Sunday, January 23

Jesus Calling: February 23rd, 2023

Jesus Calling: February 23

    Be on guard against the pit of self-pity. When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face. Don't even go near the edge of the pit. Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down. It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it. That is why i tell you to be on guard.
    There are several ways to protect yourself from self-pity. When you are occupied with praising and thanking Me, it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself. Also, the closer you live to Me, the more distance there is between you and the pit. Live in the Light of My Presence by fixing your eyes on Me. Then you will be able to run with endurance the race that is set before you, without stumbling or falling. 

RELATED SCRIPTURE: 

Psalm 89:15-16 NLT
15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship,
    for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation.
    They exult in your righteousness.

Additional insight regarding Psalm 89:14,15: Righteousness, justice, love, and truth are the foundation of God's throne; they are central characteristics of the way God rules. They summarize his character. As God's ambassadors, we should exhibit the same traits when we deal with people. Make sure your actions flow out of righteousness, justice, love, and faithfulness, because any unfair, unloving, or dishonest action cannot come from God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
God’s Discipline Proves His Love
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Additional insight regarding Hebrews 12:1: This "huge crowd of witnesses" is composed of the people described in Chapter 11. Their faithfulness is a constant encouragement for us. We do not struggle alone, and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won, and their witness stirs us to run and win also. What an inspiring heritage we have

Additional insight regarding Hebrews 12:1: Long-distance runners work hard to build endurance and strength. On race day, their clothes are lightweight and their bodies lean. To run the race that God has set before us, we must also strip off the excess weight that slows us down. How can we do that? (1) Choose friends who are also committed to the race. Wrong friends will have values and activities that may deter you from the course. Much of your own weight may result from the crowd you run with. Make wise choices. (2) Drop certain activities. That is, for you at this time these may be weight. Try dropping them for a while; then check the results in your life. (3) Get help from addictions that disable you. If you have a secret "weight" such as pornography, gambling, or alcohol, admit your need and get help today.

Additional insight regarding Hebrews 12:1-4: The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against since with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away from him to stare at ourselves or at the circumstances surrounding us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must always keep him in sight.

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