Chapter 7 - Peer Pressure

(Young People In An Evil World)

Exposition

In order to face the stresses in life, including “PEER PRESSURE,” we need to maintain an unbroken communion fellowship with the Lord. FIRST; you need; ASSURANCE and SECURITY - Can we be sure? - Few people are sure; Religionist’s are never sure. They have a “do it yourself... hope so... I’m doing my best,” philosophy. We ask the question, “are you married?” - we don’t expect them to answer, “I think so... or I hope so” - Assurance is manward, believing God’s promises. Security is Godward, resting in God’s provisions. The writings of the Apostle John provide much assurance for the believer. He frequently writes; “these are written... “ And then gives the reason for assurance. In John 20:31 he wrote; “... these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life... “ - In 1John 5:13 he wrote; “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life... “ - In 1John 1:4 he wrote; “... these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (That you might know that you have eternal life and that your joy may be full)

Assurance needs; A SECURE BASE FOR FAITH TO REST UPON: It needs reliable information which is Gods “WORD” - 2Tim.3: 16 - It needs a Durable Foundation which is the “ ROCK” - Christ Jesus. I Cor.10: 4 - It needs, Dependable confirmation which is the “ HOLY SPIRITS’“ witness in the believers heart. Rom.8: 15,16 - It needs a Personal Transformation; which is a changed life - 2Cor.5: 17 - This expresses itself in love for God, for His Word and for His people as well as for the souls of the lost. It is a changed attitude towards sin, the world, self-etc. “I have been crucified with Christ” Gal.6: 14 - It will inspire a new appreciation and involvement in the assembly, in witnessing and service. The whole being, body, soul and spirit must be transformed. Romans 12:1,2 - Carnal Christians can never enjoy assurance, because they are out of touch with spiritual reality.

Some; BIBLE ILLUSTRATIONS AND EXAMPLES OF ASSURANCE: Noah; before the flood arrived, it tells us, “the Lord shut him in” Gen.7: 16, it must have been assuring that it was the Lord that shut the door and no man could open it. During the flood, it says the window in the ark was, “ upward” Gen.6: 16; there was only one way for Noah to look, upward toward heaven and God, not at the devastation of the flood. - After the flood, God placed a, “ BOW” in the clouds, which spoke of God’s everlasting covenant He made with man. Gen.9: 11-17 - Job enjoyed assurance; he could say, “... I know that my redeemer liveth... Whom I shall see for myself,” Job19: 25-27 - Paul could say; “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” 2Ti.1: 12

CIRCUMSTANCES AND FEELINGS SHOULD NOT AFFECT ASSURANCE: - Suppose we were to ask the dying thief on the cross; how do you feel? - What is your hope? Luke.23: 43 - He would answer, I feel terrible but my hope is wonderful, because my Savior promised “today shalt thou be with me in paradise:” - Paul and Silas in the horrible conditions of the Roman prison didn’t allow feelings to hinder their praying, singing, witnessing and rejoicing. Acts.16: 25 - Human emotions fluctuate and are unstable and unreliable, but salvation stands secure because it is all of God.

THE VICTORY CHAPTER (Romans 8) STIMULATES ASSURANCE: It opens with, “No condemnation!” - for those “in Christ” In verse 16, there is, “No frustration! “ because, the Spirit bears witness with our spirit. - In the end of the chapter there is, No separation! Because “... we are more than conquerors...”

ASSURANCE IS NEEDED IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH: - In the Shepherd’s Psalm when the psalmist was passing through the valley of the shadow of death, he had assurance; “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me...” Psalms.23: 4 - To the believer the valley of death is only a “shadow” not to be feared, but only a reminder of a reality. - Our Lord, who arose, has snatched the keys of death and hell from Satan! . Rev.1: 18 He is the, “Firstfruits” - to deliver victory over death and the grave. 1Cor.15: 20

Assurance is important, not for salvation, but to be a happy, healthy and helpful Christian. - God is “Light” He wouldn’t keep us in darkness. - God is “Love” He wouldn’t keep us in fear. 1John.4: 16 - Assurance is faith resting. - Security is God protecting. The only place of safety; is, Noah; in the ark; Rahab; in the house; Firstborn; under the blood; and the Believer; in Christ

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SECOND: We need A QUIET TIME - for daily and intimate communion with our Lord.

