VIDEO God’s or Man’s?

God’s or Man’s?

He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Mark 7:9

A simple Twitter survey went viral: What do churches fight about? Respondents sent in numerous examples from their experience: the length of the worship leader’s beard; whether a clock in the worship center should be removed; the color and size of filing cabinets to be purchased; which picture of Jesus to hang in the foyer; whether communion should have cran-grape juice or plain grape juice; the kind of coffee to serve during fellowship hour . . . you can probably add your own.

These “discussions” rarely have biblical precedents. Instead, they are based on traditions: “We’ve always done it this way.” Such arguments were frequent in Jesus’ day. Jesus was once asked by the Pharisees why His disciples didn’t wash their hands before eating (a human tradition, not part of the Jewish law) (Mark 7:5). Jesus answered by pointing out their hypocrisy. They were more concerned about lookingrighteous than being righteous.

Traditions are fine when they are Bible-based. Keep this in mind as you navigate your own spiritual walk. Whose traditions are they? God’s (2 Thessalonians 2:15) or man’s? Better to obey God than man (Acts 5:29).

Hypocrisy is the loudest lie.  George Swinnock


God’s ways vs Man’s ways | A funny Animation

Walking God’s Way

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it. Isaiah 30:21

“We’re going this way,” I said as I touched my son’s shoulder and redirected him through the crowd to follow his mom and sisters in front of us. I’d done this more often as the day wore on at the amusement park our family was visiting. He was getting tired and more easily distracted. Why can’t he just follow them? I wondered.

Then it hit me: How often do I do exactly the same thing? How often do I veer from obediently walking with God, enchanted by the temptations to pursue what I want instead of seeking His ways?

Think of Isaiah’s words from God for Israel: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ ” (Isaiah 30:21). Earlier in that chapter, God had rebuked His people for their rebelliousness. But if they would trust His strength instead of their own ways (v. 15), He promised to show His graciousness and compassion (v. 18).

One expression of God’s graciousness is His promise to guide us by His Spirit. That happens as we talk to Him about our desires and ask in prayer what He has for us. I’m thankful God patiently directs us, day-by-day, step-by-step, as we trust Him and listen for His voice.

Father, You’ve promised to guide us through the ups and downs and decisions we face in life. Help us to trust and follow You, and to actively listen for Your guiding voice.

God patiently directs us as we trust Him and listen for His voice.

By Adam Holz 

INSIGHT

In today’s passage, a resurgent militant Assyria threatened to conquer all of Israel. But instead of trusting God to deliver them, Judah turned to Egypt for help. God had explicitly prohibited Israelite kings from trusting in anything other than God for deliverance (Deuteronomy 17:16). Isaiah warned that it’s futile to trust Egypt instead of the Lord (Isaiah 30:1–19; 31:1). The psalmist also warned of the futility of putting our trust in something other than God: “No king is saved by the size of his army . . . . A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save” (Psalm 33:16–17).

When have you placed your trust in something other than God?

K. T. Sim

The Tragedy of a Wasted Life

Luke 12:15-21

Death is inevitable, but at times it surprises us. Perhaps you can relate because you know someone who died unexpectedly.

Today’s parable describes one such situation. It tells of a man who acquired comfort and wealth but thought only of his time on earth. Death came without warning, and he could take nothing with him. God called him a fool for living focused only on himself.

Though rich in the world’s eyes, the man had no relationship with God and hadn’t invested anything in Christ’s kingdom. All the treasures he stored here were worthless once he died. What’s even worse is that without Jesus, he’d be separated from God forever. Think about the tragic waste of such a life.

As I consider the choices this man made, two questions come to mind that are important for us all to contemplate. First, if you were to die today, would you go to heaven? Salvation is a free gift for those who trust in Jesus as the acceptable sacrifice for sin. He is the only way—no excuses or even sincere beliefs in other ways will work. And Scripture teaches that when believers die, they immediately find themselves in the Lord’s presence (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Second, what is your life accomplishing? Are you driven by selfish purposes, storing security and wealth for yourself? Or is your motivation to further God’s kingdom?

Like the man in this parable, we don’t know when we will die. We do know, however, that death is inescapable. Dying is an unpleasant topic, but eternity is a long time and worthy of our attention. It’s definitely a wise investment to make sure of your salvation and to invest in God’s kingdom.

