Strength In Our Resistence

Satan is active. We don’t have to look far to see the results of his dirty work. Marriages breaking up, rise in sexual perversions, pornography, ant-Christian bias, racism, riots, greed, injustice, poverty. You must not let down your guard for even a little bit for Satan will take opportunities and eat away at them. Many Christians give in to the temptations and as a result affect their faith and others.

Simple flirting quickly turn into affair, innocent borrowing of a little cash quickly escalates into stealing. A little distortion of the truth so as not to embarrass oneself soon becomes a series of outright lying. A little pick me up with some drug soon captivates our desires for more. Some times to relieve tension can easily guild into focusing more and more of our attentions on hobbies, pleasures, and materialism that sucks away on spiritual discipline and growth.

Satan is full of deceit. He is a liar. He is deadly seeking to devour anyone he can just like a lion in sheep’s clothing. If he can fill you with pride he’ll do it. If he can fill you with low-self esteem to keep you from using your gifts he’ll do it. If he can keep you preoccupied with unimportant things he’ll do it.

There are times when the evil one will smack us in the face with adversity and outright temptation, but more cunningly he attacks while we are asleep spiritually, not dependent, not praying, not seeking God’s will for today. We cannot stand on yesterday’s victories.

What can we do to utilize the power and protection of the Lord? There is strength given by God if we really want it and are ready to do what we can to resist temptation when it comes our way. We cannot always live on an emotional high, but spiritual growth is a walk of faith regardless of our emotional ups and downs. It is obeying God in good times and bad times.

This is why we are instructed to be sober, or self-controlled. We must have our minds under control. How we are thinking makes a difference as to our protection against Satan whose job it is to destroy you and me. We must be vigilant and always on guard. His strategy is to counterfeit whatever God does. According to the Parable of the Tares, wherever God plants a true Christian, Satan seeks to plant a counterfeit. He could deceive us were it not for the Word of God and the Spirit of God. The better we know God’s Word, the keener our spiritual senses will be to detect Satan at work.

The Biblical way to protect ourselves is to resist him. Take our stand on the Word of God and refuse to be moved. Our weapons are the Bible, prayer, and the armor of God. Stand firm believing God, not your emotions. With a steadfast determination trust Him and follow Him and believe Him, for Satan will do everything he can in his power to cause you to fall, fail, and quit. God will give you a way out and strength to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)


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Walk Thru The Old Testament Seminar

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The Father’s Character- The Parable Of The Prodigal Son

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the father represents God and teaches us some valuable lessons concerning parenting. Christian fathers need to imitate the example of the father in this parable.

The father is patient:  The boy had been gone a long time, long enough for a famine to ravish the land, yet the father waited patiently. Indeed patience is a virtue all Christians should possess (Galatians 5:22). But oh how necessary it is in our homes! We need to learn to be patient with our children, knowing that they have much to learn. We must realize that they are not miniature adults. There is much to learn, and some lessons must be learned the hard way. We cannot learn the lessons for them, nor can we teach them. The prodigal son had to learn some hard lessons, and the father allowed it. Likewise we must learn patience. Fathers, how patient are you with your children as they falter along life’s path?

The father is loving:  When he saw the boy coming, while he was still a long way off, the father ran to him and hugged and kissed him. He doesn’t ask him where he had been or what he had been doing. There is no lecture saying, “I told you so” or “You should have known better.” There is no “I hope you’ve learned your lesson” speech. There is simply the love of a father and the joy that his son has returned. We don’t know what the boy may have expected, perhaps he delayed his return because he was too ashamed to face his father. But the love of his father removed his fear. “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins,’” (1 Peter 4:8). Fathers, how loving are you when your children make mistakes?

 The father is forgiving:  His actions demonstrated it. The boy was ready to ask to be made like one of his fathers hired servants, yet his father did not let him finish his plea. Once the son had repented he was restored to his original place. Not only that, but they have a party to celebrate his return! We need to learn to be forgiving of those who have done wrong. We should focus not on the wrong they have done but on the joy that they have repented. So much sorrow could be avoided if we will simply learn to do this. “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you,” (Ephesians 4:32). Fathers, how forgiving are you of your children when they do wrong?

