Christians are often forced to make critical decisions in life, and the question that should first come to our mind is: ‘what is God’s will regarding this?’ Although we know it is important, how exactly to discern and then do God’s will, can be confusing and easily misunderstood. Moreover, can a person be assured of being in the centre of God’s will?
The Bible, God’s revealed Word, contains his will and can never contradict it. Here, God requires us to know what he wants in order to be wise (Eph.5:17). God then, is not going to hide his will from us, is he? However, God reveals his will, both general and specific, in some specific ways not merely for us to understand but to undertake for his blessing lies is ‘doing’ it (John 7:27; 13:7). There are at least three distinct sources that serve as divine guidelines through which we may discern and determine what is God’s will for us.
The first source that helps discover God’s will is the perfect Word of God – the Bible. This is objective truth, and an eternal source that will endure forever, which God has exalted above his name! It is inspired literally God-breathed, therefore reliable and it also claims (2Tim 3:16) to be profitable for doctrine [i.e. it tells us what is right] reproof [shows us what is not right] correction [helps us get right] and for instruction [enables us to stay and live right].
The second source for guidance is an internal one and in a sense, subjective truth. Along with God’s written Word, The Christian is given God’s Holy Spirit as a permanent resident (Rom 8:9). The Spirit knows the mind as well as the will of God (1Cor.2:11-12). As our teacher and counselor, through what seems strange or even unexpected circumstances, he leads us into all truth (Jn. 14:16, 26; 16:13). Nevertheless, it is crucial that the believer seeking the Spirit’s guidance, is filled or more accurately controlled and obediently yielded to the Spirit – His gracious enabling and giftings (Eph. 5:17,18).
The third source that helps us know God’s will is an external source yet a divine gift indeed –godly counsel from mature Spirit-filled believers. This collective truth can be reassuring and further reinforces its objective and subjective aspects. Think about this: the Christian God is himself community and has not created us as islands to live unto ourselves. He has placed believers into Christ’s body, the Church so that with all the saints we may know God’s love and purposes (Eph. 3:18; 4:15). Such collective wisdom is the need of the hour when so-called ‘prophetic’ words selfishly or dangerously are misleading gullible Christians (Proverbs 11:14; 12:15; 19:20). In this way, we gain from other’s proven experiences, can clarify our only understanding of God’s will and be confident in doing it from our hearts!
God wants to know his will and those who desire to do it will know it (if not, why should He reveal it?). When we trust Christ as Savior, he furnishes us with the needed spiritual resources to do his will: His Word, Spirit and Community.
Do you have these good gifts to use? If not, determine to study the Bible daily, listen to the Spirit’s voice and be a part of Christian growth or accountability group today. This will not exempt us from tough times and what people call ‘unfortunate situations’ yet remember our God always is in control and may the following truths by an unknown writer further encourage us:
The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God will not keep you
Where the arms of God will not support you,
Where the riches of God will not supply your needs,
Where the power of God will not endow you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the Spirit of God will not work through you
Where the wisdom of God will not teach you,
Where the army of God will not protect you,
Where the hands of God will not mould you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God will not enfold you
Where the mercies of God will not sustain you,
Where the peace of God will not calm your fears,
Where the authority of God will not overrule for you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God will not dry your tears,
Where the Word of God will not feed you,
Where the miracles of God will not be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God will not find you!
Chris Gnanakan, Phd
Whatsup with families north of the border? Much of the same – gradual breakdown of families. Much of the social liberal policies are undermining the society and the nation. The southern neighbor may have contributed to this decline as well.
For the first time there are more single Canadian adults than married Canadians. Canadians are also working longer hours, and spending less time with their families and the families they have are less likely to be the traditional nuclear family. The number of married couples without children also outnumbered married couples with children for the first time.
These research finding comes from Vanier Institute of the Family. The report is called ‘Families Count – Profiling Canada’s Families IV’. See the news report.
Other distrubing trends include: Married-with-children families now represent 39 per cent of families, compared to 55 per cent in 1981. Common-law families are the fastest-growing family type in Canada, from 5.6 per of families in 1981 to 15.5 per cent in 2006. Two decades ago, 81 per cent of children under the age of 15 lived with legally married parents, but in 2006, only 66 per cent of children under 15 did.
New economic realities has its impact as well: Families are responding by working more. Men are working longer hours, up to 8.8 a day in 2005 compared to 8.2 hours in 1986. That extra work is coming at the expense of the family, with men now spending 3.4 hours a day with family, compared to 4.2 hours in 1986. Women are now more likely to be the breadwinner in a two-parent family, with 28 per cent being the primary earner in their family.
