Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. —Psalm 123:3
What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16). Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do, we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives.
Beware of “the cares of this world…” (Mark 4:19). They are the very things that produce the wrong attitudes in our soul. It is incredible what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by “the cares of this world.”
Another thing that distracts us is our passion for vindication. St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” Such a need for constant vindication destroys our soul’s faith in God. Don’t say, “I must explain myself,” or, “I must get people to understand.” Our Lord never explained anything— He left the misunderstandings or misconceptions of others to correct themselves.
When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
by Oswald Chambers
God’s Unfailing Word, 1 Kings 8:56 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
Paul wrote his letter to the church at Philippi while he was a prisoner in Rome. Though confined and under watch while awaiting trial, he wrote to encourage the Philippians, assuring them that his situation was being used by God. He told them, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:11).
Notice that this verse does not say that Paul was always happy. Happiness depends upon circumstances, but for believers, contentment is possible in any situation because it’s anchored in God. Although Paul’s imprisonment was difficult and uncomfortable, He scarcely mentioned the conditions. This letter is not filled with complaints but with rejoicing because his focus never wavered from Christ (Phil. 1:20-21; Phil. 3:10).
Paul did not see himself as a victim. He believed that he was under the sovereign hand of the living God. This was the place ordained for him at that time, in accordance with the Lord’s divine purpose.
What’s more, the apostle saw good results of his time in prison. The entire imperial guard heard about Jesus through the apostle’s consistent witness. His confinement was also having the opposite effect of what his enemies had planned. Instead of driving Christians into hiding, Paul’s example of contentment in the face of hardship made them bolder (Phil. 1:14).
Like Paul, we can choose how we’ll respond to pain and hardship. If we opt to be resentful and bitter, our suffering will be wasted. But if we see each situation as a wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth, we’ll be able to learn contentment and rejoice in the Lord through it all.
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5)
Many people today, professing to believe the Bible, have compromised with the evolutionary philosophy that dominates our society by accepting its framework of geological ages. This system interprets the rocks and fossils in terms of a supposed 4.6 billion-year history of the earth and life culminating in the evolution of early humans perhaps a million years ago. In order to justify this compromise, they usually say that the “days” of creation really correspond to the geological ages, arguing that the Hebrew word for “day” (yom) does not have to mean a literal solar day.
Oh, yes, it does—at least in Genesis 1! God, knowing that the pagan philosophers of antiquity would soon try to distort His record of creation into long ages of pantheistic evolution (as in the Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, and other such ancient cosmogonies), was careful to define His terms! “God called the light Day,” and that was the first day with its evening and morning. All subsequent days have followed the same pattern—a period of darkness (night), then a period of light (day).
One may quibble about the exact length of the day if he insists (e.g., equatorial days versus polar days), but there is no way this definition can accommodate a geological age. This is the very first reference to “day” (or yom) in the Bible, and this is given as an actual statement of the meaning of the word.
This ought to settle the question for anyone who really believes the Bible. One may decide to believe the evolutionary geologists if he wishes instead of God, but he should at least let God speak for Himself. God says the days of creation were literal days, not ages. “In six days the LORD made heaven and earth” (Exodus 31:17). HMM
he that is, Jesus
The Holy Ghost bears witness to the perfection of our Lord’s sacrifice, for he declares that the believer’s sins will be remembered no more.
no more offering for sin and no need of any
If we reject the atonement of Jesus now, there is no other sacrifice, and we must of necessity perish.
The ever-blessed Soft of God
Went up to Calvary for me,
There paid my debt, there bore my load
In his own body on the tree.
‘Tis finish’d all; the veil is rent,
The welcome sure, the access free;
Now, then, we leave our banishment,
O Father, to return to thee.
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him. (1 Corinthians 16:2)
God has been pleased to deal with us in a most remarkable way concerning our Christian stewardship and responsibility of honoring Him with the things He has entrusted to us.
The Bible teaching is plain: you have the right to keep what you have all to yourself—but it will then rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you!
This may hurt some of you but I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have!
He does not need a dime of your money!
What you need to understand is that it is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as this.
There is a beautiful and enriching principle involved in our offering to God what we are and what we have, but none of us are giving because there is a depression in heaven!
A long time ago God said: “If I had need of anything, would I tell you?”
Brethren, if the living God had need of anything, He would no longer be God!
“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20
Their particular sorrow was the death and absence of their Lord, and it was turned into joy when He rose from the dead and showed Himself in their midst. All the sorrows of saints shall be thus transmuted; even the worst of them, which look as if they must for ever remain fountains of bitterness.
Then the more sorrow the more joy. If we have loads of sorrow, then the Lord’s power will turn them into tons of joy. Then the bitterer the trouble the sweeter the pleasure: the swinging of the pendulum far to the left will cause it to go all the farther to the right. The remembrance of the grief shall heighten the flavor of the delight: we shall set the one in contrast with the other, and the brilliance of the diamond shall be the more clearly seen because of the black foil behind it.
Come, my heart, cheer up! In a little while I shall be as glad as I am now gloomy. Jesus tells me that by a heavenly alchemy my sorrow shall be turned into joy. I do not see how it is to be, but I believe it, and I begin to sing by way of anticipation. This depression of spirit is not for long, I shall soon be up among the happy ones who praise the Lord day and night, and there I shall sing of the mercy which delivered me out of great afflictions.