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Conservative Views

The Final Victory from God’s Daily Word

Some time ago, when I was feeling down and dealing with many of life’s trials, one of my very best friends sent me this Steve Troxel devotional that lifted my spirit and imprinted in my heart.  Now my friend is travelling a rocky and difficult road, and so I’m “regifting” this wonderful devotion back to him in hopes it keeps the chain of truth and Christ’s love moving forward.  God Blesses us with our Final Victory.

The Final Victory

Today, all over the world, there are people facing situations which threaten to send everything they hold dear crashing to the ground.  It may be the result of bad decisions or circumstances out of their control; but  either way, they awoke in the middle of a whirlwind and cannot determine which direction to turn.  There are many others who awoke tired and discouraged, and don’t even know why.  Today is much the same as any other,  but they are questioning the usefulness of continuing.

I can make this bold prediction about today, not because I have any insight into this particular day or period of history, but because that is the nature of life. We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people.  The result is a bunch of imperfect circumstances!  Even when we begin to walk with Jesus we struggle with these imperfections which distract us and steal our joy.

Why begin a message on such a depressing note?  First, we need to understand we’re not alone.  Many more people are struggling than we can possibly imagine.  The need for encouragement is huge and will increase as the time of our Lord’s return draws near.   Next, we need to know how we can live a life of peace and how we can pass this peace to others.

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we don’t receive the promise of a trouble free life – we receive the promise of an Eternal Life in the presence of God.  Many of our troubles here on earth will remain.  But an understanding of our eternal promise should encourage us as we shift our focus from life in terms of days and years, to life in terms of eternity;  “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”  (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Jesus saw these same struggles in His disciples.  He wanted them to live a life of peace and contentment, but He also knew they would face many difficulties.  After a night of teaching His disciples about their relationship with the Father through faith in His Son,  Jesus gave these words of encouragement:

John 16:33
“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.”

Jesus came to conquer sin and death through His sacrifice on the cross: the battle with the true enemy has already been won!  When we come to Him in faith and receive the transforming gift of His Spirit, we ought to keep this life changing truth at the front of ALL our thoughts.  As we climb into the ring day after day – even as we grow weary, lose a few rounds and want to quit – let’s always remember that through our risen Lord we have an eternal hope.  Let’s continue with the peace and assurance that in Christ we have been granted the final victory.

January 21, 2009 Posted by | In the News | , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Daily Word

Off The Throne

After the birth of Jesus, Magi (wise men) came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). When King Herod heard about this he became greatly disturbed. Herod had been appointed King of the Jews by the Roman government; but he was only partially Jewish and not well accepted by the people.

King Herod knew of the Jewish scriptures and how the people were waiting for the Messiah; “The government will be on His shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6).  He heard the words of the prophet which told where the new ruler would be born; “Out of you {Bethlehem} will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2).  Herod viewed the news of this new ruler as a great threat.  How would this affect his right to be king? Would he lose power? prestige? control? …comfort!?

The potential harm was unbearable so Herod decided to take action.

Matthew 2:16
“He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under.”

Many people today are not much different than Herod.  Even when we recognize Jesus and clearly see our need, we fear the loss of our ability to direct our own path.  We may not actually take steps to destroy Christ, but the thought of releasing control seems unbearable.  Somehow, we’ve been taught that submission equates to failure. But the reality is that true “success” is only found in Christ, and true comfort is only obtained by being set free from the power of sin and the entanglement of this world.

Jesus was, and always will be, very threatening to those who insist on sitting on a throne.  It’s foolishness to think Jesus will accept the position of Co-King.  Those who attempt to enter a relationship with Jesus while trying to maintain their “right to rule” will never really know Him, and certainly never experience His peace.

Jesus will give Himself to “whoever believes in Him” (John 3:13).  But in return, He asks for our total devotion: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  We give Him proper worship – the worship He deserves – only as we submit and exalt Him above all else; “He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30).

During this season of celebration, let’s ensure our relationship with Jesus is aligned with God’s plan. He is the rightful Ruler and King – the Savior and Lord! Let’s trust and worship Him with all our heart, and refuse to be threatened by His right to lead.  Let’s decide once and for all to relinquish control and get our pride-filled self off the throne.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

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Verses and Psalms: http://www.gdwm.org/verses

Scripture references: The Holy Bible: New International Version.
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , | Leave a comment

God’s Daily Word by Steve Troxel

Where Are You

All over the world, people are asking how to strengthen their relationship with God.  Many have wandered from His path and become entangled in the weeds.  We never plan to leave God’s path and become entangled; rather, it seems we simply take a wrong turn and then drift through small steps of compromise.  How does this happen?  And once we’ve drifted, how do we return and guard against drifting once again?

Man first wandered from God’s path in the Garden of Eden.  The devil deceived Eve and caused her to disobey God’s command; Eve ate fruit from the forbidden tree and gave some to her willing husband.  As soon as they ate the fruit, they became aware they were naked and covered themselves with leaves.

