Proverbs 13:17-19 We talked about faithfulness yesterday and how it is the Lord who enables us to remain faithful (full of faith). This proverb speaks of the faithful ambassador. Verse 17 says, "A faithful ambassador brings health." We are all called to be ambassadors for Christ. We are passing through a foreign land because as believers we have a new citizenship in heaven. When we are faithful in our role as ambassadors for Christ, we will bring health to others. There are many sick souls on this earth who are wanting healing. Only the ambassador for Christ can introduce these sick souls to the great physician Jesus who can heal every sin-sick soul. He is the healing balm that is poured upon the soul.
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Psalm 89:1-13 One of my favorite hymns is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." We sang this at my oldest son's wedding. As we sang this song, I thought of how faithful the Lord was in hearing and answering my prayers for wives for my sons. For years I prayed two things for my future daughters-in-law. I prayed they would first love the Lord with all of their heart, and second, they would simply adore my sons. After many years of waiting, I saw all three sons married in a nine-month period of time to the most wonderful young Christian ladies. They are just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.
Proverbs 13:12-14 Hope is the expression of something good. Have you ever heard someone say, "I'm hoping for the bad"? Hope is the substance of faith. Faith is not a wispy substance that floats in the air. By faith the children of Israel walked on water across the Jordan. The moment the first priest put his foot in the water, the water held him up. Jesus walked on water. Peter walked on water. How were they able to do these mighty miracles? They were walking on a very real substance called faith. Faith solidifies everything that would ordinarily drown us—the circumstances of life, the trials and tribulations we encounter when God tests us or Satan tempts us.
Luke 19:1-27 One of my favorite songs I sing to children is "Zacchaeus." It goes like this: "Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in the sycamore tree, the Lord he wanted to see. And when the Lord came passing by He looked up in the tree and said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down. For I'm going to your house today. I'm going to your house today.'" This passage tells us that Zacchaeus made haste and came down from the tree and received Jesus joyfully. Jesus was on His way to have lunch with Zacchaeus, and those around began to complain because He was going to the home of a sinner. Jesus says, "This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (vv. 9-10, KJV).
Luke 18:18-43 Salvation is a gift from God. We cannot earn it, and we do not deserve it. Everyone needs to know about this priceless gift, which includes forgiveness of sins and love that lead us into wholeness in this life. The question is, "Who then can be saved?" Anyone who comes to Jesus because the Father has drawn him can be saved.
Joshua 13:1-14:15 Caleb was forty years old when Moses sent Joshua, him and others to spy out the land of Canaan. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who came back with a good report and were the only two adult men who survived the wilderness experience for forty years. They survived because they were men of faith. God honored their faith by granting them the privilege of entering into the Promised Land. Without faith it is impossible to please God, and nothing pleases God more than to see a man of faith. Caleb was a great man of faith.
Luke 17:11-37 Thanks seems to be a word that is used less and less in this culture. People seem to expect to be served, and it doesn't cross their minds to thank the person serving them. This passage in Luke tells the story of ten lepers who were cleansed by Jesus. Only one returned to thank Jesus for healing him. Jesus asked where the other nine were, and then He told the leper who thanked Him that his faith had made him whole. Did something else occur when this leper gave thanks to Jesus? Wasn't he already made whole when Jesus healed the ten lepers?
Luke 16:19-17:10 I had a frightening dream one night, and it changed my life. In the dream I saw masses of blindfolded people walking off a cliff into a fiery ravine. Then I saw Jesus standing close by. I cried out, "Jesus, stop them, stop them!! They are perishing." Then I heard Jesus say, "I cannot stop them. I am in My resurrected form in heaven, but you as the church are My body on earth. On earth My spirit indwells you and desires to use the vessel of your body to do My will. You are My hands, eyes, mouth and feet on earth, and for the Holy Spirit to do His work, you must submit your body to be used by Him. Unless you use your own voice to warn these people, they will all perish."
Proverbs 13:2-3 We learned earlier that a man is satisfied by the fruit of his lips. Today's proverb conveys this same thought when it says, "A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth." Then this proverb adds a special exhortation "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction."
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