“Dangers of Wealth, Education & Co-Signing Loans” May 31

 

"Dangers of Wealth, Education & Co-Signing Loans" - As we come into this graduation season, are there warnings in God's Word about how we use education? And what about wealth, can the very blessings of God hinder someone's relationship with God? What about our attempts to bless others? Can they be misguided, such as when we co-sign loans? Can they be a snare to the receiver and to us?As we come into this graduation season, are there warnings in God’s Word about how we use education? And what about wealth, can the very blessings of God hinder someone’s relationship with God?

What about our attempts to bless others? Can they be misguided, such as when we co-sign loans? Can they be a snare to the receiver and to us?

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 9 & 10
Psalm 69.1-4
Proverbs 17.18-22
John 11.30-57

 

Dangers of Wealth, Education & Co-Signing Loans

 

1 Kings 9 & 10:

Wealth & Education

 

Solomon has been king for some time and God had blessed him and the nation of Israel beyond imagination. Can you imagine a time in history when the blessings of God were so great that silver was accounted for nothing? And, in fact, the gold that Solomon acquired was measured in “talents.” A talent was 100 pounds and would probably be worth over $5,000,000.00 today.

And it wasn’t just the monetary blessings, God had blessed Solomon with great wisdom—so much so—that the Queen of Sheba traveled 1200 miles at a time when there were no jets, no trains, not even cars, only camels, horses and carts—just to see if it was true!

But then to see how the sinful nature of man can allow even the blessings of God to become a snare. Solomon began to accumulate wealth in a way that he had been forbidden to do. It’s not that it’s wrong to “save” or to have money in the bank, or even to have material goods. Remember, God gave Joseph the wisdom to set aside stores of food to last Egypt through 7 years of famine and enough to sell to people from other nations.

But when we quit relying on God and begin to rely on the “strength of horses” and how many “talents of gold” we have stored up, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Today we may not rely on horses and we may or may not have much gold, but we can easily rely on our retirement plans, our 401Ks, the Social Security System or the government, when God wants us to rely on Him. He is to be our source and our trust is to be in Him, no matter what means He uses to meet our needs.

And what about much learning? Is there danger in education?

Even great wisdom, if it’s the world’s wisdom instead of God’s, can be a stumbling block. Romans 1 tells us:

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (vv. 20-22).

That is the state of much of our educational system today.

Once we begin to focus on things other than God, we can easily be drawn into greater and greater sin. In tomorrow’s reading we’ll see the downward spiral of sin in Solomon’s life.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 69.1-4:

Up to Your Neck in Problems

 

Have you ever felt like the psalmist—so overwhelmed with problems that you felt like you were “up to your neck in them”? Here the psalmist was even falsely blamed for being the source of the problems. Tomorrow we will see that in spite of it all, the writer kept his eyes on God knowing that He would vindicate him in due time.

 

Proverbs 17.18-22:

Co-Signing Loans

 

Verse 18, “A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, and becomes surety for his friend.”

co-signing

The word “understanding” is often used in Proverbs and means “the ability to process information.”

This verse is about “co-signing.” So we could paraphrase it, “A man without the ability to process information co-signs for a friend.”

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

Besides not being the wise thing for us as the co-signer, it is usually the wrong thing to do where the other person is concerned. There is often a reason they are unable to purchase something on their own: their age, their income, or past decisions, for example. Too many times we are getting in the way of God’s work in their lives and allowing them to get in over their heads.

There may be a few exceptions, but I have found they are few and far between.

 

John 11.30-57:

Anger or Belief

 

throwing stones rocks angerIn chapter 11 Jesus had performed the great miracle of raising Lazarus after he had been dead for four days. It caused some to believe and others to plot to kill him (11.45, 53). The same is true today. While God’s handiwork is everywhere, those who choose not to believe are not only not persuaded, but angry at the suggestion He is at work!

Blessings,
Donna


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Handling Emotions Biblically - Emotions are real and part of being human. In fact, God created us as emotional beings. But problems result when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When that happens, we can quickly end up in a ditch, spiritually and relationally.

You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “Handling Emotions Biblically.”

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Marriage Made in Heaven?

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Blended Families + LINKUP - I'll be talking about the common issues and challenges, offering some solutions, and providing resources to help. If you're not a blended family, I'm sure you know someone who is. The first post will start in the next linkup.

