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Ambassador4Christ
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« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2003, 03:55:48 PM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 10

Living by Faith Contrasted with Living by Law

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN!!!!

Good Message Brother Grin
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« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2003, 05:20:48 PM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 11

Great Blessings through Living by Faith:

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.  (Heb_10:35-39)

Our present verses represent the third time that Habakkuk's pronouncement on living by faith is repeated in the New Testament. "The just shall live by his faith" (Hab_2:4). In Rom_1:17, it was connected with the gospel of Christ. In Gal_3:12, it was contrasted with living under the law. Here, it is seen as the pathway to great blessings like spiritual endurance, God-pleasing obedience, and pressing ahead in assurance.

The opening exhortation warns about forsaking bold dependence upon the Lord. "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward." The loss of great blessing is the reason given. The Lord wants us to trust in Him without wavering, from the beginning of faith unto the end of our earthly pilgrimage. This makes us consistent partakers of the blessings of grace that are ours in Christ. "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Heb_3:14).

These blessings include endurance. "For you have need of endurance." The Christian life requires spiritual stamina. The journey of growth, trials, service, and battle can become wearisome. We can be tempted to slack off, to quit pressing ahead. Such is always vain thinking for us, and it is displeasing to the Lord. " If anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." It is by faith that we persevere in the Christian race. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb_12:1-2).

Also, these blessings of faith include obedience and assurance. "You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." As we walk by faith, we are enabled to do God's will. Walking in obedience with Christ builds assurance that we will some day be in the presence of the Lord. "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry." Meanwhile, by faith, assurance grows that we are not among those whose profession proves to be vain. "Now the just shall live by faith . . . we are not of those who draw back to perdition but of those who believe to the saving of the soul."

Dear Father, I need more spiritual stamina. I desire to please You by obedience. I long to walk in more assurance. I praise You that all this is ours in Christ, by faith, Amen.
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« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2003, 07:38:23 PM »

Dear Father, I need more spiritual stamina. I desire to please You by obedience. I long to walk in more assurance. I praise You that all this is ours in Christ, by faith, Amen.
 Amen!
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« Reply #48 on: October 12, 2003, 06:14:45 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 12

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight:

We walk by faith, not by sight . . . while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  (2Co_5:7 and 2Co_4:18)

The Christian life is a walk. It is comprised of day by day steps from where we are to where the Lord wants us to go (both spiritually and geographically). This walk is undertaken by faith, not by sight. "We walk by faith, not by sight."

Walking by sight is the natural manner by which human beings walk. This is true both for literal walking, as well as for taking the proverbial journey through life. When engaged in physical walking, people rely upon visual data (along with input from other human senses: like sound, smell, and touch). Likewise, as the unredeemed are engaged in their trek through life, they set their course and proceed by that which their natural abilities provide. We who know the Lord Jesus Christ cannot walk in this manner in His kingdom. We must walk by faith, by depending upon our Lord, His word, and the work of grace by His Holy Spirit. Spiritual progress is made "while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen."

So often, things are not as they appear to be in the natural. Consider Joseph being sold to slave traders by his jealous and deceitful brothers. It did not look like Joseph was being groomed to be Prime Minister in Egypt. Think of Pharoah and his army closing in on Israel, as they were trapped beside the Red Sea. It did not look like Israel would be delivered, while the Egyptian army would be destroyed. Remember young David standing before gigantic Goliath. It did not look like the giant would be defeated, while David would enjoy a thorough victory. Only eyes of faith could really appreciate what was actually happening.

The cross of our Lord Jesus is undoubtedly the greatest example of things not always being what they appear to be. As Jesus hung upon the cross, it appeared that godless men had defeated the most godly man that ever lived. "Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst . . . Him . . . you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death" (Act_2:22-23). Yet, in fact, God was at work, preparing a resurrection victory over sin and death for all who would believe. "Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" (Act_2:24).

Heavenly Father, I want to walk with You by faith. I desire to respond to the circumstances of life by what You have said in Your word and by what You are able to do. Too many times, I have set my course by sight, relying upon the appearance of things. Teach me to trust in You more and more, in Jesus name, Amen.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2003, 05:18:01 AM by blackeyedpeas » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2003, 02:07:09 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 13

The Source of Faith:

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  (Heb_12:2)

In order to grow in grace, we must live by faith. "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace" (Rom_4:16). We cannot progress spiritually by the use of our natural, Adamic faculties. We must walk by faith in the Lord and His word. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2Co_5:7). Yet, where do we get faith? What is the source of faith?

