What Do You See?

 

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“Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.” – Psalm 119:18

Can I see the “forest for the trees?”  When I look at circumstances, do I see obstacles or opportunities? Tell me then, what should I be looking for? I can remember my Dad saying to me, “you see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear,” to which I would reply, “I don’t see what you’re talking about.” Case in point.

“Forest for the trees” is an expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole. I remember having a youth group come to Keswick and there being a lot of damage done to the property. My first thought was “why do they let those kids come here?” The answer? Four of them got saved that weekend.

Obstacles or opportunity, years ago my car was broke down and I had to ask for a ride from a coworker. After being cornered to having lunch with him, we actually enjoyed the company and shared lunch and had great fellowship for a year or so.

So, what should I be looking for? Heeding my Dad’s advice, not what I want to see, but rather seeing things the way God sees things.

As I walk this walk and use my eyes to direct my path, there are many roads I can go. The way to know the best road is to be in God’s word and allow Him to lead “according to His Word.” I know that there have been a number of times my feet have traveled down the wrong path and I am confronted with the reality that God didn’t lead me here, I did, because I did what I wanted to do and have allowed circumstances to dictate my walk. How many times I reasoned with thoughts of “treat people the way they treat you” instead of “treat people the way I would want to be treated?” I find that when I get to the end of my road, the outcome is usually confusion and turmoil, but God’s way brings me to peace and tranquility.

When it comes down to it, my eyes are going to interpret what I see according to what I believe. Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight”, connected with Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If I walk according to God’s Word and ask Him to “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law,” then I get a godly vision and can now walk “according to His Word.”Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano. Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 56-61 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber.” – Rick Warren

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. Proverbs 15:30

A Frozen Fish Patty on a Bun

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“‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’ Then Jesus said, “‘Make the people sit down.'” – John 6:9-10a (NKJV)

There’s a popular fast-food chain that puts a commercial that cracks me up. It advertises that it’s seafood lunch box is absolutely LOADED with shrimp/ fries/ biscuit/ dessert/ antacid/ napkin/ bubbly drink/ straw/ hot sauce packet with a juicy jalapeño on the side. It makes the competitor’s one, which is just a frozen fish patty on a bun (oh darn!), look very unfulfilling. But that’s what things have become now, ya can’t just have a fish sandwich and be content. Oh no, on the contrary, you must have all this other stuff to go with it or else you’ll just simply starve to death! Oh, woe is you!!

Did ya ever think you didn’t have enough to offer up to God? Like you’re really not all that gifted to handle Kingdom things and you seem to always find yourself sitting on the sideline with a frozen fish patty on a bun? If we go into the Old Testament, we see two dudes that always seemed to be in the middle of those with very little. Elijah and Elisha always seemed to find those people who are asked to give what they got and those people are going, “Whaddaya nuts? There ain’t enough here to make a dusting let alone a meal.” But somehow these two men of YHVH showed these people that YHVH could use what little they had to do bigger things.

1 Kings 17 gives an account about Elijah the Tishbite. He’ll be the guy that tells a wicked king, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” Then he’ll be directed to brook and be fed by ravens, and then he’ll be directed to a widow who will find out that her flour and oil won’t run out, but it won’t be until her son dies that she’ll “know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is true.” We never get their names, and they only had a little to offer, but then YHVH used it to prepare Elijah for that wicked king and his Jezebel.

2 Kings 4 gives an account about Elisha of Gilgal. This starts with a widow with very little oil and on the brink of losing her children to slavery. This account ends with every possible container in the village being filled with oil and two kids getting to stay with their mother. However, as we move towards the end of this chapter we see an account about 20 loaves of bread being brought to Elisha who commands that they be given to the people that they may eat. Which leads to the guy who has brought this gift saying, “What? Feed a hundred people with only this?” But the deed is done and there is leftover. This brings me to the feeding of the 5,000. Other than the Resurrection, this is the only miracle that all four Gospels give an account of.