Previous Posts in the “Blended Families” Series



I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word Coffee & Conversation
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday Dance with Jesus
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.

“A Fool Has No Heart for Wisdom” May 30

 

A Fool Has No Heart for Wisdom - A fool has no heart for wisdom because wisdom is truth and knowledge applied in a godly way. Only the Spirit of God can provide that ability, but the good news is: the wisdom we need is ours for the asking!A fool has no heart for wisdom because wisdom is truth and knowledge applied in a godly way. Only the Spirit of God can provide that ability, but the good news is, for those who belong to Him, the wisdom we need is ours for the asking!

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 7 & 8
Psalm 68.28-35
Proverbs 17.16-17
John 11.1-29

 

A Fool Has No Heart for Wisdom

 

Proverbs 17.16-17:

Trying to “Buy” Wisdom

 

Verse 16, “Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?”

People with the ability to “buy” wisdom have always surrounded themselves with advisers. The Pharaoh’s of Egypt had their wise men, as did the Babylonian and other pagan kings. The Jewish kings also had their advisers. In modern times even criminals and kingpins have their lawyers and accountants.

In reality, it’s impossible to “buy” wisdom even if we have the “purchase price.” We may be able to buy information, but we need God’s Spirit and His wisdom to apply it in wise and godly ways.

But the good news is, when we have the Spirit of God because we belong to Him, the wisdom we need is ours for the asking (Jas. 1.5).

Fools, however, are not interested in genuine wisdom, only their own opinions (Prov. 18.2). In fact, Proverbs 23.9 says they despise it. This is the attitude of many in our relative, “my truth is what I believe it is” culture.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

1 Kings 7 & 8:

The Last Days

 

The description of the temple is beautiful and amazing to me. Many believe that, even now, preparations are being made to rebuild it, which Scripture tells us will happen as part of the events of the last days. At that time the Jews will resume temple worship.

What an exciting time in which we live. It’s quite possible that our generation will see the return of Jesus for His church (the Rapture) and we are, even now, seeing many of the events leading up to that time (Matt. 24.36).

 

Solomon's Temple

 

Psalm 68.28-35:

Because of Your Temple …

 

As I read verse 29, “Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring presents to You,” it reminded me of part of Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8.60-61, “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”

The “presents” in Psalm 68 represent giving honor to the King, in this case the “King of kings,” Jesus Christ. Today we are the temple in which the Spirit of God dwells. Just as the magnificence of Solomon’s Temple was to cause people to see the awesome God for whom it was built, so today, others should see and give honor to our King because of our lives.

 

John 11.1-29:

For His Glory

 

Here is, as John MacArthur puts it, “the climactic and most dramatic sign in this Gospel.” One of my favorite verses in this passage is verse 4 when Jesus said,

“… This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

How does God want to use our sicknesses and infirmities today? Even though He does not always heal us or raise the dead, at least not in this life, He still intends it for His glory. And He has promised that His glory and our good are connected (Rom. 8.28-29)!

 

What About You? Questions to Ponder or Journal:

Do people honor God because of what they see in your life?

Do you seek to be wise by studying God’s word and praying for the wisdom to apply it?

Blessings,
Donna


FREE eBOOK:

Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer LifeI would love to have you join me on this journey through the Bible. Just sign up for the BIBLE IN A YEAR daily posts so you don’t miss a single one.

Sign up now and receive a copy of “Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.”


Handling Emotions Biblically - Emotions are real and part of being human. In fact, God created us as emotional beings. But problems result when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When that happens, we can quickly end up in a ditch, spiritually and relationally.

You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “Handling Emotions Biblically.”

Previous Posts in the “Handling Emotions Biblically” Series

Marriage Made in Heaven?

Previous Posts in the “Marriage: Made in Heaven?” Series


Blended Families + LINKUP - I'll be talking about the common issues and challenges, offering some solutions, and providing resources to help. If you're not a blended family, I'm sure you know someone who is. The first post will start in the next linkup.

Previous Posts in the “Blended Families” Series



I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word Coffee & Conversation
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday Dance with Jesus
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.

