Saved: Mark 16.16 VOTD

“The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16.16

Jesus gave this command and promise to be preached in all the world, v. 15. The response to the gospel is a part of the message.

This command requires double obedience: first, to believe and be baptized; then, to proclaim it to all. Have you done the first, and are you doing the latter?

#Great-Commission #mission #VOTD

Sep. 22. Plea for Deliverance

Ps. 44:1-26

One person and God make a majority. The psalmist recounted the care and deliverance that God had for His people during the times of wilderness wandering and settling into the Promised Land. As had been commanded earlier, the fathers had related those events to their children for their remembrance.

During the current national distress, it seemed that God had given them up to their captors and turned His back upon His people. They had been scorned and dishonored. The psalmist observed that they still remembered His name and recognized His power. He begged Him to restore them from their affliction.

Sadly, it sometimes takes affliction, persecution or tragedy to cause one to realize the importance of God in his life and well-being. If we continue to look to Him in obedience, He will never forsake us.


When differences are not as wrong or as different as we think

An individual from Peru has been teaching a class at my day-job the last couple of days.

Yesterday, during a lull in the actual teaching, he was asked about some of the differences between Peru and America. One of the differences he mentioned was food. In one specific example he said people from certain areas in Peru will raise and eat Guinea Pigs. As would be expected, that bit of information garnered a few “not happening” comments.

During lunch I told the teacher to not let anyone give him a hard-time because around here people eat squirrels and rabbits … which, whether or not anyone realizes it, are rodents like the Guinea Pig.

There are times in life when differences between people and cultures are not as wrong or as different as we think – at least not in God’s eyes. So we should not allow these differences to create barriers that could prevent us from seeing people as persons who need Jesus like ourselves. God does not care about where we are from as much as he cares about where we are going.

By the way, I also told the teacher I didn’t mind trying a little of almost anything as long as it was not raw, and I have a good reason that has nothing to do with the taste (Acts 15:19-20).

Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.” (Acts 10:10-16 NKJV)

Sep. 21. Various Psalms Lamenting Separation from God

Ps. 42:1-43:5

The psalmist asked himself some very personal questions regarding his soul in a time of deep distress. His sorrow caused him to forget food and to question the presence of God. In his seeming absence from God, he felt an intense feeling of spiritual thirst. He remembered his former relationship with God and wondered why he had allowed himself to become separated from Him. Even his enemies had asked, “Where is your God?” The resolution to all of one’s doubts should be, “Hope in God…The help of my countenance and my God.”

This psalm appears to be a continuation of the supplication of the previous poem. As one looks to an attorney to plead his case before the judge, the psalmist looked to God for relief from his enemy. God is the source of strength, light and truth. If one will allow those to lead him, the soul that has been cast down can be lifted back to its previous heights.


Freedom: Psalm 119.45 VOTD

“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”

Psalm 119.45 NIV

Freedom of movement and security within his space come from seeking the word of God.

Some believe God’s commandments are restrictive. In fact, they are the means to true freedom. Christians should be clear on this.

#freedom #Psalms #VOTD

Sep. 20. Edom to be Punished for Violence Against Israel

Ps. 137:1-9; Ezek. 35:1-15; Obad. 1:1-21

It seems that the psalmist wrote this lament after the fall of Jerusalem. The exiles in Babylon were longing for the “good ole days” back in their homeland. They expressed their love for Jerusalem and their hatred for Edom. The Edomites had helped to plunder their beloved city and had rejoiced at their downfall. Their love for home could not even induce them to sing because of their sadness in a foreign land.

The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel to speak against Mt. Seir/Edom. Hundreds of years earlier, the Israelites had been commanded, “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother.” Likewise, having been descendants of Israel’s brother, Esau, they should have mourned at the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah. However, instead of mourning, they had taken part in causing their misery and had rejoiced at their downfall. They even expected to possess lands that had belonged to Israel and Judah. God, through Ezekiel pronounced harsh judgment against the Edomites for their sins. The whole earth would rejoice as they suffered the same consequences as Judah—AND, “They shall know that I am the Lord.”

During that period of upheaval of God’s people, He used many men to deliver His messages. One of the more obscure prophets was Obadiah. The Edomites were a proud people. They esteemed themselves as better than their neighbors and indestructible as well. Obadiah had a vision in which he heard the words of the Lord describing the destruction and desolation that would come against Edom. They were again condemned because of their helping Babylon to destroy Judah and rejoicing at their fate. “As you have done, it shall be done to you…” However, there would be a time when the house of Jacob would return to Zion and consume the house of Esau and also possess other lands.


Wisdom from above: James 3.17 VOTD

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.”

James 3.17

Following his emphasis on action, James describes wisdom by what it does, as he defines his terms.

Why is heavenly wisdom first pure? How is it accommodating?

#wisdom #James #VOTD