LastCall: The Lord wants His children to have -Bob Hoekstra

Grace and Spiritual Fruit

The word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth. (Colossians 1:5-6)

The Lord wants His children to have significant measures of spiritual fruit developing in their lives. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit" (John 15:8). Fruit is described in the Scriptures in various ways. It includes godly character qualities. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…" (Galatians 5:22). Also, it involves worship offered to God.

"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15). Additionally, it encompasses lives being touched by our ministry to them. "I often planned to come to you…that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles" (Romans 1:13).

Such spiritual fruit is a consequence of God's grace at work in and through us. Colossians 1:5-6 addresses this fact. "The word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you…is bringing forth fruit." The good news of Jesus Christ not only brings forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life, it also produces fruit in those who believe.

All of this is grace operating in trusting hearts: "Since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth."

Romans 7:4 describes this same glorious process, using different terms. "Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God."

In order to bear fruit unto the Lord, we had to first be released from our dead relationship to the law. We could not perform effectively under that demanding standard.

Thus, our lives were spiritually fruitless before God. Next, we needed to be joined in a new, living relationship with the risen Christ, that we might partake of His grace resources for living. We have experienced both through faith in the Lord Jesus. Now, the risen Christ works by His grace in and through our lives, as we humbly depend upon Him.

Yes, the grace of God is His designated dynamic for producing spiritual fruit in our everyday lives.

Lord God of my salvation, thank You for the glorious message of the gospel. What good news it is to have forgiveness, eternal life, and daily transformation through Your grace.

I embrace Your will that I bear much fruit. Lord Jesus, I rejoice that You have taken me out from under the law. I now look to You, the risen Lord, to bring forth spiritual fruit in and through my life, in Your exalted name, Amen.

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

Last Call

‘Your Devotion with Emotion’

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call Digest

“the simple format”

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Days of the Last Generation                                                           “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

LastCall: (Daniel5) Have you ever felt like you were in a crap game with the devil -Kay Arthur

PRECEPTS FOR LIFE

a Production of

Precept Ministries International

P.O. Box 182218, Chattanooga, TN 37422-7218

1-888-734-7707/ www.preceptsforlife.com

 

The following is an actual transcript of the PRECEPTS FOR LIFE Broadcast. For the purpose of filling transcript requests quickly, they have received only light editing. If you have questions concerning the material covered in this broadcast, Kay has published a number of books explaining the Scripture in depth. These books may be ordered by contacting the telephone number or address printed above.

         

          

OPEN 

Have you ever felt like you were in a crap game with the devil and the dice were loaded against you, that he was out to get you and that there was no way, no way at all that you could win? Or have you ever felt like you’re in a chess game and all of a sudden the devil has you checkmated? He has you backed into a corner and you think you’re sure to loose? Oh beloved, no, there’s one more move on the board.

We’ll talk about it today.

 

PART ONE

The story is told of a young man who played chess, who was renown for being a chess player. And he was in a contest in Europe. But he was not only a player of chess he loved art. And so when he was free he would roam those beautiful, beautiful museums with all their exquisite paintings.

And one day as he was walking through the museum all of a sudden he was arrested by this picture, because here was a chessboard and on each side of the chessboard were the players. One was a young man with anguish all over his face, sweat pouring down. The chess player felt like he could reach up and just wipe the brow of that chess player. He knew the agony.

He knew what it was like and the intensity of the game and wanting to win. And then he looked at the other side and the other player on the other side was the devil. There was glee all over his sinister face, his sly smile. And in his hand he was about to put down a piece, a chessman on that board. And the title of the painting was called Checkmate. The young man stood back. He was taken by this.

Here was a young man about his own age playing chess with the devil and the devil had checkmated him. He studied that chessboard and all he could see was he was checkmated. But then he wasn’t quite sure. He went home; he got his chessboard; he set it down in front of that painting and he arranged the chessboard the way it was arranged. For six hours he sat there, studied the picture, studied the chessboard, and after six hours all a sudden he jumped up and he said there’s one more move on the board. It wasn’t checkmate.

There was one more move on the board. But that young man hadn’t seen it. Beloved, if you’re looking at the chess game and you feel like the devil has you checkmated, know this: no he doesn’t. There’s one more move on the board. Nebuchadnezzar had apparently checkmated Israel. Nebuchadnezzar, the great king of Babylon had conquered Jerusalem, the holy city of the one and only true and living God. He had brought home the king. He had brought home the nobles in chains.