Genesis 3:8-9
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”

The very first sin caused the delusion that it was possible to hide from God.  This delusion continues today!  We sit among the weeds and think God doesn’t notice – that He doesn’t see us in the midst of our sin.  But the all-knowing Creator of the Universe knew exactly where Adam was hiding.  God wasn’t searching through the bushes trying to find His lost creation.  No, God was speaking directly to Adam: “Adam, why are you in this condition?  Do you even know where you are and how far you have drifted?”

Adam’s willful disobedience caused him to tremble as he answered: “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10).  Adam was lost.  Somehow, even in their garden paradise, Adam and Eve had wandered in their relationship with God.  The devil had found them alone – not walking with their Father – and began his great deception.  Now, sin had caused shame, fear, and separation.

ALL sin has its beginning in our wandering from the presence of God.  No one “falls” into sin by a momentary slip; rather, sin is the result of a long slow drift away from intimate fellowship with God.  Drifting from His presence causes us to become more susceptible to sin, which continues the cycle of even further separation.  Soon, we have become entangled and completely lose sight of His path.

The way back always begins with a humble and repentant heart.  We must confess we have strayed, admit our straying as sin, and ask for the strength and guidance to return.  God will immediately shine His light, strengthen our steps, and ask us to simply focus on loving Him with all our heart.

Let’s return to the presence of God and be determined to never leave.  Let’s continually examine our life and make sure we’re walking right by His side whenever God asks, “Where are you?”

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , , , | 1 Comment

God’s Daily Word by Steve Troxel

Highly Valued Mist

In the message “More Than Grasshoppers” we considered the spies who were sent into the promised land to evaluate the enemy.  We saw that without a proper understanding of God and how we fit into His plan, the enemies in our life will always appear as undefeatable giants.This sense of walking among the giants causes many of us to struggle with insecurities, low self esteem, and general feelings of inadequacy.  While it’s true we are called to, “in humility consider others better than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3), we also must walk with a sense of identity, purpose, and worth.  And while it’s true that in the context of eternity we are “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14), this seemingly insignificant “mist” is dearly loved by the Creator of the Universe.

Our real sense of identity, purpose and worth, will only be realized as we understand that our value is never attained through the things of this world which all pass away; it only comes from our Heavenly Father who has adopted us as His child and made us an heir of His Kingdom!

Romans 8:15-17
“You received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”

The eternal inheritance we receive through this adoption makes everything of the world seem extremely insignificant.  We are a child of God!  This is our identity.  While we walk on this earth, we are being “conformed into the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29).  This is our purpose.  And in our adoption, we are made “co-heirs with Christ.”  This is our worth!

As this world tries to pull us down, let’s remember our Father owns ALL; “Every animal of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).  He owns it all, created it all, and nothing is beyond His reach.  As others try to continually show us our faults and put us down, let’s remember that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us – one day we will be made perfect and walk down streets of “pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21).

Let’s pull these truths together into a victorious Christian life.  Let’s hold on very loosely to anything of the world which artificially determines our worth and passionately cling to our worth in Christ; “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).  Let’s live our life as a “vanishing mist” while remembering we are co-heirs with Jesus in the Kingdom of God – let’s live as an honored, protected, and highly valued mist.

To further understand our value to God, read this wonderful post on Social Sense which states our Source of Strength … from the book of Phillipians , chapter 4

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , | Leave a comment

God’s Daily Word by Steve Troxel

More Than Grasshoppers

After Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, they were guided by God to the edge of Canaan – the land promised to Abraham.  God instructed Moses to send twelve men to explore the land; “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many” (Numbers 13:18).

The twelve “spies” traveled through the entire length of Canaan and brought back their report.  All twelve traveled the same path, but only Joshua and Caleb saw the land and its inhabitants through the promises of God: “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land” (Numbers 14:7-8).  The other ten saw great danger and an enemy who was too big to be defeated.

Numbers 13:31-33
“We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

The promised land was truly a land flowing with milk and honey, but it was also a land with many enemies.  Joshua and Caleb saw the same enemy as the other ten spies, but they had a much clearer view and understanding of God.  They knew if God was on their side, the size and strength of the enemy didn’t matter – God would provide the victory.

We often face the same fear as the other ten.  God wants us to enter into His promised land, take possession, and reside there for the rest of our days; but there are often enemies which fill us with fear and make us feel small and insignificant.  Enemies may come in the form of addictions, choices of entertainment, finances, or worldly priorities.  We may even face more tangible enemies who threaten to cause us physical or emotional pain.  All these enemies keep us out of the promised land, all appear to be undefeatable giants.  But with God on our side, ALL can be overcome!

Without a clear understanding of who we are in Christ, every enemy appears to tower over us; “apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Apart from Him we ARE but grasshoppers.  But when we place our trust in God and allow Him to work through us, our posture before the enemy is greatly strengthened; “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

God’s land of promise – the contentment of His presence – is waiting for us to enter in and take possession.  God did not create us to be fearful insects, but an image of the Most High!  Let’s know the One who gives us strength and victory in battle.  Let’s better understand that when God leads, we are much more than grasshoppers!

November 19, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , , | Leave a comment

   

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