Joy

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, October 4, 2018

1 Peter 1:6-9  So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are filled with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Life is tough. Bad things happen, even to good people. Tragedies abound. The economy goes up and down. Our jobs may be threatened. Our families are stressed. Friends have forsaken us. Words we have said have been used against us. Our cars break down. Our houses flood. Our health fails. This world is bound by the demands of corruption that were imposed upon it when the human race chose sin over the sacred. Everything deteriorates towards destruction. It’s no wonder so many people are unhappy.

Today’s Scripture passage is vital to understanding how to survive in such a world. Our word for today is JOY. How is it possible to be truly glad, as Peter says?

It starts with definitions that clarify the distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness is an emotion that responds to positive input. When things go right, we are happy. When things go bad, we are sad. By contrast, joy isn’t an emotion. Joy can produce emotion, but joy is not emotion. Joy is the product of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Savior. Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Joy is permanent, and not contingent upon circumstances.

Have you ever experienced inexpressible joy? It happens to me quite often. You can tell when I’m experiencing it by the uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. It happens most often when I’m thinking, speaking, or looking at the subject of salvation. Several weeks ago, I broke down during a worship service while we were singing the song, “My Jesus, I love Thee.” I was overwhelmed with an inexpressible joy that caused my mouth to stop working and my eyes to start pumping. I was filled with the joy of my salvation.

That is the context of Peter’s challenge to be truly glad. Go back and read yesterday’s post if you need to review. We find permanent joy in the permanence of our salvation, even though we may experience unhappiness because of the problems with our circumstances.

Unhappiness is caused by our focus on the condition of our circumstances, rather than on the condition of our heart. Peter tells us it’s necessary to go through the trials and troubles of life, so that God can test and strengthen our faith. The trials are tests of trust. The tough times are portals to praise. We do not praise Him for the trouble, but we praise Him that the trouble doesn’t change our salvation, but only strengthens our faith. That’s where joy is found. That’s how to be truly glad!

The joy that you will experience when you begin to praise Him for your salvation is not even the fullness of joy. Peter says there is more wonderful joy ahead. Every trial brings greater joy, until one day all trials will be gone, and we will experience the fullness of joy in the presence of our Lord.

The next time a circumstance robs you of happiness, remember that in Christ nothing can steal your joy. It just takes a change of perspective. Rise above your clouds, and be thrilled with the glory of the Son. He has saved you, and you are His forever.

Culture may change but it can’t change your position in Christ. Circumstances can change but they can’t change your identity in Christ. Christ is your constant. Rejoice – and let the joy of your salvation become inexpressible.

Pastor John

Inheritance

LifeLink Devotional

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

1 Peter 1:3-5 All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him.

An inheritance can be pretty exciting. I remember a story I was told by a woman who had been a widow for 18 years. Her husband had been a pastor.  She told us that when her husband died, she was left with only $2000 in the bank after his funeral. Her social security income would not cover her expenses. Then she received a phone call from a lawyer. One of her uncles had died, and he had not left a will. After going through probate, it was determined that she and several other relatives would receive equal shares of the estate. It was a large estate. She now lives in a beautiful assisted living facility in the Twin Cities. She is quite comfortable. God gave her an inheritance that supplied all her needs. Her faithful service in the ministry, where very little was assigned to retirement benefits, was rewarded.

Our faithful service in ministry to the King will also be rewarded with an incredible inheritance someday. We have been made joint heirs with Jesus of all that is in eternity. Imagine how much that is. If the city in which we will live has streets of gold, imagine what our mansions will be like. If the homes built for us to live in are paid for completely from the resources of glory, and we get an equal share of all those resources, imagine how much that is. Now before we get too carried away, we must be careful to not get overcome by self-centered theology. Our hope of reward is not to be our primary motivation for ministry. However, the knowledge of a reward is certainly a part of the gift of salvation that does motivate us. We have an inheritance coming, and it’s far more than any rich uncle could ever give us.

