Helps for Living Daily through God's Wisdom

ANGER

How can I get control of my anger?

Here are some helpful thoughts that have been an encouragement to us.

Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 37: 1, 8; Proverbs 16:32; Romans 12:17-21; Ephesians 4:31-32; James 1:19-20

 

 

 

 

ADDICTION

Romans 6:14; 13:14; I Corinthians 6:12; 9:27; Philippians 1:6; 4:13


I am a Christian but my family members drink. What can I do to help them stop?

It must bring great joy to God that you are burdened for your family and that you want to make a difference with your family who are struggling with addiction. Addiction is prevalent in so many native communities and it tragically affects loved ones we care about. God's Word gives us insight regarding addictive and destructive behaviors such as alcoholism, drugs abuse, sniffing, smoking, immorality, compulsive shopping, and gambling. Read the encouragement of II Timothy 2:24-26. Ask the Lord to use your life to teach your family by your example. Pray that God will bring about a change in their hearts through your efforts. Realize that there is a spiritual battle taking place. We must depend upon God to defeat the efforts of the devil (II Corinthians 4:3-7).


CHANGE IS POSSIBLE

There is hope for those living in addiction (Romans 15:13). Hope is found in a Person (John 14:6), not another program (Psalm 90:14-17). Building a life, like building a house, requires a solid foundation (I Corinthians 3:11). The foundation of a life will be revealed through times of testing (Matthew 7:21-27). The starting point for a new life is absolutely Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). He has already invited the weary to seek Him, to know His character, and to have confidence in His promises (Matthew 11:28-30). The first step is asking for His help (James 4:8-10; Romans 10:9-13).


CHOICES MUST BE MADE

Two individuals living in the same home or on the same street can be in the middle of similar circumstances, yet live two radically different lives. The difference can often be traced back to personal choices. Choices can be self-centered or God-centered (Joshua 24:14-15). Apart from the wisdom of God's Word, it can be easy for people to feel that they are a product of their circumstances or victims of fate. God is good to give us opportunity to choose His path or our own (Deuteronomy 11:26). Our choices have everything to do with what happens to us (I Samuel 12:24-25). Addictive behavior is rooted in self-centered living. Real change requires dying to our own selfishness (Galatians 2:20).


WHERE LASTING CHANGE STARTS

Addictive behavior is the fruit of a deeper problem (Matthew 15:18-19). It reveals the change that must take place at the root (Ezekiel 14:3-7). Man sees the problems on the outside but God sees the heart condition (I Samuel 16:7). Real change requires inviting God to search one's heart (Jeremiah 17:7-10). God is able to change people from the inside out (Psalm 139:23-24).


CORRECT MOTIVES

Addictive behavior goes against God's wonderful plan. We are created in God's image (Genesis 1:27) and for God's glory (Revelation 4:11). Self-centered plans ruin God's intended blessings for us (Jeremiah 29:11). The purpose of addressing addictive behavior is to accomplish God's goals. The removal of self-destructive living is not just to enable more self-centered living. We were created to know, honor, and serve almighty God (I Corinthians 10:31). Just regretting the consequences of addiction doesn't change one's life (II Corinthians 7:9-10). God desires repentance, which means acknowledging my behavior is sin against God (Psalm 51:4). Repentance involves a sincere sorrow for sin and a desire to change direction (Luke 5:32; 15:7).


GENUINE CHANGE

Addictive behaviors produce a downward cycle (James 1:14-15) evidenced by unfulfilled responsibilities, broken trust, broken relationships, financial debt (Proverbs 23:21), damage to health, physiological changes (brain neurotransmitters producing cravings), fines, jail time, and custody issues (Proverbs 13:15). A relationship with Jesus Christ produces different fruit (John 15:1-5). The Holy Spirit filled life enables a change in both our character (Galatians 5:22-23) and our conduct (Romans 6:19-22). Victory requires faith in God's ability to do what we know we cannot do ourselves (I John 5:5).


NO EXCUSES

Scripture indicates that there is no excuse for living in bondage to sin (Romans 6:14). There is a promised way out (I Corinthians 10:13). The choice to continue in behavior condemned by God will ultimately be judged by God (Revelation 21:8). Thousands of others before us are proof of God's power to produce a transformed life (I Corinthians 6:9-11).


PRINCIPLES WE CAN APPLY

  • Submit to loving accountability (Proverbs 18:24).

  • Separate from sin (Mark 9:43). Know the sources of temptation (I John 2:14-17).

  • Seek fellowship with other followers of Christ (Hebrews 9:27).

  • Share family values instilled at home (Jeremiah 35:1-19).

  • Separate from "religious" people living a sinful lifestyle (I Corinthians 5:11).

  • Strive (work hard, struggle) - Jesus said that there are some who refuse to make an effort (Luke 13:24).

  • Strive daily. The battle with the desires and impulses of the flesh continue throughout life (Romans 7:14-25). A wise person will acknowledge and prepare to the battle the flesh (I Corinthians 9:27).

  • Seek God daily. He has lovingly demonstrated that He is committed to me every need in our lives (Romans 8:32).

  • Step forward. Take the "next step" of growth to keep from falling (II Peter 1:3-10).

  • Stay away from those that will pull you down (Proverbs 14:12; 20:1; 23:29-35; Isaiah 5:11-12; Habakkuk 2:15-16).

  • Stand for God so others might find hope too (James 519-20).

HOW THE FAMILY OF GOD CAN HELP THOSE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION

  • Experience and share good fellowship (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; I John 1:3).

  • Demonstrate genuine affection (I John 3:14-17; 4:7).

  • Live without hypocrisy (pretending to be what you are not) - (I John 4:20).

  • Provide individual ministry (Proverbs 13:20; 27:17).

  • Encourage them to worship in a church that preaches the Bible (Psalm 122:1; Hebrews 10:25).

  • Develop mature believers. (Ephesians 4:11-12).

  • Continue steadfast (Acts 2:42).

  • Guard against error (Acts 20:28-29).

  • Help them avoid people and places of temptation (Psalm 1:1).

  • Teach them to make wise choices (Proverbs 1:10, 15; 4:14).


APATHY

Romans 13:11-14; I Corinthians 15:34; Ephesians 4:17-20; 5:14-17

BIBLE

Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:9-11, 105; John 5:39; Romans 10:17; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:222-25; II Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 1:3

I have read the Bible off and on over the years and have learned things, but I struggle with a backslidden Christian life. I now want my life to change from what I learn. Can you give me some things to think about in my Bible reading each day?


The Bible is intended to transform our lives. As you read your Bible, think of it as God's training manual for you so that you may know how to fulfill His purpose with your life. I Corinthians 10:31 tells us that our life's purpose is to glorify God. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." It is God's desire that we bring glory to Him in every area of life as the result of the study and application of His Word in our lives. The Scriptures use illustrations from life familiar to the reader to teach principles by which to live. The believer in Christ who desires to fulfill his potential will find himself compared to an athlete or warrior. These types of role models are inspiring to every generation and in every culture. Thoughtfully study the challenge of these verses and consider your response as you read your Bible

BE COMMITTED TO GROW AND HAVE YOUR LIFE CHANGED GOD'S WORD

Luke 2:52

There are four areas of growth in the life of Jesus when he was growing up. Jesus did not wait until He was an adult to begin to apply these truths. We also can develop in these four specific areas of life.

  • What word describes mental growth?

  • What word describes physical growth?

  • What phrase describes spiritual growth?

