Overcoming Tragedy… (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 13])


What challenges have you had to face? What trials have you gone through? What troubles have come your way? What tragedies have you had to overcome?

We know that in this life we will have troubles, not may but will. Will you take heart and cling to Jesus who has overcome the world?

We all get to choose how we will respond to the trials of this file. Will you consider it pure joy and persevere so that in and through it all you will be complete and lacking nothing?

We need to take hold of God’s Word and God’s Promises when we go through tough times! We need to not be rules by fear as God tells us to fear not, just believe! (Mark 5:36, Luke 8:50) We need to not be ruled by worry since God tells us that worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything! (Philippians 4:6) We need to persevere and a choice of how we will live out life after the trial, life after the troubles, life after the tragedy in a way that will glorify God and show the world that our trust is built on Him! Today’s reading has the powerful conclusive statement

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord .”

–from Isaiah 54:17 

So let’s jump into Isaiah 54 to get the back story on this powerful statement and truth…

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord . “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord , your Redeemer. “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord , who has compassion on you. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord , and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord .

–from Isaiah 54 

So will keep your hope and trust in God? Will you allow Jesus into Your heart and to help make you a new creation from the inside out? Will you stand on the rock of Jesus Christ? Will you put on the full armor of God as you walk out into the world today? Will you take hope in the truth that today’s verse is real? Will you take confidence in the truth that thanks to God we know that no matter what comes our way we can have hope and joy because no weapon formed against us shall prosper? Will you put your trust in God and lean not on your own understanding? Will you be an overcomer of tragedy?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the area of Acts of Mercy  brings us to the topic of Overcoming Tragedy (p. 962 – Isaiah 54).

Today’s devotional speaks to a time in 2015 on June 17th when a man walked into a church and killed 9 people during a prayer meeting. Among the dead was the senior pastor who was also a state senator. On June 21, just a few days later, the doors of the church were opened for Sunday services. The interim pastor when asked about why so quick to reopen the doors speaks to today’s reading from Isaiah 54:17 when he said “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” We learn in today’s devotional that one of the survivors Felicia Sanders told the killer who was sentenced to the death penalty that she forgave him, while holding onto the bloody Bible she had from the night of the shooting.

Don’t give up! Don’t allow fear to paralyze you from accomplishing God’s call on your life!

Let’s take hold of the truth of God and continue to persevere! Let’s take hold of God’s command to love! Let’s take hold of God’s command to forgive! Let’s take hold of God’s Word to be ambassadors of peace! Let’s take hold of God’s Word and not walk in worry or fear! Let’s take heart knowing that Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we can stand firm! Let’s receive gift of life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? Have you invited Him into your life? How will you choose to make a difference in the world today? God’s Word has and continues to have global impact. Let’s pray together as we conclude today…

Sample Sinners Prayer


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will come out of it. My hope and trust are in You. I take the weight off of my feet and lean into You! I know Lord because of my trust in You that Your hope will fill me to overflow that true hope can be poured into the lives of the people You bring into my day. Help me Lord to shine for You. Help me Lord to love others as You love. Help me Lord to see people with Your eyes. Help me Lord to love people through Your ways. Let my life today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

How will you finish the race?

Finish the race

Are you preparing? Are you training? Are you living your life to the full?

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

–from 1 Corinthians 9

Will you make it to the end of the race and win the prize? Will you stay faithful and true? Will you persevere no matter what trials come your way? Will you be an overcomer no matter what troubles come your way? Will you be able to celebrate as you cross the finish line?

I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

–from 2 Timothy 4

Will you be ready for that crown that will be put on your head by Jesus? Will you be faithful with the amount He gives you today in order to receive the reward He has prepared and is preparing in heaven for you? Will you be ready to Him say “well done my good and faithful servant“? Or will you not receive the gift of Jesus and not live out your life for Him and under His authority?

