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THE MASTER’S MAJORITY

omnipotence


“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)


The prophet Elisha was outnumbered in Dothan by an army with horses and chariots sent by the king of Aram. The army surrounded the city, and Elisha’s servant was gripped with fear. But the prophet could see what his servant could not see, and he spoke today’s word of comfort: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha saw that hills were filled with horses and chariots of fire sent by the Most High God to envelop those who were threatening the prophet and his servant.

What was true for the prophet Elisha back then is just as true for the people of God today. The adversaries of God’s people—the world, the flesh, and the devil—are many and mighty. But God’s answer to all his adversaries is mightier still. No matter how many unholy horses and corrupt chariots line up against us today to keep us from being all God is calling us to be, they are outnumbered by Omnipotence, because our Master always has the majority. You are protected on all sides and will not be overcome by your opposition because “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Are forces of fear coming up against you? Are armies of anxiety attacking from all sides? Are the powers of the prince of darkness pursuing you? Fear not! Look with eyes of faith today and you will see past whatever adversary it is you are facing to the Almighty who stands ready to give you victory. Remember, not only is it true that those who are with you are more than those who are with your enemies, but the power at work within you is infinitely greater than any power that can come against you.

To be sure, the fighting will be fierce and the battle will be brutal, but the outcome will never be in question, because the One who fights for you fights with a force that simply cannot be overcome. Remember, the Master and you always makes the majority.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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A REDEEMER WHO REMEMBERS    

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He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. (Psalm 111:5)


What a word of comfort we have before us today! Our Redeemer remembers all of His promises to us . . . even when we believe we have provoked Him to want to forget! Here is what we all must remember: It is His faithfulness to us—not our faithfulness to Him—that causes Him to remember all of His promises.

Our Redeemer remembers His promises to us and never regrets making them, because they are fixed from all eternity. He knows we are but dust, and from time to time we drift from our duties. Yet He has promised never to forget us or forsake us. He remembers to provide us with our daily bread. He remembers to meet us in our place of deepest need. He remembers to forgive us again and again. And He remembers to love us with an everlasting love. When God makes a promise, we can count on it, because no weapon formed against us can cause our faithful Redeemer to allow a single Word to fall to the ground.

So regardless of where this message finds you today, remember your Redeemer, who remembers every promise He has made to you. Do you have a need in your personal life? Take it to your Redeemer who remembers. Do you have a need in your professional life? Take it to your Redeemer who remembers. When you fear God, you have nothing else to fear, for He has promised to meet all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

There is one more thought that I’ve discussed here before, but it bears repeating. Throughout the Bible we read God’s assurances that He will always remember His covenant promises to His adopted children . . . His promises to you and me. Christian, there is only one thing that our loving Lord says He will forget; He says, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).Thanks to the sacrificial death of our Redeemer on our behalf, God the Father has promised that He will forget our sins. And He will remember that promise for all eternity.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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HIGHER LOVE 

Higher Love


As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)


Inasmuch as we simply cannot calculate how much higher the heavens are than the earth, neither can we imagine how much higher are God’s thoughts are toward us than our thoughts are toward Him. Beloved, let the truth of this verse comfort you today: Not only are God’s thoughts higher than your thoughts, but so too are His plans, His purposes, His wisdom, and His ways. Because they are God’s thoughts, they are better than our thoughts, and He delights in giving good gifts to His children.

Think about it this way: God’s plans and purposes for your life are beyond what you could ever imagine them to be for yourself. They will take you to places you had never dreamed you could go, because they come from the One who is in control of all things. They will often surprise you along the way and always meet you in your deepest place of need. God can do this because He is God, and He delights in working all things together for the good of those who love Him.

Does that describe you today? Do you love your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength . . . as much as it is within your power to do so? Remember this: we love God, but His love is higher love, and is able to lift us above all the waves of challenge that confront us each day. Nothing can stand in the way of the will of God, and that includes His will for your life. His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher. His love is higher. Why? Because He is God, and He has a higher love for all those who are His . . . and that includes you.

