SUNDAY –  JANUARY 17, 2021

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.  Do not say,

“There are still four months and then comes the harvest.’  Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields,

for they are already white for harvest!”  John 4:34-35

 

The work of God is never finished as long as lost people are dwelling on the earth.  Jesus said that there is a “night” coming when man will work no more, but it is clear that “night” has not yet come.  There is pressing, urgent work that must be accomplished before the “night” comes!  The confusing and challenging times that we live in seem to “drain” our energy, and we feel discouraged to pursue the work as we once did in our time of youth.  We must pursue NOW with greater effort than we have in the past!  Where will our strength come from?  It will be found in the “work” itself!  Andrew Murray gave an answer in his book, The Lord’s Table.
 

     “Jesus had hidden manna that He received from the Father, and that was the secret of His power.  No one could have discovered what it was; but when He tells us, it appears so simple that many are puzzled over it.  His food was to do the will of God.

     “Food meets a felt need.  Jesus’ hunger was for one thing; to please God.  Without that He could not rest; in that one thing He had all He needed.  And when He found the will of God, He did it, and thereby fed His soul with its appropriate food and was satisfied.

     “Food involves appropriation, like the exercise of fellowship.  The weak soul who truly surrenders himself to do the will of God becomes wonderfully strengthened by it.  Obedience to God, instead of exhausting the energies, renews them. The doing of God’s will was Jesus’ food.

     “Food brings both quickening and joy.  Eating is not only necessary for strength, but it is also enjoyable.  To observe a feast in the Spirit is itself equivalent to food.  Obedience to the will of God was Jesus’ highest joy.

     “Jesus has become my food, and He dwells in me as the power of my life.  Now I know the means by which this life must be fed and strengthened within me.  The doing of God’s will is my food!”

 

We shall not lack the energy nor strength to do the work God puts before us!  Doing His will strengthens us every time we do it!
 
Strong in the Lord and the power of His might,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 10, 2021

“’Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him… Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’”  Mark 11:22-24
 
Remember that we must have “faith” in order to be saved!  Faith is the connection that appropriates to us the work that Jesus Christ did on the Cross, and it brings the results of His victory over death, sin, and the grave into our lives.  Faith is the basic “currency” we must use to enter into the life of salvation that Jesus offers to us.  Faith must be “living” in order for Christians to enjoy the blessings of grace on a continual basis.  Each of us should pray every day, “Lord, increase my faith!”

 

     “The most wonderful promises in all of Scripture are those regarding answers to prayer. To many such promises have raised the question, ‘How can I ever attain the faith that knows that it receives all it asks?’

     “It is this very question our Lord would answer today. When He gave the above promise to His disciples, He first pointed out where faith in the answer to prayer comes from and where it finds its strength: ‘Have faith in God.’

     “The power to believe a promise depends entirely on our faith in the one who promises. It is only when we enjoy a personal loving relationship with God Himself that our whole being is opened up to the mighty influence of His holy presence and the capacity will be developed in us for believing that He gives whatever we ask.
 
     “The connection between faith in God and faith in His promises will become clear when we think about what faith really is. It is often compared to the hand or the mouth by which we take and appropriate what is offered to us. Faith is also the ear by which we hear what is promised, the eye by which we see what is offered. I must hear the person who gives the promise- the vey tone of his voice gives me courage to believe. I must see him- in the light of his eye and his countenance, all fear passes away. The value of the promise depends on the one giving the promise; my knowledge of his character and dependability creates faith in his promise. In the case of God our Father, there can be no doubt as to His character and power to hear and answer and provide.”
 
Those are words from Andrew Murray’s Believing Prayer, and they encourage us to draw closer to our God and to “seek His face” in order to know Him more fully. Faith increases in proportion to our intimate knowledge of our Heavenly Father!
 
Drawing near to the Father,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY –  JANUARY 3, 2021

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”  I John 5:4-5
 
Certainly, we are aware that there will be challenges we will face in the coming days, months, and years.  How shall we prepare to face and overcome those challenges?  It must be done by faith!  The Bible’s declaration is “the just shall live by faith!” Every aspect of a Christian’s life must be handled from the perspective of faith.  That’s the reason a follower of Christ is called a believer.  It is not because of a one-time decision to “accept” Jesus as Savior and Lord, but it is because a real Christian lives every day by faith.  During these days, we must grow in faith and exercise our faith daily.

 

This past year, the elders and deacons have been using Streams in the Desert as a guide for their daily devotions.  The following come from the December 29th entry.

     “Arise! Then there is something definite for us to do. Nothing is ours unless we take it. ‘The children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance’ (Josh. 16:4). ‘The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions’ (Obad. 17).  ‘The upright shall have good things in possession.’

     “We need to have appropriating faith in regard to God’s promises.  We must make God’s Word our own personal possession.  A child was once asked what appropriating faith was, and his answer was, ‘It is taking a pencil and underscoring all of the me’s and mine’s and my’s in the Bible.’

     “Take any word you please that He has spoken and say, ‘That word is my word.’ Put your finger on this promise and say, ‘It is mine.’ How much of the Word has been endorsed and receipted and said, ‘It is done.’ How many promises can you subscribe and say, ‘Fulfilled to me.’

     “’Son, thou art ever with Me, and all that I have is thine.’ Don’t let your inheritance go by default.”

     “When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.

 

Lord, increase our faith!
 
Living by faith,
     Pastor Doug