Saturday, November 19, 2011

Habakkuk's Petition

"And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me"
Habakkuk 2:1

In the previous chapter of Habakkuk, the prophet had poured out to God his complaints of the Chaldean's violence and wickedness against God's people. After Habakkuk had said all he had to say, he stayed alert and waited for God's reply. We don't know how long Habakkuk had to wait, but we see in the next verse that God did answer him. The Lord always answers his servants when they humble themselves and seek His help. Not always in the way they would expect, but He does answer nevertheless. We can learn much from Habakkuk about petitioning God. Pray - Watch - Wait.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Unchanging God

"Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end."
Psalm 102:25-27

Businessman and author Philip Crosby once said, "If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow." I doubt too many people would argue with Crosby's view. Things in this world do change rapidly. Technology, commerce, politics, education, relationships -- you name it. But no matter how much the world changes, God never will. All that He is, He has always been and always will be. God can't change because He is perfect and will remain so. Theologians call this the "immutability" of God. "[God] exists forever, and is always the same. He does not grow older. His life does not wax or wane. He does not gain new powers nor lose those that He once had. He does not mature or develop. He does not get stronger, or weaker, or wiser, as time goes by. God is immutable and can never cease to be what He is." – J.I. Packer, Knowing God 
What a comfort to know that this God in whom we trust will never change. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Fellowship of Joy

"These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete."
1 John 1:4

John wanted to share the truth of Christ's life with others. His testimony would bring greater faith and joy to those who received it, and that in turn would complete the Apostle's own joy. When we have a relationship with the Lord, we find a joy that is not dependent upon happy circumstances. In fact, some of the greatest joy we encounter is when things are at their worst. There is something so unique, so amazing about this kind of joy that we can't keep it to ourselves. We have to share it with others. Upon hearing it, their faith is strengthened, resulting in more joy for them. Our own joy is then made complete. This fellowship of joy continues, as long as we are willing to testify. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Spirit Testifies

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,"
Romans 8:16

God's children are those who have been born again by the Spirit of God. They know who they are because the Holy Spirit testifies to their spirit that this is true. He speaks right to their heart and they are confident that they belong to God. Jewish law stated everything had to be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6). There are two witnesses to our salvation: our own witness and the witness of the Holy Spirit. "...the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit when we cry, "Jesus is Lord!" But that is not the only cry the Spirit prompts in our hearts. Another is, "Abba! Father!" In other words, the Spirit produces two profound changes in us toward God: One is a humble demeanor of submission: Jesus, the Son of God, is my Lord, my Master; I am His subject; He is my Ruler, my Sovereign. And the other is the joyful, bold, childlike demeanor of confidence: God is my Father." -- John Piper

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Law Our Tutor

"Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."
Galatians 3:24

"The Mosaic Law was not given to produce salvation. The purpose of the Law was to help people see how far short they had fallen of God's righteous demands so they would cast themselves on the grace of God. Even during the time of the Law, grace was made available through the specified sacrifices for sin. These pointed forward to the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the sacrifice for sin." -- Theodore Epp, Back to the Bible

What the law was unable to do, Christ did through His sacrifice on the cross. And He did it once for all. The Ten Commandments are our "tutor". They help us to see the holiness of God and the futility of trying to please Him by our own merit. It simply can't be done. But when we receive Christ and His sacrifice through faith, we are justified before a Holy God. His grace abounds in Christ.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Show Us Your Glory

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." 
John 1:14

In the original Greek, the word "begotten" means "pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind." Jesus Christ is uniquely God's Son. He shares the same divine nature as God. The Second Person of the Trinity. The Word of God who spoke creation into existence became flesh and walked the earth. This is so startling, and yet over time we perhaps become so accustomed to the idea that we are hardly moved by it. F.B. Meyer wrote: "Now and again, during our Lord's earthly career, the curtain of His human nature seemed to part and to emit some gleams of the radiant splendour of His Being. It was so on the Transfiguration mount, and again in His Resurrection and Ascension. The glory was full of grace and truth." Oh, that we might right now have a sense of His glory, full of grace and truth. That we might put aside our humdrum ideas of Jesus Christ and catch a glimpse of "the radiant splendour of His Being." Lord Jesus, show us Your glory.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

When We Struggle with Doubt

"I would have despaired unless I had believed 
that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD."
Psalm 27:13-14

When trials enter our lives, doubt often comes with them. The enemy loves it when we struggle with our faith and question God's goodness. The Bible is filled with verses that can help us during such times. As we turn to them and meditate on the words, the Holy Spirit encourages us to keep trusting. He reminds us not to despair, believe in the goodness of the Lord and wait for Him. Remain strong by the power of His Spirit and free your heart to be courageous. All this and so much more. Are you struggling today? What verses has God given you in the past that can help you now?

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