Words of Wisdom May 31, 2020

Memory Verse
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44).
Words Of Wisdom
God’s desire for all of His children is for them to not only refrain
from hating others but to show love to them as well. The
Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the ones who taught people to love
their neighbors (= Jews) and to hate their enemies (= non-Jews).
But they didn’t get this from the Bible but from their own
corrupt minds. Jesus taught us to love (treat others as He would)
both our neighbors AND our enemies. Since God loves His
enemies, we should as well. If we don’t, we really aren’t any
better than the dregs of society.

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Words of Wisdom May 24

Memory Verse
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And
we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16
Words Of Wisdom
In the Grace New Testament Commentary, Zane Hodges writes:
Christian love can be recognized by its conformity to the
supreme model found in Christ’s death for us. Although Christ
died for the entire world (2:2), when a believer considers his
own obligation to love he should focus on the fact that it was for
him that Christ died. As the personal beneficiaries of His great
sacrifice, believers should be prepared to make a similar sacrifice
for the brethren.” This reminds us of “ whatever you do for the
least of these, you do for Me” (See Matt 25:31-46).

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Words of Wisdom May 17, 2020

Memory Verse
“And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal
life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice
together” (John 4:36).
Words Of Wisdom
In the matter of winning others to Christ, Jesus promised His
people that He would pay them for the work they do for Him
regardless of the part they had in it (sowing or reaping). We
“sow” when we say or do things that help a person understand
the message of eternal life. We “reap” when God has worked
through the Scripture we have sowed in others and it is both
understood AND believed. When that happens, fruit is gathered
“for eternal life,” in other words, someone has been gathered
into the family of God forever because of your efforts. And the
result is not only eternal rewards (“wages”) but exuberant joy as
well: “both he who sows and … reaps … rejoice together!” Even
though this is, in the end, due to the power and work of the Holy
Spirit, Jesus still wants us to know that we had an important part
in it and that we will be wonderfully repaid for our efforts!
“What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see!”

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Words Of Wisdom May 10, 2020

Memory Verse
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those
who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as
keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to
do them (Psalm 103:17–18).
Words Of Wisdom
Regarding verses 13-18 of Psalm 103, theologian Allen Ross
declares: “In these verses David wrote that though man’s life is
transitory, he is established by the Lord’s covenant [= the Mosaic
covenant]. The LORD has compassion (cf. vv. 4, 8) on His frail
people (v. 13) for He knows how frail the nature of man is (vv.
14–16). Man is made of insignificant dust (cf. Gen. 2:7) and his
life is brief like the grass (cf. Pss. 37:2; 90:5; 102:4, 11; Isa. 40:6–
8) and wild flowers. Nevertheless from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD‘s covenant love [“mercy” NKJV] (cf. Ps. 103:4, 8, 11) is
with those who obey Him. Here again (cf. 102:24–27) the
eternality of the Lord is seen as a comfort for frail human beings.
Man’s hope is not in other fragile creatures, but in the eternal
God.”

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Daily Devotion 5-2

Since fear…
disregards God’s plan, 
distorts God’s purposes,
discourages God’s people, 
disbelieves God’s promises, and
disobeys God’s principles…
…how do you slay the giant of fear?
1. Confront Your Fear Honestly
You may long for your fear to simply vanish or wear off, but it isn’t going anywhere—not on its own. If you want to defeat it, you must be like David: Gather up your stones and advance boldly!
 
2. Confess Your Fear As Sin
We’ve already seen that fear boils down to disobedience. God says, “Fear not.” But we fear; we’re therefore in sin. We need to confess it and then take the steps that lead to victory: “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). To walk with God is to walk fearlessly.
 
3. Claim God’s Promises of Protection
Many verses: Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 118:6; Proverbs 3:25–26; Proverbs 29:25
My favorite: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
 
4. Cultivate a Closer Relationship with God
Two of the twelve spies did not fear. It is interesting that the Bible says of those two: “For they have wholly followed the Lord” (Numbers 32:12).
Your fear level is ultimately a referendum on the closeness of your friendship with God. It’s a spiritual yardstick. 
“We fear men so much because we fear God so little” —William Gurnall
Walk forward for God BY FAITH in Him, and not in fear!!!!!!!!!!

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Words Of Wisdom May 3, 2020

Memory Verse
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will
have a place of refuge (Proverbs 14:26).
Words Of Wisdom
Dr. Sid Buzzell commented on Proverbs 14:26 and 27. He noted:”These two verses are linked together as both refer to the fear of the LORD … In 14:26 fearing Him provides security (cf. v. 32) and protection against a life of ruin for believers and also for their children who are influenced by their godly parents to fear God. In verse 27 fearing the LORD is a fountain of life (cf. 10:11; 13:14;
16:22), that is, one’s fear of the Lord assures longevity (cf. 3:2, 16; 9:10–11; 10:27; 15:24) for it protects from the snares of death (cf. 10:2b; 11:4b; 13:14b).” Fear of God is reverential respect and
awe. With a God like ours, we can “trust and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12:2)!

