“Blending In & Hiding Out” May 3

 

Blending In & Hiding Out - God has always desired for His people to be set apart, holy, different from the world around us - so we can manifest His holiness. Instead, we like to blend in and hide out. God has always desired for His people to be set apart, holy, different from the world around us – so we can manifest His holiness. Instead, we like blending in and hiding out.

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 8 & 9
Psalm 55.9-15
Proverbs 15.15-17
Luke 22.1-23

 

Blending In & Hiding Out

 

1 Samuel 8 & 9:

Is There Any Difference?

 

God has always desired for His people to be set apart, holy, different from the world around us – to manifest His holiness.

Matthew 5.16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

That light in us is supposed to shine and in so doing bring God glory. Peter reminded us to:

“Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1.16).

As we live in “grace obedience” (understanding that we cannot live holy lives without the help of the Holy Spirit, relying on Him, repenting and calling on His mercy when we fail), we bring Him glory. And that difference, that light, will draw others to Christ.

Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (Jn. 12.32).

But, like the people of Israel in asking for a king (1 Sam. 8.4), we often prefer to blend in, to be closet Christians, to act much like the world around us. Our children, too, complain that it’s unfair they can’t dress and act like the rest of the world. I wonder if we have failed to instill the importance of their calling in them because we don’t always believe and live it ourselves.

Let’s pray that we would truly let our light so shine before men that they would see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Let’s pray that when their lives are falling apart, they would see something different in us and be drawn to it. And when they ask, we would “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks [us] a reason for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Pet. 3.15).

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 55.9-15:

Betrayed by a Friend

 

David had been betrayed. It wasn’t an enemy who had betrayed him, but someone he considered a close friend. Who among us hasn’t felt that disappointment, hurt, even anger over some betrayal? Yet …

Ephesians 4.26 says, “Be angry, and do not sin,” and verses 31 & 32 say, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Romans 12.21 raises the bar even higher:  Continue reading

“How does God guide His children?” March 10

 

compass guidance

How does God work through the combination of His Word

and His Spirit to guide His people?

 

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 17 & 18
Psalm 32.6-11
Proverbs 11.19-21
Mark 11.20-33

 

How does God guide His children?

 

Psalm 32.6-11:

He Guides Us with His Eye

 

Verse 8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

eye scan recognition

Matthew Henry had this to say about verse 8, “He teaches us by his word and guides us with his eye, by the secret intimations of his will in the hints and turns of Providence, which he enables his people to understand and take direction from, as a master makes a servant know his mind by a wink of his eye.”

Read that quote once again slowly.

It’s that combination of His Word, the circumstances of our lives (the secret intimations of his will in the hints and turns of Providence), and His Holy Spirit’s guidance (which he enables his people to understand and take direction from). They work together, but we won’t recognize the leading of His Spirit apart from a faithful intake and an understanding of His Word.

 

TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:

 

Numbers 17 & 18:

Exceedingly Abundantly Above All

 

God had told the Nation of Israel that they would not be allowed to go into the Promised Land because they had believed the evil report of the ten spies, instead of trusting God to give them the strength and the ability to defeat His enemies.

But even so, he continued to speak to them in miraculous ways:

“Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds” (17.8).

When they questioned Moses rightful leadership, He said He would cause the rod of His chosen leader to bud. He not only caused it to bud, but to produce blossoms and ripe almonds! He doesn’t just do the minimum; He is able and willing to do so much more.

Ephesians 3.20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”

Few of us have trouble believing that God is powerful and able to do miraculous things, but I wonder how many of us really believe He will do great things in our lives?

Do you believe—really believe—that He wants to do great things in your life? your marriage? your children and grandchildren? your finances?

But what is even more incredible Continue reading