TAKE A STAND REGARDLESS

There will come a time when all of us will be given the opportunity to take a stand for what we believe.

The results will vary because of how you stand for what you believe. With God’s Word, we never have to worry about the stand we take; for if we base our lives on God’s Word, then we find in Proverbs 30:5 that we can make the right decisions and trust in God for the best outcome. It says, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

Some of us struggle with standing on God’s Word because we have failed, yet if we don’t keep trying to do what God wants, we may fall back to the place where we won’t be making much of a difference for Him. Keep standing on God’s Word even when you keep slipping. The more you stand, the stronger you’ll be, and the longer you’ll stand.

Hugh Latimer was a Protestant preacher who lived in England during the 1500s. When Queen Mary (known as bloody Mary) came to the throne, she attempted to bring England to the one-church order. Latimer spoke against her and was thrown into jail, along with his friend Nicholas Ridley. They were convicted of heresy and sentenced to be burned at the stake.

On Oct. 16, 1555, as they were led to the stake, Ridley drew back in fear, but Latimer comforted his friend with these words that have echoed through generations: “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust, by God’s grace, shall never put out.”

And so they did light a candle for God from their fiery ordeal that sent a great move of God in the hearts of the people that has shown many the way to Christ.

Take your stand, whether large or small, for the cause of Christ, and point the way for others to make the right decision for the Kingdom of God. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything, but if you stand for God, you will stand tall.

If you feel yourself falling, hold tight to the Word of God, and your candle will burn brighter and brighter.

THE UNTAPPED POWER OF GOD

There are many resources that remain to be found for mankind to use. Some will be found, others may never be found.

There’s one power that remains hidden to so many that they either don’t know about it, don’t understand how to use it, or are afraid to try it.

This power is the ultimate of all power, for it comes from God and is unlimited. It’s available to every person who is a true “born again” child of God. Very few use it, but the fact is: it’s still there.

In 1916, there was a man named VonBureon, who was a butcher of British decent who lived a comfortable life in Johannesburg, South Africa. He became sick and was told by the doctors that he had an incurable disease. VonBureon sold all that he had and moved his family to the country to set up a farm so that his family would have provisions for the future when he died. Soon after he left, an evangelist came to the city, and people’s lives were being touched in great ways.

VonBureon received letters from friends telling him of the great works of good, needs that were met, healings and salvations. VonBureon took their letters out to his field and laid them open on the ground and asked God, “If you can do this for others, surely you would do so for me.”

As he cried out to God, he was touched by that power that is available to us all. For 18 days, people saw a man’s life transformed as he went to people and told them of God’s Word for their soul. Many fell and repented, and others were touched by the power of God. Even before he could return from the field, his wife, who had not been a true believer, was already changed and touched by the power of God. All 11 of his children were saved, and for years to come, VonBureon served God faithfully.

That same power is available to us all. You can be changed and make an impact on those around you. God’s willing. Are you?

You Can Only Be One of Two

There are only one of two types of people any of us can be. God does not allow those who want to ride the fence to see what side they want to be on today and what side tomorrow. The Bible says, concerning you and God, that you are either hot or cold about Him and that He will not accept lukewarm people.

So the bottom line is that you can only be one of the two: with God or without. God does draw a line. You’re the one who chooses which side you’ll stand on.

You might say, “How do I know?” Well, let’s test your ways against what the Scripture can test us on. Proverbs is a good area, so I’ll choose some, and you determine which one of the two you would be.

Proverbs 10:20: “The tongue of a righteous is choice silver. The heart of the wicked is worth little.” (Which are you?)

Next, Proverbs 10:32: “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.” (So how’s your language?)

Proverbs 11:5: “The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way right, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.” (How are you traveling through life?)

Proverbs 11:17: “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” (Now where do most of your troubles come from?)

Proverbs 11:28: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.” (Do your money and possessions have you, or do you have them?)

Proverbs 10:6: “The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.” (Well, what’s got your attention lately?)

Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” (Here’s a tough one, or is it? For it all depends on what you say.)

See, there’s a lot to learn from God’s Word. Not just to condemn, but also to forgive if you choose which of the two you will be. Remember, God knows which one you are.

