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.
We can receive comfort from others in dark times. This is one of God's good gifts to us. But there is only one place to find soul rest. Jesus is the exclusive source of ultimate comfort.
During this unique time in our world, we will suspend our regular series and instead look at passages that remind us of who God is, what He has done for us, and how He comforts us so we can comfort others. Our church family is personally and corporately strengthened as we continue to learn and live in the comfort of God.
Luke 1:67-80 occurs just before the birth of Jesus, after the birth of his cousin John the Baptist. Zechariah is holding his newborn son and speaks promises inspired by the Holy Spirit. He answers the question, how can we be sure of Jesus' ability to save us from our sins?
We can trust in Jesus because God says we can. His Word is enough, because His promise will always come true. What He says, He will do.
What Paul says about Israel in his context can be applied to religious people in our context. Even those who are stuck in their ways have not stumbled so badly as to never have opportunity to be saved again. The offer of salvation is always given to them. What Paul says of Gentiles in his context applies to irreligious people today. As they accept Christ, religious people see the joy that results and become jealous.
In most of Scripture, God speaks to mankind. The poetic books of the Old Testament are unique because in them, man speaks to God. Human authors used the poetic structures available to them in attempts to surpass the limits of human language and recreate their experience with God.
In Romans 9:19, Paul anticipates another question from his readers, then proceeds to dispel any fear or doubt they might have about God's justice in saving. God saves righteously: He is equitable, fair, and just.
The greatest joys in life are knowing Christ and seeing others meet Him. Yet of equal magnitude in grief is seeing those who hear the Gospel refuse Him.
Romans 9 shows us how to find our way back to joy. Paul's answer is considering God, His person and His attributes. This will give us the ability to work our way out of any grief.
In one sentence, this is a summary of Romans 9: God has always sought to redeem those whose sin has taken them away from Him.
A Look Back: God Is Loyal to His People.
Paul continues his argument about the depravity of mankind. This section deals with the Jews or, by extension, anyone who relies on a religious system to make them right with God. Despite any religious affiliation, sin still makes everyone liable to God's judgment. This truth is actually liberating when considering our eternal destiny: it's not up to us.
People who are considered moral need God too. Many moral people can sound Christian without actually knowing Christ. There is only one Judge who knows the whole truth. Romans 2:2-16 describes four ways that God judges moralists.
God is a God of second chances for those who have been redeemed. Though they fall, believers are always welcome back to fellowship with God and ministry service. Psalm 146 rehearses many truths to make sure we walk with God faithfully.
Paul wrote the book of 1 Timothy to encourage the believers at Ephesus, then instruct them about the structure of the church so they could make spiritual progress. First he had to encourage their leader, his "true son in the faith," Pastor Timothy. Paul was Timothy's spiritual father. He had mentored Timothy in personal growth and in ministry. What fruits did Paul desire to see in his spiritual son -- and what should we pray to see in our spiritual children?
Many hymns tell how the truth of the resurrection affects our life today. "I serve a risen Savior," wrote Alfred Ackley in "He Lives!" Charles Wesley underscored the reality that because Christ has risen, we will also rise, in his hymn "Come, Let Us With Our Lord Arise." Those who know Christ live because of Him, and our glory is His.
By contrast, those who choose to live without God often describe the fleeting nature of human life. English poet Thomas Gray wrote the line, "The paths of glory lead but to the grave." Our glory is short-lived without Christ. God's glory is eternal, and He has wonderfully planned to share it through Jesus Christ.
Our culture has an obsession with greatness that often leaves us normal people asking, if I can’t be great, is my life really worth anything? Yet there is greatness in spiritual simplicity. The greatest thing we could do is to know Jesus Christ, walk with Him, and serve in His local church for the Gospel’s sake. Let God be great through your obedience.
Isaac was a simple man, mostly known for being the son of Abraham and the father of Jacob – yet God used him to perpetuate an eternal seed.
There are no more happy people on earth than those who know and do the will of God! God’s will is found as we study His Word. We are responsible to what we know of the Scriptures.
The narrative of Genesis 20 might look familiar, because we saw a similar story in Genesis 12. This is Abram’s second failure to trust God with his wife and his personal safety. Whenever God’s Word repeats itself, there is something for us to learn.
Genesis 19 is a hard chapter to understand. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as judgment on one particular sin, but it is not. Rather, it should be read as a sub-narrative in Abraham’s story about how God’s people can slip into living like the world.
The Bible is not a history book, but it contains history. We can learn much from what the Holy Spirit chose to record.
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