The father has his priorities in the right place:  The most important thing was not that his son had sinned, nor that he had wasted his inheritance. Neither was it important that he’d caused his father untold grief. The most important thing was that his son was home. Material things can be replaced, sorrows can be forgotten, and sin can be forgiven, but a soul lost can never be restored. We need to keep in mind the inherent value of the soul. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36,37). Fathers, where are your priorities?


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Shamgar: Major Lessons From A Minor Judge

Shamgar son of Anath rescued Israel. He once killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad. (Judges 3:31)

1. No one is exempt from serving God:  Consider Shamgar. He battled the Philistines with an ox goad. It is very likely that he was just a poor farmer (i.e., a peasant).

2. Serve God even if you are a “nobody”:  Rather than looking to ourselves and asking to be excused we need to look to God and get to work. “But I’m just a nobody…” sounds a lot like the feeble excuse of Moses (Exodus 3:11). God didn’t accept that excuse then and He will not accept it today. This excuse “But I’m just a nobody…” could have been used by Shamgar, but he determined to serve God in his generation.

3. Serve God with what you have:  Shamgar’s war instrument was an ox goad. This was a farming tool! Generally, it was about eight feet long with a sharp metal spike at one end to prod animals to work. Shamgar used this humble agricultural implement in battle against Philistia. Let us allow the lesson of his ox-goad to “prod” us to acknowledge the fact that there is room in God’s kingdom for the “small things” that we can do. At the end of time, when every account is rendered, we may very well find that the greatest deeds were done quietly and unassumingly, far distant from the limelight. Moses’ rod (Exodus 4:1-5) was a simple shepherd’s tool, but what great things God accomplished through it!

4. Service to God must be courageous and voluntary:  Shamgar faced 600 armed pagan soldiers with a lowly farm tool. His bravery and courage are obvious. We need more people like Shamgar, who will ARISE and FIGHT…voluntarily. From Pentecost till the return of Christ, people continue to “volunteer freely” and present themselves as free-will offerings before God. Is your service forced and begrudged? Or is it what it ought to be: voluntary?

It is not always popular to stand against ungodliness. In fact, it is frequently very tempting to “go with the flow” and look for the easy way out. However, “The easy way is rarely the right way.” We must be constant and true in our service to God and refuse to waver in our convictions. Is your service timid and hesitant? Or is it what it ought to be: courageous?

If your spiritual service to God is truly voluntary and courageous, then you are imitating the examples of Shamgar!

5. Even “ordinary” men can be heroes:  A “hero” is “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.” How can Shamgar be considered a hero, you ask? Any time a man performs regular, routine, even ordinary service unto God–voluntarily and without complaint–such a man should be admired and praised! Shamgar kept the peace and kept the faith in his time. He exerted a positive influence on those around him. Is there nothing noble about that? Is there nothing admirable — even heroic — in stemming the tide of sin and apostasy in one’s own time?                                                                                (CRAIG MEYER)

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Finishing Strong

In the Christian life, it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.

John Bisagno has been pastoring First Baptist of Houston for a number of years. When John was just about to finish college, he was having dinner over at his fiancee’s house one night. After supper, he was talking with his future father-in-law, Dr. Paul Beck, out on the porch. Dr. Beck had been in ministry for years and that was inevitably the subject toward which the conversation turned.
“John, as you get ready to enter the ministry, I want to give you some advice,” Dr. Beck told the younger man. “Stay true to Jesus! Make sure that you keep your heart close to Jesus every day. It’s a long way from here to where you’re going to go, and Satan’s in no hurry to get you.”

The older man continued. “It has been my observation that just one out of ten who start out in full time service for the Lord at twenty-one are still on track by the age of sixty-five. They’re shot down morally, they’re shot down with discouragement, they’re shot down with liberal theology, they get obsessed with making money…but for one reason or another nine out of ten fall out.”
The twenty-year-old Bisagno was shocked. “I just can’t believe that!” he said. “That’s impossible! That just can’t be true.”

