Victory IN JESUS

Psalm 118:9, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”

Men love power and are drawn to it. As a result, we easily become guilty of trusting our own resources or the promised protection of powerful people or in seeking to gain the good favor of those who are in (or those who are trying to gain) power. But as the old hymn extols, victory is in Jesus, not in political office, the corner office, or any man made authority. No power on, below, or above earth is able to compete with the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. He has the preeminence in and over all things (Colossians 1:9-18). Trust in the King of kings and Lord of lords. You’ll know that you are if you’re joyfully and consistently (not perfectly) obedient to His Word.


Doubt Your Doubts and Trust God

James 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
In the classic Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan allegorizes such a person as “Mister Facing Both Ways.” Trying to face both ways simultaneously only leads to ruin. A double-minded person is one with a divided allegiance. Loyalty cannot be divided if it is to be worth anything. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all out heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30). Obedience to that command always brings blessing, but obedience to that command is impossible if one is double-minded. Doubt your doubts and trust God with a single-minded focus and whole-hearted intensity. That is the only way to have sure footing in an unstable world.



Nahum 1:7, “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

The prophet Jonah had preached the urgent need of repentance in Nineveh. Revival broke out. The people and the city were saved. But a new generation returned to old patterns. The prophet Nahum was sent to proclaim God’s righteous judgment against this new generation of Ninevites who had rebelled against God. While God is angry at and will judge sin, He is also a good God who cares for His people. That had already been proven to this city, and is reiterated in today’s verse. Nahum preached here what Paul would later (Romans 11:22) “behold therefore the goodness and severity of God.” God is love and His love is a holy love. While He is a refuge for those who trust Him, there is no refuge for those who do not.


When Broken is Better

Psalm 34:17-18, “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
Today’s devotional passage calls to mind Mark 2:17 where Jesus taught that those who are well have no need of a physician, only those who are sick. He was not teaching that there are some who are independently righteous and have no need of Him. He taught that only those who recognize their condition will seek the cure. Jesus promises that when a humble heart cries out to God, He will hear and deliver. Which is why I love to sing Rock of Ages:
“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.”
Broken before Jesus is better, because only He can – and will – make you whole.


Devotional Thought for This Week’s Start

Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

Jesus Christ was angry at evil (Mark 3:5; Matthew 23). How can God’s people be any different? Scripture calls us to be angry without sin. Anger is right when it is directed towards the proper person or thing. When it is held in the proper manner, to the proper degree, for the proper time, and rooted in the proper motivation. That motivation is the resistance to evil. When is anger sin? Simply take all the above and add the prefix “im.” Anger is always sinful when it is directed at the improper person or thing, in an improper manner, to an improper degree, for an improper time, and for an improper reason. How do we know if our anger is improper? Scripture is the guide, not anything or anyone else. Be angry at evil, starting with your own, and trust God to set things straight in His time.


Be Peaceful Rather Than Fearful

Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
Fear is powerful. There are two kinds. The fear of God and the fear of man. The fear of God is the foundation of knowledge and wisdom, the way to fruitfulness and joy. To fear man is to be disappointed and enslaved, if not in the short-term, then always in the long-term. Fear will rule our lives. That is not the question. The question is whether or not the fear that rules me is healthy or unhealthy.
Fearing God and the peace of God are connected. Peace – God’s peace – is not the absence of conflict or troubles but calm confidence and assurance during them. Real, lasting peace comes only from God, and is attained only through faith. Faith is not some nebulous, mysterious blob floating around that either hits or misses us. No one accidentally falls into or out of faith, because faith is a purposeful pursuit, and it is primarily thinkingnot feelingrightly about God: His attributes, words, works, power, and promises. The more we know about God the greater He becomes in our thinking, the greater our faith will be in Him, the more eager we will be to rejoice and be thankful regardless of the circumstances, and the greater will be our peace for any and all situations. That is a lot for which to be thankful! 


Trust His “No”

Deuteronomy 3:26, “But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.”

There are occasions when God will not hear our prayers. One reason why is disobedience. The people of Israel were not easy to lead. They were never content, consistently rebellious, and always fickle. Still, Moses interceded on their behalf. Every time. At the waters of Meribah the people yet again quarreled and complained with Moses about their need. They didn’t trust him or God. Yet again Moses prayed for them, and once again God miraculously provided water. But here Moses overstepped (Numbers 20:7-13; Psalm 106:32-33). God will not share His glory with another, not even Moses. We must trust God’s “No” as much as we do His “Yes.” Both are for our good and His glory.