They had become part of his court. These holy men in an unholy court. And it seemed like he was the winner. He even had the vessels from the house of the Lord in the house of his god as a sign that his god was stronger. And it looked like he had checkmated Israel. But he hadn’t, there was one more move on the board. And behind Israel, playing that game with Babylon as the head of the nations of this world, God was standing behind Israel. And God is about to give Nebuchadnezzar a revelation of the last move on the board.

We’re going to see it as we look at the text, not at any commentary on the text, but just at the text itself, because God means for you and me, common ordinary men and women and teenagers and children to be able to study and understand His Word, because these are precepts for life and He has not reserved them for the highly intellectual, the highly educated, those that are the brilliant people of the earth.

This is the Book that God has given to the body of Christ and He intends for us to know it and to understand it. And He’s made it understandable. So let’s go look at the book of Daniel. And let’s go to Daniel, chapter 2, Daniel, chapter 2, verse 1. Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. Now remember dreams is a key word that we’re going to mark. All right, so you’re going to mark it.

And if you have been following along, if you’ve downloaded from precept.org, from our website, then, then you have the study guide. Or if you don’t have the study guide you need to get it. All right, now your instructions when you got that study guide was to read all the way through the book of Daniel. And every time you came to a year you were to write in the margin of the text where that year is mentioned like in chapter 2, verse 1 it’s the second year, in the second year of what, second year here of king Nebuchadnezzar.

All right so you’re putting this down. It’s the second year of king Nebuchadnezzar and he had dreams. You’ve marked dreams. And his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. In other words these dreams were so graphic, so vivid, so disconcerting that he couldn’t even sleep. And it says then the king gave orders to call the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers, the Chaldeans and to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. All right and the king said to them I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream. And you’re marking dream all the time, okay.

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: O king, live-forever. Now from this point on until chapter 7 this is all in Aramaic. Okay, so it’s written, it starts in Hebrew, it moves to Aramaic and then it moves back to Hebrew. Okay, so it says then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic. It was the common language that they spoke in that day. O king, live forever. Tell the dream to your servants and we will declare the interpretation. Just tell us what you dreamed and we’ll tell you what it means.

All right, and the king answered and said to the Chaldeans, the command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn from limb to limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. In other words, look guys, I can tell you a dream and you can come up with your interpretation of it.

And how do I know that that interpretation is really true? But if you tell me what I dreamed and then what it means I’ll know that you are really wise men. And if you’re not wise, guys, then you’re no use to me. I’m simply going to tear you from limb to limb and make your houses a rubbish heap. Have you got it? Now listen, they got it. And then he went on to say but if you declare the dream and its interpretation, I will reward you. And they answered a second time and said, Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.

And the king answered I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen the command from me is firm, and if you do not make the dream known to me, there’s only one decree for you. Have you got it? There’s only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed. You’re just going to try to out word me, out maneuver me. He says therefore tell me the dream that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.

Now this is very important. He tells why he wants them tell him the dream. You tell me the dream that I may know you can declare to me its interpretation. Just like I said, this way I’m not being maneuvered. I’m not being hoodwinked. You could all get together, you could all come up with the same interpretation and convince me.

But I’m convinced that if you’re really the wise men that you think you are and that you claim to be and that I have thought you are, that you can tell me the dream. And the Chaldeans answered the king and said, there is not; now listen, catch this, this is very important; there is not a man on earth who could declare to the king the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. King Nebuchadnezzar, let’s just stop and reason together is what they’re saying. Well, you’re asking us to do something that no human being can do. You’ve asked the impossible.

There’s no human being, no conjurer, no magician, nobody on the face of this earth could do what you are asking us to do. And he says moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else, now watch, who could declare it. It what, it dream. So you mark it like the dream. Who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling is not with mortal flesh.

There’s nobody that could tell you. There’s no mortal human being; it’s only a god that could tell you that. It’s got to be a god, gods with a small “g”. So the decree went forth that the wise men, because of this the king became indignant and very furious, and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. Whoa, wait a minute. Who’s among those wise men? Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, they’re among the wise men.

