The Power Of Faith

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – 1 John 1:8-9.

In Matthew 7, Jesus was traveling to the territory of Tyre. He was trying to be incognito. Jesus had been spending all of his time ministering in Jewish provinces, and that ministry was drawing overwhelming crowds, and He was exhausted. So Jesus left the Jewish provinces and went into Gentile territory, Tyre, in order to get some rest.

But it doesn’t work. A woman hears of His arrival and makes her way boldly to Jesus. She enters the house without an invitation, falls down and begins begging Jesus to exorcise a demon from her daughter. She’s pleading with Jesus—she won’t take no for an answer. She is also expressing a certain amount of faith that Jesus has the power to cast out demons.  But Jesus replies to this faith with a glass of cold water: “…First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” (Mark 7:27)

He basically called her a dog. She could have been insulted and stormed away. But she was not deterred at all. She immediately came back with: “…That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” First, notice that she addresses Him as “Lord.” She gets His parable and then she goes on to make her own point. Even though the dogs eat later, sometimes the children drop crumbs and thus the dogs eat at the same time as the children.

Her statement demonstrates her bold and persistent faith. She did not allow Jesus’ “answer” to stop her. Rather, she continued to make the case for her daughter. In response to her humility and faith, Jesus heals her daughter. Mark 7:30 confirms the miracle: “ … when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.” (Mark 7:29-30)

This is an interesting story. God is capable of making the impossible possible.  But our fears and doubts sometimes get in the way. We can stop looking at our circumstances through a lens of fear if we have the faith in God to trust Him no matter how bleak the picture looks.  The Greek woman believed that Jesus could change her circumstances. Faith overcame her fears. Faith is the alternative to interpreting our lives and life events through the lens of fear.  Instead, we have Someone in whom we can place our trust and to whom we can submit our fears and anxieties. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what ways does this woman demonstrate humility? Faith?
  2. In what specific ways can you grow in and exercise faith, humility, and persistence this week?

Blessed Assurance

Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  – John 20:27. 

Several thousand years ago, Thomas was distraught. Jesus, His Rabbi and Messiah was gone. A cross had turned his world upside down. His days and nights were filled with horrific images of Jesus’ wounds. Three days later there was a knock on the door. Peter, James, John, and the others had come to visit. But it was not an ordinary visit. The other disciples told Thomas they have just seen the Lord. He lives.  

Thomas probably wondered if this could possibly be true. He saw the wounds. John told Thomas that this morning, Mary Magdalene came to us and told us she had been to the tomb and that Jesus’ body was gone. Peter and I ran to the garden to see for ourselves. We found the tomb empty.  Later in the day, Cleopas and another person were walking to Emmaus when they were joined by someone who at first seemed a stranger. As we walked, He began explaining how the prophets had foretold all that would happen to Jesus. When they arrived home, they asked Him to stay for dinner, and He agreed. When they sat down to eat, He took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it. Suddenly, their eyes were opened. It was Him — Jesus. 

Peter continued the narrative. “We were all gathered together with the doors locked, for fear of what the Pharisees might do next,” he said. Suddenly Jesus was standing right there in the room with us. He said, ‘Peace be with you’ (Luke 24:36). We were frightened, I tell you. Jesus said, “Why are you frightened? Why are your hearts filled with doubt?” (Luke 24:38).

Thomas desperately wanted it to be true. But He was a man of facts. He could not reconcile the horrors of the cross and the crucifixion expertise of the Romans with the news that Jesus was alive. Unlike the others, Jesus had not shown Himself to Thomas. Thomas wanted some proof. He looked at the other disciples and said, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” – John 20:25

On the evening of the first day of the week, the disciples were together and Jesus came and stood amongst them. He said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19) John 20:27 says, “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 

When Thomas finally did believe, the words that came out of his mouth formed one of the greatest confessions of faith in the entire Bible. He said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

Just as Jesus understood Thomas’s doubts, He understands our questions as well. But rather than admonishing us, He invites us to rediscover him in ways that reassure us. When we turn to Him, He gives us exactly what we need in order to have our faith reconfirmed and our doubts banished.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think Thomas’ doubt is somewhat troubling? Why or why not?
  2. How would it change things if you saw your doubts as opportunities to grow deeper in your relationship with Christ, and not a reason for alarm?