Jesus is the source of our faith: "Jesus, the author . . . of our faith." If we have saving faith in Christ, it was brought into being by Him. Our faith was authored by Jesus in a revelatory and relational manner. He revealed to us the truth we needed to know (through sermons, personal witnesses, tracts, audio tapes, books, Bible reading, or whatever). Then, He invited us into a relationship with Himself.

First, He told us the truth about our need. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . For the wages of sin is death" (Rom_3:23 and Rom_6:23). Then, He told us the truth about His loving work on our behalf. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom_5:Cool. All the while, His Spirit was convicting us of the reality of these matters. "And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (Joh_16:Cool. Ultimately, Jesus invited us to trust in Him for the gift of salvation. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . . the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Mat_11:28 and Rom_6:23). Basically, Jesus revealed Himself to us as one who could be trusted to save our souls, so we placed our hope in Him. Thereby, He authored faith in us.

Now, where are we to go for more faith (for the developing of our faith)? Jesus is the source for this need as well: "Jesus . . . the . . . finisher of our faith." The one who brought faith into being in us now wants to perfect our faith (to bring it on into mature development) in the same manner that He began it. Initially, we had to have Jesus revealed to us to have faith authored in us. Now, we must have a continuing revelation of Him through His word, if our faith is to be increasingly built up.

Lord Jesus, I praise You for authoring faith in me. Thank You for convincing me of my need of forgiveness of sins. Thank You for revealing to me Your great work on the cross. Thank You for inviting me to enter into a relationship with You. Please continue to reveal Yourself to me that my faith might grow and mature, Amen.
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« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2003, 04:14:53 AM »

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight


The Source of Faith

Thanks Brother, they both get a AMEN!!!!

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« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2003, 06:49:28 AM »

The right understanding of the past is the key to understanding the present.
 a right understanding the present is the key to understand that which is to come.


A prudent man seeing the evil to come hideth himself.
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« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2003, 09:06:33 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 14

More on the Source of Faith:

And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.  (Act_3:16)

The path of discipleship can only be traveled by faith (by trusting in our unseen Lord). Progress can never be made by sight (by relying upon that which our human senses can gather and process). "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2Co_5:7). Therefore, it is vital that we understand where we must go for the source of our faith: "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb_12:2). Jesus is the source of faith. The scriptures often expound upon this fundamental truth.

When the lame man was healed at the temple gate, this truth was again declared. This miracle occurred when two of the Lord's disciples were going to the temple in Jerusalem to pray. "Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer" (Act_3:1). A man who was crippled all of his life requested a gift. "And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful . . . asked for alms" (Act_3:2-3). Peter and John had no money to give, but they offered far more than the man had sought. "Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk' " (Acts 3:6). They offered this man healing in the name of Jesus Christ. "And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them walking, leaping, and praising God" (Act_3:7-8). The miracle was extensive. The lame man was not only strengthened to walk, he was also enabled to leap and stirred to give exuberant praise unto the Lord.

When the astonished crowd gathered, Peter explained how the miracle was related to the name of Jesus. "And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know." The name of Jesus referred to His person and His power (that is, all that Jesus was and all that He was able to do). This demonstration of Jesus' power was experienced through faith in His name (that is, reliance upon who He was and what He could do). Then, Peter explained the source of such faith. "Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." Jesus is the source of faith. Those who know Jesus to be a wonder-working Lord will trust Him to do extraordinary things.

O glorious Lord, I see many matters that only You can handle problems in the world, needs in the churches, difficulties threatening loved ones, burdens in my life. I trust in Your name. Please show again who You are and what You alone can do, Amen.
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« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2003, 07:16:03 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 15

Even More on the Source of Faith:

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness . . . the Faithful and True Witness . . . And He . . . was called Faithful and True.  (Rev_1:5; Rev_3:14; and Rev_19:11)

Faith comes into our lives through the work of Jesus Christ: "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb_12:2). When the name of the Lord is revealed to us (that is, an understanding of who Jesus is and what He is able to do), faith develops in our hearts. "And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong . . . Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness" (Act_3:16). We grasp to some degree how great He is, so we trust Him to do great things. Thereby, faith comes into our spiritual experience through Him. Our present verses are related to this development of faith, for they depict Jesus as faithful and true.

He is the reliable witness, who tells us the truth: "Jesus Christ, the faithful witness . . . the Faithful and True Witness . . . And He . . . was called Faithful and True." A witness gives a first-hand report of what he has observed, heard, or experienced. Jesus is the reliable witness of things that He is truly informed about, things that we are fully in need of knowing. He tells us about the kingdom of heaven. "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mat_18:3). He warns us about the judgment of hell. "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Mat_13:49-50).

