Archive for June, 2015

Through times of trial – Genesis 50:18-21

Written by Jason du Plessis on . Posted in Spiritual Growth

2

 

When the problems of life seem overwhelming, we need someone to come alongside and help us to see our difficulties through the eyes of our sovereign God. Joseph is just such a person. Although he lived thousands of years ago, his story still speaks to us with great insight into the Lord’s purposes.

Joseph experienced a wide variety of trials—hatred, rejection, and betrayal by his brothers; loss of home, family, and freedom; false accusation and imprisonment; and the loneliness and disappointment of being forgotten. His life was a series of difficult and unfair situations, yet Scripture never records any bitterness or revenge in Joseph’s responses to all these circumstances.

Though outwardly it may have seemed as if God had abandoned the young man, He was doing some awesome work in Joseph’s heart. The Lord had big plans for him, and He knew that these trials would be the most effective tools in preparing His servant for the work that lay ahead.

As Joseph responded to each situation with faith in God and diligence in every task assigned to him, one fact became obvious to all who knew him: The Lord was with Joseph (Gen. 39:2, 21, 23).

We need to remember this when we are going through hard times: The Lord is with us even when our circumstances seem to shout that He has deserted us. We may have little control over the difficulties we face, but we each have a choice of how to respond. Joseph calls to us from out of the past, urging us to trust God.

Praying in the name of JESUS – John 14:7-27

Written by Jason du Plessis on . Posted in Spiritual Growth

bigstock-Praying-hands-70114342

 

When we develop a vibrant prayer life, it transforms the way we live and see things. Through prayer, the Lord can change our weakness into His strength, our ignorance into His wisdom, and our emptiness into His fullness. Jesus made an awesome promise: He is committed to accomplishing whatever we ask in His name. But what does this really mean?

Praying in His name means recognizing that Jesus has paved the way for us to have access to the Father. Anyone who believes in Christ’s death as full payment for his or her sins and who has received Him as personal Savior can, amazingly, approach the throne of Almighty God (Hebrews 4:16).

Praying in His name denotes exercising the authority He has given to each born-again child of God. Jesus, the heir of all things, has made us “fellow heirs” with Him (Romans 8:14-17). Understanding our position should give us confidence and boldness as we humbly ask and expectantly look for God’s awesome answers. We are on a mission that requires us to be people of prayer—always connected with the Holy Spirit’s power, always crying out to the Father, always depending on Him as our source.

Praying in the name of Jesus signifies agreement with His will. You are asking the Father to grant your need or desire as Jesus would, were He in your position. When you pray with this attitude, God is going to reveal His will because you want nothing less than what He wants. This is the kind of prayer that changes the world.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD – Psalms 23

Written by Jason du Plessis on . Posted in Spiritual Growth

jesus_shepherd

Oftentimes in Scripture, God is portrayed in ways that are easy for us to understand. One of the best-known and favorite passages in the Bible is Psalms 23, which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Here, David offers a touching and poignant representation of God by describing Him as a shepherd.

In ancient times, shepherds had a special relationship with their flocks. They spent each day with the animals, guiding their paths, protecting them from danger, and corralling those that went astray. To the sheep, the shepherd was a constant companion, to the extent that the animals actually grew to recognize his voice and, therefore, to respond only to his call.

In Psalms 23, David acknowledges his position as a wandering sheep under the direction of the Great Shepherd. As such, he rejoices because he’s part of the Lord’s “flock” and God is such a gracious, loving Guide.

Because of his assurance of God’s protection and guidance, David was able to boldly exclaim, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalms 23:4). This is truly a remarkable statement, because it reveals that while David was aware he would face hard times, he was able to rest in the confidence that God would safely see him through the ordeal.

Just as a shepherd knows his flock, God knows you. Thank Him today for allowing you to graze in the pasture of His blessings.