THE CHALLENGE OF DOING IT RIGHT

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THE BEGGAR NAMED LAZARUS

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

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THE DANGER OF IGNORING GOD

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GOD ADDRESSES OUR HEARTS

When God speaks to us, He is constantly addressing our hearts, our heart’s attitudes and our heart’s desires. He is constantly asking us “Will you lay down your life?” “Will you give up what you want for what I want?” “Will you set aside your own agendas for Mine?” “Will you truly obey Me?” “Will you truly follow Me?” So often our hearts deceive us and lead us to the wrong places, to follow our own agendas, propelled by our fears and motivated by our pride. 

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KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS!

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FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS

There are times in all of our lives when we face difficult circumstances. We may be facing sickness, death; fear; shame; the need for provision; the accusations of others; or even our own weakness or inability to help ourselves. Regardless of our circumstances and whatever our need, God tells us we are to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS. 

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12 v 2).

In 1 Samuel Chapter 17 we see the Philistine army encamped at Judah, opposing King Saul and the Israelite army. A champion named Goliath came out of the Philistine camp and challenged the Israelite army. 

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THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST IN US

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GOD’S PURPOSES HAVE SET TIMES

After Jesus Christ had died on the cross and had risen again, He appeared to the Apostles over a period of forty days and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God. God had promised through the Old Testament prophets that the Nation of Israel would be restored. So the Apostles’ focus at this time was on the Kingdom of God being restored to Israel and on the timing of God bringing this promised restoration. They asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1 v 6). It seemed they were expecting Jesus to bring restoration in a single moment. But Jesus replied:

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LIVING FREE FROM FEAR!

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OUR HEARTS ARE CALLED TO BE AT PEACE

God calls us as the body of Christ, to be at peace. 

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3 v 15).

In fact God tells us not only to seek peace but to actively pursue it.

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34 v 14 & 15).

Yet Jesus also tells us in the Gospels that He did not come to the earth to bring peace, but a sword. 

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