DAY 4 JOY – WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD

Photo Credit: Conscious Life News

Photo Credit: Conscious Life News

DAY 4 JOY – Walk Humbly With Your God

Prayerfully read Colossians 2.

The most important thing in this Hour is to walk humbly with your God.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him.” (Colossians 2:6)

In the original Greek, the phrase “to live in” means to walk in union with, to regulate your lives and conduct yourselves in union with and in conformity to Him. The Amplified version expresses “to live in” as reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin.

How do we live in Him? How do we increase our capacity for Him? We must gaze extensively on His Word daily and simply enjoy His Presence in silence and solitude (all throughout the day!) Hebrews 11:6 promises that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

In Psalm 27:4-5, 8, 13-14 David sings, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. My heart says of you, ‘Seek His face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” When you take delight in His Presence, you experience a foretaste of eternal pleasures.

And in Psalm 16:8, 11 David expresses his heart, “I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

Allow an awareness of His Presence to become imprinted on your conscience. Ask the Lord to be vibrantly involved in your day, in your work, and in your life because the Truth is that it is “in Him that we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

PRAYER FOCUS

  • Pray for spouses, children and the youth in our church.
  • Pray for healing to flow into those who are presently struggling physically and emotionally.
  • Pray for love, peace and joy to fill your life and home.

By Pastor Dianna Whittle

“AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE!”

—thoughts by Pastor Charles P. Schmitt

America is in trouble. The cause of much of this lies with those who are committed to overturning the biblical foundations of America as a nation. They want to make America a purely secular nation; perhaps so that they can more easily further their unbiblical social agenda.

The elections of 2016 are therefore critical. As the dust settles and the candidates become more clearly defined, every true Christian will be given their greatest God-given responsibility—to vote into office those candidates—whether Democrat or Republican—who are most committed to restoring America to its original biblical foundations that we again may be a God-fearing nation. And obviously, our greatest need is to see yet another national heaven-sent Great Awakening that will turn the hearts of the people of America back to God!

America’s clear biblical roots and godly foundations are borne witness to in these amazing random historical statements—

  1. “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.” —Psalm 16:1, etched on the stained glass window featuring George Washington in earnest prayer; in the Capitol Building
  2. “Search the Scriptures…Holiness to the LORD…May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence” —Inscriptions on the carved tribute blocks of the Washington Monument
  3. Laus Deo (Praise be to God) —Engraving on the aluminum capstone of the Washington Monument
  4. “…the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men…We have been assured in the sacred Writings that “except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this, and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel…I therefore beg to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service…As the Scriptures are given for our reproof, instruction and warning may we make a due use of this example before it is too late…” —Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
  5. “…The God who gave us life, gave us liberty…Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”…”The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” —Inscription from John 1:5 in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building, the Library of Congress
  6. “Thou hast put all things under His feet…The Truth shall make you free” —Scriptures engraved on the front facade of Union Station in New York City
  7. “Not until I went to the churches in America, and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great” —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  8. “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation…your Jehovah is our Jehovah and your God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our God” —John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the United States (1797-1801)
  9. “…The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man” —Daniel Webster (1782-1852), leading American statesman, Senator from Massachusetts, and hailed as the leading constitutional scholar of his generation.
  10. “The Bible is the Rock upon which our Republic rests” —President Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States (1829-37)
  11. “The great vital element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and Divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” —Resolution, House of Representatives (1854)
  12. “Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets.” —Lyndon B Johnson, 36th President of the United States

—Quotes courtesy of tzurshua@lantic.net

“AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE!”

SAVED FROM A “HARD SPIRIT”

stone-heartSAVED FROM A “HARD SPIRIT”
by Pastor Charles P. Schmitt

I was recently evaluating how easy it is to develop a “hard spirit” in the process of standing for truth and opposing evil.

As I was examining my own heart along those lines, I was reminded of a familiar passage of Scripture, one of Paul’s admonitions to his spiritual son Titus. Paul began by admonishing Titus to take a firm stand for truth and morality —“these then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you” (Titus 2:15). On the issues of “ungodliness and worldly passions” and on living “self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:1,2), Titus was to be unyielding. But how does one do just that without developing a hard, judgmental spirit, especially towards those who are living wayward and sinful lives?

I believe the key lies in the next few verses. Paul wanted Titus, along with all of us, to “be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men”! (Titus 3:2) How can this be possible as we stand firmly for the truth? Paul’s next statement tells us exactly how. We must never forget that, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures…”! (Titus 3:3)

What saves us from a hard spirit in the process of defending the truth is to remember the pit from which we ourselves were dug! For example, when I reflect on my own life, I can never despair of any man! I am moved with compassion towards everyone, when I remember my own shortcomings and failures. And for our goodness, our boasting can never be in our own goodness, but in the goodness of Him who graciously redeemed us by His love. Consequently, Paul’s very next statement was: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy…” (Titus 3:4-5).

