Not a Sermon only a Thought

What Is Guilt?

Romans 5:6-11

Guilt is something with which we’re all familiar. Oftentimes, Christians wear it like a badge of honor, in some misguided effort to demonstrate humility. But this is a misunderstanding that poisons the church and steals the joy of Christ from believers. It’s worth taking the time to stop and ask the question, “What is guilt?”

When we see the term in English translations of the Bible, we tend to apply a worldly interpretation of the passage. In the context of the world, guilt refers to feelings of remorse, depression, or rejection over some event from the past. Scripturally speaking, however, the word is used only to denote responsibility. The word is not associated with feelings of shame or rejection; instead, it is more of a legal term, as when a court finds an offender “guilty.”

What does this mean for the believer? Well, we should already know that we have been found guilty—we all have an enormous sin debt that we could never pay. However, Jesus Christ took that guilt upon Himself at the cross, and He paid our debt in full. We need to realize that if He has already paid our debt and released us from liability, then we are no longer guilty. Yes, we have been tried, but we’ve been declared forgiven.

The Lord doesn’t want us to hide the joy of our salvation beneath a smothering blanket of guilt. Rather, we are called to rejoice in the glorious redemption that Christ’s sacrifice made possible. For this reason, we can proudly proclaim, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Go, and be free today.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

Based on bro Keith's logic, if you are a baker, all your descendants will be bakers. How does that work out for y'all? Religion is how you control stupid people.

To entertain your foolishness here lets see what a baker descendants might look like for generation to come.

Baker start selling from within his/her home, then spawn other family Bakers who now own their own shops, then their descendants open their own brand name shop(s) (entrepreneurship), now there is a family franchise, the baker descendants sits on the board as board member of the baker company and also has descendent who's a CEO of the company. Impressive. ;)

Only in your narrow mind dude. There are farmers whose children are doctors. Secondly, a baker who start selling baked products from his/her home will not spawn others to also sell baked products. That will only result in too much baked products in that neighborhood and no other types of goods or services. Terrible formula that only a Christian preacher can concoct.

You are slow but you are catching on. Jonathan Edwards generations just didn't continue on with preachers, likewise I didn't expect the baker generation to do the same but I analyze that way for simplicity.

The point of all this is to teach our generation good morals and raise them up with respect and integrity. We just don't need to only teach it but to live it out in front of them as well so they, the children can see it. You raise them up in a Mosque, Church or Temple, they will continue with that path doing the same for their children, you raise them up instilling the value of a good education, the trend will continue spawning outstanding citizens.

seignet posted:

Perhaps, it is more like, an infant will eventually sin as adult. Being in a sinful world, it rubs off or on-which ever. Maybe, born into sin means entering into a world inundated with sinful acts by grown men and women.

I don't think ksazma will ever comprehend that. That's a mouth full being said that he cannot wrap his head around.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

Based on bro Keith's logic, if you are a baker, all your descendants will be bakers. How does that work out for y'all? Religion is how you control stupid people.

To entertain your foolishness here lets see what a baker descendants might look like for generation to come.

Baker start selling from within his/her home, then spawn other family Bakers who now own their own shops, then their descendants open their own brand name shop(s) (entrepreneurship), now there is a family franchise, the baker descendants sits on the board as board member of the baker company and also has descendent who's a CEO of the company. Impressive. ;)

Only in your narrow mind dude. There are farmers whose children are doctors. Secondly, a baker who start selling baked products from his/her home will not spawn others to also sell baked products. That will only result in too much baked products in that neighborhood and no other types of goods or services. Terrible formula that only a Christian preacher can concoct.

You are slow but you are catching on. Jonathan Edwards generations just didn't continue on with preachers, likewise I didn't expect the baker generation to do the same but I analyze that way for simplicity.

