None Of These Things Move Me

ACTS 20:24 NKJ 24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Some believers are tempted to give up on their faith in God whenever the least thing seems to go wrong in their lives.

The apostle Paul suffered many things: beatings, stoning, and shipwreck — yet he called them “light afflictions.”

2 CORINTHIANS 4:17 NKJ 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

2 CORINTHIANS 4:8-9 NKJ 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed —

We are in a battle for the hearts and souls of men. The devil is against us. While we know our victory is sure, we should not expect to never face obstacles or difficulties.

2 TIMOTHY 2:3 NKJ 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

If this life was all there was, this would not be a wise way to live. But there is a life in heaven and a future world. We would be foolish to live as if this life is all there is.

So we should not forget eternity and focus only on the present.

We must hold on to our faith in God, no matter how things seem to be going at the present. Because of our limited understanding, our ability to evaluate things accurately is limited. Our wonderful Lord Jesus can be trusted. He loved us enough to die in our stead, so we could go free. Why would He lie to us?

We must be determined not to be moved by things our enemy does to get us off our faith in God’s Word.

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Does Jesus Care?

MARK 4:37-40 NKJ 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

All of us have questioned whether God cares for us when we have faced difficulties. It is easy to wonder why things are so tough, if God truly loves us, as the Bible says.

What is the answer? Why don’t things go better for us, especially when we are trusting in God?

Mark 4 gives us a glimpse into how God looks at this.

When the disciples thought they were going to sink in the storm — even though Jesus was on their boat — they cried out to Him. And Jesus did deliver them from danger.

But then, Jesus rebuked His disciples because they were fearful, and didn’t handle the situation themselves.

Why didn’t the Lord take care of the dire situation sooner? Why did Jesus let them nearly sink before He intervened? The answer is simple. Jesus was expecting His disciples to exercise authority over the storm.

God has confidence in His children. He desires for us to grow up, to learn to take responsibility, and to exercise the authority He has given us.

LUKE 10:19 NKJ 19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

God told us to resist the devil, and all his works — which is everything that would steal, kill, or destroy. Why should God interrupt and do things for us that He has already told us to do, using His authority?

JAMES 4:7 NKJ 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Yes, Jesus cares for you — enough to die for you! Don’t judge His love by your circumstances.

If it seems Jesus is not stilling the storms in your life, He has not abandoned you. He is just expecting you to overcome, by using your faith and the authority He has given you.

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Jesus Died For Sinners

ROMANS 5:6 NKJ 6 . . . Christ died for the ungodly.

Jesus Christ did not come to earth to help perfect people, but to help ungodly sinners.

ROMANS 5:8 NKJ 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus already paid the price for the forgiveness of all sins through His death.

EPHESIANS 1:7 NKJ 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

The devil tries to make people think God does not love them because of their sins. But nothing could be further from the truth. God loves sinners! Jesus died to save sinners.

1 TIMOTHY 1:15 NKJ 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

God is against sin because it is harmful to people, but He is not against sinners.

If God could not or would not help a sinner, then He would never help any human. The Bible tells the opposite story. We have all missed the mark of perfection so we all need a Savior. And we all have a Savior if we will but receive Him.

HEBREWS 9:26 NLT 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.

The sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to deal with all sin. You have been forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Turn away from going your own way and walk with God.

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Leave Your Case With God

ROMANS 12:19 NLT 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.

When people do us wrong, not taking revenge is difficult. It seems natural to fight back when someone attacks us.

But the Bible tells us to let God judge them.

This is not saying you should never defend yourself, or what belongs to you. But do not seek revenge after you have been wronged. Instead, let God handle it.

People who try to take revenge, usually end up committing more injustice. Often a deadly cycle develops. Instead of taking revenge, God’s Word tells us to bless our enemies.

PROVERBS 25:21 NKJ 21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

MATTHEW 5:44 NKJ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

God is aware of every injustice. And God promises to right every wrong, eventually. God is a righteous judge, but all judgment is not instant, or even in this life.

1 PETER 2:21,23 NLT 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

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How Do I Get God To Do What I Want?

Sorry, you have it backward. God is trying to get you to do what He wants, because His way is perfect, and yours is obviously not. PSALM 18:30 NKJ 30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. You don’t need to get God to do anything. God knows what to do. You are the one who does not know what to do. Imagine a two year old child telling his parents what they should be doing. It is even more crazy to think we know more than God about what is best for us, and that we need to tell Him what to do. This attitude indicates immaturity. If we were so good at figuring out things, we should be running the universe instead of God. But look at what our decisions have produced — a mess. What we need is new management, not just to get God to do something for us. Even if we were to get God to do what we think He should do for us, would it really fix our life? For example, many people think getting a lot of money would solve every problem, but the facts show differently. Just look at the record of people who won the lottery. Some people think getting a spouse would fix everything, but don’t think about how half the people who do get married then seek a divorce. What you need is to let Jesus be Lord of your life. You need to learn of Him and follow His directions. You need to learn His ways. Your ways have gotten you in a mess. You need to change your ways so you can have a change in your life. God has already done what He needs to do. Now we must learn how to receive His provision and walk in victory. If you are on the road to destruction, why should God give you a new car and gas money to go down that road? Your decisions have produced wrecks in your life. What you need is a new driver. Let Jesus take the wheel. You don’t need to argue with Jesus or tell Him what to do. You just need to trust Him. God knows more than you do, and loves you more than you love yourself. He desires the best for you. You can trust someone like that!
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Honor Your Parents

EPHESIANS 6:2-3 NKJ 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

Think about this: God himself promises that if you will honor your parents you will have a long and blessed life.