Walking With The Holy Spirit Every Day

“Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.” – Luke 1:34-35. 

I can only imagine what was going through Mary’s mind when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and said,“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28)  Gabriel went on to say, “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High…” (Luke 1:30-32)  She asked the obvious question: How is this possible?  The answer…the Holy Spirit will come upon you.  

While many people have heard a lot about God the Father and Jesus the Son, the Holy Spirit often remains an unknown “entity”, an “it”, and can often cause lots of confusion. There is a tendency to go in one of two different directions: either people have a daily relationship with the Holy Spirit, or we tend to forget about the Holy Spirit because we don’t know exactly what His role is in our lives. Francis Chan said this in his book, Forgotten God; Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit; “I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power.” Of all the gifts given to mankind by God, there is none greater than the presence of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 (ESV) says “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” What? Jesus says it is better for them that He goes away. That is because the Holy Spirit has come to empower you to live the life that Jesus did. He came to empower you to do the things Jesus did. He wants you to love the things that Jesus loved for the same reasons Jesus loved them.  

The Holy Spirit is a person who knows you and loves you. Have you ever needed direction? Have you ever wanted answers to do whatever it is that you are doing? Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come to be a counselor, one who would come alongside, and help you navigate through the decisions you are making in your life. Scripture says He comforts the saved.  He convicts the lost.  He conveys the truth. He points people to Jesus. 

Developing a relationship with the Holy Spirit is crucial for those who desire to discover and fulfill God’s will for their lives. A relationship with the Holy Spirit starts like any other true friendship. We must respect, love, and make time for Him.  The Holy Spirit is waiting right now to guide you. He’s excited about the idea of pouring out his love and affections on you. He longs to lead you away from the sins that hurt you and grieve Him. And he longs to guide you toward a life of walking with Him in a relationship.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. We think that it would be so great to get to be with Jesus in the flesh—to see him face-to-face, listen to His voice, and walk side-by-side with the Son of God. Every day would be a life-changing, history-making day. He’d be there to teach you, and help you live for God. But Jesus taught that we’re better off when He is absent and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. What do you think about Jesus’ statement?  
  2. With the Spirit in us, we can do what Jesus did and more. What do you think of Jesus’ bold statement in John 14:12? What keeps us from experiencing that?   

The Promises Of God

“ And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” – 2 Peter 2:4.

Not many things are more comforting than a promise made and kept. And not many things are more hurtful than a promise broken. The Bible is a historical record of the absolute reliability of God’s promises to His people. The Bible reveals the Lord as being utterly dependable and true to His Word…forever faithful to His promises.  

 Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Joshua 21:43-45 adds, “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors,..And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors… Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.” Joshua reiterates in chapter 23, verse 14: “…Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!”

Psalms 119:140: “Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that is why I love them so much.” Then there is Psalm 145:13 which says, “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 talks about the faithfulness of God: “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”   

Romans 4:13:”Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith” And then verse 16 adds, “So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s….”   Romans 4:19-21 says, “…Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” And finally 2 Corinthians 1:20 which says, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Christ. The Bible’s promises have always been and always will be trustworthy. We can count on them. Don’t allow the times when you are discouraged or experiencing setbacks in your life make you give up on God’s promises for you.  Even if you do not see what God is doing he is active behind the scenes. He is there, He will fulfill His promise. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. We can trust God, no matter how impossible the situation, because God always keeps His promises. Agree or disagree and why? 
  2. If you completely accepted God’s promises, how would that change the way you look at fear?  

