Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matt. 5:6 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Ps. 42:1-2.
Toward the end of the book of Daniel there is some prophecy that has an air of finality about it. God exercised His judgment in intermediate stages at times, as was the case with Judah being taken into Babylonian captivity. Daniel was a victim of that. There would be other times when God would do His will in judging the nations and His people. Indeed, the temple known as Zerubbabel’s, built after the return from this captivity would be destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.
We remember Luke’s description of the “great commotion about the Way” recorded in Acts 19:21-41. Paul had preached and taught in Ephesus as he had in Athens (Acts 17) that God was not created but is the Creator. This caused quite a stir among the craftsmen who made souvenir models of the temple of Diana (or Artemis) for sale to the people who came to visit that famous place. I think we have all picked up little things like this in our travels.
Abraham was called the friend of God (James 2:23). We find at least one time that this occurred in 2 Chronicles. Jehoshaphat was facing battle against overwhelming odds and so he prayed for God’s help. In that prayer he said to the Lord, “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?” (2 Chronicles 20:7). Jehoshaphat was praying and at the same time doing a little pleading with the Lord that He keep their enemies from throwing them out of the land.
Love and God are two magnificent entities that we cannot see with our physical eyes. Yet we know that both are real. That knowledge comes by faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Knowledge that comes via evidence is trustworthy if the source of that evidence is truthful. Our faith arises from the evidence of the existence of God in this world (Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:18-22). To deny the existence of God on the grounds that no one has seen Him is to act the fool (Psalm 14:1).
For a very long time the devil has had much greater influence in this world than has God. We should not be surprised at this because Paul told us that this was and would be the case even from apostolic times (1 Timothy 4:1-4, 2 Timothy 4:1-4 and Ephesians 6:10-17). We are at the present time in a period of heightened spiritual dissolution. The organized institutions of what might be called the Christian religion are so far removed from the Biblical pattern that there is little if any connection with the church presented in the New Testament text.
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.” We find these words in Hebrews 12:25. The passage is an echo from Haggai 2:6. It is a warning and an encouragement to the readers of the Book of Hebrews to be faithful to God. The book was written to keep these people from leaving the Christian faith. The argument of Hebrews is that it makes no sense to leave faith in Christ to return to the Law of Moses. Not only is it nonsense to do so; it is spiritually fatal.
We often study Paul’s letters to the Corinthians church. 2 Corinthians is a highly personal letter and reveals a great deal about the relationship Paul had with that church. That church was plagued at times with men who tried to lead them away from the true gospel which had been preached to them by Paul. He called these fellows “peddlers” of the word of God (2 Corinthians 2:17). Evidently these folks had letters of commendation from some source. Paul was not impressed.
Early on Monday morning, March 6, Mitch and Camilla Fuller and Ginger and I will leave for a short trip to the South American country of Guyana. As most of you know, we try to take this trip each year to check on our work there and make plans with the brethren for the summer campaign in Bartica. We have found over the years since the addition of the bridge over the Berbice River that we can accomplish what needs to be done by moving quickly from one place to the next without a lot of down time.
It is one thing to think about having constancy of character in general terms. It is another thing to think of this principle in specific terms. As we continue to consider this subject from Paul’s point of view in Romans 12 we can be thankful that he provided specific directions for us as we seek to be “transformed by the renewing” of our minds.
Powered by Drupal
, an open source content management system. iEarth