The Holy Suffering of the Saint

STEPPING STONE

 

Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good…  1 Peter 4:19

Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will— even if it means you will suffer— is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint’s life.

The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. But the people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us. No one better understands a saint than the saint who is as close and as intimate with Jesus as possible. If we accept the sympathy of another saint, our spontaneous feeling is, “God is dealing too harshly with me and making my life too difficult.” That is why Jesus said that self-pity was of the devil (see Matthew 16:21-23). We must be merciful to God’s reputation. It is easy for us to tarnish God’s character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate Himself. Beware of thinking that Jesus needed sympathy during His life on earth. He refused the sympathy of people because in His great wisdom He knew that no one on earth understood His purpose (see Matthew 16:23). He accepted only the sympathy of His Father and the angels (see Luke 15:10).

Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, “God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him.” Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Psalms 79-80; Romans 11:1-18

 

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Beware of isolation; beware of the idea that you have to develop a holy life alone. It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be. The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children, and you will soon find how God alters your set. God does not contradict our social instincts; He alters them.

from Biblical Psychology, 189 L

Confrontation… or Condemnation? – Greg Laurie Daily Devotion – August 9

Friday, August 9, 2019
Confrontation . . . or Condemnation?

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24–25 NLT)

Jesus is not always happy about the state of the church, but He is very concerned about its welfare. Jesus said of the church, “All the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18 NLT).

In using the word church, I’m not speaking of a building; I’m speaking of people. The church exists for three reasons: the glorification of God, the edification of the saints, and the evangelization of the world.

When you’re walking with God, you’ll want to be with God’s people. And if you find yourself out of fellowship with God, then you’ll also find yourself out of fellowship with other believers. You’ll find yourself saying things like, “I don’t really know if I want to go to church today. Besides, there are so many hypocrites. When I go, I feel judged.”

An often-quoted verse is Matthew 7:1, which says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (NKJV). This could be translated, “Condemn not, that you be not condemned.” We are not to condemn other people. But evaluation is something we should do for one another, helping one another, encouraging one another, and, if necessary, correcting one another.

I reserve the right to confront, if necessary, a fellow Christian who is on the wrong track. As Hebrews 10 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (verses 24–25 NKJV).

God wants us to be holy people—not holier-than-thou in the way someone looks down at another with condescension. Rather, it means living a life that is honoring to God and wanting to become more and more like Jesus every day

A Good Thing – August 9

 

Day 9 ThemeNames of God
The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will– Daniel 4:32

Some religions believe in millions of gods. Some believe that everything is god. Others believe that we are gods. But in a world crammed full of gods, the God of the Bible stakes this supreme claim – He is the most High God.

And He has proven it repeatedly through history. In the ten plagues that God sent against Egypt in Moses’ day, God was showing himself to be far superior to all the gods the Egyptians worshiped (Exodus 12:12). When the ark of God was placed in the same house with the Philistines’ imaginary god Dagon, the statue of Dagon fell on its face before it (1 Samuel 5:4).

And, again, here in Daniel, the mighty ruler Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon learns by hard experience that God is the most High, and that He is the one ultimately ruling in every place, giving power to whomsoever He will. There is no king, or employer, or powerbroker that has power outside of God’s dominion.

What a peace and pleasure comes with knowing that God rules, even in the greatest kingdoms of men, and that He dispenses power and influence and authority to whomsoever He will. God is the most High in every place on earth.

Does your life reflect an accurate view of God as the sovereign over your life? Do others see in you a joyful and willing submission to God as the most High? May it be said of us, as it was truly said of Paul and those with him, that “these are the servants of the most High God” (Acts 16:17).

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9 Christian Alternatives to Disney and PBS Cartoons for Your Kids

Michael Foust

9 Christian Alternatives to Disney and PBS Cartoons for Your Kids

My children have watched their share of animated movies from Disney and the other big Hollywood studios. They’ve also seen plenty of PBS Kids cartoons.

Occasionally, though, these supposedly kid-friendly movies and shows have introduced adult-oriented themes and concepts I would rather have introduced myself, in my own time with my kids.

But there are alternatives to the mega-popular movies and children’s series from Disney, PBS and others.

Of course, these alternatives aren’t perfect. Yet they’re far more likely to support your family’s faith rather than conflict with it.

