God’s providence is always active and moving in and through our lives. If we have any hope of flourishing as God intends, which is growing in holiness toward Christlikeness, we must discipline our inner man to the powerful impact of the fact of God’s providence. Flourishing is the property of those whose lives are lived according to the interest, values, and concerns that exist in heaven.
God’s purpose for each of us and our church is to flourish. God intends for us to naturally grow in holiness and Christlikeness. Holiness is flourishing from God’s perspective, becoming more like God and Jesus. If we have any hope of flourishing as God intends for us, we must discipline our inner man to the powerful impact of the truth and reality of God’s providence.
At times, God uses our senses to make His presence known (Psalm 34:8, 1 John 1:1-4). This growth in knowledge of God deepens our relationship with Him. For examples, see Isaiah 6:1-5, Luke 5:8, and 7:6-7. Job has found that theology is only the beginning; it's important, but second to our personal walk with God.
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 has a personal plan for each person within His larger plan. Sometimes this truth is hard to believe when we go through confusing or difficult circumstances. Just as there is a purpose for each piece within a large model of a plane or ship, there is purpose in every aspect of your life.
Romans 8:28-30 is a text of comfort and reassurance along with the entire chapter of Romans 8. In these verses, we find:
All these are discovered in the light of being in Christ.
If God is providentially in control of all things working out everything to the end of keeping His promises, then what part to I play? What does providence expect of me?
God’s providential power is precise and personal; it is, therefore, the cornerstone for faith in the church age! For Esther, there were no miracles forthcoming. In this book, the Holy Spirit labors hard at weaning faith off the milk of miracle and on to the meat of God’s providential power. God’s providential power is comprehensive, yet the question may linger as to how precise and personal it can really be? Miracles are reassuring because they are incredibly precise and personal. We will see that God’s providential power is as precise and personal as it is comprehensive, and therefore must be the cornerstone for your faith as a believer.
Is this world spinning out of control? The book of Esther (along with Daniel, Nehemiah, and the story of Joseph) foreshadows the church age. They all take place when God’s people live in minority status in civilizations that are hostile to God’s authority. The author of Esther masterfully demonstrates that God’s providential work is up to the task of keeping his promises. Miracles are not the norm currently. They were at times and will be again in God’s economy. For now, however, we rest upon God’s rich providential care. God’s powerful operation of providence working in and through human agency and natural law to bring about His good pleasure is nothing short of breathtaking in the book of Esther.
Last week we saw how Timothy learned and adopted the gospel burden of his spiritual leader and mentor, the apostle Paul. A “gospel burden” is a believer’s natural desire to share Christ with others. God’s designed this burden to be fulfilled first through personal evangelism, then through churches reaching their local community, and finally spreading the gospel message through the world.
Though Genesis 24 is about the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah on the surface, that is not the primary focus of the chapter. There are many spiritual principles for us to learn from these 67 verses.
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