The decree has gone out, kill them. Now where is God? Has the devil got Him checkmated? Is he going to get rid of these four Jewish guys because they stood for God? Is it a checkmate? We’ll talk about it when we come back.

 

PART TWO

What do you do when you’re in a chess game so to speak, and your opponent is the devil and you think he’s about to checkmate you? Well this is what we’re going to see. You do what Daniel did. Let’s look at it, Daniel, chapter 2, verse 13. So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them. They’re going to round them up so they can take them and slaughter them because the king is up to here with all these wise men who are really not wise, because they can’t tell him the dream.

All right, then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon. And he answered and he said to Arioch, the king’s commander, for what reason is the decree from the king so urgent, so urgent that you’re standing there with sword in our hand?

Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king. He went in and he said, king, would you give me time and I will give you the interpretation of the dream.

Then Daniel went to his house, informed his friends and they planned a way to escape, a clever, clever way of how they were going to get out of Babylon. I mean they were smart, they could figure it out. No, un, un. He went in to his house, informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, in order that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery.

What did they do when their life was at stake? What did they do when they had been checkmated, so to speak, by the devil? They prayed. That’s all you can do. That’s the first and foremost thing that you and I are to do.

Why would you try to figure it out on your own? You go to God and this is what he did. And this is the lesson that God has for you. See, there’s another move on the board, but you’re not going to know how to make it. That chess player sat there for six hours and for six hours he studied it.

And then he had an answer and he saw there one more move on the board. What you and I do is we get on our knees and we seek God’s wisdom. We seek God’s compassion. And then God lets us know, hey, there’s another move on the board and I’m the One that’s going to make the move. Now watch what it says. He informed his friends in order that, (that’s important); they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery.

Now what’s the mystery?

The mystery is the dream.

So you mark the mystery the same way you mark the dream. And it’s a mystery to these guys because they don’t even know what the dream was. That they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery so that Daniel and his friends might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then when? Then is a time phrase. It implies sequence and you always want to mark time phrases. You draw a tiny little clock because it tells you one of the essentials in observation, when.

You want to ask yourself who are the main characters, who is talking, who is speaking, who is being spoken to. You want to find out the who. You want to find out the what. What is this all about? What is the subject? What is the event? What is being said? What is happening? Okay, who, what, when.

When you come to a when, you put a clock over it. Now a when either gives you specific time or it gives you sequence of time. All right, and whether it gives you specific time or sequence of time you want to note those sequences of time because they’re important. So you find out, here he is, in a sense, checkmated. He’s about to be killed, so what does he do? He goes to the Lord then the Lord gives him the dream in a vision. I wonder how different life would be if we spent more time, so to speak, on our knees?

More time, just praying, not sweating over the situations of life, not in anguish or torment, but finding compassion, finding release, finding peace, finding that burden removed off your back because you get on your knees. You’re crying out to God. And you’re seeking God’s wisdom and God’s way and God’s direction. And so it says then, it says the mystery was revealed to Daniel. So you would mark mystery again. It was the dream that was revealed to Daniel in a night vision.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. You see Nebuchadnezzar’s gods were earth bound because they were carved and made by man. But Daniel’s God was the one and only true God. He was the God of heaven. That’s why when we pray we say our Father who art in heaven, hollowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. He’s the God of heaven. It says, and Daniel answered and said, let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him.

Now this is where you wan tot go through and mark every reference to God because you’re going to learn, I’ve listed 11 things that I learned about God, just from this second chapter. And it’s awesome, just to put them in the margin of my Bible and I have an Inductive Study Bible so I have a wide margin, but to put them there so that you can see them and remember them and rehearse them. And he says it is He.

It is this God of heaven, it is the God to whom wisdom and power belong. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings.

Well what had He done? He had removed Jehoiakim. He had established Nebuchadnezzar. He gives wisdom to wise men. That’s a very important statement. If you want wisdom you need to be wise. And to be wise is to fear the Lord. To be wise is to depart from evil.

To fear the Lord doesn’t mean you sit in the corner and you huddle up and you get behind your, your pillow or whatever and you shake and you tremble.

It doesn’t mean that. But to fear the Lord means to respect Him, to trust Him to be who He says He is and who He is. And so it says this: It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what’s in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.