The Crossroads Of Fear And Faith

“Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” – Luke 1:29-33

What do you picture when you think of Mary and Joseph?  One of the first things that would come to mind is the Nativity scene looking lovingly over their newborn baby, Jesus. Though Joseph and Mary would’ve certainly been filled with joy at Jesus’ birth—particularly with their knowledge that He would save His people, the nativity scene does not tell the whole story. 

The gospel of Luke tells the story of Mary. In Luke 1:28-34, we learn that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and she was “confused and disturbed.” The ESV says “greatly troubled.” The angel reassures her by saying, “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” After listening to Gabriel’s words and absorbing their meaning, Mary surrendered to the will of God completely.

Likewise, Joseph was troubled about the situation with Mary. Can you imagine the conversation between Mary and Joseph? Mary probably told Joseph to sit down, and then blurted it out: “Joseph, I am going to tell you something and I don’t want you to go off the deep end, okay… I’m pregnant…by the Holy Spirit.”  Joseph is calm on the outside, but his mind is racing on the inside. Either Mary was not pregnant, but crazy; or she is pregnant and she’s lying. Joseph must have anguished over the best lawful way to respond and decided to divorce Mary quietly unwilling to expose her to shame. But an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph and again we heard, “Do not be afraid.” Joseph, too, surrendered to the will of God and immediately did as the angel commanded. (Matthew 1:24)

No one had ever faced this kind of dilemma before. There was fear and doubt. But their faith and trust in God quickly overcame their fear and doubts. With each new encounter with fear, God is teaching us more faith and more trust. Jesus wants us to turn our fear over to Him.  Replace that fear with the love, power and promises of God. His presence is the answer to our fear.  Fight fear with a faithful God.

Fear is a feeling, and it will pass if we address it for what it is.  The reality is that Christ is with us and He is at work in and through us. He is on our side, protecting us always just as He did with Joseph and Mary.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When worry, fears, and concerns try to overwhelm you, what do you do in response? 
  2. Can you recall times in your life when you gave an all-consuming worry to the Lord? What happened?

Are You Discouraged

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  –  Joshua 1:9 (NIV). 

The Bible has a lot to say about discouragement. Many great men and women in the Bible had to deal with discouragement such as Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and Nehemiah. One of the great examples is found in the life of Nehemiah. Nehemiah sets out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and faces increasing opposition. It is halfway through the project that the enemies intensify their opposition and discouragement hits the people.

Most people will be discouraged from time to time. Sometimes we get discouraged because of past regrets, and sometimes we get discouraged because God has not answered our prayers and cries for help, when and the way we want Him to. We get discouraged when we put too much trust in people and expect them to do what we want them to do.  Sometimes this discouragement feeds frustration and fear about the future.

When we get discouraged, we have a tendency to mimic a turtle and retract our heads safely inside shield-like shells. But that is not the answer. The story of Nehemiah gives us some ways to deal with discouragement.  First look up rather than look around for answers. It should be the first thing that we do instead of the last thing we often do. Nehemiah 4:9 says, “But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.”

Second, continue doing what God gives you to do. Nehemiah 4:6 says, “At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.” It is easy to pause or stop when we are discouraged, but Nehemiah wouldn’t let his enemies distract him from his work. Nehemiah would keep on working. The time you feel like doing it the least is the time when you need to do it the most.  

Third, concentrate on the big picture. Because people were working on little sections of the wall, it was hard to get any perspective. When you can only see what is going on in your life, it is easy to be discouraged. Nehemiah rallied them around so that they saw the bigger picture. We can lose sight of God’s purposes and we get out of perspective if we forget that God has control of our piece of the wall and the bigger picture. 

And last, remember God’s promises. Nehemiah 4:15 says, “When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.” There are times when you need to get your Bible out and start reading it. Find scripture that encourages you in the Lord. Find out what God says about any given situation. “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.” (Psalms 34:17-19)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever become discouraged in some aspect of your life and thought about quitting? Think back on what made it so discouraging and how you dealt with it at the time.
  2. How can the story of Nehemiah help you deal with discouragement this week? 

