Pearls of Grace – January 30

January 30

Knowing Your Portion

“In Him, all the promises of God are Yea and Amen!”

II Corinthians 1:20

Phillips Brooks said, “You cannot think of a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish that you had made it larger. It’s been said that Heaven is full of answers to prayers that no one bothered to ask. We will never exhaust the possibilities that await us in prayer. The higher you journey in prayer there will always be higher to go. It is a limitless gift and service God affords each of us who are willing to give ourselves completely to petitioning the Heavens. The largeness of our prayers will be determined by the largeness of our faith. God longs for us to ask big things of Him believing in full faith that He is able. It pleases His heart when we say, “YOU CAN”! and embrace His word in full faith refusing to let go of God until we have prayed through.

God honors valiant faith! The writer of Hebrews tells us these inspiring words; “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23). With this immoveable and reservoir of hope, we should never shrink to prayers that ask for easy lives but rather seek to be made stronger women for God. We often pray for God to give us assignments that will measure up to our abilities. We should step up the plate of faith and ask God to impart the abilities equal to His tasks! God’s tasks are never given or measured by our strengths, resources or power but they are assigned according to His resources and all that He is. This is a weight of relief when we understand that we don’t have to measure up to God or to the missions He gives us; He meets every requirement necessary to accomplish the work He summons His children to do. That’s a slap Ethel truth right there! Embracing this truth will remove the demand to perform by replacing it with dependence and trust. He is able!

Today, know that your God is always abounding in the grace and strength we need, to do whatever it is He gives to us. Every day God presents us with opportunities to stretch ourselves by resting in Him and leaning into all that He is. You can believe He is able because He is! The Who God is…is what enables us. Self is totally removed from the picture and God is placed upon the throne where He rightfully belongs and when this takes place all you need is provided.

REST IN WHO HE IS AND SURRENDER ALL THAT YOU ARE NOT

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Daily Strength for Daily Needs – January 30

January 30

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea: even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.–PS. cxxxix. 9, 10.

  I cannot lose Thee! Still in Thee abiding,
    The end is clear, how wide soe’er I roam;
  The Hand that holds the worlds my steps is guiding,
    And I must rest at last in Thee, my home.
E. SCUDDER.

How can we come to perceive this direct leading of God? By a careful
looking at home, and abiding; within the gates of thy own soul. Therefore,
let a man be at home in his own heart, and cease from his restless chase of
and search after outward things. If he is thus at home while on earth, he
will surely come to see what there is to do at home,–what God commands
him inwardly without means, and also outwardly by the help of means; and
then let him surrender himself, and follow God along whatever path his
loving Lord thinks fit to lead him: whether it be to contemplation or
action, to usefulness or enjoyment; whether in sorrow or in joy, let him
follow on. And if God do not give him thus to feel His hand in all things,
let him still simply yield himself up, and go without, for God’s sake, out
of love, and still press forward.
J. TAULER. 


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Time with God – January 30

Saturday, 30 January 2021

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

Don’t expect that loving God means you will face an easy life!

“There will come times of difficulty.” It’s a fact of life, isn’t it? There are good times and bad times in everybody’s life. We are fallen beings living in fallen bodies in a fallen world, surrounded by other fallen people. And according to this passage, that is only going to get worse as we move towards the “last days”.

God allows us to experience the fallenness of life, just like everyone else. It is in our spiritual response to the difficulties of life that God is most glorified.

What is God saying to you through this passage today? If you are experiencing dark times, don’t think it is unusual or that God has abandoned you. God wants you to know that until you go to be with him, you will have the stress of life in a fallen world. The difference is that God walks through that experience with you, transforming both you and those you touch.

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Sparkling Gems from the Greek – Week of January 25

Jesus’ Last Lesson for the Disciples 

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter…
– John 14:16

I’ve often heard Christians ask, “I wonder what it must have been like to walk with Jesus. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk with Him and to hear His voice and talk to Him?” But believers who ask these kinds of questions don’t understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If they did, they’d know that having the Holy Spirit with them is just like having Jesus right at their side!

Because Jesus was about to depart from the world, He knew it was absolutely essential that the disciples learn how to rely entirely on the Spirit of God and to follow His leadership. Therefore, Jesus used His last moments to teach the disciples how to follow the Holy Spirit’s leadership in the same way they had followed Him.

It must have seemed strange to the disciples as they listened to Jesus speak about the Holy Spirit. They had been accustomed to Jesus physically and visibly leading them, but now they were learning that the Spirit of God would become their Leader. This would be a Leader they couldn’t see, couldn’t touch, and couldn’t audibly hear; yet they were supposed to follow Him just as they had fol­lowed Jesus. They were probably thinking, What is the Holy Spirit’s leadership going to be like in our lives? Does He act and think differently than Jesus? What is it going to be like to follow the Spirit of God?