To Thee, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for Thou has given me wisdom and power; even now Thou has made known to me what we requested of Thee, Thou has made known to us the king’s matter. Now he knows. There’s one more move on the board, beloved. The devil will never checkmate you. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the church. I mean we are the winners. We just need to understand that.

Now listen, what we’re going to see in our next program is we’re going to see beloved, the other move on the board. That move on the board hasn’t come to pass yet, but you can know this: it’s getting ready to come to pass.

And the things that you see happening around the world and the way the nations are coming together all show us that there’s one more move on the board and God’s getting ready. And if you’re a man of wisdom and prayer, if you’re a wise person you’ll pray and God will show you.

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

Last Call

‘Your Devotion with Emotion’

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call Digest

“the simple format”

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Days of the Last Generation                                                           “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

LastCall: (Genesis 24:15-31) How wonderful God is! -Bob Caldwell

(Genesis 24:15-31)  How wonderful God is! -Bob Caldwell

Genesis 24:15-31

                   15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”

18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21 And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.

22 So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold, 23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”

24 So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.”

26 Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD. 27 And he said, “Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” 28 So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household these things.

29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man by the well. 30 So it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, “Thus the man spoke to me,” that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, “Come in, O blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.”

Our Unchanging God

 24:26-27 Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD. And he said, ‘Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.’

How wonderful God is! The hope of Abraham and the prayer of his servant to find the chosen wife for Abraham’s son were based on God’s mercy and truthfulness. In mercy God called Abraham and developed him in the school of the Spirit to be a man of faith. Because of God’s mercy, not Abraham’s own self-righteousness, He fulfilled Abraham’s need through the prayer of his servant.

God’s truth was joined to His mercy to assure an answer to prayer. God is not a man that He should ever lie, we are told in the New Testament (Rom. 3:4). If God says it, that settles it! God will always be true to His character and His Word is as good as His character.

What is it that God has promised you based upon His Word? If you can’t answer this question, then begin today to search for the promises of God on every page of the Bible. Then remind yourself that His promises are worthy of your complete confidence—because they are rooted in God’s truth and His character. Who He is He will always be faithful to be. We may change, circumstances may change, everything may change, but one thing remains perfectly unchangeable—God. God will be faithful to who He is in His mercy and truth. Trust Him and rest.

v. 15 Born to Bethuel - Thus describing the fulfillment of the family line requirements for a bride for Isaac who was among Abraham's relatives.

v. 16 A Virgin - Here we have a description of the moral character that needed to be fulfilled by the woman who would marry Isaac.

v. 20 Run Back - This shows it must have taken several trips to the well to water all of these camels as she went back and forth from the well to the trough.

v. 21 Wondering - He was not too quick to make a judgment even though this event seemed to be a clear confirmation. Wisely he waited to see if the other aspects of this issue would unfold favorably as well.

v. 22 Golden Earring - This, along with the bracelets, was a gift in response to the
hard work and kindness shown by Rebekah, but not as a bridal gift. The bridal gifts would follow only after a competed confirmation that she was God's choice for Isaac.

v. 26 Worshipped - After hearing that Rebekah belonged to Abraham's family (v. 24) he could see this was God's sovereign answer to his prayer.

v. 29 He Saw the Nose Ring - We will find later in Genesis (ch. 29-31) that Laban was a covetous man. We see the roots of that here as his offer of hospitality is at least partially motivated by seeing this man gave expensive gifts to his sister.

v. 31 Oh Blessed of the Lord - The word Lord is Yahweh, the covenant name used by Abraham and the subsequent Jews. That Laban referred to God in this way may indicate that Abraham had left an enduring witness of the true and living God with his extended family. This would have been a critical factor in wanting a bride from them, as this would insure spiritual harmony between Isaac and his wife.

“‘Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.’…And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” –Job 42:8, 10

To mention the name Job automatically brings to mind suffering. He suffered immensely under the hands of Satan, but he also suffered great emotional pain from his friends. Job needed healing from all the tragedy Satan had put upon him. At the same time, Job’s friends needed forgiveness for the counsel they gave to Job that had misrepresented God and had laid heavy burdens upon Job’s already painful life. The solution for both came through prayer.

