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Heaven will be for those who overcome the difficulties this earthly life presents to us. Jesus said, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7). Day by day, it is important that we focus our attention not on ease and the avoidance of every problem but on conquering the problems that confront us. The Bible teaches that those who genuinely believe in God will find in their faith the key to being a conqueror. The apostle John wrote, "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 Jn. 5:4,5). Faith in God gives us victory over life's problems. This week, let's make that thought our theme.
Whatever obstacles block our path to God, God is greater than those obstacles. Jesus assured His disciples: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33). And John, one of the disciples to whom the Lord spoke these words, later wrote: "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 Jn. 4:4).
It is our faith -- our trust in God and our reliance on His strength -- that opens up to us the powerful reservoirs of God's help. And it is this help that will cause us to triumph in the end. Peter spoke of this when he said that God "has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pt. 1:3-5). May it be our goal this week, and every week, to learn more of what it means to live by faith in Christ and experience the victory of God through Christ over every hindrance to our salvation. God is our Rock, "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1). To have faith in God is to have available the power of the very Creator of the universe.
Monday: Psalm 37:1-11
Key Idea: Faith means that we rely upon God.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to "trust in the Lord, and do good" (v.3)? How do we "commit" our way to the Lord (v.5)? What are some ways that we can "be still before the Lord" and "wait patiently" for Him (v.7)? What points are made in Prov. 3:5,6.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 1:1-6.
Tuesday: Daniel 6:16-24
Key Idea: Faith gives us courage.
Questions for Family Growth: How would you define "courage"? What difference did Daniel's faith make in the way he faced the ordeal of the lion's den? What difference did faith make in the attitude of Paul in passages like Ac. 20:22-24.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 1:7.
Wednesday: 1 Kings 18:20,21
Key Idea: Faith helps us to be decisive.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some reasons we sometimes find it difficult to make firm decisions about doing right? What does the word "resolute" mean? If God is truly God, what should we do: continue to debate the question or make a commitment to obey Him?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 1:8,9.
Thursday: Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29
Key Idea: Faith is the foundation of true integrity.
Questions for Family Growth: When pressure is put on us to do wrong, how can we keep our conduct consistent with our convictions? What is "compromise" and why is it so dangerous? How can faith keep us from compromising our principles?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 1:10-19.
Friday: 1 John 5:4,5
Key Idea: Faith is the victory.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to be "born of God"? In what sense do those born of God "overcome" the world? Why is faith so important in winning this victory? In this passage, what is the specific thing we must have faith in?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 1:20-33.