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Nov 19, 2019 06:21:40   #
bdamage Loc: My Bunker
 
Armageddun wrote:
GUARDING THE TRUTH

"False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect---if that were possible." Mark 13:22

"The best protection against Satan's lies is to know God's truth."
---Anonymous ....

Jesus warns of false Christs and prophets---deceivers who are subtle and impressive enough to lead true believers away, at least for a time. It's a sobering thought. We like to think we are so devoted to Jesus that we're immune from the deceptive spirits of this age. Not so, says Jesus. Even His well-trained disciples, who saw Him in the flesh and learned straight from the words of His mouth, are given strong warning. The false Savior's are coming, armed with miracles and signs. And we are their prey.

In fact, many of them have already come. Jesus' prediction is frighteningly accurate. There are those who have already said, "Look, there He is!" (v 21), and many have believed them. There are cults all over this planet, many of which have begun by someone speaking lies in the name of Jesus. Their membership consists primarily of those who have once sat in the pews of our respected, faithful congregations. If these have been led astray, so can others. How can we protect ourselves against deception ?

Jesus gives us the answer in verse 23: "Be on your guard." Deception usually comes to those who were not wary of their vulnerability. Perhaps they started adding a little unbiblical philosophy to their biblical faith. Perhaps they saw quick results that their patient discipleship would not match. Perhaps they assumed that they knew enough of God's Word to put it on a shelf and safely entertain competing worldviews, never noticing their foundation eroding beneath them. Whatever the case, they thought they were safe. But they weren't.

What are you doing to be on guard? Deception can have eternal consequences for you and those you influence. Pray earnestly for discernment. Cling to Jesus' Word as if your life depends on it. In many ways, it does.
GUARDING THE TRUTH br br "False Christs and ... (show quote)


Indeed a sobering warning to all.

So much watering down of the Word going on around the world.....trying to change the "never changing"content to blend into society's evils and unfortunately to many or buying into all this nonsense.

ALWAYS seek the only Messiah, my Lord and Savior Yeshua!

| Reply
Nov 23, 2019 20:36:44   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
bdamage wrote:
Indeed a sobering warning to all.

So much watering down of the Word going on around the world.....trying to change the "never changing"content to blend into society's evils and unfortunately too many or buying into all this nonsense.

ALWAYS seek the only Messiah, my Lord and Savior Yeshua!




JESUS AND OUR NEED

"But what about you?.......who do you say I am?" Mark 8:29

"I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need."
---Charles Spurgeon.....

We have heard the common answers to this question---good teacher, moral leader, tragic hero, well-intentioned martyr, etc.---and most of us have found them to be insufficient. He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. As a matter of the witness of Scripture and the faith we hold dear, we know this to be true. Many of us have even boldly proclaimed it to others.

But we must ask ourselves this very question. Who do we say He is? Perhaps an even better question would be this: Who do we really---deep in our hearts---believe He is? We must go beyond the pew and the pulpit and into our living rooms and offices for the answer. We must wonder if this is true for us on Wednesdays just as it is on Sundays. We must come down from the mountaintops and answer from the valleys. Why? Because of regardless of how long we have been Christians, this answer must be more than theology in our heads; it must be the truth that grips our hearts.

When your situation is dire---a relationship has broken, finances are looking impossibly weak, a disease is pronounced incurable, OR TRAGEDY STRIKES A LOVED ONE---who is He? Is He a theological tenet or really your Savior, your Provider, your Healer and Friend? When you are tempted beyond your strength---immoral desires are running rampant, an ethical compromise would seem so easy, or you are pressured to conform to the world's expectations--- who is He? An ancient biblical character or your Righteousness, your Strength, and your Refuge?

Know Him in your inner being. Jesus doesn't help us much as the center of our theology; He helps us as the center of our lives.

| Reply
Nov 24, 2019 18:56:18   #
bdamage Loc: My Bunker
 
Armageddun wrote:
JESUS AND OUR NEED

"But what about you?.......who do you say I am?" Mark 8:29

"I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need."
---Charles Spurgeon.....

