Forgive Generously

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong.  Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.  Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (NLT) ( Isaiah 55:7 ) 

The Old Testament documents God chasing after His children relentlessly.  They continuously turn from Him, yet He still is graceful and merciful.  As children of God, He has chased after us and forgiven us of our sins.  It is our duty as Christians to continuously chase after others and show them the love of God, even if they turn from us.  As difficult as it may be, is there anyone in your life who needs your forgiveness and mercy? 

Truth For Today

RESPONDING TO FALSE PROPHETS

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
~ MATTHEW 7:15

In Jude’s brief letter to believers, the apostle firmly warns against false prophets and tells us how to respond to them. “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). Our primary response to false teaching is simply to be right with God in the first place, to make sure we are in fellowship with Him and receiving His blessing and power. Then we can “have mercy on some, who are doubting” (v. 22, NASB)—believers who doubt their faith because of false teachers need reassurance.

Another necessary response might be to “save others, snatching them out of the fire” (v. 23, NASB)— unbelievers bound for hell after hearing false teaching need to be rescued before it’s too late.

Finally, Jude tells about a third response to false prophets: “On some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (v. 23, NASB). We sometimes must confront false prophets and their followers, doing so with a special dependence on the Lord and being careful not to get contaminated by their false teachings.

Daily Word

Failures

I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him

~ Matt 17:16

There are a great many teachers in our Sunday schools who have had similar experiences. Children have been brought to them possessed by evil spirits, and they have failed to cast out the demons. They have tried every device, gentle and severe; they have prayed and laboured, they have talked and wept; but the evil spirits in their scholars have defied all efforts to dislodge them. Teachers of such incorrigible scholars may learn some lessons here.

It may be a little encouragement, first of all, to know that even Christ’s apostles met at least one case that they could not do anything with; no wonder if common people like us fail now and then. It is failures like this in the apostles that bring them down to our level. When we see them victorious and successful at every point, we are discouraged. But when we find them baffled and defeated, we see that they were human, just like us, and could do nothing by themselves. We get far more real help from St. Paul’s experience with his “thorn” than we get from his “third heaven” exaltation. In this latter he is so far beyond us that we cannot follow him; in the former we are on familiar ground.

It may be instructive also to study the reasons of the apostles’ failure. For one, the Master was absent; the disciple cannot do anything without His Lord. This is a lesson we should deeply impress on our own minds. Unless we have Christ with us, all our Christian work will utterly fail. Of ourselves we can never change a heart. Another reason was want of faith in the disciples; unbelief makes any one weak. Though absent, Christ’s power would have been theirs, had not their faith failed. Still another reason was the hardness of the case: all cases are not alike difficult, some requiring more faith and spiritual power than others.

Evening Prayer

GODLY CHOICES 
Deuteronomy 30:19; 1 Peter 4:3

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Tonight 

Recognize that life is full of choices. I pray that you will choose the life exemplified by Christ. May God grant you the discernment and conviction to make the right choices in life. May you always choose what brings life – that which is righteous and pure. May you reject anything that will kill your soul – all that is wrong and detestable to God. Realize that you are always going to choose between blessings and curses. I pray that you will choose blessings that come with righteousness so that you may enjoy the abundant peace and prosperity of a godly life.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Streams in The Desert

A Simple Prayer

I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me

~ Acts 27:25

I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, “The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said,

“Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon.” “It is impossible,” I said. “Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.”

I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. “Mr. Mueller,” I said, “do you know how dense this fog is?” “No,” he replied, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.”

He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. “First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”

I looked at him, and he said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone.” I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.

~ Selected

“If our love were but more simple,

We should take Him at His word;

And our lives would be all sunshine,

In the sweetness of our Lord.”

Dear Jesus

Let Me be your positive focus. When you look to Me, knowing Me as God with you, you experience Joy.

Dear Jesus,

I am so thankful You are God with us—constantly, eternally. That knowledge alone is sufficient to fill my days with Joy. Sadly, though, my mind easily slips out of focus, and I forget about your abiding Presence. When my thinking is unfocused, almost anything can grab my attention. Then You slip even further from my awareness. Worries and worldliness attack my mind while it is idling, out of gear. I want You to be my positive focus, but I definitely need help.

Beloved, I created you in My image: with the capacity to communicate with Me. As My image-bearer, you have the ability to choose the focus of your mind. I understand that many thoughts come and go unbidden, but you can control your thinking more than you may realize. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right . . . think about such things.” I would not instruct you to think about certain things unless it was possible to do so.

Because the world contains both good and evil, you can choose to think about excellent, praiseworthy things or about terrible, upsetting things. Sometimes, of course, you have to deal with the brokenness around you. However, each day contains moments when you are free to choose the focal point of your mind. These are the times when I want you to take charge of your thoughts. When your mind is idle, it often moves toward a negative focus—such as regretting things in your past or worrying about the future. Meanwhile, I am with you in the present: waiting for you to recall My Presence. Train your mind to turn toward Me frequently. Remembrance of who I Am can brighten even your darkest times, blessing you with Joy.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
~ Matthew 1:22–23 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right . . . think about such things. 
~ Philippians 4:8 

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 
~ John 8:58

Evening Prayer

TRUST IN GOD ALONE 
Psalms 20:7; 25:3-4; 44:6; 49:6

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Tonight 

I pray that in all situations, you shall place your trust in the Lord. May you understand that those whose hope is in Him shall never be put to shame. I pray that you will not place your trust in chariots and horses, or in bows and swords. May you not place your trust in wealth nor boast of great riches. Rather, I pray that you will trust only in the name of the Lord our God. May you trust in His ways and seek only His paths, and He will bring you to victory.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.