Christian, let this truth set you free today to live out His perfect plan and purpose for your imperfect life, even when you cannot fully understand what you are currently experiencing. Isaiah tells us that we can trust our God even when we cannot trace Him, because we know that we are the objects of His higher love. Our Lord says to His children:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And He assures us . . .

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

(Jeremiah 29:11, 13)

Seek Him with all your heart, child of God, and you will know an eternal love that extends higher and greater than anything we can comprehend.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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NEVER ALONE

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Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. (Joshua 1:5)


God to spoke these words to Joshua, who was being installed as the leader of the people of Israel. Moses had died, and it was now time for Joshua to assume command and lead God’s people across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. But make no mistake, these words are not to be thought of as merely the account of ancient history; they are to be applied to every believer in every age in every kind of circumstance. Remember the words of Jesus Christ to His followers: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

God’s promise to Joshua is a promise to all His children. Perhaps we are not conquering new lands to expand the cause of God’s kingdom, but life is every bit as filled with “warfare” for us today us as it was for Joshua. Is there any Christian reading this who cannot testify to the truth of the battle that rages within us against the world, the flesh, and the devil?

We have been promised times of trial, trouble, and tribulation, but we have also been promised One who will walk with us every step of the way, just as He walked with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the blazing fire of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. If it is strength you need, God will give you strength. If it is wisdom you need, God will give you wisdom. If it is patience you need, God will give you patience. Whatever you need, God has promised to meet and exceed your needs in the glorious riches of Christ Jesus.

Is this not a word of great encouragement to you today? You are not alone in the struggles you are facing. You are not without the help you need to get through the waves of challenge that will inevitably wash over you. You may have experienced the loss of a close friend or a family member, and you feel as if you have been left to fight your battles alone. But your God has promised to be by your side through both thick and thin, good and bad, sunshine and rain.

Christian, I want you to know this: You mean as much to God as Moses and Joshua did. You are a child of the Most High God, and you have been purchased by the blood of His beloved Son. God is faithful to keep His promise to never leave nor forsake you.

Let me offer you one final word of encouragement. Would this not be a great time to consider your response to the cosmic comfort in these words? “I will be with you . . . I will be with you always.” Remember, since God cannot fail you, you faith cannot fail him, and when you do fall short of your heart’s desire to please Him, know that you are completely loved and fully forgiven . . . forever!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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9/11

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Wednesday September 11, 2019


You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)


Eighteen years ago today a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic group al-Qaeda was launched against the United States. There were 2,977 victims of these reprehensible suicide attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and that number could have been much higher except for the courage and selfless action of passengers on the fourth plane, United 93, which never reached its intended destination, crashing instead in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers mounted their own counterattack against the hijackers.

Let us not recall murder and terror this day, but rather courage, heroism, and a love that willingly laid down its life for others, a love that was exemplified by the passengers of Flight 93 and the first responders who sprinted into burning buildings while all others fled.

Since that fateful day, for those who travel by air, the security rituals are constant reminders that, regardless of where we are heading—to a business meeting . . . a vacation with our family . . . a special event with friends . . . a graduation ceremony of a family member—we are not as secure as we once thought we were in America. And that is why faith is the best way forward, regardless of our mode of travel and the destination to which we are traveling.

Regardless of what it may seem like to a watching world, our God is in control of all things. He is not asleep on His throne, a distant deity disconnected from His creation. He is sovereignly controlling all things to accomplish His perfect purpose, even using the sinful acts of man along the way. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, sin stained everything, but God did not leave them in their sin. He promised to send a Savior who would bear the penalty for our sin to bring us back into relationship with Him. And along the way, God has promised to work all things together for the good of those who love Him.

Do you look toward the future with anxiety? Has disease or simply the inexorable march of time made you think that the end is near? If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, you have nothing to fear! In the instant that you are absent from your earthly body, you will be present with the Lord, He who gave us life and has promised new life for all those who trust in Christ alone for salvation. Only the Christian can face this uncertain, even sometimes ugly world with the confident assurance that He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.

