On Wings Of Eagles

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Never Doubt the Light

2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV)
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Regardless of your circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God’s unchanging character.

2 Corinthians 1:12 says, “Now that the worst is over, we're pleased we can report that we've come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world — and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn't by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised.”

Your circumstances cannot change the character of God. God’s grace is still in full force; he is still for you, even when you don’t feel it.

Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God: He is good, he loves you, he is with you, he knows what you’re going through, he cares, and he has a good plan for your life.

Raymond Edman, one of Billy Graham’s mentors, once said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”

So, what has God told you in the light that you now doubt in the dark? Why do you think you doubt God now? Remember, your circumstances cannot change the character of God.

Dear Lord, help us to never doubt what You have shown us. Help us to be faithful to what You have taught us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Don't Give in to Your Fears

2 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears. This is a choice. Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.

God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good — if we love him and follow him. If you're a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good — not that all things are good but that they are working together for good.

That means we can stop listening to our fears. There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future.

Your fears reveal where you do not trust God. Today, make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas. Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.

Now, this next step is important: Expect God to start helping you learn to trust him with each fear. Then, watch to see how he helps you.

Dear Lord, we thank You that You will take our fears away from us. Help us to fully trust You today in all we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Light in the Dark Times

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Did Jesus suffer? Was he sometimes lonely? Was he tempted to be discouraged? Was he misunderstood, maligned, and criticized unjustly?

Of course! None of us are exempt from suffering, loneliness, discouragement, or unjust criticism, because God is developing within us the character of Christ, and, in order to do this, he must take us through all of the circumstances in life through which he took Christ.

Does this mean God causes tragedies? No. God is good, and he will not cause evil or do evil. But God can use dark and stressful times for good. He'll use them to teach us to trust him, to show us how to help others, and to draw us closer to other believers.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:8b-9, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead”.

So, what should you do when you’re going through difficult times?

First, you refuse to be discouraged. Then, you remember God is with you. Finally, you rely on God’s protection and guidance.

We all go through difficult times. The difference for those who believe in Jesus is not the absence of the shadow but the presence of the Light.

Dear Lord, we thank You for being the light in our dark world.  We pray that we would focus on the light rather than the darkness. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

Luke 24:34 (ESV)
Saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

As we look at the shocking picture of Jesus’ pathetic lifeless body hanging on the cross. It might be difficult for us to take in that picture. Well, the good news is that it does not end there with us glorifying a decaying body. Psalm 30: 3 is a prophetic pronouncement that, Jesus will not remain in the pit, is fulfilled.

The depressing dark picture slowly is beginning to take on some color as the sun’s rays come streaming in. Psalm 30: 5 is a promise that we might spend the night weeping but there is joy in the morning. A shocking and unexpected event had occurred. Jesus is risen, he had literally risen from the dead. The frightened disciples are now unfazed and unafraid; he had risen indeed!

This led to the confident proclamation of the disciples that if Christ had not been raised from the dead all their preaching and teaching is in vain (I Corinthians 15: 13-14). We can easily conceive of a religion like Christianity without the resurrection. With just the life and teachings of Jesus it would still look good. There was no need for the disciples to include the resurrection. The only reason they did was because the event did actually occur.

However, now in the light of Jesus’ resurrection, his life and teachings take on renewed meaning! He becomes a standard for mankind. If Jesus is risen his teaching is no longer good advice but is the key to the good life. The invisible one we pray to is really out there. We no longer guess. We know! Now that we know, it is a sobering reminder that we humans can actually communicate with God. That is why our relationship is not dependent on the clause, “if you are the son of God” rather it is “remember me.”

This morning as you celebrate Easter Sunday, remember, that Jesus is really alive and that He remembers you and is willing to accompany you along life’s journey. We need no longer resign to death, suffering and failure instead let us look forward to resurrection possibilities in our circumstances.

Dear Lord, Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for the victory and power in your Name. Thank you that you hold the keys over death, that by your might, Jesus was raised from the grave, paving the way for us to have new life with you. Thank you that you had plan, that you made a way. Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing. In the resurrected Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit

Luke 23:44-47 (ESV)
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

The last words of Jesus on the cross explains the way He lived His whole life. He had committed his entire life here on earth to His father and now He commits His death to His father too.

