Archive for January, 2011

The Spirit Speaks to the Church at Thyatira

Daily God Walk for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

 To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:… I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says.  – Revelation 2:18-29

 Reading the entire text dealing with the church of Thyatira I saw a picture of the church today. The church, the body of Christ, is still holding fast to the doctrine of God, Christ and the kingdom of God, but the church is not perfect.

One interesting note is that this church is the only one where the Lord says, “You are now doing more than you did at first.” He had spoken of their service and perseverance and seemed to be indicating that they were doing well. However, he did have one thing against them; they tolerated Jezebel.

Whether this Jezebel was a literal woman prophetess, or was a metaphor for a spirit of compromise which affected some in the church, we don’t know. And whether the sexual immorality and eating of things offered to idols were literal or metaphorical, we don’t know; but we do know that there was a spirit of compromise with the world working among some believers.

Can we see that same spirit at work in the church today? Yes, we can. There are those who would use the church for a political forum, and some would use it to promote the god of prosperity. Some in the body of Christ have become so concerned about being inclusive that they have not called for holiness and they have not warned their followers about the spirit of the world.

Then the Lord gives hope to the faithful. “”To you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets… hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations just as I have received authority from my Father.

Hold on and your faithfulness will be rewarded.

 Prayer: Lord, give me ears to hear what you are saying to the church today and help me to hold faithfully to you and not to succumb to the spirit of Jezebel. In Jesus name, amen.

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The Spirit Speaks to the Church at Pergamum

Daily God Walk for Monday, January 24, 2011

 To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live – where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name… Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality… Repent therefore!… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.            – Revelation 2:12-17

The Lord tells the church at Pergamum, “I know where you live – where Satan has his throne.” Pergamum was indeed a place where Satan ruled. There was a grand temple to Aesclepius the Greek god of healing. There was also a temple to Serapis, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. It must have been difficult to be faithful to the faith in such a place, but the Lord says, “Yet you remain true to my name.”

Even while commending them for remaining true to his name, he who speaks as a double-edged sword warns them of a problem. “You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin.”

It is difficult to know exactly what is meant by the teaching of Balaam, but we are safe to conclude that it include compromise and probably justification for sin. Balaam had set the stage for Israel to fall prey to committing spiritual adultery with the Baal of Peor and literal adultery with the women of Moab.

What does this mean to us today? We must always be cautious lest we fall prey to the deceitfulness of our flesh and begin to justify behaviors condemned by God’s word. The influence of evil is more pervasive today than ever before. The internet and cable TV have made it so easy to succumb to the desires of the flesh that many have compromised their faith.

He who speaks as a double-edged sword is encouraging believers in their faithfulness to his name and warning each of us of the dangers of compromising with the world.

Prayer: Lord, grant me the grace to remain faithful to your name and to resist the temptations of the world. In Jesus name, amen.

 We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Words From the Spirit to the Church at Smyrna

Daily God Walk for Sunday, January 23, 2011

 To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:… I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich!… Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. – Revelation 2:8-11

The church at Smyrna is called suffering church. The Spirit is warning this church of difficult times to come, but if they remain faithful, even to the death, they will receive a crown of life.

This church is typical of all the suffering churches since the beginning. Through the ages believers have endured much persecution and believers have suffered indescribable suffering,

We who live in a free country do not understand the price others are paying around the world just to call themselves Christian. Today believers are put in prison because of their, some are martyred and many have been displaced.

Let’s remember those of our faith who are as the church of Smyrna suffering for the name of Christ. I am calling you to pray for the persecuted believers around the world.

The website, persecutionalert.com lists 56 countries where Christians are being persecuted for their faith. Since 1984 over 1.5 million Christians have been martyred in Sudan. In Nigeria 30,000 Christians have been forced to leave their homes. Increasing violence against Christians in India has caused great concern. There are many countries around the world which hold Christians in prison just because of their faith.

I am reminded of the passage in Hebrews 11, “Some faced jeers and flogging, wile still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.” Yes, believers are still being persecuted around the world today and we must make prayers of intercession for our brothers and sisters who claim Christ as Lord.

 Prayer: Lord, let my heart be burden for my brethren who suffer for the name of Jesus around the world and give me a heart to intercede for them in prayer. In Jesus name, amen.

We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Words From the Spirit to the Church at Ephesus

Daily God Walk Saturday, January 22, 2011

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:… You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.                     – Revelation 2:1-7

In the Revelation John, writing what God gives him to write, is sending a message to seven churches in Asia Minor. His first message is to the church at Ephesus. Many believe that these messages to the seven churches is representative of seven church ages and others believe it is to seven conditions which exist in the body of Christ in any age.

Whatever deeper meaning these messages have we will leave to another forum, but for our purposes we will look at them as if each one is a warning to believers today. We can certainly see how each of these messages can be received as a warning for us and also an opportunity to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

The church at Ephesus is being congratulated for their diligence in defending the Christian faith. They have not tolerated evil ones who would pretend to be followers of Christ but who in fact were driven by their own lusts and greed.