A quiet time is an exclusive rendezvous with our best Friend the Lord Jesus Christ don’t keep Him waiting! Observe, the Lord Jesus’ Quiet time appointments with his Father; Mark 1:35 - If He needed a quiet time surely we do. It is a solemn experience, so the exhortation to Moses would be appropriate, “... put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus.3: 5 - The Lord chose a solitary place so the noisy world and busy life wouldn’t interfere with His communion with His Father. - The Christians goal in a quiet time is to become more Christ-like, through occupation with Him.

Consider four (“P’s”) - PRIVILEGE, POTENTIAL, PREPARATION and PROCEDURE of the quiet time. - This PRIVILEGE we must always consider an honor not a duty. We commence each day with communion and instruction. As “Pilgrims” we need direction. Like batteries we need re-charging. - Note the goals and benefits the disciples had in their quiet time with the Lord. Mark 3:14 - So they could be “with Him” - It was preparatory in sending them to preach the Gospel. - Like Mary they sat at His feet to be near and to hear His voice and instructions. - It says, they “continued” with Him. - They were near to Him, able to share His sorrows, reproach and rejection. - Moses spent 40 years in the backside of the desert preparing for his great ministry.

THE POTENTIAL OF THE QUIET TIME: - The weak are strengthened; the fearful are comforted. The ignorant are instructed. The wayward are guided; the sinful are restored.

THE PREPARATION FOR THE QUIET TIME: - A humble heart; (an act of the will) “...If my people...shall humble themselves... And seek my face... Then will I hear...” 2Chr.7: 14 - A good prelude; (attitude check) “open thou mine eyes” Psalms.119: 18 - You will need self-discipline to select the best time and place. Make time! - Don’t “take” it, there wont be any left over. - Beware! The enemies are lurking in the shadows to disrupt your quiet time. - A good example; Israel gathered manna daily and early in the morning, each gathered for himself and gleaned all he needed for one day. Exodus 16:21 - Don’t wait until the concert is over to tune your instrument.

THE PROCEDURE OF THE QUIET TIME: - Determine the place, portion and reasonable time frame. - Read, and re-read! - Be brief, this is devotion, not a Bible study. It is not literature for the intellect but food for the soul. Expect to meet the Author; He is the “Central Theme” of His Book. Take notes and file them, for future reference . MEDITATE; like a cow chewing the cud; it is digesting the food and extracting all the possible nourishment from the food. This translates the Word into spiritual bones, blood, and muscles. It stimulates growth and maintains strength. - MEMORIZE; “...Thy word have I hid in mine heart...” Ps.119: 11 - GUIDELINES AND PRINCIPLES; to consider; Promises to claim; Commands to obey; Responsibilities to accept; Warnings to heed; Sins to avoid, confess, and forsake; Examples to follow or avoid; Victories to gain; Doctrines to study; Lessons to apply and share; Difficult passages to research; Highlight and memorize key verses; Paraphrase; put it into your own words; - PRAYER, is an important element in the quiet time. Confession, tell Him all about it and remove all the obstacles. Worship; give Him what He deserves; break the alabaster box of very precious ointment. Mat.26: 7 - Praise and thanksgiving; only one leper returned. Luke.17: 12-19 - Supplication ; appealing for our own needs and also the needs of others. - Intercession; compassion and concern for “others”

The goal of the quiet time is to become more like Christ through occupation with Him. - Living stones will glow; radiate, life, love and light. - Listen! - Bow! - Enthrone! - Rejoice! - Worship! - Conform, to His image! - The privilege becomes a responsibility to APPLY truth to our own soul and then share it with others. - Most fatalities in the Christian life can be traced to a neglected Quiet Time.

