“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.”
It is within the dark and stormy nights of our lives that we learn to seek God in our time of need.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
The Lord speaks peace to our hearts in the darkest times, and teaches us lessons that we would not have learned otherwise. God uses the darkness to point us to the Light. Sometimes God sends a storm so that we will seek shelter in Him.
The word “darkness” here refers to in secret, private. The times when we seek what God has to say, and He reveals His Truth to us in a way we have never experienced before. The sleeplessness that comes from God’s Word instilling Itself within our souls and changing us to be more like Jesus Christ. The quiet nights when the Scripture speaks so loudly that we are in awe of the Word of God.
In contrast, the word “light” here refers to that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly. What we learn and experience in the darkness is to be shared openly. We are to freely share the Truths we learn during our alone time with the Lord. When the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and eyes to a deeper Truth of God’s Word it is sure to help us, but maybe that Truth is just what someone else needs in their situation. Often times God can use a caring friend who feels led to share with us a Truth that the Lord showed them.
Share with your friends, and encourage them to likewise share with you what God is revealing to them through His Word. It will strengthen your friendship.
Nehemiah 1-2 | Hebrews 8 | Psalm 1
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not not works? can faith save him?”
We are saved by God’s grace when we see ourselves as a sinner in need of a Saviour, and place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Plus nothing minus nothing. The Scripture tells us that it is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” We cannot earn our way to Heaven. There is not enough good works that we could do in order to get to Heaven. With these Truths in mind, our verse today can seem confusing when the context is not studied and applied.
James 2:14-26 will give you the context. If we see someone in need of clothing or food, and we have the means to help them and choose not to, what do we earn? Faith without works is dead.
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
Without works we cannot display our faith for others to see. We have no evidence of our faith if we have not works.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“We are justified by faith in the sight of God and by works in the sight of man.”
God sees our faith. But if faith is the evidence of things not seen, how can we show our faith to those around us if we do not have works? They cannot see our heart like God does.
Abraham believed God, and he demonstrated his faith in Him by being willing to sacrifice Isaac, believing He would raise him from the dead if He did not spare his life. This was the gospel being preached unto Abraham, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. God provided Himself as the Lamb that was needed for both Abraham’s and our sin.
God may not ask us to take our firstborn up on a mountain to sacrifice, but He will ask us to do something out of our comfort zone. We must display our faith by the works we do for the cause of Christ, and not for our own glory or else we will lose our eternal reward.
Display your faith today. Allow those around you to see your faith by the works you do in Christ’s Name. He is worthy of our works, our love, and our lives…but it must start with faith in Him.
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Make your faith alive in the work that God has given you to do!
Ezra 9-10 | Hebrews 7 | Proverbs 31
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
Have you ever thought about where your reward is? When we earn rewards, we receive them one of two places…here or there.
We can do good things seeking the applause of those around us here on earth in order to be seen of them. We can also do good things with only the motive of pleasing God, and receive eternal rewards as well as God’s favor on our life.
What eternal rewards have we lost because we received our reward here? When we seek to be seen or receive applause, we forfeit any eternal reward that could have been earned in order to cast back at the feet of Jesus. Are we willing to sacrifice the gifts that we could bestow upon our Lord and Saviour by wanting a pat on the back or public acknowledgement of our good works?
“to be seen of them”
These types of people are easy to spot.
The ones who only pick up a broom or mop when someone is watching.
The ones that only come to a service or event because the Pastor might notice them. The ones that give me-imonies instead of testimonies.
“do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do”
“that they may be seen of men”
“that they may appear unto men”
They have their reward.
What do you desire more…the glory of men or the Glory of God?
“that they may have the glory of men”
The glory always goes to either us or God…but it cannot go to both!
“thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly”
If we desire to receive rewards from the Father, we must seek only to please Him and leave the rewarding up to Him. We can earn eternal rewards that we will be able to cast at His feet, and yet He still will reward us here by His infinite blessings and grace.
Where do you want to receive your reward? Here or there?
Make the choice today to forfeit earthly rewards for eternal gain.
Ezra 7-8 | Hebrews 6 | Proverbs 30
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Everything rises and falls on leadership. A leader of any kind leads by one of two ways: by vision or by agenda.
Do you have a vision? Or do you have an agenda?
A vision leader has Spirit-led motives.
An agenda leader has self-serving motives.
Be vision minded by being Spirit-led.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
When an artist sets out to create a new painting, sculpture or graphic, they begin with the end in mind. They have a vision for how they desire their creative piece to turn out. Sometimes throughout the creative process changes are made that will alter the finished product from what was originally intended, but the creator allows those changes to be made to the object for the good of the outcome of the project.
When we set out to accomplish something for the Lord, we must begin with the end in mind, while checking our motives in the process. Are our desires Spirit-led or self-serving? Is it our goal to get attention or for God to get the glory? Do we want men’s applause or God’s favor?
Notice the difference...These characteristics show whether we have a Spirit-led vision or a self-serving agenda.
God gets the glory
Wants God’s favor
Allows the Lord to lead in changes despite the plan
Acknowledges that God is in control
Often behind the scenes of the work
Manipulates things to achieve their goal
Craves control of the situation
Often places themselves in the spotlight
Ask the Lord to give you a vision for your ministry and your life. Follow Him when He guides you through the necessary changes in order for your vision to line up with His will.
Ezra 5-6 | Hebrews 5 | Proverbs 29
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
God desires for us to be willing to follow whatever He commands. He will not force us to believe in Him, trust in Him, or work for Him. We must be willing!
