These next two cycles of debate can be read in Job 15-33.
Are we trying to get the infinite things of God into our small finite minds? This is the reality of Job as he struggles through his horrific ordeal. As his friends wield accusations, Job seeks to press his mind and heart to know the wonders of the sovereignty of God. He believes it, yet it seems too wonderful for him to fully know. As he struggles through the months of his God-ordained calamity, God’s grace presses him to know and rest in the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.
If after a short time of great calamity such as Job experienced – his children killed, his lifestyle and position in the region taken away, and his body suffering like never before – would we be able to say like Job, "Blessed be the name of the Lord"? Could it be said of us that we did not sin with our lips? Job experienced supernatural grace in an hour of agony for those two verses to be written about him (Job 1:21, Job 2:10).
Psalm 50 describes a courtroom drama, where the setting includes a judge, defendant, prosecution, witnesses, and defense. This and similar Old Testament passages are called covenant lawsuits. God is bringing charges against the nation of Israel.
A vast majority of Christmas carols focus on one night: O Holy Night, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Away in a Manger. Many of these rich theological hymns are still played at stores and restaurants. It is astounding that we can walk into different businesses and hear What Child is This? Unfortunately, many go about this season busy with parties, decorating, and shopping, yet fail to consider the question, "what Child is this?"
God is light. When Jesus came to earth, He shone as a bright contrast to the dark world of sin and sadness. Divinity had to take on humanity to fulfill God's purposes. Incarnation was appropriate, necessary, and is a non-negotiable doctrine of Christianity.
When resolving conflict between Christians, these three areas are necessary to consider: identity, growth, and humanity. Anyone in Christ must be viewed from that vantage point; therefore, we must assume that spiritual growth is happening in their life. The Holy Spirit is never dormant.
Imagine a doctor who discovers a long-time patient has cancer. She knows the news would make her patient very upset, so she only tells him to keep eating healthy and exercising, and he should be fine. The patient feels relieved when he leaves the office, but how has the doctor served her patient?
There is a difference between hearing what we want to hear and hearing the truth that we need to hear. Psalm 53 is one place the Bible tells us the difficult truth we need to hear.
If anyone owns the word "new," the church does. Those who have been transformed by the Gospel and have been given a new nature know the true meaning of the word. In a new year when much is uncertain, we know the Lord is still on the throne, and we are qualified and equipped for whatever may come our way.
Paul is writing the young pastor Titus to help his ministry in Crete. The first 2 chapters of his letter are about structure and relationships within the church (Titus 1-2). Chapter 3 begins with addressing a Christian's attitude toward those in authority (verse 1) and how to relate to those who don’t know Christ (verse 2). Titus 3:3-11 instruct us how to function among those who don’t know Christ, both outside the church and inside. Sadly, there will always be those even in the church who profess Christ but do not truly know Him.
We are familiar with Psalm 66:18: "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." We need to understand it in its context. Often, this verse makes us question whether God hears our prayers; however, the following verses show that the psalmist had assurance that God heard his prayer because he was not one who cherished sin in his heart. The main emphasis of this psalm is the need to give praise to God. In fact, 14 different ways to praise God are mentioned in this psalm. We can be assured that if God would hear our prayer, then He must hear our praise.
Opinions on finding happiness are not hard to find. In the Bible, true happiness is an effect, not a cause. It is the product of making God-honoring choices in critical areas of life. Psalm 32 shows the watershed which divides true happiness from unhappiness. The transformative nature of God’s forgiveness sets us firmly on the path of true happiness. The psalmist gives us 4 reasons why.
The book of Psalms is divided into 5 sections. As the book progresses, the theme shifts from psalms of prayer and supplication to praise and thanksgiving. Psalm 106 falls at the end of the 4th section. It was probably written by an Israelite living in captivity. It rehearses the Jewish nation's pattern of giving up God's glory, seemingly never learning from their history.
Psalm 6 meditates on a difficult Christian endeavor: responding while under the disciplinary hand of the Lord. This endeavor is the sole property of people who have been transformed by Jesus into the often-uncomfortable condition of being lifelong learners, lovers, and worshipers. The joy of learning often includes the negative experience of shame, stifling our own pride, and enduring the consequences of our sin.
The Theology of Man’s Sin - Isaiah depicts sin as self-exalting rebellion against the Holy God Who offers saving grace.
There is profundity in simplicity. Our world is complicated, but God's plan to lead us back to Himself is simple. Human ways to God only lead to destruction.
In every period of time, God gives His people time to stop, worship, and celebrate. Nehemiah 8:1-12 shows one of those occasions. The nation of Israel was back from exile, rebuilding Jerusalem, and celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Scholars tell us the book of Ecclesiastes was usually read publicly at this festival. Nehemiah's admonition to the people to rejoice, not grieve, is a similar message to Solomon's. The best way to enjoy life is to enjoy it with God, by living according to His Word. Conviction should be a quick work, with grace then bringing joy.
The best way to proclaim that you're redeemed is by the way you live. The Gospel makes a transformative change in our lives that should be noticeable to those around us. Faith comes by hearing, but hearing the Word of God does not come primarily from a pulpit. It comes from believers living with disciple-making intentions in the natural rhythms of life. Your character and joyful disposition should prompt conversations!
Christ is coming back, and as the Head of the Church, He will be looking to see His people bringing the Gospel to others (Romans 1:16). Jesus is building His church in Mentor as He has been since the beginning of the church. He was building His church through the local body of believers in Rome. This was a healthy church made up of all different kinds of people, which we will see in Romans 16. That diversity of people being saved and united in Christ is the result of living out the commission of love that Paul wrote about in Romans 12:17-21.
Romans 12:9-16’s list of responsibilities may seem to have no rhyme or reason to their order, but they fit into the chapter context perfectly. Romans 12 begins the practical portion of the book as we seek to live God’s glorious gospel outlined in Romans 1-11. If the chapter is a 3-story house, verses 1-2 are the foundation. Verses 3-8 are the first floor named Community. The second floor, verses 9-16, is about Compassion. Verses 17-21 address our Commission.
Using proper names is very important at announcements of significant life events. When the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-14, the titles they used had intentional significance.
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