“Can I Lose My Salvation?” May 29

 

Once Saved Always Saved? - Many debate the question of "once saved, always saved?" Perhaps that is the wrong question.Many debate the question of “once saved, always saved?” Perhaps that is the wrong question.

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 5 & 6
Psalm 68.21-27
Proverbs 17.13-15
John 10.24-42

 

Can I Lose My Salvation?

 

John 10.24-42:

Once Saved Always Saved?

 

Many debate the statement “once saved, always saved.” Perhaps it could be more accurately stated “if saved always saved.” I believe there are many people who think they have a right relationship with God because they go to the right church … or because they were brought up in a Christian home … or because they took the right sacraments … or were baptized as a baby … or, perhaps the most insidious, they are pretty good people. Salvation is based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross not anything we do. Ephesians 2.4-9 says:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

John 10 eternal security

 

No One Can Snatch Us Out of His Hand!

 

But if we are truly saved by faith in the gospel, verses 27-30 in today’s reading should give us great confidence in God’s sovereign control of our eternal lives.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

If we belong to God, no one, not the devil nor anyone else can take that away from us.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

1 Kings 5 & 6:

The Beauty of God and the Ugliness of Sin

 

menorah gold temple

Every time I read these passages I try to get my mind around what Solomon’s Temple must have been like! The love and care that went into every detail, the magnificence of it, the gold that was beaten into thin sheets and then gently hammered to fit over all the carved and embellished wood and stone so that everywhere you looked there was gold! The most beautiful things we build today with all our technology can’t match what it must have been like.

But, even with all the beauty and splendor, God was more interested in whether or not their lives reflected the beauty of God or the ugliness of sin. He warned Solomon that He would only dwell among them as long as they walked in His statutes and kept His commandments (6.11-13). He would eventually allow this magnificent temple to be burned and sacked because of their repeated sin and idolatry (2 Kings 25).  Continue reading

Handling Emotions Biblically + LINKUP

 

Handling Emotions Biblically - Emotions are real and part of being human. In fact, God created us as emotional beings. But problems result when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When that happens, we can quickly end up in a ditch, spiritually and relationally.

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.

I had planned to begin discussing depression in this week’s post, but sometimes life intervenes. I’m hanging out with family this week-end and just didn’t have time to complete the post.

But here’s the linkup.

 

Last week was the 3rd of three posts on anger. If you haven’t read all of them you can find them here, “Handling Anger Biblically.”

God willing, next week we’ll begin talking about “Handling Depression & Discouragement Biblically. And over the next couple of months, we’ll also talk about:

Guilt
Fear & Worry
Trials & Suffering

I hope you’ll be here each week (post goes live at 5 PM MST on Sundays). Praying each of you has a wonderful Memorial Day week-end.

Blessings,
Donna


IF YOU ARE A BLOGGER, IT’S TIME TO LINKUP!

IF NOT, CHECK OUT THE GREAT POSTS LINKED BELOW!

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Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word, parenting, marriage, homemaking, organization and more. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they are family friendly. Remember this is a Christian site.

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“Posts in the “A Marriage Make in Heaven?” Series

Blended Families + LINKUP - I'll be talking about the common issues and challenges, offering some solutions, and providing resources to help. If you're not a blended family, I'm sure you know someone who is. The first post will start in the next linkup.

Posts in the “Blended Families” Series


I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
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This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“Knowing the Voice of God” May 28

 

Knowing the Voice of God - Knowing the voice of God: Is it possible to know when God is speaking or when it's the enemy? If so, how can we know if the voice we're hearing is really His?Knowing the voice of God: Is it possible to know when God is speaking or when it’s the enemy? If so, how can we know if the voice we’re hearing is really His?

Also, will God give us wisdom when we ask? And with whom is a wise rebuke effective?

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 3 & 4
Psalm 68.15-20
Proverbs 17.10-12
John 10.1-23

 

Knowing the Voice of God

 

John 10.1-23:

Knowing the voice of God

 

Here in chapter 10, Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Good Shepherd” (v. 11) and in verse 4 He said:

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

As we follow Christ, by reading His Word and obeying His commandments, we grow in our ability to “know His voice” and to recognize the voice of a stranger (Satan, v. 5). We become more and more discerning about the truth and God’s wisdom and recognize the enemy’s lies.

