Divine Nature

About Life and Love

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Can A Believer Lose Their Salvation?

Michael Pearl answers: Do souls suffer in hell for eternity? Bible Quest...

If God knew Satan would rebel, why did He create him?

Seven Ways Jesus is Better

As we learn in the book of Hebrews, Jesus offers us better hope, better promises and more.

Written by GodLife on 20/08/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Jesus, Better, Hebrews
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.

Hebrews 6:9
What was the point of Jesus coming to our sinful world? And how did He accomplish everything we needed in order to be reconciled to God?

We get answers to these questions in the book of Hebrews. And it starts in Hebrews 6:9 — “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.”

What are these better things, though?

Better hope – “For the law made nothing perfect; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19)
Jesus is first introduced as a better hope in Hebrews 7:19. He is compared to the law, which ‘made nothing perfect,’ but he, the better hope, is the way in which we can draw near to God. His priesthood, as opposed to the priests of the Old Testament, gives us the ability to be made perfect, through His death and resurrection (not by our own works).
Better covenant – “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” (Hebrews 7:22)
The first covenant, which came with the law, could not be perfectly upheld, because the priests and followers were themselves not perfect. But Jesus can save the ‘uttermost’ (Hebrews 7:25) because of His perfection and sacrificial death and resurrection. The covenant that included the law was good but ultimately impossible to uphold, but the new covenant (1 Corinthians 11:25) is perfect because God Himself (Jesus) fulfills every requirement.
Better promises – “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”  (Hebrews 8:6)
We are also told in Hebrews that this new, better covenant was ‘enacted on better promises.’ What does this mean? Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 37:26-28 both show that within the Old Testament was the expectation of another covenant. This new covenant promised that He would “write his law on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33), all His people would know Him and He would no longer remember their sins against them (Jeremiah 31:34), it would be “everlasting” (Ezekiel 37:26), and He would live among His people (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Better sacrifice – “For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
Jesus died after living a perfect life, which allows His death to stand once and for all as a saving sacrifice. Before, in the old covenant, there was a requirement for spotless animals to be sacrificed over and over again, with no end in sight. But Jesus’ perfect sacrifice allows us to rest in His finished work.
Better possession – “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” (Hebrews 10:34)
Our possession — which is eternal life through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection — is infinitely more valuable than any possessions we could have on Earth. In this verse, the writer of Hebrews is saying that nothing in this world is worth giving up the possession we have of eternal life in Jesus. The writer calls it ‘lasting.’
Better country – "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:16)
Does this mean that Jesus gives us a great country here on Earth? No! We receive a heavenly country in the future. Jesus offers us a perfect community — though the church is not perfect here on Earth — in heaven to look forward to.
Better resurrection – “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.” (Hebrews 11:35)
This whole chapter is really God’s definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6). It reads like the evidence log of God’s courtroom, into which He has entered men and women who trusted Him enough to overcome the world by their faith (1 John 5:4). Several of them seemed to supernaturally know details that would only be revealed in the New Testament. In the case of the martyrs this chapter mentions, it seems God has revealed the message of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 to them: they looked forward to work that would survive the fire of testing.
Jesus is the ‘something better’ that we are all looking for. If you want to learn more about Jesus, including the miracles He performed, the prophecies He fulfilled and more, visit our sister site: somethingbetter.us.

Pray this week:
Lord, show me how to trust you to be the perfect sacrifice for me. Thank you so much that you have done what I could not — follow the law perfectly — and then be sentenced to death for my sins. I praise you for your resurrection, Jesus, and for how your work on the cross and in the grave has saved me from destruction. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Do you act as if you can earn your salvation outside of the work Jesus did on your behalf? What does Hebrews tell you that goes against that thought?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Assembling Together

Who has God linked me with?

Series: 30 Day Next Steps

…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.

Hebrews 10:25
Next to nurturing a close personal relationship with the Lord, make it an ongoing priority to join with other followers of Jesus.

Groups of believers, or “churches,” come in many packages. They range from small clusters who gather secretly in regions where such practices are forbidden, to “mega-churches” of tens of thousands of Christians. Vital churches that are healthy, vibrant and strategic are central to God’s purposes for these days.

Look for a church that reflects patterns and practices followed by New Testament gatherings as described in Acts 2:42. Four components fueled their rapid growth and stunning impact:

Teaching kept them rooted in “sound doctrine.”
Fellowship kindled friendship, worship, mutual encouragement and boldness.
Breaking bread meant having meals together in homes.
Prayers reflected their dependence on God for wisdom, guidance and strength.
What is your next step for Christian fellowship? You can ask God to bring you together with His choice of individuals and groups. Size isn’t important, but sound doctrine and teaching are.

Be open to unconventional approaches. For many years our family met in homes with several other families. Our children loved these gatherings, structured around the approach of the early church described above. Today, throughout the world, many new churches are forming to meet the wide-ranging needs of new and maturing believers. One might be just right for you.

People close to God and people far from God watch your life. What do they see? How are you reflecting Jesus?

Monday, August 19, 2019

How to Live in Harmony With Fellow Believers

What makes for healthy fellowship?

Written by Ray Stedman on 13/08/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Fellowship, Love, Power, Forgive
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts 2:42
The early church learned to love each other in Christ.  People who had once been strangers to each other now had a sense of community and of Christ’s life flowing through them.  Do you feel more grief than life in your local fellowship?  Find out how life can begin to flow through your local fellowship.