However, while contending furiously for purity of belief, they lost something very valuable. They had lost their first love. What is the first love of a believer? When we have been truly born again we have such a love for God and others that our lives are profoundly affected. Our focus becomes pleasing God and serving others.

In this passage we are being called back in intimate relationship with God. We are not to disregard truth and doctrine, but neither are we to forget that loving God and others must come first.

Those who hear this message and who overcome their lack of love is given the right to eat from the tree of life. Let us hear what the Spirit says, repent of our hardness and allow God to give us a refreshing baptism of love.

 Prayer: Father, help me not to allow my zeal for the truth to override my love for you and others. Restore my first love. Amen.

We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Talk About Excellent and Praiseworthy Things

Daily God Walk for Saturday, January 21, 2011

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – thing about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.       – Philippians 4:8-9

In these two verses the Apostle Paul is summing up all he has written to the church at Philippi. He begins his summary with, “Finally brothers,” as if to say, “After all of this I can only say choose carefully what words, thoughts, ideas and concepts you think about.” Then he proceeds to give a whole set of words to meditate upon and to make a part of their life.

This instruction is not unique to the one church but it is advice given to the entire body of Christ. If we were to follow his instructions in these verses we would certainly have the peace of God with us.

I will have to confess that all too often I have caught myself thinking on words and ideas that are less than noble, and certainly not admirable. I suspect that you are not much different than me in that regard. What are we to do when we find ourselves thinking thoughts that are outside the parameters Paul has set for us in this passage?

The answer to that question is found in another passage written by Paul to the church at Corinth. “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The only way to control what words we think upon is to be conscious of our thoughts and when we are aware that we are thinking about things we should not be thinking about then we must stop those thoughts at the gate of our mind and replace them with right thinking.

Pause long enough to consider what excellent and praiseworthy thoughts we can have. What noble and admirable thoughts can I have? What is true, and not only true, but what is right, or proper, to think about? Are my thoughts pure? Can I share these thoughts with my mother? If not then we need to stop those thoughts at the gate of our mind and find excellent, praiseworthy thoughts.

Paul then tells us that when we put this process into practice we will have the peace of God. Want God’s peace? Think praiseworthy thoughts.

Prayer: Lord, help me to put a gate at the entrance of my mind and to partner with the Holy Spirit to be my gate keeper. In Jesus name, amen.

We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Speak of Things That Are Admirable

Daily God Walk for Thursday, January 20, 2011

Whatever is admirable… think on these things. – Philippians 4:8

 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”   – Isaiah 52:7

I envy the conversation of some of my friends. They do not seem to have the ability to say anything negative about anyone. It is sometimes frustrating because I have known some people who make for some good gossip, but even the best gossip is wasted on some people.

Paul is instructing us to speak only of things that are admirable. Isaiah sums it up in a nutshell: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Those are good words, even admirable words.

I looked into several translations of the New Testament and found some interesting translations of the Greek word euphemos  which is translated admirable in the NIV. The KJV translates it “good report.” Others translate it as gracious, commendable, good repute. In the AMP Bible this phrase reads, “whatever is kind and winsome and gracious.”

I heard the story of one saintly mother who was known to always have something good to say about others. A friend thought of someone she would certainly have nothing good to say about so the friend approached the woman.

“I know someone you can’t say anything good about,” she said to the saintly woman. “Who is that,” the woman asked. “The devil,” was the reply. “You can’t say anything good about him.”

The woman thought for a moment and said, “He is certainly an industrious fellow isn’t he.” If we only think on it for a bit we can say something good about anyone.

 Prayer: Lord, help me to always look for the good in others and to think of good, gracious, commendable and kind things to say about them. In Jesus name, amen.

We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Only Speak of Lovely Things

Daily God Walk for Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Watever is lovely… think on these things. – Philippians 4:8

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.             – 1 Corinthians 1:10

We have all heard the expression, “Take time to smell the roses,” and it appears that Paul’s admonition to think on lovely things carries the same fragrance. The word translated “lovely” also means pleasant or agreeable and these words produce opportunity for peace and unity.

Have you ever been in a tense situation when all at once someone began to interject pleasant, agreeable words into the conversation? Just a few words can change the atmosphere from contentious to pleasant.

In the Corinthian text Paul is addressing the divisions within the local church. It appears that there was much bickering over unimportant issues and it was affecting the unity of the body.

Another translation of this verse reads, “I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say” (AMP). In this translation we can more clearly see that Paul is instructing them to speak agreeable, pleasing, lovely things.

It would be good for us, particularly in a tense situation, to ask ourselves the question, “Will my words sound pleasant, or lovely, or will they seem contentious or divisive?” I am reminded of a proverb which says, “Where there is no wood the fire goes out.” When our words change from harsh and contentious to pleasant and agreeable peace enters the conversation.

It is amazing what effect a pleasant word can have in restoring peace in an otherwise tumultuous situation. The next time you are faced with that kind of a situation first think lovely thoughts then speak pleasant words. The results just might surprise you.

 Prayer:  Lord, give me the wisdom to know how to use lovely, pleasant and agreeable words. Then grant me grace to use those words to promote unity and harmony. In Jesus name, amen.

 We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html


Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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