Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When God Punishes Your Enemies

It might surprise you that God promises to punish your enemies. Romans 12:19 says, “Never take your own revenge, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Sometimes we forget that God loves justice and He is the only one who can administer the correct amount of punishment.

The apostle Paul realized the importance of letting God punish his enemies instead of taking matters into his own hands. He said, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. The Lord will repay him according to his deeds” (2 Tim. 4:14). And God will repay those who have harmed you as well, but first He wants you to try to make peace with them.

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” God wants you to make the first move at peacemaking. Sometimes your attempt to make peace will soften the other person’s heart and the relationship can be healed. But what if the other person never changes? It’s tempting to take your own revenge, but this is when you need to “leave room for the wrath of God.”

1. If you take your own revenge, you are trying to play the role of God. Getting revenge is a right that belongs to God. He says, “Vengeance IS MINE.”

2. If you take your own revenge, God will back off from what He intended to do.
God says, “Oh, so you want to do it? That is what I wanted to do. I can get vengeance better than you, so if you do it your way, it will interfere with what I want to do.”

3. If you take your own revenge, it means that you don’t believe God will correct the wrong. You must believe that God is just and He will hold the person accountable who hurt you.

When will God get vengeance? It might be in this life, the life to come, or both now and later. If the other person never apologizes and makes things right, you can rest assured that the Lord knows how to settle the score correctly.

NEW BIBLE STUDY: How will God resurrect the dead from dust? This study explains how He will bring back the bodies of people who have disintegrated or have been cremated.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Sneaking Suspicion

After David killed Goliath, women danced in the streets and sang victory songs. Saul smiled when they sang, “Saul has killed his thousands. . .” Then the women sang the second stanza: "And David his ten thousands" (1 Sam. 18:7). When Saul heard them praising David more than himself, jealousy consumed him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” An evil spirit came on Saul and he “looked at David with suspicion from that day on” (1 Sam. 18:9,10).
Here are three characteristics of jealousy:

Jealousy is suspicious. Saul “looked at David with suspicion” until his dying day. Jealousy views people as suspects who are guilty.

Jealousy feels threatened. Jealousy is rooted in insecurity and will attack the perceived threat. Saul tried to kill David by throwing a spear at him (1 Sam. 18:11).

Jealousy never trusts. Saul had a sneaking suspicion that David was plotting to overthrow him. David had no such intentions but Saul chose to believe the lies in his mind instead. Even when David gave him proof by sparing his life, Saul wouldn’t change his mind and continued to persecute David.

Jealousy destroys relationships and this is why it is dangerous. It can kill marriages. Instead of drawing a person closer, it has the opposite effect and drives the other person away through accusations. Even though jealousy primarily operates in romantic relationships, it can also be found in the secular workplace between co-workers, in political campaigns between candidates, and even in church when someone else is praised for their spiritual gifts.

James tells us where these thoughts are coming from. “If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic” (James 3:14-15).

The way to conquer jealousy is to humble yourself, let Jesus be your greatest love, and place your situation in God’s hands. For more information about how to overcome jealousy, read chapter 18 in Slaying Your   Making Life Count Ministries

NEW BIBLE STUDIES: How did Jonah stay alive in the whale for three days? Did Jonah breath inside the whale or did he die?

Did two different people write the Book of Isaiah?  Some modern-day “scholars” deny that Isaiah wrote the book. This study disproves that theory.

Who wrote the Book of Hebrews?  Hebrews in the only book in the New Testament where the author is unknown. However, it was likely written by one of these three people.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Thursday, May 1, 2014

God's Waiting Room

When you go see the doctor the receptionist says, “Please have a seat in the waiting room.” Although you’re ready to see the doctor, you’ve got to wait until the doctor is ready to see you. So you’re forced to sit in an uncomfortable chair, thumbing through outdated magazines, trying to pass time until the nurse calls your name. Everyone in that room is doing the same thing and that’s why it’s called the “waiting room.”

God also has a waiting room. When you are waiting for an answer to prayer, you’re seated in God’s Waiting Room. "Waiting on the Lord" is the gap in time between your prayer request and when God's answer arrives. During the delay, your faith is being tested simply because you don't know how long you will have to wait.

King David must have been squirming in his waiting room chair when he wrote, "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?" (Psalm 13:1-2)

When you are seated in the Waiting Room, nothing appears to be happening. You have no evidence that God is at work outside the four walls. You’re kept totally in the dark about what's going on. Everyone who has ever walked with God has spent time in the Waiting Room because this is where He stretches our faith and patience to new levels.  What should we do while waiting?

1. Continue to pray. Although it seems like God isn’t listening, He is still hearing your prayers. Remember, it’s a test, and only a test.

2. Don’t complain. The longer you wait, the more tempted you will be to start complaining, and the waiting room turns into the whining room. Find ways to thank God even though you don't know what's going on.

3. Remove your deadline for the answer. Trust the Lord to bring the answer whenever He wants. Usually the delay simply means that the timing isn't right. Not everything is in place yet. When all the pieces of the puzzle come together then God will make it happen. "He has made everything appropriate in its time" (Eccl. 3:11).

The time will come when the nurse calls out your name and says, “The doctor will see you now.” Until that time comes, keep reading God’s Word while you wait. (Excerpt from Slaying Your Giants chapter 14, “God’s Waiting Room.”)  Making Life Count Ministries
The Sure Cure for Worry  proves that GOD IS IN CONTROL and you can trust Him to take care of the problem that worries you.

SONG OF THE MONTH Video is “Starts With Me” by Tim Timmons

Looking for a good book to study in a SMALL GROUP? Slaying Your Giants is filled with interesting stories and Biblical insights, and includes a free 20-Lesson Discussion Guide.

Read 200 free BIBLE STUDIES at