We Are Overcomers

1 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.
You are of God–This speaks of our spiritual origin. We have been born again, born of the Spirit of God (John 3:3-5). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). We have been born of the flesh and therefore we are flesh. However unlike the non-Christians we have also been born of the Spirit and are spirit.

You have overcome them–”Them” is a reference to previous verses and refers to false prophets and the spirit of antichrist. We have and continue to overcome them because we have the truth, and the word of God.

Because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world–We are not only of God and have the truth and the word of God, but we have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us. The Holy Spirit is greater than the devil that is in the world. Yes, the devil is in the world. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil works in many ways to devour people and the non-Christian is vulnerable to the devil’s ways. We on the other hand, as Christians have the greater one dwelling in us to help us overcome anything that the devil might send our way. We do however have to be mentally alert and watchful for the devil is our adversary, opposing us and trying to overcome us. But the victory is ours if we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

Cast Your Cares Upon Him

1 Peter 5:7–Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.
Casting all your care upon Him:
1. Casting–to throw with a sudden motion. In those times when you are greatly troubled, and distressed cast your cares upon Him.
2. Care–anxiety and worry. We are to treat anxiety and worry as if they were a venomous snake. We are to get rid of them as quickly as we would a venomous snake.
3. We are to cast them upon God and turn them over to Him. This is to be done “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving letting our requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ
Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

For He cares for you–There is no greater love than God’s love. He so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son for us. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). He cares for us and watches over us, ready to act on our behalf if we will call upon Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am greatly burdened and need your help. Please lift this burden from me, give me your peace which passes all understanding, and resolve this situation. To you be the glory. Amen!

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 12:1-4

My child, you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Lay aside everything that would hinder you in living properly, including the things that would weigh you down and the sin which so easily harasses and troubles you, and carry out the life I have set before you. Keep on looking unto Jesus for He is the author and finisher of your faith. Look unto His example. For the joy that was set before Him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at My right hand and throne. Child, give consideration of Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:1-4

We Are Laborers Together With God

1 Peter 4:11–If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
In the previous verse we are told that we are to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. We are to allow the grace of God to work in us and through us to the utmost and to reap the results that God would be pleased with.

If any man speak–We are not a lone ranger in any of this. When we preach, teach, or give a witness we are to do so in the power of God’s grace. This is done in the Spirit and not in the flesh. We are to speak with the realization that we are sharing the very word of God.

If any man minister–When we minister to others we are to do it according to the ability which God gives us. Again our ministering is to be done in the Spirit and not in the flesh. It is to be a manifestation of the Spirit.

That God in all things may be glorified–When we speak and minister according to the ability that God gives, it is He who has brought about the results and all the glory is to be given to Him. Through Jesus Christ is reference to the fact that what we are as the body of Christ is because of what Jesus has done for us, and in us, and through us.

To Him be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The Way To Victory

James 4:7-8–Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Submit yourselves therefore to God–Therefore refers back to the previous verse and is saying, “Because God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble, submit yourselves to God. Submit yourself tells us that this is something that we must do for ourselves. We are to yield ourselves to God’s will, control, and power through faith, depending on Him to see us through.

Resist the devil–Having submitted ourselves to God we are ready to engage in spiritual warfare and resist the devil knowing we have placed ourselves in God’s hands. The devil recognizes God working in our situation and he will flee from us.

Draw near to God–This indicates that we are not just to draw a step or two closer to God but we are to come close to God. We draw near to God humbly and in faith and God will draw near to us. Hence we will become aware of His presence.

Receiving God’s Grace

James 4:6–He gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.
He gives more grace–There are varying degrees of God’s grace. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). God’s grace abounds in proportion to the need. We can depend on God’s grace to see us through whatever comes our way. “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). His strength is perfected in our weakness.

God resists the proud–The proud are so full of themselves that they have no room for God’s grace. Their faith is in their own strength and abilities. God leaves them to themselves to follow their own course and come in the end to their own destiny.

God gives grace unto the humble–Those who know their defects and shortcomings seek God’s help and submit to His will. These place themselves in God’s hands and are capable of receiving God’s amazing and abounding grace to help them in their time of need. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

***** Continued Tomorrow

A Glorious Reunion

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18–For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven–He will descend with a shout (command). “Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1). His descent will be accompanied by the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God.

The dead in Christ shall rise first:
1. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye the dead in Christ and the living in Christ will be changed; they will receive their new heavenly body (See 1 Corinthians 15:42-53).
2. All those in Christ, the dead and the living will be caught up, raptured, snatched away with great joy and love. We will ascend up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
3. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Comfort one another with these words–These words are comforting and are to be shared with others at the death of their loved ones. These are words of hope embraced with faith. They remind us that there will be a great reunion and we shall see these people again. They also remind us that Jesus is coming back to receive us unto Himself and we shall see Him and be with Him.

We Will See Our Loved Ones Again

1 Thessalonians 4:14–For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
If we believe that Jesus died and rose again–There are many who do not believe God’s word and therefore they don’t believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The scriptures say that He died for us, He died for our sins, He died for all. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). If we believe the scriptures then we have to believe this.

Even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him–Those that sleep are those that have died. Those that are Christians have become new creatures in Christ Jesus and when we die we are still in Christ Jesus. As we said yesterday when a Christian dies their soul departs the body and is present with the Lord. Jesus said, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). When He comes to receive us unto Him, He will bring those souls (Christians) with Him.

This is part of why we should not sorrow for them as others do which have no hope–We may have to go through this life without those loved ones but their life has not ended and we will see them again.

***** Continued Tomorrow–1 Thessalonians 4:15.

Sorrow Not For The Dead

1 Thessalonians 4:13–I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren–Brethren, tells us who this scripture is written for. These things are written to Christians; those who are brothers and sisters in Christ. God does not want us to be ignorant. These words resound over and over throughout the New Testament. Therefore we are to study and meditate on the word of God and allow the Holy Spirit our teacher, to guide us into all truth.

Concerning them which are asleep–This introduces us to a specific subject that God wants us to understand. He wants us to understand about those who fall asleep (die). This is explained further in verse 16 “the dead in Christ shall rise first”.

That you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope–Christians are not to sorrow as those do who are not Christians. The reason for this is that we have a hope that the non-Christian does not have. This hope is “Christ in you the hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27). Ours is a blessed hope, full of assurance. “Our hope is as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19). God has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). The sorrow we have is not for the one who has died but for us who must continue in this life without them. Their soul has gone on to be with the Lord–” We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 11:35-40

My child, you shall experience the resurrection from the dead and if you are tortured for your faith you will receive a better resurrection. My child, many, because of their faith in Me, have received cruel mocking’s and scourging’s, bonds and imprisonment: there are those who have been stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword, some who wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, and tormented. The world was not worthy of these. Others wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth because of their faith. They all obtained a good report through faith but received not the promise: I having provided some better thing for you, that they without you should not be made perfect. But walk in faith and you will not only obtain a good report but you shall be made perfect. Hebrews 11:35-40