The point of all this is to teach our generation good morals and raise them up with respect and integrity. We just don't need to only teach it but to live it out in front of them as well so they, the children can see it. You raise them up in a Mosque, Church or Temple, they will continue with that path doing the same for their children, you raise them up instilling the value of a good education, the trend will continue spawning outstanding citizens.

Evidently it does not keep church members from being dishonest.

Keith posted:
seignet posted:

Perhaps, it is more like, an infant will eventually sin as adult. Being in a sinful world, it rubs off or on-which ever. Maybe, born into sin means entering into a world inundated with sinful acts by grown men and women.

I don't think ksazma will ever comprehend that. That's a mouth full being said that he cannot wrap his head around.

I take pride in the fact that I am not gullible. Pies in the skies preaching is worthless.

Uniting Belief and Behavior

Acts 24:14-16

If we understand that we are sinners saved by grace, we may find ourselves struggling with the idea of a “blameless conscience” (Acts 24:16). After all, we know our own hearts and motivations. Yet the apostle Paul found a way to ensure that his conscience commended rather than condemned him. What was his secret? Paying attention to his beliefs and his behavior.

In today’s passage, Paul pleaded his case before the Roman governor Felix, offering the consistency of his faith and behavior as evidence of innocence. His actions were determined by his convictions—namely, that he served the God of his fathers, and God would raise the dead to judgment. Together, these two firm beliefs helped him maintain a clear conscience

As a student of Christ, Paul knew that our deeds flow from who we are on the inside. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described conditions of the heart and illustrated with practical applications. He was saying His followers would be “the light of the world” because of their work, but the work begins in the heart (Matt. 5:14-16; Luke 6:45).

Too often, Christians focus on doing the right things, rather than on the underlying beliefs that drive such behavior. We can give, serve, or in some other way act “good,” but unless we pay attention to the convictions motivating our actions, we may end up with an unclean conscience after all. If, however, we submit to God and allow Him to transform us from the inside out, then our consciences and our testimony will be strong and clear. We will be able to speak the truth through our deeds.

What assurances do we have that our submissions are accepted by God? We see many instances where preachers brag that they are saved by God only to later cry out that Satan has deceived them. Clearly at the time that they bragged that they are saved by God, they really weren't. Clearly they were mistaken by leaning on false hopes.

Caring With Our Conscience

1 Corinthians 8:9-12

How do you approach your decisions—by thinking primarily of yourself? Or do you consider how your actions will affect the beliefs and lives of others? Since coming to faith, we all have had to discipline our conscience for it to grow stronger. It is also important to use discernment so we can avoid wounding a weaker believer.

Some Christians never stop to think that their choices can hurt or destroy someone else’s faith. They justify their behavior, saying God doesn’t convict them for it. While they don’t necessarily indulge in sinful acts, their spiritual defenses have grown strong enough to let them do things they wouldn’t have done in the early stages of their spiritual walk. These believers fail to realize that younger Christians are watching how they live out their faith. When “weaker” ones follow the example they see, their ship of faith may capsize because of a conscience that is troubled or confused rather than strengthened.

Paul blames the “stronger” Christian for these shipwrecks. He says we’re responsible not only for our actions, but also for the effect of those actions. In the end, we are to care more about the “brother for whose sake Christ died” than about our own wants or desires (1 Cor. 8:11).

Because our faith is on display before the world, God promises rewards but insists on responsibility. One of the rewards is freedom from condemnation. But that freedom doesn’t mean license to do as we please without considering those who watch our example. Through the Spirit, we must discern the greater good and act on it.

Avoiding Compromise

Proverbs 2:1-22

Although the temptation to compromise threatens every believer, we don’t have to give in to it. If we’re aware of the danger and understand the downward progression and consequences, we can remain vigilant and stay on track.

The first step in learning how to avoid compromise is understanding why we find it so tempting. When others pressure us to take part in what we know God has forbidden, giving in becomes easy because we don’t want to feel rejected. But anyone who’s committed to living a godly life must be willing to stand alone and face ridicule or even persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). At other times, in an effort to avoid conflict, we may consent to activities that violate our conscience—then seeking peace at any price can result in disobedience.