The Apostle Andrew finds a young lad with what could be his lunch or his whole day’s ration and it seems that the young man has offered it up as something to feed everyone, but we get that same ole’ O.T.  response that it just ain’t enough. So, what’s THE Son of God supposed to do? Well, we know what He does and we forget, at times, that this miracle still does what it did and that is to do bigger things than we think it can do. When we’re thankful for what little we already have, and have the heart to be able to offer it (not when God wants or needs it, ‘cos He really never needs or wants,) but when we see the need in others, our God will do exceedingly, abundantly above what we see as impossible to do on our own.

Now as for the loaded seafood lunch box versus the frozen fish patty on bun is concerned, please keep in mind that Elijah the Tishbite would have made either one last a really long time (see 1Kings 17:8-16). Elisha from Gilgal would have had some leftovers from them (see 2Kings 4:42-44), and why is that? Well, with God nothing is impossible. By the way, Jesus would still be waiting for you to gather the 12 baskets from what He was able to do with it. Never think it ain’t enough to offer up, because when its offered up to THE Creator of the universe, it’s just the right amount. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 21-22 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Jesus didn’t need that boy. Jesus didn’t need his lunch. He could have fed everyone without even missing a beat in His teaching. Jesus could have turned rocks into bread if He wanted to-but instead, He chose to use that boy. The Bible doesn’t give us many details about this kid or why Jesus chose to use him, but I can’t help but wonder if He did it to show us what happens when we offer our gifts to Him” —Austin Gutwein

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. Proverbs 15:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living The Life of the Dead

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“There’s a part of you – the born-again part, your spirit – that’s dead to sin. That’s why it bothers you now when you sin. The ‘wilderness’ part of you – your soul – is your unrenewed mind, out-of-control emotions, and stubborn will.” ~Joyce Meyer

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 6

OH BELOVED, IT IS TRUE.

Each of us, even when we have begun to walk the path that He has set before us, have moments where we fall far short of the glory of G_d. Oh, we know that we are forgiven. That is not the issue of this entry. Rather, the question is what we are to do about the fact that we are forgiven.

The Christian life, from the outside, or from the inside view of someone who is not yet grown in their walk, can look like a ticket to let us do whatever we want to do. After all, Christ has paid the price for our sins. This is absolutely true. Our sins are forgiven. And we can do whatever we want. But a libertine will pay the price in this life, and on That Day, when we stand before Him to give an account.

So yes, we know that sin has consequences. But, as we grow, something else bothers us about our failure. We don’t like it. We actually begin to loathe our sin. We hate it. And we want nothing to do with it. And this, this growth of His Spirit’s work within us, is where Paul is going in the passage above.

Recently, I was praying in the morning. I had some things to confess. There are still parts of me that I just wish were not there. I am still very able to be impatient with my family and students. I am still very able to be angry in self-righteous ways. I still am very able to lust over nearly anything: a body, an opportunity, an object, or a situation…. I. Want. It. Now.

As I was praying, I was confident in His forgiveness, but I began to feel the shame of my falling short. I began to feel the loathing towards my old man. It is just so tiresome to be a man who GREATLY desires to please my Saviour, and to fall short – so often.

But, then, in one of those special moments – where we get quiet enough to listen – He answers. His sheep know His Voice. It is beautiful. So clear. So real. So true. And He answered me. He said, “You don’t understand just how dead you are.”

The Holy Spirit was simply prompting me back to all the places in His Word where it tells me that the old me is dead.  Galatians 2:20, 5:24, 6:14, Colossians 3:3-4, 1 Peter 4:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:11, 2 Corinthians 4:11, 5:17 are just a few of the passages.

CAN WE SEE IT?

Dead men don’t sin. Dead men don’t live in shame. Dead is dead – bury it. For our L_RD Christ Jesus has already done this in His own Body. He has taken us (shame and sin included) down into His death. It is gone, and it is done. And the fact that this corpse wants to flop around and act alive sometimes, is no reason to buy into its rigor-mortic twitching.

Again, this reality does not free me to go off and do more stupid things. It does not give me license to sin, any more than electricity gives me a license to electrocute myself. Oh yes, I can give myself the shock, but there is no need. For, the old man within me is dead, and the new man He has made me desires to live in true freedom.