Good Advice Can Come From The Most Unlikely Sources

“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. — Exodus 18:17-20  

What do you picture when you picture a mentor?

Most people picture someone with a couple of decades of experience and success that calls you into their spacious corner office for a chat over some tea and scones. After exchanging some pleasantries, the person asks me about my “passions” and where we see ourselves in ten years. Certainly, the mentor experience can be like that. But just as often, very good advice can come from peers, or someone you meet while riding on the bus. Sometimes, sage advice can come from a very unlikely source. The Bible has a relatively unknown story of a father-in-law who made a suggestion that made a difference. 

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, learned of the miraculous rescue of Moses and the Israelites so he traveled to their camp. While he was visiting, he observed Moses sitting on the judgment seat deciding on disputes between the people. It was a very important responsibility. And who better to do it than their leader, Moses? It seemed the right thing to do, but was it? Jethro told Moses that what he was doing was not right. He told Moses that he couldn’t be the judge of the land and be their leader at the same time. Moses’ call was to be the people’s representative before God and the messenger from God to the people. Exodus 18:13-27 describes Jethro’s wise suggestion for Moses to delegate this responsibility to others..

Jethro said to Moses, “If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” (Exodus 18:23). Jethro offered his wisdom to Moses in love. He wanted to help Moses avoid the burnout of trying to do all the leadership himself. Moses, thankfully, had a teachable spirit. He could have ­ignored his father-in-law’s wisdom and continued down the path toward exhaustion, but Moses chose instead to follow Jethro’s advice. He could have received this as criticism of his work, but instead Moses heard it as a gift from a mentor.

Sometimes we become irritated when people offer unsolicited advice. “Who are they to tell me what to do?” But God calls us to care about the people around us. Sometimes caring means shar­ing our wisdom, and other times it means being willing to be taught. We can benefit from the wisdom of others, even when it comes from the most unlikely source.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from someone? How did it impact you?
  2. How sustainable is the pace you’re living? Would a wise, loving advisor say, “This is not good” to you? Speaking of advisors, who is yours? Do you have someone in your life that plays the role of a Jethro? 

Rebuilding Our Walls

“So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.” – Nehemiah 6:15.   

After Hurricane Michael, many homeowners were faced with the decision to rebuild or start from scratch. Rebuilds are generally much bigger projects so starting over would often be the most economical choice. But sometimes starting over is not an option. Rebuilding the city wall in Biblical times would be a monumental undertaking; they had to first deal with twisted metal from the old gates, burned timber, shattered masonry and other various types of debris had to be cleared. Then the ground had to be leveled and cleaned. It probably would have been far easier to start from scratch.

There are times in our life when we wish we could start over, but are faced instead with rebuilding or remodeling parts of our spiritual life from the foundation that already exists. We may be in a similar place as the Israelites, needing to rebuild a part of our lives. You may need to rebuild a marriage or other relationship that has fallen into disrepair. You may need to rebuild some areas of your spiritual life or restore your connection with God. You may need to either live with your spiritual condition as it is or slowly rebuild that area of your life, one brick at a time.

Nehemiah set out to achieve what God had put on his heart, then he followed through with the hard work to get it done.  Even though the project seemed imposing, impractical and nearly impossible, God helped Nehemiah all along the way.  God provided Nehemiah with the wisdom, resources, strength, and people to pull it off. Nehemiah followed a series of practical steps to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, steps which you can follow to rebuild the things in your own life that need rebuilding.  It involved much prayer, much planning, many people and a fair amount of hard work. 

So what can we learn from the story of Nehemiah that can help us when we need to undertake a rebuilding effort?  Perhaps the best takeaway from the Nehemiah story is pretty straight forward.  Read the directions. Pull out a copy of God’s Word and do what it says.  The same directions that helped you to build and maintain the good things you have built to date, will help you rebuild.  