  • What phrase describes social growth?

Think about ways that you are already making progress in each of these areas. Is there a particular area that you desire to improve? Set specific goals. Endeavor to grow in each of these areas every week!

  • Wisdom goals: mental growth, understanding, knowledge rightly applied

  • Physical goals: exercise, endurance, avoiding harmful substances

  • Spiritual goals: listening to God through His Word, prayer, and principles applied in life

  • Social goals: fellowship, encouragement, love, serving, witness Matthew 5:16; Matthew. 22:39

 

THINK ABOUT THE EXAMPLES GIVEN FOR OUR UNDERSTANDING IN GOD'S WORD

What is needed to run the race of life?
Hebrews 12:1-2
Running the race of life is like an athlete running a marathon.

II Timothy 2:2-5
Enduring hard times in life is compared to a soldier fighting battles. What helps a soldier fight effectively in battle?

 

EXERCISE WHAT YOU LEARN RIGHT AWAY

II Timothy 2:3

If we are to endure the hard times, we must get in shape. Winning a race or effectively fighting a battle requires hard work. Being victorious is not by chance, but is a matter of daily choices. The athlete must set personal goals and subject himself to a rigorous training schedule in order to achieve the desired end. Getting in shape takes time and hard work. Many people live lives that are not in obedience to God's Word, but they want God's blessings. When they face problems resulting from unbiblical decisions, they often run to God seeking a "quick fix". We are welcomed to come to God for His help and to repent (turn around) that we may experience the blessing of living our lives His way. When we live God's way according to His Word, He will over time patiently work with us to become fit for life (Philippians 1:6). Can you think of daily responsibilities that you have that require discipline in your life?

 

LOOK FOR WAYS EVERY DAY TO PLEASE GOD IN ALL YOU DO

II Timothy 2:4

Living with purpose is the foundation of an effective life. God has created us for the purpose of bringing glory to Him (I Corinthians 10:31). Genuine success is not living for fun, fame, or fortune. These alone only bring temporal pleasure. It is the life lived in obedience to God's Word that brings true satisfaction. As a Christian soldier it is our responsibility to know what is required of us (Micah 6:8) and to make it our mission to please Him Who has chosen us to serve Him. Can you think of some ways you can bring glory to God in your daily tasks?

 

WATCH OUT FOR DISTRACTIONS

Read Philippians 3:13-14. Once we begin our training, there are many things in life competing for our attention (II Timothy 2:4). Some allurements are sinful (I John 2:16-17) and are to be avoided (I Corinthians 10:13). Not every voice calling for our attention is necessarily sinful, but in order to complete the objective before us, we like the Apostle Paul must narrow our focus from many things to "this one thing I do…"

Are there areas in your life that represent unnecessary weight (Hebrews 12:1) that waste time and keep you from your responsibilities or more important things?

KEEP GOOD COMPANY

Proverbs 1:10-15.

Choosing to spend time with people who have the same values and goals is important. Wherever you go in life, there will always be peer pressure from the wrong crowd. The choice is yours. Who do you wnat to be like? You will become more and more like those with whom you spend your time. Paul surrounded himself with friends who shared his love for Christ and were committed as well to serve. How is his friend Epaphroditus described in Philippians 2:25? Do you have a helpful friend like that? What kind of friend are you?

 

BE WILLING TO STAND ALONE

II Samuel 23:11-12.

Sometimes standing for what is right is unpopular and it means standing alone. The Apostle Paul experienced this (II Timothy 4:16-18). He encouraged others to stand firm amidst opposition. Remember that you and God make a majority (Philippians 4:13)! When you are forsaken by people, Jesus wants you to know that He is all you need (Philippians 4:13, 19).

 

BE AWARE OF THE ENEMY

I Peter 5:8-9.

The moment that you place your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the enemy declares war upon you. God intends for us to fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12). God intends for you to win in the struggle (I Corinthians 10:13). We are to be conquering, not coping with the enemy (I Corinthians 16:13). What are some examples of the devil's temptations? Can you think of some ways you can resist the devil?

PUT ON YOUR SPIRITUAL ARMOR

Ephesians 6:10-18

To be properly equipped for warfare, a soldier must be prepared. We are in a spiritual warfare (II Corinthians 10:3-5). As Christians, we must take on the whole armor of God to be prepared for spiritual warfare. What weapon is described in Hebrews 4:12?

 

PERSEVERE IN THE RACE

Galatians 6:9

There are many who begin well but along the way become discouraged and feel like quitting. Though we should expect our feelings to change, it is important to remember that God's promises do not. Like the athlete we must be disciplined. We are challenged to finish well (II Timothy 4:7). Think about some verses that you can underline in your Bible and memorize in times of difficulty (Psalm 119:9-11). An athlete who participates in strength training will evidence changes in his weight, endurance and muscle build. In what other area does God want us to be strengthened (Ephesians 3:16).

 

REJOICE THAT YOUR OBEDIENCE WILL BE REWARDED

I Corinthians 3:9-14

Doing our best for the glory of God should be the goal of every believer who labors in the training. Our motives, not just visible accomplishments, will evaluated by our Lord. According to II Corinthians 6:9, what should be the motive of our labors?

 

SHARE WITH OTHERS WHAT GOD IS TEACHING YOU

Philippians 3:12-14

Think about the life God has given you. Whose life can you influence by what you are learning (I Peter 3:15)? Perhaps it is time to include another person in your study and obedience to God's Word to help him grow in his Christian life.

CHASTENING

Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:5-11; I John 1:9; 2:1-2

COMFORT

Matthew 11:28-30; II Corinthians 1:3-4; Hebrews 4:15-16

COMMUNITY

We need hope.

Jesus came to minister to those of us who sometimes feel brokenhearted. Homelessness, suicide, despair are all around us. Many people have just given up. Our people need Jesus Christ.

"…The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Luke 4:17

We need truth.

Many people are making decisions based on feelings, emotions, and opinions of others that end up in defeat and bondage to addiction. We need the unchanging, but life-changing answers in God's Word.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:32, 37

We need examples.

We need true Christians that have been discipled to live the victorious Christian life. There is a great need to understand and practice biblical living in action. Some just want to go to church and still live on their own terms. Is God pleased with this?

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthewt 5:13-16


We need laborers.

We who live in the native community need to take leadership in reaching our community. This is called indigenous ministry. There is a place for outsiders who respect us to come learn from us and to partner with us in sharing God's Good News.

"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38


DEATH

Psalm 90:9-12; 116:15; Ecclesiastes 7:1-4; John 11:25; II Corinthians 4:7; Revelation 14:13

DESPAIR

Psalm 40:1-5; Matthew 11:28-30; II Corinthians 4:7-10

ENEMIES

Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 16:7; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:18-21

EXAMPLE

Mark 5:19-20; John 13:15; Acts 4:13; II Corinthians 5:17; I Timothy 4:12; James 5:10; I Peter 2:21

FEAR

Psalm 46:1; 23:4; 56:3, 11; 91:4-6; Matthew 10:28; Romans 8:15; II Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 13:6; I Peter 3:12-14; I John 4:18

FORGIVENESS

Genesis 50:20; Psalm 32:1-2, 5; Proverbs 20:22; Matthew 5:43-48; Ephesians 4:32

GOSPEL

Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 15:1-4

GOVERNMENT

Matthew 22:15-22; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 2:1-4; I Peter 2:11-18

Winning the Struggle

ARE YOU HAPPY?
We all want to be happy. The first thought that comes to mind when we think of happiness is being
part of a happy family.

