The Scriptures are all powerful in breaking down strongholds, raising up those who are pressed down, and guiding us into experiencing the Lord’s victory over all things. In this segment we set forth a series of subjects with appropriate Scriptures that strengthen faith, and lead to overcoming in the Lord.
Subject areas will be changed regularly, and previous scriptural readings and commentaries may be accessed by clicking different weeks in the calendar below.
Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Ps:19-20.
To fear God is to revere him, to obey Him, and to trust Him. When you display your reverence and trust of Gods faithfulness before your fellow man, He will draw you into His abiding presence, and keep you safe from the evil plots of those under the control of Satan.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Ps 31:14-15.
Revelation 12:11 says, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. In this reading we have an example in Davids testimony of his belief and trust in God, a testimony that breaks the power of Satan, and paves the way for Gods victory to be manifested. His belief that his times were in Gods hands, is an affirmation that he was in Gods keeping, and no one could snatch him out of Gods hands before Gods timing.
Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Ps 31:23-24.
To hope in a spiritual sense is to have an assurance of Gods faithfulness to preserve those who love Him, and trust in His faithful care and protection. He shall strengthen your heart assures us that He will remove anxiety and fear, things that also have an adverse effect on the health of our physical hearts.
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; will guide you with My eye.
There are two parts to this reading, the first, Davids prayer of praise and worship, and the second, Gods encouraging response.
Not all Christians realise that spiritually we are in Jesus Christ in God. Jesus prayed, , that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us. John 17:.21. When by faith we adopt that spiritual position, God becomes to us a fortress, a hiding place, a safe refuge from all of Satans attacks directed at is. David realises this, and retreats into the safety of Gods presence.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;s and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! P32:10-11.
This reading does not say that the righteous person shall not suffer tribulation and sorrows, but that in all of his circumstances Gods mercy shall be upon him, a surety of Gods loving presence and help to overcome.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Ps 34:19.
Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Ps 32:6-7.
A flood of great waters suggests being threatened by many calamitous attacks that endanger his life. David is confident that God will shelter him in His abiding presence, and God will encourage Him and strengthen his faith by directing songs of deliverance into his spirit.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Ps 33:18-19. Ps 33:18-19.
To fear God is to revere His almightiness to the degree that we choose to believe in Him, and to obey His will for us, trusting in His working in our circumstances. To hope in His mercy and trust in His invincible power to deliver us from the threat of death, is to have an assurance that this will happen. Famine is used as an example of any kind of death threat.
Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Psalm 33:20-21.
To be prepared to wait on God for an answer to prayer, leads to having a quietness and trust that is pleasing to God. On the other hand, to lose patience leads to engaging in fleshly efforts to make things happen, causing God to step back and leave us to our own devices.
To trust in His holy name is to have a complete assurance in His attributes, and His devotion to deliver us from all calamities.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. Psalm 34:4-5.
David encourages us with a testimony to Gods faithfulness.
They looked to Him - means all those who look to God for deliverance will not be ashamed or disappointed, their faces reflecting their rejoicing.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:7-8. Psalm 34:7-8.
Those who are diligent in their commitment to the Lord must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22. We are engaged in a spiritual battle against Satan and his demon spirits who constantly oppose our spiritual growth and commitment. Peter warned us, to be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8-9. Our reading is a comfort to those who are being buffeted by Satan, in that we are not alone in this conflict, for God has appointed His mighty angels to guard us round about and keep us.
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps 30:4-5. Ps 30:4-5.
Sometimes God removes His hedge of protection, leaving us vulnerable to Satans attacks. This is not because God is angry with us, but He does all for our good, opening the door to our repentance and deeper commitment. Often it seems that there is no end to our suffering, but in this reading we are assured that times of recovery and refreshment are ahead.
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 2 Peter 3:12.
Some people think that after the final judgment, and our resurrection in union with Christ, we will return to this earth, which will have been cleansed from all unrighteousness. Peter declares otherwise. The heavens, or atmosphere will be dissolved, and the elements that make up the earth will be melted by fervent heat. The earth and its atmosphere will be utterly destroyed.
the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:111.
