Daily Devotional for Sunday July 22, 2012
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, Sometimes I wonder how you do it. You dish out an unpopular message to the world and you take abuse for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don't you ever get tempted to soften the message in hopes of getting less persecution? And fitting in to the world with a weak, comfy Christian message?
ANSWER: This is a question I get every day. The answer surprisingly is NO! No sane person enjoys being persecuted, or taking the slings and arrows. No sane person would want to have 8-10 death threats a month as I have for over 10 years now. However, there IS a price to serving the Lord. Part of that price is to be persecuted, mocked, laughed at, and scorned. However, that is a small price to pay considering that Jesus went to the cross to pay for my sins, your sins, and the sins of all mankind! Softening the message is NOT an option, since like each of us, I will die one day and stand before God. I want that to be a great experience, and my life is dedicated to hearing His words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant!"
Fear not. As I was in prayer this morning about what God would have me say to you today, He brought this powerful verse from the book of Isaiah into my mind and told me that many of you today needed to be encouraged and reassured that God had not left you.
The Bible promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Let me say it this way, God has NEVER left you, although you may have left Him. How can you fear anything...any person, any situation, any circumstance, when God is there with you? But the promise of this verse just doesn't end with His presence.
To me, the power in the verse is His promise to help us. Every morning, when I look into the mirror in my bathroom, the first thing I see is a Bible verse from John that simply says, "Without me you can do nothing." I never want to start the day trusting in my own strength or wisdom, but trying to rely on what God provides.
It is such a comfort to know that God is with me and that He is helping me. That is why I have such confidence, even in the face of what appears to be overwhelming odds. God is with me, He is helping me, and the Bible says that if He is with me, who can be against me! That promise also applies to you!!!!
I want you to put this truth in your heart and mind, and start living a confident, victorious life..NOW!!! There is no better time than now to put God to the test. If he said it, believe it, and live it. When you are driving down the freeway at 60 MPH and there are cars all around you going just as fast or even faster, you are trusting those other drivers literally with your life. When you get on an airplane, you are trusting the pilot to get you up and down safely. There are so many times each day that you are putting your faith in trust in people you don't even know.
If you are willing to blindly trust total strangers every day, why not put your trust in the God of the universe, the God who loved you so much He sent His son to die for your sins, the God that not only promises to never leave you, but help you.???
I love you and care for you deeply. I want to see you rise above whatever the situations in your life may be, live that victorious life. Not only do you than become a living testimony of God's power, but you are then free to serve Him without being so distracted by the events in your life. Overcoming the hurdles in your life gives you the freedom to help others overcome their hurdles.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,