No Place For The Wicked

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No Peace For The Wicked

Luke 9:7 “Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some that John was risen from the dead;”

Others may have thought Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead, but as can be clearly seen by looking at Matthew’s account and especially Mark’s record, Herod was convinced of this personally. This illustrates Herod’s own conviction of the sin John had rebuked, his guilt and torment over his even greater sin of beheading John, and his fear of John and the God he represented. As revealed in Mark 6:20, Herod once listened to John gladly. It is certain that John was preaching his favorite message of, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For Herod to hear him gladly, he must have been under deep conviction from God.

Herod feared his wife and the opinion of others more than he feared God. Herod was not as Festus, who told Paul he was mad for speaking of the resurrection from the dead. Herod knew the truth personally, was exceedingly sorry, and yet chose death – both John the Baptist’s and his own spiritual death. Apparently, seen in this instance, Herod lacked peace after his fatal choice.

According to the world’s mentality, peace is the absence of problems. However, God’s peace is not dependent on circumstances. It is dependent only on God Himself who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Hebrews 13:8. A Christian can have great peace even in the midst of terrible problems because his faith is in God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” Isaiah 26:3. Let His peace rule in your heart today. Trust Him.

He Rewards Even Little Things

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He Rewards Even Little Things

 Matthew 10:42 “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

This verse shows that even our smallest acts of kindness will be rewarded. As revealed in 1 Corinthians 3:13, every man’s work shall be tried to determine “what sort it is,” not what size it is. Many people who have never done anything to gain the attention of the masses will shine bright in the day when the Lord passes out His rewards.

Some of the Lord’s rewards for our actions come in this life, such as children, financial blessings, health, and many others. However, some of our rewards will not be realized until we stand before God. This is the case with the reward for enduring persecution.

Many of the rewards for ministering the Gospel will not come until we appear before the Lord. Rewards can be shared by those who aid others in their righteous tasks.

The ungodly who are not in the Kingdom of God will receive no rewards even though some of their actions might have been good. Rewards are only for those who have been cleansed from their evil deeds by the blood of the Lamb.

Regardless of what these rewards shall be, there will not be any exalting of self over others. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”, 1 Corinthians 4:7. The twenty-four elders in Revelation 4:10 are shown casting their crowns (which were rewards) down before the Lord and giving all their praise and worship to Him. It’s all because of Him. Thank Him today for His goodness.

Opposition To The Gospel

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Opposition To The Gospel

 Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

This statement seems like a contradiction to some prophecies concerning Jesus and some of Jesus’ own statements concerning peace, as well as what was written of Him in the New Testament Epistles. However, the peace that Jesus purchased was peace between God and man. We have peace with God, Romans 5:1. We are exhorted to take this peace and extend it to all men, but it is also made very clear that not all men will receive it.

Peace can only come when we relate to God on the basis of faith in what He did for us, instead of what we do for Him. A person who is thinking that he must perform up to some standard to be accepted by God will have no peace. That puts the burden of salvation on our shoulders, and we can’t bear that load. We were incapable of living holy enough to please God before we were saved, and we are incapable of living holy enough to please God now that we are saved, Hebrews 11:6. We were saved by faith, and we have to continue to walk with God by faith, Colossians 2:6. Not understanding this has made many Christians, who love God, unable to enjoy the peace that was provided for them through faith in Jesus.

The Gospel will always produce opposition from those who don’t receive it. This “sword of division,” even among family members, is not God’s will, nor is it God that causes it. But, it will inevitably come, and Jesus was simply preparing His disciples for that time. As much as we would like everyone to receive the good news, we must not think it is strange when even our loved ones don’t receive it. Jesus was rejected by His own, and we will be also. We must remain faithful to continue preaching the Gospel, for there are others who will receive. Keep sharing the “Good News!”

