When Stephen forgave those who stoned him in Acts 7:60, he may have opened the door to the eventual salvation of some of them. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said that whatever the apostles bound on earth would be bound in heaven, and whatever they loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven, and in John 20:23 he said “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” This is the same behavior we see from Jesus on the cross. Perhaps an integral and necessary part of our salvation was his release of us for the sin of crucifying him. Perhaps his declaration that “they know not what they do” wasn’t limited to those who crucified him. Perhaps it was in reference to all sin, for he did bear the sins of the entire world in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Do we ever really know what we give up when we choose sin over deeper relationship with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we ever really comprehend the cost, either in what we lose or in what He suffered? I think not. And while we do know that we are sinning and choosing to sin when we do make that choice, I dare say that we don’t really know the cost, either in our loss or his suffering.
“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”
“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! “Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”
Trying to impress people and live up to their standards isn’t prudence. Prudence means asking God how He wants you to use your gifts and then obeying. Learn God’s prudence today and put it into practice so you can enjoy your life the way He intended.
Promises for Your Everyday Life
Too often we marvel at the delivering power of God and overlook His keeping, strengthening and enabling power.
Promises for Your Everyday Life
This was this situation in Jerusalem just before the fall. Sound familiar?
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. But Zedekiah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and he refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the Lord . He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God’s name. Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord , the God of Israel. Likewise, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the Lord that had been consecrated in Jerusalem. The Lord , the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord ’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done. So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them. The Babylonians killed Judah’s young men, even chasing after them into the Temple. They had no pity on the people, killing both young men and young women, the old and the infirm. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. The king took home to Babylon all the articles, large and small, used in the Temple of God, and the treasures from both the Lord ’s Temple and from the palace of the king and his officials. Then his army burned the Temple of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, burned all the palaces, and completely destroyed everything of value. The few who survived were taken as exiles to Babylon, and they became servants to the king and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said.
2 Chronicles 36:11-21 NLT
Let us pray for our nation.
From “Life Application Study Bible NLT” by Tyndale House Publishers, Tyndale –
“With little time to think, Nehemiah immediately prayed. Eight times in this book we read that he prayed spontaneously (2:4; 4:4, 5, 9; 5:19; 6:14; 13:14, 22, 29). Nehemiah prayed at any time, even while talking with others. He knew that God is always in charge, is always present, and hears and answers every prayer. Nehemiah could confidently pray throughout the day because he had established an intimate relationship with God during times of extended prayer (1:4-7). If we want to reach God with our emergency prayers, we need to take time to cultivate a strong relationship with God through times of in-depth prayer.”
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God uses committed people who aren’t led by emotion. It’s easy to be excited in the beginning when something is new, but the ones who cross the finish line are the ones who hang in there when no one else is excited anymore.
Promises for Your Everyday Life
If you’re angry with God, your children, your spouse, or anyone else, if you know you have a problem with anger or love someone who does, listen to this.
The Healing of Anger
2/2/10 by Tim Keller @ Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Anger has the power to disintegrate our health, our communities, and our individual wisdom. However, anger can be a good thing; it is an attribute of God and of anyone who loves. The key to healing anger is to find out what you truly love and why your anger is out of control. This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on October 17, 2004. Series “Proverbs: True Wisdom for Living”. Scripture: Proverbs 14:29 -30
1/20/18 by Ravi Zacharias
How do you wrestle with difficult passages in the Bible when dealing with pain and suffering in your life? How should you handle the emphasis that is being placed on feeling within the emergent church? Tune in to Let My People Think this week as Ravi Zacharias examines these questions and the connection between the heart and the mind.