What Did They Really Say?

Barry Bennett

In the book of Daniel we find the amazing story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. For their refusal to worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, they were being threatened with death in a fiery furnace.

The traditional interpretation of the story has Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego responding to the threat in this way: “If it is true that you will throw us into the fiery furnace then our God will deliver us out of your hand, O King.” “But if He doesn’t, we still won’t serve you.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

This unfortunate interpretation gives rise to the exaltation of double mindedness. Think about it for a minute. Their first response is to declare that God will deliver them from the furnace and the edict of the King. Then they supposedly continue by saying that if God doesn’t come through, they still won’t bow to the image. Huh? Obviously if they are dead, they won’t be bowing to any image. Not only is the response nonsensical, it is double minded.

What did they really say? We must first understand that this passage was written in Aramaic. Words are important and it is very important that we understand their meanings apart from religious tradition. Here is the dialogue:

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

”The phrase ‘if it be so’ is the Aramaic word ‘hen.’ If what be so? In verse 15 these men of God are threatened with being cast into the furnace. Their reply ‘if it be so’ is referring to the threat. ‘If it be so that you throw us into the furnace…”

They then continue: “But if not.” But if not what? The Aramaic words here are ‘hen la.’ The ‘la’ is the negative added to the original ‘hen.’ Hen = if it be so. Hen la = if it be not so. The original declaration was in regards to the threat. The following ‘hen la’ is with regards to the same threat!

This is what is being said: “If it be so that you throw us into the furnace, our God will deliver us. If it be not so (if you change your mind and don’t throw us in the furnace) be it known to you that we still won’t serve your gods…”Not only does this make perfect sense, it also delivers our heroes from the foolish double mindedness that has been attributed to them for so long. Their declaration is a declaration of faith. “God WILL deliver us. And if you change your mind, King, be sure that we still won’t worship your gods.

”This is what they really said. Don’t let tradition rob you of a powerful example of faith and deliverance!

Abraham’s Legacy and Blessing

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD Deuteronomy 6:4

There are many blessings given to mankind through the faithfulness of Abraham, but the key blessing is to recognize the sovereignty of the One who is the source of all blessings.  Abraham gave that legacy not only to Israel, but to all of his children.  And as Paul wrote some years after Moses penned the above verse,  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Rom 11:29   Abraham had different seed by Hagar, Sarah and Keturah and different blessings were given to these seeds.  The blessing that Christians are most interested in is the blessing through Isaac.  But, this does not nullify the blessings given to the other offspring.  For example, the angel blessed Ishmael and Isaac blessed Esau with their individual and unique blessings.   It goes without saying that some of  the blessings were greater than others. However,  all of Abraham’s children had the blessing of the knowledge of the true God and that “The LORD our God is one LORD:”

Once Abram had firmly established his own belief in one God, then there began an outworking of that belief to his family members – starting with his father, Terah.   Abram came to his father’s house and played along with the ritual of setting food and drink offerings before the twelve idols.  And Abram viewed them, and behold they had neither voice nor hearing, nor did one of them stretch forth his hand to the meat to eat.  And in the evening of that day in that house Abram was clothed with the spirit of God.  And called out and said, Woe unto my father and this wicked generation, whose hearts are all inclined to vanity, who serve these idols of wood and stone which can neither eat, smell, hear nor speak … And when Abram saw all these things his anger was kindled against his father, and he hastened and  took a hatchet in his hand, and came unto the chamber of the gods, and he broke all his father’s gods.  And when he done breaking the images, he placed the hatchet in the hand of the great god which was there before them and he went out;  … Jash 11:30-34