 

About Persecution

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About Persecution

Matthew 10:23 “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”

Persecution is an inevitable part of the Christian life. Persecution is from Satan and is designed to uproot God’s Word in our lives by taking our eyes off Jesus. We should not think it is strange to be persecuted. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”, 2 Timothy 3:12. We can actually rejoice because we are being persecuted, for Jesus’ sake, knowing that the Lord will be with us in the midst of the persecution and that there will be more than ample reward when we stand before Him, Hebrews 11:26.

Persecution is an indication that the ones doing the persecuting are under conviction. They realize that they are not living what your words or actions are advocating and so, in defense of self, they attack the ones whom they perceive to be the source of their conviction. If this is understood, it makes persecution much easier to take. They aren’t just mad at you; they are convicted. When the Gospel is presented in the power of the Holy Spirit, there will always be either a revival or a riot, but not indifference.

There are many forms of persecution. Having your life threatened because of your faith in Jesus is one way you can be persecuted, but it is not the most damaging. History shows that the Church has always flourished under persecution with increased numbers and zeal. During intense, life-threatening persecution, people’s priorities get straightened out and the Lord assumes His rightful place. This always works for our good, regardless of what our outward circumstances might be. Remember it is not you that they are persecuting, but rather Christ in you.

Get Rid Of Fear

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Get Rid Of Fear

Luke 8:50 “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”

Jesus told Jairus to “believe only,” implying that faith and fear can operate in us at the same time. This is also the reason James tells us not to be double-minded, or to waiver, James 1:5-8. Fear will negate faith. We can have both thoughts of faith and thoughts of unbelief at the same time.

Fear and faith are opposing forces. Fear is actually faith in reverse. Fear is believing something or someone other than God. Therefore, fear makes us subject to Satan and his death just as faith makes us recipients of all that God has to offer. This is the reason Jesus told Jairus, “Fear not.” Jairus’ fear would have sealed his daughter’s death.

Instead of trying to build huge amounts of faith to overcome our fears and unbelief, a simpler method is to remove our fears by cutting off their source. Then, our simple “child-like” faith that remains will do the job. It doesn’t take big faith – just pure faith.

Where does fear come from? Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” It doesn’t come from God. The way that fear is able to come upon us is that we take our attention off of Jesus and put it on our situation.

Fear or doubt cannot “just overcome” us. We have to let it in. In the same way that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, fear comes by hearing or seeing something contrary to God’s Word. We would not be tempted with fear or doubt if we didn’t consider things that Satan uses to minister that fear and doubt.

Satan tries to distract us with thinking about our problems. No problem is too big for God. We should cast our concern about the problem over on God and just keep our eyes on Jesus, the Word.

 

The Law Of Faith

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The Law Of Faith

Luke 8:45 “And Jesus said, ‘Who touched me?’ When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, ‘Master, the multitude throng thee, and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?'”

The multitudes were thronging Jesus. That is, they were compressing, and crowding in on all sides, so it seems strange that He would ask, “Who touched me?” Many people were physically touching Jesus, but this woman touched His power by faith. Many people in the crowd probably needed healing, but this person is the only one mentioned who received. The difference was the touch of faith.

If it was simply Jesus’ willingness to heal that determined whether or not the healing took place, then all of the sick in this multitude would have been healed. This instance illustrates that it’s not prayer that saves the sick, but rather the prayer of faith that saves the sick, James 5:15.

Healing is governed by law and not by a case by case decision from God based on His feelings toward us. This woman received her healing by the law of faith before Jesus knew anything about her. Impassioned pleas to God will not obtain the miracle we seek. Although Jesus is touched by our feelings, it requires faith. It’s not because Jesus doesn’t know our needs or hear our cries that miracles don’t happen, but rather it’s because very few know how the law of faith works.

One of the main differences between a God-kind of faith and a natural, human faith, which everyone has, is that human faith believes only what it can see, taste, hear, smell, or feel. God’s kind of faith believes in things that cannot be seen. You must believe that you receive your answer “when you pray” – not when you see the thing you’ve desired. Simply put, faith is our response to God’s ability, made complete by our actions. Trust Him completely and, because you believe, your actions will follow.