Knowing the Bible isn’t enough though, we must also “follow” the truth that we know. Knowledge without doing doesn’t bring discernment, it brings delusion (Jas. 1.22).

James 1.22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

 

So How Can We Know if We Are Hearing from God? 

 

Go to the Bible. What does God say about it in His Word? God will not lead us contrary to His written Word (Tit. 1.2).

Knowing the Voice of GodIf we are one of His, we can know His voice, but the more time we spend reading and meditating on His Truth, the more clearly we will know and the more we will recognize a voice that is not His.

God will sometimes speak truth to us through sermons and other teachings, through our consciences, through people, and even through circumstances. But if it is Him, it will not contradict His written Word.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

God still gives wisdom when we ask.

 

1 Kings 3 & 4:

Do You Need Wisdom?

 

In chapter 3, God appears to Solomon in a dream and gives him a blank check to request anything he wants. Instead of wealth, or fame, or any material blessing, Solomon asks for wisdom to rule the kingdom.

God still invites us to ask for wisdom and gives it freely to those who do.  Continue reading

“Housewives & Kingdom Rewards” May 27

 

Housewife & Kingdom Rewards - Have you ever wanted to go out into the mission field? or record a Christian hit song? or be a great Bible teacher? And instead, you find yourself cooking and cleaning and teaching Bible verses to preschoolers. What does God have to say about housewives and kingdom rewards?Have you ever wanted to go out into the mission field? or record a Christian hit song? or be a great Bible teacher? And instead, you find yourself cooking and cleaning and teaching Bible verses to preschoolers.  What does God have to say about housewives and kingdom rewards?

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 1 & 2
Psalm 68.11-14
Proverbs 17.7-9
John 9.24-41

 

Housewives & Kingdom Rewards

 

Psalm 68.11-14:

She Who Remains at Home

 

Psalm 68 is a psalm of prayer, praise and thanksgiving to God for His care over His people and for giving them victory.

But before we pass by too quickly, there’s a sweet phrase tucked into verse 12. It says, “and she who remains at home divides the spoil.”

What an encouragement this should be to you precious stay-at-home moms to know that God sees what you do as just as valuable and important to kingdom work as any other responsibility (more so, really, because you are raising the next generation for God). It’s also a reminder that you will share in kingdom rewards just as fully!

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

1 Kings 1 & 2:

Solomon Becomes King

 

In chapter 1 King David is dying. (Those of us who are married and getting older can be thankful for electric blankets, none of that “virgin heating” for our husbands! You’ll just have to read the passage! 1 Kings 1.1-4) Continue reading

“The Sins of Others & Our Good” May 26

 

The Sins of Others & Our GoodDoes God use the sins of others for our good and His glory?

If so, what or whom might He be using in your life to conform you to the image of Christ? How might He be using their sin as an instrument of discipline in your life?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Samuel 23 & 24
Psalm 68.7-10
Proverbs 17.5-6
John 9.1-23

 

The Sins of Others & Our Good

 

2 Samuel 23 & 24:

The Sweet Psalmist of Israel

 

Here we are at the last two chapters of 2 Samuel. They read like a summary of David’s life, both at his best and at his worst.

Chapter 23 gives David’s last inspired words (vss. 2-7), calling him “the sweet psalmist of Israel.” What a great ending—or is it? Along comes chapter 24.

Verse 1, “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.'”

There’s so much contained in that one verse. First, was it God who “caused” David to sin against the people?

James 1.13-15 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

David, like all of us, was first and foremost tempted by his own sinful heart, but we can glean more understanding by reading the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles:

1 Chron. 21.1 says, “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.”

So God, for His sovereign purposes, allowed Satan to tempt David to do what was already in his heart.

So what was the sin that manifested itself here? Notice the last part of verse 2, “… count the people, that I may know the number of the people.” David counted the people out of his pride so that he would know the number of people over which he had rule.

What about the phrase, “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel …”? Remember these were the people who had followed Absalom in rebellion against David and then afterwards, many of them had followed Sheba. So God allowed David to be His instrument of discipline in the lives of the people while he used the situation to reveal to David the pride in his own heart.