THINGS DON’T ALWAYS WORK OUT
However, things do not always work out the way we would like them to. Something happens which suddenly makes a home unhappy. There are children whose father or mother died when they were babies. There are others whose parents were killed when they were ten or twelve or fourteen, bringing sadness into a happy family. Many people are never happy because of grief and sorrow. Because of something that happened or because of the situation in which they find
themselves, they think they will never be happy.

HAPPINESS... A BABY BROTHER
Let’s look at the life of a boy in the Bible who had plenty of reasons to be unhappy. Joseph lived with his father and his mother, and they loved him very much. He had brothers and sisters. Then one day his father said, “We’re going to have a little baby.” And, oh, was he excited! He was waiting and waiting. He would come and say, “Mother, how long will it be till the baby is born?”
“Oh, six months!”
He would wait a few more days and then say, “How long till the baby is born?” Still six months. He would wait another day or two... “How long...?” After awhile it went down to five months, four months, three months, two months. Oh, he was getting eager to see his little baby brother or sister.

A LONG JOURNEY
At this time Joseph’s father and mother and all their household started a long journey to their grand-father’s house. Joseph was excited because he had never seen his grandfather. He would never see his grandmother, Rebekah, because she had died. They would need to travel for many days.

“I WANT MAMA!”
But one night Joseph’s father came to him and said, “Joseph, I’m sorry to tell you this, but your
mother died.” I can see Joseph sitting there in shock and then beginning to cry.
Before Joseph’s mother died, a baby boy was born, and she named him Benjamin. We read about it in Genesis 35:18. I can see Joseph the next day, walking out alone on the hillside, thinking how much he loved his mother. As he walked away with tears in his eyes, his father tried to comfort him.
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As unhappy as Joseph was, he did not get bitter. I can imagine him finally lifting his head and saying, “Okay, God, if that’s the way you want it, I accept it.”

HELLO... GOODBYE
They then resumed their trip. Soon they would see Grandfather. I can see the excitement coming back into Joseph’s heart.They traveled day after day. Finally they arrived at Grandfather’s place. Joseph was so happy to see Grandfather. His grandfather held him and talked with him. Now at least he could live with
Grandfather. He had wanted to live with him for many years, and here he was! They were there for only a short time when his father told him that his grandfather had died. I can see Joseph saying, “Oh, no, not again!” I can see him crying. I can see him feeling bitter. “God, don’t you love me? Don’t you care for me? Don’t you see my tears?” But, I can see him finally saying, “Okay, God, if that’s the way you want it, that’s the way it will be. I’ll accept it.”

A FAMILY FIGHT
The story goes on to say that Joseph’s brothers hated him. “They hated him and could not speak peaceably to him” (Genesis 37:4). Day after day they would shout at him. Joseph’s heart would go down. They would have beaten him up if they would have had a chance. They could not speak peacefully to him. They were always shouting at him, calling him names, and treating him unkindly. Year after year, they would not be nice to him. I can just imagine Joseph saying to himself, “My mother and my grandfather are dead, and my brother’s hate me. But at least my father loves me.”

LOVE FOR HATE
He would go to his father’s side. “Father, they really hate me.”
“Yes, but I love you.”
At least he had his father. I can see him lying on his bed, crying because of the way his brothers treated him, not wanting him to come with them. He would still lift his face toward God, “Lord, please help me to love them. Please help me to forgive them.”

HELPING OUT
One day his father said, “Joseph, would you take some food out to your brothers in the field? They’re hungry. They have been away for quite a while.” So Joseph took the food to his brothers. As he took it, he thought, “Well, maybe this time they might be good to me. Maybe this time they won’t holler at me. Maybe this time they’ll be kind to me. Maybe just this one time.”He may have prayed, “God, please help them to be kind to me this one time. I want to forgive them even though it makes me feel so terrible when they are mean to me. Please help them to be kind to me.” If he did pray that, he had to wait a long time for his prayer to be answered—many, many years.

HATE STRIKES
For when he got there they grabbed him. They grabbed the food from him. They tore off his coat. They were going to kill him, but then decided not to. There was a big pit nearby, a well without water. They took him and threw him down into it. That was how much they hated him. Then they sat up at the top and ate all the food.They probably heard Joseph down in the well, calling to them, “Please, please, please help me!”Poor Joseph’s heart went right down to his sandals! He finally sat down at the bottom of the pit and cried. He felt the temptation to hate his brothers and to be bitter. “I lost my mother, I lost my grandfather, and my brothers have treated me cruelly all these years. Now even God has forgotten me down in the
bottom of this pit.”But finally he lifted up his face, looked up from the hole, and said, “Okay, God, I’ll forgive them.”

“LET’S SELL HIM”
As the brothers were eating, they looked up and saw Ishmaelites coming. Judah said to his brothers,“Come, let us sell him to these merchants.”“Yeah, that’s a good idea. If he died, we would not get anything. Let’s sell him. Now we can get rich on the guy.”Joseph may have been thinking, “Maybe now they’ll be kind to me. Maybe they’ll love me.” But then the Ishmaelites came along. Joseph saw these men giving his brothers twenty pieces of silver and he knew what was happening. The tears flowed down his cheeks. “Please, don’t sell me to those men,” he pled. His brothers slapped him across the face. “Be
quiet!” Then they gave Joseph to the Ishmaelites. I do not know what the Ishmaelites did. They did not
want him to run off so they probably put him up on one of the camels. The camels traveled down toward Egypt, bumpity-bump. With every bump of the camel, Joseph’s heart went thump, thump.
“My mother died, my grandfather died, my brothers have treated me terribly all these years. And now I
won’t even have my father to talk to.” Feelings of bitterness and anger rose up in his heart. How he wished he could do something to his brothers! I am sure he was tempted to sit there and say, “Poor me! God doesn’t love me. God doesn’t care. There’s no way anything good will ever happen to me. I wish I could die. Everything goes wrong with me. Nothing goes right.”

GOD KEEPS WATCH
As Joseph rode mile after mile, many things went through his mind. But eventually he turned his face toward God and cried, “Please help me as I go into this strange land that I know nothing about.” I am sure that he could not understand the language of the Ishmaelites, nor the language of the Egyptians when he got there. It was a strange land. He had no friends. But he had a beautiful attitude by the time he arrived there. The Ishmaelites sold him—maybe for one-hundred pieces of silver—to one of the Egyptian rulers, Potiphar. Potiphar liked Joseph. He was sweet and tender and forgiving, not angry and bitter as many of the other slaves were. Potiphar eventually put Joseph in charge of his whole house. Joseph was thankful
for how kind Potiphar was. Joseph was happy with the situation. But I know when he went about his work that there were many times when he thought about his dear mother, about how she died that night. He thought about his grandfather who he liked so much and who died so suddenly. He thought about his brothers who treated him so badly. He thought about the time in the pit and of when he was sold. He thought about his father. I am sure he sat with tears in his eyes many times. Yet he found strength in knowing that God makes no mistakes. Potiphar put him in charge of his whole house. During this time Joseph grew up to be a fine young man.