Hopefully this is something we can see. Of course, sin is a bad idea. But, that we fall into it sometimes, and then live in shame are two sides of the same coin. Both are the promptings of a dead man. And the dead need to be left for dead. Then, we are to see who we really are: Alive in Christ, forever, whole, and free. This really does make all the difference.

So, are you bothered by your sin? Good. Confess it. Forsake it. But leave where it belongs: with the dead corpse of your old man. Tonight is your night. Time to understand just how dead you are. This alone will show you just how free you really are in Him.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 30-32| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: If Christ has died for me – ungodly as I am, without strength as I am – then I can no longer live in sin, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend. I must be holy for his sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it? ~ Charles Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. Proverbs 15:30

 

Listening With Intent

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Do you hear what you’re listening to?

The greatest evidence to answering yes to that question is ‘action.’ Consider this, how many times have you been asked to do something, like ‘bring down the laundry,’ only to walk past the basket and head off to something else you were actually thinking about…?  No action done and honestly, no one ends up happy in this scenario. It is the person who listens and does something about what hears that is the ‘Doer.’ Are you a ‘Doer’ or a ‘Forgetter?’

James writes,  “But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].” – James 1:25

The keys in the verse are ‘faithfully abides in the Word’ you hear, meaning you contemplate what you heard, and consider how to respond. The second key is to ‘obey’, giving action to your response. So what I am saying is, it’s not enough to just read the Bible.. it’s not enough to just hear it preached, you might as well have done anything else if you are not going to give action to what the scripture says. The Bible is the Word of God; therefore it is the owners Manual for the life He has given you. You must listen to what you’re hearing and implement its directives, if you are to live according to life’s design. Anything else is to desire Hell.

I pray that you listen to what God is saying to you right now, and implement it into your decisions today. He guarantees it will lead to harmony and contentment.

Choose wisely….

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 1-5 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” ~ Larson

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. Proverbs 15:30

Praying 4 U…

Things God Cannot Do

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Good morning. Welcome to this new week of Freedom Fighter blogs. We are so thankful that you are joining us on the journey and pray that these daily posts are a blessing to you.

Last Monday I shared with you 8 Things That God Cannot Do. I have come up with 51 in total. Here are some additional ones for your consideration:

9.  God cannot stop loving you. Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with            lovingkindess I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3

  1. God cannot despise a contrite heart. The sacrifices of a God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17
  1. God cannot give His glory to anyone else. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8 
  2. God cannot stand sin. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 
  3. God cannot leave work unfinished. Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 
  4. God cannot neglect His children. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? Matthew 7:11 
  5. God cannot be put on a time schedule. And He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power. Acts 1:7 
  6. God cannot be unknown to those who want to know Him. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
  1. God cannot give me a spirit of fear. For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    2 Timothy 1:7
     
  2. God’s Word cannot pass away. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 
  3. God cannot be understood by human understanding. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! Romans 11:13 
  4. God’s sheep cannot be plucked from His hands. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28

Pretty amazing? I trust this will encourage your heart as you start out this new week. May God bless you.

Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks!

Bill Welte
President/CEO
America’s Keswick

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 40-43| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think About This: God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to. Elizabeth Elliot

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. Proverbs 15:30

Walk In Good Works

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“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

I’m a “list guy.” I do better when things are written down. My wife is a list maker, she knows if she wants something done by me it needs to be written down.

In Ephesians 2, we read about our conversion, the exchange that was made upon our salvation. Verse 8 makes it clear that we have been saved by Grace and not of works. The word “works” shows up in verse 10 as a responsibility of a believer. It is written as a way to communicate to us that God may be a list maker also. “For good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” I am often asked by a new believer “now that I’m saved, what am I supposed to do?” My answer is always “Walk in good works.” As our conversation continues I go on to tell him that his new relationship with Jesus is built by being in His Word and prayer. The word “walk” can be defined as, to make one’s way, progress; to make due use of opportunities.

