"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," says Hebrews 11:1.
When we say we believe there is a God, we become witnesses that there is something more than what we call "everyday reality." In changing our lives due to that conviction, we give the Lord a tangible presence on Earth. We make the world without excuse as to its Creator; how will people hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14).
We cannot simply speak things into existence, but we can work on them with God's unction and see them come to pass. That's what this verse implores us to do: be living, breathing, striving disciples who see their prayers and the Bible come to life. Live Hebrews 11:1 today!
Make sure to take time ... to take time. "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all his work," reads Genesis 2:3.
The Lord did not need to rest; he is a spirit, not a human. He took off from his labor to model for us how to live.
"Busy-ness" is a common malady today, with which I find myself sometimes afflicted, too. We need to learn how to come away from our mental, physical and spiritual work.
God warns us in Hebrews 4 of the perils of not entering his rest. Let's not tempt him to subject us to them.
How are we in touch with the Lord? “We know God abides in us by the Spirit he’s given us,” says 1 John 3:24.
The believer must know the Bible and accept Christ as Lord and Savior. However, a reading program and a prayer are not a relationship. That is one of the greatest purposes of God putting the Holy Spirit in his faithful.
With the Spirit, the Christian lives, moves and has being in the Lord, a 24-hour flowing of the life of God daily. This affects thinking, feeling, remembering, deciding, relating and just about every other activity.
We know God's with us because he's in us and goes with us wherever we travel.
We have a choice to make. “You cannot serve God and mammon,” Jesus warns in Matthew 6:24.
"Mammon," the Aramaic word for "riches," means the world and its money, lust and cares. Making these our greatest pursuit increases our distance from God, who values relationships, integrity, character and loyalty above all. Since we live in a capitalist society, we often straddle these spheres, but eventually, the Lord will make us choose which will rule our hearts.
Our Lord told us in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek first God's Kingdom and righteousness, all we need will be added to us. That's what I'm doing, and I hope you are, too.
On this date, Richard Nixon left the Oval Office after resigning in the wake of the Watergate scandal. This act in 1974, 45 years ago today, is still the only time a U.S. president has decided to leave his position before his term is up.
The anniversary is a stark reminder that God isn't a Republican or Democrat. "Our citizenship is in heaven," says Philippians 3:20.
Politics are important and the faithful are to be good members of society, but my spiritual passport doesn't say "American" but "Christian." Believers can't legislate a revival, as that's something that can only come by people seeking the Lord for themselves.
We aren't saved by edict, but rather accepting Christ personally. Let's work for a better USA but know it's going to be at best a good government rather than the Lord's legislating.
The Almighty Father will make his faithful shine with his glory, even from dark places. “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in integrity. I have trusted in God; I shall not slip,” David says in Psalm 26:1.
So many are nervous these days; will this or that happen, what if? This passage says that those doing what is right and believing the Lord will have their witness confirmed by him.
God, not the enemy, is in control. Yes, it appears sometimes the opposite, but mostly, the unsaved are inviting the devil to make them miserable by acting out of fear, arrogance, selfishness or other wrong motives.
We who trust in Christ are to have good motives, and the Lord gives us clarity of thought. He will make straight our paths, and get us home to him.
A blessed 85th birthday today to my favorite uncle, K! He is the twin of my father, who died earlier this year. K is fighting long-term COPD and other maladies, and I pray he is healed. But his illness and my dad's passing remind me this life is only a beginning to forever.
"The heavens will vanish away like smoke, and the earth will grow old like a garment," God says in Isaiah 51:9. "Those who dwell in it will die in like manner, but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will not be abolished."
A great and beautiful final Sabbath of earth is coming, too. The prophet talks of the Millennial Kingdom to come following Jesus' return to the planet. "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days. The child shall die one hundred years old," the Lord states in Isaiah 65:20.
Remember that for those who trust in Christ, the present existence is as bad as it gets. After we leave this guilty sod by death or Rapture, we will live for eternity with Christ. There will be no illness, no hatred, no sin, no evil befalling us. Believe in the Lord of glory!
“He who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen,” says John 3:21.
Ever dread opening a letter in the mail or answering a ring on your phone for fear of what it held for you? We all have. But this verse teaches us we needn't be afraid of illumination, whether it seems to be for the moment bad or good.
Knowing the truth lets us in on how to pray, act, organize and answer to the best of the ability God gives us. Staying in darkness and its murkiness is the real problem.
Greg Laurie, now a senior citizen, keeps evangelizing America. He is gearing up for his 30th annual SoCal Harvest Crusade at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim, California, next month. His team claims that is the longest-running evangelistic crusade in American history.
Laurie hasn't slowed down much since he started ministering in the 1970s. Still writing and utilizing media as well as in-person crusades to spread the gospel, he's brought many thousands to Christ through the years. An estimated 8 million have heard his messages in person.
To me, this California pastor is an inspiration to persist in witnessing to a land increasingly hostile to it. Christians are accountable to God for obedience, not results. Laurie is a great example of faithfulness on behalf of the Lord.
Receive brothers and sisters in the Lord. “Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one,” says 2 Corinthians 7:2. Ultimately, God will make sure you're cleared if falsely accused, per Isaiah 54:17 and Revelation 12:11.
However, remember that both those passages refer to ways you do need to speak up: In the former, "you shall condemn" those voices coming against you and in the latter, you overcome Satan in part by the "word of your testimony."
Do not be afraid to speak the truth in love. Be straightforward, honest and humble, but be direct. God will honor your witness.
Praising the Almighty is both a joy and duty. “I will extol You, my God, O King,” promises Psalm 145:1.
Glorifying the Lord is our No. 1 job as Christians. We can extol him when we speak, sing, think, laugh, write, work, play or do anything else.
Giving God our lives to use and thanking him for his great work in us will keep our witness of Christ flowing continually. These rivers of living water never have to stop gushing forth.
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