Deliverance (Psalm 91:15)

It seems that everybody I know is going through some type of difficult time in their lives. If they are not currently in such a situation, they will soon be entering another. Some think that as children of God, we should be exempt from such problems. Unfortunately they are wrong. Some may wonder where God is while we are alone toiling in the mire of life. Others seek him for deliverance from their trials. Sadly to say, many become angry with God when their deliverance does not come.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. (Psalms 91:15)

From this famous passage, God states that when we call upon him, he will be with us in the trouble. It is his presence that delivers us. When God delivers us from the trial, he strips the trial from us. Other forms of the word for deliver also mean to equip or present strength. God may not deliver you from the trial, but his presence will definitely deliver you through it.

As you face trials, you would be best to call out to God for his presence and strength in the trial. In the end, some form of deliverance will come.

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Love: The Secret To Holiness (I Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Did you ever try to be holy? How successful were you? If you are like me, you found that the more you tried to be holy, the more difficult it became. Let’s don’t get confused. Being holy is not manifested by keeping rules or biblical standards of living. The world is filled with people who live by such guidelines, but do not know Jesus as savior and therefore cannot be holy. Is to be holy equal to being without sin? If so, are any of us really holy? My lawn chair hasn’t sinned. Is it holy? Of course not. Therefore being holy must mean something different.

Being holy means to be sacred. When something is sacred, it has been set aside for God or his holy use. Of course, the more we identify ourselves as set apart for God, the more we will desire to keep from sin. But still that task remains an extremely difficult one. However, The Apostle Paul teaches an important principle for accomplishing this goal.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

From this passage, we can see that we have the potential to be unnameable in holiness. The means to such a state is through love. The more we love–whether it be toward God or man–the greater success we will have at living a holy or sanctified life. When we truly love our coworkers, we will not gossip, back bite or become envious at their success. When we truly love, we will have pity towards those who have fallen into sin. When we truly love, we will not view the opposite sex as a lust object. When we truly love, we will desire to lift people up instead of pushing them down. All of the latter works are those of a holy or sanctified person. If we want to be holy, we need to possess love.

Are you holy? The answer will be determined by how much you love. As the strength of a chain is determined by its weakest link, the strength or degree of your love is determined by how much love you have for the unloveable. So again I ask you, are you holy?

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What Is A Trial? (I Thessalonians 3:5)

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Sometime ago, a friend and I decided to repel down the face of a 75′ – 100′ cliff. We fastened the lines to a secure anchor at the top, but before either of us decided to trust the line, we each gave it a good tug to test it. The test was to make sure that the anchor and knots were secure enough to bear our weights. The test was the tugging on the line.

Christians face testing times. Sometimes periods of testing are short and others are long. There are periods in our lives when we go without testing at all. Times of testing for us usually occur during difficult situations in life. We usually refer to these situations as trials, but are they really the trial? Should we believe that every negative situation has been brought about by God to test our faith? Granted there are times in the Bible where it is clear that The Lord brought trials upon his people, but again does he bring every negative circumstance in life upon us. Some believe so, but many do not. In the course of this fallen world, bad circumstances will just naturally occur. When they do, are they a trial? I think not. It appears that the ingredients for a trial are a negative circumstance in life coupled with luring words from the tempter, the enemy of God.

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

The trial is not the circumstance in life, but instead the battle that takes place with our faith as we respond to the accusations brought to us concerning the trial. Many consider an auto accident a trial, but in reality the trial really convenes as you battle against accusations brought to you such as: “If God loves you, why did he allow this?” “You served God all these years and look what he allowed to happen to you. Why didn’t he protect you?” These same accusations or others similar to them are brought to us regularly. It is these words that are the trial: they try our faith. Will we believe them or will we cling to the truth that God is good? Will we be filled with fear and anxiety or will we rest in God as sovereign and in control.

If you had $20,000 in the bank and your car broke down, would it be a trial? If you had no money in savings and your car broke down, would it be a trial? The difference is that in the latter, your faith would need to stand up against words or thoughts of doubt, fear and accusations against the goodness of God. The negative event in life is not the trial, it is the tempter that tries you.

What should you do? Recognize that negative events in life will happen because they happen to everyone. As you enter these times in life, prepare your heart for the battle that will begin to rage. But before it starts, pray to God and tell him that you believe he is good and loving and that you will trust him for strength to deal with this issue in life.

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Testify of Your Relationship (I John 1:3)

Christianity is not a code of beliefs, but a relationship with a person. The greatest experience that a person can have is this relationship with God. All other experiences will fade with time, but a relationship with God grows and never becomes old.

When we share our faith, we should not speak of the actions that we are to perform or the things from which we should abstain, but instead speak of the wonder of God and the person of his son, Jesus. We should not strive to conform people’s actions to line up to a standard of holiness, but instead strive to get them to desire a relationship with the person whose name is above all names.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

Maybe the reason we fail at successfully sharing our faith is because we have failed in our relationship with God. We cannot speak of how wonderful God is unless we experience his wonder. If we draw nigh to God, we will again experience him and when we experience him we will have something for which to testify. The closer our relationship is with God, the greater our testimony will be.

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Truth Is A Shield (Psalm 91:4)

20140701-080656.jpgI remember years ago as an electrician, I was wiring up a machine that was designed to weld a seam on fabricated cans. The job went well until the machine was turned on. Instead of the welding tool moving along the seam slowly, its speed was erratic. For the longest time, I pulled my hair out. That was until I recognized that the wires controlling the speed were being interfered with by magnetic fields that were present: much like picking up stray radio stations as you drive down the road. The fix was easy. I put a protective shield around the wires and the interference was gone.

This reminds me much of the Christian life. We are trying to live for God, but there are so many stray messages to hear that sometimes we get confused and unable to live a stable and consistent life. What we need is a shield to diffuse the wrong messages. That is exactly what God’s word is: a shield.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalms 91:4)

All thoughts, ideas and plans should be filtered through God’s word. His word will reveal the truth of what we should do and expose the messages of error. Anything that matches with God’s word should be permitted to dwell in your heart, soul and spirit. All other messages messages should be defended against with God’s word. For this reason, we should be daily reading The Scriptures and filling our hearts and minds with truth that will shield us from error.