The temptation to compromise, however, doesn’t always originate with others; we can be carried away by our own desires. Many Christians have fallen into sexual immorality or pornography, and others are motivated to give in because of greed. If you alter details on your income tax or take a few things home from the office, you’ve stepped over the line of obedience to the Lord. Our choices should be based on scriptural truth, not on our feelings and desires.

In order to stand firm against compromise, it is important to seek wisdom in Scripture and let it set the standard for your conduct. If you begin each day with God in His Word, He will guide your way. Then when the Holy Spirit gives a warning, obey immediately, because giving consideration to the temptation opens a door for Satan.

Spiritual Maturity

Isaiah 48:10

The world’s way is to choose the strongest and smartest individuals to accomplish tasks. In contrast, the Lord often selects the weakest, who have nothing to offer except total reliance upon Him. This dependency on God is what characterizes the mature in faith.

Such maturity isn’t automatic. Our Father patiently meets people where they are but lovingly refuses to let His children stagnate. Instead, He helps us to grow more and more like His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18). As followers of Christ, we must let go of old ways, ideas, and motivations. The Holy Spirit illuminates our understanding and lets us see from God’s perspective. Then, the Lord can build in us a dependence on Himself and a submission to His Spirit. Transformation is often gradual, but God sometimes will allow difficulty and pain to develop our reliance upon Him.

Consider biblical models of faith. Sarah and Abraham dealt with infertility for many years prior to receiving the promised child (Gen. 21:1-2). Joseph was sold into slavery and wrongly imprisoned before he spared his nation from the effects of famine (Gen. 45:5). To take on God’s assignment of raising the baby Jesus, Mary risked accusations of immorality (Matt. 1:18-19), and her husband Joseph followed God’s inconvenient command to flee areas of danger (Matt. 2:13, Matt. 2:22). These people all faced hardships and brokenness, which allowed them to recognize both their own inability and God’s ability.

What’s standing in your way of full submission to the Lord? His desire for you is to learn to depend on Him so that in your weakness, He will be strong.

Keith posted:

What’s standing in your way of full submission to the Lord? His desire for you is to learn to depend on Him so that in your weakness, He will be strong.

Sayyyy what, God doesn't have time for strong willed persons? He/she wants only the weak so they have to depend on help only then God can be perceived being strong?

cain posted:
Keith posted:

What’s standing in your way of full submission to the Lord? His desire for you is to learn to depend on Him so that in your weakness, He will be strong.

Sayyyy what, God doesn't have time for strong willed persons? He/she wants only the weak so they have to depend on help only then God can be perceived being strong?

The preachers don't have time for the strong-willed persons. It's tough for them to convince these strong-willed persons to dole out cash and give it to them. The con artists look for the poor, the unfortunate, and the weak so they can inject the fear of God into them. All they care about is the almighty dollar so they can live the luxurious lives off the poor. Jim Baker, Franklin Graham, Jimmy Swaggart.....

Mary did not risk accusations of morality to give birth to Jesus. She and her husband went into hiding until after the baby was born. If she was truly risking accusations she would have stayed where she lived and tell anyone accusing her of morality that it is her p ussy and she will do whatever she please with it. It is just like the lie preachers tell of Jesus laying down his life when the truth was that he did so only because he had no say in the matter. He can be heard complaining all the time and even lost faith in God accusing God of forsaking him.

A Helper for All Occasions

John 14:16-18

Have you ever wished there were some kind of emergency telephone that rang in heaven, allowing you to access God anytime you wanted? Well, in a way there is. We all face situations that cause us to cry out to God for help. And He has given us a Helper for all circumstances.

Even the disciples, who received Jesus’ personal teaching, could not live successfully without divine aid. That is why the Lord insisted they wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come before beginning to share their faith. Jesus told them, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (John 16:7).

