Scripture - Genesis 16:13
There are times in our lives when we are unhappy and cannot recognize the source of this misery. It is in times such as these that we should examine ourselves and see if we have offended someone. Perhaps, unknowingly, we said or did something to someone and that person is suffering because of it. Or maybe, just maybe, you are the victim of another person’ venomous words or mistreatment. Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving, just as our Lord has forgiven us.
Are you feeling a little downtrodden and cannot figure out why? Well, this might be a good time for a spiritual self-examination and attitude adjustment. Are there sins loitering in your life that need to be confessed? Is there someone you need to go to and make peace with and be reconciled? Are you harboring ill-feelings toward someone because of a past hurt? Is there someone you need to forgive or someone you need to seek forgiveness from? Forgiveness and peace is like an anointing oil or medicine for both the offender and the offended when used in the spirit of Christian love. There is healing in the Word of God (Psalm 45:7).
Use the word of God as a sword for forgiveness today and find healing for yourself as you seek to heal someone else. True and sincere forgiveness sets both the offender and the offended free emotionally and spiritually. When we forgive others, we do what Jesus did for us. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is essential to our emotional, physical and spiritual health.
When we set out to correct a wrong that has been done to us in our own strength, we will ultimately fail or suffer unnecessary consequences because of our disobedience. Reconciliation is our responsibility, but retribution is God’s promise to His beloved. Unfortunately, many of us do not want to wait on God to fight our battle. We want vengeance now! Does this apply to you? Ask God to give you the strength to wait on Him. Can you imagine what it would be like if God had not sent His only begotten Son for the forgiveness of your sins? Where would be today?
Are you feeling emotionally low? Perhaps this is the time for a spiritual self-examination. Are you the offender or the offended? What are you going to do now?
— Catherine Raphael
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:1-9
Job described the human condition with these words: “Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). This was certainly the situation for Timothy, a young pastor trying to protect the church from persecution and false doctrine. And as a result, he was becoming discouraged and found his passion waning.
Things are no different today, right? Overwhelming troubles can cause us to grow weak and lose our zeal for God, His Word, and prayer. The solution for us today is the same one Paul gave Timothy all those years ago. The apostle reminded his protÃ©gÃ© that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
The path to spiritual revival is found in the very things we are sometimes reluctant to do—praying and reading the Word. When we read Scripture, our mind is renewed with God’s truth, and we draw comfort, strength, and courage from His promises and unfailing love. Through prayer and submission, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to endure afflictions with hope and joy in Christ. So instead of yielding to despair, let God use your troubles to rekindle your spiritual life.
Dr. Charles Stanley
Scripture: Matthew 10:24-25
The word disciple means “learner, student.” The ancient Greeks had disciples in the realm of philosophy. Plato, often called the “father of philosophy,” developed a system of thought that dealt with issues of epistemology, and issues related to the meaning of life. Plato discipled his student Aristotle, who took what he had learned and built “gymnasiums,” or academies.
In the ancient world, gymnasiums were not arenas for sporting events.They were training centers to teach students Plato’s thought and the system developed by Aristotle, known as Aristotelian logic. The students thus trained were “gymnatized,” which is the verb form of the Greek word for gymnasium.
So successful was this discipling process that it allowed the Greeks to influence the whole Greco-Roman world. This process was called “Hellenization,”in which people who were not Greek began to adopt Greek thinking, language, and culture. That was all part of this concept of discipleship.
Th New Testament picked up this concept and put it in a spiritual context so we would know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Discipleship involves an apprenticeship in which the apprentice, or student, is brought toward a particular goal.
The word disciple itself means “learner.” It refers to a student who follows the teachings and pattern of another so closely that the student becomes a “clone”of the teacher, to use a modern-day term. We could also call a disciple an apprentice, someone who stands at the side of a skilled master in a trade to learn that trade thoroughly.
Reflection: If you were apprenticed to Jesus Christ, what would you want to learn from Him? Where can you study in His Word to learn this from Him? Where is God giving you the opportunity to use what you have been learning from Him?
Dr. Tony Evans
Welcome to the Women of Hope Monthly Newsletter where your hope can be found through prayer and participation. Be blessed and may your Happiness, Order, Peace and Encouragement be found in the Lord!