VIDEO Good to All

The Lord is good to all. Psalm 145:9

Do you have moments when you don’t feel like being nice to someone? That’s when we should recall the goodness of God. Psalm 145:8-9 says, “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

God fills the world with common blessings, available to the saved and unsaved, to the righteous and unrighteous. Jesus said, “[God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). The worst villain on earth has access to the same beautiful sunrise as you do.

God gives some of His goodness to all His people, and all His goodness to some of His people. None of us deserve any of it, apart from Christ. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a coming day of judgment, rather that the goodness of God is designed to lead us to repentance. It should also spur us to be kind to others, even when we feel like being rude.

Every morning we ought to awake, looking out at the beautiful new day God has made and declare, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” David Jeremiah


Don Moen – God is good

Perfect Imperfection

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16

A college professor of mine, picking up on my perfectionism-induced procrastination, gave me some wise advice. “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” he said, explaining that striving for perfect performance can prevent the risks necessary for growth. Accepting that my work would always be imperfect would give me the freedom to keep growing.

The apostle Paul explained an even more profound reason to let go of our own efforts to perfect ourselves: it can blind us to our need for Christ.

Paul had learned this the hard way. After years striving to perfectly obey God’s law, encountering Jesus changed everything (Galatians 1:11–16). Paul realized that if his own efforts were enough to be whole and right with God, “then there was no need for Christ to die” (2:21 nlt). Only by letting go of—dying to—self-reliance, could he experience Jesus living in him (v. 20). Only in his imperfection could he experience God’s perfect power.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t resist sin (v. 17); but it does mean we should stop relying on our own strength to grow spiritually (v. 20).

In this lifetime, we will always be works in progress. But as our hearts humbly accept our constant need for the only perfect One, Jesus makes His home there (Ephesians 3:17). Rooted in Him, we are free to grow ever deeper in the love “too great” to ever “understand fully” (v. 19 nlt).

Lord, so often we exchange the joy and freedom of life with You for the burden of relying on ourselves. Help us to humbly rely on You instead.

We are free to grow in Jesus’s love.

By Monica Brands 

INSIGHT

Before his dramatic conversion to Christ, Paul relied on his observance of the law for right standing with God (Philippians 3:4–6). But we see in today’s passage that Paul’s focus has shifted from human effort to acknowledging the work of the Lord. Paul prays for the believers in Ephesus that God would strengthen them (v. 16) so that Christ may dwell in them (v. 17). Then they will be rooted in love (v. 17) and filled with the fullness of God (v. 19). These are things God does for the believer, not something we do.

Have you been tempted to rely on your own strength to please God?

J.R. Hudberg

Our Anchor in Stormy Times

Hebrews 6:17-20

One thing common to everyone is the experience of going through storms. Whether these are literal weather events, personal trauma, or the turmoil caused by war and social unrest, we all face circumstances over which we have little control. Some storms are over quickly, whereas others seem unending. Some tempests cause little damage, but others leave great devastation in their wake.

• Where do these storms come from? At times we bring them into our own life through choices we make, but other times they’re caused by someone else’s actions. It may even be that the devil has stirred up some adversity to distract or hinder us. And there are occasions when God’s work in our life requires a storm to fulfill a special purpose.

• Why does the Lord allow storms in our life? Difficulties tend to turn our focus toward God. We either start questioning Him or go to Him for help and strength. He may want our attention because there’s a sin we need to deal with. Or perhaps He wants us to let go of something we need to surrender to Him. It could be that He wants to conform us to His image (Rom. 8:29) or equip us to serve Him.

• How do we respond to storms? When we struggle against God because we don’t like the hardship we’re going through, that’s an indication we don’t trust Him. Instead of trusting that He is working good in our life, we may wrongly believe He’s trying to hurt us. At such times knowing Scripture is crucial for the believer. His Word is the immovable anchor in our storm. We can trust the Bible because, like God, it never changes!

When Does God Repent?

“And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.” (1 Samuel 15:29)

There are a number of Scriptures that speak of God repenting. For example, in the days before the great Flood, “it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth” (Genesis 6:6). In the same chapter containing our text, God said: “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments” (1 Samuel 15:11). Yet, the Scriptures plainly teach that God changes not. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent” (Numbers 23:19). Bible critics have made much of this apparent “contradiction” in the Bible.