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Daily Devotion 5-1

FEAR:  DISPLEASING TO GOD … DESTRUCTIVE TO OUR LIVES
(PART 5)
We have seen that fear is displeasing to God and destructive to our lives because it:
 
  1. disregards God’s plan, 
  2. distorts God’s purposes,
  3. discourages God’s people, 
  4. disbelieves God’s promises.
The fifth effect of fear is this:
5. Fear Disobeys God’s Principles
Deuteronomy 1:26 says: “‘Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God.’”
It’s not easy for us to hear this, but the truth is: Fear is disobedience, plain and simple. How can fear be anything other than disobedience to God, when He has given us everything we need to walk in faith?
He tells us “Do not fear” over and over throughout Scripture.
The next time you find yourself overcome by fear, remember—along with all of God’s other promises and assurances—to dwell in fear is to live in sin.
Because of fear, God’s people wandered in the desert for 40 years. And the same is true today. Many of God’s people live in fear and never enter the promised land of the abundant Christian life.
So what do we do to slay the giant of fear?
Find out tomorrow!
(to be continued)

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Daily Devotion 4-30

FEAR:  DISPLEASING TO GOD … DESTRUCTIVE TO OUR LIVES
(PART 4)
We have seen that fear is displeasing to God and destructive to our lives because it disregards God’s plan, distorts God’s purposes, and discourages God’s people.
The fourth effect of fear is this:
4. Fear Disbelieves God’s Promises
“Then I [Moses] said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet, for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God, who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day.” (Deuteronomy 1:29–33)
After all God had done for His people, they should be saying—“God will do what He said…”—they had 40 years to learn about how awesome God was. 
After learning comes testing—and Israel flunked this test big time.
They witnessed God’s works in the past, saw His presence in the present (cloud by day, fire by night), and possessed His promises concerning the future, but they shrunk back in fear. They didn’t believe God’s Word.
Fear disbelieves God’s promises.
And God has clearly told us: “… it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Will you take God at His word?
Tomorrow, we will consider our final lesson:
5. Fear Disobeys God’s Principles
(to be continued)

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Daily Devotion 4-29

FEAR:  DISPLEASING TO GOD … DESTRUCTIVE TO OUR LIVES
(PART 3)
 We have seen that fear is displeasing to God and destructive to our lives because it disregards God’s plan and distorts God’s purposes.
The third effect of fear is this:
3. Fear Discourages God’s people
Discourage, means to take away courage. 
When the spies returned from their journey, they brought a giant back with them—one much more terrible than the mere men they had seen—the giant of fear—And that giant moved through their camp and crushed the faith and courage of an entire nation. Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.” (Deuteronomy 1:28) A spirit of fear has terrible results. Ten fearful men + a bad report = forty years of misery.
When you are fearful, you will discourage those around you.
Tomorrow, we will consider our next lesson:
4. Fear Disbelieves God’s Promises

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Daily Devotion 4-28

FEAR:  DISPLEASING TO GOD … DESTRUCTIVE TO OUR LIVES
(PART 2)
 Yesterday, we saw that fear is displeasing to God and destructive to our lives because it disregards God’s plan.
2. Fear Distorts God’s Purposes
Fear does another very predictable thing: It distorts our outlook. Fear robs us of our perspective. Listen to Moses as he summarizes the attitudes of God’s people. Look at verse 27 of Deut 1: “And you murmured in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us’” (Deuteronomy 1:27).
Think about all God had done for His people the previous 40 years:
—He delivered them from slavery.
—He fed them and clothed them in the wilderness.
—He gave them a new outlook on life through His law.
—And now, He is offering them real estate—a land flowing with milk and honey.
And what do His people say? Full of fear, they say: “God hates us! He brought us all the way out here just so the giants can kill us!”
 
Fear does that to us, doesn’t it? We don’t see things clearly. In Numbers 13:32–33, the spies (full of fear) return and say to the rest of God’s people: The land “devours its inhabitants—we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
When we fear, we lose perspective. We no longer believe: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
Fear distorts the way we see God. When we allow fear to rule our lives, God is seen as a cosmic giant who is out to make us miserable. Instead of focusing on all of the wonderful plans He has for us in life, we focus on our distorted perception of them.
 
Tomorrow, we will consider our next lesson:
3. Fear Discourages God’s People
(to be continued)

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