Saturday, March 3, 2012

True Faith

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, 
the conviction of things not seen."
Hebrews 11:1

The theme of Chapter 11 in Hebrews is faith. The word "faith" occurs 24 times in this chapter and the expression "by faith" shows up 19 times. Why is faith so important to the Christian? Because without it we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). It is not by our works that we please the Lord. It is by our conviction that God will keep His promises and we will receive all we hope for: the resurrection from the dead and eternal life with Him. Regarding Hebrews 11, Pastor Steven Cole writes, "Here is a text that defines true faith, for that is what all men need – faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. And our text also describes how faith works in the difficult times of men’s lives. May God imbed this text in our minds and enable us to live it out in our lives, to His glory and to our eternal good."

Friday, March 2, 2012

What Gets God's Attention

"Thus says the LORD,
 'Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. 
Where then is a house you could build for Me? 
And where is a place that I may rest? 
For My hand made all these things, 
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. 
“But to this one I will look, 
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.'"
Isaiah 66:1-2

The Creator of all things cannot be contained in an earthly building. Our churches are meant to be places where we gather to worship HIm, but they cannot hold Him. Even Solomon who built a temple for the Lord said, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27). It is not our entering into a church building that gets God's attention. It is the true humility of spirit: the brokenness that comes from knowing the sinfulness of our condition and our need for a Savior that moves God's heart. It is when we stop making excuses for our sin and submit to God's word that He regards us with mercy and forgiveness.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Peaceful Home

"It is better to live in a corner of the roof 
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman."
Proverbs 25:24

Solomon must have had a tough time with his wives. But maybe part of his trouble was the fact that he had multiple wives in the first place. And as one Bible commentator noted, we haven't heard anything from Solomon's wives about how he was to live with on a bad day. Chances are they'd have plenty to say. Nevertheless, this is a good reminder to both husbands and wives to live in harmony. Nothing is worse than living with a spouse who is constantly looking for a fight. The Apostle Paul wrote: "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." (Romans 12:18) This isn't just for men, it's for women too. Let's all make sure we're building a peaceful home.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walk His Way

"Thus says the LORD, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, 
Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. 
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’"
Jeremiah 6:16

Just as a traveler would be foolish to set out on a journey without first inquiring as to which road he should take, so we would be foolish to embark on a spiritual journey without determining the right way to go. God wants us to know Him and walk with Him. He has given us His word to study and learn "where the good way is". Once we have found it we find soul rest. But only if we obey what we have learned. "When you have found the good way, go on in it, you will find abundant recompence at your journey's end. But if men will not obey the voice of God and flee to his appointed Refuge, it will plainly appear at the day of judgment, that they are ruined because they reject God's word." (Matthew Henry)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Better Way

"In repentance and rest you will be saved, 
In quietness and trust is your strength.” 
But you were not willing, 
And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses,” 
Isaiah 30:15-16

God's timing is always right, but far too often His children refuse to wait on Him. Sometimes they feel He's delaying to their detriment, so they take matters in their own hands and rush ahead of Him. The Lord won't honor such disobedience. He has a plan for all the circumstances in our lives that He wants to accomplish for His glory and our blessing. When we doubt God's ability to rescue us, we must repent of our lack of trust and rest quietly in Him. When we do, our spirits will be strengthened. It's not always easy to sit still and trust in God to work, but when we practice patience we find that the outcome is always better than it would have been if we had rushed ahead of God. "Certain of God's people are in trouble and distress, and they are eager for immediate rescue. They cannot wait God's time, nor exercise submission to His will. He will surely deliver them in due season; but they cannot tarry till the hour cometh; like children, they snatch at unripe fruit. 'To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven'; but their one season is the present; they cannot, they will not wait. They must have their desire instantaneously fulfilled, or else they are ready to take wrong means of attaining it. If in poverty, they are in haste to be rich; and they shall not long be innocent. If under reproach, their heart ferments towards revenge. They would sooner rush under the guidance of Satan into some questionable policy, than in childlike simplicity trust in the Lord and do good. It must not be so with you, my brethren, you must learn a better way." (Spurgeon)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Great is His Name

"There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, 
and great is Your name in might." 
Jeremiah 10:6

Jeremiah testifies that there is only one true God and that all other so-called gods are of no use. They are gods of man's making and they are impotent. Nothing can touch the greatness of the Triune God. He is unique and timeless. All powerful, yet full of mercy and kindness. His love is immeasurable. He reigns forever. Great is His name. "Whosoever does not understand that there is a God, and does not know who or what He is, can never be really influenced by this truth, that the gods of the heathens are demons, and that all their superstitions are sacrilegious." -- John Calvin

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Helper

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, 
that He may be with you forever;"
John 14:16

The tender love of our Savior never ends. He loved us enough to give His life for us so that we might live forever with Him. And because He didn't want us to ever feel alone while we're here on earth, He arranged for us to have the Holy Spirit living within us to comfort us and help us. To teach us and give us understanding. To strengthen us in our time of need. He is always with us, He never leaves us. And He constantly testifies to us that we are loved, that we belong to Him. 

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