Bisagno told how he went home, took one of those blank pages in the back of his Scofield Reference Bible and wrote down the names of twenty-four young men who were his peers and contemporaries. These were young men in their twenties who were sold out for Jesus Christ. They were trained for ministry and burning in their desire to be used by the Lord. These were the committed young preachers who would make an impact for the Lord in their generation.

Bisagno relates the following with a sigh: “I am now fifty-three years old. From time to time as the years have gone by, I’ve had to turn back to that page in my Bible and cross out a name. I wrote down those twenty-four names when I was just twenty years of age. Thirty-three years later, there are only three names remaining of the original twenty-four.”

What does it mean to finish strong? lt means that you will come to the end of your life with a strong and close relationship to Christ. It means that, unless God has taken your wife ahead of you, you will be married to the same woman that you are today. It means that you are a man who is in the Scriptures and living the Scriptures. It means that you are a man who has fought some battles for the kingdom and has the scars to prove it. To finish strong means that you are leaving your children and grandchildren the priceless heritage of a godly life.


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Under The Same Yoke

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”


Matthew 11:28-30 contains a beautiful description of the purpose and pace of the Spirit-filled walk. Jesus invites you to a restful walk in tandem with Him, just as two oxen walk together under the same yoke. “How can a yoke be restful?” you ask. Because Jesus’ yoke is an easy yoke. As the lead ox, Jesus walks at a steady pace. If you pace yourself with Him, your burden will be easy. But if you take a passive approach to the relationship, you’ll be painfully dragged along in the yoke because Jesus keeps walking. Or if you try to race ahead or turn off in another direction the yoke will chafe your neck and your life will be uncomfortable. The key to a restful yoke-relationship with Jesus is to learn from Him and open yourself to His gentleness and humility.

The picture of walking in the Spirit in tandem with Jesus also helps us understand our service to God. How much will you get done without Jesus pulling on His side of the yoke? Nothing. And how much will be accomplished without you on your side? Nothing. A yoke can only work if both are pulling together.

Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6). You and I have the privilege to plant and water, but if God isn’t in it, nothing will grow. However, if we don’t plant and water, nothing will grow. God has chosen to work through the church, in partnership with you to do His work in the world today. He’s the lead ox. Let’s learn from Him.


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The Proper Use Of Words

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

How do we express our perceptions of people? Primarily by what we say to them. Studies have shown that, in the average home, for every positive statement, a child receives ten negative statements. The school environment is only slightly better; students hear seven negative statements from their teachers for every one positive statement. No wonder so many children are growing up feeling that they are losers. Parents and teachers are conveying that perception every day in how they talk to their children.

These studies go on to point out that it takes four positive statements to negate the effect of one negative statement. You probably verify that finding every time you wear a new suit or dress. A number of your friends may say, “Oh, what a good-looking outfit.” But it only takes one comment like “It’s not really you” to send you scurrying back to the store for
a refund. We affect others significantly by what we say about them, and what we say is significantly determined by how we perceive them.

If we could memorize just one verse from the New Testament, put it into practice and never violate it, I believe we would resolve half to three-fourths of the problems in our homes and churches. The verse is Ephesians 4:29. Isn’t it amazing that you and I have the power to give grace to others through the proper use of our words? If we say nothing to put others down, and only built up others as Ephesians 4:29 commands, we would be part of God’s construction crew in the church instead of members of Satan’s wrecking crew.                                       (DAILY IN CHRIST by NEIL & JOANNE ANDERSON))

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Mother’s Love

There is no love, like a mother’s love,
no stronger bond on earth…
like the precious bond that comes from God,
to a mother, when she gives birth.
A mother’s love is forever strong,
never changing for all time…
and when her children need her most,
a mother’s love will shine.
God bless these special mothers,
God bless them every one…
for all the tears and heartache,
and for the special work they’ve done.
When her days on earth are over,
a mother’s love lives on…
through many generations,
with God’s blessings on each one.
Be thankful for our mothers,
for they love with a higher love…
from the power God has given,
and the strength from up above.


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