Not only will the earth and atmosphere be burned up, but all of the works of man that have so corrupted it, will be consumed by fire. There will be no trace of man-made works on the new earth Christ is creating.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:12.
Peter assures us that we will be going to a completely new uncorrupted earth and atmosphere, with all traces of mans former disobedience removed.
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. Isa 65:17.
When we are taken by the Lord and located on the new earth He has created for us, all remembrance of the old earth with its sorrows and pains, will be removed from our memories.
In My Fathers house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-4. John 14:2-4.
This figurative statement by the Lord may be interpreted as follows. In my Fathers universe there are many habitable planets. I am going to prepare one to be your future abode, and I will come again to escort you there so that we will dwell there together.
This new earth will be our heaven, where we will live together with the Lord.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people. Isa 65:18-19. Isa 65:18-19
Here Jerusalem is a symbol for the glorified Church, where all the blessings of our earthly existence have their fulfilment. In this case it is the joy of the Lord which He made available for us in this present life. In the new earth joy will be directed from the Lord to His people, and be manifested in His creation.
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Isa 65:20.
The voice of crying and weeping which are so prevalent in the sufferings of our present existence, will disappear, and be replaced by joy, peace, and contentment.
They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
There will be occupations that are satisfying, bearing results that are personally rewarding, with the fruit of their labours not taken away by others.
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. Isa 65:24.
God will know the thoughts of all hearts, and His care is so diligent that before they voice their prayers, God will be bringing about the answer.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpents food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the Lord.
There will be animals, and whether this is figurative or literal, this shows that there will be harmony throughout Gods creation.
At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:20.
On several occasions Jesus told us that He was in us, and we in Him. This points to two aspects of our relationship with Jesus Christ, each one providing us with a source of spiritual blessing. By His dwelling in us, Christ wants to share His life with us, encouraging us to partake of His attributes to meet our needs.
I do not pray for these alone [the disciples], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.
Many people think that Christs empowerment of His disciples was limited to those of that generation, and is not available to modern believers. In this reading, Christ indicates that this abiding relationship applies also to those who will believe, which includes us.
As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. John 6:57.
Here Jesus reveals two aspects of His relationship with His Father, and Our relationship with Him. The first is that He drew on the presence of the Father in Him to accomplish His works, and secondly that we should live in like manner, drawing on His attributes in us to minister spiritual life to others.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Jesus uses the analogy of the vine and its branches to show that we as His branches cannot bear fruit unless we remain attached to Jesus the vine, and draw on His indwelling life to minister spiritual life to bear fruit that lasts. He went on to declare that without Me you can do nothing.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:27.
In the last weeks we have been looking at the blessings of Christ dwelling in us. These blessings are obtained by drawing on the attributes of the indwelling Christ in us. Now we will examine the other aspect of our union with Christ, we dwelling in Him and in God the Father. These blessings are those that have already been procured for us by Christs death on the cross.
This reading states that we were baptised into Christ, into all that He is, and all that He had done for us by His sacrificial death om the cross. Paul says that because we have been baptised into Christ, we should put on, or clothe ourselves with Christ. This means that as at the start of each day we put on clothes, spiritually we should, in prayer, clothe ourselves with all of the spiritual blessings we have in Jesus Christ, so that we may partake of them throughout the day.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
Imagine a storehouse in heavenly places containing all of the spiritual blessings Christ has procured for us, like being healed by His stripes, made children of God, holy and blameless in His eyes, and eternally saved. We may receive each one of these blessings outlined in the Scriptures by faith, incorporating them in our daily living.
..just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame. Eph 1:4.
Can you say that you are holy and without blame? Probably not, but the Scriptures say that you may claim that. There are two classes of truth. The first is earthly truth - what we see and experience. In that respect we could never claim to be holy and blameless. The second is spiritual truth, which is eternal. Spiritual truth relates to all that Christ had procured for us by His death on the cross. Physically we sin each day, but spiritually we may claim to be holy and blameless in God�s eyes. In Colossians, Paul says that we should keep our eyes on spiritual reality, and not be weighed down by earthly reality.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Eph 1:7. 1 John 1:9-10.