Naturally, when Terah came in and saw all the destruction, he called Abram on the carpet to explain how all this happened.  Abram told him that he had offered meat  before the gods and the small gods all reached forth there hands to eat before the great god could eat.  Then the great god saw this and took a hatchet and chopped up the small gods – and the hatchet was still in the hand of the great god.  And Terah’s anger was kindled against his son Abram, when he spoke this; and Terah said to Abram his son in anger, What is this tale that thou hast told? Thou speakest lies to me.  Is there in these gods spirit, soul or power to do all thou hast told me.  Are they not wood and stone, and have I not myself made them, and canst thou speak such lies, saying that the large god that was with them smote them?  It is thou that didst place the hatchet in his hands, and then sayest he smote them all.  And Abram answered his father and said to him, And how canst thou then serve these idols in whom there is no power to do any thing?  Can those idols in whom thou trustest deliver thee?  Can they hear thy prayers when thou callest upon them.  can they deliver thee from the hands of thy enemies, that thou shouldst serve wood and stone which can neither speak nor hear?  Jash 11:41-43

After Abram’s destruction of the idols, one event led to another so that it became known to King Nimrod that he had been deceived about Abram being killed as a child – and here he was stirring up trouble in Nimrod’s kingdom.  Nimrod confronted him and Abram replied:  O foolish, simple and ignorant king, woe unto thee forever.  I thought thou wouldst teach thy servants the upright way, but thou has not done this, but hast filled the whole earth with thy sins and the sins of thy people who have followed thy ways.  Dost thou not know, or has   thou not heard, that this evil which thou doest, our ancestors sinned therein days of old, and the eternal God brought the waters of the flood upon them and destroyed them all, and also destroyed the whole earth on their account?  …  Jash 11:56-58

Predictably, Nimrod was not pleased with this assault on his dignity and threw him in jail and sentenced him to be burned to death in a furnace – and so Abram was bound with linen cords and cast into the furnace.  And the Lord loved Abram and he had compassion over him, and the Lord came down and delivered Abram from the fire and he was not burned.  But all the cords which they bound him were burned, while Abram remained and walked about in the fire.  …  And Abram walked in the midst of the fire three days and three  nights, and all the servants of king saw him walking in the fire, and they came and told the king.  … And when the king heard their words, his heart fainted …  Jash 11:24-28 Eventually, we reach the point discussed in Genesis when Terah and Abram left Ur of Chaldees and departed for Canaan.  And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, the wife of his son Abram, and all the souls of his household and went with them from Ur Casdim to go to the land of Canaan. … Jash 13:1                                                                                  

GEN 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

From the writings of Dayspring from on High.

Why Abraham

GEN 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. 12:1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The Old Testament does not really outline why Abraham was chosen.  Yes, it is true that the scriptures verify that Abraham was a great man of faith and he believed God.  Further, his faith was drastically tested and he passed the test.  However, what were the circumstances that led to God picking Abraham in the first place?  The account of Abram’s being called out is given in the Book of Jasher.  Some of you may remember the phrase, “written in the Book of Jasher” which is a direct quote from Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18.  When we understand why Abram was called out, we can then understand his legacy as a blessing to the earth and his seed.

The Book of Jasher gives us some general background about Abram.  Abram was born in the days of King Nimrod in the times before the tower of Babel fell.  His Father Terah was a chief military officer in Nimrod’s army.  All of the earth was of one tongue and words of union, but Nimrod did not go in the ways of the Lord, and he was more wicked than all the men that were before him, from the days of the flood until those days.  And he made gods of wood and stone, and he bowed down to them, and he rebelled against the Lord, and taught all his subjects and the people of the earth his wicked ways; and Mardon his son was more wicked than  his father. Jasher 7:46, 47.  Abram was also a contemporary of Noah and Shem and secretly visited them at times to receive instruction in the ways of the Lord.  So this sets the stage for the advent of the birth of Abram who the Lord called to turn away the earth from worship of many idolatrous gods.

