Are you discouraged?

Written by David Ben-Ariel

Continued from page 1

Rememberrepparttar prodigal son was still distant from his father, their relationship estranged, but when he "came to himself" and headed home - even when he he was yet a GREAT way off - "his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him"(Lk. 15:17, 20). God knows where you're at and what direction you're headed in your heart and mind even if your actions haven't caught up yet with your attitude! God knows they will, with time. "For He remembers our frame [make-up]; He remembers we are but dust" (Ps.103:14). God wants to encourage us to change, not discourage us from even trying (2 Cor. 2:7).

Constructive criticism, not destructive. Judgment with mercy. God helps but Satan hinders progress, but we CONQUER BY CONTINUING, one step at a time (I Thes. 2:18; 2 Pet. 3:18). God gave Davidrepparttar 148645 Kingdom, but he had to fight for it! So do we! (Matt. 11:12; I Tim. 6:12). Otherwise we'd take it for granted. Keep uprepparttar 148646 struggle (Lk. 13:24). Allrepparttar 148647 things you believe in are worth fighting for. Growth comes in stages. We must patiently let our trials run their course and create God's character within us (Heb. 12:11; Jas. 1:4).

Satan wants to extinguish your light (I Tim. 4:16). He hatesrepparttar 148648 sacred embers of God's Spirit, Light and Truth we maintain and represent, as a royal priesthood (I Pet. 2:9; Jn. 17:17; Ex. 27:20). God doesn't kick us when we're down and out, but encourages us to GET UP AND GET OVER IT and get on with His Work! (Ps. 37:24; Philip. 3:13). When your faith falters and your confidence is shakey, Christ won't snuff you out but will ADD MORE OIL so we can rise and shine! (Isa. 42:3). "For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to OBTAIN SALVATION... Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as you also do" (I Thes. 5:9-11).

"For God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us...For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God byrepparttar 148649 death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His whom we have receivedrepparttar 148650 atonement" (Rom. 8-11). If God can express such love for us when we weren't even trying to lead a Christian life pleasing to Him, how much more now that we're trying - however imperfectly? Don't we suffer because we hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Brethren appreciate your HOLY SUFFERING! It's working out a PURPOSE in your life that will last throughout eternity! Growing pains hurt.

We ought to love God allrepparttar 148651 more when we glimpse His mercy and patience towards us. His goodness ought to stir us to want to get closer to Him and do what we can to show how much we appreciate His tender love (Rom. 2:4; Lk. 7:47). Nothing should get between our relationship with our Creator God! If God would rescue our forefathers time and again, when they cried out to Him, HOW MUCH MORE will He save us fromrepparttar 148652 Lake of Fire? (Jude 23, 24). God can save us out of sinful situations and restore His Priesthood Promise to us (Zech. 3). We can be "a brand plucked out ofrepparttar 148653 fire," saved from "the furnace of affliction" (Isa. 48:10). God can forcibly remind usrepparttar 148654 hard way that He's what we really want, His fulfilling Kingdom and righteousness, notrepparttar 148655 shallow things that couldn't possibly fillrepparttar 148656 void in life (Ps. 106:15; 107:9).

We must keep UPPERMOST in mindrepparttar 148657 meaning and purpose of life: to develop God's holy, righteous character in joyful anticipation of God's Kingdom. This will help us to confront every challenge that life affords us in this process of purification that we call conversion. We must remember: "There has no temptation taken you but such as is common [not unusual] to man: but GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will not permit you to be tempted above your tolerance level; but will provide with every temptation a way out, so that you can handle it" (I Cor. 10:13 paraphrased).

And realize "...thatrepparttar 148658 sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared withrepparttar 148659 GLORY which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18) because Christ will soon return and every practicing Christian will be made perfect! Then we'll assist our Savior in preparingrepparttar 148660 way for our Father's awesome arrival with NEW JERUSALEM! (Rev. 21:3).

God's Kingdom is closer with each day, so we should hold our heads up and not stay discouraged, but permit ourselves to BE ENCOURAGED to carry on (Isa. 35:3; Lk. 21:28). All stumble, but don't wallow (Ps. 37:24). Let your attitude be; "I shall NOT die, but live, and declarerepparttar 148661 works ofrepparttar 148662 LORD. The LORD has chastened me sore: but He has not given me over to death"(Ps. 118:17-18). Hallelujah!

God's forgiveness and Christ's cleansing power remain in effect (Isa. 18). God knows what we've been through and has gone through it with us, inrepparttar 148663 thick of it, bearing His Crown of Thorns (Isa. 63:9; Gen. 22:13; Ex. 3:2). God couldn't get much closer (Jer. 23:23). The bottom line is: have HOPE and not despair; FAITH and not fear! After all, " is your Father's good pleasure to give yourepparttar 148664 Kingdom" (Lk. 12:32).

David Ben-Ariel, an American author who has travelled widely and who has lived throughout Israel, shares a special focus on the Middle East and great interest in Jerusalem, reflected in hard-hitting articles that help others improve their understanding of that troubled region that is destined to affect us all. Check out and

Onward Christian Soldiers!