SIN SETS A TRAP
Potiphar’s wife was a wicked woman. She wanted Joseph to go to bed with her. She would come and say, “Joseph, would you go to bed with me today?” And Joseph would reply, “NO!” Yet Joseph had to stay there, because this was his work. I am sure she put on more pressures every day—the wicked woman that she was. One day she was burning with her wicked desire. She grabbed Joseph and was going to force him to sin. Joseph just shook off his coat and ran. There she stood with his coat. Then she cried out, “Potiphar, Potiphar! Joseph tried to rape me! Quick, I got his coat! Hurry! Hurry! Potiphar!”

THE TRAP SPRINGS
They captured Joseph and threw him in jail. There he sat. I am sure there was a real battle going on in his heart. “God, I obeyed you. I didn’t sin with that wicked woman. I have listened to you, and this is what I get.”If only we could quickly flash on a screen all the battles that were going on in Joseph’s heart as he sat there in jail after that wicked woman lied about him. He was probably tempted to think, “God, you’re not fair! You don’t know what you are doing. Life is too miserable. Life is too bad. God, you’re not fair to me.” “If only I could die. If only that roof could fall down and crush me. If only that guard would draw
his arrow back across his giant bow and shoot me. If only I could wring the neck of that woman. What agony! If only I could die.”

KEEP LOOKING TO GOD
He sat there in the corner of the jail, just crying. Finally he looked up and said, “Okay, God, if that’s what you want, just please help me. I don’t want to be bitter. I want to forgive. I want to love. There is no happiness in hate. Teach me to forgive. Give me strength.”Time went on. Finally the jailer put him in
charge of the whole jail. Because he was bitter? NO! Because he hated everyone? NO! Rather because he knew how to forgive and look to God. One night the king had a strange dream. No one could interpret the dream for him. Finally someone remembered Joseph and how God had given him the wisdom to interpret a dream. The king called for Joseph. God revealed to Joseph the meaning of the king’s dream. Egypt would be in great trouble. A big famine, lasting many years, would come. Many people would die unless something was done to prepare for the famine. Because Joseph had kept a good attitude in spite of all the difficulties and problems and because he had kept his life close to God, the king now was able to put him in charge of important work which would save the lives of many. Joseph finally got married. After all the years of agony and turmoil and tears, he was happy with his life. He was happy with his wife and children. Then he could say, “God, I’m beginning to understand that it pays off to walk in victory, to have forgiveness, to seek your help, and to work on attitudes that aren’t right or wholesome toward you nor toward life itself. And I want to change them.”

POWER OF FORGIVENESS
All those years of brokenheartedness made Joseph into a man that God could use. But first Joseph had to learn how to find victory and to walk in forgiveness. He had to find that power in God.Then came that beautiful chance for him to kill his brothers. But he did not. Instead he forgave them. He cried on their shoulders. “I love you. There’s no food in Canaan. Come down here and live in Egypt.”He was kind to his brothers and forgave them. Because of this, his brothers and his father did not die in the famine.There is power in forgiveness. We have nothing to gain by hating. We have nothing to gain by being bitter toward God for the difficulties that come into our lives. We need to forgive. So many times we say, “If only this or if only that would not have happened, then I would be happy.”

JOY IN GOD
Joseph knew how to find joy with God in spite of all the things that went wrong. We cannot change the situations of pain and sorrow that arise in our lives. There is absolutely no way we can change them. Instead, it is our attitudes toward difficult situations that must change. God wants to help us have a good attitude and a forgiving heart; He wants us to look to Him for help and strength in the midst of these troubles. What would Joseph have had to gain if he had become bitter and resentful? Nothing. What would Joseph have had to gain if he had caused the ceiling to fall on himself and crush him? Nothing. What did he have to gain by forgiving, by looking to God for strength? Everything. Suppose the ceiling would have fallen on him while he was resentful. His life would not have been profitable to himself nor to others. But in accepting his situation, he found what God was leading him to later. Because of his attitude, God blessed him. He had heaven to gain in the end.

THE INSIDE IS WHERE IT’S AT
Every person has struggles and temptations. The struggles are in your mind. The battle is not out where we can see it. The battle is inside. The Bible says that we wrestle not with flesh and blood. Our biggest problem is not people who do not like us - people who are flesh and blood. Our biggest problem is Satan working in our hearts and minds, trying to destroy us. That is our biggest problem. Satan wants to destroy us from the inside—through our minds and through our imaginations.

WINNING THE STRUGGLE
Yet, we do not want to give in. God is on the side of victory. He wants to make us into better people and better Christians. He wants to give us more of His joy by helping us to forgive, to love, to understand the situation, and to keep the right attitude about what happens to us in life.That is victorious living. The battle within us is for us to win but only with God’s help. We know what is going on in our hearts. We know what the struggle is that we are facing today. Each one of us faces a struggle, some to a different degree than
others. Some days the struggle is different; some days the struggle is harder. But the struggle is ours to win with God’s help. We have no one else to blame if we lose this battle. Let each one say with Paul in Philippians 4:13:“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

by Dr. Clair Schnupp
www.nymministries.org
Used with permission.

 

 

Help for our Hearts:

We are touched by worry, fear, love, anger, pain, and hope, in our hearts. We make many choices every day. How do we protect our hearts from the pain and consequences of wrong choices? (Proverbs 4:23)

Is there a way of escape from hard choices and temptation?
How do I think about it?

  • Some people say, "the devil made me do it." Can the devil make us sin?
    James 1:12-15
  • Does God really care about my struggles and temptation?
    James 1:5

How can we make good decisions in life?
How do I think about it?

  • Have I asked God for wisdom?
    James 1:5

  • Is it in my heart to say, "No"?
    Exodus 20:1-17

  • Will the choice show my respect for God and bring Him honor?
    I Corinthians 10:31

  • Will it slow down my walk or limit my run for Jesus Christ?
  • Will it make choices for me or become a habit?
    Hebrews 12:1-2; I Corinthians 6:12; Romans 13:14

  • Do I have doubts about a choice?
    Romans 14:23

  • Am I thinking about what will happen after the choice is made?
    Proverbs 13:5; Galatians 5:19-21

  • What do I know (obedience)?
    James 4:17

  • Will I be ashamed of it?
    >I John 2:28

  • Am I following the steps of Jesus Christ?
    I John 2:6

  • Will it hurt or quiet the Holy Spirit of God in my heart?
    Ephesians 4:30; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Thessalonians 5:19; Galatians 5:15-26

  • Is it different from the old choices I made before I became a follower of Jesus Christ?
    Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 5:17, 6:14-7:1, Ephesians 4:20-32; 5:8-10, Colossians 1:9-14; 3:10-15, I John 2:15-17

  • Will it help me live or give for God - stewardship?
    Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5-6, I Corinthians 4:1-2

  • Will it help others to know about Jesus Christ?
    I Corinthians 10:32-33, Colossians 4:5-6, I Thessalonians 5:22

  • Will it help others?
    I Corinthians 10:23-24

  • Will it hurt another another person?
    Romans 13:10, 14:13, 21, I Corinthians 8:9


How can we love those who do not deserve it (or those that do not love us)?

  • Any person can love those that love them in return. True love, according to Jesus, is
    loving those who cannot and will not love you back!
    Matthew 6:43-48

  • Jesus set the example of love by giving us His love when we did not deserve it.
    Romans 5:8

  • As believers, we can love others because the love of God is within us.
    I John 4:7-10

How can we have peace when our lives are full of anxiety?

