Daily Verse

Today’s daily verse comes from the Second Epistle of Peter. It is commonly referred to as “The Seven Steps”. Following these “steps” will, God’s Word says a few verses later, assure us that we will never slip from His grace.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. (2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT)

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Trust in the Plan

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 KJV)

Joseph endured a lot due to things that others did to him. I’m sure that while he was going through the many trials he faced he must’ve wondered why God allowed the things He did. What really strikes me is how Joseph praises God for the things he endured in Genesis 50:20; instead of lamenting, Joseph says what was done to me was done out of evil intentions but God used that for good.

I think we often wonder why the Lord allows some of the things to happen in our lives that He does. And I think it’s okay to wonder and even expected by Him that we will. What I figure most of us are less apt to do is to thank Him for those things. I know that I can’t always see or understand the “why” but I have the promise that it is ultimately for good. I also know that when I have the perspective that time allows from an event in the past to the present things are often much clearer, as was Joseph’s in the passage I mentioned.

Ultimately we have to learn to trust completely in God’s goodness and righteousness. When we don’t understand how He is working things out or along is the time that our trust and faith are both exercised and grown the most.

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 1:1–12

Without Job’s knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan’s attention to Job’s exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn’t serve You, the way You’ve prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job.

And so, in today’s terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man’s possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.

This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation—not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.

In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job’s mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.

You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father’s plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father’s plan includes. It’s best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it’s on the horizon. We can be certain of this: our God knows what is best.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Simple

I read a quote today from Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough”. This stirred up my mind about salvation and the things of God. It seems to me that all too often we make these subjects way more complicated than they really are.

I’m thankful that one needn’t be a scholar to understand God’s Word or His plan of salvation. I’m thankful that there is nothing that I can do to make myself good enough in God’s sight. I’m thankful that He takes the broken, the low, the heavy burdened and makes them in to a new creature in Christ Jesus. I’m thankful that Jesus did every thing, completely, that needed to be done so that we can be brought back into a right relationship with the Father. I’m thankful that it only takes our faith and belief to be a part of the family of God under the wonderful covenant of Grace. I’m thankful for all this because otherwise I would be staring into an eternity of what I justly deserve, not what has been lovingly imparted to me.

I’m so very glad that it is so simple, by faith in Christ Jesus alone, that we can receive forgiveness and know we are His and He is ours.

Relatability

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Relatability “You just don’t understand!” How many times have you said that? Who have you said it to? Your parents, your boss, your spouse, your kids, your customer service representative? There’s one person you can’t say that to: God. None of us, regardless of how tested, tried or tempted we may be, can ever accuse God of not knowing or understanding where we’re at. The Book of Hebrews tells us that God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, was exposed to the full range of human experiences, short of actually sinning. Keep in mind that God didn’t settle for reading a manual or attending a lecture on what it’s like to be a human being. He didn’t seek out any second-hand information. He actually became one! And by so doing, He’s able to fully relate to us. Think that one through. The One who is able to hold the entire universe in His hand, the One who spoke everything that is into existence, that same God is able to identify with everything you’re going through at this very moment. You’ll never hear Him say, “I’m sorry. I wish I could help you with that, but I just don’t understand.” By coming to dwell in the rags of human flesh, God forever took the “you just don’t understand” card away from us. He does understand, and He’s able to give us the support and strength we need to overcome all things. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18 NKJV) The One who is able to hold the entire universe in His hand, the One who spoke everything that is into existence, that same God is able to identify with everything you’re going through at this very moment. – Bob Coy

On the Home Front: Teaching Your Children the Importance of Prayer

I found the following story on the web this evening. It is purportedly a true story, written by Mrs. Caruso herself. I thought I’d share it because of the simple, innocent faith portrayed in the story, some thing I think we all could do with a little more of.

Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Beverly Caruso didn’t know how much her prayer principles had shaped her

children until their family was in Hong Kong on a short-term missionary trip.

Because it was an unplanned side trip, no one at home knew where they were.

They had spent the last of their money for a night’s sleep. They sat knee to

knee on the beds in that tiny YWCA room. Fifteen-year-old Dave inquired,

“Have you ever been in this situation before?”

“Just what do you mean?” her husband, Pete, asked.

“In a strange country, with no ministry, no money, and no one knowing where

you are?”

Discouragement evident in his voice, Pete answered, “Not all at the same

time.”

“Well, then, let’s pray,” Dave said. He went on to pray a faith-filled prayer

that astounded both Pete and Beverly.

The next morning they had breakfast at a nearby mission center. They were

introduced to the couple sitting across the table from them. The couple had

just arrived form the missionary base the Carusos had left three months

earlier. When the couple heard their name they expressed confusion. They

told the Carusos they were on their way to Singapore and had been asked to

hand carry a letter addressed to them. To the Caruso’s amazement the letter

was from friends at home and had been mailed several months earlier. It

contained a check – just the amount we needed to get them to their next place

of ministry.

The Blacksmith’s Story

The Blacksmith’s Story

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

This is the story of the blacksmith who gave his heart to Jesus:

Though living a more godly life, still he was not prospering materially. In fact, it seems that from the time of his conversion more trouble, affliction and loss were sustained than ever before. Everything seemed to be going wrong.

One day a friend who was not a Christian stopped by to talk to him awhile. Sympathizing with him in some of his trials, the friend said, “It seems strange to me that so much affliction should pass over you just at the time when you have become an earnest Christian. Of course, I don’t want to weaken your faith in God or anything like that. But here you are, with God’s help and guidance, and yet things seem to be getting steadily worse. I can’t help wondering why that is.”

The blacksmith did not answer immediately, and it was evident that he had thought the same question before. But finally, he said, “You see here the raw iron which I have to make into horse’s shoes. You know what I do with it? I take a piece and heat it in the fire until it is red, almost white with the heat. Then I hammer it unmercifully to shape it as I know it should be shaped. Then I plunge it into a pail of cold water to temper it. Then I heat it again and hammer it some more. And this I do until it is finished.”

“But sometimes I find a piece of iron that won’t stand up under this treatment. The heat and the hammering and the cold water are too much for it. I don’t know why it fails in the process, but I know it will never make a good horse’s shoe.”

He pointed to a heap of scrap iron that was near the door of his shop. “When I get a piece that cannot take the shape and temper, I throw it out on the scrap heap. It will never be good for anything.”

He went on, “I know that God has been holding me in the fires of affliction and I have felt His hammer upon me. But I don’t mind, if only He can bring me to what I should be. And so, in all these hard things my prayer is simply this: “Try me in any way you wish, Lord, only don’t throw me on the scrap heap.” – Author Unknown

I think we would all do well to remember the prayer of the blacksmith when a season of trial comes into our lives. How good it is to know that our God is with us, readying us for His purposes, and that good will come from being passed through the purifying fire.