I find as I walk with the Lord and I am attentive to His leading, my life has meaning and purpose. The Bible teaches that we all have been given gifts from God, so not only does He give us a job but He provides the talent to carry out that purpose. What a great deal, why not walk in His ways, enjoy His fellowship, and get a few things done along the way?

The next question I get is “How do I know what God wants me to do?” First, we need to make sure that we understand God does not love us more because of our works (unlike my wife’s to-do list… just kidding!) We work to fulfill our calling and bring Glory to His name. I usually can tell if it is of God if it’s eternal, good, and profitable. “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (Titus 3:8).

Maybe today if you’re feeling stagnant or need a boost of encouragement, seek out God and ask Him for a job to do. If you’re thinking “I can’t do much for God because I’m physically not able,” there’s always praying, writing notes of encouragement, and being a listening ear to name a few. You can contact Americas Keswick and sign up to receive our monthly prayer calendar, we always appreciate your prayers. So, until next week, take a “Walk in good works” Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 51-55 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “A believer does not perform good works to live – but he lives to perform good works. The Consistent Christian, 1660.” – William Secker

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9

Remembering What’s Important

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“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24

We had a frightening moment this week when our unborn child, who is usually very active, wasn’t moving. My wife and I pressed, listened, and monitored until we decided it was time to call the doctors. The doctors gave us various instructions, but still no response. Emergency Room! On the way to (and while in) the emergency room, God gave us a sense of peace that everything was going to be okay. After a few hours of observing, the doctor gave us the assurance that everything is okay for now. And we were comforted.

In life, there are many different realities, various opinions, and innumerable theologies… but at the end, the truth is that ‘By His stripes we are healed.’ Ultimate healing, ultimate comfort, can only come from one source. This is essential to all believers; ‘in whom we must be saved.’ Instead of spending all week pondering over who’s right and who’s wrong, maybe it could be beneficial to go back to your first love, first encounter, the moment you knew that you were in Christ and Christ in you.

There is no other mystery that trumps, “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:25) When we were confused, scared, and uncertain about the baby, nothing other than Christ and Christ alone could comfort us. What if we had this at the front our mines at all times? Return to your first love.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 19-20 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “When God gives you comforts, it is your great evil not to observe His hand in them.” – John Flavel

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9

How Great the Father’s Grace Towards Me

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“Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.”  ~ Chandler

Amazing grace… I don’t think I can say the one word without thinking of the other. Grace, more specifically, God’s grace is amazing in that by it, I am not treated as I deserve. I broke the command…

I willfully rejected the way God designed life to work.. and justice demands I be punished. But, because I put my faith in what Jesus the Christ finished on the cross, God forgives and declares me justified.. and able to come boldly into His presence. I don’t deserve that.. and nor do you. But, I have it anyway because I am ‘saved by grace, not of (my) works’ (Eph 2:8).

I hope you understand what you have received ‘by grace’… it was not free, you know… Your sin, your willful rejection of God, doesn’t just disappear. Because God is ‘Perfect Justice’ sin must be paid for. That’s what Jesus did for you at the cross, He bore the penalty… your debt, which is all the wrath of God towards all sin. That’s the cup Jesus lamented over in the garden… but He did not walk away, He bore that suffering and infinite agony because He loves you with an infinite love. What work could you do to possibly match that?

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, and now I find rest, meaning, and purpose for my life in His gift of grace.

I hope you open up His Word and discover all His Grace has opened up for you. It would be amazing to know what you discover.

Choose wisely…

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

Praying 4 U…

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 27-29 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor.” – Dwight L. Moody

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9

 

A Good Case of Bad Recognition

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“For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.” – Acts 4:36-5:2 (NLT)

I don’t mean to start this off by sounding too critical of the movie industry, but it may end up going that way. At the time of this writing, the “Oscars” have been given out to those who allegedly deserve them, and I still can’t help wonder why that statuette resembles the golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had people bow down to. And the funnier thing is with our current political unrest, some of those folks who received what I will now call their “Nebbie” took to podium and gave those with ears that wanna hear their slant on how we need to run our current president out of office on a rail.