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silverb]”>[b] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!c]”>[c]

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

–from Matthew 25

Imagine if a huge accident or catastrophic event took place and it was the end… Are you ready to meet your maker? Imagine what the people of Hawaii must have been going through when they received a message across all channels (TV, Radio, Cell Phones, digital Road signs) for a half hour saying that a nuclear missile was coming their way and wasn’t a drill (which ended up being a false alarm). We need to prepared because we don’t know when our last day will be. We need to be prepared for the finish line in a way that we will win the prize and the crown of righteousness. So let’s make sure we are ready and prepared! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s stand firm! Let’s persevere! Let’s be overcomers! Let’s humble ourselves and turn back to God and pray!

God has called us as believers to be a royal priesthood, so let’s be sharing the Good News of Jesus with the world around us! Let’s share the goodness and the blessings of God! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be instruments of reconciliation first to God and then to one another! Let’s do our part that others will come to know Jesus and have their names written into the Book of Life!


Your Crown is Coming — Day 363: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Enjoy the honour of being crowned by the Lord — Psalms 149
  2. Experience your reign with Christ now — Revelation 20
  3. Exercise the authority God has given you responsibly — Nehemiah 9:38Nehemiah 10Nehemiah 11:1-21

Have you decided to make Jesus your Lord and Savior? Have you invited Him into your heart? Have you asked God for forgiveness? Jesus already paid the price so all we need to do is receive the gift of Jesus and ask God!

Let’s pray together…

Sinners Prayer Sample


 

Facing evil and looking for a way to handle it?


Not sure where to turn? Not sure where to go? Not sure how to respond? Looking for hope? Looking for ideas? Looking for a way that will break the cycle?

Let’s be overcomers! Let’s be more than overcomers! Amid adversity, we can find hope and a future!

Let’s not allow evil to win by responding their way, let’s fight evil using love and truth! Let’s overcome evil through love and doing good!

Don’t be deceived that it will be easy! We can hold to the truth that in this world we will have troubles but we can also take hold of the truth that thanks to Jesus who overcame the world we can walk in hope and strength! We hold to the truth that because we know in whom we believe that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because of the work it will do in us! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The place to turn is the Bible! It is a handbook to help us through life! It can help ground us when we are at our mountain top times! It can lift us up when we are feeling down and out in the valley times! It can point us in the right direction when we are sure what to do! It can encourage us when we need motivation! With Jesus we can be more than conquerors because He strengthens us!

Let’s consider some words of wisdom from the Bible…

33″I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –from John 16:33

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –from Romans 8:31-39
13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. –from Proverbs 25:21

4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. –from 1 John 4:4

4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. –from 1 John 5:4-5

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” –from John 10:28-30

The book of Revelation has many verses we can check too that can be meditated upon:

  • Revelation 2:7-11
  • Revelation 2:17
  • Revelation 2:26
  • Revelation 3:5-12
  • Revelation 3:21
  • Revelation 12:11

So let’s conquer evil by doing good! Let’s conquer evil by serving others! Let’s conquer evil by loving others! Let’s take hold of who Jesus is and share that truth, love and power with the world around us! Let’s take hold of the truth found in God’s Word (the Bible) and use it, share it, pass it along!

Let’s stick with Jesus and be overcomers! If God is for us who can be against us!

Let’s give God the glory! Let’s testify to what God has done in and through our lives! Our stories can speak life to someone who is questioning! Our stories can provide hope in the midst of turmoil! Our stories can point people to Jesus who can break strongholds of the devil and set them free! Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word on the topic of Getting out of the boat… Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word and a crisis to help break a bitterness and anger foothold through forgiveness…Imagine telling a story to someone who watched you walk through some really tough times and the day before you were to start a new journey how your reading that day was from Job 42:12 and the promise that gave you for the future…Imagine the story you can tell to allow others to be freed by the love and truth of Jesus lived in and through your life…

11And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.
–from Revelation 12:11

Need to hear a story? Ask me a question!

Have a story? Why not share it? Someone around you might need it to create the spark needed for them to get on track to what God has for them!


Three Ways to Overcome Evil

Day 354: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. God’s love overcomes everything … Psalms 145:8-13
  2. Jesus overcomes the devil … Revelation 12Revelation 13:1
  3. The people of God overcome opposition … Ezra 6Ezra 7:1-10

Let’s allow God’s glory to return to us this season!


