Photo by Pexel
Written by Charles S. Head
How do you handle adversity? Are you giving in to it, or are you getting victory over it in your life? Adversity is defined as “a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune.”
We will always face adversity in our lives, how we handle it depends on our choice in the matter. We live in a troubled world and it’s impossible to avoid the many negative setbacks as a part of life. Looking back, I noticed that during adversities in my own life there was a difference when I tried to handle much of my adversity myself rather than allow the Lord to be my strength and guidance. When I used my own method, many times I ended up complaining about the situation which became a negative affect on my part. On the other hand, when I trusted my Heavenly Father through prayer, he became my Rock and my stepping stone of victory. The results of victory when I trusted the Lord and seeking Him were a stronger relationship afterwards in my favor. When we are faced with adversity, it does not seem fair at times, and we may have problems trying to understand and figure out things in our mind. This is where we need the comfort, assurance, encouragement and strength to carry us to victory.
King David wrote a good example on how to go through adversity and seeking the Lord all the way to victory. In Psalms 24:7-10 it reads: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.”
How should we handle our adversity, it is all in the arms of our Heavenly Father. He knows just what it takes to make each of us completely whole and restored with His joy, a joy that’s not comparable to any other, because he is the manufacturer of us, He knows what parts that have been broken and He can put all our pieces back together again.
Photo by Nicolas Hoizey (unsplash)
Written by Georgetta Head
I really watching cooking shows on television, I especially like watching the competition airings. My favorite programs are the baking or cooking competitions with the kids. It amazes me how these children can bake or cook. They can come up with ideas and concoctions I would have never imagined in a million years, these children are very talented to be so young. When I was their age the only cooking I mastered was cooking fresh French fries. For these children to be able to bake or cook food products that are worthy of a reward, reminds me of what an amazing God we serve. He gifted these young minds with talent that is far above their age group.
For nine weeks or more these young minds, ages 9 to 13, compete each week knowing one will be eliminated. These children are so adorable and talented, so it breaks my heart when one is eliminated. Although a child gets eliminated and it bothers me, I continue watching the show teary eyed knowing only one child can win the grand prize. Just one little flaw or mistake with their finished master piece gets him or her eliminated. The judges are not without compassion, when a child is eliminated, they gently say "it's a contest, one has to go, it's so unfortunate they made a mistake in preparation, or they simply just missed the mark" - consequences elimination. As I sat watching this Winter's "Kids Bakeoff Contest" with the final two contestants competing, I thought, wow, one mistake little one and you are done, you will be eliminated, be careful!
This cooking contest brought to mind the Kingdom of God and His children. I began to thank Father God because He doesn't eliminate us because of a flaw or mistake. God doesn't get rid of us, instead He tells us in His Word to: humble ourselves before Him. When we make mistakes through sin, we are to repent of our sins and He will forgive us of all unrighteousness. We read in Numbers 14:18 (KJV) that "The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." The Lord demonstrates great mercy and long-suffering toward us that have a genuine heart and confession of repentance for our wrong doings; otherwise, we would all be dead in our sins and trespasses.
What's so amazing about the Kingdom of God is that we are all also in a race, a spiritual race! "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 KJV). In this race, we can all win! How? As Christian Believers we are to live a life of self-control (temperance) in every area of our lives. We accomplish this by knowing God's will and commandments for running this race. We are not to live life the way the world does, instead, we live a life that exemplifies one of obedience to our Heavenly Father. No competition, we run our race one-by-one knowing we will, if faithful, receive an "incorruptible crown" for eternity. God eliminates no one, but we can eliminate ourselves!
Friends, follow the directions in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 and run this race with a pure heart toward God, for all that run with a pure heart can win this race. Remember, we run this race one-by-one for an in-corruptible crown in the Kingdom of God. No elimination!
It is Written
Photo by Aaron Burden
Written by Charles S. Head
While teaching a Bible study not too long ago, a question was asked "what do we say to a person who keeps tempting you to do something you know is morally wrong." How do you answer them without offending or accusing them of sinful behavior? My immediate thoughts went to Jesus when He was tempted by the devil while in the wilderness. Three times He refused the temptation with the Word of God.
There is power in God's word, that's why it is known as omnipotent, which means having unlimited power, the ability to do anything. The Body of Christ need to be convinced that they have the faith and must put it into action. Jesus put God's word into full action at a time when needed. The devil was no match for him and Jesus always came out victorious over him.
The terminology used by Jesus when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness was "it is written." Why did Jesus use this terminology on three occasions in the book of Matthew chapter 4:1-11? It is because the devil’s entire nature is to steal, kill, and to destroy (John 10:10) and it did not matter to the devil that it was Jesus; he was on the same mission when he tempted Adam and Eve. The devil is always full of deception and he uses words to make them sound good for our human ear and mind. The devil’s motive is to trap us, and if he succeeds, we are thrown off course of our purpose that God has for us. Let's look at the three angles in which the devil targeted to tempt Jesus.
1) Matthew 4:2-4: The devil tried to use Jesus' hunger against him. Verses 3-4 says "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Had Jesus used His power as satan suggested, it would have been the wrong motive. It would have been for His own benefits, not to glorify His Heavenly Father.
2) The devil tried to use the physical tactic to get Jesus to yield to him. Matthew 4:5-7 "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." To tempt God is to question His Word, which puts doubt on His ability to do what He has promised us.
3) At last, the devil tried to get Jesus to worship him. Matthew 4:8-11 "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." Satan was trying to get Jesus to worship him, but the only one we should worship is God only, otherwise, we are placing others before Him.
These verses were written for our example, and Jesus is the greatest example of all. When the devil tries to tempt us to do anything against God's word, we are to quote to him the same words as Jesus, “It is written” followed by God’s command.
The devil will use family or friends to tempt us to sin. So, there is one thing that's very important in our process and experience of temptation, we must read and study the Word and it will become a part of our spiritual digestive system, otherwise when the devil comes our way, using those close to us, and others we will become easy prey.