Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Man’s Foolish Wisdom

I Corinthians 1:27 - "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong."

Shame might be defined as "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous done by oneself or another." Shame is often meant to bring forth pain which may ultimately result in change. However, God's wisdom is often hid from those who pride themselves in the strength of their knowledge.

Often, Christian apologetics will not include any other evidence then that of the Holy Spirit working to confound the wisdom of this world in those hostile to the Gospel. Often, it is not our job to debate or refute, but to allow God to reverse what the supposed wise of this world have erroneously believed. Arguments may work to a point, but then God through His Spirit must bring a person to their senses.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Work in Progress

Philippians 1:6 - "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

It is impossible for God to do shoddy work. There has never been a time in any of our respective lives in which God has compromised His intentions. Even when we have resisted His will, He continues to perfect His desire within His beloved.

How extraordinary that God never gives up on us! Why, then should we give up on ourselves? Patience is synonymous with love and the Lord has an abundance of both. Where there is life, there is hope. Cling to God's promise for He will complete what He started. He is bound by His own nature of faithfulness to do so!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Foremost in Sin and Grace

I Timothy 1:15 - "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."

Paul was not exaggerating when he claimed to be the foremost of sinners. To the degree of his revelation of sin came the incredible understanding of the grace of God and what it cost the Almighty to restore us. Some might believe Paul spoke in hyperbole in an attempt to convince others of his sincerity. However, those who knew Paul saw him as a living epistle – one who was a blasphemer and a persecutor of the church transformed by God's grace.

Similarly, John Newton understood God's amazing grace. This ex-slaver penned the words of this famous hymn and understood the depth of depravity from which he was saved. He knew it was only by God's "Amazing Grace" that he was once "lost then found, was blind but now I see."

Do we love much because we understand God's great love for us? May we all continue to ask God for revelation of His great love and grace which saved wretched sinners the likes of us!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Covered Prayer

Lamentations 3:44 - "You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through."

There are generally two reasons why prayer remains unanswered. One is certainly demonic strongholds that block answered prayer. We see this when Daniel fought with principalities to secure an open heaven for answered prayer (Daniel 10:10-14). However, possibly the one we desire least to recognize is either individual or corporate (national and/or global) sin.

God always comes in clouds. However, if we are waiting for Jesus to appear on the clouds and bring retribution to the nations, we may first want to examine if He has covered Himself in a cloud because of our sin. As Isaiah states, our sin has made a separation between us and God so that He will not hear (Isaiah 59:2). May we all desire to be a man like righteous Elijah, a man not unlike us, who was effectual and fervent in prayer for an entire nation (James 5:16-18).

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Thorough Examination

Lamentations 3:40 - "Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord."

If we have ever had a splinter in our finger, many of us understand what it means to probe with a needle or a sharp instrument until it is removed. If something is left under the skin long enough, it will eventually alert the body that something is wrong and this foreign object needs removed. We are wonderfully made by our creator who allows us to know when something is amiss physiologically.

Likewise, spiritually, God will let us know when something is wrong with us if we will but listen to the warnings from His Holy Spirit. Often, sin can lie just below the surface of our consciousness. We must first acknowledge it is there and then allow the Holy Spirit with the sharpness of the word of God to remove it from us. The probing is our responsibility while God has promised to be the remover if we will only allow Him to do so.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Surety of God's Love

Lamentations 3:22-23 - "The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."

Just when things look most grim in our circumstances, then often we experience God's divine opportunity. This is otherwise known as hope, beloved. Hope is most remarkable, for from it flows faith and trust that God is still in control. The prophet's analogy of God's faithfulness to the surety of the sunrise is atypical of a God who will always demonstrate His love to us.

Love never fails, as Paul tells the Corinthian church (I Corinthians 13:8). Those who say God's love has failed them do not yet understand His faithfulness regarding the "big picture." God may not look loving today in a trial or a circumstance. However, when we understand how He grants new mercies every morning, in time we will see how His grand plan was worked out. Hold on, beloved, and see the salvation of God as it manifests day by day.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bridges of Love

I Thessalonians 5:14 - "We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone."

God will always require us to do more building up than tearing down in those He has put in our lives. As fathers, mothers, grandparents, friends, etc., we have a moral obligation to build bridges first and then, when necessary, provide correction. God never intended for us to create weak bridges but instead spans that will hold up to the sometimes rebuke we must offer. Remember, it is risky business to attempt to drive a 2-ton truck over a 1-ton capacity bridge. Similarly, we must ensure we have built trust with those God has entrusted to us.

If we have successfully encouraged, helped, and been patient with all, then we will be licensed to drive the proverbial truck of admonishment. Our license is often revoked when we do not show love and patience first. May we all do much for building up in love, so that our occasional tearing down in love will be received with grace.