  • Coming to Christ brings ultimate peace.
    Matthew 11:28-30

  • An obedient relationship with the God of peace brings the peace of God into our lives.
    Philippians 4:6-9

HEAVEN

John 14:1-4; Revelation 21:1-4

HELL

Psalm 9:17; Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8

HOLY SPIRIT

John 15:27; 16:7-14; Romans 8:26

Help for our Homes and Families:

There are many things that influence our homes. All around us we see familes that have been broken apart. It is good to be encouraged that we can do it - we can walk faithfully and teach our children.


Genesis 18:18; Deuteronomy 6:5-7; Joshua 24:15; Psalm 78:4-7; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 3:18-25; 5:22-25; Colossians 3:21; I Timothy 5:8; I Peter 3:7

Why are there so many problems in some homes?

  • Many parents are not living by biblical principles.
    Deuteronomy 4:40

  • Many parents are not teaching God's Word.
    Deuteronomy 32:46; Proverbs 22:6

  • Many parents fail to show and live the work of God in everyday life.
    Judges 2:7, 10-11

What does God desire for my family?

  • God, as our Creator, established the family.
    Genesis 2:22-24

  • Christ wants to be honored in our homes.
    Luke 7:44; Luke 10:38; Luke 19:5

  • Marriage is a lifetime commitment.
    Mark 10:9; I Corinthians 7:10-11

  • Living together without marriage is sin.
    Ephesians 5:3; I Thessalonians 4:3; I Corinthians 10:8

  • The home is a place of learning from example.
    Deuteronomy 6:5-7

  • The home is a place of protection from the world.
    II Corinthians 6:14-18

  • God wants every family member to accept Him.
    II Peter 3:9

  • God uses His followers to bring family members to Him.
    John 1:41

Who is supposed to be the leader at home?

  • God has a divine order of roles in the family.

  • Christ is the leader of the husband and Lord of the family.
    I Corinthians 11:3

  • The husband is the leader of the wife and chief authority over the children.
    Genesis 18:19; Ephesians 6:4; I Timothy 3:4-5

  • The father should realize his great influence in his home.
    Acts 16:31-32

  • God wants fathers to take spiritual leadership.
    Genesis 35:2; Hebrews 11:7

  • The husband is to oversee the spiritual and financial needs of his family.
    I Timothy 5:8

  • Fathers will answer to God regarding their leadership responsibility.
    Proverbs 24:11-12; Ezekiel 3:17, 20; Hebrews 13:17

  • The wife is a helper to her husband.
    Genesis 2:18; Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:24

  • The wife under her husbands leadership, also leads her children.
    I Timothy 5:14; Proverbs 31:15, 27

  • God wants parents to require obedience in the home.
    Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20

  • Children are to be trained at a young age.
    Proverbs 22:6

  • Children are to honor their parents.
    Colossians 3:20

  • Adult children are to take responsibility and establish their own home.
    Genesis 2:24

  • Parents must earn respect through authentic living.
    Genesis 19:14

  • Parents must establish rules for those in their home.
    Proverbs 17:2; I Timothy 3:5

  • Each person should participate in the workload of the home.
    II Thessalonians 3:10

  • Godly leaders should expect resistance to godly living.
    Matthew 10:36; I Corinthians 2:14

If we have no church building, can we do ministry through our home?

  • The home can be used for ministry to others.
    II Kings 4:8-11; Acts 16:15; Acts 28:30; I Timothy 3:2

  • The husband and wife can be a good team to minister to others through their home.
    Acts 18:26

  • Children can join parents in ministry through their home.
    Acts 21:8-9

  • The home is a place for private prayer.
    Acts 10:30

  • The home is a place for prayer meetings.
    Acts 12:12

  • The home is a place where the church family can meet.
    Acts 5:42; Acts 20:20; Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 16:19; Philemon 1:2; Colossians 4:15

  • False teachers should not be welcome in the home.
    II John 1:10


HOPE

Psalm 42:5; Romans 15:13; Hebrews 6:18

When a person or situation seems hopeless, remember these four truths:

God can save anyone!

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

I Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Romans 10:13
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse any sin!

I John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

God can change any life!

II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

God can give victory over any addiction!

Psalm 119:133
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

I John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

I Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


JESUS

John 1:1-5; 14; 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:5-11; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 12:2-3

LABOR

Genesis 2:15; Proverbs 15:19; 21:5; 28:19; 24:30-34; Romans 12:11; Ephesians 4:28; I Thessalonians 4:11-12; II Thessalonians 3:10-12; I Timothy 5:8

Leadership - Encouraging others to follow the path we are walking through Jesus Christ

Matthew 20:25-28; John 13:12-15

What are Biblical qualifications for leadership in the church?

  • Qualifications for Pastors and Deacons.
    I Timothy 3:1-13

  • Qualifications for Pastors.
    Titus 1:6-8

What does it mean to be a disciple and disciple others?

  • Discipleship requires giving up personal comfort, conflicting culture, and complacency.
    Luke 9:57-62

  • Discipleship is revealed by a total commitment to Christ. Do we love family over Christ? Do we love comfort over Christ? Do we love possessions over Christ?
    Luke 14:25-27; 33-35

  • Life is not about me. It is about my Saviour.
    Matthew 10:37-39



How can we be an effective leader and mentor in our community?

  • In order to be respected as a leader, we need to honor those that God has placed in authority over us.
    Romans 13:1-7

  • The best leaders lead. They lay a path for others to follow. As we stay close to Christ and lay a pathway, we delight in showing others the way to go. We can say as Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ!
    I Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; I Corinthians 4:16; I Thessalonians 1:6

How should we handle conflict?

  • We are learning that the best way to handle conflict is to get it taken care of right
    away! Sometimes this is painful, but it pays off in the long run.

  • We have people problems when we delay in taking care of conflict.

  • God will refuse our gifts until we get it right.
    Matthew 5:22-25

  • We should try to handle a matter of conflict privately before ever taking it public.
    Matthew 18:15-17

  • Love for brothers and sisters in Christ covers many conflicts! We should respond in love instead of hatred, anger, and bitterness.
    I Peter 4:8


I did not have a dad at home growing up. I am now a father and want to be a good leader at home. What are some things I should know?

Great question! Here are some contrasts in leadership to consider:

Read Ephesians 6:1-4. When it comes to godly leadership, being authoritative (someone who is respected) is good, but being an authoritarian (someone who wants to control others) is not good. What is the difference?

  • A godly leader shows his genuine love for his family by meeting their needs (Ephesians 5:25), but a poor leader is demanding and dictatorial. He treats others as inferiors (Matthew 18:10).

  • A godly leader is willing to be lead. He respects higher authorities and is secure and confident in his relationships with higher authorities (Ephesians 5:21). A poor leader avoids accountability to higher authority and is often critical of them (Ephesians 6:5).

  • A godly leader is willing to take time to listen. He communicates warmth and love for those under his authority. He talks to children, not at them (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). A poor leader scores low on warmth and communication (Proverbs 18:13-15).

  • A godly leader is fair and consistent. He makes clear rules with clear consequences, and follows them consistently (Proverbs 3:12; 22:6). A poor leader sets high demands with high controls, but is either abusive or inconsistent in enforcing them producing frustration and fear. He is often rigid or excessively disciplined and demands the same from others (Ephesians 6:4).
  • A godly leader sets a good example, both in and out of the presence of his family (I Corinthians 10:31). A poor leader has a private life (thoughts, actions, or associations) that violates what he professes (Ephesians 5:15-16).