While Jesus was living on the earth, He couldn’t simultaneously be with everyone who needed Him. Now, however, God’s help is readily available through the Holy Spirit, who indwells all believers and is constantly present with each one.

Thanks to the Spirit, every Christian can become the person God designed him or her to be. Through the Helper’s knowledge and power, we can be devoted Christ-followers, even in a corrupt culture. The Spirit’s work includes opening our minds to God’s truth, providing supernatural energy when we are weary, and comforting us during heartache.

God loves people so much that He provided an ever-present Helper to all who place their faith in Jesus Christ. When we are in trouble or in need, we can call upon the Holy Spirit and instantly connect to the power of our heavenly Father.

Our Helper in Prayer

Romans 8:26-27

The Holy Spirit is a practical helper. He is part of the Trinity, which means He’s one with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. And He is all-powerful and all-knowing, just like the other two members of the Godhead. In other words, the Spirit dwelling within us knows exactly what God in heaven wills for our life.

Since even the most intelligent people operate with limited knowledge, it is wise to depend upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance, especially in prayer. We do not know what the future holds; as a result, our desires may not fit God’s plan. Or it might never occur to us to request something that the Lord knows we will eventually need.

There are believers who give up on prayer because our human limitations prevent fully understanding how it works. But those who stop communicating with God miss out on the awesome work of the Spirit. He directs our prayers, impresses upon our hearts the truth about what we have asked, and ultimately opens our minds to God’s will.

Believers never have to worry about offering up a wrong prayer. In our humanness, we often ask for something that we think will satisfy our fleshly need. But the Holy Spirit won’t present a request that goes against the Father’s will. Instead, He intercedes to ask for what is right. And at the same time, He whispers to our heart that what we have requested is not suitable.

If God’s will is our true desire, then we’ll be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He is our prayer link to the heavenly Father, and where He leads, we must follow.

When God Is Silent

John 11:1-27

Have you ever felt as if God were giving you the silent treatment? Perhaps you prayed and asked Him to give you direction for your life but didn’t hear a thing. Maybe you are going through some physical illness or a family problem, and nothing’s happening even though you’ve pleaded with God.

How do you respond when the Lord doesn’t appear to be answering your prayers? Do you take advantage of the opportunity to learn something from the experience, or do you simply conclude that He is ignoring you? Typical responses are disappointment (God let me down), discouragement (I should stop praying), confusion (Where is God?), feelings of guilt (I did something wrong), anger (God isn’t faithful!) and fear (God has deserted me).

Today’s passage gives us a good example of a time when the Lord seemed unconcerned with the life of someone He loved. On hearing that His friend was sick and about to die, Jesus delayed doing anything for two days! His disciples and the dying man’s sisters—Mary and Martha—no doubt wondered why Jesus seemed not to care. Yet they continued to trust Him, and ultimately their faith was strengthened.

When we can’t hear God, it doesn’t mean He’s asleep or unaware of our circumstances. It also doesn’t mean He is going to deny our request. However, He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him that is independent of how He responds to our prayers—we must love Him just because He is God. Consider the basis of your love for the Lord, and ask Him to help you make it unconditional.

Keith posted:

When God Is Silent

John 11:1-27

Have you ever felt as if God were giving you the silent treatment? Perhaps you prayed and asked Him to give you direction for your life but didn’t hear a thing. Maybe you are going through some physical illness or a family problem, and nothing’s happening even though you’ve pleaded with God.

How do you respond when the Lord doesn’t appear to be answering your prayers? Do you take advantage of the opportunity to learn something from the experience, or do you simply conclude that He is ignoring you? Typical responses are disappointment (God let me down), discouragement (I should stop praying), confusion (Where is God?), feelings of guilt (I did something wrong), anger (God isn’t faithful!) and fear (God has deserted me).