It’s not wrong to look ahead to the hope of glory and the priceless inheritance God has reserved for His children. In fact, it’s wrong not to. When we stop looking ahead we begin looking around. I love to look around when I’m driving. It drives my wife nuts. How many times has she had to verbally correct a steering error because the car is moving in the direction of my eyes?

The same is true of our spiritual lives. The more we look ahead, and keep our eyes fixed on the finish line of glory and the inheritance waiting for us there, the less time we will spend looking around at what the world offers as alternatives. Looking ahead keeps us fixed on our goal. Looking at the dead deer in the ditch just might lead to us becoming his decomposition buddy. It certainly puts us at risk.

No earthly substitute can be found for the inheritance that awaits us in glory. No retirement fund beats the eternal one. No earthly purchase can match your heavenly purpose.

The prophet Isaiah says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”

The risk of taking our eyes off the final inheritance in heaven is that we will settle for mediocrity now. That’s what happened to the church at Laodicea.  Look at what Jesus says to them. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich.”  They were ineffective in ministry because they were invested in what the world could offer them.

The same will happen to us if we don’t keep investing in the eternal kingdom. Where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be. Let’s start building bigger investments into our eternal inheritance. The stock we buy in God’s Kingdom will never crash.

Pastor John

 

Healthy Heart

LifeLink Devotional

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

2 Corinthians 4:16  Therefore we do not lose heart…

My heart is heavy, but it remains healthy. The heaviness is being caused by a disease I see that is affecting vast numbers of people. It’s not a new disease, but just a new form of an old one. It is highly contagious, especially to those who have weakened immune systems. It’s unfortunate that the immune systems of so many are so weak.

The disease has taken on many forms through the years, so it has become increasingly difficult to diagnose. In its early stages it was generally diagnosed as liberalism. As the disease progressed and mutated it became identifiable by symptoms like legalism and permissiveness. I know those sound like conflicting symptoms, but that’s exactly why this disease has been so hard to specifically diagnose.

Other symptoms developed as time passed. The disease affected people’s ability to understand and accept truth as truth. It “opened their minds” to new definitions of what everyone used to call sin. In the church, it produced an overwhelming need for social acceptance, resulting in symptoms of emotionalism and secularism.

To appear to have healthy hearts, those affected by the disease have united with others in so-called “faith communities” based on socially accepted similarities. The premise of acceptance is that there is no need for distinguishing truth from error.  The disease has progressed by giving rise to social conscience at the expense of sound doctrine. The very truths of God’s nature and character have been rewritten to become acceptable and understandable to modern man. Only the characteristics of God that result in temporal benefit to mankind are emphasized. The disease has succeeded in its evil purpose – the destruction of the truth of God and the hardening of the heart of man.

There has always been a name for this disease. It is the same disease that split the angels of heaven. It is the same disease that separated man from God in the first place. It is the same disease that destroys the hearts of people today. The disease is called pride. Its single most recognizable symptom is self-centered living. It is deadly when left untreated. It is destroying churches that exist to please people. It is destroying people who think that God exists to satisfy them.

But there is a cure. And it is possible to restore one’s immune system and have a healthy heart. The cure is Jesus Christ, and the correction of the immune system is accomplished through commitment to the truth.  While the disease has progressed to a point of deep infiltration into the church, and can be labeled as pandemic, I believe it is possible to save individuals from its infectious consequences. It will require us to take a stand that will not be popular, but we are not seeking popularity. We will be persecuted for our stand, but our stand is based on truth that results in healthy hearts.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this disease way back in the first century when he sent a letter to his friends at the church in Corinth. These words help me to be resolved to stand strong with a healthy heart. I know they have strengthened my immune system so I can fight off the disease. I hope they do the same for you.

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body…

…Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Pastor John

Giants

LifeLink Devotional

Monday, October 1, 2018

Samuel 17:4   Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was a giant of a man, measuring over nine feet tall!

Nine years ago, I met an inspirational family. It was their first visit to our church. I first saw them after they had already carried their son into the church in his specially designed wheel chair.