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Outlines

First Steps

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life...” 1John 5:13

      1. Being a Christian may not be easy, but it is thrilling and rewarding.

      2. Some responses of professing believers.

        (1) “I hope so”

        (2) I’m doing my best.

        (3) It is presumption to say you know.

        (4) I am as good, as most church members.

        (5) I’m trying to believe but don’t know how. - I wish I knew for sure.

        (6) No hope! I’m too great a sinner. (7) I’m not a heathen.

      3. We can know, because of.

        (1) Direct statements of the Word.

        (2) The inner witness of the Spirit.

        (3) The outward evidence of a changed life.

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    I. DIRECT STATEMENTS OF THE WORD:

      1. He that hears and believes has eternal life.

        (1) There is no condemnation.

        (2) Passed from death unto life. John. 5:24

      2. Written that ye may know. 1John. 5:13

      3. God, who cannot lie, has promised eternal life. Titus. 1:2

    II. ASSURANCE RESTS ON THE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY OF THE WORD.

    1. The Bible claims to be the Word of God.

      2. God said, God spoke, and the Lord commanded.

        (1) “God said, let there be light” Genesis. 1:3

        (2) “God spake all these words” Exodus. 20:1

        (3) “The LORD commanded Moses” Joshua. 14:5

      3. Jesus and disciples testified that the Bible was the Word of God.

        (1) Jesus “in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” Luke. 24: 27,44

        (2) Peters’ prophecies concerning Judas had to be fulfilled. Acts. 1:16

        (3) Paul reasoned with them out of the scriptures. Acts. 17:2

        (4) Paul, “...All scripture is given by inspiration of God” 2Tim. 3:16

        (5) Peter, “holy men...spoke...moved by the Holy Ghost” 2Peter. 1:21

      4. Proof that the Bible is the Word of God.

        (1) Unity. Over a period of 1600 years and no contradictions.

        (2) Forty-men of different walks of life agreed.

        (3) One great theme; Redemption of mankind.

        (4) Fulfilled prophecy,

          (a) His virgin birth / born in Bethlehem. Isa. 7:14; Mic. 5:2

          (b) Concerning the Jew, and Gentile nations.

        (5) The test of time.

        (6) The universal demand, bestseller that meets every human need.

        (7) Denounces sin openly and factually.

        (8) The power to change lives.

      5. Testimonies compliment Inspiration. (Five; S’s)

        (1) The SPACE; “the heavens declare the glory of God” Psalms 19:1

        (2) The SPADE; (external evidence) Archeology.

        (3) The SCRIPTURES; (internal evidence) Consistency.

          (a) David; “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me...” 2Samuel. 23:2

          (b) Lord / Jeremiah; “...I have put my words in thy mouth...” Jer. 1:7,9

          (c) Lord / Ezekiel, “...speak my words unto them...” Ezekiel. 2:7

        (4) The SAVIOR, (eternal evidence) all convincing proof.

          (a) “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass...” Mat. 5:18

          (b) “The scripture cannot be broken...” John. 10:35

          (c) “He expounded / in all the scriptures / concerning himself” Luke. 24:27

          (d) “All things must be fulfilled... concerning me” Luke. 24:44

        (5) The SINNER, (logical evidence) transformed lives.

          (a) “Dead / made alive / by the incorruptible Seed” 1Peter. 1:23

          (b) New creatures in Christ. 2Cor. 5:17

    III. THE WITNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Romans. 8:16

      1. The Christian’s body is the temple of the Spirit. 1Cor. 6:19,20

      2. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit. Romans. 8:16

        (1) He is the Teacher and will, “... teach you all things.” John. 14:26

        (2) He is the Comforter; (The One called along side to aid) John. 14:16

        (3) He is the Guide, “The Spirit of Truth...guide you into all truth” John. 16:13