Today’s passage gives us a good example of a time when the Lord seemed unconcerned with the life of someone He loved. On hearing that His friend was sick and about to die, Jesus delayed doing anything for two days! His disciples and the dying man’s sisters—Mary and Martha—no doubt wondered why Jesus seemed not to care. Yet they continued to trust Him, and ultimately their faith was strengthened.

When we can’t hear God, it doesn’t mean He’s asleep or unaware of our circumstances. It also doesn’t mean He is going to deny our request. However, He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him that is independent of how He responds to our prayers—we must love Him just because He is God. Consider the basis of your love for the Lord, and ask Him to help you make it unconditional.

So these fanatical Christians don't have an intimate relationship with God? Don't they love him? What about your heroes, Franklin Graham, Bob Jones, Jimmy Swaggart, and the rest of the holier than thou group? These people don't have an intimate relationship with God? If not, who is their God then? Jimmy Swaggart's hoe? He seemed to have a very intimate relationship with her.

Effective Prayer for Others

Colossians 1:11-12

One of the disciples saw Jesus praying and made the request, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). If Christ’s close associates needed instruction, then surely we, too, must learn about prayer. Thankfully, there are many examples in Scripture for us to follow, such as the passage we looked at yesterday.

Paul’s first-century requests for the people of Colossae are not only still applicable; they’re also instructive in terms of types of petitions to make on behalf of others. For instance, Paul prayed that these people would know God (Col. 1:10). In other words, he wanted them to grow in the Lord and not stagnate in their faith. This transformation takes place by studying the Word, applying biblical principles, and heeding the consequences of obedience.

Another plea was for the Colossians to experience God’s power (v. 11). The apostle wanted them to have the Lord’s supernatural energy and the strength they’d need to carry out His will. What is impossible by man’s effort becomes possible when believers rely on God. Then the glory rightly goes to Him.

Finally, Paul asked that they would give thanks joyously (vv. 11-12). This indicates the apostle’s hope that they would exhibit the proper attitude, expressing gratefulness even during difficult situations.

In church, we often hear people asking for prayer. And many believers make a prayer list so they don’t forget to intercede for certain individuals during the week. Using Paul’s example, we can be confident that we are praying for those on our list in a manner that pleases the Lord and aligns with His will.

Forsaking Anger

Ephesians 4:30-32

A righteous life has no room for lingering anger, whether in the form of rage or resentment. Fury that hardens in our hearts becomes a stronghold for Satan.

The fleshly method for “curing” wrath is to either let it out or suppress it. Neither is effective for solving problems or relieving the anger. However, God’s way of dealing with this dangerous emotion dissolves it and sets the believer free. As today’s passage reminds us, we are to “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from [us], along with all malice” (v. 31).

Whether we are annoyed at ourselves, another person, or God, we have to own that feeling. Pretending that the emotion doesn’t exist or that we’ve somehow risen above anger is useless. If you’re angry, admit it and then identify the source. Knowing who or what ignited the initial fury can prevent people from misdirecting irritation onto the innocent.

Here are some questions to help in identifying a source of anger:

• Why am I angry? At whom am I angry?
• What caused me to feel/act this way?
• Where or when did this feeling start?
• Have I been angry a long time?

Once we know the source of our anger, it’s time to forgive. Fury and unforgiveness often go together, and both will drag us down. God calls us to set them aside and take up love and kindness instead. Forsaking anger means walking in His will with a light step.

ksazma posted:

What about all the anger that Jesus displayed when he walked the earth? Like the time he got upset and overturned the tables of the money changers? Maybe your preacher can teach Jesus a thing or two about anger management.

I remember hearing that one. The banna was really pissed at dem for selling crap without a vendors permit so he cuss dem up an' buss up the place.

The Danger of Anger

Ephesians 4:26-27

Yesterday we learned how to deal with anger in our life. Today we’ll discover God’s principle for preventing long-term bitterness. The key is to deal with this emotion promptly.