Willing to Send.
Sometimes God calls us to send help to those in need.
“Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:”
Willing to Serve.
Sometimes God calls us display His love by serving others.
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
Willing to Stand.
Sometimes God calls us to take a stand against something that is wrong.
1 Corinthians 16:13
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
Willing to Separate.
Sometimes God calls us to separate ourselves from others.
2 Corinthians 6:17
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
Willing to Suffer.
Sometimes God calls us to suffer for His sake.
1 Peter 4:16
“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
Willing to Sacrifice.
Sometimes God calls us to make a sacrifice for His glory.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Unless we are willing to answer God’s call, we will never see what could have happened if we would just say to the Lord, “Here am I; send me.”
Ezra 3-4 | Hebrews 4 | Proverbs 28
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Repeatedly throughout the Word of God we see that God set out a path for His people, and inevitably someone veers off in a different direction or refuses to walk in the same way anymore. Each time this occurs the people involved that made a change or refused to continue reap the consequences.
“Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.”
Does this not sound like modern day “Christianity”? Today’s contemporary religion is not without warning from the Scripture. Many of those that once served the Lord with gladness have since decided to turn to a “Christianity” filled with vanity and tolerance in an effort to draw more people.
“they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths”
When one decides to compromise, a few others are likely to follow. Is your change worth being accountable for the testimony of those who look to you as an example in the faith? Often when changes start to be made, we fail to think of what repercussions could arise in the lives of others by our refusing to stand for the old paths.
If compromises and a lowering of standards occur in order to have a bigger crowd, trouble is soon on the way. What may seem like an innocent change can quickly escalate to a tolerance. Worldly music and multiple translations of the Bible will only bring confusion.
Christians who have the Truth must stand for the Truth. If we refuse to take a stand and separate ourselves from the world we will no longer be effective in shining the Light of Christ. Instead of refusing to stand, we must refuse to compromise.
Ezra 1-2 | Hebrews 3 | Proverbs 27
I Peter 5:10
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
Notice the promise of what awaits us after we have suffered for a little while for our good and His glory.
Stablished In The Faith.
Our faith can only be established when it is rooted in Jesus Christ for it is His grace alone that brings salvation.
“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Strengthened With Might.
Our faith gives us boldness and access to Christ Jesus. We do not have to faint in our tribulations. We can bow on our knees and ask God to give us the strength we need to press on.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”
Settled In Love.
We can only live as a stable Christian if we are grounded in the love that Christ has for us. God is Love, and if He dwells in our hearts by faith, we can be grounded in His love for us.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,”
We can be encouraged today that our trials and tribulations are but for a moment, and as a result of our suffering we can be stablished, strengthened, and settled in Jesus Christ.
II Chronicles 35-36 | Hebrews 2 | Proverbs 26
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
For those times when we feel like we just cannot go on.
When we just want to quit and never look back.
When the weight is too heavy to bear.
When it just does not seem worth it.
When our heart is just not in it.
When we just don’t understand how things will work out.
“God is the strength of my heart”
The Lord helps us turn our fears into faith when we rely upon His strength. Though our bodies are weak, we can be strong through His strength.
Though our hearts are hurting, we can be strong through His strength.
II Samuel 22:33
“God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.”
“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”
Acknowledge your need for His strength today. He will supply the grace to make it through.
II Corinthians 12:9-10
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
We will never be strong in our faith unless we thank God for our trials and allow His grace to strengthen us. Allow the Lord to be the Strength of your heart today.
II Chronicles 33-34 | Hebrews 1 | Proverbs 25
“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Fear allows us to see our need to trust. Fearful times are an opportunity to realize our need to have faith that God can and will deliver us.
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
David knew what it was like to be fearful, and for good reason. Countless times he was surrounded by his enemies that sought to take his life; yet, King David turned his fear into faith. If he found a way to exchange his fear for faith we can too.
Praise & Trust His Word.
“In God I will praise his word, in God have I put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
Pray & Press On In Faith.
“I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
Psalm 27: 9
“Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.”
The Apostle Paul learned from David’s experiences. He had read how David had turned his fear into faith, and we see all throughout the New Testament how Paul applied that wisdom to his own life & ministry.
Paul boldly proclaimed, “The LORD is my helper, and I will not fear”, which allowed his faith to defeat his fleshly fear. With the Lord on his side, he knew that no man could harm him unless God allowed it.
These men have left us an example to apply to our own life. When we remember the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us, we too can boldly proclaim, “The LORD is my helper.”
Whatever you are fearful of, the Lord is able to help you overcome it. Ask Him today to help you turn your fear into faith.
II Chronicles 31-32 | Philemon | Proverbs 24
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
We see here that the only requirement in addition to asking for wisdom is that we “ask in faith, nothing wavering.” We can ask for wisdom, but if we do not believe that God will give us the understanding and discernment we seek, we are certain to not receive it. To waver is to stagger between belief and unbelief. We either believe God and His promises or we don’t.
Abraham’s Unwavering Faith.
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
God had promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations, and he believed that God would keep His promise despite his old age. Abraham was not weak in his faith. He did not waver despite the circumstances. He was strong in his faith, giving God the glory while he waited for the promise to be fulfilled.
We must believe that God is not only able to give wisdom, but also to make us wise because He promised He would do so if only we would ask in faith.
Regardless of our current situation, we must believe God’s promises that He has made unto us. Seek to be an unwavering Christian. Follow God’s leading, and trust Him to carry out the plan that He has for your life.
II Chronicles 29-30 | Titus 3 | Proverbs 23
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