We have heard the common answers to this question---good teacher, moral leader, tragic hero, well-intentioned martyr, etc.---and most of us have found them to be insufficient. He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. As a matter of the witness of Scripture and the faith we hold dear, we know this to be true. Many of us have even boldly proclaimed it to others.

But we must ask ourselves this very question. Who do we say He is? Perhaps an even better question would be this: Who do we really---deep in our hearts---believe He is? We must go beyond the pew and the pulpit and into our living rooms and offices for the answer. We must wonder if this is true for us on Wednesdays just as it is on Sundays. We must come down from the mountaintops and answer from the valleys. Why? Because of regardless of how long we have been Christians, this answer must be more than theology in our heads; it must be the truth that grips our hearts.

When your situation is dire---a relationship has broken, finances are looking impossibly weak, a disease is pronounced incurable, OR TRAGEDY STRIKES A LOVED ONE---who is He? Is He a theological tenet or really your Savior, your Provider, your Healer and Friend? When you are tempted beyond your strength---immoral desires are running rampant, an ethical compromise would seem so easy, or you are pressured to conform to the world's expectations--- who is He? An ancient biblical character or your Righteousness, your Strength, and your Refuge?

Know Him in your inner being. Jesus doesn't help us much as the center of our theology; He helps us as the center of our lives.
JESUS AND OUR NEED br br "But what about you... (show quote)




You're preaching to the choir here Brother!

Love your mindset.

When I sit here and think of the only living human being that has walked this Earth without sin, it's just phenomenal!!!



| Reply
Nov 25, 2019 03:11:36   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
bdamage wrote:


You're preaching to the choir here Brother!

Love your mindset.

When I sit here and think of the only living human being that has walked this Earth without sin, it's just phenomenal!!!


Amen and Amen




THE SPIRIT OF COMFORT AND PEACE

"You know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you."
John 14:17

"The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble."
---Thomas Watson....

When we base our contentment on our circumstances, we find that our lives have a way of repeating a cycle; we go through periods of peace punctuated by periods of turmoil. We enjoy the equilibrium, but we often become quite unsettled when the storms of life hit.

Jesus spoke to His disciples as a storm began to swell around Him. He knew their world would be rocked. He knew that the very next day after He spoke to His disciples about the Holy Spirit, their vision of helping the Messiah establish His earthly kingdom would die. Everything they had invested their lives in for the last three years would collapse right in front of their very eyes. And this is what He told them as this storm began to blow: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.....Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27).

Jesus speaks often in John 14-16 about the Holy Spirit's comforting purpose. Where many translations use "Counselor," others use "Comforter." Both are appropriate. The word can be translated as either one; the Spirit is a comforting Counselor who promises us peace, and He is a counseling Comforter who promises to relieve our fears.

When we are unsettled, we ask a lot of "why" questions. "Why did this happen to me." "Why does God seem so absent?" "Why doesn't God do something?" During these times, we must remember the promise of the Holy Spirit, a promise from a Sovereign God who is "an ever-present Help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Faith will make His presence---with all of His peace and comfort---real to us.

But what if this same Spirit lives within us? Not only will we have comfort and peace, WE WILL MINISTER TO OTHERS IN THEIR TRIALS. We will be comforting counselors and/or counseling comforters. We will represent "the God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3) as He ministers through us.

| Reply
Nov 26, 2019 01:42:38   #
Zemirah Loc: Sojourner En Route...
 
Thank you for your post:

This Scripture, better than any other, explains the why of our life's experiences, for having been strengthened and comforted through inexplicable trials, we are equipped by God to comfort those who now follow us.


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
"who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2nd Corinthians 1:3-4)



Armageddun wrote:


THE SPIRIT OF COMFORT AND PEACE

"You know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you."
John 14:17

"The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble."
---Thomas Watson....

When we base our contentment on our circumstances, we find that our lives have a way of repeating a cycle; we go through periods of peace punctuated by periods of turmoil. We enjoy the equilibrium, but we often become quite unsettled when the storms of life hit.

