Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4)
God asks for purity in the lives of believers and there is always a blessing attached to them who strive to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Not an easy task but achievable with the help of the Holy Spirit. Of course, sins and short comings do come in the lives of all believers, but God is always willing to forgive and help us go forward.
The Church at Sardis in Asia Minor during the days of John the Apostle, had a few faithful believers and it was accounted by the Lord. But most of the people in the Church there were in a bad spiritual condition and this is what God had to say to them,
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Revelation 3:1)
God wanted to them to repent and said,
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. (Revelation 3:2)
He also issued a warning if they did not repent.
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:3)
Sadly, they did not repent and the Church did not last very long. But the faithful were promised by God with this eternal promise:
They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4)
To us the Holy Spirit says,
He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
May the Lord Jesus Christ help us all in this endeavour.
Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:20)
God emphasized the word "justice" here and wanted the Israelites to obey his laws and be just in their dealings, so that they could possess the promised land. But many of them were corrupt including priest and prophet.
Our God is a "just God". He is just in his dealings with mankind. He expects his children also to be just in their dealings.
The Apostle Paul writes,
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. (Philippians 2:14, 15)
Crooked and depraved generation...perfect words to describe our generation.
Yet, God expects us to be blameless and pure children. Is it possible? With the help of the Holy Spirit, Yes. By ourselves, No.
That's why Jesus said,
The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)
God will definitely bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night. He will not keep putting them off, because he is a "just God".
Jesus once went to Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and wanted no one to know it, but he couldn't escape detection. For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. For even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." He said to her, "For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
She went away to her house, and found the child laying on the bed, with the demon gone out.
NOTES: The woman's faith was rewarded. Though Jesus did not answer positively at first, she persisted with her plea. She did not retaliate when Jesus said, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She didn't go away depressed either hearing the Master's reply at the onset. She humbled herself and replied wisely, not caring about her status or position in the society. All she desired was a deliverance for her kid and she got it.
The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7, 8)
Is God able to fulfill the things that you read in the above verses? Yes, he is! And he does it countless times in the lives of believers. Doesn't mean that believers don't fall sick or get injured. But the restraining hand of God prevents what would have been catastrophic.
Jabez prayed to God,
"Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.(1 Chronicles 4:10)(NIV)
...keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain....That's a neat little prayer we can pray each day. In the KJV, it's a bit different. There we read....keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me.
The thing to notice here is that God granted his request.
We all need divine protection, what with the devil prowling around like a roaring lion seeking to devour. But God's promises stand us in good stead if we pray them.
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11)
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. (John 17:15)
Yes, God will protect you and your family from all calamities if you live a life pleasing to him. Sin opens the way for satanic attacks, so we must strive to walk with God, obeying his Word. Then his promises will be fulfilled every day of our lives.
The Apostle Paul affirms,
The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)
But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 7:23)
A promise to the Israelites for obeying God's commands in the promised land. God knew the fears that the Israelites had in their hearts regarding the strength of the nations that they would encounter.
Regarding this we read in the book of Deuteronomy.
You may say to yourselves, "These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?" But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. (Deuteronomy 7:17-19)
Are you being attacked by evil forces these days? Has Satan stolen the peace, joy and satisfaction in your life? Is he playing truant with your family?
Do not fear. The Lord God who delivered the Israelites will fight for you. He will set you free. Satan will not win.
Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. (Deuteronomy 7:21)
He will do awesome miracles for you yet again. So glorify him this day.
Peter and John went into the temple at three in the afternoon. A certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he expected them to give him alms. Peter, fastening his eyes on him, with John, said, "Look at us." He listened to them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!" He took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength. Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk. He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him, that it was he, who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
NOTES: This 40 year old man was lame from birth, but the power of God healed him and he could walk, leap and praise God. Your problem may be one that has been long standing but God can do a miracle for you even now. Call out to him and he will answer you.
Dr. Johnson's Devotionals From The Word Of God- 10
On April 9, 2010, the Frankfurt-bound Condor Airlines flight and Qatar Airways plane heading for Melbourne came close to each other in mid-air over the Arabian Sea off Mumbai, India, but a collision was averted after the Air Traffic Control alerted them and asked one of them to descend by around 3,000 feet. The two flights were flying at the same altitude, and were just four miles from each other. Flights are required to maintain a safe vertical distance of at least 1,200 feet from each other.
A disaster averted in the nick of time. Obeying rules are so important for safety.
The Bible speaks of how mankind has transgressed by not acknowledging God or his will and are thus paying the price for their foolishness.
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Romans 1:18-27)
God doesn't want anyone to perish eternally; he desires that all come to repentance and do his will.
Are you doing his will? If you are, here's a promise for you.
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. (Daniel 9:9)
Daniel the prophet, understood from the Scriptures that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So he turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. He prayed to God and confessed: "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws."
Acknowledging sin is the first step to restoration. The Israelites had sinned and now they were undergoing punishment in a foreign land. Daniel confessed the sins of God's people and then he acknowledged the merciful and forgiving nature of God.
Truly, our God is merciful and forgiving. If we repent of our sins, God restores the intimate relationship that we desire with him. Repentance means turning away from sin and bearing fruit that indicates repentance.
We, as believers, must often check our lives to see whether we are really walking with God; for that is what he desires from us. Praise the Lord.
Five kings of the Amorites, gathered themselves together and encamped against Gibeon, and made war against it. The men of Gibeon sent to Joshua saying, “Don’t abandon your servants! Come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us; for all the kings of the Amorites have gathered together against us.”
So Joshua went up from Gilgal, to help the Gibeonites. God said to Joshua, “Don’t fear them, for I have delivered them into your hands. Not a man of them will stand before you.”
Joshua came on them suddenly. God confused them before Israel, and he killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon. As they fled from before Israel, God threw down great stones from the sky on them and many died. Then Joshua spoke to God in the day when God delivered the Amorites into the hand of Israel; “Sun, stand still on Gibeon! Moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!”
The sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. The sun stayed in the midst of the sky, and didn’t go down about a whole day. There has been no day like that before it or after it that God listened to the voice of a man and stopped the sun and moon; for God fought for Israel.
NOTES: What a wonderful miracle. God performed an unusual thing for Joshua. The sun stayed in the midst of the sky, and didn’t go down about a whole day. God can do great things for you too. The God of Joshua still lives and does great miracles for those who believe in Him.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, made an image of gold, which he set up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. He called his officials to come to the dedication of the image which he had set up. Then the herald cried aloud, “To you it is commanded, peoples, nations, and languages, that whenever you hear the sound of all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up; and whoever doesn’t fall down and worship shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
When all the people heard the sound of all kinds of music, they fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. At that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought accusation against the Jews. They said, “There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not respected you. They don’t serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar asked them, “Is it on purpose, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you don’t serve my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if you are ready, whenever you hear the sound of music, fall down and worship the image which I have made; if you don’t worship, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that god that shall deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O King, we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the form of his appearance was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. He commanded certain mighty men who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste: he spoke and said to his counselors; Didn’t we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, True, O king. He answered, Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are unharmed; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth out of the midst of the fire. The officials gathered together and saw these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their clothes burnt, nor was there smell of fire on them.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel, and delivered his servants who trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything evil against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill; because there is no other God who is able to deliver like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
NOTES: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were firm in their decision that they would not worship anyone or anything else other than God Almighty. What about you? Do you worship the Trinity [God the Father, God the son (Jesus Christ) & God the Holy Spirit] only? Or are there idols? The Bible forbids idol worship. If you have made Jesus your Savior, stay true to him all the days of your life.