Wednesday, September 27, 2017
"Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations." Ezekiel 22:1-2. God's prophet or preacher has but one responsibility. That is to receive the word of the Lord and show us our abominations. The judgment of the sinner is passed with the message of the Lord. The gospel, which is the word of the Lord, is to make sin known. God judges the transgressions of humanity. The message that He sends through His prophets is to make His judgment known. The message of the Lord also reveals how God can be turned from His judgement. When one is willing to hear the word of the Lord and turn from his bloody or evil way, the Lord is willing to forgive and turn from judgment. Just as God judges transgression, so God in love and grace offers His forgiveness. Sin must be shown. Judgment must be revealed. This is the calling of the prophet. Unless one turns from his bloody way, God will recompense judgment for all the abominations that one commits.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9. This world brings many troubles to us. We feel the oppression from many avenues. Satan wants us to reject God, and blame Him for our trouble and oppression. But, God is our refuge from trouble and oppression. God is a calm amidst the storm. He is a strength amidst the weakness. He is a peace amidst the wars. Life needs dependence. We need a trust. God will never fail us. God provides security. God helps us to sing when we are depressed. God helps us to smile when we are saddened. He gives light in darkness. He lifts us and enables us to stand. With God as our refuge, we are not overcome by the trials and difficulties of this world. With God as our refuge, we are assured of victory instead of defeat. With God as our refuge, we will not be destroyed by the enemies of our life. With God as our refuge, we can deal with adversity. God always provides a safe harbor for the weary pilgrim of this world.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." II Timothy 2:1. What a wonderful relationship was enjoyed by Paul and Timothy. Paul had guided Timothy to become a minister of God. And, Timothy had been a great aid to the apostle. Paul issues his last charge to Timothy in this epistle. His word of advice is to be strong. Strength was to be found in God's grace. The world cannot protect us against itself. The world wants us to fail. But, God wants us to succeed. Our means of success is in the grace of God. We must continue in God's work. We must battle and overcome. God gives unto us the work of ministry, and we must abide in this labor. The work is demanding, and we need help. We are not sufficient of ourselves to persevere against the kingdom of darkness. The labor that we have been called to do is not without divine assistance. We rely upon the grace that is in Jesus Christ. This grace is constant. We can be strong against all adversaries because we are assured of God's grace through Christ. With His grace, we will not fall short of the divine expectation of us.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." I Corinthians 10:12. In the preceding verses of this chapter, the writer has examined the fall of the people who had been delivered from the bondage of Egypt. One trespass after another caused them to be destroyed in the wilderness. They had enjoyed God's deliverance from the captivity. They were now on a journey that would bring them to the promised land of Canaan. Yet, they fell. We enjoy God's deliverance from the captivity of sin through our obedience to the gospel. As they were baptized in the cloud and the sea, so believers today are baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins. We through faith are on a journey to the promised land of eternal life. Can we fall? This verse is a warning that we can. What happened to this people long ago can happen to us. We must take heed that we remain faithful to the deliverance of God and continue to embrace the promise. The journey to the land is before us. We must not fall lest we enter not.
Saturday, September 2, 2017
"And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him." Matthew 9:9. Matthew was engaged in his occupation when Jesus called him to follow. Ordinary people are called by Christ to be His disciples. Matthew followed Jesus without hesitation. Delay can remove the opportunity. Jesus offered Matthew, as He offers to all, a purpose beyond what he knew. To follow Jesus is to accept an invitation from heaven. This calling is due to the high purpose of God. To follow Jesus is to walk in the steps of One who lived life in obedience to the will of God. To follow Jesus is to leave the life of sin, and undertake a life of holiness. To follow Jesus is to acknowledge Him as our Lord. We, therefore, hear His words and honor Him by our submission to those words. Matthew was given a choice as are all. He could have refused to follow Jesus, but he chose to embark upon a new life. He was forever changed because of the decision that he made. Following Jesus leads to God. Following Jesus leads to heaven and life evermore. Jesus says to you, "Follow me."
Friday, September 1, 2017
"Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes." Psalm 119:155. The statutes of God provide deliverance from wickedness. God's law offers salvation because it provides pardon for our sins. The statutes of God speak to us of salvation. His statutes teach us the way of salvation. His statutes are a revelation of His grace. These statutes must be sought. One must seek to know God, and without His statutes, God cannot be known. The Bible tells us of God and of His love and the forgiveness that He desires for all. The wicked do not seek to know God. Their only desire is to know evil. The wicked do not seek God's law because that law forbids wickedness. The statutes of God can remove us from wickedness. They teach us of right living. They shed light upon the darkness of evil. They break Satan's chains which bind us. God's statutes deliver us from the prison of sin. They release us from the fleshy lusts which war against the soul. God's statutes enlighten us of a holy life that gives salvation now and forever.