“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:28 NKJV. In this passage the disciples again had been seeking for greatness on a human level. Jesus told them, the greatest will be a servant to others. And here, He gives the example of His own life. He tells them that He came to serve and minister to others. And then, to give His life for us! He Who is the greatest of all, shows what true greatness is! May God help us to get the lesson Jesus is teaching! That the greatest life we can live is to be a humble child of God, who serves our fellow man. The greatest joy, the greatest blessings we can have, come as we yield ourselves to God and pour out our lives in service.
“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15 NKJV. This verse is talking about Abraham and the many years he waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled in his life. It says he ‘patiently endured’. Most of us know that waiting for what we want and expect is not easy. We have been programmed by a ‘hurry up’ mentality and ‘instant gratification’ attitude that greatly hinders the patient endurance which is so necessary as a part of genuine faith in God. But the reason that Abraham could endure is because he was convinced God’s promise is true. Even so, we must decide if we are going to believe God’s promise, no matter what. No matter if it takes years of praying and waiting. No matter if we must patiently endure all through our life. Yet we know, because God says it, it is true! The reality is, if we expect to see God’s promise fulfilled, we must hold on in faith, patiently enduring the test of time. As we do, like Abraham, the day will come, when we obtain the promise. God is never late.
“The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us…” Psalms 115:12 NKJV. It is a marvelous thing to know that as great and awesome as our God is, He is still mindful of us. One of the attributes of God that should bring great comfort to His children is, His omniscience. This means simply that He knows all. He knows every detail about our lives. There is never a moment when we are forgotten or unnoticed. He is mindful of our good days and He knows everything about our difficult days. But not only does He know, He also cares and has all the power necessary to help us and meet our needs! And He promises to bless those who put their trust in Him. Keep these words close to your heart today: “The God of all glory and power, is mindful of me”.
“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest…For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”
Hebrews 2:17-18 NKJV. One of the greatest blessings we have as God’s children is that we have a Saviour, Who is our merciful, faithful and compassionate High Priest. He has already been where we are. He knows all that we go through because He has been here! He was made like us. He was tempted in all points as we are. He has suffered more than anyone ever suffered. And yet He never failed! So Jesus knows exactly how to deliver us from our temptations and troubles. Let us bring our burdens to Him. Let us cry out to Him for the help that only He can give. And be sure, as the song says, “He knows all about us, and He understands”.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 NKJV. In this verse Jesus is reminding us of the truth that our only real peace is in Him. Because of Who He is, what He’s done, and what He has spoken, we can have peace through our relationship with Him. But He is also preparing us for the reality of this sinful world we live in. He says that we should not be surprised by troubles and tribulations from the world. While we strive to be peacemakers, we should realize, as the prophet said, that there is no peace to the wicked. Even now there are many who do not want peace. But the good news is, this evil world has already been defeated! The battle is already won! Jesus Christ has already overcome the world! So let us abide in Christ in a daily, personal relationship, receiving the words He has spoken. And as we do, we can be of good cheer and have His peace in our hearts.
“O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things…” Isaiah 25:1 NKJV. Too often in our lives we keep our praise to God only for the good times. But one of the best things for us to do in the rough times is to remember Who our God is and praise Him, right in the midst of our troubles! Because even on our worst day, we still have a Great and Mighty God! Even when others turn against us, we have Jesus, our Friend Who sticks closer than a brother. Even when our world seems to be spinning out of control, we have the Creator of Heaven and earth, Who is still in control, and He is our Father! So let us take time to thank Him for all that He has done. Let’s praise Him for the things He is doing even now. Let’s exalt His holy Name for the glory that is yet to come.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You…” Psalms 42:5-6 NKJV. There are times in all of our lives that we go through down times. These are times in which we can battle discouragement and feel depressed, or cast down in our spirit. It is important in these times to be honest with ourselves about where we are and especially to know what the answer is. In these times we must remember our God! We must bring our minds back to the truths of Who He is and what He has done for us! We must keep our hope in His great and precious promises to us. As we do these things, very soon the dark night will pass and joy will come again in the morning.
“…For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:52 NKJV. The story of Joseph is a great example of how God can use the most difficult places of our lives for our good and for His glory. He was in a place he did not chose to be in, doing what he would never have wanted to do. And yet, because God was with him, and he remained humble before God, Joseph was able to be greatly blessed and used by God to bring blessing upon many others. In our lives, we may be in circumstances that are not what we would choose. To us it may seem like it did with Joseph, like it is a place of affliction. And yet, if we will walk humbly with God, He will make us spiritually fruitful even in those difficult places. He will use even the most trying times of our lives for our eternal good and for His glory. Our God is still able to make our deserts to blossom as the rose.
“…Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious…” I Peter 2:6-7 NKJV. In these verses Peter is writing about Jesus and those who truly believe in Him. He makes clear that one of the evidences of a real believer is that they consider Jesus to be of such great worth, that He is precious to them! Peter knew what it was to find in Jesus his ‘Pearl of great price’. He knew what it was to find the One Saviour he would forsake all others for and be true to Him. But today, religion has so watered down the Gospel message that to ‘believe on Jesus’ means almost nothing to most people. They claim to believe and yet their own desires and plans are more precious to them than Jesus. But we need to be clear about what true belief really means. It means that nothing or no one in this world is as precious to us as Jesus Christ! These are the only ones who will not be ashamed in that final day.
“Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe…” Psalms 119:116-117 NKJV. David, the writer of this Psalm, had discovered he could not hold himself up to be the godly man he was called to be. He had learned, that even with all of his strength and wisdom, with all of his great resources, he was not sufficient in himself to hold up against the spiritual powers that were against him. But he also knew, from God’s Word, that those who trust in God’s promises will not fall! May we today, realize and confess our own inability and know that there is only one way for us to hold up and stand against the onslaught of evil and unbelief that is around us. And that is when we yield ourselves to our Heavenly Father’s control, and trust Him to hold us and keep us safe. And then, just as He promises, He will keep us secure.