni’) power (‘potent’).

God’s power is all around us! His power is shown in many ways, but here are just three that the Bible tells us…

1. God’s Power in Creation

The ancient prophets praised God for creating “the heavens and earth” (Jeremiah 32:17). King David wrote, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1).

Our understanding of the “heavens” has changed over time. Now we know that there are many galaxies with many stars, separated by great distances. The more we know about the universe and everything in it, the more we can praise God for His mighty power.

2.God’s Power in Resurrection and Redemption

“I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead” (Philippians 3:10).

Jesus was tortured and killed by the Roman and Jewish leaders. But the grave could not hold Him; the Roman seal over the stone could not keep Him back. Just as He had predicted, God’s mighty power raised Jesus to life. We who follow Christ should not fear, because God has the last word — even over death. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55).

3.God’s Power at His Return

“Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26). Many people today don't want to accept God. The day is coming when He will no longer be hidden. What is the result? “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

If you know Christ as your Savior, take comfort and rejoice in the knowledge that you are protected by the same power that created the heavens and raised Jesus from the dead. If you have not made that decision, don’t wait. Every person will bow in worship; will you bow with shouts of joy or tears of regret.


Pray this week:

Lord, I am amazed at Your mighty power. Help me to see more of Your greatness and to be more in awe of You every day.


Do you need help understanding about God’s power, or any of His other attributes?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Freedom From Depression

God's light outshines the darkness of depression

Tags: DepressionFreedomGodPsalms


I’ve come across several teenagers lately who are depressed. It really shakes me up! These kids are in the prime of their life and yet they are bogged down by chains of gloom, fear, and discouragement.

When one is depressed, darkness reigns inside. I’m no psychiatrist, but I see it everywhere. Adults of every age are suffering, too. It can really knock the wind out of you to consider the sheer number of people who daily live in this reality. It is not of the Lord. The Bible says: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Because He is light and love, by all means, He wants us in the light with Him!

So, what are we to do?

I take great comfort and find specific direction for overcoming depression in Psalm 23. (And, no, this Psalm is not just for funerals! Unfortunately, it has that reputation. But it is, in fact, wisdom for everyday life.) Let’s observe it together and find God’s guidance for living free from chains of discouragement. Together, let’s find freedom in God’s marvelous light.

Psalm 23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd.”

Notice the word “is.” This verse does not say, “I hope the Lord will be my shepherd,” nor does it say, “It would be nice if…” Rather, it says that the Lord IS my shepherd. He is present, right now, as my skillful guide. Worries focus on the unknowns of the future, but when we stay present we find the Lord Jesus Christ right by our side, guiding patiently as a shepherd does.

Also note the word “my.” God is personal. He is mine. I need not take my woes to anyone else, but instead I go right to Him. When we meditate on the reality of His present, personal nature, we come to realize that we are exactly where we need to be… and we are covered. The rest of verse 1 states, “I lack nothing.” Or, “I have everything I need.”

This is not “Christianese”. It is truth. We are in the care of a skillful Shepherd who loves us. This truth can revolutionize our mental outlook!


How does the 23rd Psalm minister to you? Why do we tend to reach out to God more, when we are walking in hard circumstances? Reach out to God now, and reach out to other Christians.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Why Suicide is Not an Option

Why suicide is the ultimate denial to God

Written by GodLife on 16/08/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Betrayal, Depression, Failure, Hope, Purpose, Suicide
Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:5
Life can sometimes feel hopeless. Maybe you are going through the death of a loved one, a permanent disability, failure or betrayal. You’re not alone.

Do not choose Judas’ path of ending his own life with suicide. Instead, read on to see how some of God’s people have responded to these feelings rather than suicide:

1.Betrayal: David
David, the “man after God’s own heart,” was running away from King Saul, whom he had served. He fled to Israel’s enemies and they betrayed him, taking his family captive. Even David’s trusted followers began to turn on him: “David, too, was in anguish. Some of his men talked about stoning him because they were so bitter about their families being taken.” Who else was left at this point? “But David took comfort in the Eternal One, his True God” (1 Samuel 30:6). With God, David had stood against impossible odds before. (See 1 Samuel 17)

2. Loss: Job
Because of the devil’s attack, Job lost everything: his riches, his family… even his health. “Why does God let me live when life is miserable and so bitter? I keep longing for death more than I would seek a valuable treasure. Nothing could make me happier than to be in the grave.” (Job 3:20-22). It’s hard to imagine Job’s suffering. But he came to realize how unwise these words had been: “I have said things that I did not understand, things too great for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:3)

3. Hopelessness: Paul
Paul was the fearless missionary (Acts 21:13) who sang in prison (Acts 16:25) and wrote part of the New Testament. He once admitted, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

More understanding may not change how you feel, but don’t trust your emotions. For a child of God, life is never hopeless. How can you really say you trust God with your eternity if you don't trust Him now? All of these men suffered greatly, but God had a greater plan for their lives on earth which they fulfilled. Please read 2 Corinthians 4:1 through 6:1. This is where Paul reveals this plan, and how it includes you

Pray this week:
Oh, God, I may be hurting so much right now, but I commit to trusting you no matter what. Your love for me is so great that you suffered worse for me. You have total knowledge and power. Your plan for my life is bigger than what I am going through, so I believe you will bring me through it.

Please reach out to us immediately, by responding to this message, if you need help now! Depression is serious but we have someone who will be happy to pray with you and can offer help.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What is Worship?