We must not merely see these words as the last words of a resigned frail dying man. Jesus is quoting from Psalm 31:5! He is confidently handing over his spirit to his father. He has completed his earthly work and is handing over his spirit into his father’s hand.

From the cross Jesus is teaching us that our spirit, no matter what condition it is in, is safe in Gods hand. We can trust God with our life. Trust is built on a relationship. Jesus has no doubt about the character of his father. Although, in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus’ prayer goes unanswered, yet he does not doubt his father’s love.

In the garden, he concludes that the father's will takes precedence over his will. And now on the cross he affirms that decision when he entrusts his spirit to the father. Are you struggling with unanswered prayers? Trust God, boldly. Heed the advice of Psalm 31:7, “I will rejoice and be glad in your faithful love.” Remember, joy has very little to do with our circumstances.

We too can rejoice and be glad in God’s faithful love. The shocking picture of the cross with Jesus’ body on it is a symbol of God’s faithful love. For me, Jesus hanging on the cross resembles the picture of the prodigal son hanging on his father. Tired, filthy and worn out and yet loved by his father. Jesus, in some sense becomes the prodigal when he stepped into our mess. Yet, in the story of the prodigal son, the father gives him a kiss on the neck and his life is changed for the better.

Give your life to him and experience his faithful love. Regardless of the condition in which your life is, come to him, just as you are. Hand over your life to God and he will love you and give you a kiss and your life will change for the better.

Dear Lord, we commit our spirit to you. We ask that You would take it and give it a kiss. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, April 19, 2019

It is finished

John 19:30 (ESV)
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

I can think of three different meanings to “it is finished.” In one sense it communicates a sense of resignation and negativity. Your career is finished, your money is finished, your family is finished and you might think you are finished. The world we live encourages negativity and self-pity. ‘It is finished’ is the acceptance of defeat.

Then there is the perspective of Jesus’ enemies. They were happy that Jesus was finished. They put him on a cross and expected to put an end to his life, his teachings and his movement. But they were wrong. In history on several occasions there have been attempts to finish Christians and Christianity. But Christians have survived. I am still here and you are there reading this devotion.

Then there is a positive “It is finished.” Ah, what relief those three words bring to us especially at the end of any project, a sickness, a court case or a Ph.D., dissertation. When Jesus says, “It is finished,” he means he has fulfilled his mission. It is a proclamation of completion. Jesus’ ministry began with the words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It ends with Jesus’ confident proclamation, that the work that he had come to do is finished. He had submitted his will to the father from the beginning to the end.

In his high priestly prayer Jesus prays, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made (John 17:4-5). The cross was Christs act of obedience.

The cross is not the demand of a blood thirsty God rather it is an act of a merciful God. Imagine us humans in a pit unable to get out. Then imagine God as a loving parent entering that pit, clearing all the filth and dragging us out. Jesus enters the system, purifies it from within and redeems us.

Dear Lord, we pray that You would take our negativity and change it to positivity. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I thirst

John 19:28-29 (ESV)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.

He was thirsty on the cross and he accepted the drink offered to him. Two drinks were offered to Jesus. One, in Mark 15:23, sour wine mixed with myrrh to dull the pain which he did not accept. Two, In John 19:28-29 he accepts the other drink which was meant purely to satisfy his parched throat.

Jesus has been thirsty before. He asked the Samaritan woman for water. However, he turned his thirst into a conversation about quenching her spiritual thirst with living waters.

Two reminders for today.

One, Jesus turned his thirst into quenching the spiritual thirst of the woman. Here too we can, by way of extension, turn his thirst into quenching the spiritual and emotional longings of people. In Matthew 5:6, he says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

When you walk up the stairs of the Mother Teresa ashram in Kolkata you cannot but notice Jesus hanging on the cross and painted on the wall beside the crucifix are the words – I Thirst – in bold. It is interesting to hear Mother Teresa’s explanation, “They serve as a constant reminder of the purpose of the Missionaries of Charity. They remind us what a Missionary of Charity is here for: to quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for delicate love.” There are many people out there to whom Jesus would make a world of a difference.

Two, we would have run to Jesus with something to quench his thirst on the cross. Today we have the opportunity to go out and meet the physical needs of people around us. This is not something strange, Jesus talks about this in Matthew 25:35. He wants us to see him in the sufferings of others and lend them a helping hand.

Dear Lord, help us to take the rest we have found in You to restless hearts all around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.