Job’s prayer for his friends opened the windows of heaven which brought forgiveness for his friends and restoration to his life. Selfless, gracious intercession for others, even those who have deeply hurt us, opens the heart of God to pour out unexpected blessing upon our lives. Release blessing upon your own life by first praying for grace and forgiveness for others!

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

Last Call

‘Your Devotion with Emotion’

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call Digest

“the simple format”

Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com

Last Days of the Last Generation                                                           “Last Generation”

                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from The Last Call Digest

40 days: Day Twenty -Rick Warren

Restoring Broken Fellowship

 

[God] has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. 2  Corinthians 5:18 (GWT)

Relationships are always worth restoring.

Because life is all about learning how to love, God wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, a hurt, or a conflict.

In fact, the Bible tells us that God has given us the ministry of restoring relationships. For this reason a significant amount of the New Testament is devoted to teaching us how to get along with one another.

Paul wrote, "If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you,... Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends." Paul taught that our ability to get along with others is a mark of spiritual maturity.

Since Christ wants his family to be known for our love for each other, broken fellowship is a disgraceful testimony to unbelievers. This is why Paul was so embarrassed that the members of the church in Corinth were splitting into warring factions and even taking each other to court.

He wrote, "Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians.' He was shocked that no one in the church was mature enough to resolve the conflict peaceably. In the same letter, he said, "I'll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other.”

If you want God's blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker. Jesus said, "God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God." Notice Jesus didn't say, "Blessed are the peace lovers," because everyone loves peace. Neither did he say, "Blessed are the peaceable," who are never disturbed by anything. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who work for peace" those who actively seek to resolve conflict. Peacemakers are rare because peacemaking is hard work.

Because you were formed to be a part of God's family and the second purpose of your life on earth is to learn how to love and relate to others, peacemaking is one of the most important skills you can develop. Unfortunately, most of us were never taught how to resolve conflict.

Peacemaking is not avoiding conflict. Running from a problem, pretending it doesn't exist, or being afraid to talk about it is actually cowardice. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was never afraid of conflict. On occasion he provoked it for the good of everyone. Sometimes we need to avoid conflict, sometimes we need to create it, and sometimes we need to resolve it. That's why we must pray for the Holy Spirit's continual guidance.

Peacemaking is also not appeasement. Always giving in, acting like a doormat, and allowing others to always run over you is not what Jesus had in mind. He refused to back down on many issues, standing his ground in the face of evil opposition.

HOW TO RESTORE A RELATIONSHIP

As believers, God has "called us to settle our relationships with each other." Here are seven biblical steps to restoring fellowship:

Talk to God before talking to the person.

Discuss the problem with God. If you will pray about the conflict first instead of gossiping to a friend, you will often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help. All your relationships would go smoother if you would just pray more about them.

As David did with his psalms, use prayer to ventilate vertically. Tell God your frustrations. Cry out to him. He's never surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or any other emotions. So tell him exactly how you feel.

Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs. Some of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone-a friend, spouse, boss, or family member-to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness. No one can meet all of your needs except God.

The apostle James noted that many of our conflicts are caused by prayerlessness: "What causes fights and quarrels among you? ... You want something but don't get it.... You do not have, because you do not ask God." Instead of looking to God, we look to others to make us happy and then get angry when they fail us. God says, "Why don't you come to me first?"

Always take the initiative.

It doesn't matter whether you are the offender or the offended: God expects you to make the first move. Don't wait for the other party. Go to them first. Restoring broken fellowship is so important, Jesus commanded that it even takes priority over group worship.

He said, "If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.'

When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a peace conference immediately. Don't procrastinate, make excuses, or promise "I'll get around to it someday." Schedule a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible. Delay only deepens resentment and makes matters worse. In conflict, time heals nothing; it causes hurts to fester.

Acting quickly also reduces the spiritual damage to you. The Bible says sin, including unresolved conflict, blocks our fellowship with God and keeps our prayers from being answered," besides making us miserable. Job's friends reminded him, "To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do" and "You are only hurting yourself with your anger.”

The success of a peace conference often depends on choosing the right time and place to meet. Don't meet when either of you are tired or rushed or will be interrupted. The best time is when you both are at your best.

Sympathize with their feelings.