Knowing that these were normal questions to ask, Jesus used His final moments with the disciples to dispel all fear and insecurity they might have felt about following the Holy Spirit’s leadership. This is why Jesus was so careful to use key words when He spoke to them about the coming of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, for example, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter.…”

Notice the word “another” is italicized. I want to draw your attention to this very important word today. In Greek, there are two possible words for another. The first is the Greek word allos, and the second is the Greek word heteros. The word allos means one of the very same kind; same character; same everything; or nearly a duplicate. The second word, heteros, means one of another kind or one of a different kind. This word heteros forms the first part of the word heterosexual, which, of course, describes someone who has sexual relations with a person of the opposite sex.

The Greek word used in John 14:16 is the first word, allos. The word allos emphatically means that the Holy Spirit would be like Jesus in every way. This conveys a very strong and important mes­sage about the Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted the disciples to know that the Holy Spirit was just like Him. Following the Holy Spirit wouldn’t be any different than following Him, except the Spirit’s leader­ship would be invisible rather than physical and visible, as Jesus’ leadership had been.

One translator says the word allos in John 14:16 could be translated to mean:

“I will pray the Father, and He will send you Someone who is just like Me in every way. He will be identical to Me in the way He speaks, the way He thinks, the way He operates, the way He see things, and the way He does things. He will be exactly like Me in every way. If the Holy Spirit is here, it will be just as if I am here because we think, behave, and operate exactly the same….”

Earlier in John 14, Philip told the Lord, “…Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us” (John 14:8). Jesus answered, “…Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father” (John 14:9).

Jesus was the exact image of the Father when He walked on this earth. Hebrews 1:3 declares, “He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature…” (Amplified Bible). This means Jesus reflected the character of His Heavenly Father in every way. That is why Jesus told Philip, “…He that hath seen me hath seen the Father….”

If you see Jesus, you see the Father. By looking at Jesus, you can discover the Father’s will. Jesus did and said exactly what the Father would do and say. His life, attitudes, and actions were the absolute manifested will of the Father, for the two were united in nature, in character, in thought, and in deed.

As Jesus teaches the disciples about the Holy Spirit, He takes this truth one step further. Just as Jesus is the exact image of the Father in every way, now Jesus unmistakably tells the disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will exactly represent Jesus in every word. That’s why the word allos is used to make this point. It leaves no room for doubt that the Holy Spirit will be exactly like Jesus.

The word allos tells us the Holy Spirit perfectly represents the life and nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus did only what the Heavenly Father would do, and now the Holy Spirit will do only what Jesus would do. As Jesus’ Representative on earth, the Holy Spirit never acts on His own or out of char­acter with the life of Jesus Christ.

You see, the Spirit of God was sent to bring us the life of Jesus. Just as Jesus told Philip, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father,” now He is telling us, “If you have the Holy Spirit, it will be just as if you have Me.”

You and I must stop looking backward and grieving over what we missed by not living two thousands years ago. Instead, we must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead and guide us, just as He did in the Early Church. Jesus’ physical absence didn’t stop the early believers from performing miracles, raising the dead, casting out demons, healing the sick, or bringing multitudes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Because the Holy Spirit was with them, the ministry of Jesus continued uninter­rupted in their midst.

Why don’t you start opening your heart to the work of the Spirit today? He wants to represent Jesus to you, your church, your family, your business, and your city, just as He did to believers who lived during the time of the book of Acts. Remember, if you have the Holy Spirit working alongside you, it’s just like having Jesus right there at your side!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, help me learn how to work with the Holy Spirit! I don’t want to waste time grieving over what I missed by not living two thousands years ago, so I ask You to teach me how to let the Spirit lead and guide me. Your Word teaches that because the Holy Spirit is with me, the ministry of Jesus can continue uninterrupted in my life today. Holy Spirit, I ask You to bring me into a greater knowledge of how to work with You so that the ministry of Jesus can continue through me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare by faith that the Holy Spirit works mightily in my life. I know His voice; I discern His leading; and I boldly do what He tells me to do. Because I am obedient to His voice, the life of Jesus Christ is manifested in me. Having the Holy Spirit work with me is just like having Jesus right by my side all the time. Just as Jesus worked miracles in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit works miracles through me today – healing the sick, casting out demons, and bringing salvation to the lost through Jesus Christ!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER 

  1. Can you say that the Holy Spirit is working powerfully in your life right now? If you say yes, what is the evidence that lets you know He is working mightily through you? Ponder this question, and write down your answers on a piece of paper. 
  2. When you read the Gospels, does it seem like you’re reading about the same Jesus who works in your life today – or about a historical Jesus who did things you’ve never experienced? 
  3. What actions and changes do you need to take so the Holy Spirit can become a supernatural Partner in your life?

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