Bringing it to pass: 2 Kings 19.25

“Certainly you must have heard!
Long ago I worked it out,
In ancient times I planned it;
and now I am bringing it to pass.
The plan is this:
Fortified cities will crash
into heaps of ruins.”

God spoke to King Hezekiah about Sennacherib, king of Assyria, that all he did was by the Lord’s design. The pagan king’s arrogance, then, was unwarranted.

What God plans he causes to happen. Every plan of his reaches its successful conclusion. His plan for us, his people today, will be fulfilled. What a relief and joy!

#votd #2Kings #God

Rejoice in the Lord: Isaiah 41.16

“You will rejoice in the Lord;
you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 41.16

Chastised Israel would see her enemies defeated. The chosen people would come to understand that only the Lord is God. Idols are nothing and can do absolutely nothing for those who worship them.

Idolatry is as common today as it ever was. Many idols are set up in the heart. Christians reject all gods but One, and in him they rejoice and boast.

#votd #God #idolatry

Many deceivers: 2 John 7

“I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

2 John 7 NLT

A doctrine that we call today incipient gnosticism inserted itself into the first-century church. It was resisted with great force by the apostles and inspired teachers.

Many if not most false doctrines today trace back to wrong ideas about God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. They ought to be identified and rejected soundly.

#votd #God #Christ #2John

Pursue me: Psalm 23.6

“Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.”

Psalm 23.6

God’s qualities are personified. The Lord is vigorous in his pursuit (literally, “persecution”) of those who seek him. Such have great security and feel certain of their continued place in God’s presence.

Gauge the level of your certainty in God’s goodness and faithfulness. How can it be strengthened?

#votd #Psalms #God

Pursue me all my days: Psalm 23.6

“Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.”

Psalms 23.6

God does not abandon his faithful people. He gives complete assurance of his abiding presence. He blesses all the way through life. He chases us down with his goodness.

What event could shake my confidence in God’s goodness? How does God show his commitment to me?

#votd #Psalms #God

The Lord is alive!

“The Lord is alive! My protector is praiseworthy! The God who delivers me is exalted as king!”

2 Samuel 22.47

David sang praise to God for deliverance from all his enemies and from the hands of King Saul. Also recorded in Psalm 18, it, together with Hannah’s prayer, 1 Sam 2.1-10, serves to enclose the book of Samuel with the theme of salvation.

What psalm would be appropriate to put at the end of your life? How does the Lord show himself alive to you?

#votd #salvation #God

God delights in every detail of our lives

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.”

Psalm 37.23-24 NLT

In this acrostic psalm, David deals with the presence of evil people around him and how the Lord work in the life of the righteous.

Do you ever feel that God doesn’t pay attention to your problems? Does it seem like he’s neglectful toward some important details? He always knows and cares.

#votd #Psalms #God

Notes: Inseparable love, Romans 8

Elsewhere it was observed that the first notes in my new Bible were on Romans 8.28-39. They were mere memory ticklers, since I often preach without notes or with just key words. But they might set off some good thoughts for you, so here they are:

  1. Action of God, 28.
  2. Gift of God, 32.
  3. Justification of God, 32-34.
  4. Conquering love of God, 35-39.

In the first part of the chapter, the Holy Spirit appears. In the second half, however, God the Father comes to the fore. The little outline above reflects that.

#god, #romans, #sermon-notes

Great in power: Nahum 1.3

“The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
the Lord will certainly not allow the wicked to go unpunished.”

Nahum 1.3

Nahum prophesied against Nineveh, capital of the pagan Assyrians. God was concerned with all the peoples of the world. He used them for his purposes, even to punish Israel, but he did not hold them guiltless.

God is the sovereign Lord who reigns over all. He continues to work in the world, though he does not provide us details. But we may know that he works still to promote his purpose to save all peoples.

#votd #Nahum #God

Those steps to salvation

Preparations for my office move prompted a collection of studies in a future book, hopefully not too far in the future. Over 300 pages so far. Working title, Knowledge of the Gospel.

One series of studies in the book, which I’m now preaching in the Urbanova congregation, focuses on the divine initiative. We teach, and rightly so, the steps to salvation. Each of those steps is a response to an initiative of God’s. Here’s the structure:

  1. Word of God : hear, believe.
  2. Glory of God : repent.
  3. Son of God : confess.
  4. Salvation of God : be immersed.
  5. Family of God : love, serve, speak.

The emphasis falls on what God does. Then comes our response. This approach provides needed context for the steps to salvation and provides them greater weight of importance.

We have several non-Christians meeting with us, including my neighbor, with whom I’ve been studying, and a nice young couple, with two small daughters, who visited the first time on the first sermon in the series and have been attending since then. The couple are neighbors of Douglas and Ludmila, and were invited by them. (I shared the third lesson tonight, Apr 8.) Pray they may turn to the Lord.

#god, #gospel-sermons, #plan-of-salvation, #steps-to-salvation

Not in wrath: Hosea 11.9

“I cannot carry out my fierce anger!
I cannot totally destroy Ephraim!
Because I am God, and not man—the Holy One among you—
I will not come in wrath!”

Hosea 11.9

God is not like man. He controls his emotions. He does not act impetuously. He does not fly off the handle. His judgment is carried out fairly.

We can rest in God’s control not only of all creation, but of himself. His actions toward us are determined by his character, not his feelings. What an example for his creatures!

#votd #God #emotions

If his son asks for bread: Matthew 7.9

“Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”

Matthew 7.9

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus makes an argument from the lesser to the greater. Humans take care of their children. God will certainly take care of his by answering their prayers.

What “good things” have you asked God for? Do you know what is really good and what you should ask for?

#prayer #God #VOTD

The Lord is just: 2 Chronicles 12.5-6

“Shemaiah the prophet visited Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were assembled in Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “You have rejected me, so I have rejected you and will hand you over to Shishak.”‘ The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, ‘The Lord is just.'”

2 Chronicles 12.5-6

The king and people of Judah abandoned the law of God, v. 1. As a result, the king of Egypt assembled a large army to come up against them, vv. 2-4. Shemaiah proclaimed God’s judgment. God treats man as man treats God.

Even when God disciplines us, do we say that God is just? Or do we complain that he is unfair?

#God #2Chronicles #VOTD

Do I not prefer this? Ezekiel 18.23

“Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the Sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?”

Ezekiel 18.23

The God of the Old Testament was just as good and gracious as the God of the New. They are the one and same God, contrary to the opinion of many. He is also as holy and fearful as he ever was.

What are some other wrong views of God? Why do people create such ideas about God?

#God #repentance #VOTD

Not lying: 2 Corinthians 11.31

“The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying.”

2 Corinthians 11.31

Paul appealed to God as witness and judge. Only God knows a person’s heart and true motives. For this, he should be praised, since he judges rightly.

God sees our weakness, v. 30, and comes to our aid. How do you glory in God’s knowledge of your weakness?

#weakness #God #VOTD