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.
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.
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.
Romans 11:33-36 is so rich, we are going to study it in small portions. This week, we focus on verse 33 as preparation for the rest of the passage. Paul's doxology is a hymn of praise for what God has done in salvation history. This is a natural response of a Spirit-filled, born-again Christian.
All Christians know the experience of sinning after we've been saved and the guilt that accompanies it. Some even know what it's like to doubt their salvation after falling into sin. What a joyful relief to remember that God's love never changes! Psalm 146 is a thankful song of God's people when they are given another chance. Most Bible scholars attribute its composition to Haggai or Zechariah, prophets who preached to God's people when they were returning to the land of Israel from Babylonian exile. This is one of the "hallelujah" psalms, the last 5 chapters of the book of Psalms, each of which starts and ends with the same wording: "Praise the Lord!"
Believers will have one of two reactions when Christ returns: we will either be confident or ashamed. Paul gives directives to Timothy so that he will be found faithful at Christ's second coming. In 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Paul rehearses several character traits of God which will motivate Timothy's obedience.
We continue to study Timothy’s salvation history and character in preparation for understanding two pastoral letters written to him. Timothy’s life shows that we have no Gospel unless we have a changed lifestyle. Even when it becomes scary to serve the Lord, we step out in faith into the unfamiliar.
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