Learn How to Live a Victorious Christian Life and Seek the Heart of God
Victorious Christian Living Newsletter – December 2014
This issue includes:
1 Article From Me
Something to Think About
Interesting Bible Facts
A Powerful Story
Favorite Article from My Blog
Links to My Other Sites
Emptying Of Self Is Not Easy But Worth It
Emptied To Be Filled
Before the minister shall preach the word to thousands, he must be emptied and made to tremble under a sense of inability. Before the Sunday School teacher shall bring her girls to Christ, she shall be led to see how weak and insufficient she is. I do believe that whenever the Lord is about to use us in his household, he takes us like a dish and wipes us right out and sets us on the shelf, and then afterwards he takes us down and puts thereon his own heavenly meat, with which to fill the souls of others. There must as a rule be an emptying, a turning upside down, and a putting on one side, before the very greatest blessing comes. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon-
Every person in the Bible whom God used in a mighty way had to go through this “emptying of self.” God could then work through them using His Power to accomplish supernatural things.Moses felt that God wanted him to save Israel, so he tried to do it in his own way and power. Instead of being hailed as a hero, he had to run for his life and live in another country for many years. God hadn’t given up on him, but was “emptying him of self.” Moses probably had no idea how his leadership skills would be used, but God knew it would take a special man to lead Israel for what would be 40 years in the wilderness.
Moses would have never been strong enough to do it had God not been preparing him carefully during this special time. Moses may have thought of it as wasted time, but God was getting him prepared for the great thing he had been born to do. And what an awesome thing it was!
We will never be able to do anything in our own power that can create lasting change in the life of another person. And what’s the point, anyway?It’s a waste of time, energy, and resources to try to do something that is supernatural when you are not allowing God to work through you in a supernatural way.
Many times we think of being emptied as a terrible thing because we want to be busy doing good things. We look at doing “nothing” (or at least what we think of as doing nothing) as a huge waste of time and certainly just sitting there learning a lesson is something not many of us want to do.
I don’t mean that when we are doing “nothing” we are just sitting in a chair all day twiddling our thumbs waiting for God to move. It just means that God has told us to quit doing certain things and now we are waiting on Him to tell us what to do next.
It’s amazing how closely our identity can become connected to the things we do that make us feel fulfilled.
Then when we aren’t doing those things any more, we feel that we have lost our identity.
I used to tell myself, “I am not just doing nothing” because I had been waiting on Him for quite awhile to bring a certain thing to pass. I know that is not good English, but that’s what I felt like I was doing – nothing. I wanted to be busy doing something where I could see visible results and I’m ashamed to say that I wanted others to also see my visible results.
It’s hard to admit your pride, but God has a way of getting rid of it when you sit on a shelf for awhile. You start to see what has been hidden in your heart, and it usually isn’t very pretty.
I can truly say that I did not enjoy sitting on the shelf, but it allowed me to see myself more clearly. Eventually I was able to see that God had much greater plans than I ever imagined. They didn’t materialize in the way I had imagined, but in the end I knew God’s Way was much better.
I can truly say that I have grown and matured in Christ by sitting on the shelf, but that can’t happen if all you do is complain and concentrate on yourself and your predicament. You must see that God has a greater plan and this is what it will take for Him to carry it out.
You must concentrate on the fact that when you are taken down from the shelf, God will have cleansed your heart and filled it with Himself so that He can use you in the way He desires.
God wants your identity to be IN Him, not in the things you do FOR Him.
Something To Think About
Letting God Take Over
Suppose I try to run a store. I know nothing about it, I get the books mixed up, I do not know how to buy or sell, things are in a dreadful mess. I turn the whole business over to another to own and manage and I become only a clerk in the same store I used to run.
Mind you, I am as busy as ever but I have changed my responsibility. The care, the upkeep, the management, all that now is the owner’s concern; my part is just to be a faithful clerk.
This Christ life is simply turning the little shop of life, so woefully perplexing, over to another. Christ becomes owner, manager, overseer; his is the responsibility, the upkeep. Your part is to be a faithful clerk, steward of the grace of God.
And one day, if you have been faithful over a few things, he will give you a heavenly shop in the city of the King!
Interesting Bible Facts
( Revelation 1:9 ) a rugged and bare island in the Aegean Sea, 20 miles south of Samos and 24 west of Asia Minor. It was the scene of the banishment of St. John in the reign of Domitian, A.D. 95. Patmos is divided into two nearly equal parts, a northern and a southern, by a very narrow isthmus where, on the east side are the harbor and the town. On the hill to the south, crowning a commanding height, is the celebrated monastery which bears the name of “John the Divine.” Halfway up the descent is the cave or grotto where tradition says that St. John received the Revelation.
(Heb. chalil ). The Hebrew word so rendered is derived from a root signifying “to bore, perforate” and is represented with sufficient correctness by the English “pipe” or “flute,” as in the margin of 1 Kings 1:40.
The pipe was the type of perforated wind instruments, as the harp was of stringed instruments. It was made of reed, bronze or copper. It is one of the simplest, and therefore probably one of the oldest, of musical Instruments. It is associated with the tabret as an instrument of a peaceful and social character. The pipe and tabret were used at the banquets of the Hebrews, and accompanied the simpler religious services when the young prophets, returning from the high place, caught their inspiration from the harmony, or the pilgrims, on their way to the great festivals of their ritual, beguiled the weariness of the march with psalms sung to the simple music of the pipe.
