VIDEO Hard to Imagine, God’s True and Complete Revelation

Hard to Imagine

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Moving to a new town or state, going to new schools, working at new jobs—what will it be like? Most of the time, things work out. Once we settle in, our worries subside and we get in the flow.

If moving to a new city is a big transition, what about moving from our earth to a new earth? And what about finding yourself in very difficult circumstances, wondering if things will ever change? That was Israel’s experience—under God’s judgment. Isaiah the prophet wrote first about judgment (Isaiah 1–39) and second about restoration (Isaiah 40–66). In the latter, God promised new heavens and a new earth (65:17; 66:22), telling the Jews it would be hard to even imagine what God has prepared for them (64:4-5). As that theme of blessing unfolded through Jesus the Messiah, the apostle Paul quoted Isaiah’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:9—we can’t imagine what God has prepared for us.

Living in a new earth will be quite a transition, but it’s one with which we can trust God.

Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence. Augustine


God’s True and Complete Revelation (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

When We Praise

At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. Acts 16:26

 

When nine-year-old Willie was abducted from his front yard in 2014, he sang his favorite gospel song Every Praise over and over again. During the three-hour ordeal, Willie ignored the kidnapper’s repeated orders to keep silent as they drove around. Eventually, the kidnapper let Willie out of the car unharmed. Later, Willie described the encounter, saying that while he felt his fear give way to faith, the abductor seemed agitated by the song.

Willie’s response to his dire situation is reminiscent of the experience shared by Paul and Silas. After being flogged and thrown into jail, they reacted by “praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:25–26).

Upon witnessing this awesome demonstration of power, the jailer believed in the God of Paul and Silas, and his entire household was baptized along with him (vv. 27–34). Through the avenue of praise, both physical and spiritual chains were broken that night.

We may not always experience a visibly dramatic rescue like Paul and Silas, or like Willie. But we know that God responds to the praises of His people! When He moves, chains fall apart.

By:  Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray

What lessons do you learn from the prayer session held by Paul and Silas? How can you apply these principles to the difficult circumstances you experience?

“[God], You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3 (nkjv)

Keep Walking by Faith

Colossians 2:5-7

Christians generally associate faith with their salvation experience, and rightly so. By believing in Christ, we enter into a relationship with Him. But that’s not the end—after that initial decision comes a lifetime of walking with Him.

Since the word walk is used to describe behavior and conduct, we may mistakenly conclude that after salvation, the Christian life is all about performance. But today’s verses clearly state that we walk with Christ in the same way we received Him—by faith. This means we place our trust in Him for every circumstance of life. To help us understand this, Paul uses some phrases in verse 7 that describe how confidence in God grows:

“Having been firmly rooted”—At the moment of salvation, believers are planted in Christ. As we anchor ourselves in the Lord, our roots grow deep, drawing spiritual nourishment from Him.

“Being built up in Him”—Through obedience, the believer’s life is built on the foundation of the Savior. God wants us to choose precious and valuable building materials that will last into eternity (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

“Established in your faith”—As we begin to understand more about the Lord and how He operates, our trust in Him increases. Then we experience stability, even in the winds of adversity.

In our goal-oriented society, it’s easy to forget that walking in Christ is a process. While on earth, we never “arrive” but are slowly transformed along the way. As we trust the Lord, our hearts will overflow with gratitude for all His blessings and the stability He offers in every circumstance.

God Does Know Me

“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.” (Psalm 139:1)

Perhaps the most frightening attribute of God is that He knows everything about us. Everything! He has “searched” (literally “penetrated”) us and “known” (“understood”) us. And since God is both omnipresent and omniscient, it obviously follows that nothing escapes His conscious knowledge about us. He observes our ordinary activities (v. 2) and our innermost thoughts. “Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways” (v. 3). The Hebrew word translated “compassest” suggests that He actually sees the formation of the words in our tongues before we begin to speak them (v. 4). That means that we are transparent to Him; we cannot deceive Him in any way. He knows what we are going to think; we cannot hide anything from Him. God knows what only we know about ourselves and those things we won’t even admit to ourselves.

Furthermore, He is everywhere around each one of us (vv. 7-10), wherever we are or could be. He fills all space, and there is no escape. We cannot hide from God. He is wherever we go. The apostle Paul once observed: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This very intimate and complete knowledge about us is what makes God’s salvation such a marvelous matter. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). God loves us in spite of what we have become. Yet, since He knows what we could be, He gives us eternal life through His Son so that we will realize, one day, what He knows we shall be. HMM

Greatness Does Have Its Price

For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

—1 Thessalonians 2:9

The laws of success operate also in the higher field of the soul—spiritual greatness has its price. Eminence in the things of the Spirit demands a devotion to these things more complete than most of us are willing to give. But the law cannot be escaped. If we would be holy we know the way; the law of holy living is before us. The prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New and, more than all, the sublime teachings of Christ are there to tell us how to succeed….

The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly.   WTA025-026

Give me a willingness to pay any cost which You may exact in my service for You. Amen.

 

Our light affliction, which is but for a moment

Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.—2 Corinthians 4:17.

 

Only be still, and wait His leisure

In cheerful hope, with heart content

To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure,

And all-discerning love hath sent,

Nor doubt our inmost wants are known

To Him who chose us for His own.

George Neumark 1657.

Oh, how is the face of life altered, as soon as a man has in earnest made his first object to do his Father’s will! Oh, how do, what before seemed grievous burdens, bodily sickness, domestic trial, privations, losses, bereavement, the world’s scorn, man’s un-thankfulness, or whatever grief his Father may put upon him, how do these things change! To those, whose hope is in heaven, everything becomes a means of discipline, an instrument of strengthening their cheerful acceptance of their Father’s will. Their irksome tasks, privations, sickness, heaviness of heart, unkindness of others, and all the sorrows which their Father allots them in this world, are so many means of conforming them to their Savior’s image. Then doth everything which God doeth with them seem to them “very good,” even because He doth it.

Edward B. Pusey.

 

Tears, Then A Joyful Harvest

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Ps. 126:5

Weeping times are suitable for sowing: we do not want the ground to be too dry. Seed steeped in the tears of earnest anxiety will come up all the sooner. The salt of prayerful tears will give the good seed a flavor which will preserve it from the worm: truth spoken in awful earnestness has a double life about it. Instead of stopping our sowing because of our weeping, let us redouble our efforts because the season is so propitious.

Our heavenly seed could not fitly be sown laughing. Deep sorrow and concern for the souls of others are a far more fit accompaniment of godly teaching than anything like levity. We have heard of men who went to war with a light heart, but they were beaten; and it is mostly so with those who sow in the same style.

Come, then, my heart, sow on in thy weeping, for thou hast the promise of a joyful harvest. Thou shalt reap. Thou, thyself, shalt see some result of thy labor. This shall come to thee in so large a measure as to give thee joy, which a poor, withered, and scanty harvest would not do. When thine eyes are dim with silver tears, think of the golden corn. Bear cheerfully the present toil and disappointment; for the harvest day will fully recompense thee.

Faith’s Checkbook.