Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Power of Partnership (Part 1)

“It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth.” ~~~(Ecclesiastes 4:9- The Message)


It is often the single most determining factor in the difference between success and failure.

Jesus illustrated the power of partnership when He "called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits" (Mark.6:7). The Lord understands our need for support, and the inherent difficulties and dangers of being alone in ministry.

In the beginning God said, "It is not good for man to be alone." It is true to this day. In order to have any lasting effectiveness in countering the works of darkness with the power of truth and light we must not only be called by Christ, but also sent forth in partnership with others to do His will.

Solomon wrote, “It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there's no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 –The Message).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego proved the power of partnership when they withstood the threats of Nebuchadnezzar and survived the fiery furnace of Babylon. Eleazar, the son of Dodo, proved the power of partnership when he stood with David and the two defeated an entire Philistine army.

The idea of partnership is championed throughout Scripture. Moses had Aaron, and then Joshua. Joshua had Caleb. Ruth had Naomi; Esther had Mordecai; Aquila had Pricilla; Paul had Barnabas; and James had John.

You see, it takes teamwork to make the dream work.

Culled from James Ryle’s Daily Devotion.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Experience the Power of 1...

"May they all be one, just as You, Father; are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so that the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory that You have given to Me. May they be one just as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so that the world may know You sent Me and that You have loved them just as You loved Me." ~~~John 17: 21-23

Thursday, February 10, 2011

“I Know How to Abound.”

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. In everything and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:12 NKJV)

There are many who know “how to be abased” who have not learned “how to abound.” When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle of success their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian oftentimes disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It could be a “dangerous” thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity.

Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust.

Fullness of bread has often made fullness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry-so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.”

“Let not the gifts thy love bestows

Estrange our hearts from thee.”

*Culled from Charles Spurgeon’s Notes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shock! The Bible says: “There is no God.”

Yes, it is true. The sentence “There is no God” appears in the Bible. In fact, the words appear twice. They can be found in Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1.

But (and this is a very big ‘but’), look up these verses and you will find that the complete text reads: ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”’

In other words, it is vital to read Bible verses in context.

When someone quotes a Scripture, the first check as to whether they are using it correctly is to read the immediate context – that is, the words preceding and the words following – and then examine the wider context, asking questions such as: Who was speaking, and to whom, and why? Was God pointing to a truth that would be fulfilled later? And the questions don’t end there.

Scripture deals with matters that affect people’s eternal destiny. It is important to handle the Word of God correctly – 2 Timothy 2:15.

The devil can, and does, quote Scripture.

Matthew 4:5-7 records that the devil tempted Jesus by quoting Scripture. Jesus answered through His knowledge of Scripture, using it correctly and in context. Accurate Bible knowledge was Jesus’ defence.

It is your protection too.

The devil has no need to deceive non-believers by quoting the Bible.

No, the devil sets out to deceive believers by attempting to distort the meaning of Scripture. The attacks are subtle. They come in an unexpected way. They come in a way that appeals to pride and self-interest.

You have powerful protection when you know the Bible, when you know the whole counsel of God. Sad to say, most Christians do not know the Bible. They have heard many sermons. They know certain Bible passages and the doctrines of their denomination. But, frequently, there are gaps in their knowledge.

An important question to ask therefore, is: Does it matter? Does it matter whether you have correct doctrines or not? And, if it does matter, what should Christians do to complete their spiritual protection?

Jesus had a public ministry that lasted about three and a half years, from the age of about 30, until His death and resurrection. What did He do, in His humanity, in the years leading up to the life and sacrifice that is recorded in the gospels?

The answer is: He lived a quiet life, barely noticed by anyone. He worked with His hands. And He studied the Scriptures.

Culled in part from: