God's Grace In Tough Times

Dear friends, 
do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, 
as though something strange were happening to you. 
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, 
so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 
- 1 Peter 4:12-13 - 

We can learn a lot walking through tough times.

As we face pain and struggles, our first priority is to show God’s love through it all. And we anticipate the time when God’s glory is revealed.

Over the years, God has pulled us through with His mercy and grace. Therefore, we must not take our eyes off Him. We must continue to depend on His grace to get us through. And we must continue to reflect His love to others.

When life’s burdens oppress us, and when trials are too much to face, we must continue to remember God’s strength in our weakness; He will give us His power and grace.

The increasing darkness of trials only makes the lamp of grace shine brighter. 

Listening To God’s Voice

Speak, for Your servant hears. 
- 1 Samuel 3:10 - 

Samuel was a young boy when he heard a voice call his name. He thought it was Eli the priest, who served God in the tabernacle. When Eli realized it was God who was calling Samuel, he told the boy how to respond. When God called his name a fourth time, Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears”. This attentiveness to God’s voice became the pattern of Samuel’s life.

Are we listening for God’s voice in our lives today?

Are we more drawn by the still, small voice of God through His Word and His Spirit?

May we, like Samuel, learn to discern God’s voice and say, “Speak Lord, for Your servant hears.”

We Don’t Have To Do It Alone

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and
that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 -

Living in this fallen world can be dangerous.

Christians, however, can be encouraged and comforted that we never have to do it alone.

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus promised that He would not abandon us but would send His Spirit to be with us and in us (John 14:16-17).

In this world filled with despair and trouble, we can take courage.

The Holy Spirit lives within us, providing us with His peace and comfort.

We never have to do it alone.

The Holy Spirit will help us in all the challenges of life.

Water Baptism

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
- John 3:5 -

Water baptism is shown as a type of death, burial, and resurrection.

It is not just a symbol of live and resurrection.

It is also a grave from which we must be spiritually resurrected.

Romans 6:1-8 pictured the figurative burial of the old “dead” man living in trespasses and sin in preparation for the birth of the new man in Christ.

Our receipt of God's Holy Spirit occurs when we are spiritually resurrected from our watery grave and by God's grace cleansed through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.

God's Spirit gives birth to the new man as a child of God.

It is not the waters of baptism that cleanse us.

It is Christ's blood and the receipt of God's Holy Spirit.

Be A Good Listener

When he brings out his own sheep,
he goes before them;
and the sheep follow him,
for they know his voice.
- John 10:4

Listening is an important part of any relationship, especially in our relationship with Christ.

If we belong to Him, we have the privilege of communing with Him through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

We know we are paying attention to the true Shepherd when His voice leads us to righteousness, love, grace, and all that is consistent with His character and will.

Those who diligently listen to Christ become devoted followers of Him and are transformed into His likeness.

Paying close attention to the voice of Jesus is one way to affirm His importance in our lives.

Let’s tune in to His voice, and pray for the grace to do what He says.

Listening to Jesus is the first step to following Him.