The birth of Abram has many similarities to the birth of Jesus.  On the night that he was born, the wise men and conjurors saw a large star swallow up four other stars.  They were alarmed for King Nimrod and made this report to him.  And thy servants were astonished at the sight which we saw, and were greatly terrified, and we made our judgment upon the sight, and knew by our wisdom the proper interpretation thereof, that this thing applies to the child that is born to Terah, who will grow up and multiply greatly, become powerful, and kill all kings of the earth, and inherit all their lands, he and his seed forever.  … If it seemeth good to the king to give his father value for this child, we will slay him before he shall grow up and increase in the land … Jasher 8:11, 13  Much like the story of Herod and the child Jesus, it was thought that Abram was killed, but he was secretly taken to a cave for 10 years and then later to Noah and Shem.

Later Abram returned to Terah’s house.  And Terah had twelve gods of large size, made of wood and stone, after the twelve months of the year, and he served each one monthly, and every month Terah would bring his meat offering and drink offer to his gods; thus did Terah all the days. Jash 9:8  When Abram saw all this he pondered within his heart the meaning.  And Abram saw the sun shining upon the earth, and Abram said unto himself Surely now this sun that shines upon the earth is God, and him will I serve.  And Abram served the sun in that day and he prayed to him, and when even came the sun set as usual, and Abram said within himself, Surely this cannot be God.  …  And Abram saw the stars and moon before him, and he said, Surely this is the God who created the whole earth as well as man, and behold these his servants are gods around him, and Abram served the moon and prayed to it that night. And in the morning when it was light and sun shone upon the earth as usual, Abram saw all the things that the Lord God had made upon earth.  And Abram said unto himself  Surely these are not gods that made the earth and all mankind, but these are the servants of God; and Abram remained in the house of Noah and there knew the Lord and his ways, and he served the Lord all the days of his life, and all that generation [Nimrod’s] forgot the Lord, and served other gods of wood and stone, and rebelled all their days.  Jash 9:13-15, 17-19.

From the writings of Dayspring. [To be continued].

Thrive – Casting Crowns

Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died

Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry

So Living Water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire

Just to know You and
To make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

The Power of Praise and Worship

"And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:39-40

There is nothing wrong with praising God. It is encouraged and commanded thousands of times in the scriptures. The reason the Pharisees were so upset was because they didn’t accept Jesus as God. Indeed, it would be blasphemy for Jesus to accept worship if He wasn’t God. This is another confirmation of the deity of Christ.

Only Luke records this instance of the Pharisees’ objection and Jesus’ answer. This was the triumphant entry of Israel’s King that was prophesied and anticipated for centuries. The excitement could not be contained. If people refused to praise Him, the creation would have broken out in spontaneous praise. No rock should have to do what God created us to do.

By compiling all of the writers’ accounts of what the multitudes were saying, we have this record: "Hosanna to the Son of David" (Mt. only). "Blessed is He" ("the King"–Lk.; "the King of Israel"–Jn.) "that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Mk. only). "Hosanna in the highest" (Mt. and Mk. only). "Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest" (Lk. only).

Pride was what caused Satan’s original sin according to Isaiah 14:12-14. He wanted to be like the most High. One thing reserved for God alone is worship, and the devil has always sought that. If he can’t be the one to receive worship, then he seeks to turn others away from giving true worship to the most High God. This is the reason why praise and worship to the Lord are such powerful tools against Satan. He can’t stand to see God worshiped. Worship Him with all of your heart today.

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What Is A Christian

Andrew Wommack – Teaching Article

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:18-20)

Ever since the fall of Adam, man has been trying to find a way back to God. There is a longing within every person to be back in the image that God created them in. There is a knowledge that there must be something more. The religions of the world are a testimony to this scripture, from the first chapter of Romans, that God has revealed Himself to His creation. But man has devised nearly as many different ways to approach back unto God as there have been people.

The difference between religion and Christianity is, basically, that religion is man’s attempt to reach God, and Jesus is God reaching out to man. All the religions of the world fall short of obtaining salvation because they put the burden of salvation on man. They teach that through our adhering to a rigid standard of dos and don’ts, we make ourselves acceptable unto God. But God revealed in James 2:10 that if you keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, you are guilty of all. This is where the religions of the world have missed it. They have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Man cannot save himself; he has to have a savior.