Jesus spoke to His disciples as a storm began to swell around Him. He knew their world would be rocked. He knew that the very next day after He spoke to His disciples about the Holy Spirit, their vision of helping the Messiah establish His earthly kingdom would die. Everything they had invested their lives in for the last three years would collapse right in front of their very eyes. And this is what He told them as this storm began to blow: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.....Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27).

Jesus speaks often in John 14-16 about the Holy Spirit's comforting purpose. Where many translations use "Counselor," others use "Comforter." Both are appropriate. The word can be translated as either one; the Spirit is a comforting Counselor who promises us peace, and He is a counseling Comforter who promises to relieve our fears.

When we are unsettled, we ask a lot of "why" questions. "Why did this happen to me." "Why does God seem so absent?" "Why doesn't God do something?" During these times, we must remember the promise of the Holy Spirit, a promise from a Sovereign God who is "an ever-present Help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Faith will make His presence---with all of His peace and comfort---real to us.

But what if this same Spirit lives within us? Not only will we have comfort and peace, WE WILL MINISTER TO OTHERS IN THEIR TRIALS. We will be comforting counselors and/or counseling comforters. We will represent "the God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3) as He ministers through us.
br br THE SPIRIT OF COMFORT AND PEACE br br &qu... (show quote)

| Reply
Nov 27, 2019 13:25:30   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Zemirah wrote:
Thank you for your post:

This Scripture, better than any other, explains the why of our life's experiences, for having been strengthened and comforted through inexplicable trials, we are equipped by God to comfort those who now follow us.


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
"who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2nd Corinthians 1:3-4)
Thank you for your post: br br This Scripture, be... (show quote)

| Reply
Nov 27, 2019 13:28:12   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Zemirah wrote:
Thank you for your post:

This Scripture, better than any other, explains the why of our life's experiences, for having been strengthened and comforted through inexplicable trials, we are equipped by God to comfort those who now follow us.


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
"who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2nd Corinthians 1:3-4)
Thank you for your post: br br This Scripture, be... (show quote)


Amen and Amen We are blessed beyond measure for the hope, strength, and encouragement that comes through our Lord Jesus the Christ.

| Reply
Nov 28, 2019 09:40:01   #
no propaganda please Loc: moon orbiting the third rock from the sun
 
bdamage wrote:


You're preaching to the choir here Brother!

Love your mindset.

When I sit here and think of the only living human being that has walked this Earth without sin, it's just phenomenal!!!


We can never understand the extent of HIS plan, even the wisest among us have only a slight indication of HIS plan for us. We must trust in HIS goals for us and listen to the whispers of truth to guide our way.

| Reply
Nov 28, 2019 10:03:26   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
no propaganda please wrote:
We can never understand the extent of HIS plan, even the wisest among us have only a slight indication of HIS plan for us. We must trust in HIS goals for us and listen to the whispers of truth to guide our way.


Amen As the song says Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door. The one thing we can rest assured of, His plan is always better than ours. There is no book thick enough, no list long enough to hold how blessed we who know and love Jesus are.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all who may stop by.

| Reply
Nov 29, 2019 21:32:11   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
Amen As the song says Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door. The one thing we can rest assured of, His plan is always better than ours. There is no book thick enough, no list long enough to hold how blessed we who know and love Jesus are.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all who may stop by.




NEAR HEARTS

"These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me." Mark 7:6

"The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise God."
---Thomas Merton.....

Throughout Scripture, God says He takes pleasure in the praises of His people. Regardless of whether those praises come from the mouths of babes, the songs of the assembly, or the stones crying out, God enjoys worship. But there is a prerequisite. It's not every form of praise that He enjoys. It's every form of genuine praise. It must be heartfelt. If it doesn't spring forth from an overflowing heart---or at least a heart repentant from its lack of overflow---it shouldn't spring forth at all. Lip service has no place in His kingdom.

In spite of this verse---it is, after all, a quote from Isaiah, and a new piece of information for Jesus' hearers---the Pharisees and teachers of the law didn't get it. We often don't either. We frequently sing our songs of worship with no real passion, read our responsive readings with no real sense of appreciation for them, and hear our Pastors with no real appreciation for their words. It isn't that we're non-worshipers; we just slip easily into lukewarm worship.