  • A godly leader is willing to be involved. He can have fun! He keeps informed and interested in the interests and activities of his family. He monitors their lives, communicates concerns and stays with their problems long enough to resolve them (Proverbs 17:22). A poor leader will distance himself emotionally by escaping into his job or other pursuits.

  • A good leader is imaginative, with a vision of what the precious lives in his home can become, and finds creative ways of helping them reach these goals (Psalm 127:3). A poor leader produces family members that are hostile, negative, feeling inadequate, pressured, and unaccepted unless they "measure up".


Let's pray daily for help to be the kind of godly leaders we can and should be!

LOVE OF GOD

John 3:16; 17:23; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:4-7; II Thessalonians 2:16-17; I John 4:10, 16-19


What is God's love for us like?

I Corinthians 13


  • His love is patient – “suffers long” (willing to be wronged without retaliation).
    Hebrews 6:10; 8:12

  • His love is kind (loving people more than they deserve).
    Ephesians 4:32

  • His love does not envy (not jealous of someone else’s gain or goods).
    Titus 3:3-4

  • His love does not brag – “vaunteth not itself” (not impressing others with a focus on myself).
    Proverbs 27:2

  • His love is not arrogant – “puffed up” (not seeing myself as superior to another).
    Romans 12:3; I Corinthians 10:12

  • His love does not behave improperly – “behave itself unseemly” (not disrespectful or rude).
    Titus 2:6-8

  • His love does not insist on it’s own way – “seeketh not her own” (works toward the best interests of another).
    Matthew 20:28; Philippians 2:4

  • His love is not easily offended - “not easily provoked” (not quickly upset or agitated).
    Psalm 119:165; Proverbs 19:11; Galatians 2:20

  • His love does not focus on the negatives - “thinketh no evil” (not suspicious, but believes the best of others).
    I Corinthians 10:4-5; Philippians 4:8-9

  • His love does not enjoy wrongdoing - “rejoiceth not in iniquity” (acknowledges the effect of sin on people, but not happy in another’s downfall or misfortunes).
    I Samuel 15:25; Proverbs 24:17

  • His love desires the truth - “rejoices in truth” (possesses a genuine love and desire to apply God’s Word).
    Jeremiah 12:3; Psalm 1:2; 19:8-11; II Timothy 2:15

  • His love is willing to bear it - “beareth all things” (a chosen response that is not discontent amidst difficult people or circumstances).
    Philippians 4:11-14

  • His love believes the best – “believeth all things” (not cynical, but having an outlook of trust in God and people).
    II Corinthians 1:9-12

  • His love anticipates the best – “hopeth all things” (optimistic that God will bring good from the events in my life).
    Psalm 14:30; Philippians 2:14-16; II Timothy 4:7

  • His love persists in difficulty - “endureth all things” (continues unaffected and unchanged around difficult people or circumstances).
    I Corinthians 9:12

  • His love never fails – “never faileth” (knowing His love will never cease).
    Romans 8:32, 39; Hebrews 13:8


Ministry - Touching other lives around me:

What are some ways God can use me to minister on my reservation?

Those of us who live in the native community have some powerful "tools in our toolbox" for ministry. Here are four advantages that we have:

  • The power of example. Everyone is watching the message preached by our lives.
    I Thessalonians 1:7-9; I Timothy 4:12


  • The opportunity to be available. We can have people in need come to us at home and work on their schedule.
    I Peter 3:15


  • The advantage of already being accepted. Unlike a stranger, our clan knows us and we can walk among them.
    I Thessalonians 4:11-12


  • The ability to listen and share in our heart language. We can give understanding of spiritual truths in a way that few outsiders can.
    Romans 10:14-15

How can we help people who are suffering?

  • Know that Jesus really cares for abused people.
    I Peter 5:7

  • We can help others from our experiences.
    II Corinthians 1:3-4

  • God can make us more and more like him.
    Romans 8:28-29

  • Some suffering may be part of God's plan.
    I Peter 4:19

How can we help those struggling with addiction?

  • We have to admit that we are weak and need help.
    Romans 7:18-19

  • God knows our weakness and promised to help us.
    II Corinthians 12:9

  • We need to have the courage to say, "no."
    I Corinthians 9:27

  • We need to guard our thinking.
    II Corinthians 10:5

  • God's Word needs to be always on our mind.
    Proverbs 4:4

  • There is always a way of escape.
    I Corinthians 10:13

How do we help those who have given up hope?

  • The race of life requires patience.
    Hebrews 12:1

  • We get a reward if we do not quit.
    Galatians 6:9

  • Nothing can separate us from God's love.
    Romans 8:37-39

  • God is stronger than any enemy in the world.
    I John 4:4

  • God has a plan for our lives.
    Jeremiah 29:11-13

How should we respond when other Christian leaders fall into sin?

  • How can we encourage others who have fallen in their walk?
    Galatians 6:1

  • God's goal in church discipline is restoration, but sometimes it must result in cutting ties of fellowship.
    Matthew 18:15-17

  • We represent Christ with our actions. We should display Godly attitude and discernment in responding to others.
    Ephesians 4:1-3

  • While we need to confront sin, we must respond in love.
    I Peter 4:8

How should we handle differences of opinion?

  • Sometimes it is necessary for us to avoid doing certain things that we are convinced are okay for Christians to do in order to keep a weaker or younger believer from falling into sin.
    I Corinthians 8:1, 9, 12-13

  • The early church had to work through the question of circumcision. The Jewish Christians tried to place the yoke of circumcision on the Gentile believers.
    Acts 15:5-11

How can we communicate effectively?

  • Communicate the truth with love.
    Ephesians 4:25

  • Settle problems quickly.
    Ephesians 4:26, 27

  • Communicate with truth.
    Ephesians 4:29

  • Communicate humility with forgiveness.
    Ephesians 4:30-32

How can we balance ministry with home life?

  • Any individual who is not married should consider it a blessing to be able to concentrate all effort on serving the Lord.
    I Corinthians 7:32, 34-35

  • However, for one who is married, God puts a lot of emphasis on having our private life together before we serve in public. In ministry, our public ministry will be a failure if our private home life is a failure.
    I Timothy 3:1-13

  • Moses was counted faithful in his house and was given larger public responsibility.
    Hebrews 3:2, 5

MONEY

Matthew 22:21; I Corinthians 4:1-2; I Timothy 6:6

Here are principles to think about from God's Word:

God is committed to meet our needs.

Philippians 4:19; Proverbs 30:8-9

All we have belongs to God.

Psalm 24:1

We are stewards (caretakers) of God's possessions.

I Corinthians 4:2; Luke 16:10

God wants us happy in Him, not just His blessings.

I Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 13:5

God doesn't want us to be jealous.

Psalm 73:2-3

God wants me to covet good character.

Proverbs 19:1; 22:1

Things do not guarantee happiness.

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11; Luke 12:15; Philippians 4:11-13

Less is sometimes better.

Proverbs 15:16

Invest in spiritual things.

Matthew 6:19-21

Decisions reveal values and affections.

Proverbs 23:4-5; Matthew 22:37-39; I Tim. 6:10; I Cor. 10:31

We all need wisdom for our home.

Proverbs 24:3-4

Money we receive is a tool from God to provide for my spouse and children.

I Timothy 5:5

How we manage money affects our relationships.

Proverbs 27:6

Husband and wife should agree on goals.

Romans 12:16

Parents answer to God (not friends or relatives) for their home's decisions.

Joshua 24:1; Ephesians 5:31

Children learn the value of work and reward from parents.