Romans 8.28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

So what or whom is He using in your life to conform you to the image of His Son? How might He be using their sin as an instrument of discipline in your life? What does He want you to see? How did David respond and how should you and I respond at those times?  Continue reading

“God’s Love for Unborn Babies & Their Parents” May 25

 

God is the God of the Fatherless. He is also the God who restores those who have ended their babies lives, if they turn to Him in genuine repentance. God is a God of the fatherless, especially the thousands and thousands of babies who are killed in their mothers’ wombs every year in our country. He is also the God who restores those who have ended their babies lives, if they turn to Him in genuine repentance. He is the God who loves unborn babies and their parents.

If you have had an abortion or if you are the father of an aborted baby, there is grace and forgiveness. Go to the Lord, seek His forgiveness and restoration.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Samuel 21 & 22
Psalm 68.1-6
Proverbs 17.2-4
John 8.28-59

 

God’s Love for Unborn Babies & Their Parents

 

Psalm 68.1-6:

God of the Fatherless

 

This psalm of praise says God is a Father to the fatherless and a defender of widows (v. 5). If we have His heart, He desires for us to be His agents in this. One of the greatest opportunities to do so is in defense of unborn babies whose fathers and mothers, while not physically nonexistent, are unable or unwilling to defend them.

I say unable, as well as, unwilling because I understand that there are times when women are coerced into abortions and times when fathers are left out of the decision altogether or unable to stop it.

Suffering, Crime & Child Sacrifice - What if you were called to endure suffering or hardship for the cause of Christ? Would you be willing to risk it all? Does crime sometimes pay? And what about child sacrifice? Is it something that only happens in pagan societies?If you have had an abortion or if you are the father of an aborted baby, there is grace and forgiveness. Go to the Lord, seek His forgiveness and restoration.

I would strongly recommend finding a biblical counselor to help you walk through it or go to someone who does post-abortion counseling. If you live in El Paso, you can contact the Pregnancy & Fatherhood Solutions, but most cities have Christian crisis pregnancy centers. Seek one out.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

2 Samuel 21 & 22:

Divine Judgment

 

In chapter 21 we have the story of the seven sons of Saul being executed by the Gibeonites. This is divine justice being carried out, though it hardly seems fair that it would be carried out on the next generation.

One phrase may help us understand why God allowed His justice to be carried out this way:

Verse 1, “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house …”

It appears that the violence was not limited to Saul, it may have been a predominant attitude among his descendants, as well, (remember Shimei who cursed David when he fled Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 16.9-12). Continue reading

“Are You Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit?” May 24

 

Are You Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit? - Once we were slaves to sin, but now we have not only been forgiven of our sins, but set free from the bondage of sin. Yet many of us live as if we are still slaves to it. Are you living in the power of the Holy Spirit and with the resources God has provided?Once we were slaves to sin, but now we have not only been forgiven of our sins, but set free from the bondage of sin. Yet many of us live as if we are still slaves to it. Are you living in the power of the Holy Spirit and with the resources God has provided?

Also:

Why is a dry crust of bread better than the abundance that many enjoy? And why is the Old Testament still important to us today?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Samuel 19 & 20
Psalm 67.1-7
Proverbs 16.33-17.1
John 8.1-27

 

Are You Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit?

 

John 8.1-27:

Christ is the Only Way!

 

There’s so much in this chapter, including another of Jesus’ great “I AM” statements. In this passage He declared Himself to be the Light of the World.

Verse 12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Verse 24 talks about the sin of unbelief:

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

No one can be good enough to go to heaven apart from believing the Gospel. Christ is the only way!

 

Stuck between Easter and Pentecost

 

And a comment about the story of the woman taken in adultery (verses 3-11):

3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

How should we live based on the fact that our sins have been forgiven just as this sinful woman’s were?

God in His grace showed mercy to the sinful woman, not so she could continue in her sin, but that she, like us, could “go and sin no more.” We are not to live righteous lives out of fear of the consequences of breaking the law, but out of gratitude for all we’ve been forgiven!