At the time I only knew a short version of the story as told to me by their friends who invited them to church. When their son was 22 months old, he had a heart attack from a birth defect, and he nearly died. His brain was starved for oxygen and has been permanently damaged. At the time, the doctors gave little hope that he would ever grow intellectually and that he would have almost no physical ability. He would probably never reach out and initiate a hug with his parents.

Yet to watch these parents was inspirational. He is their son, and they love him unconditionally. What inspired me most about them was their attitudes. They were not pouting in self-pity. They were not cowering in the corner of fear and doubt. They were being courageous. They were facing this giant of a problem head on.

Yet in the few moments I spent with them it was obvious that they were searching for spiritual meaning to it all. They needed hope that surpassed their abilities. They knew there was still something missing in their lives, and their previous spiritual backgrounds had not offered them any real answers. They were looking for the truth that would help them conquer their giants. That truth is found only by faith in Jesus Christ and in the absolute control of God to bring about His good and His glory for those who love Him.

Giants are constantly stepping out of the ranks of life and challenging us. They appear at the most inopportune times. They come from the most unsuspecting places. It’s a fact of life that nothing stays the same for very long. It’s also true that life moves in the direction of disaster and destruction, and unless we look at life with spiritual eyes we will only see giants too big to overcome.

That’s what the nation of Israel saw when they saw Goliath. This giant of a man stepped out of the ranks of ordinary army life and challenged the Israelite army. Their first and biggest mistake was to let the giant set the rules for combat. They let the giant control them. They were scared when they should have been strategizing for success. For forty days they would go out and line up to fight only to fall back in fearful retreat at the sight of the giant. They knew what they wanted to do, but they gave the giant permission to stand in their way. Giants do that to us all the time.

Then one day a young man named David came to the battle front. He was experienced with giants. He had faith in God that conquers the fear of giants. He had fought hand-to-hand combat with bears and lions and been victorious. He wondered how one man could stand in the way of God’s army. He laid aside all of man’s armor that had been given to him, and he stepped out with nothing but a sling and five smooth stones. Nothing, that is, but his faith in his great and mighty God. When the giant stood over him and verbally reduced him to nothing, David responded with the words of faith, not fear. He said, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”  Goliath moved forward. David ran to meet him. He slings a stone and slays the giant. There is no giant that can stand in defiance of God. They will all fall just as Goliath did.

We all have giants in our lives. They may not look like giants to others, but they are to us. Every giant is a test. You have two possible responses – fear or faith. You’re going to battle some violent opposition; you might be tempted to retreat. But keep in mind, God is with you.

You’ll face overwhelming odds; you’ll be incredibly outnumbered. Fear would be your natural inclination. But keep in mind, God is with you.

This fight may not be over in ten minutes or ten weeks; there may be no quick solution. If you think it’s taking too long, keep in mind, God is with you.

In the words of Moses, who challenged Joshua to lead the people into the land of giants, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The LORD your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)

The choice of how you respond to the giants in your life is yours. You can let the giant dictate the rules of engagement and hold power over you; or you can stand against the giant and overcome him with the Word of the Lord. Grappling with giants doesn’t sound like fun, nor is it easy when done in our own strength. But we never have to fight in our own strength. Don’t let the giant convince you that he is greater than God. Don’t give in to the giant’s demands. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God is with you!

We are more than conqueror’s through Him – Jesus Christ – who loves us!

Pastor John

Friendship with God

LifeLink Devotional

Friday, September 28, 2018

John 15:13-15  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Jesus continually challenged the world’s perspective on life. After thousands of years of misdirection, it needed to be challenged. Jesus literally turned the world upside down with his principles.

“Thou shalt not murder” became “Don’t even hate.”

“Don’t commit adultery” became “Don’t even look longingly.”

“Get ahead and be first” became “Help others get ahead by serving them.”

Jesus was constantly challenging us to think from the perspective of His kingdom and not ours.

One of the ways he shakes up the status quo of today is to invite His followers into upper management. The business world in which we live is structured for advancement and status. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Put in your time at the lower levels and prove yourself faithful and you may earn a promotion. Follow orders well enough and maybe you’ll make sergeant. But all the time you’re working hard, you’re doing so rather blindly, without any real knowledge of the inner workings of the company. You may know the corporate mission statement, but you certainly aren’t invited to the CEO’s office for consultation on important decisions. You are labeled as labor, and you are dispensable if you don’t like it.