Proverbs 1:8; 12:11; 21:17, 25-26; 22:6; II Thessalonians 3:10

Gambling is never good stewardship.

Proverbs 12:11; 28:22


Some Practical Steps:

  • Write down goals.
    Luke 14:28

  • Use a written budget.
    Proverbs 27:23-24

  • Master money or it will master you.
    Proverbs 10:4

  • Be cautious of pressure to make quick purchases. Proverbs 21:5; 14:15

  • First set aside a tithe for God.
    Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 4:4

  • Prepare for an emergency.
    Proverbs 27:12 Genesis 41:33-36

  • Pay taxes.
    Romans 13:1, 6-7

  • Pay debts on time.
    Psalm 37:21; Proverbs 3:27-28

  • Pay off any debt as soon as possible.
    Proverbs 27:7

  • Parents are to save to help their children's future.
    Proverbs 13:22

  • Endurance is rewarded.
    James 1:12

Ministry to Others:

  • Set aside an amount to help someone in need.
    Philippians 2:4; Proverbs 28:27, I Tim. 6:18-19; Luke 6:38

  • Teach God's principles to those seeking help.
    Proverbs 12:11; II Timothy 2:2

  • Reveal what is real treasure.
    Proverbs 3:13-14

  • Any assistance should further spiritual goals.
    Philippians 4:18

  • God's provision should never assist rebellion against God. Ephesians 5:5; I Corinthians 5:11


Conclusions:

  • We all can benefit from wise advice.
    Proverbs 19:20

  • We can ask God for His wisdom.
    Proverbs 3:5-6; James 1:5

  • Patterns can be changed.
    Proverbs 10:4-5

  • Possess a "can do" attitude.
    Philippians 1:6

  • God is good at new beginnings.
    II Corinthians 5:17

  • Pray over your plans.
    Proverbs 16:2; Psalm 66:18

  • Wise decisions are based on biblical principles, not changing feelings.
    Matthew 6:30; 7:11


PRAYER

Luke 11:1-4; John 15:7; Philippians 4:6

PRIDE

Proverbs 16:18-19; Isaiah 5:21; Mark 9:33-37; I Corinthians 10:12; II Corinthians 10:17-18

PURPOSE

Ecclesiastes 12:13; I Corinthians 10:31; II Corinthians 5:9; Colossians 1:18

REPENTANCE

Psalm 51:1-4; Ezekiel 18:21-22; Matthew 9:13; II Corinthians 7:9-10

REVENGE

Romans 12:19-21; Ephesians 4:31-32

REWARDS

Matthew 6:1-4; Hebrews 6:10; James 1:12

SALVATION

John 1:12-13; 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; 10:9-10; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-10; II Timothy 3:15

What is the work of God at salvation?

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

  • God adopts that person into the family of God:

 John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

I John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God…”

Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

 

  • God forgives his sin: 

I John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

John 3;17-18 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 38:17, Micah 7:19, Hebrews 8:12

 

  • The Holy Spirit indwells the believer:

I John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Resides within us - I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Received at salvation - Romans 8:9, But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  Vs. 16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Replaces that which does not fulfill: Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

 

  • God secures the believer:

I John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

John 6:37b All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

I John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…”

SATAN

Isaiah 14:11-15; John 10:10-11; Ephesians 2:2-3; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:10

What is the devil like?

Satan - His attacks are very real and can be intense in fighting our spiritual walk with God.)

  •  He is a murderer and a liar (John 8:44).

  • He is a thief that wants to "...steal, kill, and destroy." (John 10:10).

What is our defense?

  • Be always on guard duty.
    I Peter 5:8

  • Do not compromise.
    Ephesians 4:27

  • Remember the two actions for every day.
    James 4:7

  •  Claim this promise that gives us confidence:
    I John 2:13-14.

 

SIN

Isaiah 64:6, Acts 10:43; Romans 3:23; 6:23; James 1:14-16

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Can you help me find some verses about what is fighting my spiritual growth?

The Bible says we spiritually battle Satan, the world, and our flesh (I John  2:13-16).

What is the devil like?

Satan - His attacks are very real and can be intense in fighting our spiritual walk with God.)

  •  He is a murderer and a liar (John 8:44).

  • He is a thief that wants to "...steal, kill, and destroy." (John 10:10).

What is our defense?

  • Be always on guard duty.
    I Peter 5:8

  • Do not compromise.
    Ephesians 4:27

  • Remember the two actions for every day.
    James 4:7

  •  Claim this promise that gives us confidence.
    I John 2:13-14.

What about the things in this world  that tempt me?

(Our society's values can be very sensual (pleasing), materialistic (unspiritual), and hard to resist. They can whisper to us and distract our focus on God.)  

  • God's children are to think differently.
    Romans 12:2

  • Our priorities are different.
    Matthew 6:33, Luke 9:23-25
  • The world opposes the truth we obey.
    John 17:14-17

  • We cannot please both God and the world.
    James 4:4

  • God changes our affections.
    I John 2:15-17

 

Notice three things in the world that are not of the father:

  • Lust of the flesh is the desire for fun.

  • Lust of the eyes is the desire for fortune.

  • Pride of life is the desire for fame.

Claim this promise that gives us confidence:

I John 5:4-5
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? "



Flesh   (The pull to do what we feel like doing is a very common temptation for all of us.)

  • Plan to fight a daily battle.
    Galatians 5:17, Romans 7:18 


  • Realize we are all weak!
    Matthew 26:41


  • Think ahead to plan for victory.
    Romans 13:14 


  • Claim this promise that gives us confidence.
    Philippians 4:13

SUCCESS

Joshua 1:6-8; Ecclesiastes 12:13; I Corinthians 15:58; I John 2:17

SUFFERING

II Corinthians 12:9-10; I Peter 2:19-23

SUICIDE

Job 2:9-10; John 10:10-11; I Peter 5:6-10; I John 5:11-12

We have a high suicide rate in our community. Can you share help from the Bible that I can use to minister to people in despair?

Yes! The Bible has answers that change lives. Our native communities have some of the highest suicide rates in our nation. We who have experienced hope in Jesus Christ can make a difference.

Scripture indicates that it is God's people who are best equipped to intervene with a message of hope (I Peter 3:15). The keeper of the prison at Philippi was ready to commit suicide when he thought the prisoners had escaped and felt he would be put to death. (Acts 16: 25-30). God used Paul to tell the Philippian jailer, "Do thyself no harm."

To be effective in assisting desperate individuals, it is helpful to become familiar with contributors to despair. As we read Elijah's story of despair in I Kings chapter 19, his life reflects many of the things that contribute to depression that are observed in people today.

A. Traumatic Events:

  • Elijah endured three years of drought, spiritual opposition, and death threats.
  • Events such as death of a loved one, divorce, and incarceration can take a great toll.

B. Ongoing Stress Issues:

  • Elijah's life as a prophet was one of encountering ongoing challenges and conflict (I Kings 17, 18).
  • Today families face financial debt, marital problems, parenting challenges that can result in a host of physiological factors (let down emotionally, physical toll, body drained, etc.)
  • Special events and holidays often reveal unfulfilled expectations.There are more suicides around Christmas than any other time of year!

As you work with individuals contemplating suicide, an attitude that is often present in their lives is unresolved bitterness:

  • Elijah was upset with Israel for not changing the way he expected (I Kings 19:14).

  • Other examples include Jonah who wanted to die because he was angry at God for His mercy toward the people of Ninevah (Jonah 4:1-9). He was also angry at the Ninevites because of their wickedness.

