Have you decided which side you will be on?


Have you decided if you are for or against? Have you decided if you will believe or doubt or even reject? Have you decided if you will follow or turn away? Have you decided if you are with God or against God? Will you choose to be on the winning side?

There are many times in our lives when we have to pick sides. There are many times in life when we have to stand for our priorities. How do you define winning? How do you pick which side to be on? Are you proactive or reactive? Are you an active or passive participant? Do you realize if by not choosing you have made a choice? There isn’t really an option to not choose…so choose wisely!

Jesus has already won! He won when He first came and lived, died, resurrected, and ascended to be sitting at the right hand of the Father and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! If you read the end of the book (the Bible) you will read in the Book of Revelation about the final battle and His victory! Life gives us the opportunity to choose if we will choose Jesus or not! That choice will define our destiny with God or apart from God! Will you decide to be on the decided winning side? Will you keep moving forward with and for the glory of God? Will you stay still which really means falling back? Will you join the team and move forward with Jesus and be on the winning team? God loves you so much and getting to spend eternity with you is His plan and His desire, but the choice is in your hands!

Will you pick a side? Either way you are doing it, the question is will you actively choose God or passively lose the opportunity? Don’t be lukewarm, make a choice!


On the Winning Side — Day 156: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 14:5-14, Acts 2:22-47, 2 Samuel 7, 2 Samuel 8


Today’s devotional (Day 156: Bible In One Year 2017) speaks to today’s reading the following key points…

  1. Victory of goodness … Proverbs 14:5-14

  2. Victory of Jesus … Acts 2:22-47

    • The church should be a place of ‘celebration, exuberant and joyful’ (v.46, MSG). We should be the most positive people in the world – constantly celebrating Jesus and the victory of God.

      On the day of Pentecost, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, explains the great victory of Jesus. He speaks about his life, ministry, death and, in particular, his resurrection. He gives four reasons why you can be sure that Jesus has been raised from the dead and therefore you can be sure that you will be raised to life with him:

      Logical

      Satan’s power of death could not possibly be stronger than the power of life in God’s Messiah. Peter explains, ‘God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him’ (v.24).

      Biblical

      He points out that the resurrection was prophesied in Psalm 16:8–11 (Acts 2:25–28). Peter says, ‘[David] was a prophet and knew that God had promised on oath that he would place one of his descendents on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ’ (vv.30–31).

      Personal

      Peter gives his own testimony: ‘God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact’ (v.32). Peter says in effect, ‘We have all seen him.’

      Experiential

      The experience of the Holy Spirit is in itself evidence of the resurrection. After the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus came the final act in his saving ministry: ‘Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear’ (v.33).

      This experience was not confined to those who were present on the day of Pentecost. It is for every Christian. It is for you. ‘The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call’ (v.39). Every time someone experiences the Holy Spirit it is further evidence of the resurrection. Every time you see someone being filled with the Holy Spirit or hear their testimony of how the Holy Spirit has changed their life, it is further evidence of the resurrection.

      The Holy Spirit enables us to recognise the truth of the words of Peter: ‘You crucified’ Jesus of Nazareth (v.36). Jesus died for my sins. I killed Jesus. My personal sin was present on the cross. The day I recognised this I, too, was ‘cut to the heart’ (v.37). It is this revelation that leads to true repentance.

      The way you receive the promise is by repentance, faith in Jesus, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit (vv.37–38). The evidence that you have received the Holy Spirit will be seen in a changed life and a transformed community (vv.42–47). The church is not only a place of celebration, exuberance and joy; it should also be supremely a place of love.

      Love for God

      The church is a place full of love for God. They had a new love for the Bible– ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching’ (v.42). Much of this teaching is now enshrined in the New Testament.

      They had a new love for the sacraments – ‘They devoted themselves to… the breaking of bread’ (v.42). ‘They broke bread in their homes’ (v.46).

      They had a new love for prayer (v.42). The Spirit-filled church will be a praying church.

      Love for one another

      The church should be marked by love for one another. They had a new desire to meet together – ‘They devoted themselves… to the fellowship’ (v.42). They continued to meet together and ate together with ‘glad and sincere hearts’ (v.46). There was a new release of finances and generosity in giving (vv.44–45).

      The Spirit-filled church will be a united church.

      Love for the world

      The church should be filled with a love for the world. They were an outward-focused community performing signs and wonders (v.43). ‘The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved’ (v.47). The Spirit-filled church will be an outward-looking church.

  3. Victory everywhere you go … 2 Samuel 7:1-8:18

    • The victory of Jesus was foreshadowed in the life of David. There are over a thousand references to David in the Bible. He was an anointed (messiah) king. The Lord gave him ‘rest from all his enemies around him’ (7:1). Nathan the prophet said to David, ‘Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you’ (v.3). ‘The Lord gave David victory wherever he went’ (8:6,14).

      We see in David’s prayer an example to follow:

      Praise for God’s greatness

      David has both a sense of his own unworthiness in the presence of God (7:18) and at the same time, a realisation of the greatness of God: ‘How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you’ (v.22). He praises God for his redemption of his people (v.23).

      Passion for God’s name

      David is passionate to see God’s name honoured: ‘Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever’ (vv.25–26).

      Promise for God’s family

      David trusts in God’s word (v.28). He goes on to ask for one more thing: ‘Bless my family; keep your eye on them always. You’ve already as much as said that you would, Master God! Oh, may your blessing be on my family permanently!’ (v.29, MSG).

      God made a covenant with David. Whereas God had been dwelling in a tent (7:2), he promises to establish a house for David (vv.7,10–11). He promises, ‘I will raise up your offspring to succeed you… I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever… Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever’ (vv.12–13,16).

      Only in Jesus were the promises of the Davidic covenant fulfilled. The human kings failed, but there remained the hope of a future king who would fulfil the kingship ideal. Jesus was the son of David (see, for example, Matthew 1:1). As he entered Jerusalem, the people cried out, ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’ (Mark 11:10).

      However, the victory of Jesus and the kingdom of Jesus were far greater than anyone had anticipated. They were achieved not by a conquering king winning physical battles, but by a dying Saviour winning the great spiritual victory over sin, guilt, addiction, fear and even death itself.

      We see from the example of Jesus that victory is not always glamorous or even obvious. But God promises you, as he promises David, that he will be with you wherever you go and that, in Christ, ultimately you will be victorious.

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