Then along comes Jesus, who chooses 12 men and grants them full rights of leadership from the beginning. Even the one He knew would be unfaithful was granted the privilege of being the corporate treasurer. They had to go through a training program, but they were placed in their positions long before they completed it.

The business model of the Kingdom was totally opposite of the world’s. Jesus knew that turning laborers into partners was the best way to do business. No one in the Kingdom of God starts at the bottom. Everyone who applies for a position is immediately hired and granted a management position. There is never a need for promotion.

I am fascinated by the statement of Jesus when He says, “You are my friends.”  The model of business relationships that I worked under and under which I managed others for so many years was that management and labor were to remain separate. Labor would receive rewards for their work, but they were not respected or considered qualified to give input into corporate decisions. They were simply oxen yoked together to provide power for pulling the big shots around, who used them for their undisclosed purposes.

Jesus totally redefined corporate structure. The church is the place where we flourish as these principles are applied.

When anyone, no matter who they are, walks into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus Christ and is forgiven for their sins, they are immediately granted full access to everything the Father has to offer them. God’s faithful forgiveness makes them the friend of Jesus forever, with equal status to anyone who is already in the Kingdom.

Need proof?

Read on.

Jesus said, And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones… (Luke 22:29-30)

The Apostle Paul says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure… (Ephesians 1:9) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:6) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Galatians 3:9)

We are not simply servants of the Master. We are not mere laborers in the Kingdom. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We are children of God with full rights of sonship. Everything the Father wills for His Kingdom has been revealed to us so that we are partners with Christ in accomplishing His purpose. We do not simply obey orders to receive a reward. We cooperate with Christ in ministry as friends. We are not motivated to serve so that we might earn a promotion. We serve and obey because of the joy of our present promoted position.

We are the friends of God, and He has intimately shared with us every detail of His Kingdom so that we might know Him and thereby serve Him faithfully. By faith we have been forgiven, and the Father makes us His friends.

FASCINATING.

We are the forever friends of God.

Pastor John

Endurance

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Colossians 1:10-12   And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Several years ago, when my brother stilled lived in West Chicago, I visited him and got to see the queen. No, not the Queen of England, but the queen of endurance. Anyone that has been around my family for very long knows that my wife thinks she is the queen of everything. But even she will admit that in this category the real queen is our niece.

While I was there, I attended a special breakfast for her at her school. She was receiving an award which recognized her as one of her high school’s students of the month. The teacher that nominated her did so because of her determination and endurance. It’s not so much the fact that she’s one of the top students of the school, or that she excels at competitive sports like soccer and track. What makes her the queen is that she is legally blind. She has Stargardt’s disease. It is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. As a result, she has no central field of vision and only limited peripheral vision. But that doesn’t stop the queen of endurance.

When I left Chicago she was loaded up with all of her stuff for school. The night before she had helped her mother bake a king’s cake for French class. I helped her carry it to her classroom. She also had her laptop computer equipped with special magnification programs to help her do her school work. She had her small duffel bag with her track clothes, because she had a track meet that afternoon. She had her book bag filled with homework. She carried everything but the cake, and led me through the halls of a crowded Chicago suburb high school without any assistance. She is the queen of endurance.

I called her when I got home from that trip to see how she did in the track meet. She took first place in two sprint events – the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash – and she was on two relay teams that took second place. Imagine a legally blind girl running around a track, staying in her lane, while receiving and handing off a baton to teammates. She is the queen of endurance. It was even more fun hearing about her soccer exploits as she was one of her team’s leading scorers.

Nothing has ever stopped my niece from pursuing her goals and dreams. Today she will rise early, walk several blocks in the dark to the train station, and travel to downtown Chicago. She will walk several blocks again through the traffic and pedestrians to her job, and then return in the evening. In her mind she has no disability. That’s because she knows that her physical abilities and disabilities are not what define her. Her inner spirit is what defines her. She has decided to endure any obstacle and to be her best. She is the queen of endurance.