The sound of the pipe was apparently a soft wailing note, which made it appropriate to be used in mourning and at funerals ( Matthew 9:23 ) and in the lament of the prophet over the destruction of Moab. ( Jeremiah 48:36 ) It was even used in the temple choir, as appears from ( Psalms 87:7 )
In later times the funeral and death-bed were never without the professional pipers or flute-players, ( Matthew 9:23 ) a custom which still exists. In the social and festive life of the Egyptians the pipe played as prominent a part as among the Hebrews.
a piece of ground which, according to the statement of St. Matthew, ( Matthew 27:7 ) was purchased by the Priests with the thirty pieces of silver rejected by Judas, and converted into a burial-place for Jews not belonging to the city.
(Taken from Smith’s Bible Dictionary)
A Powerful Story
The First Noel
The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay tending their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.
-Traditional English Carol-
This traditional English Christmas carol dates from the 14th Century – the early dawn of the Renaissance. In those days, after centuries of religious repression, people had begun to dance again.
To “carol” originally meant to dance a carol. These were festive circle dances accompanied by singing. So later, “carol” meant both to sing and dance a carol. Eventually, to “carol” meant merely to sing a carol.
Did you ever wonder what a Noël is and why the word appears only at Christmastime?
Noël means birth.
The English borrowed the word from the French, who adapted it from Latin. Noël is always capitalized because it signifies one particular birth – that of Jesus Christ. And so we sing this ancient, festive carol about the first Noël.
Human history includes untold billions of births. But the refrain of this old carol recognizes only one.
When singing Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël, we proclaim:
Birth, Birth, Birth, Birth,
The King of Israel has been born!
The birth of Jesus – it was the incarnation of God, the entrance of the Creator into the creation. What a birth this is! It is indeed one-of-a-kind and so deserves a word to be reserved for it only: Noël!
The gospel describes the Noël like this:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. John 1: 1,14,16
This is something to celebrate every day:
Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël!
(Taken from The Carols We Love – The Story Behind The Story)
My Favorite Blog Post For The Month
The Impossible – When Was The Last Time You Expected God To Do It?
Do you expect God to do the impossible like the four men in the verses below?
Mar 2:1 And when he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was noised that he was in the house.
Mar 2:2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, no, not even about the door: and he spake the word unto them.
Mar 2:3 And they come, bringing unto him a man sick of the palsy, borne of four.
Mar 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed whereon the sick of the palsy lay.
Mar 2:5 And Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven. American Standard Version
It seems that Jesus had come into Capernaum quietly, but someone saw Him and started to spread the word about his arrival. The word “noised” in Greek means to hear, be reported, understand.
- The people loved Jesus because they saw that He was real,
- He was doing something that was real,
- and people always want to be around something or somebody that is real.
The word had spread quickly and the people had come to the place He was staying. So many had come that there was no more room for anyone else to get inside. They wanted to hear Jesus teach about this new way of life that could be theirs, and they were starting to believe He could truly do the impossible.
The sick man in verse 3 had four friends who obviously cared a great deal about him. It took them longer to get to the house where Jesus was staying because they had to pick up their paralyzed friend and physically carry him there. I’m sure it took all four of them working together to get this accomplished, and the added fact that they somehow lifted him up to the roof to gain access to Jesus shows how desperate they were for their friend to be healed.
The roofs in those days were definitely not as sturdy as ours today, but it still wouldn’t have been easy to tear off the top of the roof and then slowly let down a grown but paralyzed man into the room.
BUT…the men brought their friend to Jesus because they had the faith that he could be healed. They obviously had no doubt that if they could get him there Jesus would do the “impossible” and supernaturally heal him.
The Bible mentions nothing about the sick man’s faith. It only talks about the faith of the four men. We don’t know if the sick man asked them to take him to Jesus, or if it was their idea alone.
But the Bible does say that when Jesus saw THEIR faith, he immediately healed their friend. They would not let anything get in the way of receiving healing for him, even removing the roof.
Have you lost your sense of urgency to pray for miracles in the lives of those around you – those who desperately need a touch from God?
Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible. -C T Studd-
- When was the last time you truly expected God to do the impossible in your life?
- When was the last time you stepped out on faith to do something that you knew God told you to do but you could not do it in your own power?
- When was the last time you stepped out on faith so far that if God didn’t come through the situation was hopeless? You were in an impossible situation that only God could handle?
- But under no circumstances should you put your OWN plans into action and expect God to bless them.
- YOU MUST get before God, ask Him what you need to do, and step out in faith to do it even though you might not be able to see the end result. AND another reminder…you won’t be able to do this thing in your own power.
God has all the power you will need and He can always see the road ahead. He wants you to trust Him to show you the next step.
I am definitely not saying this is an easy way to live. We as humans usually desire to be in control of our own destiny, even though that is never really the case.
But if you decide to be a “grabber of the impossible” I can promise that life won’t be boring or mundane. You will start to see a supernatural God at work in your life. Nothing on earth can compare to the rush of adrenaline you feel when you have allowed God to use you supernaturally to bring glory to Him.
What an awesome way to live each day to the fullest!
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That’s it for this newsletter. May God bless you as you strive to live for Him and walk in obedience to what He desires!