Here are nine Christians alternatives to Disney and PBS cartoons:

Photo courtesy: Pexels

1. PureFlix.com

1. PureFlix.com

Its parent company is the studio behind such films as the God’s Not Dead series and Do You Believe? PureFlix.com is set up similar to Netflix and offers a wide range of programming for adults and children. For kids, the offerings include Bugtime Adventures, Friends and Heroes, Owlegories, Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bibleand VeggieTales. PureFlix.com also includes content from Answers in Genesis. A monthly fee is required. Visit PureFlix.com.

Photo courtesy: PureFlix

2. Up Faith & Family

2. Up Faith & Family

Up Faith & Family is the streaming service for UP TV, the channel found on most cable and satellite lineups. Similar to its cable and satellite counterpart, Up Faith & Family includes programming for adults and children, including faith-based series (Owlegories and The Torchlighters, for example) and more mainstream content (Animals Are People, Tooand Meow Manor). A monthly fee is required. Visit UPTV.com.

Photo courtesy: Up Faith & Family

3. JellyTelly

3. JellyTelly

It’s a streaming service that caters to children. Jelly Telly includes Biblestories (The Jesus Storybook Bible, Awesome Bible Adventures, Bugtime Adventures, Read and Share Bible), adventure series (Angel Wars, Owlegoriesand Adventures in Booga Booga Land) and history programs (The Torchlighters, Friends and Heroes). JellyTelly was created by Phil Vischer, the co-creator of VeggieTales. Of course, it has VeggieTales episodes, too. A monthly fee is required. Visit JellyTelly.com.

Photo courtesy: JellyTelly

4. FaithLifeTV

4. FaithLifeTV

The same company that produces the Logos Bible Software is behind FaithLifeTV, which offers thousands of hours of faith-based movies, documentaries and children’s programs for a monthly fee. For kids, it includes well-known programming (such as The Torchlighters, Bugtime Adventures and Davey and Goliath) and original programming, too. Its newest original animated series is Bible Agent 7, which follows a young detective-like agent who solves mysteries using Scripture’s text and history. Visit FaithLifeTV.com.

Photo courtesy: FaithLifeTV


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5. Dove Channel

5. Dove Channel

The Dove Channel was founded by the Dove Foundation, the same company behind the famous Dove-approved symbols on DVD covers. It is a Netflix-type channel that includes faith-based and Dove-approved mainstream content for adults and children. Kid-themed content includes Owlegories, The Little Rascals, Davey and Goliath, Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? and Storybook Classics (Peter Pan and Robin Hood, among others). Some content is free, but the premium version requires a monthly fee. Visit DoveChannel.com.

Photo courtesy: Dove Channel

6. VidAngel

6. VidAngel

VidAngel is unique streaming service because it allows parents to filter out objectionable content in popular movies and television shows. Don’t like the potty humor in the Despicable Me series? Then skip it. Don’t like the scary scenes in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy? You can skip that, too. VidAngel works only with subscriptions to Netflix or Amazon Prime. A monthly fee is required. Visit VidAngel.com.

Photo courtesy: VidAngel

7. Smile of a Child

7. Smile of a Child

This TBN children’s channel launched in 2005, delivering a variety of animated and live-action faith-based programming for kids. The schedule includes well-known programs such as VeggieTales, Bugtime Adventures and Hermie and Friends, and lesser-known programs like Monster Truck Adventures, Wild About Animals and Storykeepers. Smile of a Child is free. Visit SmileofaChildTV.org.

Photo courtesy: Smile of a Child

8. Christian Cinema

8. Christian Cinema

Perhaps you want a Christian streaming platform without a subscription or commitment. That’s Christian Cinema. Instead of paying a monthly fee, you rent or pay only for the movies or shows you watch. Christian Cinema has faith-based content for adults and for children, too. Like The Torchlighters. And Davey & Goliath. And Bugtime Adventures. Christian Cinema also offers a few mainstream films, so you might want to monitor your children while they’re browsing. Visit ChristianCinema.com.

Photo courtesy: Christian Cinema

9. CrossFlix

9. CrossFlix

Its website says its goal is to educate, entertain and inspire, and its lineup has content for adults and children. The kids’ section includes such series as Little Leaders, The Torchlighters and The Messengers. CrossFlix offers kid-friendly movies, too, including Lion of Judah and Tugger: The Jeep 4×4 Who Wanted to Fly. Visit CrossFlix.com.