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Posts Tagged ‘1 John 5:4-5’

A Confident Life

October 10th, 2014

“The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NIV.

Confidence is from your conviction of truth rather than your translation of current events.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a confident life.”

Daily life without confidence is tougher than life is meant to be. But confidence can be misplaced. Job searched his heart, “Have I put my trust in money or felt secure because of my gold? Does my happiness depend on my wealth and all that I own? . . If so . . it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.” Job 31:24-28 NLT. Job had it right. Confidence that rests on anything less than God’s Word and character is insubstantial and ultimately unreliable.

Confidence may dissipate when unmanageable and unchangeable situations raise doubts and instill fears. Confidence is not an easy thing to have in the kind of world that struggles against God. Civility and common courtesy are fairly uncommon in an, “every man for himself world.” Entertainment assaults sensitivities with coarse language and violent, sexual, or aberrant improprieties. Negative political ads malign the character and intent of opponents irresponsibly, slinging accusations without liability. To the point of dismay, headlines blare reports of governmental waste, incompetence, and brazen lack of accountability.

Crime and uncaring brutality offend normal sensitivities. Deadly health crises from the other side of the globe land callously intrude our cities, neighborhoods, and homes. In a global economy, one country’s financial recklessness impacts the affairs of other nations. With brutality, terrorists murder innocents without regard for the sanctity of human life. Confidence is hard to come by in such harsh realities.

Don’t look around; you can’t find confidence there. Look up; God is there. Then look inside; God is there too. In this truth, you can be confident, “The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NLT. Meditate on that. God lives in you; that indicates permanence. God is greater than all others; that provides security. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5 NKJV.

When the Bible speaks of “the world” it is rarely referring to geography. Biblically, “the world is a system of unbelief and misbelief,” a system lacking God as its center or focus. You are warned to avoid the world system, but not to fear it. “Do not love the world or anything in the world . . The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Read 1 John 2:15-17 NIV.

When faced with Sennacherib, the Assyrian King and his plundering army, Hezekiah, the Godly King of Judah encouraged the nation, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” 2 Chronicles 32:7-8 NIV. When you face difficult places, people, or situations, remember the Almighty God is with you; His Spirit abides within you. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV.

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength . . The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 30:15 NKJV/32:17-18 NIV. That is what a confident life looks like.

Today, my prayer for you is to be assured of the omnipotence and faithfulness of God.

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Simple Faith

March 17th, 2014

“Your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 NLT.

The truest expression of your faith is obedience.

My thoughts and comments today are about “simple faith.”

By some, faith is considered intangible, maybe less than real somehow. According to the Bible, faith is tangible, and very real. It touches God; it releases God’s power to accomplish what He wills to do. Real faith is simple, not complicated. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV.  Substance and evidence are tangible. And those are what faith produces. Jesus observed of some, “You have little faith,” and asked others, “Where is your faith?” Matthew 8:26/Luke 8:25. Faith is essential for God to work as He wills.

God looks for faith where He desires to work powerfully. It is not a question of whether or not you have faith. “God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:33 NASB. Everyone has and expresses faith daily in the most ordinary and common ways. The issue is, do you have faith in God and His Word? Peter, who had a few struggles of his own, later wrote, “Through Christ, you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead . . your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 NLT. Faith is confidently placed upon the truth and power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If your faith is placed in someone or something that can change, your faith is misplaced and will fail. Your assurance can be that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8 NIV.

Jesus warned people who build their life “on sand” the instability of opinions that change, easily affected by circumstances. Read Matthew 7:24-27 NIV. The result is disastrous, leaving in shambles everything that person works to achieve. Jesus compared that to hearing the Word of God, but not building your life upon its sure and strong foundation. The Bible teaches, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing [comes] by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV. Be diligent; give time each day for God’s Word. It is essential to a living and growing faith.

You have faith; God has given you faith. Trusting God does not take a lot of faith, just all the faith you have. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed . . nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:20 NIV. See also Matthew 13:31-32 NIV. Your faith can lay dormant and unused, or can be active and applied. You choose. Real faith is believing that in any situation God will do what He said He would do when you rest all your faith in His character and Word.

Obedience is the truest expression of your faith. “[Abraham] was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did – by his actions.” James 2:22 NLT. Obedience, to simply do what God says, is the simple expression of faith. Faith cannot be described more clear or sure than this, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4-5 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that God finds confident faith in your heart.

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Overwhelming Victory

September 21st, 2012

“This is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” 1 John 5:4 NKJV

Jesus’ victory removes the illusion of this world’s invincibility.

My thoughts and comments today are about “overwhelming victory.”

The world is not always an easy place to live. Temptations, trouble, threats, terror, and so much more are challenging for any sane, reality-loving person. Jesus spoke of “tribulation and persecution,” troublesome circumstances and trying people. See Matthew 13:18-23 NKJV. Both are troubling and you will most likely experience a bit of both from time to time. But there is good news, very good news. The Psalmist knew of such times, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to that Rock that is higher than I. You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy . .” Read Psalm 61:2-4 NKJV. In an overwhelming world at times, there is a place of overwhelming victory all the time.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but whoever believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5 NKJV. Between whatever happens and whoever believes is where your faith and His victory must connect. The problem is simple: your faith does not offer an exemption from common trials and trouble. The promise is also simple: steadfast in Christ Jesus, you can overcome every opposition and hindrance. If the process were simple and easy to do on your own, it would be called “getting by” rather than overcoming. I find the words of Jesus encouraging, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV. Jesus’ own victory is the precursor and promise of your own.

When you understand that, every trouble is less fearsome. Jesus’ past and present victory removes the illusion of this world’s invincibility. God’s ultimate triumph over all that opposes His will and purpose is beyond question. “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14 NKJV.  Called, chosen, and faithful! The battle is His; the victory is ours. “Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ . .” 2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV.

When a once triumphant foe is soundly defeated and publicly shamed, his further boasts and bravado are nothing more than empty sound and fury. Paul writes of this public humiliation, “Having wiped out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us. [Jesus] has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to His cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:14-15 NKJV. The enemy of your soul and life is persuasively disarmed, publicly disgraced, and permanently defeated.

In his pastoral letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul catalogues the full range of human experience, both good and bad (See Romans 8:38-39 NIV), and concludes, “Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, Who loved us . . [nothing] will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37 NLT. Overwhelming victory is yours.

My prayer for you today is that you walk in Christ’s victory with courage.

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