Written by David Ben-Ariel

Continued from page 1

Joseph served in pharaoh's administration. Was he spiritually defiled? Daniel was inrepparttar belly ofrepparttar 148644 beast - Babylon - yet he servedrepparttar 148645 king and God. Whenever there arose any conflict of interest, Daniel put God first, as we must also always do. Nehemiah worked inrepparttar 148646 Persian government, yet he was also blameless before God. God even referred to Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar as His servants.

God is our Heavenly King over all, that's why we can't allow others to try and usurp His authority over our lives. He's our Husband and to listen to anyone else who would dare go against His Word is spiritual adultery and fornication. This is one of modern Israel's biggest sins: giving in to international peer pressure rather than obey God!

Yet God isn't our only ruler. He's ordained that men aren't to be left in a state of anarchy, but ought to obeyrepparttar 148647 Noachide laws binding on all mankind: to establish a system of justice, abstain from idolatry and immorality, and refrain from eating blood (Acts 15:29).

Even Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords; He won't be ruling alone. God's our Minister, and Jesus Christ's our High Priest, yet we don't object to having human ministers also. Do we have a double standard when it comes to politics? We speak of "dirty politics." And there is too much graft and corruption. But what about religious scandals? Perverted preachers and adulterous ministers? Does that mean we should rejectrepparttar 148648 whole idea of God having human servants? "Dirty religion?" Both Church and State need to let Christ clean up their act (Malachi 3:3).

God didn't forbid Israel from having a king or a high priest. He simply put restrictions on them and offered guidelines. The king was to be Israelite; he wasn't to put his trust in financial securities or gold, or depend on a huge army or arsenal of weapons for Israel's defense; and he was to studyrepparttar 148649 Scriptures daily (Deut. 18:15-20). He was permitted a token military force made up of volunteers ( Judg. 7:2, Deut. 20:5-9). The priest was to bless Israel's troops before they went to battle, encourage them that God would fight through them, and soundrepparttar 148650 alarm withrepparttar 148651 sacred silver trumpet (Deut. 20:1-4, Nu. 10:9, 31:6).

God was upset with Israel when they demanded a king, but not because they wanted a king - He had made an allowance for that through Moses - but because they were rejecting God as their Supreme Ruler (1 Sam. 8:20).They wanted to walk by sight, not by faith, overconfident in human leaders (Ps. 118:9).

The kings were to leadrepparttar 148652 way (Ps. 1:10-11). They were to follow inrepparttar 148653 footsteps of King David who enactedrepparttar 148654 law of Moses (1 Kgs. 2:3). Israel was only to follow men as they followed God. The prophet Samuel warned them of greedy rulers, excessive taxes, and corrupt administrations, but they still decided to go ahead with their political elections. Not thatrepparttar 148655 religious world was free from fault (1 Sam. 8:3). And God reveals thatrepparttar 148656 best man shouldn't always win (Dan. 4:17). But if we pray for God to lead us in deciding who to vote for or against, it's His responsibility to let us know what to do. Of course we should studyrepparttar 148657 party platforms and see which one is more closely aligned to Biblical principles. It's vain to think that our vote could thwart God's Will! He'll promote and demote whom He will (Ps. 75:7).

Ancient Israel was both Church and State: a theocracy. God recognizes these two branches of government and encourages us to dorepparttar 148658 same (Malachi 4:4-5). The two anointed positions in Israel were that of priest and king (Zech. 4:14). The oil was representative of God's Holy Spirit that Israel prayed would guide and direct their leaders.

We've seen how God has authorized human leaders to take life (Lev. 20). They're free to deputize a police force (to protect and defend communities), as well as userepparttar 148659 armed forces to defend their country and kin.

God holds His leaders responsible not to get greedy or become bloodthirsty. We're not to relish war, but use it as a last resort (Deut. 20:10-12).We're only to fight wars of self-defense and not throw our weight around (Lk. 3:14). We're to haterepparttar 148660 sins of our enemies and learn to love them, knowing they're also made in God's image and hopefully will come to their senses someday; we're not to be trigger-happy or gloat over our enemies' downfall (Prov. 24:17).

God's going to utilize Israel to punish various nations during their trek back torepparttar 148661 Middle East (Isa. 11:14). And God will be fighting throughrepparttar 148662 Jews at Jerusalem (Zech. 14:14). Christ's coming back to earth to wage war before He ushers in peace!

God hasn't only intervened for Israel. He's determinedrepparttar 148663 outcome of various wars and battles to let one group of Gentiles beat another (Deut. 2:19-23). Moses also said it would've been a sin ifrepparttar 148664 different tribes of Israel didn't rally to each others defense (Nu. 32:20-23). And it's a disastrous sin to go to war if God's servants instruct otherwise (Deut. 1:42-45).

It's all a matter of faith and obedience. We're to realize GOD is our true Commander in Chief andrepparttar 148665 Captain of our Salvation, and followrepparttar 148666 lead of His Holy Spirit (Jos. 5:13-15, Heb. 2:10). But let's not forget that God can and does work through inspired men (Neh. 9:27).

David Ben-Ariel, an American author who has travelled widely and who has lived throughout Israel, shares a special focus on the Middle East and great interest in Jerusalem, reflected in hard-hitting articles that help others improve their understanding of that troubled region that is destined to affect us all. Check out and

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use