It’s important to realize that believers can have moments of anger and still remain right with God. Yet anger that lingers and festers is an opportunity for Satan. He quickly plants justifications in our mind: That person deserves to be yelled at. You shouldn’t be treated that way! God understands that you’re frustrated. By handing people excuses to harbor fury, Satan creates a stronghold in their life. It is a foolish person who allows anger to reside in his or her heart (Eccl. 7:9).

We are not to lay even one brick for the devil’s stronghold. Instead, believers must respond to provocation by forgiving others as God forgives. His mercy is unconditional; there’s no wrong that He will not pardon. Believers with long-standing anger cannot come before God and justify harboring resentment. So we must release it at once through forgiveness.

We can further protect ourselves by identifying frequent irritants. When those situations (or people) loom, we should pray that God makes us “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19). That is the spiritual fruit of self-control in action.

Anger produces only rotten fruit—such as sour relationships or a poor witness. The wise believer takes a two-fold approach to dealing with it. First, heeding the Bible’s many warnings about this dangerous emotion, be vigilant against it. And second, forsake your anger in favor of forgiveness.

Lets review the following scriptures. It's good to read and understand what is being said.

Matthew 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

John 2:13-17 (also Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-46)
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

Mark 3:1-6
Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."

Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Jesus is indeed shown as displaying anger in the latter two passages above. However, consider the context of each. In the case of the temple, Jesus threw out usurers and others who were taking advantage of the poor. He was angry at the wrong they were doing and also at the blatant disrespect for God they showed by doing wrong even in God's temple. In the next passage, Jesus was angry with the Pharisees, who wanted to catch Jesus breaking one of their laws, yet were unwilling to consider the morality of the law or to believe in Jesus despite seeing the miracles he did. In both cases, Jesus was angry with people who were doing wrong and refused to listen to God.

And is such anger wrong? To say "God is never angry" or "God should never be angry" is to say that God shouldn't be angry when innocent people are hurt or killed, or that he shouldn't be angry that the Holocaust took place. There are different kinds of anger, as described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

ANGER, IRE, RAGE, FURY, INDIGNATION, WRATH mean an intense emotional state induced by displeasure. ANGER, the most general term, names the reaction but in itself conveys nothing about intensity or justification or manifestation of the emotional state "tried to hide his anger". IRE, more frequent in literary contexts, may suggest greater intensity than anger, often with an evident display of feeling "cheeks flushed dark with ire". RAGE suggests loss of self-control from violence of emotion "screaming with rage". FURY is overmastering destructive rage that can verge on madness "in her fury she accused everyone around her of betrayal". INDIGNATION stresses righteous anger at what one considers unfair, mean, or shameful "a refusal to listen that caused general indignation". WRATH is likely to suggest a desire or intent to revenge or punish "rose in his wrath and struck his tormentor to the floor".

Indignation, as described above, is what could be called righteous anger - anger at wrongdoing. This is Jesus' anger, for Jesus is angered by wrongdoing. Clearly some forms of anger such as fury as defined above are wrong, and this is the anger that Jesus spoke out against in Matthew 5:22 - anger that is destructive and unnecessarily demeaning.

cain posted:

Yeh....what a prik eh?

That is why I think people should stop talking so much about God. Their obsession with talking about God puts God in an indefensible position. Take for instance a current news story in South Florida. This woman found  a suitcase in which was a dog left for dead. She said that she thinks God placed her there to save that dog. My question is, where was this God when the dog was placed in that suitcase left for dead? 

These preachers will never be able to reconcile their God is all about doing good talk with actual reality.

The Victorious Life

1 Samuel 17:12-51

The Philistine army was ready to fight. Merely a boy, David traveled from his home to the battlefront in order to check on his brothers and supply them with food. There, on hearing the notorious Goliath threaten Israel, the young Israelite was outraged. Who was this giant to challenge the Lord’s army?

David sensed God’s direction and obeyed. A battle ensued between a giant and a boy, but the almighty God stood with David. Goliath, along with the entire Philistine army, was defeated.

