Neither popularity nor position are permanent. Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 teaches us to avoid unrealistic expectations regarding both.
Setting goals and achieving them is a reflection of God's image in humans. Focusing on one thing has proven to produce great success for many entrepreneurs, although their achievements are only temporal. The ultimate goal of the Gospel is to spiritually and positionally restore us in Jesus Christ back to our original spiritual condition and purpose in the eyes of our Creator. The Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it this way: "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." How is this done?
In this section of Romans, Paul has been working through his sorrow and grief at the unbelief of his fellow Jews (Romans 9:1). He reminds and comforts his heart that God saves faithfully, mercifully, and righteously. His deep prayer and desire is that they would understand and accept salvation through Christ (Romans 10:1). Religious people misunderstand the righteousness of Jesus and the grace of God. In Romans 11, Paul dwells on God's mercy to both Jews and Gentiles.
Philippians 3:10 expresses the Apostle Paul's desire to "know Him [Christ] and the power of His resurrection." In the Bible, the word "to know" usually means to share one's life. We share life with those who are closest to us, spouses, family, and close friends. We share in Christ's life when we know Him as our Savior.
God responds to thankfulness because giving thanks is in line with what God seeks. The Psalms we will study today are imprecatory psalms and laments which show a mix of confidence and concern. They reflect a desire of the righteous for God to destroy His enemies and to vindicate His name. God still pursues these goals, but He does so differently in the church era. The paradox of a thankful heart in the midst of life difficulties is what pleases God no matter what time we live in.
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.
Displays of spiritual power are found throughout the Bible. Today, people search for spiritual power in many ways and from various sources. Christians seek power in prayer and spiritual warfare. In the salvation era, power must be understood in light of Jesus' bodily resurrection. We must not substitute the historical form of spiritual power for its continuing substance.
On Memorial Day, we honor those who have brought our nation physical safety. Even greater honor is due to the one man who brought spiritual safety to many - Jesus Christ.
Acts 10 tells the special story of God's care to save a member of the Roman military. The narrative focuses on the soldier Cornelius and the apostle Peter, but God is always the hero. He uses human instruments to achieve his eternal plans.
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