What was spoken to you by God: Matthew 22.31-32

“Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!”

Matthew 22.31-32

Jesus believed and taught the divine inspiration of Scripture. Moses wrote Exodus thousands of years earlier. Yet our Lord said God was speaking to people of his day through that written word.

If the Bible is the very word of God, how should we handle it, deal with it, meditate upon it, and share it?

#inspiration #Bible #votd

I am the one! John 9.9.

“Some people said, ‘This is the man!’ while others said, ‘No, but he looks like him.’ The man himself kept insisting, “I am the one!'”

John 9.9

After Jesus healed the blind man, there was confusion about his identity. Even people who knew him were unsure if it was him or not.

Human powers of observation are limited. People often don’t pay attention to what goes on around them. Failure to notice surroundings leaves us open to mistakes.

#votd #John #observation

Beaten: Acts 5.40

“After calling the apostles back, they had them beaten. They ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, then let them go.”

Acts 5.40 CEB

From the beginning, the faith encountered opposition. The gospel challenges vested interests by calling all to repentance and offering Christ as the only way.

What now? When persecuted (or to avoid it to start with), do we keep quiet to keep from rocking the boat? Or do we proclaim Christ as fervently as ever?

#votd #Acts #gospel

The Lord responds: Psalm 4.3

“Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor; the Lord responds when I cry out to him.”

Psalm 4.3

After a moving request for help, v. 1, and a challenge to threatening men, v. 2, David expresses, as a part of his reply to the wicked, his confidence that God will answer.

“Sinful behavior is ultimately fruitless and self-destructive” (NETB). The godly who rely on God will be “safe and secure” v. 8.

#votd #Psalms #prayer

They asked him to stay: Acts 18.20

“When they asked him to stay longer, he would not consent.”

Acts 18.20

Paul was headed to Jerusalem. Because of time and travel restraints, he could not tarry. Even though Ephesus provided him opportunities, his objective kept him focused on his task.

Many good things clamor for our attention. We must choose among them. God will bless spiritual objectives, if we follow through.

#votd #Acts #objectives

I worked so hard: Ecclesiastes 2.18

“So I loathed all the fruit of my effort, for which I worked so hard on earth, because I must leave it behind in the hands of my successor.”

Ecclesiastes 2.18

At the funeral of a rich man, one friend asked another, “How much do you reckon he left?” The other replied, “All of it, I’m sure.” Solomon knew this many centuries ago.

Life “under the sun” (excluding God) is depressing. Only God can give it meaning. Only God can bring us purpose that will last beyond this earth.

#Ecclesiastes #votd #meaning

Along with many others: Acts 15.35

“But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming (along with many others) the word of the Lord.”

Acts 15.35

After Judas returned to Jerusalem with the letter about Jewish-Gentile relations, more teaching was needed. Paul, Barnabas and many others taught and evangelized.

Teaching is one of the primary functions in the church of God. It strengthens the church and prepares saints to be proclaimers themselves. The Lord’s word is central to Christians’ experience.

#votd #Acts #Bible

People rejected what is good: Hosea 8.3

“But it is too late.
The people of Israel have rejected what is good,
and now their enemies will chase after them.”

Hosea 8.3 NLT

NLT supplies the first phrase to communicate the shift from verse 2, as to why Israel will not received their requested help. In fact, it will be God who sends the enemy against them.

Rejection of what is good is to “push aside” God himself. It brings God’s rejection of such people. God’s patience has an ending point. Refusal to repent brings punishment.

#votd #Hosea #rejection

Be my witnesses: Acts 1.8

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.”

Acts 1.8

The book of Acts follows this program of witnessing to the world. The verse is key to the book. The Holy Spirit empowered the church to proclaim the gospel. They spoke about Jesus.

We continue the work of proclaiming Christ to the world. This is Jesus’ mission for the church in every age. It is an essential identifying mark of the church.

#votd #Acts #mission

He will never be shaken: Psalm 112.6

“For he will never be shaken; others will always remember one who is just.”

Psalm 112.6

This acrostic psalm provides a picture of the obedient person and the blessings of the godly. It mirrors the previous psalm which focuses on God’s great deeds.

God shakes the world, but nothing shakes him. Those who obey him are not shaken either. How much we need to remember who we are and what blessings are ours!

#votd #Psalms #godliness

More and more

“As for me, I will hope continuously and will praise you more and more.”

Psalm 71.14 ISV

This verse is the center of the psalm. The author is an old man, but he maintains hope that God will still help against his enemies. His experiences lead him to the Lord.

God is for every stage of life. The longer we live, the more his life should occupy our hearts. Rather than become jaded, God’s power moves us to speak to those who are younger, v. 18.

#votd #Psalms #aging

Become such as I am: Acts 26.29

“Paul replied, ‘I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.'”

Acts 26.29

The apostle Paul used his time before King Agrippa, when he was supposed to offer his defense, to proclaim the gospel. He was open about his purpose to save others.

Do we spend our time making friends before proclaiming the gospel, thinking that we must build relationships first? Or are we open about our purpose, to teach others how to be saved?

#votd #evangelism #gospel

Pleasure day and night: Psalm 1.2

“Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the LORD’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night.”

Psalm 1.2

In this introductory psalm, this verse serves as the summary of the righteous person who serves the Lord. The wicked follow their own plans, thoughts, and ways, v. 1.

Few are they who can be described by the verse above. Can I? If I don’t fit here, then Psa 1.1 is where I belong.

#votd #righteousness #obedience #Psalms

Before the apostles: Acts 6.6

“They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on them.”

Acts 6.6

In the Jerusalem church, seven men were chosen to see to the needs of all the widows among them. The apostles set them apart by prayer (part of their work, v. 4) and laying hands upon them.

Were they deacons, in the official sense? It’s a big controversy. Perhaps because we get hung up on titles and positions. They served the church. That is enough. (But there was an official ceremony!)

#votd #deacons #Acts

No citadel too high for us

“From Aroer on the edge of the Wadi Arnon (including the town that is in the wadi itself) as far as Gilead, there was no citadel too high for us. The Lord our God gave everything to us.”

Deuteronomy 2.36 NRSV

Before the Israelites entered Canaan, Moses recounted how God gave them victory over all their enemies. No human power or resource could withstand the Lord.

Christ’s followers encounter many sufferings, but no trial can hold them back from going forward in God’s will.

#votd #Deuteronomy #power-of-God