Better expectations

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother. Philemon 7

Philemon had a slave whose name was Onesimus, who had run away. Though we do not know how it happened, Onesimus had found Paul. It is possible that Paul had taught him the truth since he refers to himself as Onesimus’s spiritual father.

Philemon was a dear friend of Paul. The church met in his house. Paul had heard from others of his love for the saints and how he had been an encouragement to them.

Even though Paul had wanted to keep him there, he sent Onesimus back to Philemon. Paul appealed to Philemon’s love to accept Onesimus back and even to consider anything that he might have defrauded to be paid by Paul. He expected Philemon to do the right thing regarding Onesimus and felt assured that he would do just that.

Paul had great confidence that Philemon would do the right thing. So often, we lack the confidence in our brethren to do the right thing. Perhaps we should have better expectations of others.

#risingjoy #Philemon #confidence

Capable of doing his will

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Now we have such confidence in God through Christ. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as if it were coming from ourselves, but adequacy is from God, who made us adequate to be servants of a new covenant not based on the letter but on the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3.4-6

I can have confidence before God because of Jesus. It is through Jesus that I am reconciled to God. I had nothing to offer to God for him to save me. I was a sinner, stained and spotted with my many sins. I was weak perishing in my hopelessness. But, Jesus obeyed God and made it possible for me to be brought back to God’s presence. God is adequate. He is capable. He makes it possible for me to stand before him clean and pure. Jesus gives the example of what I must do: Obey God whatever the cost. He makes me capable of being his servant. We serve under the new covenant, the New Testament. Upon being baptized, I receive the gift of the Spirit living in me. It is the Spirit’s presence in me that makes me alive. What joy and, yes, relief to know that it does not depend upon my strength alone! God is my strength and he makes me capable of doing his will.

#risingjoy #confidence #2-Corinthians

I will not be afraid: Hebrews 13.6 VOTD

“So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can people do to me?'”

Hebrews 13.6

Such confidence arises from certainty of God’s presence, v. 5. It brings contentment with what we have. We then will not fear any threat that man might pose. The writer quoted Psalm 118.6.

The Bible provides us with teaching about God that gives us faith, certainty, and confidence. Review the place of the Bible in your life history.

#Bible #confidence #VOTD


10-26-2017 Faith Or Cowardice

“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled’” (1 Peter 3:13-14 NKJV). Christians stand for the truth of God’s Word, having no dread from “threats, nor be troubled.” Our confidence comes from obeying God’s Word. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). This “spirit of fear” is “cowardice,” or shrinking back from. The Bible shows us God’s “power” over everything; it brings out the best in us as “love;” and gives us “a sound mind,” or controlled attitude, we call “confidence.” Christians fear less and have less to fear.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#confidence, #cowardice, #faith, #fear

‘Far be it from us’ Joshua 24.16 VOTD

“The people responded, ‘Far be it from us to abandon the Lord so we can worship other gods!'”

Joshua 24.16

At the end of his work, Joshua urges the people to reject idolatry and serve only the Lord. The people’s confidence in their affirmation did not always translate into coherent action.

Israel’s response reminds one of Peter’s declaration to never deny the Lord. How could both have improved their responses?

#VOTD #confidence #action

God protects his own

A great lesson in Matthew 2 is that God protects his own. The Lord frustrated Herod’s attempts to kill the newborn Jesus.

He warned the wise men by means of a dream not to return to Herod, but to go back by another way. “But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road” Mt 2.12 NIRV.

The Lord’s angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt, in order to get away from Herod, Mt 2.13. Continue reading

#confidence, #courage, #divine-protection, #evil

God works to create dependence

God works in the life of his saints to strip away all false sense of power and ability to cope. He drives us to a single-minded dependence upon his providence. He nurtures in us, by experiences and trials, that clarity of mind that, instead of reacting with panic, turns automatically to trust in his care. He demonstrates that he continues to uphold his people as he has in the past, still fulfilling his promises—not that we should expect miracles, like those done by the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles, but that we must by all means know that he never fails to supply our needs and to equip us for his work in this world.

#confidence, #god, #providence


6-8-2015 Are You Double-Minded?

Prayers from a doubting heart don’t work. “For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7-8 NKJV). We cannot pray to God and doubt Him at the same time! “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14 NKJV). According to Acts 9:9, 11, Saul of Tarsus spent three days praying and fasting in blindness, but he had no confidence that he was saved until he was told to “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16 NKJV). In Acts 9:18, “he arose and was baptized.” Are you sure you’re saved?

