“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box.”
Jesus was observant. As divine God who knew men’s hearts, he also could see the reality behind the act. But anyone could tell what was happening with offerings in the temple.
The Lord calls us to first judge our own acts and motivations. And to stop treating God as if he were a human being. He wants us to judge all things by his word, not by our ideas.
#votd #Luke #observation
“Wicked men will be wiped out, but those who rely on the Lord are the ones who will possess the land.”
Man must do his part: rely on the Lord, rather than attempt to make things happen. (Think Abraham and Sarah.) God will do his part: bless and fulfill the terms of the covenant.
To inherit the earth, or possess the land, is to receive the full promise of God to his people. To receive it, the question is: How much do we rely on the Lord?
#votd #Psalms #land
“Make the path for your feet level, so that all your ways may be established.”
One must weigh one’s options, consider the right course, engage in practical planning, in order for one’s ways to be sure. Proper thought is needed. Lack of it is disastrous.
Evaluation and planning call for input. Scripture and the church best provide it. The world wants us to listen to it. We must counter its influence.
#votd #Proverbs #thought
“And all the Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had perished in this wilderness!'”
The dissatisfaction of Israel found expressive ways to make known the sharp displeasure they felt toward God’s representatives and toward God himself. Their wish would soon come true: they would die in the wilderness.
Grumbling and arguing keep us from being blameless and pure children of God, Phil 2.14-15. Complaining kills spiritual life. Is yours dying?
#votd #complain #Numbers
“They were left to test Israel, so the Lord would know if his people would obey the commands he gave their ancestors through Moses.”
God tested Israel by leaving some pagan nations in the land. Unfortunately, they failed the test, permitting themselves to be influenced to commit idolatry and immorality.
Every test ought to be seen as an opportunity to demonstrate faithfulness to God. He desires to see us pass tests with flying colors.
#votd #Judges #tests
“Indeed, the residents of Maroth hope for something good to happen, though the Lord has sent disaster against the city of Jerusalem.”
One of the cities in the path of Sennacharib, Maroth hoped vainly for something good to happen, even in the face of disaster. Wishful thinking would be their destruction.
God speaks, making his will plain. People stand in the shadow of judgment and wish things were different. Will I listen to God or feed vain hopes?
#votd #Micah #wishful-thinking
“I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”
While Jesus was being transfigured (glorified), nine of the disciples apparently tried to glorify themselves rather than serve their Lord and help their fellow man. They failed to do the very thing Jesus had given them authority and power to do.
The world needs our message. We have been given the authority and power to teach. Will we fail?
#votd #Luke #gospel
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins.”
1 Corinthians 15.17
Denial of the resurrection undermines the entire gospel. The power of God is shown in raising Jesus from the dead. In this way he provided proof of the value of the cross.
No part of the gospel may be denied. It all stands or falls together. The Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Ascension, the present Reign of Christ in the church, his Second Coming, are essential elements of God’s Good News.
#votd #1-Corinthians #gospel #resurrection
“but every spirit that refuses to confess Jesus, that spirit is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”
1 John 4.3
One test of belonging to God was the teaching about Jesus, his deity and humanity. Whoever denied it (spirit=teaching) was not only wrong, but belong to the present evil forces arrayed against God.
God’s truth is clear. To teach different is to “refuse” to confess Jesus. The truth must be welcomed and obeyed. To what spirit do I belong?
#votd #1-John #doctrine
“Gideon said to him, ‘Pardon me, but if the Lord is with us, why has such disaster overtaken us? Where are all his miraculous deeds our ancestors told us about? They said, “Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.’”
Gideon had difficulty in reconciling Israel’s situation and the Lord’s promise of blessing for his people. A common expectation is that God only blesses.
In the new covenant, the Lord’s blessing is spiritual, not material. Suffering is part of the work we do. Especially today such questions as Gideon’s are inappropriate.
#votd #Judges #suffering
“The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord, and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.”
The Lord prizes helping the poor. Indifference brings judgment. Kindness brings God’s reward.
Do I ignore the poor? Is that but a step removed from mistreatment? Why should the poor appear on my radar?
#votd #Proverbs #poor
“Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.”
Why guard against hypocrisy, such as the Pharisees demonstrated? v. 1 Because it will all come to light in the future. Fear of man causes dissimulation, v. 4, but fear of God should lead to honesty and transparency, v. 5.
Human drama derives from secrets. (Read any novel.) Divine redemption occurs from revelation and knowledge. We move from one to the other by confession.
#votd #Luke #revelation
“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God.”
Not much is said about Enoch in Genesis, but his experience was unique. He walked with God. It meant God was pleased with him because he lived by faith. God freed him from the cares of this world.
What a wonderful legacy to leave to the world! If Enoch lived this way in primordial times, may we also live at the end time. Do we look forward to being taken up at Christ’s return?
#votd #Hebrews #faith
“and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,”
1 Thessalonians 4.11 NASB
Ambition is considered something that makes a person appear more in public and win success and recognition. Paul sees it differently.
Complete this phrase: My ambition in life is ___. A Christian’s goals are far different than those of the world.
#votd #1-Thessalonians #ambition
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.”
Some think Peter and John went to Samaria to keep things under their control. Better to consider that they went to provide support and encouragement.
Do I want to control or encourage? Biblical “sending” is for the gospel. For what purpose am I sending, or being sent?
#votd #Acts #sending