So God sent His Son Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh that we might come into right standing with God (Rom. 8:3-4). We are made acceptable to God through who Jesus is and what He did (Eph. 1:6). Jesus said of Himself that He was the only way unto the Father (John 14:6). Peter said in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” God is the only One who could provide salvation for man, through Jesus; and any other attempts to approach unto God, regardless of how sincere they may be, will end in total failure with the result of eternal death.

Most church-going people in America can accept all of this regarding other religions easily. But what many have failed to see is that much of what is called Christianity today is nothing but religion. By that, I mean that many people are going through the motions of Christianity thinking that their observance of Christian virtues will help them obtain salvation. But it is possible to be caught up in the trap of trying to be justified by your church attendance and financial receipts, just as much as the man who burns incense to idols to appease the gods.

Hebrews 5:9 says that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation, therefore His judgment is the only one that counts. Many people trust the fact that their names are on a church roll or that they have “IN GOD WE TRUST” written on their coins, but that’s not the standard that Jesus used to administer salvation.

Let’s look at an account of Jesus ministering salvation. In Mark 10:17-22, we see an example of a man who really desired to have eternal life. He was actively pursuing it, which is evidenced by the fact that he ran to Jesus and knelt down at His feet. If desire or good intentions could obtain salvation, he would have gotten it. But Jesus, the author of eternal life, didn’t accept his conditions. Many people today don’t believe that it is really important what you believe. It’s just your intentions that count. But this example proves that to be wrong.

This man was seeking the right thing, and he even came to the right Person, but he did a number of things wrong. First, he only acknowledged Jesus as being a good master (verse 17). Jesus answered by saying, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” This rich young ruler was willing to acknowledge that Jesus was good, but he wouldn’t go so far as to say He was God. Yet, one of the must crucial elements to salvation is believing that God was manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16).

Every great leader of the different religions of the world has had to recognize the greatness of Jesus, but yet they have rejected His own claims to divinity. When Jesus was questioned by the chief priests, He admitted He was the Christ (Matt. 26:63-64). The chief priests and elders said that He had spoken blasphemy or ascribed divinity to Himself. Jesus had to be more than a good man to be a sacrifice for the whole human race. One man’s life is only worth one man’s life. But since Jesus was God, His life was worth more than all the people who had lived or ever will live on this earth. This young ruler made the mistake of recognizing Jesus as good, but not as God.

Second, he wanted to know what he could do to inherit eternal life. He was trying to reach God through his efforts, but he couldn’t do enough good. He had sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Many so-called Christians today are doing the same thing. They think that their church attendance or Bible reading, etc., will atone for their sin, but only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can cleanse us of our sin. All our efforts fall short. You may live better than someone else, but who wants to be the best sinner who ever went to hell? You need a savior.

Jesus knew this man was incapable of saving himself. He didn’t tell him to keep the Old Testament Law so that he could earn salvation. The Law wasn’t given so we could keep it but rather to let us see that we have all sinned and need a savior (Rom. 3:19-20). Jesus ministered the Law to this man so that he would see his need and call out to Jesus for help.

The rich young ruler said he had observed all those commandments all his life. According to Romans 3:23, which we already quoted, that wasn’t true. Jesus knew that, so He told him to go and sell all that he had, give the money to the poor, and then come and follow Him. This was to show that he had broken the very first commandment, which was, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). His money was his god, and he proved it because he chose to keep his money rather than obey the Lord.

The third thing he did wrong was that he didn’t make Jesus his Lord (ruler and master). He was not willing to make a complete commitment of his life to the control of Jesus. Verse 20 says that Jesus loved him, but Jesus didn’t change His standard. Unless a man is willing to make Jesus Lord of all, He can’t be Lord at all (in that man’s life).

