“The Lens of Scripture” April 13

 

The Lens of Scripture

Our perception, the filter through which we “see” everything has a tremendous effect on our lives. I often tell people in counseling that we are affected much more by what we “think about” what happens to us that what actually happens to us.

So how do you view the events of your life? What is your filter? Are you looking through the lens of Scripture or through the world’s lens? Are you seeing through the sovereignty of God or through a self-focused lens?

 

Today’s Readings:
Joshua 15 & 16
Psalm 45.1-5
Proverbs 14.4-5
Luke 11.29-54

 

The Lens of Scripture

 

Luke 11.29-54:

Perceptions

 

Verse 34, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”

John MacArthur in his Daily Bible says, “The problem was their perception, not a lack of light.”

Our perception, the filter through which we “see” everything has a tremendous effect on our lives. I often tell people in counseling that we are affected much more by what we “think about” what happens to us that what actually happens to us.

As believers and children of the Sovereign God of the Universe, we should filter everything through the lens of Scripture beginning with verses like 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.”

comparing shoes

When we’re tempted to compare ourselves to someone else financially, socially or career wise, do we allow envy to get a foothold or do we trust our loving heavenly Father to know what’s best for us?

When we must forgive – again – do we remember how much we’ve been forgiven and forgive graciously, or do we hold a grudge, give the silent treatment, or hold out for proof the other person really means it?  Continue reading

“How do you ‘see’ things?” December 26

 

How do you "see" things? - Today's readings cover everything from the lens we should use when we view our circumstances and how we "see" God to the danger of social upheaval. We'll, also, look at more of God's judgment during the Tribulation as He continues to turn up the heat. Here in Revelation 16 God pours out the seven bowls judgments. Part of which includes: incurable sores, water turned to blood, intense heat, darkness, floods, earthquakes, and unbearable pain.Today’s readings cover everything from the lens we should use when we view our circumstances and how we “see” God to the danger of social upheaval. We’ll, also, look at more of God’s judgment during the Tribulation as He continues to turn up the heat. Here in Revelation 16 God pours out the seven bowls judgments. Part of which includes: incurable sores, water turned to blood, intense heat, darkness, floods, earthquakes, and unbearable pain.

 

Today’s Readings:
Zechariah 1-3
Psalm 147.12-20
Proverbs 30.21-23
Revelation 16

How do you “see” things?

 

Zechariah 1-3:

What kind of lens?

 

God’s people had spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon (1.12). Now the first group of exiles, including Zechariah, had returned to Jerusalem.

They had begun rebuilding the temple, but had become indifferent, more focused on their personal lives than God’s agenda (Hag. 1.1-11).  God used Haggai to call them to repentance and a re-commitment to God’s priorities.

Now Zechariah was to encourage them and keep them moving ahead. He reminded them of God’s promises, especially the promise that Messiah would one day come and inhabit the temple.

I imagine the people returned to Jerusalem excited to start rebuilding. But when the work turned out to be hard and God’s enemies attacked them (Neh. 4.7-9), they must have lost their enthusiasm. Perhaps the people of Zechariah’s day began to allow their circumstances to dictate what they believed about God.

That can be a temptation for us, too. When things don’t work out the way we had planned or when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we desire, we weaken or give up altogether. We begin to believe He no longer loves us or conclude that He isn’t really good.  Continue reading

“How to Overcome Evil” September 19

 

How to Overcome Evil

We are not to be overcome by evil. In fact, we are commanded to overcome it! Scripture gives specific instructions for how to overcome evil. Do you know what it is?
In our New Testament reading we’ll look at Paul’s warnings and concerns about false teachers and learn how to recognize them when they come our way.
Also read about the heart, godly jealousy, and how to become more steadfast in difficult circumstances.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 29
Psalm 108.1-6
Proverbs 25.21-22
2 Corinthians 11.1-15

 

How to Overcome Evil

 

Proverbs 25.21-22:

The Most Powerful Force in the World

 

God has given us a powerful weapon for overcoming evil. When we’re sinned against we want to fight back with anger, bitterness, gossip, withholding love and affection, and dozens of other sinful ways. But those are not the weapons God has commanded and empowered.

Today’s passage says:

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”

These are coals of conviction. Love and kindness will often soften the hardest hearts. But no matter how the other person responds, God has commanded us to do good for them. And the promise that follows is, “the Lord will reward you.” Paul quoted this passage in Romans 12 when he said:

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12.17-21).

We are not to be overcome by evil. In fact, we are commanded to overcome it! So how do we overcome evil?—with good! The love of God is the most powerful force in the world and it wins in the end!

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Isaiah 29:

He wants your heart!

 

Verse 13, “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.”

God is not impressed with our “praise-the-Lords,” our Christian yard signs, or our involvement in religious activities. Neither is He impressed with our Bible knowledge or our pious-sounding prayers.  Continue reading