Romans 5.20-6.2 says, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”

Once we were slaves to sin. We have not only been forgiven of our sins, but set free from the bondage of sin. Yet many of us live as if we are still slaves to it.  Continue reading

“5 Reactions to the Claims of Christ” May 23

 

5 Reactions to the Claims of Christ - During Jesus' earthly ministry there were many different reactions to the claims of Christ. Some were convinced, some contrary, some confused, and others hostile. Not much has changed today. Where are you and what is your attitude toward Christ? Do you say you believe without putting "feet" to your faith? Do you believe He exists without trusting Him personally? Are you convinced He is who He said He was and live your live accordingly? Do questions about other religions or science confuse you? Or do you believe something else? Even as professing believers we can fall into some of these attitudes. We can trust God for our salvation, but be contrary about obedience in certain areas or refuse to trust the Bible wholeheartedly. Or we can be confused because He isn't working in our lives the way we want. We can believe He isn't answering our prayers. Could it be that we have a wrong understanding about God and how He works in our lives? I hope you'll read today's post and evaluate where you are.During Jesus’ earthly ministry there were many different reactions to the claims of Christ. Some were convinced, some contrary, some confused, and others hostile. Not much has changed today.

Where are you and what is your attitude toward Christ? Do you say you believe without putting “feet” to your faith? Do you believe He exists without trusting Him personally? Are you convinced He is who He said He was and live your live accordingly? Do questions about other religions or science confuse you? Or do you believe something else?

Even as professing believers we can fall into some of these attitudes. We can trust God for our salvation, but be contrary about obedience in certain areas or refuse to trust the Bible wholeheartedly. Or we can be confused because He isn’t working in our lives the way we want. We can believe He isn’t answering our prayers. Could it be that we have a wrong understanding about God and how He works in our lives? I hope you’ll read today’s post and evaluate where you are.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Samuel 17 & 18
Psalm 66.16-20
Proverbs 16.31-32
John 7.28-53

 

5 Reactions to the Claims of Christ

 

John 7.28-53:

Where are you?

 

John MacArthur points out in his Daily Bible that this passage “catalogues the different reactions of people to Jesus’ claims.” We still see the same categories today.

First, those who are “convinced” of the truthfulness of His claims—faithful believers.

Verses 40-41a, “Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, ‘Truly this is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.'”

Part of the meaning of the words “faith” and “faithful” includes the idea of “unquestioning belief or loyalty.” The convinced are loyal to Christ.

doubt questioningSecond, the “contrary,” those who find something wrong with everything.

Verses 41b-42, “But some said, ‘Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?'”

“Contrary” people are still around. “All the pastor wants is your money.” “Churches are full of hypocrites.” “The Bible was just written by a bunch of men.” And the list goes on.

Third, the “hostile,” we’ve all met them. They don’t just not believe or not agree with you, they are prepared to go on the attack where the things of God are concerned.

Verse 44, “Now some of them wanted to take Him …”

There is a move today in our country, and it’s growing stronger, to make speaking biblical truth a crime. There are those, for instance, who would love to see anyone who speaks out against homosexuality or abortion arrested for what they call hate crimes.

Fourth, are the “confused.”

Verses 45-46, “Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why have you not brought Him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!'”

These men had been sent to arrest him, but when they went they didn’t know what to do because they saw something about him they didn’t understand. The Pharisees challenged them by saying, “Are you also deceived?”

Many people are confused today. They’ve seen just enough truth to think there might be something to it, but have not made the choice to believe. Often these people fear man more than God. They may be afraid to speak up or seek out the truth because of what people will think.

Proverbs 29.25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

Or they’ve heard questions about other religions:

“Don’t all roads lead to God?”
“How could all those Muslims be wrong?”

Or tried to use human reasoning:

“How is it fair that an evil person could get saved on his deathbed?”
“How can the miracles in the Bible be true?”
“But science says …”
“Why would the Bible condemn someone who’s gay when they say they’re born that way?”

There is a fifth group, too, the “religious authorities,” we might call them the “religious establishment.” These people are often more concerned about maintaining their position and authority than in being a true follower of Christ or in seeking biblical truth. These people respond in the complete opposite way from John the Baptist, who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3.30).

Many in the religious establishment today are busy trying to stay “relevant.” For years some have ignored the first few chapters of Genesis in favor of a more “enlightened, scientific” view of creation. Others have “evolved” in their views about homosexuality and other politically incorrect issues. Still others refuse to discuss these subjects at all, preferring to teach more palatable things, some lifted out of context like false advertising claims.

Sadly, they can have a profound effect on others. They may put pressure on friends and family members not to leave their religious “tradition,” even though their church has actually left them and biblical truth.  Continue reading