On Sunday evening, we commemorated our Savior's death through song, Scripture reading, and observing the Lord's Table.
1 Corinthians is a letter to a church that found itself in the most influential and cosmopolitan city of its day. Yet this was a troubled church. The church received the gospel, but it was not governed by it. In many practical ways, the church was governed by culturally-derived mottos rather than mature reflection on the gospel and its implications for life.
We’ve all delighted in new things—new things that ultimately God has gifted to us. But our delight in new things quickly fades. New becomes old. The universal, unescapable truth is that nothing stays new—not things, people, or relationships. Psalm 49 addresses this readily apparent yet rarely apprehended truth.
At Christmas time, it is fitting to turn our minds to prophetic truths concerning Jesus the Messiah. The books of the prophets are usually the first to come to mind, and the literal fulfillment of the circumstantial facts they predicted hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ coming is nothing short of miraculous. Another prophetic witness is found in the Messianic Psalms. In total, twenty-five different psalms (one out of six) include at least one Messianic prophecy. Messianic psalms are quoted in eleven New Testament books.
These psalms are prophetic in a special way: in the words and feelings of the Psalmist were found the very words and feelings of the Messiah. (See Hebrews 2:12.) The Psalmist knew that the coming Messiah would “fill out” the emotional and physical suffering he was experiencing by experiencing them in a way he never could. The pain he spoke of figuratively, the Messiah would know literally.
Last week, we studied the believer's reality of possessing great spiritual treasure (2 Corinthians 4:7). The rest of our passage describes further realities that believers are assumed to enjoy.
Paul makes the Corinthians believers aware of his own hardship in 2 Corinthians 1:6-11. We can benefit from other people's struggles. They encourage us to persevere and endure in our own walk of faith until Christ returns.
We try to understand God's plan, but we can never know all of it; and we couldn't handle that knowledge anyway. Life is full of spiritual mystery. What can and should we do as we live through this reality?
We are studying the third section of Ecclesiastes, which instructs us on how to rejoice in hard times. Joy is the reality of the believer who lives in the blessed will of God (Ecclesiastes 8:15). With the proper perspective, believers can enjoy all God's good gifts, but if distracted from eternal purpose, we will doubt the integrity of God and His providence.
Remembering is an essential discipline of living.
Human wisdom robs our joy. Left to our own thinking, life doesn't make much sense. Lived with God's wisdom, life can be enjoyed.
Romans 8 was written to believers who lived in a society experiencing relative peace and security, similar to what we experience in our day. Often this sense of security gives way to moral relativism. Regardless of society's views, Jesus is always the exclusive way to spiritual peace.
Romans 5:12-21 concludes the first major section of this book. Alva J. McClain said about these verses, "A constant reading of this passage, under the leadership of the Spirit of God, never fails to bear fruit." It is a refrain of the blessings of justification in Paul's presentation of the Gospel.
“Are we there yet?” Children have no concept of time. How much greater is the gap between our understanding of time and God's. Our lives are as brief as a vapor compared to God’s eternality (James 4:14). What should we do with the time we are given?
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.
The book of Matthew was written to a Jewish audience to convince readers that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Our passage immediately follows Jesus' coronation (His baptism by John) and His testing by God. Unlike any other king, Jesus performed perfectly under the test. He resisted the tempter, commanded his worship, and finally banished him.
What will the reign of this King be like? Matthew 4:12-25 shows the first three acts of King Jesus which set the tone for His rule.
Genesis 50 is the conclusion to chapters 47-49. It’s a chapter of two funerals for two men of faith. A life lived with simple integrity most influences the lives of those who follow. Jacob and Joseph left a legacy of faith for their family in three simple ways:
Genesis 25 records the end of Abraham’s life and shows two the contrasting lives of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
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