Be Bold in Prayer

“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” (Ephesians 3:12)

There is a wonderful exhortation and promise in Hebrews 4:15-16: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted [that is, ‘tested’] like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

We aren’t to come presumptuously or arrogantly to God in prayer, but we can come boldly! This is not by virtue of our own merits but because Christ Himself has opened the way for us. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Because He has been fully tested yet free from sin, and because of the shed “blood of Jesus” and the opened veil “through his flesh,” if we come “by the faith of him,” we do have “access” to God’s “throne of grace” and can boldly present our petitions. These must, of course, be dependent upon His will, for “this is the confidence [same Greek word as ‘boldness’] that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

But, whether a particular request is granted or denied in accord with God’s greater wisdom, or whether the answer is delayed until God’s more propitious time, we can always “find grace to help in time of need.” He is our great high priest, our mediator, our advocate with the Father, our intercessor, and we can surely pray with “boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” HMM

The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters

Acts 27:27-44

Acts 27:30, 31

The sailors, under pretence of casting out anchors from the bow, lowered the boat to make their escape, leaving the vessel and all the passengers to certain destruction; but Paul saw through their cowardly purpose and prevented it. It is a shameful thing to leave others to perish while we can be of any service to them.

Acts 27:33, 34

Picture this one brave man, in the dim twilight, standing in the midst of nearly three hundred haggard faces, speaking so calmly, and giving them such sound advice. Faith ennobles believers, and makes them comforters of others.

Acts 27:35

Such calm devotion spreads courage on all sides. If Paul, even in a storm, gave thanks, what shall be said of those persons who rush upon their meals like swine, and never thank the Lord who provides for them?

Acts 27:38

No longer abandoning themselves to despair, they adopted the last means for relieving the vessel, by throwing out the cargo, determining, when thus lightened, to run her on shore.

Acts 27:42

They were responsible for their safe custody, and would forfeit their own lives if they allowed them to escape; we need not therefore wonder at the soldiers’ cruel proposition.

Acts 27:43, 44

Thus was the promise of God kept to the letter: the peril was great, but all were saved from death. God never did forfeit his word, and he never will. It is nothing more than right that we should, without wavering, believe his promises; and if we do so, our lives will be free from care, and we shall have daily cause for rejoicing. This day may unbelief be cast out, and may childlike confidence rule our spirits.

 

Jesus, lover of my soul,

Let me to thy bosom fly,

While the nearer waters roll,

While the tempest still is high!

Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,

Till the storm of life be past;

Safe into the haven guide;

Oh, receive my soul at last.

 

Our Own Daily Problems

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Christian believers are wrongly taught if they believe that the Christian life is a guarantee against human trials and problems. If they believe that, they have mistaken earth for heaven and expect conditions here below which can never be realized until we reach the better world above.

There is a sense in which God makes no difference between the saint and the sinner. He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust. It is strange that we rarely notice the other side of this truth: that God also visits His children with the usual problems common to all the sons of men.

If we cannot remove our problems, then we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. We will learn, too, that problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. Think of our Lord and Savior—He was surrounded by enemies from the moment of His birth. They constituted a real and lasting problem which He simply had to endure for the period of His earthly life. He escaped it only by dying!

 

The Life-Giving Stream

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live. Ezek. 47:9

The living waters, in the prophet’s vision, flowed into the Dead Sea, and carried life with them, even into that stagnant lake. Where grace goes, spiritual life is the immediate and the everlasting consequence. Grace proceeds sovereignly according to the will of God, even as a river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its own quickening flow. Oh, that it would pour along our streets, and flood our slums! Oh, that it would now come into my house, and rise till every chamber were made to swim with it! Lord, let the living water flow to my family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I hope I have drunk of it already; but I desire to bathe in it, yea, to swim in it. O my Saviour, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, I pray thee, till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active. Living God, I pray thee, fill me with thine own life. I am a poor, dry stick; come and make me so to live that, like Aaron’s rod, I may bud and blossom and bring forth fruit unto thy glory. Quicken me, for the sake of my Lord Jesus. Amen.

 

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