“I rejoice because in everything I am fully confident in you.”
2 Corinthians 7.16
As problems were being resolved in Corinth, Paul expressed strong confidence in the saints to set things in order. This was a cause of great joy to him.
Expectations often determine or influence outcome. Is my confidence, first of all, in the power of God to work in my life and in the life of others, even when problems arise?
#votd #2-Corinthians #joy
“Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words.”
1 Peter 4.11 a
Saints live in the shadow of the end, v. 7. Love and hospitality must continue to be central, vv. 8-9. End times requires judicious use of gifts, v. 10. Only God’s words save, so they must be spoken, rather than man’s, for his glory, v. 12.
Do I know the Bible well enough to speak God’s words? Do I seek opportunity to insert his words into conversations? Do I initiate moments for speaking his words?
#votd #1Peter #speaking
“When [Apollos] arrived, he assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, for he refuted the Jews vigorously in public debate, demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.”
In Achaia Apollos defended the gospel among the Jews. This greatly helped the saints, because he aided them in their mission and strengthened their faith. “For” identifies his preaching as the means of his assistance.
Evangelism benefits the whole church. It is central to her identity and edifies all in every way. The best one can do for the church is to teach others how to be saved.
#votd #Acts #evangelism
“The Lord grants success to the one whose behavior he finds commendable.”
This acrostic wisdom psalm proclaims the blessing of the righteous, in the face of apparent contrary evidence. No one should envy the wicked. The Lord will give success to his people.
God gives success according to his definition, in his time. He also defines commendable behavior. The righteous trust his promise, await his judgment, refuse to believe what they see in the present.
#votd #Psalms #success
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
1 Peter 3.8 ESV
The first step to avoid returning evil with evil is to develop a loving relationship in the family of faith. Peter cites five qualities in chiastic form, with brotherly love as the central element.
Am I motivated by the best intentions? Do I speak loving words? Do kindness and tenderness mark my interactions? Is my goal to understand and appreciate my brother?
#votd #1-Peter #love
“For they refreshed my spirit and yours. So then, recognize people like this.”
1 Corinthians 16.18
Paul refers to three brothers sent by the Corinthian church to help and encourage Paul. The Corinthians wanted to associate with whom they considered big names. Paul wanted them to see that those who were involved in God’s mission were worthy of recognition.
Who is doing God’s work that deserves recognition among us? What can I do to refresh the spirits of the saints who do God’s work?
#votd #1-Corinthians #mission
“But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves.”
Jesus prayed to his Father before his betrayal. He looked forward to returning to the Father. He also desired to fulfill his mission of revealing the Father’s will to mankind. He knew it was the source of true joy.
Do I desire, like Jesus, to go to the Father? Do I desire to hear Jesus’ words? Do I desire the full joy that lasts? Do I know how to receive it?
#votd #John #prayer #joy
“But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent.”
The Jews refused to hear Stephen’s sermon which exposed their sins and challenged them to repent. They drowned him out with their shouting and stopped him by stoning him.
What the Jews did literally, covering their ears, we sometimes do figuratively. The command to hear urges us to welcome the word of God. Willingness to listen is the important first step to salvation.
#votd #hearing #Acts
“Who can know all his errors? Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.”
Only God is omniscient. We cannot know ourselves thoroughly. We need his guidance and insight, vv. 7-11. It is important to be aware of what we are unaware of.
Our limited knowledge of ourselves calls for humility. The Christian can be sure that as he walks in the light, the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin.
#votd #Psalms #sin
“So I boast in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God.”
Paul’s boasting did not center in his accomplishments, but in what God has wrought in Christ and “what Christ has accomplished” v. 23. Nor did he take credit for the work of others.
Boasting in Christ amounts to praise for what God has done. It requires divesting oneself of all self-importance. It recognizes that all is done “in the power of the Spirit of God” v. 24.
#votd #boasting #Romans
“Whenever you enter a town or village, find out who is worthy there and stay with them until you leave.”
Jesus gave what we call the Limited Commission. It announced the arrival of the Messiah and prepared the disciples for the Great Commission. Hospitality was common among the Jews. It was to become a missionary function in the church. The disciples were to judge who was worthy.
Associating with unworthy people gives the gospel a bad name. Christians must be concerned to preserve the name of Christ as worthy of honor.
#votd #Limited-Commission #hospitality
“As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”
1 John 2.24
John follows up his warning about false teachers with this imperative and promise. Christians know the truth and ought to remain in it. In this faithfulness to the original gospel is the promise of eternal life, v. 25.
Many have left the original message for a false teaching. While what we heard from the beginning remains in us, we must call others to return to it. This is the restoration appeal.
#votd #faithfulness #restoration
“Daniel then spoke to the warden whom the overseer of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: ‘Please test your servants for ten days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink.'”
Even in captivity Daniel sought to obey God’s law. The king’s overseer refused his request not to defile himself with the royal food. So he used his wisdom to propose a test to the warden.
Difficult situations do not keep us from the requirement of obedience. Those who seek to obey God at every moment will find his favor.
#votd #Daniel #wisdom #obedience
“All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing in them twisted or crooked.”
So speaks the voice of wisdom in its appeal to all mankind. Who learns God’s wisdom can also speak righteous words. But the price to pay is an intense and unceasing search.
Where will we find wisdom? Not on Facebook, nor in a Google search, but in the Word of God. It deserves our constant perusal and meditation.
#votd #Proverbs #wisdom
“And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
Acts 15.19 NLT
James agreed with the others: Gentiles, whose hearts were purified by faith, should not be required to keep the law of Moses. It was not essential to salvation.
How are we making it difficult today for people to be converted to Christ, by traditions or other practices that put extra troubles upon those who hear the gospel?
#votd #Acts #conversion