What will it take to have God’s glory to return to us? What will it take for God’s glory to present in each house, in each city, in each country, around the world? What will it take for people to glorify God in the highest? What will it take to prepare ourselves so that we are ready and able to glorify God? What will it take to be ready to stand before God and glorify Him and praise Him? How long will it take for us to receive the incredible gift of God? How long will it take before we will humble ourselves and receive the incredible gift of God? How long will it take before we get our hearts and minds right so that we can receive the incredible gift of God?

Do you realize what holy means? It means dedicated! It means set apart! It means devoted!

Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior? He is the way, the truth, and the light to God! Will you choose to receive the gift of Jesus this Christmas season? Will you allow His Spirit to move into your heart? Will you be transformed by the glory of God forever more? Will you be restored?

Put your trust in God! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of any kind for it will work your faith and in and thru it will make you complete and lacking nothing! In this world we will have troubles, but don’t let that get you down because Jesus has already overcome the world! We can faith and hope beyond our circumstances! Let’s stand firm on the rock that is Jesus Christ, and when the pressure is on let’s stand firm! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s find our peace and our strength in God! Let’s find security in God so that we can walk out our lives and our days without fear and despite fear! Let’s be generous! Let’s help the poor and those in need!

Let’s take hold of God’s promises through Jesus! Let’s take hold of faith in Jesus and allow the Spirit of Jesus so that we can live with power, love, and self-discipline rather than being timid for we are not to be timid! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God! Allow God to give you confidence so that you don’t feel shame! Trust in God! Guard the good deposit that has been placed in your heart! Continue to overflow from what God is and has poured into your life so that you can in all circumstances, at all times, and always, you can  “16 Be joyful always, 17 pray at all times, 18 be thankful in all circumstances.

Let’s be loyal to God! Let’s demonstrate our hope and trust in Him! Let’s share the good news of Jesus in everything we say and do!

Let’s close today’s time with Titus 1…

1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of Godʼs elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
4To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good

5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer manages Godʼs household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good

10For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12One of Creteʼs own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

–Titus 1


Today’s reading: Ezekiel 43, 44, Psalm 112, 2 Timothy 1, Titus 1

How bad do things have to get before you turn back to God? The choice is yours!


Are you ready to put God first? Are you ready to align with Him? Are you ready for the grace and the mercy? Are you ready for the hope and love? How far will you go before you turn back to God? How bad do your circumstances have to get before you trust God fully?

Do you trust Him and are able to find hope beyond the circumstances?

Do you not believe and hence wander in despair and worry?

In this world we will have troubles, but those of us who believe in Jesus can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!

For those who believe in Jesus, we can consider every trial pure joy for when our faith succeeds in such trials that it builds up endurance and we need to let this endurance finish its work so that in the end we will be mature, complete, and lacking nothing!

There is persecution taking place around the world and some may be surprised how close to home this hits. Imagine not being able to have priest and pastors being able to preach the full bible for fear of being thrown in prison for hate crimes. Can you imagine countries where this is the case already?

Jesus preaches love! Jesus preaches unity! Jesus preaches hope! Jesus preaches faith!

So let’s live out love in this world around us! Let’s live out unity! Let’s share hope to this world around us! Let’s have faith that no matter the circumstance we face, we can find hope!

Do we need to have things get so bad before we turn back to God? How much will it take before we realize how much our Heavenly Father loves us and is desiring for us to turn back to Him and return home?

Don’t let hate win! Let’s allow love to unite us!

Don’t let fear win! Let’s allow faith to give us hope beyond our circumstances!

If now now then when? If not you then who?

We know that Jesus has already paid the price and so we just need to make a choice!

We know that in the only those who choose Jesus will get to spend eternity with Him! He is the way, the truth, and the life — no one comes to the Father except thru Him!

Will you receive the gift of love from God? Will reject it?

God’s plan is that we will have a hope and a future! Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it!

So let’s allow the light of Jesus to shine thru us into the world around us!

There is a remnant! Will we stand together in unity and help a revival start up that will point people back to God?

Will you receive the gift of God and be adopted into His family? Will you allow yourself to be a branch, a branch grafted to the vine and allow the love of God to flow into and thru you?

 


Today’s reading: Jeremiah 51, Romans 11