The dreadful events of the 9/11 attacks drove our nation back to its knees, if only for a brief time, and each year it causes many to pause and consider the uncertainty and the brevity of life. For the Christian, however, one thing that is absolutely certain: Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Let us thank Him this divine promise that will transform a human heart from fearful to faithful.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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YOU WHOM I LOVE

Freedom Woman On Sunset Sky


Tell me, you whom I love . . . (Song of Songs 1:7)


Notice the absence of any possible doubt in Solomon’s statement that we read in today’s word of encouragement. He did not say something like, “Tell me, you whom I think I love . . . Tell me, you whom I hope I love . . . Tell me, you whom I want to love” No, no, a thousand times no! In spite of his many failures, Solomon knew that He loved His God beyond the slightest shadow of any doubt, and he made it clear for all the world to read.

I find it striking that the early saints of God never wavered between two understandings when it came to their relationship with God. We do not come across a plethora of “ifs” or “buts” or “hope to’s.” Job cried out to God in his confusion and despair over all the calamity that had befallen him and his family; you would think that he might have been the most likely person to express his love for God with an “if,” a “but,” or a “hope to.” Yet Job provides perhaps the finest example in all of sacred Scripture of wholehearted devotion. He wrote:

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. (Job 19:25)

This statement, you might remember, comes from a man who had lost his wealth, his health, and all of his ten children. You and I know from the biblical account what was happening to Job, but Job did not. When his three friends showed up, after mourning with Job for a week, they became miserable comforters by accusing Job of sin in his life as the reason for all his calamity. If anyone had cause to question the goodness of the Almighty, it was Job. But he did not. Job never wavered in his belief that his Redeemer lives and that he could trust God even when he could not trace Him. Even when his wife encouraged Job to “Curse God and die,” he remained steadfast in knowing whom he loved.

We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our love for God is the fruit of His love for us, worked in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. But once we have been given this supernatural love, it is ours to give back to Him. To be sure, true love loves when the sky is blue, the clouds are fleecy, and the sun is brightly shining; but true love also loves when the storm winds blow and the waves of challenge are washing over us. Is He not altogether lovely and worthy of our love, regardless of the circumstances we are facing in this life? Job knew this truth—he embraced this truth, even in the worst of conditions—and so should you and I.

Remember, child of God, it was not nails that held Jesus on that cruel cross. It was His love for you and me that would not allow Him to save Himself. His love bore the nine-inch nails, the crown of thorns, and that cruel cross of crucifixion. Can you not say with Job, regardless of what you are currently facing, “I know that my Redeemer lives”? And can you not echo Solomon by addressing your God as “You whom I love”? May this be the confession of our lives!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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THE LORD’S LIGHTS  

    lights 


Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV)


We all know the importance and value of light. Turn on a light in a dark room and what you could not see before is now made manifest. In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light to dispel the darkness. I pray that today’s word of encouragement will both comfort you who are the Lord’s light, and that it will also challenge you to let your light shine brightly into the darkness of this present age.

Knowing that we are the Lord’s light is an unmatched cosmic comfort. We received this light by way of the unwavering love, unimaginable sacrifice, and unmatched cost to our precious Savior, Jesus Christ. We who were once far off have now been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13), and we have been given the gifts of the Spirit to communicate His grace to a watching world.

But that’s not all! What comforts us must also challenge us. If we are the Lord’s lights, should we not shine so brightly that no one can come near us without coming near to our Lord? The words we say, the deeds we do, and even the expressions on our faces and the tone of our voices should fairly shout the witness of our walk with Jesus to a watching world.

We must remember that we were once groping in darkness until Someone shone His light into our hearts. We were drawn to His light by the power of the Holy Spirit and given the greatest gift the world has ever seen: eternal life in Christ. Now, as the Lord’s lights, we are to shine so brightly that those who currently walk in darkness will be drawn to the Lord’s light. Our words of light should lift others up. Our deeds of light should warm others’ hearts. Our thoughts of light should love others into the kingdom of heaven.

How is it with you today? How brightly does your light shine? Is there anything shrouding your light and making it difficult for others to see Christ in you? Perhaps a critical or unforgiving spirit? Maybe an angry or self-righteousness disposition? We have been given light to be a light to others, and I can tell you from personal experience that there is no greater joy than to know that your light has dispelled the darkness of discouragement, despair, or spiritual death in the lives of others.

Christian, you are the Lord’s light. May your light be a searchlight and not merely a candle.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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