Use your ears more than your mouth. Before attempting to solve any disagreement you must first listen to people's feelings. Paul advised, "Look out for one another's interests, not just for your own."

The phrase "look out for" is the Greek word skopos, from which we form our words telescope and microscope. It means pay close attention! Focus on their feelings, not the facts. Begin with sympathy, not solutions.

Don't try to talk people out of how they feel at first. Just listen and let them unload emotionally without being defensive. Nod that you understand even when you don't agree. Feelings are not always true or logical. In fact, resentment makes us act and think in foolish ways. David admitted, "When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, I was as stupid as an animal." We all act beastly when hurt.

In contrast, the Bible says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.'  Patience comes from wisdom, and wisdom comes from hearing the perspective of others. Listening says, "I value your opinion, I care about our relationship, and you matter to me." The cliche is true: People don't care what we know until they know we care.

To restore fellowship "we must bear the `burden' of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others.... Let's please the other fellow, not ourselves, and do what is for his good." It is a sacrifice to patiently absorb the anger of others, especially if it's unfounded. But remember, this is what Jesus did for you. He endured unfounded, malicious anger in order to save you: "Christ did not indulge his own feelings ... as scripture says: The insults of those who insult you fall on me.'

Confess your part of the conflict.

If you are serious about restoring a relationship, you should begin with admitting your own mistakes or sin. Jesus said it's the way to see things more clearly: "First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.'

Since we all have blind spots, you may need to ask a third party to help you evaluate your own actions before meeting with the person with whom you have a conflict. Also ask God to show you how much of the problem is your fault. Ask, "Am I the problem? Am I being unrealistic, insensitive, or too sensitive?" The Bible says, "If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves."

Confession is a powerful tool for reconciliation. Often the way we handle a conflict creates a bigger hurt than the original problem itself. When you begin by humbly admitting your mistakes, it defuses the other person's anger and disarms their attack because they were probably expecting you to be defensive. Don't make excuses or shift the blame; just honestly own up to any part you have played in the conflict. Accept responsibility for your mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

Attack the problem, not the person.

You cannot fix the problem if you're consumed with fixing the blame. You must choose between the two. The Bible says, "A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper fire." You will never get your point across by being cross, so choose your words wisely. A soft answer is always better than a sarcastic one.

In resolving conflict, how you say it is as important as what you say. If you say it offensively, it will be received defensively. God tells us, "A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is."  Nagging never works. You are never persuasive when you're abrasive.

During the Cold War, both sides agreed that some weapons were so destructive they should never be used. Today chemical and biological weapons are banned, and the stockpiles of nuclear weapons are being reduced and destroyed. For the sake of fellowship, you must destroy your arsenal of relational nuclear weapons, including condemning, belittling, comparing, labeling, insulting, condescending, and being sarcastic. Paul sums it up this way: "Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you."

Cooperate as much as possible.

Paul said, "Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody." Peace always has a price tag. Sometimes it costs our pride; it often costs our self-centeredness. For the sake of fellowship, do your best to compromise, adjust to others, and show preference to what they need. A paraphrase of Jesus' seventh beatitude says, "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."

 

In resolving conflict, how you say it is as important as what you say.

Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem.

 

Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution.

It is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem loses significance and often becomes irrelevant.

We can reestablish a relationship even when we are unable to resolve our differences. Christians often have legitimate, honest disagreements and differing opinions, but we can disagree without being disagreeable. The same diamond looks different from different angles. God expects unity, not uniformity, and we can walk arm-in-arm without seeing eye-to-eye on every issue.

This doesn't mean you give up on finding a solution. You may need to continue discussing and even debating-but you do it in a spirit of harmony. Reconciliation means you bury the hatchet, not necessarily the issue.

Who do you need to contact as a result of this chapter? With whom do you need to restore fellowship? Don't delay another second. Pause right now and talk to God about that person. Then pick up the phone and begin the process. These seven steps are simple, but they are not easy. It takes a lot of effort to restore a relationship. That's why Peter urged, "Work hard at living in peace with others." 

But when you work for peace, you are doing what God would do. That's why God calls peacemakers his children.

DAY TWENTY THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE

Point to Ponder: Relationships are always worth restoring.

Verse to Remember: "Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody."

Romans 12:18 (TEV)

Question to Consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today?

Michael James Stone

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