Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 10, 2013
One of the Great Gifts God Gives Us in Friends
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, what is the difference in the Bible between situations that call for turning the other cheek and situations that call for being on the attack?
ANSWER: Remember, it was Jesus who denounced the Pharisees who attacked Him, and objected when He was struck by one of the officers of the high priest. Further, He advised His disciples to take measures to defend themselves. Similarly, the apostle Paul aggressively defended himself against his enemies.What Jesus asks of His followers is not passivity, but surrender of the right to personal revenge. Rather than getting even, we should be willing to go to the opposite extreme. We need to understand that vengeance isn't ours, but the Lord's. We are called to love a sinner while confronting his sin, but when we seek vengeance we are motivated by hatred-a desire to make someone suffer for what they have done to us. If we take "turning the other cheek" literally at all times, we would have to let everyone take advantage of us. Turning the other cheek would become an encouragement for evil. This isn't what Jesus had in mind. By asking them to turn the other cheek, Jesus meant that His disciples should be motivated by love and a desire for the redemption and forgiveness of offenders-even when opposing their actions.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
One of the great gifts God gives us in this life is friends, those who we share this journey with. God never intended us to go through this life alone. He will always bring people into our life to stand with us, be there for us in our time of need, and give us the opportunity to be there for them as well. It is no accident or coincidence that for this season of our lives God has brought our lives together.
One of the great blessings in my life during these past 168+ months of Liveprayer has been the friends from all over the world God has brought into my life. I am honored to be able to call you my friend. It is a great a joy that I look forward to each day to bring God's Truth into your life and to be here for you and your family in your time of need. As my friend, let me do something a little different today and share some of my intimate thoughts with you. There is no particular order to these thoughts, just several things on my heart today I want to share with you and have you pray about.
....Saturday 8/31 Liveprayer was 14 yrs old. I have to admit it has been the most challenging 14 yrs. of my life. As you may know from my testimony ( http://www.weeklyplanet.com/2003-12-04/cover.html ), I have been through much in my life. However, these past 168+ months have been by far been the most challenging to my faith in every way possible. I pray for God to give me more faith each day.
....my passion is souls. Knowing people are dying and going to hell makes me so sad, especially because they don't have to. I pray that God will give me the right words and the platform to help the lost understand how much Jesus loves them and that He has already paid for their sins, that if they will simply give their life to Him they can know the peace and joy and abundance of this life now and spend all eternity with the Lord!
....I fight daily to not get distracted and to maintain that close, intimate personal relationship I enjoy with the Lord. I never forget that whatever I do in my life flows from that relationship. In order for me to pour into millions of lives each day, to effectively minister to the needs of those God calls me to minister to, I have to work hard to stay close to the Lord and operate in His wisdom and power. I pray to operate each day in the Spirit and not the flesh.
....I have been tempted many times in the past 168= months to give up on Liveprayer. I realize that his thought is straight from the pits of hell itself. The Holy Spirit constantly reminds me that this is not my life, that I have surrendered my life to the Lord and it belongs to Him. I pray to surrender my life and die to self daily.
....My heart breaks each day as I read the emails that we receive. The pain, the heartache, the incredible obstacles so many face in their lives each day. It makes me more determined than ever to expand the outreach of Liveprayer to be that beacon of light in the darkness of this world, to bring the hope and love of Jesus to the hurting and lost. I pray for God to continue to use Liveprayer as a vessel of His Truth and love to those who need hope.
....While the challenges of Liveprayer have been incredible, the rewards have been equally incredible! The salvation reports, over 700,000 that we know of, the praise reports, over 7 millions archived, each day are so encouraging. Each person is literally a living testimony to the awesome power and love of God for His children. I pray God continues to bless Liveprayer with much fruit as we faithfully serve Him.
....I never forget that "without Him I can do nothing!" I pray I never will.
....I look forward with great anticipation to each day. One reason I don't sleep much is because I don't want to miss anything! My daily interaction with you, my friends, make my life so complete. I never take for granted the wonderful opportunity God has given me to minister to you and to stand with you during the good times in your life as well as those difficult times. I pray God blesses me with many more years to share His Truth and love with you.
I love you and care about you SO MUCH!!! YOU make all that I am able to do each day for over 2.4 million people worldwide possible, and having impacted tens of millions of lives worldwide through the years. It is YOUR love, YOUR prayers, and YOUR support that enables me to do what God has called me to do with my life. While I may be the "face" of Liveprayer, YOU are the heart of this work of God. I look forward to a great reunion one day in Glory of all the Liveprayer family!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,