"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Some people have certain things in their possession that they believe brings them luck or maybe helps them play a sport better. Whatever it is, they have this secret fear of losing it and never getting it back. A harbored fear is tough to live with. We have them with fears of death, losing touch with our kids, financial losses, to fear of losing everything we have grown comfortable and accustomed to. One absolute sure thing in life remains: 'We can never be separated from the thing that strengthens and holds us together.' His love says that whatever is thrown our way, you can never be separated from Him and His love for you.
We may not feel victorious when we are in distress or in a disaster in life; but being a conqueror doesn't mean you feel like a winner through the fight. It does mean that you are on the best team, the greatest army that has never lost, and never will! Approach your darkest valley with confidence knowing you can't ever lose when you abide in Him and His love abides in you.
You are more than a Conqueror!!!
"So, Samuel said: Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams."
1 Samuel 15:32
There is an old saying "Every man has three worlds, What he perceives, what he shows to the world, and his reality. The Third one is a mystery to be lived."
I like to say your real self is who you are when no one is around and watching. We all have some level of facade that we want the world to see. It happens at home, work and church. The people of Samuel's day were intent on the visible as well, led by a king who had fallen into this trap himself. Saul believed that the details of his obedience were no so important, as long as he glossed over them with an especially visible sacrifice in the end. He brought a cover up rather than a contrite spirit.
But we are spiritual beings and must walk and live in that living sacrifice, which is obedience. If we sacrifice in any other way, our giving will be hollow at best and plainly false at worst. God wanted Samuel's sacrifice as an act of worship, submission, and reverence to God. We are to bow at the altar of God not the altar of the sacrifice.
"And his (Naaman's) servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father,if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
2 Kings 5:13-14 NKJV
I have a friend who says, "We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles". Naaman had this experience with Elisha the prophet. He was ill and looked for a miracle. It must have been a big disappointment when he was told by Elisha to just dip yourself in the river. General Naamans' men told him to obey. Maybe it took simpler men to respect Elisha's direction. This lesson is simple; we can miss a rich reward by refusing to obey instructions.
Repeatedly, the simple solutions to our problems like trust and obey, really do bring the finest results. It's an un-changeble spiritual principle that brings changes of restoration and healing.
Blessings to you and your family!
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations."
Matthew 28:19 NKJV
Anytime you see the word "therefore" you need to find out what it's there for. In this case, we have to look at the previous several verses:
28:17- And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
28:18- And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
Think about it, all the miracles that the disciples saw through Jesus and they still doubted Him, but they still worshipped Him. The next thing He did was speak to them like a friend and commission them with the same authority as He received from the Father. It's not just a commission but an order, a charge to "Go ye therefore to all the nations." Jesus is saying you now have the same authority over the enemy, diseases, and the elements as I have. Now, you may be worshiping Jesus, but doubt like the disciples. But how would you like a chance to be obedient to His commission over you? Would you like to try out this authority that Jesus gave you?
Do you know you don't have to go to the nations anymore because they are right here in front of you? That's right, there are 64 nations represented in Huntsville. Take a step of faith today and join us tonight for prayer and the rest of this week as we GO and present the Good News to all the nations here in Huntsville. Trust Him when He says ...
(v.20) I am always with you even unto the end of the world. Will you join us this week with the evangelism team as we answer the call of each one of us?
Pastor Michael Garcia
Overseer and Pastor at First Assembly HOEN