He also tells us about the heavenly Father. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Mat_7:11). He warns us about the "father of lies." "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44). He tells us what true living is all about. "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (Joh_17:3). We have faith in Him and all that He bears witness to, because He is "the Faithful and True Witness."

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You for being a fully reliable witness. I trust in You because You are faithful and true. Your trustworthy witness has rescued me from hell and headed me toward heaven, protected me from the father of lies and made me a child of the heavenly Father. Your witness has brought me to life everlasting. I praise You with unending gratitude!
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« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2003, 06:30:41 PM »

While reading Genesis 18 about God's promise to Abraham and Sarah and the promise of a son in their old age. Sarah laughed and said, "After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"
And the Lord said to Abraham, "Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?"
Then the Lord gave this wonderful surety of his omnipotent power by replying, "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?"

A wonderful reassurance that with God all things are possible and not to be doubted. No matter how impossible they might appear to our limited physical minds
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« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2003, 11:03:42 PM »


A wonderful reassurance that with God all things are possible and not to be doubted. No matter how impossible they might appear to our limited physical minds

Oklahoma Howdy to Brother Ollie,

AMEN! Thanks Brother. God's Grace, Love, Majesty, and Power are beyond description.

In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2003, 11:08:56 PM »

Hoekstra Devotion - October 16

Once More on the Source of Faith:

Then He who sat on the throne said . . . "Write, for these words are true and faithful" . . . Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true" . . . So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (Rev_21:5; Rev_22:6 and Rom_10:17)

Jesus is the faithful and true witness, who gives us the reliable truth that we must have in order to find life and live life as God intended. "Jesus Christ, the faithful witness . . . the Faithful and True Witness . . . And He . . . was called Faithful and True" (Rev_1:5; Rev_3:14; and Rev_19:11). As we see His faithful and true character, faith toward Him develops in our lives. His word is a vital part of this process, since it has the same character that He has (faithful and true). "Write, for these words are true and faithful . . . These words are faithful and true."

When people humbly receive the word of God, the scriptures change their lives. This is how we started out with God: "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because 'All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you" (1Pe_1:23-25). We were born again into the family of God when the incorruptible, living, eternal word of God was planted like a seed in our hearts. This occurred by our hearing of the gospel. We believed the good news of Jesus Christ, and this gospel seed germinated within us unto life eternal.

After being born again by grace through faith in Christ, God's plan was that we continue to respond to His word (like those in Thessalonica did). "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe" (1Th_2:13). These saints welcomed the scriptures into their lives. They knew that it was not a mere human message. They knew it was from the Lord. They were eager to hear it and to rely upon its life-nurturing message. Therefore, it effectively worked in their hearts, as they believed in the truths they were hearing. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Initially and continually, faith comes by hearing the faithful and true words of God, and that faith accesses grace.

Dear Lord, even as You are faithful and true, so Your word is faithful and true. I began by a faith that was stirred through the gospel message of Your word. I know that I can only grow in faith as I humbly receive Your word into my life day by day. Lord, I long to live by faith that I might grow in Your grace, in Your holy name, Amen.
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« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2003, 11:23:04 PM »

Quote
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away." And he said, "Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away." And the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."

I love this passage for two reasons.  For one I've felt, as I believe most of us have at some point, that I am alone, and that everyone is out to get me!  Now granted, I'm no Elijah, and my struggles are not comparable to his, but we can feel overwhelmed from time to time in the fight.  God points out to Elijah firstly, that He is with him.  Morevover, He points out that he was not alone - there were 7,000 others, as well as a replacement prophet to continue the weary work Elijah had begun.

But I think the part that moves me most is how God shows Elijah, that regardless the size of the trial, that God is unmoved.  He is still the still small voice leading us.  He controls, even uses the massive issues that we encounter.  But we must "be still" and know that He is God.  When we focus on the problem, we miss the still small voice behind the problem.  But regardless, we do not "focus" alone.
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« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2003, 11:44:49 PM »

COL 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him:
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« Reply #59 on: October 17, 2003, 06:17:22 AM »

Dear Lord, even as You are faithful and true, so Your word is faithful and true. I began by a faith that was stirred through the gospel message of Your word. I know that I can only grow in faith as I humbly receive Your word into my life day by day. Lord, I long to live by faith that I might grow in Your grace, in Your holy name, Amen.

 And AMEN!

Brother Love Smiley

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