Our Assignment 1.19.20
Our Assignment 1.19.20

Bruce Goettsche • January 19, 2021

“Be just and fair to all.

Do what is right and good,

for I am coming soon to rescue you

and to display my righteousness among you.

(Isaiah 56:1).

In a world where the extremists seem to grab the spotlight, the Lord tells us to be consistent in our kindness. We are to be kind to people who annoy us, disagree with us, frustrate us, and even those who slander us. Why? Because these people need Jesus too.

If Christians will not be Christ-like, we will be increasingly marginalized by the world. Jesus tells us to love our enemies because, when we do so, the light of Christ shines more brightly. What the world needs more than anything else is the good news of the gospel.

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United in a World of Division 1.18.21
United in a World of Division 1.18.21

Bruce Goettsche • January 18, 2021

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. (John 17:22–23).

Sometimes people say, "I wonder what God's will is for my life." One of the things God wants is for us to work together and support other believers. In a world so deeply divided the church is called to stand out for its unity rather than its division.

What does unity look like? It is thanking God for other ministries rather than trying to diminish them or "beat" them. It is celebrating what we hold in common rather than dividing over the fringe issues. It is working together as often as possible. It is praying for each other; for understanding when we disagree and blessing in all things.

For this to happen, we must see beyond ourselves. We must put the unity the Lord has commanded over our desires to build a kingdom to ourselves.

The world is watching. What do they see? A political action group meeting in a church? An organization trying to beat the competition? Or, prayerfully, a diverse group of people who have found an uncommon unity that comes from a united love for Christ? May God help us to pursue His will rather than our own.

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A Precious Treasure 1.17.21
A Precious Treasure 1.17.21

Bruce Goettsche • January 17, 2021

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

(John 14:16–17).

What a gift the Lord has given us! The Holy Spirit is our advocate, praying for us and through us. If we listen, He will guide us into what is true. He is our source of peace and our guarantee of an inheritance that is ours only by God's grace. The Spirit is a gift from God only to those who embrace Him.

Because we have the Holy Spirit in us, the Bible comes to life, we can know which path to take, we have insight when talking with others, and God gives us the words we need. Because of the Holy Spirit, we know peace even in chaos, joy, and contentment even in a wildly materialistic world. God equips us to serve Him in ways we could not have served before. God's Spirit will guide us to a more Christlike character.

We have trouble hearing the whispers of God the Holy Spirit when are surrounded by noise and activity. We need the quiet to fully benefit from God within us. We must find time for quiet reflection on His Word and time to simply listen. All we need God has given us. Be still and know that He is God!

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Arrogance Abolished 1.16.21
Arrogance Abolished 1.16.21

Bruce Goettsche • January 16, 2021

“Stop acting so proud and haughty!

Don’t speak with such arrogance!

For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;

he will judge your actions.

(1 Samuel 2:3).

One of the criticisms of Christians is "they think they are better than everyone else." (It is not just Christians, but this is where my thoughts are directed.)

Arrogant Christians do not understand the gospel. Hannah's words remind us of an important truth: we are not saved because we are good; we are saved because He is gracious and loving. God knows our sin. In fact, it was an awareness of our own sin that should have led us to Christ in the first place.

If you are like me, the more you study the Scriptures, the more you realize how deep that stain of sin goes. And that realization makes the grace of God stand out with greater brilliance.

A believer who understands the gospel should be the most humble and grateful person around. We have nothing to be arrogant about! We should spend our lives asking, "Why have you been so gracious to me, O Lord!" If we are going to boast, it should be about the Love and Mercy of our great God!

Thanks be to God!

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The Waiting Room 1.15.21
The Waiting Room 1.15.21

Bruce Goettsche • January 15, 2021

Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. (Genesis 41:1).

This is from the story of Joseph. He was sold by his brothers, accused of a crime he didn't commit, and when some prisoners had dreams, he sought God for an interpretation. He asked Pharoah's cupbearer to remember him to Pharoah but he forgot about him for two years!

It would have been easy for Joseph to get discouraged and think God had forgotten Him. That is not uncommon when we are in the "waiting room." However, God had not forgotten Joseph. He was actually setting the pieces in place for a restoration Joseph could not have anticipated. He was not only released from prison but installed as the number 2 man in all of Egypt. He became the agent for saving his entire family in the time of famine.

Here's the point: you may be in the waiting room right now. The temptation is to get discouraged or try to force things. However, learn from Joseph. Keep being faithful and do what is right. Wait on the Lord! He knows what He is doing. Wait. Watch. God will surprise you with what He is doing.

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Godly Prayer 1.14.21
Godly Prayer 1.14.21

Bruce Goettsche • January 14, 2021

“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

(Matthew 26:39).

I've read this prayer of Jesus hundreds of times. You likely have also. It seems to me that the difference between our prayers and the prayers of Jesus is the last sentence: "I want your will to be done, not mine."

If I'm honest, most of my praying is trying to get God to bless what I want to happen. I am focused on my will, not His. And this is the reason prayer so often falls flat. We think our plan is better than His. Of course, we are wrong.

Today, remind yourself to seek His will. If that means difficulty, it must be for a good purpose. If it means delay, so be it. If it brings blessing, may I use it to bring Him glory. I want to learn what He is teaching me. My job is not to gain glory for myself . . . it is to bring glory and honor to Him.

The prayer of Jesus was built on the correct foundation. May God help us to follow in His footsteps.

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Perspective 1.13.21
Perspective 1.13.21

Bruce Goettsche • January 13, 2021

“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?
Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator,
the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy
and laid the foundations of the earth.
(Isaiah 51:12–13).

These are great words for the churning. We churn because of politics, the economy, brutal people in our lives, abusive employers, reckless rumors, the opinion of the crowd, and so much more. God speaks to us in simple terms: Why are you afraid of the crowd when you belong to me?

This morning, take a little time to read through Isaiah 51-52. You will be strengthened to remember that our confidence and hope is not in the works of men or the approval of men. . . our hope is in the One who rules overall. No matter how big the problem . . .the Lord is bigger still. There is NOTHING outside of His control. In the end, we will see that He was guiding His children (which I hope includes you) the entire time.
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