        (4) He is our Helper and Intercessor: Romans. 8:16

      3. A new transformed life; 2Cor. 5:17

        (1) A new attitude towards sin; (hate) Romans. 7:19,20

        (2) New desires and friendships. 2Cor. 5:17

        (3) The “fruit of the Spirit” replaced the “works of the flesh”

    IV. ASSURANCE NEEDS A SECURE BASE FOR FAITH TO REST UPON:

      1. Reliable information, Gods “WORD” - 2Tim. 3:16

      2. Durable Foundation, the “ROCK” - Christ. 1Cor. 10:4

      3. Dependable confirmation, the “SPIRIT’S” witness. Romans. 8:15,16

      4. Personal transformation, a changed life. - 2Cor. 5:17

        (1) Love for God, His Word and His people.

        (2) Attitude, toward sin, the world and self. “I am crucified with Christ”

        (3) Involvement in the assembly, witness and service.

        (4) The whole being, body, soul and spirit are transformed.

        (5) Carnal Christians never enjoy assurance.

Note: Assurance is faith resting in the security provided and promised by God.

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Seed Thoughts & Sermon Starters

Paul Leaves A Good Example For Young People To Follow.

“What shall I do, Lord?” Acts 22:10

1. Paul believed in Jesus as Savior and confessed Him as Lord. Romans 10:9

2. He prayed. This was the first evidence of life. “He prays” Acts. 9:11

3. He was baptized. (Obedience) “Arose and was baptized” Acts. 9:18

4. He preached Christ... that He is the Son of God. Acts. 9:20

5. He identified with the disciples. Acts. 9:26,27

6. He continued steadfastly in service and fellowship. Acts. 9:28

7. He spoke boldly in the name of Jesus, though his life was threatened. Acts. 9:29

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Notes & Quotes

(The Testimony Of A Committed Young Christian)

Elisabeth Susi – Valedictorian – Pampanga High School; 2000

Elisabeth is the daughter of one of the workers in Pampanga, Philippines. Her graduation class had nearly 2000 graduates and she was chosen as valedictorian, and consequently earned a full scholarship at the University of the Philippines. Elisabeth is a committed Christian, as you can tell by the following.

Excerpts, Of Her Valedictory Address.

Today we celebrate this momentous event in our lives, our graduation day; allow me to ask all of you, my dear fellow graduates, to express our praise and thanks to our God and Savior, for this is but fitting and proper since we owe everything to Him --- our success, our life, our all.

We shall be facing new challenges in life. As we face another chapter in the quest for knowledge, let me tell you my dear school mates, that there may be dark days ahead. Secular education alone is not enough to meet the challenges of the future. I am sure you will agree with me, that we have advanced very much in education, especially in the field of science and technology, but I observe that we live in a sick society. There is a pervasive moral breakdown, not only in our country, but also everywhere in the world. We read in the newspapers and hear over the radio and TV, about rampant drug addiction, sexual perversion, brutal rape and murder cases, committed mostly by young people like us. While it is true we have less illiteracy among our youth, compared to the past, it is also a fact that there is a much higher percentage of crimes committed by young people today compared to a couple decades ago. As I ponder these problems of our society, I can’t help but thank God for giving us parents who are concerned about our future. I praise God for the blessing of having Christian parents, in the truest sense, which taught not only the ABC’s of life but also the basic Christian beliefs stated in the Holy Scriptures. Unless we walk in the light of God’s ways, we will never be able to come to a solution to the malady in our society. I was reminded of the story of a crippled boy who was found by a young lady doctor in one of the slum areas in the metropolis. The lady doctor brought the boy into an orthopedic hospital for case study. Finally, after a successful operation the crippled boy was able to walk. So the elated physician searched for his parents and gave him back to them for proper care. After ten years the young doctor remembered that boy and decided to visit him and his parents, to know what had happened to him. To her disappointment, she learned that the boy, now a teenager was in prison, for multiple crimes he committed. – The doctor was saddened, and as she left the place, the thought came to her mind, which said; “I TAUGHT HIM HOW TO WALK, BUT I DIDN’T TEACH HIM WHERE TO WALK”

My dear fellow graduates, it is not enough that we know how to walk in order to face the challenges of this new millennium, but what is more important is to know WHERE TO WALK. The Lord Jesus said in the Bible, and I quote John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”

LET US WALK IN THE DIRECTION WHERE GOD POINTS TO US, and I assure you, my fellow graduates, we will never fail.