So, I guess the Bible is true when we read… “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Tim 4:3). C’est la guerre. But all this award giving out to people who now believe themselves conveyers of a New Age Truth has got me thinking of a time period when a good case of bad recognition had a high cost to it. Maybe you know their story as well. You’ll find it in The Book of Acts…the tale of Ananias and Sapphira.

Two words come to mind when I look at this tragic story, ambition and adulation.  I don’t think being ambitious is a bad thing, on the contrary, without a healthy ambition one may decide that it is just easier if someone else pave the way to a better da,y but that second word, adulation, that word can get us into all kinds of trouble and carries with it a deceiving hook.

Now, to have received the kind of praise that Barnabas may have received may have been flattering, but Barnabas was different as we will find out in the rest of the reading of The Book of Acts. He allowed himself to be filled with The Holy Spirit and the rest is history. I would say that his ambition to please Jesus Christ paid off in the good recognition he receives for the missionary work he does with Paul, but Ananias and Sapphira…that doesn’t go so well.

And why was that? Bet you’re saying because they were lying to the Holy Spirit, aren’t you? Well, you would be right, but we should go a little deeper than that. Ananias and Sapphira had an ambition, but it was to be somebody in the church. They had an ambition to have rank, position, and a name. And even though they were both saved, once their ambition bubbled up, Satan came along and deceived them and that deception brought them to physical death. It allowed the easement of dishonesty to slide past their lips and brought them to a quick death. Now let us not be deceived either, just because God isn’t doing the physical deaths that parallel with the kind of ambition that this husband and wife had, doesn’t mean we escape it. On the contrary, if our only ambition in serving the Lord is to gain a rank, position, or name for ourselves, we will suffer a spiritual death that we won’t see coming.

However, “If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.” (1 John 5:16)

Secularland loves to pass out the adulation to each other for stuff their ambition drives them to be…in front of each other. In their deception, they think themselves more highly than they should and it leads them to say some things that aren’t in their wheelhouse of expertise. For us who walk in the light, we need to be reminded almost daily that apart from Him you can do no good thing and hopefully it will keep us from getting on podium and saying things that aren’t in our wheelhouse of expertise. Go back and read the story of Ananias and Sapphira then realize that the only motivating force that should drive our ambition should be Jesus Christ and that the only thing you get for your effort in doing so is to be recognized as a child of God. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Ruth | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “The Holy Spirit used Luke to record the case of Ananias and Sapphira to point out to us that although the church life may be wonderful, we still need to be careful concerning ambition.” — Witness Lee

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9

Things God Cannot Do

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Growing up I remember singing a little Southern Gospel chorus that you might be familiar with (if you are over 50):

My God can do anything, anything, yes anything,
My God can do anything, yes anything.
He made the earth will all its fullness
And all that time shall bring, My God can do anything, Yes, anything!

Well it might surprise you that there are some things that God CAN’T do. You might think that I have lost my marbles, because we have always been taught that God can do ANYTHING.

But think with me for a moment about 8 things He can’t do:

  1. God can’t get tired. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. Isaiah 40:28

  2. God can’t take on any job that He can’t handle. Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and earth by your great power and outstretched arms There is nothing too hard for you.
    Jeremiah 32:17

  3. God cannot lie. “ … so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.” Numbers 6:13

  4. God cannot break a promise. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips. Psalm 89:34

  5. God cannot abandon you. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
    Deuteronomy 31:6

  6. God cannot stop thinking about you. How precious are also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; and when I am awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18.

  7. God cannot remember sins He’s forgotten. I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25

  8. God cannot stop loving you. Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindess I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3

I am thankful that I have a God who CAN DO anything, but also has a list of things that He CANNOT do. How about you? Thanks for partnering with us in the ministry of Freedom Fighters this new week. I appreciate you.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Bill Welte
President/CEO
America’s Keswick

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Gen 36-39 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think About This: When an anxious thought comes knocking on the door of your mind, you can refuse it entrance. If you invite it in, it will have dinner with you, and if it has dinner with you, it will quickly move in and want to spend the night. — Roy Lessin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9