POSSESSIONS

We all have these.  Many of us work hard to keep such things but in reality, in the end, do we really own anything?  People waste a lifetime working to possess lands, houses, and wealth; and the list goes on.  Yet we never fully have anything of this earth’s forever, because we are not going to live here forever.

Psalm 24:1 states that “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell within.”  So my thought to you is: if all belongs to God, then why do we keep trying to take it away from Him?

God says He knows what we have need of but we say we want more.  So then we obtain things we don’t need, pay for more elite vehicles than we require, and live in homes that we have to work ourselves to death to pay the mortgage.  We worry over all that we have and how to maintain and keep it, and why?  When God owns it all and we are supposed to be His stewards of these things, not owners.  When we take ownership, we assume His position and it won’t work.

Stewardship is being a caretaker, not an owner and way too many people fall into this endless cycle and miss out on God’s best.  Who are we to post “no trespassing” signs on God’s land when it’s supposed to be His?  Did we clear that with Him?

We do this constantly and forget that we can never truly own anything.  We have to give it up in the end.  Until we get the stewardship mentality, then life is never going to be that beneficial to us or to God and His plans for us.

How Much Does It Cost You?

There is an account of a mission organization based in South Africa. The year is 1908. There were 125 families living in some of the most remote places, facing constant dangers, starvation, disease, making only $12 per month, but sometimes only receiving $2 to $4. The situation, no doubt, looked bleak. The organization knew they had to do something to rally the missionaries. They sold furniture out of their offices and whatever they could to bring every missionary in for a conference. Eventually, a few months later, all 125 arrived.

There was much discussion, much prayer, and much looking to God’s Word and seeking guidance about whether they should continue on. One evening they asked the head of their organization if he would excuse himself from the room and then later they asked him to return. When he did, there was a communion table set up.

As this leader looked at these missionaries, they began to speak and here’s what they told him: “We all have decided to go back to work and serve God even if we die, even if our wives and children die. If we perish, so be it. We only ask one thing: that you come and bury us if we don’t survive.”

With tears and rejoicing, they then took communion and parted ways. The next year that leader had to bury 12 pastors and 16 of their wives and children. But from that commitment, 350 churches started and 1,250 native pastors were sent out to preach God’s Word to more. Over 500,000 souls were brought to faith in Christ.

It is said that this ministry head could not ever eat a piece of pie for years when he thought of how almost every missionary had to live on cornmeal mush every day they were in the field.

We’ve suffered so little for the cause as these did; but today we can help, for there’s no better investment than into God’s Kingdom work.

In The Heavenlies

We’ve all experienced those wintertime storms where it may be 35 degrees or more and yet snowing. Or those times when it might be 30 degrees or less than that and raining. What’s controlling these variances in temperature? What makes us experience an ice storm or hail storm is mainly because of two fronts of warm and cold air meeting. It can bring thunderstorms or spawn tornadoes. The heavens have been declared as a great place where God sits on His throne. Where angels pass back and forth constantly, a place where Satan and one-third of the angels were cast out of. What goes on in the atmosphere above us affects us here on earth in many ways.

There is a spiritual battle that affects not the weather but it affects our lives on how we live here on earth determining what is to happen with our lives for eternity. If the truth would register more with the souls of the people, we would recognize that our lives are more spiritual than physical. Yet it is how we handle life physically that helps determine where we will end up spiritually. Spiritual demonic forces (witchcraft) and spiritual warfare are real, even more so than we generally think about. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

What is going on today is a great influx of spiritual warfare, more than ever before. It used to be that the dark side of things stayed on the back streets, but today it has become bold and stands in our front streets daring Christians to try to stop it. Many people are ignorant to this. There is great turmoil going on today in the heavenlies. The Devil is no match for Jesus and he knows it. Believe me, there is no better place to be right now than under the protection of God’s hands. There is a very real battle going on for the souls of men and women, boys, and girls, all over the world. Soon now God’s going to put an end to the satanic forces that are trying to destroy us. If you belong to Jesus, you’re in no better hands; but if you’re not, your eternal life is in jeopardy. How do you really stand with God?