It's a short step from the warmth of interior fellowship with God to the coldness of outward expressions, even when the warmth was once vibrant and genuine. At those times, the outward expressions were the delight of God. But they easily become empty shells. Our hearts wander far from Him, while our actions remain in place. And when our hearts are far from Him, He seems far from us.

Do you want the presence of God to be revealed in your life in a powerful way? Worship Him from your heart. Read your Bible with a passion for His fellowship. Sing your congregational songs while meditating on each word. Fellowship with other believers with a thankfulness for the Spirit that works in and through them. As Paul instructs, "sing psalms hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). The warm, welcoming presence of God will be as real as the praises of your heart.

| Reply
Dec 1, 2019 19:54:43   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
NEAR HEARTS

"These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me." Mark 7:6

"The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise God."
---Thomas Merton.....

Throughout Scripture, God says He takes pleasure in the praises of His people. Regardless of whether those praises come from the mouths of babes, the songs of the assembly, or the stones crying out, God enjoys worship. But there is a prerequisite. It's not every form of praise that He enjoys. It's every form of genuine praise. It must be heartfelt. If it doesn't spring forth from an overflowing heart---or at least a heart repentant from its lack of overflow---it shouldn't spring forth at all. Lip service has no place in His kingdom.

In spite of this verse---it is, after all, a quote from Isaiah, and a new piece of information for Jesus' hearers---the Pharisees and teachers of the law didn't get it. We often don't either. We frequently sing our songs of worship with no real passion, read our responsive readings with no real sense of appreciation for them, and hear our Pastors with no real appreciation for their words. It isn't that we're non-worshipers; we just slip easily into lukewarm worship.

It's a short step from the warmth of interior fellowship with God to the coldness of outward expressions, even when the warmth was once vibrant and genuine. At those times, the outward expressions were the delight of God. But they easily become empty shells. Our hearts wander far from Him, while our actions remain in place. And when our hearts are far from Him, He seems far from us.

Do you want the presence of God to be revealed in your life in a powerful way? Worship Him from your heart. Read your Bible with a passion for His fellowship. Sing your congregational songs while meditating on each word. Fellowship with other believers with a thankfulness for the Spirit that works in and through them. As Paul instructs, "sing psalms hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). The warm, welcoming presence of God will be as real as the praises of your heart.
NEAR HEARTS br br "These people honor Me wit... (show quote)



"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God has a plan for your life.

He brought you into this world to fulfill that plan. It is the best plan that anyone could ever make for you. It is a plan that will bring Him the greatest glory and you the greatest good. From the beginning of this calendar year until its end, God is working out His plan.
As you follow God's plan for your life, you do so by faith. It is important to remember that He is the Guide and you are the follower. He does not need to bring you into His planning room as a consultant to help Him decide what is best for your life. God has called you to trust Him and to take the next step of obedience according to His will. God has said, "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16 NKJV
Here are some ways that God is working out His plan:

He is your Shepherd—He is leading you.
He is your Provider—He is taking care of you.
He is your Strength—He is enabling you.
He is your Counselor—He is speaking to you.
He is your Shield—He is protecting you.
He is your Comfort—He is encouraging you.
He is your Father—He is blessing you.

| Reply
Dec 3, 2019 15:09:35   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God has a plan for your life.

He brought you into this world to fulfill that plan. It is the best plan that anyone could ever make for you. It is a plan that will bring Him the greatest glory and you the greatest good. From the beginning of this calendar year until its end, God is working out His plan.
As you follow God's plan for your life, you do so by faith. It is important to remember that He is the Guide and you are the follower. He does not need to bring you into His planning room as a consultant to help Him decide what is best for your life. God has called you to trust Him and to take the next step of obedience according to His will. God has said, "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16 NKJV
Here are some ways that God is working out His plan:

He is your Shepherd—He is leading you.
He is your Provider—He is taking care of you.
He is your Strength—He is enabling you.
He is your Counselor—He is speaking to you.
He is your Shield—He is protecting you.
He is your Comfort—He is encouraging you.
He is your Father—He is blessing you.
"For I know the plans I have for you," d... (show quote)




CONVINCED OF JUDGEMENT

"The prince of this world now stands condemned." John 16:11

"God reigns in the hearts of His servants; there is His kingdom."
---Jeremy Taylor.....