More elders to care for. More young people choosing to cohabitating, not having children, pain of divorce culture, gay lifestyle etc are sure destablize society at large. It has happened in rest of the Western society and Canada will not be able withstand the downward spiral of societal decay.
The Lord is my Shepherd = That's Relationship!
I shall not want = That's Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That's Rest!
He leader me beside the still waters = That's Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul = That's Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That's Guidance!
For His name sake = That's Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That's Testing!
I will fear no evil = That's Protection!
For Thou art with me = That's Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That's Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That's Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil = That's Consecration!
My cup runneth over = That's Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That's Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That's Security!
Forever = That's Eternity!
In today’s world, if there is a certain attention getting word, if there is a word that capture anyone’s imagination in this turbulent, noisy environment it is Confidence. Since it is written by a Pastor and a Theologian, you’d quite naturally expect Dr. David Jeremiah to be a dispenser of hope, but the contents of this book are certain to stir you cover to cover. Whether it is quoting the personal journey of Bobby Jindal or drawing from empirical evidence, he makes a compelling case of how people all over the world are gravitating towards the spiritual quest after many years of futile intellectual chases. When your world falls apart, not only do you need intellectually compelling answers but hope, comfort and assurance that can lift your soul.
He loves alliteration. Using a series of phrases around Staying Calm, Staying Connected, he builds all the ten chapters with the recurrent message of how when crisis strikes, personal or national, one can lean on God’s word, nature and his promise to sail through. Interesting nuggets are interspersed throughout to make the book interesting ” For instance in the chapter on “Staying calm” he cites the beaufort scale when Calm is the lowest measure and the highest notch is hurricane. “Everyone talks about the weather”, he quips Mark Twain but nobody does anything it, as he closes the first chapter and reminds the readers that Jesus said “Dont let your hearts be troubled, Believe in me”
“Catastrophes ought to teach you compassion” he exhorts in a typical shepherdly tone. In the chapter on Stay Compassionate, he reminds us of the fact that we are all in it together. Life, the cauldron of suffering has an inscrutable way of catching all of us off-guard. The book is not just packed with scriptural exhortations that can ocassionally lull the reader into familiar contempt, the illustrations are rivetting like the story of PLO sniper Taas Saada.
Probably because of his day job as a preacher and teacher, Dr. Jeremaiah’s calling card is simplicity. There are no profound metaphysical mysteries explained, no conundrums cracked, Merely engaging stories and principles that inspire and reinforce the hope of glory in the life of Christ Jesus.
The rest of the chapters, Staying Constructive, Staying Challenged, Staying Connected, Staying Centered, Staying Confident, Staying Consistent, Staying Committed, and Staying Convinced follow a similar pattern of story telling and applying scriptural principles.
There are two groups of people who could immensely benefit from this book. Those who have had a crisis, and those who are likely to have one. Thank you Pastor DJ.
Sunil Robert Vuppula
Reading: Hebrews 10:19-27
"Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage each other" (Heb 10:25)
The secret of the strong faith of the early saints of God was in their regular gatherings. If this can become true of all the believers of all the Churches today, we too can "turn the world upside down" — no, no, set the upside-down world straight! (Acts 17:6). Lord, do it again!
Individual faith builds up corporate faith. In like manner, corporate faith strengthens individual faith. When we assemble as a family of believers, each one's faith is made strong. We go to the Church with a faith so feeble, but after worshipping the Lord together we return with a heart full of faith. Praises cannot but often burst thro' our lips on our way back home. When a Church grows in faith it grows in size too. We read in the Book of Acts, "The Churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily" (Acts 16:5). Qualitative as well as quantitative faith! This is balanced Church growth.
The fellowship of saints is important for another reason: it helps especially those who are weak in faith (Rom 14:1-4). "A brother is born to help in time of need" (Prov 17:17).
Unity does not mean that all have to be alike. Unity is not uniformity. Our God is a God of diversity. Unity in diversity is God's way. People have a tendency to join together only with those who are exactly like them. But God magnifies Himself in the Church only through a glorious diversity.
Assembling of God's people helps the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a proper way. When we observe how God uses others we are able to understand the "measure" of faith God has given us. This enables us to function within our limits.
Coming together as God's children gives us an opportunity to observe the faith of our leaders and elders. We are admonished in the Scriptures, "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" (Heb 13:7). This also places a tremendous responsibility on leaders to be living examples to the believers "in faith" (1 Tim 4:12). In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, "Fight a good fight of faith" (1 Tim 6:12). In his second letter, he testified, "I have fought the good fight...I have kept the faith" (2 Tim 4:7). O God, give us such leaders!