It's Not About Us

Written by Jim Denison on 15/11/2015

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GloryPraisePurityPurpose


 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

 

This verse describes true worship. Do you worship your Maker? We need to know what worship is, what it isn't, and why it matters so much to our God and to our souls.

What Worship Is

God defines worship as "love": "Love the Lord your God." Love is a verb, an action word. It requires doing, not just attending church, listening to a sermon, singing hymns, or giving money. You've only worshipped when you've loved, adored, and honored. And it is about loving God in every way a human can love.

With all our hearts: our emotions and senses.

With all our souls: the life force itself, that which gives our bodies life, our essence. Worship involves a passionate love for God.

With all our minds: We are to have no ungodly thoughts, or songs, or movies, or television shows, or books in our minds (see Psalm 101:3). We are to think about our faith, to study God's word, to engage intellectually in the worship of God.

With all our strength: We love God with our actions, not only on Sundays. God is looking for Monday Christians, Monday worshippers, Monday disciples.

How to Worship

You can love God the same way you love anyone else. You can spend the day with him—talking to him, thinking about him. Ask him for what you need, and thank him for what he gives. Spend the day with Jesus. Love him. Worship him. This is his first commandment for every day.

Worship is not performance, entertainment, therapy, or even evangelism.

Worship is not about us. It is about loving God, every moment of every day.

We were created for worship. He gave us free will so we could choose to worship him. Nothing else fulfills us.

Worship provides the power to serve God. If you want God's power for your life, you must worship God every day.

Why Do We Worship?

Because God deserves our worship. “We love him because he first loved us“ (1 John 4:10). He created and redeemed us, and made us a place in his perfect heaven forever. He watched his Son die on the cross, to save our souls and purchase our salvation. He gave everything for us. He deserves our worship.

When last did he receive yours?


Pray this week:

Lord, help me understand what it really means to worship. Take away my wrong ideas, and teach me how to love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Amen.


Is this a new idea for you? Do you need help knowing what it means to worship God?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Source of Our Strength

Who do you lean on?

Written by GodLife on 23/10/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithSubmissionTrustGod


And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.

2 Kings 18:7

How often does this happen to you? You go through a difficult time — maybe a health problem or family struggles — and you attempt to solve the problem all on your own. After a while, you find yourself exhausted and ready to give up on the problem and nothing you have done has seemed to helped at all!

It’s in our sinful nature to want to rely on ourselves, but the Bible shows us a great example of what happens when we fully rely on God instead of ourselves.

Hezekiah’s example

Hezekiah was one of the best kings of Judah in the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles 31:20 says, “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.” In 2 Kings 18:5, it says, “He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.”

He showed his love toward God by trusting in Him fully. That’s not all he did, though.

“For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.” (2 Kings 18:6-7)

What made Hezekiah such a faithful king to God? It was his unrelenting reliance on God throughout all circumstances. He showed that He was faithful to God by the way he kept His commandments. 

And his life wasn’t easy! He was the king of Judah after a very difficult time in its history. He had to lead the nation as they were being challenged by the biggest world power at the time — the Assyrians. It would have been easy for him to be overwhelmed by everything happening in his life, but instead he trusted God.

What did Hezekiah do when the kingdom was threatened by Assyria? He went into God's temple and spread an intimidating letter from the king of Assyria out before the Lord and asked for deliverance. And God decimated the Assyrian army in one night! Hezekiah didn't have to lift a finger, and the victory was the Lord's. 

Hezekiah held fast to the Lord, and he did not stop following him. For that, he was called one of the best kings in the history of his nation.

We have access to God

You might be thinking, “Well, Hezekiah was a king! I’m nothing like him.” It’s true that we all have different roles on earth, and some of us have more earthly power than others, but we all have access to the same power that Hezekiah had access to — the power of God. Hezekiah accessed that power by staying close to the Lord all throughout his life and staying faithful to Him.

Do not think you need to handle things on your own. You can’t. But by His Spirit, we can handle anything life throws at us. As believers after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we have access to the Holy Spirit living within us (Ephesians 1:13-14). 
The Holy Spirit is God! To know that God lives within us and empowers us in tough situations (and when life is going well), should be extremely comforting. As you go forth today, and as you come across difficult situations, remember that the Lord is with you, and He is reliable, faithful and trustworthy.


Pray this week:

Lord God, give me the ability to fully trust you with absolutely everything in my life. Allow me to release whatever I’m holding back from you, because you alone can ultimately bear my burdens. Thank you for loving me and not abandoning me in times of need. I love you, Lord. Amen.


Where have you failed to rely on the Lord this week? Let your caring Christian friend know, and they can pray with you today!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/7spkUy2WinM

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God. The life-giving power of the Spirit is seen at creation. We are told in Genesis 1:2 that the “Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" and that God said, "Let us make man in Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), demonstrating the equality of the God and the Spirit. We receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ. Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

"Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20:22-23

Power to Love and Witness
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give? Paul tells us two important things. The Spirit gives us the power to love others as God loves us and to be witnesses for Jesus. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Ask and Receive
Where do we begin to access this power? We begin by asking God to fill us with His Spirit and confessing areas where we have ignored God. Jesus said, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you love others as God does and be a great witness to Jesus in the world. You will begin to experience the abundant life God has for you as you do.

"After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31

Can we witness to others without God's love in our hearts? Can we truly love others but not share Jesus with them? Do you have fears about witnessing? Talk to a caring Christian about them.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member