This is exactly what Nehemiah did when they finished rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  Nehemiah assembled all the people in one place and had Ezra the scribe, along with the Levites, read and explain God’s Word to the people. Nehemiah 8:8 says, “They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.” The same God who helped Nehemiah will help you in your rebuilding project.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think it is easier to rebuild or start over when rebuilding spiritual walls in our life? 
  2. What can we do this week to start any needed rebuilding efforts? 

Who were Sanballat, Tobiah And Geshem?

Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!” – Nehemiah 4:1-3.

Nehemiah traveled hundreds of miles to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. This was important work, as the wall was Jerusalem’s first line of defense. But Nehemiah’s restoration work did not go unopposed.  

His first enemies are introduced in Nehemiah 2:19a, “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously…” This threesome was joined by more people: the Arabs, Ammonites and the people of Ashdod. Nehemiah’s progress on rebuilding the wall has made them “furious. “(Nehemiah 4:7) They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. (Nehemiah 4:8).

Do you have a Sanballat in your life? Well, probably not literally, but perhaps figuratively. If we have a Sanballat in our life today, he or she wants to stifle our spiritual growth. Sanballat wants to make it look like the job is impossible; in other words create doubt. And Sanballat wants to rally opposition against what you are trying to do. Just like he did to Nehemiah. The spirit of Sanballat’s goal is to discourage you—to get you to quit what God has called you to do. The goal is to tear down—not build up—the wall God is calling you to build. Sanballat can take the form of discouragement, fatigue and fear. These are a few of the enemies of restoration and rebuilding.

This is a good time to remind ourselves who was rebuilding the wall. God was the Architect, and Nehemiah was the contractor. God was at work. It was His will to rebuild the wall and the gates around the city. Anyone in opposition to that goal was in opposition to God. Nehemiah was determined that no one but God would stop the work.  

Nehemiah finished the wall. Nehemiah achieved this, not by removing the fear of attack and reprisal but by helping the people face their fears, turning them towards God who was their defender and shield. Like Nehemiah, we need to act with God, and for God, even though it means strenuous effort and opposition. We need to trust God, do our day’s work faithfully, and leave the future and the results to Him. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What can you learn from Nehemiah about handling opposition to God’s work? How might your situation differ from what Nehemiah faced in his day? 
  2. How does praying persistently for a significant period of time prepare us for moments of decision and crises of belief in our lives? 

Giving Up Or Giving In

“ So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” – Galatians 6:9-10.

Have you ever felt like calling it quits? Have there been moments in your life when it seemed that all the effort and energies you were investing in changed nothing? It feels like no matter what you do, you just can’t get any traction so you never make any real progress. The logical thing to do is give in or give up or both.

On the other hand, there are days when it seems God pulls the curtain back and reveals the true worth and beauty and significance of living a Christ centered life: loving and serving others, seeing lives changed, amazing worship services, etc. 

God cares about us. When we are weak, He is strong. When we feel like quitting we can move forward in His strength. We will feel at times like giving up. God is calling us not to look at our circumstances only but to look at the author and finisher of our faith. It is in and through Jesus Christ that God gives us the strength needed to go a little further. What if, instead of thinking of quitting, we saw every circumstance as an opportunity for something miraculous to take place in all of our lives. It is often a matter of timing.

God doesn’t work to microwave timing. He works to His timing. At the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. The key is to not give up, to keep pressing on, to find an internal strength based on the promises and faithfulness of God that keeps us refreshed and motivated.  

Look at 1 Corinthians 15:58 from two different versions of the Bible. First, from the New King James (NKJV) version: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Then, from the New Living Translation (NLT): “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
 
Never give up in your pursuit of the Lord and His purposes for your life. Don’t stop; keep going. Know for certain that even in your worst moments, that everything you do for Jesus Christ counts for something.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some reasons Jesus gives for trusting in Him, rather than giving up?
  2. What changes can you make this week to be more dependent on God when you feel like giving up?