VIDEO The Distraction of Contempt – God’s Unfailing Word

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

God Is Here

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. Hosea 6:3

A plaque in our home states “Bidden or not bidden, God is present.” A modern version might read, “Acknowledged or unacknowledged, God is here.”

Hosea, an Old Testament prophet who lived in the late eighth century bc (755–715), wrote similar words to the Hebrew nation. He encouraged the Israelites to “press on” (Hosea 6:3) to acknowledge God because they had forgotten Him (4:1). As the people forgot God’s presence, they began to turn away from Him (v. 12) and before long there was no room for God in their thoughts (see Psalm 10:4).

Hosea’s simple but profound insight to acknowledge God reminds us He’s near and at work in our lives, in both the joys and struggles.

To acknowledge God might mean that when we get a promotion at work, we recognize God gave us insight to finish our work on time and within budget. If our housing application is rejected, acknowledging God helps to sustain us as we trust Him to work in the situation for our good.

If we don’t make it into the college of our choice, we can acknowledge God is with us and take comfort in His presence even in our disappointment. As we enjoy dinner, to acknowledge God may be to remind ourselves of God’s provision of the ingredients and a kitchen to prepare the meal.

When we acknowledge God, we remember His presence in both the successes and sorrows, whether big or small, of our lives.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for the times I am prone to forget You. Help me to acknowledge Your presence in my life.

God is always present and at work.

By Lisa Samra 

INSIGHT

James Limburg comments on today’s passage in his book Interpretation: Hosea—Micah: “The contrast which comes to expression in Hosea 6:6 is between two fundamentally different notions of religion. The one thinks in terms of discharging religious obligations through . . . sacrifice and offering; the other speaks of loyal love and of acknowledging God as God. . . . When religion becomes preoccupied with the niceties of liturgy, the nuances of language, the novelties of music, art, and architecture, but forgets the neighbor, then religion has been reduced to cultic correctness . . . . True religion has that rich word hesed [steadfast love] at its center, recalling God’s steadfast love (Ps. 136) and mercy (Titus 3:5–7) and then calling for lives which respond to that love with loyal devotion to God and loving service to the neighbor.”

Are there areas of your life where the line between religion and relationship has become blurry?

For more on true devotion to God, read Following Jesus: Relationship or Religion? at discoveryseries.org/q0215.

J.R. Hudberg

Handling The Difficult Circumstances

Philippians 1:12-18

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.

The Actual Meaning of “Day”

“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

By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified

Hebrews 10:1-31

Hebrews 10:5-7

he that is, Jesus

Hebrews 10:15-17

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.

Hebrews 10:18

no more offering for sin and no need of any

Hebrews 10:19-27

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.

 

Be A Faithful Steward

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!

 

Heavenly Alchemy

“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.

 

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