One thing you can find almost anywhere you go, including in hotel rooms, is a Bible. When a person opens a copy of God's Word, what should they expect? How do you approach the Bible?
Psalm 12 expresses how David felt when he had been abandoned by godly friends. In Psalm 13, David is so alone, he feels he has been abandoned by God Himself. This feeling is prompted by the length of his suffering. Perseverance in a long time of difficulty is perhaps the most trying to our minds and hearts.
David's struggle will feel familiar to many people of God. In a marathon of trust, we often ask similar questions. Is God one who abandons? Through David's wrestling, we will learn that God's character and work confessed in prayer sustains us during long, drawn-out periods of suffering.
Survival shows intrigue us when we see how shockingly few things are necessary to survive in a wilderness. The world we live in is an extreme, fallen, undiscerning spiritual wilderness, but the Lord has provided us with the simple yet essential tools of spiritual survival for daily living.
Alva J. McClain said, "the person who knows well the first 11 chapters of the book of Romans knows more about the philosophy of human history than all the wisest historians that the world has ever seen. There is a philosophy of history here that is unmatched. It makes the historians on the earth appear like children playing with their toys." This passage simplifies what man has complicated. Paul reflects on the beauty of simplicity in salvation: humanity is composed of 2 groups of people, who both have 1 Savior. God has given our biggest difficulty the simplest solution in Jesus Christ.
The author of Hebrews was waging war against the authorities in his culture. Culture is always a powerful force that shapes people as people shape it. Those on the fringes of popular culture are perhaps the most honest in applying culture to their lives, living in harmony with the ideals they are being taught.
Is there any reason to question culture's place in our life? If so, who can we trust? Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us that Jesus Christ has the authority to speak with pointed help as we evaluate the proper place of culture in our lives.
As humans, we need to understand the axioms of existence. What is the big picture? What are the fundamental presuppositions of the universe? As we read the book of Psalms, what is the underlying galvanizing reality that underpins them all?
Independence Day weekend is filled with national interest, with many looking to our government for happiness. Psalm 1, however, identifies the individual and their relationship to God's Word as the true source of happiness. Your relationship to God’s Word determines your state of being.
God's Word has tremendous protective value in the development of our spirit. Many places in Scripture affirm its transformative power and stress the importance of memorizing and applying the Bible.
The context of Hebrews is the superiority of Jesus Christ. The writer pauses to give a parenthesis of warning in Hebrews 5:11-6:3. He assumes that his audience is saved, but has instruction to give regarding how they handle the Word of God. We can learn five aspects of growth from this passage.
In extreme circumstances, our needs become very clear. When you are tired, hungry, and poor, what do you need more than sleep, money, and food? The Word of God is more necessary than any physical need. It is sufficient at all times (2 Peter 1:3). A desire for God's Word nourishes the spirit.
The pastoral epistles are often said to be about the structure and governance of the church. This may sound dry and unappealing to the average Christian in the pew, until you realize that the church cannot be structured or governed without people! Paul's letter to Timothy is instructive not just for pastors but for every group in the church.
Anyone familiar with organizing groups of children knows that success depends on keeping them on schedule. Whether the setting is school or summer camp, the bell is the key to keeping everyone on track. Paul continues to call Timothy and the believers under his care back to one clear message: We don't live for the temporal world but eternal purposes.
In 1 Timothy 6, Pastor Timothy is called to take action. As he lives out godliness, the churches will follow and mimic his example. Timothy is to separate from worldly influences and pursue biblical virtue (verse 11). In verse 12, he is told to contend for the truth of God's Word.
If you were asked to write a job description for a pastor, what would you include? Should a pastor's job emphasize creative ideas to be culturally relevant? What tasks are most important? 1 Timothy 4:11-16 tells us what God emphasizes in the personal and public expectations of pastor-teachers.
At worst, the doctrine of legalism teaches we can save ourselves. At best, it teaches what we can do ourselves to gain favor with God. Either way, the source is one of darkness. Those who know the Lord Jesus as their Savior no longer have to worry about pleasing God. Because of our position in Christ, pleasing God becomes natural to us.
In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul has explained legalism's attempts to earn approval with God. Next, he outlines the contrasting virtues of godly servants.
Fire drills and tornado drills can seem redundant, but they are necessary for collective safety. Paul drills Timothy on defending the faith in 1 Timothy 4:1-5. His words tie back to the instruction in chapter 1 on addressing falsehood in the church. Pragmatism or legalism is addressed through rehearsing the Gospel and individual believers' testimonies. Falsehood does not encourage outreach because it has no message to share outside the church. It works inside and divides the flock. Genuine believers embrace the Gospel and seek to take it outside the walls of the church.
This psalm asks a significant question on this July 4th weekend, a question relates to the current moral character of our country. Any ungodly nation needs believers in its midst to send out God's light and truth to individual men and women.
As Joseph waited in prison, God still had not brought to pass the dream He gave Joseph when he was 17 years old (Gen. 37). Joseph was now 30 years old and had spent over half of his life waiting for God to fulfill His promise that he would rule over his brothers. Meanwhile, he has been faithful with what God has given him, both position and promises. From his youth, Joseph was faithful to God’s Word, even when it got him in trouble. And in His own timing, God would exalt him.
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