We may think of God as waiting in heaven for us to change our lives by our own strength and effort. He told us what is right and wrong. Now, He waits to see if we can force ourselves, knowing the difference, and choose the right and do it. More important than what we think is what God says: Rom 12:2; James 4:4-10; 1Tim 2:4; Acts 2:38-39.
Paul, as a prisoner, writes to all the saints in Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons, to encourage them against the four thieves of joy in this world: things, people, circumstances, and worry. These four things are often the source of anxiety. In this letter he gives them a very short and clear message in Philippians 4:5: The Lord is near. Paul didn’t minimize the facts of life in this world, but he deliberately puts them in perspective with this simple and short statement: The Lord is near.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the historical fact upon which our faith is based. In the first gospel of Christ sermon, Peter preached that God had accredited Jesus by many signs, miracles, and wonders but that He also raised Jesus from the dead to immortality. The subsequent implications of His resurrection are that He has been made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:24, 31, 32, 36). This gospel is same gospel that the church in Corinth received, took a stand on, were saved by, and held fast to for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Paul goes on to say that if Christ is was not resurrected then his preaching is useless and so is faith because it is futile and leaves them still in their sins (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). Paul continues that if only for this life we have hope (i.e. there is no resurrection) then we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Corinthians 15:19)!
Treasure in Jars of Clay
Paul the Apostle had a glorious ministry by and in the mercy of God. It gave him vision to see past the temporary troubles of this life and wholeheartedly speak the truth that he honestly lived. He encouraged the church in Corinth to see their faith and lives the same way by keeping their eyes on what is unseen, the eternal, and not the temporary! Today, the church will do well to do the same!
2 Corinthians 4:13- 5:10
Psalm 19 – The Word’s Place in Our Lives
The creation declares to us the knowledge and power of our Creator, but it does not tell us the story of our sin and our desperate need for redemption. The creation declares the glory of an eternal Creator, but it does not tell us the story of our gracious redeemer. The creation should amaze and humble us, but it takes the word of God, to bring our hearts to repentance and
Where Are You?
Gen 3:9 tells of God’s question to Adam, after he had sinned. God is not looking for information. He is calling Adam to awareness of the consequences of his sin and his need for God’s help. God calls today for the same reason, He wants to rescue and clothe us. (Gal 3:27; Rom 16:20)
Suffering and God’s Purpose in It
All people in this world suffer. As God’s people it is not ours to know the what and why of our suffering. It is ours to trust God and His promises through it!
We do not judge our faith by mere appearances. The value of our faith is not found in the numbers of people who agree with us, nor is it found in measurements of success the way this world measures success. The value of our faith is found in the One who is the basis of that faith, Jesus Christ. He is Lord, the Almighty (Rev 1:8. 18), and we eagerly await His return (Rev 22:12-21)