By the efficacy of the blood of Jesus we have confidence that if we confess our sins, by the grace of God we are forgiven, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness, just as if we had never sinned.
in whom we have boldness and access [to the presence and grace of God] with confidence through faith in Him. Eph 3:12.
By the finished work of Christ on the cross, we are holy and blameless, and have confidence to enter into Gods presence in prayer, and remain in Him, knowing that He is watching over us and working with us in all of our endeavours.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Cor 5:21.
Our blessings in Him, have already been accomplished by God through Jesus Christ, and are laid up in heaven for us to claim, and apply them to our spiritual walk. For example, in this reading, it is knowing that we are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. Of course we cannot claim this as a physical reality because we continually sin. This is a spiritual truth based on what Jesus procured for us on the cross. Paul encouraged us to set our minds on spiritual reality, and not be ground down by our shortcomings.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15-16.
Belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ is a crucial part of our confession of salvation. If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you are saved. Rom 10:9. If you believe that Jesus represented you on the cross, and has paid the penalty for your sins, you are righteous before God, and eternally saved, and if saved, you are assured that God abides in you, and you in Him.
By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 1 John 4:13-14.
Now this is plain, if we have the Holy Spirit we know that we are in God and He is in us. Unfortunately there are some who do not know that they have the Holy Spirit because they have not developed a relationship with Him. They have not turned inwardly to Him for guidance, or to seek the truth about certain Scriptures. The Holy Spirit always makes Himself known to those who seek His guidance, His teaching, and His revelation of truth.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead [as new creations united with Christ] by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Pauls first statement is that when we were baptised, we were baptised into God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. He then goes on to say (because Jesus was mankind on the cross), that we were incorporated into His death, burial, and resurrection.
In His death: We may now claim that our old man, with its carnal nature, is incorporated in Christs death on the cross.
In His burial: We may now claim that our past sinful life is buried in the waters of baptism.
In His resurrection: We were raised out of the water as new creations, united with Christ, with our sins forgiven.
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16.
The test of our abiding in love is that we love one another. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7. This is the ultimate fruit of becoming a Christian, and the way we are recognised as Christians.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. 1 John 3:24.
This is a test of our love for the Lord. If we love the Lord, we will keep His commandments. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. John 14:21. By our love and obedience we are assured of the abiding presence of the Lord.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Rom 8:5.
The flesh is our carnal self-centred natures, and to live according to the flesh is to cater to the desires of the flesh, including the body and the soul, leading to things like covetousness, sensuality, pride, adultery, jealousy, over-riding ambition, and so forth. Our spirit is the organ by which we communicate with God, discerning His will for us, so that we may walk in harmony with Him in obedience. To walk after the spirit is to have our minds centred on the will of God, which leads to spiritual life and blessing.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom 8:6.
The carnal mind is never satisfied, continually striving to satisfy the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The end result of canal mindedness is frustration, anxiety, and lack of fulfilment. It certainly leads to spiritual death, and in many cases contributes to premature physical death. Walking after the spirit, endeavouring to live according to the will of God, results spiritual fulfilment and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:7.
To be carnal minded is to continually strive to satisfy the lust s of the flesh, whereas the essence of pleasing God is to a willingness to forsake fleshly desire that He may use us to minister to others in need. The desire to satisfy self-interests rather than those of others, is incompatible with the nature of God.
...that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
The old man, is who we were before being saved, and in that state we were self-centred, catering to the desires of the flesh. After much striving, we come to understand that we cannot subdue fleshly desire, and here Paul shows us the path to victory. We are to daily put off the old man with embedded self-desire, and lay it on the altar of the cross, so that it can be put to death by the Spirit. This applies to our carnal mind, which is constantly open to thoughts from Satan. After the act of the will to put off the carnal mind, we by faith put on the mind of Christ. This leads to a true state of righteousness and holiness.
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:15-16.
When we daily put off the carnal mind and clothe ourselves with the mind of Christ, His mind is gradually formed in us. This is not an instant happening, but will be enhanced when we stay our minds on Christ, and the fruits of the Spirit, rather than the enticing things of the flesh.
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