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The Word For Today

LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (8)

'...after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.' 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

It took seven years to build Solomon's temple. In Scripture the number seven represents completion. So when it comes to your 'position' in Christ, you're as saved right now as you'll be when you stand in Heaven. When Jesus cried, 'It is finished', everything required to reconcile you to God was completed. The word 'complete' means 'lacking nothing'. And when you put your trust in Jesus, that's how God sees you. When He positions you in Christ, 'You are complete in Him' (Colossians 2:10 NKJV).
You say, 'But I still sin.' The Bible says, 'We all...beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image...by the Spirit of the Lord' (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). Did you get that? The Holy Spirit is at work in your life every day, in every way, moulding you into the image of Jesus. God's ultimate plan for you is greater than you can comprehend. Jude writes, 'Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy...be glory and majesty' (Jude 1:24-25 NKJV). Note the words 'Him that is able'. This is something Christ does for you, not something you do for yourself!
And one of the tools He uses to bring about your perfection (maturity) is trouble. Peter writes, 'May the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.' It may take a while, but you'll get there!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 1-4; Luke 14:15-24; Ps 119:73-80; Pro 21:14-16

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LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (6)

'The Lord will lift up a standard [shield of defence].' Isaiah 59:19 NKJV
 
Notice what Solomon prayed for at the dedication of the temple. 'If there is famine in the land...if Your people's enemies are in the land...whatever disaster or disease there is...hear from Heaven...Then they will fear You and walk in Your ways as long as they live' (2 Chronicles 6:28-31 NLT).
When you're functioning in your rightful place in church you can: (1) Pray with confidence in times of economic difficulty. One of the names by which Israel knew God was 'Jehovah Jireh', which means 'the Lord will provide'. Your security isn't in the Beehive, the stock exchange or any other physical place! It's in God's unfailing goodness (Psalms 23:6). (2) Pray with confidence in times of sickness. God's promise to you is this: 'Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up' (James 5:14-15 NKJV). (3) Pray with confidence when you're facing disaster. 'He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust"' (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV). (4) Pray with confidence when the devil is attacking you. 'When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard [shield of defence] against him' (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV).
As a redeemed member of Christ's church, these are your 'rights', so exercise them!
 
 
SoulFood: 1 Chron 26:20 - 29:30; Luke 14:1-14; Ps 119:65-72; Pro 21:10-13
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LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (5)

'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves.' 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Can you imagine God's presence being so real in a Sunday morning service that the pastor doesn't get to preach, the choir and special singers don't get to perform and the deacons can't attend to their duties? It happened in Solomon's temple.
Observe the elements at work in church that day: (1) They confessed their sins. John Owen said, 'He that hath slight thoughts of sin, never had great thoughts of God.' Things that trouble you nowhere else will trouble you profoundly in the presence of God. What kinds of things? Politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, reputation without character, and knowledge without conviction. (2) They humbled themselves. The Bible says, 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' (James 4:6 NKJV). Humility means saying, 'Lord, I don't have a thing You didn't give me. And everything I'll ever need comes from You.' (3) They prayed; not formal, poetic prayers, but heartfelt prayers of repentance. Here's how God responded: 'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place' (2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NKJV). (4) They gave sacrificially. The people brought 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, the largest sacrifice recorded in the Bible. When you open your hand to lift the name of God up, He opens His hand to lift you up. But here's the thing: God has a bigger hand!

SoulFood: 1 Chron 23:21 - 26:19; Luke 13:18-35; Ps 119:57-64; Pro 21:7-9

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