Jesus does not pull any punches. All throughout His ministry, He has called a spade a spade. So when He calls Satan the prince of this world, we know He is precise in what He says.

Did you really wonder who was governing the world systems? Surely we have seen enough headlines to know. There is a malicious, personal evil unleashed in this world, through the foolishness of our fall in the Garden. He has ravaged this planet with vengeance and hate. He has distorted all that is good and corrupted all that is God's. He's in this mess up to his ears; the economic systems, the political systems, the religious idolatries, and in the very heart of man. Yes, at both a macro and micro level the adversary has exerted his illegitimate authority.

The Holy Spirit of whom Jesus speaks comes into this world for a three-fold purpose: to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He can do so because judgement has been rendered. The prince has been passed over in favor of the Son. The usurper has been usurped. The regent gives way to the heir. The mutineer has been stripped of his power.

There is a very practical side to the advent of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He is there to convince you of the authority that Jesus has regained---remember that all authority in heaven and earth have been given to Him (Matthew 28:18)---means that as His co-laborer and joint-heir, you are no longer under satan's thumb; he is under yours. You represent the One with all authority; you must learn how to represent Him to the enemy.

Do you feel defeated? Then the Holy Spirit wants more of your heart. You must fellowship more deeply with Him. There is no defeat there. God has rendered judgment, and the Spirit will convince you of it. He will also help you enforce the victory. The malicious prince is forever condemned.

| Reply
Dec 5, 2019 13:45:25   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
CONVINCED OF JUDGEMENT

"The prince of this world now stands condemned." John 16:11

"God reigns in the hearts of His servants; there is His kingdom."
---Jeremy Taylor.....

Jesus does not pull any punches. All throughout His ministry, He has called a spade a spade. So when He calls Satan the prince of this world, we know He is precise in what He says.

Did you really wonder who was governing the world systems? Surely we have seen enough headlines to know. There is a malicious, personal evil unleashed in this world, through the foolishness of our fall in the Garden. He has ravaged this planet with vengeance and hate. He has distorted all that is good and corrupted all that is God's. He's in this mess up to his ears; the economic systems, the political systems, the religious idolatries, and in the very heart of man. Yes, at both a macro and micro level the adversary has exerted his illegitimate authority.

The Holy Spirit of whom Jesus speaks comes into this world for a three-fold purpose: to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He can do so because judgement has been rendered. The prince has been passed over in favor of the Son. The usurper has been usurped. The regent gives way to the heir. The mutineer has been stripped of his power.

There is a very practical side to the advent of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He is there to convince you of the authority that Jesus has regained---remember that all authority in heaven and earth have been given to Him (Matthew 28:18)---means that as His co-laborer and joint-heir, you are no longer under satan's thumb; he is under yours. You represent the One with all authority; you must learn how to represent Him to the enemy.

Do you feel defeated? Then the Holy Spirit wants more of your heart. You must fellowship more deeply with Him. There is no defeat there. God has rendered judgment, and the Spirit will convince you of it. He will also help you enforce the victory. The malicious prince is forever condemned.
CONVINCED OF JUDGEMENT br br "The prince of ... (show quote)

| Reply
Dec 5, 2019 15:14:32   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
ALWAYS ENOUGH

"How many loaves do you have ?" Mark 6:38

"He who can give thanks for a little will always find that he has enough."
---Anonymous....

It is a common human tendency to focus on what we lack. Whether we are looking at possessions or problems, we usually zero in on the downside and try to figure out what to do about it. We may have most of what we need toward a certain expense or be mostly pleased with a project. But that's not what we usually see. We ignore the "most" and focus on the little bit that still needs fixing. Our dissatisfaction and want loom larger to us than all God has already provided. We grow quite discontent with just a small element of imperfection. The glass, for most of us, is always half---or even only 10 percent---empty.

