My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2, NIV
Last July, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a large home exploded due to a gas leak. A surviving occupant used his cell phone to call 911 while buried under feet of rubble. When rescuers arrived, he directed their digging efforts, telling them where he was when the house exploded and where he was buried. The emergency rescuers found him alive and he was saved.
In our modern world, we have so many different ways to seek and find help. From an expert in a hardware store to an online resource, help is plentiful. And yet, in spite of all the ways we can seek and find help today, we should remember the words of the psalmist: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” All the advice, all the technology, all the expertise—it all ultimately comes from one source: God, the Maker of all things. There shouldn’t be a day, even an hour, that goes by without expressing thanks to God for some kind of help we are given.
Think about your day so far: What help has God given you for which you can thank Him (1 Thessalonians 5:18)?
It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent. Jeremy Taylor
Strength for the Coming Year, Psalm 121 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15
When was the last time you felt compelled to help someone, only to let the moment pass without a response? In The 10-Second Rule, Clare De Graaf suggests that daily impressions can be one of the ways God calls us to a deeper spiritual walk, a life of obedience prompted by love for Him. The 10-Second Rule encourages you to simply “do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do,” and to do it right away “before you change your mind.”
Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). We might think, I do love Him, but how can I be certain of His will and follow it? In His wisdom, Jesus has provided what we need to better understand and follow the wisdom found in the Bible. He once said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and will be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (vv. 16–17). It’s by the work of the Spirit, who is with us and in us, that we can learn to obey Jesus and “keep [His] commands” (v. 15)—responding to the promptings experienced throughout our day (v. 17).
In the big and little things, the Spirit motivates us to confidently do by faith what will honor God and reveal our love for Him and others (v. 21).
Reflect & Pray
Why is it important for you to follow through on promptings that line up with Scripture? How can you seek to live a more obedient life by the power of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit provides what we need to follow Jesus in obedience.
1 Corinthians 8
Although eating meat offered to idols is not a controversial subject today, 1 Corinthians 8 could cause us to wonder if God has double standards for Christian behavior. How can we reconcile differing convictions among believers?
First, we must acknowledge that some moral truths are evident to everyone. These are fixed and will not change, regardless of the situation. But other convictions are based on knowledge or beliefs. These will vary from person to person.
The conscience isn’t static. Rather, it grows according to the truth one hears and receives. When you first became a Christian, you probably had no hesitation about activities, thoughts, or attitudes that you now consider unacceptable. As your knowledge of God and His Word has grown, so has your conscience. Since we all mature at different rates, each person’s conscience is based upon his or her own understanding and personal weaknesses. In these variable areas, what is wrong for one believer may be acceptable for another.
So how are we to live with those whose convictions may not match ours? We must first realize that it is not our job to convict or judge them. The Holy Spirit guides each believer in the way he or she should go.
What a marvelous display of God’s love for us. He designs a path for each life and gives a conscience with sensitivity based upon His intimate knowledge of that individual. Our job is to grow in truth, listen for His personalized direction, and support fellow believers in their walk.
“And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” (Mark 12:26)
The Sadducees were the “liberal” party of Judah’s leaders. They wanted to expose Jesus as an unscholarly and unskilled teacher who was unable to answer difficult theological issues. They did not believe in any form of resurrection, so they concocted a story about a woman who had been widowed seven times. Mosaic law demanded that a brother of the deceased husband marry the widow and name the firstborn son after the husband who died “that his name be not put out of Israel” (Deuteronomy 25:6).
This fictitious story was designed to trap Jesus in an unsolvable problem. The Sadducees said, “Last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore . . . whose wife of shall she be of them?” (Mark 12:22-23). They got much more than they sought. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30).
Two major doctrines are clarified by Jesus’ response. “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31-32).
The proof of the resurrection rests on the tense of the Greek verb “to be.” Scripture is accurate and authoritative even to the minute detail of verb tenses. HMM III
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.
—1 Timothy 1:18-19
Yet the ministry is one of the most perilous of professions. The devil hates the Spirit-filled minister with an intensity second only to that which he feels for Christ Himself The source of this hatred is not difficult to discover. An effective, Christlike minister is a constant embarrassment to the devil, a threat to his dominion, a rebuttal of his best arguments and a dogged reminder of his coming overthrow. No wonder he hates him.
Satan knows that the downfall of a prophet of God is a strategic victory for him, so he rests not day or night devising hidden snares and deadfalls for the ministry. Perhaps a better figure would be the poison dart that only paralyzes its victim, for I think that Satan has little interest in killing the preacher outright. An ineffective, half-alive minister is a better advertisement for hell than a good man dead. So the preacher’s dangers are likely to be spiritual rather than physical, though sometimes the enemy works through bodily weaknesses to get to the preacher’s soul. GTM090-091
I pray for every one of my fellow servants, especially those who may be close to succumbing. Give Your great grace and victory today. Amen.
Love never faileth.—1 Corinthians 13:8 (R. V.).
Your heart shall live forever.—Psalm 22:26.
Death has no bidding to divide
The souls that dwell in Thee;
Yes, all who in the Lord abide
Are of one family.
Thomas H. Gill.
will not our own lamented and beloved be there, in the array of happy spirits? Will they not hail our coming with delight? Do they not remember us now, even in the sight of God? For to see His face does not extinguish but perfect all holy loves. God’s love gathers up and perfects all pure love like His own, all love that is for His sake. When we meet our beloved in Him, we shall both know and love them so as we have neither loved or known before.
Henry Edward Manning.
She is not sent away, but only sent before; like unto a star, which, going out of our sight, doth not die and vanish, but shineth in another hemisphere: ye see her not, yet she doth shine in another country.
“I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wrath: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” Isa. 57:16
Our heavenly Father seeks our instruction, not our destruction. His contention with us has a kind intention toward us. He will not be always in arms against us. We think the Lord is long in His chastisements, but that is because we are short in our patience. His compassion endureth for ever, but not His contention. The night may drag its weary length along, but it must in the end give place to cheerful day. As contention is only for a season, so the wrath which leads to it is Only for a small moment. The Lord loves His chosen too well to be always angry with them.
If He were to deal with us always as He does sometimes we should faint outright, and go down hopelessly to the gates of death. Courage, dear heart! the Lord will soon end His chiding. Bear up, for the Lord will bear you up, and bear you through. He who made you knows how frail you are, and how little you can bear. He will handle tenderly that which He has fashioned so delicately. Therefore, be not afraid because of the painful present, for it hastens to a happy future. He that smote you will heal you; His little wrath shall be followed by great mercies.