This is truly an amazing story—we rarely hear of anything this miraculous in our world today. But we, like David, can live triumphantly, even in the midst of terrifying and seemingly impossible circumstances. First, we need to understand success from the Lord’s perspective: Goals should align with Scripture; then our Father directs us, and we follow with confidence.

Second, we—like David—ought to have a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished. Goals should be clear enough to write in a sentence or two. For example, David’s aim was to free God’s people from their enemies. Our goals may be huge and lifelong, like modeling dependence on Jesus for our children. Or others may be simpler to achieve, like creating a weekly family night.

Whether facing a daunting challenge like David’s or an easier undertaking, you should live intentionally. Ask the Lord for direction and purpose as you contemplate your goals, both big and small. The same God who led David in victory desires to lead you today.

Keith posted:

The Victorious Life

1 Samuel 17:12-51

The Philistine army was ready to fight. Merely a boy, David traveled from his home to the battlefront in order to check on his brothers and supply them with food. There, on hearing the notorious Goliath threaten Israel, the young Israelite was outraged. Who was this giant to challenge the Lord’s army?

David sensed God’s direction and obeyed. A battle ensued between a giant and a boy, but the almighty God stood with David. Goliath, along with the entire Philistine army, was defeated.

This is truly an amazing story—we rarely hear of anything this miraculous in our world today. But we, like David, can live triumphantly, even in the midst of terrifying and seemingly impossible circumstances. First, we need to understand success from the Lord’s perspective: Goals should align with Scripture; then our Father directs us, and we follow with confidence.

Second, we—like David—ought to have a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished. Goals should be clear enough to write in a sentence or two. For example, David’s aim was to free God’s people from their enemies. Our goals may be huge and lifelong, like modeling dependence on Jesus for our children. Or others may be simpler to achieve, like creating a weekly family night.

Whether facing a daunting challenge like David’s or an easier undertaking, you should live intentionally. Ask the Lord for direction and purpose as you contemplate your goals, both big and small. The same God who led David in victory desires to lead you today.

Brother Keith, Did God only care for the Jews? What about the Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists etc.? Was God present only around the Jews to protect them? Was this God not the God of all the people in the world? Reading some of this stuff reminds me of Indian movies, heroes can beat up ten men without suffering any serious injury.

skeldon_man posted:
ksazma posted:

Looking forward to brother Keith's response to your question there Skelly.

He is going to ignore my question.

The brother is only interested in posting sermons. Yet his very first declaration was that he is not posting a sermon. The brother made that declaration as he introduced himself to the GNI community. In effect, he declared, "my name is Keith and I am a fraud". 

How to Reach Your Goals

Isaiah 41:10

Yesterday, we learned the importance of determining goals. We should also be sure to establish them with God’s guidance, rather than devising them on our own and expecting Him to bless our efforts. Our success will be determined by our dependence upon the Lord. If we set out to accomplish anything in our own strength—even a godly task—we are likely to fail.

Other factors can also help us achieve an objective. A consuming passion, for example, can provide us with motivation and prevent us from becoming discouraged. In addition, we should have confidence to reach the goal, knowing that the heavenly Father will equip us for every task He assigns. Think back to David, the shepherd boy: He seemed like no match for Goliath, but the Lord prepared him through his experience in protecting sheep from dangerous animals.

Planning a step-by-step course of action will also help us be successful—a calendar is useful in setting up deadlines for each part of the plan. And two more things we need are courage and consistency. Fear of failure and the opinion of others can be paralyzing. But courage comes from reading God’s Word, praying, and turning a deaf ear to negativity. Then, consistency will keep our eye on the goal so we will not deviate from it.

Is the heavenly Father leading you toward a specific goal? Remember, the Lord is all-powerful. If you depend on Him completely, you’ll experience His ability to do mighty things and accomplish His divine objectives through your willing spirit.

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