Let us not forget the sacrifices of our parents, the sympathy they have shown us all these years to help us overcome financial difficulties, trials and frustrations. We must be proud of our parents because they stood by us when we needed them most. I would like to thank my parents for impressing in my early life the need of knowing God, our Lord Jesus Christ, WHOM I HAVE GIVEN FIRST PLACE IN MY HEART AND LIFE, AND HE IS THE REASON I AM STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU TODAY.

I wont say good-bye to all of you because goodbye means forever. I would rather say good evening with the hope that we shall meet again tomorrow not as carefree adolescents but individuals with matured responsibilities and professions.

MARAMING SALAMAT PO (Many thanks, sir / mam)

------ Authors Comment:

I don’t know if such a valedictorian message would be allowed here in the states. They would probably get booed and ostracized. In the Philippines, a Roman Catholic country, she received a standing ovation.

At the PROM, of course the boys all lined up to dance with the beautiful, petite valedictorian. There, was a problem however, Elisabeth didn’t attend. – Her girl friend, a daughter of one of the elders in the assembly where Elisabeth attends, also graduated, and she didn’t attend the Prom either. We are grateful to the Lord, that there are still young people who stand up to be counted for the Lord. – Now we know what the songwriter meant, “Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone.”

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Defeat and misery comes when a Christian tries to hold on, to two worlds.

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Youth and beauty are like fashion, they fade away quickly, but character endures.

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In youth we run into difficulties, but in old age difficulties run into us.

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The worst danger that confronts youth is poor example set by the older generation.

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It’s only a myth that; the old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, and the youth know everything.

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The accent may be on youth these days, but the stress is often on the parents.

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Reputation is something to live up to in your youth or you will have to live it down when you are old.

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Just because you passed your drivers test, doesn’t mean, you have license to pass anything.

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A misspent youth may result in a tragic old age.

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Kids need plenty of LSD, (LOVE, SECURITY, AND DISCIPLINE)

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When youth get married and raise a family and pay taxes, they wont become a burden to society.

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Stop criticizing our youth; if you can’t keep up with them, at least get behind them.

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Work hard! - By the way, “elbow grease is not a petroleum product.

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You are young only once, but what ever you do, don’t stay immature.

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Do our youth today, believe there was a day when most people wouldn’t buy or do anything they couldn’t afford?

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You are rich when you are content with whatever you have.

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Meditations

Grow / Mature

“But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” 2Pet. 3:18

Spiritual growth is not an option, it is a command; Are we as concerned about spiritual growth as we are physical and intellectual? Infancy is normal and beautiful in both the physical and spiritual, but immaturity and carnality is not. Maturity is evident when childhood relics are replaced. “When I became a man I put away childish things” 1Cor. 13:11 - The dolls are replaced with living children to nurture for God. The Teddy Bears are replaced with a fulfilling husband and father role. - This growing process will continue until we become, “...a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” Eph. 4:13

Give of your best to the Master; naught else is worthy His love;
He gave Himself for your ransom, gave up His glory above.
Laid down His life without murmur, you from sin’s ruin to save,
Give Him your heart's adoration: give Him the best that you have.

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Possess Your Possessions

“Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you” Joshua. 1:3 - “There remains yet very much land to be possessed” Joshua. 13:1

Fear or apathy hindered Israel from possessing the full blessings promised to them. The land had been conquered, but it remained for the individual tribes to claim their possessions. Satan can’t keep us out of the land of promise, but he will do everything in his power to keep us from enjoying the blessings and victories. God gives us the invitation to possess the possessions, but also the ability to drive out the enemy. The book of Ephesians opens with, “who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” - It closes with, “Put on the whole Armour of God...stand against the wiles of the devil. “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Ro. 8:37 - We have to claim the blessings before we can proclaim the message.