Jesus did not look at His circumstances this way, and He did not teach His disciples to do so either. He knew what He had already been given, and He knew the God who promised to supply all our needs. When five-thousand men and their families needed feeding, Jesus counted a small handful of fish and loaves---and gave thanks ! He took what they had in hand and looked to heaven (vs. 41). And instead of focusing on the five-thousand men and their families for whom there was no available food, Jesus gave thanks for what they had. It wasn't much, but it was what God had provided. And God never falls short in meeting a need.

Could it be that we often miss out on God's supply because we focus so much on the need and so little on what He has already given? Has Jesus given us a lesson here in praying for provision? There is no pleading, no reminding God of how many people are hungry or how little food there is, no prayers of anguish for the provision Jesus hoped would come but suspected might not. Jesus went through none of the rituals we go through when we see a great need and a lack of resources. Resources are never insufficient when God is involved. So Jesus gave thanks. And the text is succinct and understated as it tells the result in verse 42: "They all ate and were satisfied."

| Reply
Dec 9, 2019 13:16:35   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
ALWAYS ENOUGH

"How many loaves do you have ?" Mark 6:38

"He who can give thanks for a little will always find that he has enough."
---Anonymous....

It is a common human tendency to focus on what we lack. Whether we are looking at possessions or problems, we usually zero in on the downside and try to figure out what to do about it. We may have most of what we need toward a certain expense or be mostly pleased with a project. But that's not what we usually see. We ignore the "most" and focus on the little bit that still needs fixing. Our dissatisfaction and want loom larger to us than all God has already provided. We grow quite discontent with just a small element of imperfection. The glass, for most of us, is always half---or even only 10 percent---empty.

Jesus did not look at His circumstances this way, and He did not teach His disciples to do so either. He knew what He had already been given, and He knew the God who promised to supply all our needs. When five-thousand men and their families needed feeding, Jesus counted a small handful of fish and loaves---and gave thanks ! He took what they had in hand and looked to heaven (vs. 41). And instead of focusing on the five-thousand men and their families for whom there was no available food, Jesus gave thanks for what they had. It wasn't much, but it was what God had provided. And God never falls short in meeting a need.

Could it be that we often miss out on God's supply because we focus so much on the need and so little on what He has already given? Has Jesus given us a lesson here in praying for provision? There is no pleading, no reminding God of how many people are hungry or how little food there is, no prayers of anguish for the provision Jesus hoped would come but suspected might not. Jesus went through none of the rituals we go through when we see a great need and a lack of resources. Resources are never insufficient when God is involved. So Jesus gave thanks. And the text is succinct and understated as it tells the result in verse 42: "They all ate and were satisfied."
ALWAYS ENOUGH br br "How many loaves do you ... (show quote)




GRIEF AND JOY

"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices." John 16:20

"Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us."
---Charles Spurgeon .....

The disciples had come with Jesus into Jerusalem with great expectations. The Messiah's moment of victory had come. But how painful the moment and obscure the victory! They had no idea. They would later recall those words of Jesus---while the world rejoiced at the downfall of a "troublemaker," the disciples grieved the death of a dream. Later, He tells them, the moods will be reversed; their grief will be turned to joy (v.22) when they realize the dream was greater than they had imagined.

Jesus could just as easily say these words to us. We know His victory came through the Cross; it's not His death we grieve today. But His Cross also belongs to us as His disciples; we're called to take it upon ourselves. Meanwhile, the world rejoices. It pities those who have fallen "victim" to the constraints of the Christian faith. It can't imagine that we find fulfillment without following their unbridled pursuit of physical and emotional pleasure.

But in our grief, there is joy. And in our joy, there is grief. We know both simultaneously. The Cross is painful, and the world's rejection hurts. We live in a broken world, part of our own doing, and we suffer because of it. But we rejoice that the suffering does not compare to the glory to be revealed (Romans 8:18). We look forward to a coming celebration, and we can begin celebrating even now.

Many Christians have not found the balance between grief and joy. We can either wallow in the former, forgetting the joy of knowing Jesus and His promises He gives us, or dwell on the latter as escapists, unmindful of the needs of our generation. Our joy is to be a sober-minded joy, and our grief is to be a hopeful grief. Heartfelt ministry and joyful expectation---both are the inheritance of Jesus's disciples.

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