Pattern of Good Works (Titus 2:7)

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Tuesday, 3 May 2005
All is Not Lost
Now Playing: Are we taking courage in the Lord each day ?
Topic: Confidence
1 Kings 19:18

"Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."

All Is Not Lost

During the Boer War (1899-1902), a man was convicted of a very unusual crime. He was found guilty of being a "discourager." The South African town of Ladysmith was under attack, and this traitor would move up and down the lines of soldiers who were defending the city and do everything he could to discourage them. He would point out the enemy's strength, the difficulty of defending against them and the inevitable capture of the city. He didn't use a gun in his attack; it wasn't necessary. His weapon was the power of discouragement.

Satan is just such a discourager. He is not mentioned by name in this passage, but it's obvious he had disheartened Elijah. He convinced the prophet that all was lost. Over and over he told Elijah that "he alone was left." And Elijah came to believe that. But when it came time for Elijah to go back into the thick of things again, God revealed the truth to him. Instead of Satan's lie that "he alone was left," there were actually 7,000 people in Israel who had not followed after the false god Baal.

Satan is always ready to make things appear worse than they are if he can use it to discourage us. He continually tries to feed false information to believers so they might become discouraged, and too often he succeeds. God, however, offers the solution to Satan's lies—the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word. In the Bible we find more than enough optimism to overcome the Devil's pessimism.

If your life is filled with "doom and gloom," remember this may well be Satan's way of destroying your effectiveness for the Lord. How can you counter the Devil's devices? Turn to the promises of God's Word. Let the Bible be your encouragement today.

When God lifts you up, Satan can never put you down.

(from W. Kroll)

Posted by dondegr1 at 9:45 AM EDT
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Thursday, 7 April 2005
A Sure Expectation
Now Playing: How strong is our faith in God ?
Topic: Confidence
Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living from Elijah
Scripture: 1 Kings 18:41-42 James 1:6
A Sure Expectation

1 Kings 18:41-42

Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain." So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees.

A Sure Expectation

There had been a drought for weeks in a Midwest farming community, so some farmers arranged to gather in a little prairie church and plead for rain. The day appointed for their small church to pray dawned cloudless, with no sign of rain. The people gathered and the pastor approached the pulpit. Looking over the congregation, however, he announced that they would have a benediction and go home. The deacons were quite upset and confronted the pastor after the service. "Why are you sending us home without praying for rain?" they wanted to know. "Simple enough," replied the pastor. "You obviously aren't expecting God to answer. None of you brought an umbrella."

Elijah not only prayed, but he expected an answer. Before the clouds formed or the thunder boomed, he heard the "sound of abundance of rain." He knew that he was praying according to the will of God and he was confident, before any external evidence could confirm his faith, that God would supply the rain He promised. Elijah's command to Ahab was based on the assurance of God's answer, not the whims of nature.

The Bible tells us to pray without doubting (James 1:6). When we come to God, knowing that we are asking according to His will, we don't have to be intimidated by our circumstances. We can have the confidence that when the time is right, God will answer. We need to act according to His promised answer, not according to our fearful uncertainties.

As you pray, don't look around you; look above you. Real answers to prayer don't come from the situations we find ourselves in. Real answers come from our Heavenly Father.

Pray according to faith, not circumstances.

(from W. Kroll)

Posted by dondegr1 at 3:18 AM EDT
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