God still hasn’t changed His standard. Some churches today tell people just to do their best or join their church, etc., and they’ll go to heaven, but that’s not so. You have to recognize your complete dependence on Jesus only and make a surrender of your life to Him as Lord. As it says in Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

The commitment to Jesus as Lord of all has to be there. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever fall short of that commitment. The Lord is full of mercy, and His love covers a multitude of sins (Prov. 10:12), but regardless of how well you fulfill it, you have to have made the commitment that Jesus is Lord of all.

I accepted the Lord when I was eight years old. I didn’t know about healing and the baptism of the Holy Ghost then, so I certainly wasn’t letting Jesus rule in those areas. But I truly committed my life totally to Jesus to the extent that I had knowledge, and as God revealed more truth to me, I yielded those areas too. I’ve balked temporarily at things He’s shown me, but because I made Jesus Lord, He has always won out. Praise the Lord!

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life, just pray this simple prayer with me and mean it with all of your heart, and you shall be saved:

“Father, I recognize that I am totally dependent on You to save me. I accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for my sins and make Him the Lord of my life. I believe that Jesus is alive from the dead and now living in me. I am saved! Praise God! I am saved!”

Godly Anger

From: Teaching Article Anger Management by A. Wommack

Think of this: Every person on the planet has a temper. Why do you think that is? Do you think the devil created anger? No way! Satan never created anything. He doesn’t have the power to create. All he does is pervert the godly things God created.

It’s God who gave us the capacity to get angry. Anger has a godly function. But with most of us, it’s been perverted. We don’t need to get delivered of a temper; we need to learn how to manage that anger and direct it the way God intended — not toward people, but toward the devil and evil.

There is a well-known passage of Scripture that talks about a positive use of anger. Yet this passage is most often interpreted in a way that loses the true intent of what Paul was saying. Ephesians 4:26-27 says,

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil”.

This is usually interpreted as, “God knows you are only human, and you will sometimes get angry. That just happens. But it doesn’t become sin unless you let it persist. So make sure you confess and forsake your anger every night before you go to bed.”

There is no doubt that getting over anger quickly has great benefit. Confessing and forsaking anger before you go to bed every night is a good thing to do. But that is not what this verse is teaching. It’s nearly the opposite.

Paul is saying there is a godly anger that is not sin. God gives us a command to get angry with a righteous anger. Then he says, “Let not the sun go down on your wrath”. What happens when the sun goes down? Typically we stop working. The day winds down, and we rest and go to sleep. Paul is saying, “Don’t let this godly anger ever stop working. Keep it awake. Stir it up and keep it active!” Then verse 27 continues, “Neither give place to the devil”. If we don’t keep a godly anger active within us, we are giving place to the devil. What a revelation!

There is a righteous use of anger. Not understanding this has rendered many Christians so passive, they don’t get mad at the evil in this world. Therefore, Satan is having a free shot at everything we hold dear and holy. Our society is under attack, and our righteous anger that God has given us as a weapon is kept in its sheath and not used. This needs to change.

Look at what the Word of God has to say about a right use of anger:

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil”. (Psalm 97:10)

“The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate”. (Prov. 8:13)

“The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom”. (Psalm 111:10)

“The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge”. (Prov. 1:7)

“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good”. (Rom. 12:9)

These are just a few of the scriptures that speak of a righteous use of hate and anger. Look again at Proverbs 8:13: “Pride and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward [literally, perverse] mouth, do I hate”. Do we really hate those things? We should, but Christians as a whole do not hate evil. We don’t like evil, but few would argue that we literally hate these things. Some Christians don’t believe that we are supposed to hate anything, but that’s not what God’s Word says.

Jesus was sinless, but He had hate and anger. In John 2:14-17, which took place at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and then in Mark 11:15-17, which took place the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple. He didn’t approach them meekly and say, “Guys, I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt any of you, but I have to do this to obey my Father.” NO! He made a whip and beat the people and animals and turned over their tables. He was mad.

