When the Lord Tarries
When the Lord Tarries
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3
God has a storehouse of blessings that He has reserved for you and me. However, our timing to receive those blessings may not be the same as our Lord's. God has a specific timetable that He requires to accomplish His purposes in the life of the believer. Sometimes that timetable seems excruciatingly cruel and painful, yet it is needful.
When we read that Joseph remained a slave in Egypt and was then placed in prison after being wrongfully accused, it would be easy to second-guess the God of the universe. Oh, how cruel and uncaring, we might think. Joseph thought he was going to be delivered from prison when he interpreted a dream for a court official, but then he was forgotten another two years. Why? An early release would have disrupted God's perfect plan.
God takes time to develop character before anything else. God could not afford to have a prideful 30-year-old managing the resources of an entire region of the world.
We can sometimes delay this timetable if we refuse His correction.
Although it is sometimes difficult to understand, the Lord is just and gracious in His dealings with His children. When He does decide to move on our behalf, we will appreciate the delay and will often understand the reason it was needed.
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!" (Is. 30:18)
If you are awaiting the fulfillment of a vision in your life, ask the Lord for His grace to sustain you. It will be worth the wait.
Good morning, God! Thank you for another day of living. I pray that I will live it to the fullest; work my hardest; love others with a godly love; and allow you to flow through my being and out into my world to draw people to you. May I be a blessing to you today. I love you.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.
with Bayless Conley
The Scripture says in Ephesians 4:15 that we should grow in all things. In today's and tomorrow's devotionals, I want to give you ten areas in which the Bible teaches us we should grow. I hope you will take time to read each passage and answer the question of whether you are growing as you should in each of these areas.
1. In Colossians 1:10 we are told we should increase in the knowledge of God. You ought to know more about God and His Kingdom this week than you did last week.
2. Psalm 71:21 tells us we are to be growing in our influence. I hope I have not reached the pinnacle in my life when it comes to the influence I have for good in the lives of others. If you call yourself a leader and no one is following you, then you are not influencing them, you are just taking a walk. You and I need to grow in influence.
3. In Proverbs 13:11 it says we are to be growing and increasing materially. I don't know of many who couldn't grow in this area!
4. Isaiah 29:19 speaks of increasing in joy. From appearances, some people seem to grow more and more sour as the days go by and have less and less of a sense of humor. Listen, the more you advance in age, the more your capacity to laugh at life's ups and downs should grow.
5. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 teaches us that we should grow in faith. Now faith certainly touches all areas of life; and, hopefully, today you don't freak out like you used to when you are faced with a trial, because your faith has grown and you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
In tomorrow's devotion we will complete this list.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
What Is the Unpardonable Sin?
with Dr. Charles Stanley
In Matthew 12, Jesus talked about the unpardonable sin. Christians sometimes misconstrue His comments and end up fearful that they could commit an unforgivable offense. The context of today's passage helps us understand why that is not the case.
Christ used the power of the Holy Spirit to heal a demon-possessed man who was deaf and mute. Amazed onlookers began to suspect He was the promised Messiah (v. 22), so religious leaders tried to quell the crowd's growing excitement: they claimed the Lord was Satan's fellow worker, who had used the Devil's power to accomplish this miracle. Christ refuted their statement and in verse 32 said, "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him."
Jesus' comments addressed a very specific situation unique to His time. Though the Pharisees had themselves seen the Lord heal many people through the Spirit, they attributed the miraculous work to Satan. Jesus declared that this sin—claiming that God's Holy Spirit was the unclean spirit of the Devil—was unforgivable.
The sin was blasphemy, done deliberately and without repentance, by knowledgeable religious people, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary. This situation—personally witnessing Jesus' miracles and blaspheming the Spirit—cannot be repeated today.
Numerous New Testament verses assure us that no iniquity committed today is beyond the scope of divine forgiveness. The unpardonable sin Jesus referred to was something that could take place only when He lived on earth. So if guilt threatens to overwhelm you, read Romans 8:1 with gratitude.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Wednesday, July 28, 2010