This passage, Titus 2:11–3:8, really has answered the quest of my heart—how to be saved from developing a “hard spirit” in the process of standing up for the truth and opposing evil! “If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, therefore, You are feared” (Psalm 130:3-4). Amen!

IS GOD SPEAKING? (And are we just not listening?)

When we see the heartland of America battered by killer tornadoes and devastating floods, and when we see the death toll from these calamities rising – we need to ask ourselves the questions: “Is God speaking? And we are just not listening?”

In the woes spoken over the people of God in his day, the prophet Isaiah declares, “woe to those who call evil good and good evil…” (Isaiah 5:20). This is one of the cardinal sins of present-day America, and I sense one of the primary causes for its present woes. We have called “evil good” by legitimizing what God has clearly called unrighteous and sinful. And then we have called “good evil” by opposing those who seek to stand against this rising tide of evil.

For example, the Scriptures are clear on the sanctity of all human life and especially the life of the preborn, and yet, all too many in our government adamantly refuse to spare the preborn even from the agony and pain of a late-term abortion. We have slain over 60 million of our precious boys and girls primarily for “convenience,” and we wonder why our nation itself is wracked with pain.

The Scriptures are also clear on what godly sexuality is. “Women [who have] exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones” and “men [who have] committed indecent acts with other men” (Romans 1:26-27), should cause us deep concern, as it did Paul. Peter (as Paul in Romans 13:1-7), also clearly defines for us how a legitimate God-given and God-blest government is to function: Its officials are to “punish those who do wrong and commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-14). When any government commends those who do wrong and punishes those who do right, they have lost their God-given legitimacy to govern and open the nation to judgment from the hands of a righteous God.

In all my years of adult life I have not seen a national moral crisis as grave as the one we are presently in. Our singular hope is for a national awakening from heaven that will bring us back to biblical morality and godliness. To that end we must unitedly continue to pray with faith and fervency! And in this democracy, we must also awake out of our stupor and act responsibly in unitedly voting into power in 2016 a government that will assist in restoring America to again become a nation blest by God! Only then will our borders be safe and our heartland be whole. So let us stand as the saints in Hebrews 11: “Through faith’s power they… established true justice. Their faith fastened onto God’s promises and pulled them into reality!” (Hebrews 11:33, Passion Trans.) May our merciful and gracious and forgiving God bless America with a godly government and with a godly people!

—Pastor Charles Schmitt

YOUR PERSONAL PENTECOST

Today is the Day of Pentecost—50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. Today is the day the Holy Spirit came and filled the lives of the disciples and early believers. You, too, can have your own personal Pentecost today!

The fullness of the Holy Spirit is the overflowing of the Holy Spirit into, and out from the believer, the fulfillment of the promise the Father gave to all believers, leading to a full, rewarding life in Jesus Christ.

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive….” (John 7:37-39 NIV)

It is important for us to focus on the five great words of this Scripture —“thirsty,” “come,” “drink,” “believe” and “flow.”

  1. “Thirsty” – Do you have a thirst for a deeper life in the Lord? For a closer walk with Him? For a boldness to serve Him? Thirst is the prerequisite to being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. “Come to Me” – We must always come to Jesus for His fullness. He alone is the One who gives to us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Come to Jesus for the fullness of His Spirit!
  3. “Drink” – This is an act of receiving. Even as we drink a glass of water or breathe in a breath of fresh air, so we are simply to receive from Jesus the gift of the Holy Spirit. Even as we first trusted Jesus to freely forgive us all of our sins, so we now trust Him to freely fill us with all of His fullness!
  4. “Believe” – Believing the Lord is simply taking Him at His word. His promises are His unfailing Word. And He will always fulfill His promises to us. This confident expectation is called “faith.” Release your faith in His promise! Believe His word! He will fill you now!
  5. “Flow” – The promise of Jesus is that “streams of living water will flow from within…” us. In this assurance of faith, we are to step out in our devotional life, in our personal life, in our life of witness to the world, and believe that Jesus Christ will flow through us today in a miraculous way, in the gifts of the Spirit and in the fruit of the Spirit, by the power of His Holy Spirit! Today can be your personal day of Pentecost!

Pastor Charles

Holy Week Inspirational Thoughts: April 3 – Worship Him

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Quotation-Calvin-Coolidge-religion-men-Meetville-Quotes-237391 April 3:  Worship Him
by Dotty Schmitt

Ponder Revelation 5

Not only is He the despised and rejected lamb of God, but He is also Lord of Lord and King of Kings. Jesus

Share your thoughts for Holy Week 2015.

 

Holy Week Inspirational Thoughts- March 29- Consider Him

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considerhim March 29: Consider Him
by Dotty Schmitt

Ponder Hebrews 12: 1-3

How did Jesus endure the turmoil and agony of Holy Week?

Hebrews tells us, He endured because of the joy set before Him. Jesus saw the end of His suffering journey – you and I. We are His joy!

Share your thoughts for Holy Week 2015.