There is no contradiction, of course. The words translated “repent” in both Old and New Testaments are used of actions that indicate outwardly that a “change of mind” has occurred inwardly. It is precisely because God does not repent concerning evil that His actions will change toward man when man truly repents (this human “repentance” can go either way, changing from good to evil, or vice versa), and God will respond accordingly, since He cannot change His own mind toward evil.

Thus, He said concerning national repentance: “If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them” (Jeremiah 18:8). That is, if the nation truly repents, then God will change His own projected course of action. He seems outwardly to “repent” specifically because He cannot repent in His inward attitude toward good and evil.

God has greatly blessed America in the past, but America’s people have drastically changed in recent years. Can the time be long coming when God must say: “It repenteth me that I have so favored this apostate nation?” HMM

I have found no fault in this man

Luke 23:5-16

It was vain for Pilate to attempt to appease the Jews; they were bent on the death of Jesus, and nothing else would satisfy them.

Luke 23:7

He hoped by this means to rid himself of this troublesome affair. He knew the Lord to be innocent, and he ought to have set him free, but had not the moral courage to do so; he, therefore, welcomed the chance of transferring the case to other hands. How wretched is that man who is afraid to do right.

Luke 23:8, 9

It was no part of our Lord’s business to gratify idle curiosity, neither could it be of any avail to explain his doctrine to a man of Herod’s character, and, therefore, his wisdom was seen in his silence.

Luke 23:10

As they saw that Herod was not bitter against him, they grew more violent in their charges, hoping that our Lord’s silence would enrage him, and so they might procure his death.

Luke 23:11

Herod saw that Jesus could not be guilty in the manner laid to his charge, but the silence of the Lord excited his angry contempt, and he therefore ridiculed his claims to be the Messiah.

Luke 23:16

A compromise, but a very wicked one. If guilty the prisoner ought not to be released, if innocent he ought not to be chastised. Attempts to compromise between right and wrong are always failures and should be shunned by all honest men.

Matthew 27:19, 20, 24, 25

Matthew 24:19

This was a warning to him. Heathens paid much respect to dreams, and, therefore, this must have greatly moved him, yet he dared not oppose the priests.

Matthew 24:24

The washing availed him nothing, the blood of Jesus lay at his door, for had he been just he would have released the innocent.

Matthew 24:25

A terrible imprecation, which has doomed Israel to her long sorrows. The blood of Jesus will either be upon us to cleanse, or on us to condemn. Which will it be?

 

Power and dominion are his due

Who stood condemn’d at Pilate’s bar;

Wisdom belongs to Jesus too,

Though he was charged with madness here.

 

Honour immortal must be paid,

Instead of scandal and of scorn;

While glory shines around his head,

And a bright crown without a thorn.

 

Have You Cried Unfair! Unfair!

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth… neither was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7, 9)

Christians who understand the true meaning of Christ’s cross will never whine about being treated unfairly. Whether or not they are given fair treatment will never enter their heads. They know they have been called to follow Christ, and certainly the Savior did not receive anything approaching fair treatment from mankind.

In language the word “unfair” seems altogether innocent but it indicates an inner attitude that has no place among Christians.

The man who cries “Unfair!” is not a victorious man. He is inwardly defeated and in self-defense appeals to the referee to note that he has been fouled. This gives him an alibi when they carry him out on a stretcher and saves his face while his bruises heal.

It is a certainty that Christians will suffer wrongs; but if they take them in good spirit and without complaint, they have conquered their enemy. They remember that Jesus was reviled—but any thought of His shouting for fair play simply cannot be entertained by the reverent heart!

 

Nothing to Alarm Us

“But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Dan. 12:13

We cannot understand all the prophecies, but yet we regard them with pleasure, and not with dismay. There can be nothing in the Father’s decree which should justly alarm His child. Though the abomination of desolation be set up, yet the true believer shall not be defiled; rather shall he be purified, and made white, and tried. Though the earth be burned up, no smell of fire shall come upon the chosen. Amid the crash of matter, and the wreck of worlds, the Lord Jehovah will preserve His own.

Calmly resolute in duty, brave in conflict, patient in suffering, let us go our way, keeping to our road, and neither swerving from it nor loitering in it. The end will come; let us go our way till it does.

Rest will be ours. All other things swing to and fro, but our foundation standeth sure. God rests in His love, and, therefore, we rest in it. Our peace is, and ever shall be, like a river. A lot in the heavenly Canaan is ours, and we shall stand in it, come what may. The God of Daniel will give a worthy portion to all who dare to be decided for truth and holiness as Daniel was. No den of lions shall deprive us of our sure inheritance.

 

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