Where were the temple guards? I’m sure they were there, but Jesus was in a holy rage that paralyzed them from action. It’s certain that Jesus never sinned, but it’s also certain that He got very angry to the point of action. Therefore, there is a righteous anger. We need to discover the righteous use of anger and channel all of our aggression in the proper way. So, there is a right place for anger. But what about the wrong use of anger? All of us have to deal with getting mad at people. How do we overcome our unforgiveness and anger toward people?

Why Was It Written?

Barry Bennett

How much importance do we place on the written Word of God? How important was it to God to have His Word written? I typed the words ‘written’ and ‘write’ into my Bible program search feature, and was overwhelmed with the number of references to that which has been ‘written.’

Many times the Lord commands that His words be written for future generations.

Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. (Hab. 2:2)

Paul declared that his own writings were the Word of God.

If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. (1Cor. 14:37)

The gospels were written so that we might believe in Jesus. There is no hint that they are untrustworthy or have an expiration date.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (Jn. 20:30-31)

The Old Testament (which is referenced and quoted hundreds of times in the New) was written for our learning that we might have hope

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Rom. 15:4)

These are just a few brief examples that only touch the surface of the importance of believing in and adhering to that which was written. If Jesus based His life and ministry upon that which was written, I believe that we can have the same confidence that we are not dealing with a fallible, manmade document, but with God’s living Word.

“…have you not read what was spoken to you by God?” (Mt. 22:31)

Being Made Whole

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Luke 17:11-18

Relatively few people who receive the goodness of the Lord return to give Him thanks for what He has done. That does not keep the Lord from doing what is right for us. He healed all ten of these lepers according to their request – not just the one who was thankful. However, there was only one out of the ten that was made "whole."

The Lord desires that we prosper in spirit, soul, and body. He wants us to be whole – not just healed. Part of the reason God meets our physical needs is to prove to us His willingness and ability to meet our emotional and spiritual needs. The Lord is concerned about our temporal needs (Mt. 6:30), but He is even more concerned about our eternal needs. All of these lepers needed physical healing and the Lord was moved with compassion and met their need.

He was also desiring to meet their spiritual needs, but only one out of the ten came back for that.

Being unthankful is always a sign that self is exalting itself above God. A selfless person can be content with very little. A self-centered person cannot be satisfied. Thankfulness is a sign of humility and cultivating a life of thankfulness will help keep "self" in its proper place.

Thankfulness to the Lord for what He is and what He has done is a very important part of the Christian life. One of the many benefits of thanksgiving and praise is that they keep us from being "self" oriented.

Giving thanks is a totally unselfish action and is a key to relationship with the Father that makes us "whole" and not just "healed."

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God Is With You Upholding You

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

It is easy to say, “Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!” when times are good. It is easy to believe that God loves you when you are on the mountain top enjoying the sunshine. But what happens when you are down in the dark valley surrounded by your enemies?

Perhaps today, you are in the valley of marital, financial or bodily trouble, and you are asking, “Where is God?”

My friend, He is right there with you. The God of the valleys says to you, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

When King Jehoshaphat was surrounded and outnumbered by his enemies, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and he said to the king, “Don’t be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you. Don’t fear or be dismayed. Tomorrow, go out against them for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:14–17)

What King Jehoshaphat did next was brilliant. He acted with wisdom from on high. Instead of putting his commandos in front, he put worshipers in front! What did the worshipers sing? They sang of God’s love for them—“Praise the Lord for His love endures forever!” And God utterly destroyed their enemies! (2 Chronicles 20:21–23, NIV)

Beloved, it is not the trials that make us strong, but our responses in those trials. The devil wants us to respond by asking, “Where is God?” But God wants us to respond with faith in His love for us. We are more than conquerors not because of our love for Him, but through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)

So whatever valley you are in today, don’t be afraid. God is there with you strengthening and upholding you. Just sing of His love for you and let Him fight your battles for you!

Thought for the day – It is how we respond during trials – with faith in God’s love for us – that makes us strong.

JPM Daily Grace Inspirations