  • Samson wanted revenge on the Philistines and wanted God to take his life along with theirs (Judges 16:27-31).

Individuals contemplating suicide may want to get back at someone in an attempt to hurt them. Other times, people who are angry at themselves for their own failures will take their life in an attempt to punish themselves for their sin. (Judas hanging himself (Matthew 27:3-5).


Your response should take several factors into consideration:

  1. Evaluate the safety of their situation (I Kings19:1-3).Does the individual need to relocate temporarily? Is there abuse that needs to be reported?

  2. Evaluate their physical needs I Kings 19:5). Is a physician involved with an understanding of all prescribed medications. An overall plan for health including rest, exercise, diet, and nutrition may need to be discussed and implemented.

  3. Be available to provide an ongoing support system (I Kings 19:9, 13). Consider others, in addition to yourself, who could assist in meeting the needs of the individual. God directly intervened in Elijah's life asking questions and giving good counsel. God also provided Elisha (I Kings 19:19). People who are struggling need both encouragement and accountability (Proverbs 11:14; 27:6).

  4. Help provide a spiritual plan (I Kings 19:15-21).

    • Homework assignments are important because they provide a test of an individual's intentions (Luke 18:22-23). Helping someone in need requires an answer to some key question such as, "How serious are you?" "Are your goals God's goals?" God, through His Word, provides a "reality check" (I Kings 19:18) for our "pity parties" and loss of perspective (I Kings 19:4, 10, 14). Biblical truths that will transform lives are ineffective if an individual is content to be a victim.

    • Homework assignments provide a tangible next step. A changed life requires a change in lifestyle today. The opportunity to get started on a new life starts now.

    • Homework assignments promote truth in action. God requires from each of us obedience (James 1:27). He has a job for each of us to do (Ephesians 2:10). His plan involves a focus on the needs of others (Philippians 2:4) rather than our own selfish preoccupation (Jonah 4:11).

    • Homework assignments help us mentor in biblical truth. "Quick fixes" do not bring lasting change (Proverbs 20:17-18). Biblical solutions involve hard work (II Timothy 2:15). The goal of biblical truth is not merely behavior modification. God uses His still small voice (I Kings 19:11-12) to bring changes in our thinking and values (Romans 12:2; II Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:6-9). Encourage decision-making that is based on principles rather than feelings. Sadly, we must be prepared for individuals who when confronted with truth, still refuse to repent of their destructive lifestyle (I Kings 18:28, 37).


Emphasize Biblical principles for living:

  • Authority of God:
    God is God! - The only One who is to decide when and how a person should die is the Creator. Jesus came to save life, not to see a person kill or destroy his life (Mark 3:4). This would be contrary to the eternal purpose of God for a person's life (Ephesians 2:10).

  • Ownership:
    We belong only to Him (Ezekiel 18:4; Ephesians 1:14). God alone has the right to give or take away life. Job recognized this right in Job 1:22. We were created for Him (Colossians 1:16). A believer's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

  • Honor God:
    It is our responsibility to treat our Creator with respect, and suicide dishonors Him (I Corinthians 10:31).

  • Image of God:
    Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that we are made in the image of God. We are not allowed to murder (Genesis 9:6-7).

  • Wait on the Lord:
    The Bible teaches us to trust, depend on, and believe in God throughout its length (Romans 8:28). To take one's life would show no faith in God. Suicide is contrary to faith, which fights and overcomes the pressures and temptations of the world (I Timothy 6:12; II Timothy 4:7-8; I John 5:4). Many believers down through history were persecuted, tortured, and put to death; they did not commit suicide for an "easy out." They "fought the good fight" to the end (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

  • Serving others:
    Think about how suicide devastates family members and like a ripple effect, affects the lives of so many other people (Philippians 2:4).

The Bible encourages us with examples of people who loved the Lord & with His help, came through their despair:

  • Job lost his children, money, and health.
    Job 3:20-21, Job 7:15-16

  • David had many enemies that were trying to make him fall. They wanted to destroy him.
    Psalm 13:2-3

  • Solomon had money, women, power, and wisdom. He said that all is vanity (emptiness or unsatisfying).
    Ecclesiastes 2:17

  • Jeremiah faced discouragement because the message from God he was preaching was rejected. He faced persecution because he shared God's message.
    Jeremiah 20:18

  • Paul even despaired of life because of persecution and suffering.
    II Corinthians 1:8

The Bible also instructs us with examples of people who exhibited a pattern of living that rejected God's will for their lives. Scripture records several people who actually took their own lives. Not enough is said regarding Saul's armor-bearer to make a judgment as to his character, but the other men exhibited a pattern of living that rejected God's will for their lives.

  • Samson died a premature death (Judges 16:26-31). Samson's primary goal was to kill the Philistines. There is no doubt though that Sampson exhibited a pattern of living that rejected God's plan for his life.

  • Abimelech was Gideon's son. (Judges 9:54). His life is remembered for his ego, self-promotion, ambition, and hanging out with reckless people.

  • Saul was anointed king (I Samuel 31:4) but lived a life focused on self, image, accomplishment, title, position, and impressing people. The result was that he was stressed out, unable to live up to expectations, and he felt himself a failure.

  • Saul's armor-bearer was impulsive(I Samuel 31:4-6). He wanted to die with his leader (Today 40% of teen suicide is on impulse).

  • Ahithophel was advisor to Absalom (II Samuel 17:23). He was embarrassed when things didn't go his way and was bitter because his advice was not followed.

  • Zimri (I Kings 16:18 ) had a problem with authority. He murdered his king and the kings family. He ruled Israel for a week.

  • Judas (Matthew 27:5) lived in the presence of Jesus for three years surrounded by other disciples yet he had a value system of materialism and made decisions that resulted in great regret, but not repentance.


In each case, we need to understand that there was a moment of decision that resulted in death. Many times the decision to go against God's plan reflects that individual's chosen pattern of thinking and behavior over the course of a lifetime.

TEMPTATION

I Corinthians 10:12-13; II Timothy 2:22

TRADITION

Is the Bible a "white man's book?"

VICTORY

Romans 6:6-14; II Peter 1:3-10; I John 5:4

WISDOM

Proverbs 1:5; 3:5-6; 15:24; James 3:13-18

WITNESS

Matthew 5:16; 28:19-20; I Peter 3:15

What is important to say when telling someone how to get saved?

A simple way to share hope in Jesus Christ is to remember ABC!

  • Accept:

Christ is the Answer!

I John 4:9
"In this was the love of God manifested toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."

I John 5:11
" And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."

Romans 10:13
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. "

He is the only Answer: 

John 14:6
" Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

John 1:29
“...Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”

I John 1:7
“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

He is like our attorney: –“advocate -  to stand on our behalf."
I John 2:1
“…we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

He steps in to take our place  – “propitiation - substitute replacement."
I John 1:2
“And he is the propitiation for our sins…”

 

  • Believe (genuine faith and repentance)

Acts 16:31
"And they (Paul & Silas) said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

 Isaiah 55: 6-7
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

- Every person falls into one of two groups:
I John 5:11-12
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

- We cannot add to Christ’s completed work.
Titus 3:5
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

 

  • Confess (prayer unto God)

I John 1:9
" If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Psalm 32:5
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."

 Proverbs 28:13
" He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. "


WORSHIP Matthew 22:37; John 4:19-24; I Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 4:11



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