In spite of her visual challenges, she sees far better than most of us. I know that there are worse things than Stargardt’s that can happen to people. But when anything debilitating happens to us, we think it’s the worst thing that could happen, and endurance isn’t the first word that pops into our heads after they happen. Anger happens. Blame happens. Depression happens. Quitting happens. All those things happen because our eyes are fixed on the immediate. We are so near-sighted. Yet the queen of endurance, who is the most physically near-sighted person I’ve ever known, has the best vision of anyone I’ve ever known. She sees the joy that is coming at the end of the race.

In Hebrews 12 we read these encouraging words. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Are you weary? Have you lost heart? Is your vision excessively near-sighted so that all you can see are the disabilities of life? Then refocus your eyes on the finish line. Someone who ran a much more difficult race is standing there waiting for you.  Start running your race of life with endurance. Jesus did. The queen does. You can.

Pastor John

Delivered

LifeLink Devotional

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

2 Corinthians 1:10   He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

 In 1972, Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox starred in a movie that is still a classic. It was called Deliverance. The stars play the roles of four city men who decide to leave their golf clubs behind for a weekend and take a canoe trip down a rushing river. They weren’t prepared for who they would meet along the way. After a series of encounters with wildlife and wild men, which result in two murders, their nightmare is finally over, or so they thought. They may have been physically delivered from their enemies, but the mental terror of what happened will be with them forever, as depicted in the last scene of the movie. We are left with the notion that there is no real deliverance from evil.

Many Christians still live with that notion firmly fixed in their minds. They believe there is a day coming when we will be delivered from evil when we reach the glorious presence of God in Heaven. But for today we must live with it. What a contrast to the words of Jesus when he instructed His disciples to pray – “And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER us from evil.” That doesn’t mean that there won’t be evil around us. It does mean, however, that there can be no evil in us. That means both physically and mentally. The spiritual deliverance from sin found in Jesus Christ can overcome both the flesh and the mind with the deliverance from evil, if we surrender to the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

The word deliver, or one of its forms, is used 195 times in the Bible. 53 of those times are in the Psalms alone. Probably my favorite use is in Psalm 91, because it was my mom’s favorite Psalm. It says, “Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.’”

Now that’s deliverance. God is with us in our trouble. He will deliver us from our trouble. He will honor us and satisfy us in this life. He will bring us to the completion of our salvation in eternal life. All this because we choose to love Him and acknowledge His Name.

The Apostle Paul knew the reality of that kind of a relationship with God. He stated clearly to the people in the church in Corinth that he had experienced terrible and tragic circumstances. He tells them, “I have been in prison, been flogged severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” But through it all Paul continued to trust in the deliverance of God.

At the beginning of his letter to the church at Corinth he had laid the foundation of deliverance. In chapter 11 he was giving the specifics, but he had already told them the outcome of it all. He said in chapter 1 verse 10,  “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” WOW! He remembered how the Lord had delivered him in the past. He was convinced that the Lord would deliver him in the presence. He had set his hope – his certainty – on the faithfulness of God to deliver him in the future. No current physical circumstance could change his emotional state because his mind was convinced that God would deliver him because of his spiritual condition.

That is a powerful statement worthy of remembrance and application to our own lives. No current physical circumstance can change your emotional state if your mind is convinced that God will deliver you because of your spiritual relationship with Him. If you are in Christ and have surrendered your life to Him for salvation, you have been delivered from sin. As a result, the Holy Spirit of God lives in you and is constantly delivering you from the influence of sin upon your mind and your emotions. Even though sin is around you, it does not need to affect you. Daily deliverance comes from listening to and surrendering to the Spirit of God. You are being delivered from sin and its influence today. Then one day, maybe soon, we who are in Christ will all be delivered from even the presence of sin around us when we meet Jesus face to face in God’s glorious presence.

Unlike the movie, there will be no last scene to your life leaving doubt as to the presence of evil. No more nightmares of terror. No more fear. God’s deliverance is complete. Start trusting it, live like you have been delivered.

Pastor John