What a promise!

So we need to learn from Scripture what God means by “honoring” our parents, so we can do it and be blessed.

MATTHEW 15:4-6 NLT 4 For instance, God says, Honor your father and mother,' and Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.'” 5 But you say, `You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.’ 6 And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God.

Here we have Jesus telling one way that people are to honor their parents: by caring for their needs.

So honoring your parents is not just speaking politely to them, or telling others that they are great parents. If your parents have needs, you should help them. In this way, according to Jesus, you are showing them honor.

Here is Mark’s account of the same speech:

MARK 7:10-12 NLT 10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: Honor your father and mother,' andAnyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, `Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I could have given to you.’ 12 You let them disregard their needy parents.

Obviously, letting your parents go with unmet needs, when you could meet them, is the opposite of showing them honor.

Of course, the words we speak and the attitude we have toward our parents, also indicates how we honor them.

The word translated honor means to value or prize. God is telling us we should value our parents highly. When you consider something valuable you take care of it, and speak well of it. This is how you should treat your parents — if you desire God’s blessing.

(This is not to say we should honor parents above God and His will. Parents should not control the lives of grown sons or daughters. But, no matter what, our parents deserve love and respect — not necessarily lifelong obedience.)

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Lack Of Knowledge

HOSEA 4:6a NKJ 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

People wonder why many Christians experience so much trouble in life, instead of victory. The reason, according to the Bible, is a lack of knowledge.

The Bible tells us the devil is out to destroy us, but it also makes clear that we can overcome his attacks. The real problem lies with our ignorance of God’s Word.

Real knowledge produces faith. When we really know something, we have faith in it. Then we will act on that knowledge.

The reason God’s people are destroyed by calamity is not because God doesn’t love us, or because God is not able to help us. It is simply that we don’t know the truth. If we really knew the truth, we would act on that knowledge. Acting on true knowledge makes you free — it does not destroy you or put you into bondage.

JOHN 8:31-32 NKJ 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

God’s Word is our instruction book. When we act on it, things will work for us. God allows us to make choices. When we make the right choices, we will be blessed.

Don’t let the devil condemn you with this message. Instead, let it give you hope. You can learn God’s Word and act on it more accurately in the future — and be blessed!

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Believing Prayer Changes Things

We have authority in our domain and can choose to invite God’s involvement — or not.

EZEKIEL 22:30 NKJ 30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

JOHN 16:23-24 NKJ 23 “. . . Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

JOHN 14:13-14 NKJ 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Christ has delegated a certain amount of His authority in the earth to His Body, the church. Our decisions as believers — which we can express in prayer — make a difference in our lives and others’ lives.

MARK 11:24 NKJ 24 “. . . whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

JEREMIAH 33:3 NKJ 3 `Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

PSALM 50:15 NKJ 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

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Pride and Humility

PROVERBS 22:4 NKJ 4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.

Humility is the opposite of pride.

Humility does not think it is better than anyone else. “I am what I am by the grace of God.”

1 PETER 5:5 NKJ 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

A humble person is one who follows God’s instructions, instead of leaning to their own understanding.

Being a humble person does not mean being a loser. A humble person is one who has the proper relationship to God and grasps reality, which is: without God, we can do nothing.

Humility will cause a person to remember their need to pray.

A humble person is one who prefers to suffer wrong rather than do wrong.

Pride will bring you low. Humility will cause God to exalt you.

LUKE 14:11 NKJ 11 “For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

God cannot exalt proud people without it harming them.

JAMES 4:10 NKJ 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

1 PETER 5:6 NKJ 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

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PROVERBS 16:2 NLT 2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.

Motives are important to God.

God is interested in WHY we do things, not just in WHAT we do.

Why do you do what you do?

Is it to help others? To please God? Or do you live focused totally on yourself?

These questions are important to ask ourselves. As First Corinthians 11:31 says, “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

However, we must use caution when trying to judge other people. We don’t know their motives.

PROVERBS 21:2 LB 2 We can justify our every deed, but God looks at our motives.

We often justify ourselves, but judge others harshly. We may judge ourselves based on our good intentions, but we are only capable of judging others by their actions.

So, we must be very cautious about judging others in a condemning way.

1 CORINTHIANS 4:5 NIV 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

One main reason we are not qualified to judge others is because we don’t know their thoughts, intentions, and motives. Only God does.

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