Devoted to fellowship
One of the things the young church devoted themselves to was fellowship. Fellowship means holding all things in common — in other words, sharing together. They began to know and to love one another. Here were 3,000 people suddenly added to a little band of 20. Most of them probably were strangers before. Many of them had come from other parts of the world into Jerusalem for that occasion. They did not know each other. But now they were one in Christ, and they began to love each other and started to talk to each other, to find out what each other had been thinking and how each had been reacting, and to share their problems and burdens and needs, to talk about these together and pray together about them. There was a wonderful sense of community, of commonality, of belonging to each other. That is the fellowship which is the intended life for the body of Christ.

There is power in community
God has designed that his life should be manifest through a body. If the body is not operating, then the life is not manifest. That means there is no power, because the life of God is always power. The reason the church has been so powerless lately is that it has been so fragmented and broken. We have estranged ourselves from each other. In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul says, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God...(Ephesians 4:30). Then he lists the things that grieve him: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:31-32)

This is essential
If that is not happening, then the Spirit of God is grieved. When he is grieved, he does not act. There is no life. The church becomes dull and dead and sterile and mediocre. All this is manifest in an empty ritual, with no vitality in it. God intends that Christians should have fellowship, should share one another's lives and thoughts and problems — bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. It is not an option; it is essential. This is why, when the Holy Spirit of God begins to move in any congregation, or in any assembly of Christians, he starts at this point. He begins to heal the brokenness of their lives and their relationships one with another, to get them to admit to each other their malice and their anger and their frustration and their grudges, and to forgive one another. This is when life begins to flow once again through the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray this week:
Father, open my heart toward others and toward you. Break down and melt within me the resistance that I erect against others. Make me to be of one heart and one mind with others in the body, generous in giving, glad to participate in anything that advances this marvelous work going on in the midst of a world which is rapidly drifting into darkness and emptiness and coldness. Thank you, Lord, for the warmth of your Spirit, and for your power and your grace among your people.

What is the biblical meaning of 'fellowship'? When the Body of Christ becomes powerless, what remedy is indicated? Are we committed personally to building commonality among those with whom we worship and serve?  What aspect of fellowship do you need help with?

Excerpted with permission by Global Media Outreach from Immeasurably More: A Year of Daily Devotions, © 2019, 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. All rights reserved. Please visit RayStedman.org for the complete library of Ray Stedman material.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Why Did God Create People He Knew Would Sin?

Why Did God Create People He Knew Would Sin?


Thursday, August 15, 2019

When God's 'No' is Best

God's answer to our prayers isn't always 'yes.' Find joy in whatever answer He gives.

Written by Colin Millar on 06/08/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Testimony, Prayer, Wait, No, God
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:14
A well-known pastor once said, “If a request is wrong, God says ‘No.’ If the timing is wrong, God says ‘Slow.’ If you are wrong, God says, ‘Grow.’ But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, ‘Go!’ Is there a chance you are expecting an immediate “yes” when what is better for you is one of these other answers?

Read on for two examples of how God’s best was not a “yes!”

The right request, made too early: God says ‘slow’
Several years into my deeply blessed marriage to my sweetie Nancy, we began to pray as a family with our two sons for my Mum, Nang’s, salvation.

After 17 years of prayer, I was reading Revelation 21 when I came across my Mum’s name, “Beryl”, in verse 20, as the eighth stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem. I clearly sensed the Lord saying right there “Your Mum will be with Me in heaven!”

I was elated! In prayer with my sweetie, I said: “Lord, I praise You for speaking to me through Your Word that my Mum, Beryl, will be with You in heaven. What is keeping You from saving her now?” My sweetie and I paused (it is always good to be quiet and listen when you ask Father a question) and after a minute of quiet, I clearly heard God’s words in my heart: “More prayer!”

I knew it was the Lord, because after all the years and prayers for Mum, that is the very last thing I would have thought of myself. Emotionally, it felt like God was saying “no,” but I wanted to trust the Lord.

God used this temporary “no” to ignite more prayer and reliance on Him. Then after a few more years, God brought my Mum to Jesus at the age of 83! What a victory. Thank you Jesus!

Being mistaken on the location: God says ‘no’
Many years ago, I owned a distribution business that God used mightily to help share His word throughout my city. Over time, I began volunteering an increasing amount of my business time to serve in many different volunteer ministry roles. At the height of my involvement, my precious sweetie and I were both basically working two full-time jobs.

We were majorly stressed out, often working 70 hours a week. Even with the great work that was being done, this couldn’t be what God wanted for our lives! One night, out of a place of total exhaustion, I cried out to God saying: “Lord I cannot take these two full-time jobs any longer! Please show me what You want me to do!” That same night, while in the midst of conversation with my sweetie, I heard the Lord speak quietly but ever so firmly inside my heart:

“My Son, all I want you to do is just be where I’ve got you! Be a husband to your wife and a father to your sons.”

I knew immediately this was God’s direct “no” to moving forward with my volunteer work. I resigned the next day from all my volunteer leadership positions and went to my business partner and asked his forgiveness for a lack of commitment to my sales responsibilities in our company.

God’s best for me was revealed through His “no”.
My sweetie and I were given a new peace and more time with each other and our family.
Even after stepping down from ministry roles, my fruitfulness for the Kingdom ratcheted upward in the marketplace amongst customers, vendors and employees!

So my encouragement to you is take some time today to live out Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the Lord, be strong let your heart take courage, wait on the Lord.” See what he will have to say to you, even if it is a “no!”

Pray this week:
Lord, I don’t always understand when you tell me No.  Help me to keep praying and trusting you, knowing that  you have better plans in mind for me. Amen.

If you have stopped praying for someone or something, keep praying! If you are overloaded and doing too much, stop! Wait on the Lord and see whether He might be giving you a “no” that will bring you His best!

Satan's Final War Plan || The Great Deception || End Time 2018/19

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