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #confidence, #doubt, #fasting, #pray


(#87) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:26-Are You Sure?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:26: “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.”

“Fear of the LORD” is the attitude of giving reverence and respect to God in everything we do, because there is no “strong confidence” in being afraid. The “fear of the LORD” is the beginning of “knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) and “wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Other proverbs teach us that obeying God with admiration should be more important than amassing “great treasure” because “there is a hereafter:” “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble” (Proverbs 15:16); “Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17-18).

“Strong confidence” shows no fear, insecurity or doubt, and can get us to Heaven: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). When the Apostle Paul wrote to Philemon, he had “confidence in your obedience” (Philemon 21). This can only be said of those who “hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8), for baptism “now saves us” (1 Peter 3:21). No one should be confident of their own salvation unless and until they have followed exactly what the Scriptures teach! The central message of the Old Testament revolves around this thought: “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). It follows that: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19).

It is tragic when “strong confidence” is placed in humans, rather than in God! The people who run and hide from God have trusted in themselves without learning the “strong confidence” that comes to one who “walked with God,” like Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24) or Noah (Genesis 6:9). It is only in the church of Christ, that “we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Ephesians 3:10-12).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#admiration, #bible-study, #confidence, #fear-of-the-lord, #obedience, #proverbs, #respect, #reverence, #truth, #walked-with-god, #wisdom

Confidence in judgment

If we hold steadfastly to the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus Christ, who has himself passed into the heavens, we will follow also (Hebrews 3:1). We share with him a heavenly calling. The ESV puts it this way, “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.”

“Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession,” (Hebrews 4:14). If we are faithful to God as Jesus was, we will also pass through the heavens. But, we must hold fast our confession, our profession, of faith even until the last breath. Nothing else but complete faithfulness will do (Hebrews 10:23).

For this reason Jesus is called the “captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10). He is also called the author and finisher of our faith.” The word “captain” and the word “author” are identical in the original language of the New Testament. It is also the word “ruler.” Jesus goes before us, even as he passes through the heavens, to show us the way (John 14:6). If we hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, we shall follow Jesus even into heaven.

This is the confidence the writer of the book of Hebrews mentions so many times. It is the confidence the Apostle John mentioned in his book, that “we know that when he appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is,” (1 John 3:2 NASU).

This is the kind of confidence we see in every person who has followed Jesus.In my life, I’ve seen this confidence in my father, my mother, every faithful gospel preacher and every Christian. This is the confidence all of us must have if we want to see Jesus ourselves one day.

#confidence, #followers, #jesus-christ

Where is our confidence in the day of ju…

Where is our confidence in the day of judgment? (1 John 4:17). If we pattern our lives after Christ (1 John 2:3-6), we should have confidence in the day of judgment. The previous verse (1 John 4:16), tells us that we must continually “dwell” in God’s love in order to maintain that confidence.

That successful “dwelling” is also contingent upon our confessing Christ as God’s Son (1 John 4:15), and the keeping of God’s commands (1 John 3:24). Another criteria for our having confidence in the day of judgment is for us to maintain God’s standard of moral purity in ourselves and in our everyday living (1 John 3:2-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:13-16).

All of the above can only be achieved “through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

#command, #confidence, #continually, #day, #dwell, #judgment, #living, #love, #moral, #pattern, #purity

Your conduct must be free from the love …

Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6

#confidence, #hebrews, #scripture

A Home In Heaven

Christians are promised in the Word of God that their eternal destiny is to be with the Lord Jesus Christ forever (I Thes. 4:17). Wherever He is or goes, we will be with Him. We can know, in this life, that we are saved and have assurance of our salvation. Many, even some Christians do not have this assurance.

The song “I’ll Put Jesus First,” in verse 3 uses the words “I Know.” We can look forward to a time “when death is no more, when struggle is o’er.” Christians are “the ransomed and blest.” When we sing this song we are forever reminded of the redemption we have in Christ.

The last phrase of the verse says “For those who love Jesus and give Him their best.” Do you love Jesus? If so, you will want to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.” (I Peter 3:18). We prepare for the “home for the ransomed and blest,” in this life. Remember, we are saved by grace, thought faith, in baptism, for good works. We are not saved because we worked our way into Heaven; rather, we are working for the Lord Jesus because we are saved. Let’s live our Christian lives preparing for eternal life. If we want to grow in Jesus, He will equip us for service.

#confidence, #heaven, #redemption, #salvation