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Be Not Conformed

“Be not conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2

A true Christian who is conformed to this world is classified as “carnal” - The Corinthian Church was plagued with this malady. It overpowers the believer and causes him to walk like natural, unregenerate men. It restricts him to baby food instead of the strong meat of the Word. He fails to enjoy the love of Christ, which passes knowledge. It results in, “envying, and strife, and divisions” It leads to admiring the preacher, instead of the Person of Christ. It hinders him from courageously going outside the camp, into enemy territory to worship and bear the reproach of Christ. Beloved let us not creep like babes, when we should run in the race, and carry the banner of victory to the finish line.

If I gained the world, but lost the Savior, Were my life worth living for a day?
Could my yearning heart find rest and comfort, in the things that soon must pass away?
If I gained the world, but had no Savior, would my gain be worth the life-long strife?
Are all earthly pleasures worth comparing, for a moment with a Christ filled life?

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We Shall Be Like Him

“When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John. 3:2

Today our limited faith has restrictions, but, one day we not only will be with Him and like Him, but we will see Him as He is; with unclouded vision. Then we will enter into the affections of the bride, “My Beloved is mine and I am His” S of S.2: 16 - Soon we will be invited to the wedding feast, not just as guests but as His bride, decked in pure white, just for Him. Let us experience a mutual love, and an eternal abiding fidelity.

Nothing between my soul and the Saviour, So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor, Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

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Rejoice In The Lord

“The joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah. 8:10

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” Php. 4:4

The joy of the Lord does not depend on circumstances but the condition of the heart and communion relationship with the Lord. Paul wrote the Philippian Epistle, known as the “Joy Book” while he and his companion were in a horrible Roman prison with their backs bleeding and hands and feet in stocks. What, we ask; would he have to rejoice in under those circumstances? - They knew the Lord was with them and was listening to their songs and prayers. - They could rejoice in a unique mission opportunity to witness to the jailor who was involved in their arrest, which gave them an opportunity to witness to the family and see them all brought to the Lord. He certainly found joy in the sweet fellowship of the saints in the assembly at Philippi. Oh that we would know how to, Set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth Col. 3:2

Be still my soul: thy God doth undertake, to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake,
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice that ruled them while He dwelt below.

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Guidance

“He shall direct thy paths” Proverbs .3:6

To be holy, useful and happy, the Christian must walk in the path, which the providence of God has charted for him. To do this it is essential, to, “acknowledge Him” and, “lean not unto thine own understanding” - Our commitment is to please and honor Him, then we will know what it meant, for Enoch, when he, “pleased God...and, walked with God” Gen. 5:22

Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go,
Anywhere He leads me in this world below,
Anywhere without Him dearest joys would fade,
Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid.

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION - My peers in school poke fun at me and say “I’m not cool” - because I don’t cheat in the exams, don’t attend the theater and dances, don’t drink and take drugs, the way I wear my cloths and hair, and I don’t flirt. Even the teachers laugh at me and take their side. How do I cope with this situation?

ANSWER - Just remember the Lord isn’t laughing, He takes it very serious and will eventually deal with the case. No matter how many kids are poking fun at you, remember you are in the majority. (You are on the Lord’s side and that is the winning side) The victory may not be immediate but it will surely come in God’s time. Look again at Elisabeth Susi’s testimony in this chapter under, ‘NOTES & QUOTES” - Consider Daniel in the lions den for refusing to defile himself with the kings meat. Also consider the three young Hebrews who were thrown into the fiery furnace. In the end they were all winners because they chose God’s side. The songwriter wrote, “Dare to be a Daniel” - It is taking God’s side and it is sure to be the winning side. All Christians are soldiers; there are “GOOD” soldiers who endure hardships; Chose to be a good one. That choice has eternal value. 2Timothy 2:3