Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
The number one desire of Christians is to live in God’s will. And the number one question is, “How do I know His will?” The answer is two-fold. First, God’s general will for all Christians is revealed in the pages of Scripture—instructions in righteous living for God’s glory. But then there is the specific will of God for one’s life.
Psalm 139:16 suggests that God has a plan for everyone’s life, and the Bible is filled with examples. Jeremiah was told that God set him aside as a prophet. David was told he was to be Israel’s king. Paul was commissioned as an apostle to the Gentiles. Moses was appointed to deliver the Hebrews from slavery to nationhood. Samuel was called as a child to be a prophet. Barnabas was confirmed by the Church to be a servant-leader, an encourager, to others. Solomon was commissioned to build the temple and rule over Israel. All these callings share one thing: They came in the process of time.
Don’t doubt that God has a specific purpose for your life. Just be patient and prayerful as you see it unfold.
Obedience is the end of our calling. John Calvin
The Call of God, Jeremiah 1:4-5 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power . . . to grasp . . . the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:17–18
“That’s all it takes!” Megan said. She had clipped a stem from her geranium plant, dipped the cut end into honey, and stuck it into a pot filled with compost. Megan was teaching me how to propagate geraniums: how to turn one healthy plant into many plants, so I would have flowers to share with others. The honey, she said, was to help the young plant establish roots.
Watching her work, I wondered what kinds of things help us establish spiritual roots. What helps us mature into strong, flourishing people of faith? What keeps us from withering up or failing to grow? Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says that we are “rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:17). This love comes from God, who strengthens us by giving us the Holy Spirit. Christ dwells in our hearts. And as we begin to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (v. 18), we can have a rich experience of God’s presence as we’re “completely filled and flooded with God Himself” (v. 19 amp).
Growing spiritually requires rooting into the love of God—meditating on the truth that we are beloved by the God who is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (v. 20). What an incredible basis for our faith!
Reflect & Pray
How can you cultivate a habit of meditating on God’s love? Who could you share the truth of God’s love with today?
God, thank You for Your love for me. Help me to meditate on the truth of that love. May Your love grow in my heart, bringing beauty to my life and to a world in need.
Patience is hard work! This is especially true when we are waiting on God, who keeps to His own timetable. But believers who trust Him to deliver can look forward to rich blessing.
A person’s willingness to be patient reveals the value of what he or she desires. No one goes wrong waiting for the Lord to send His best in His perfect timing. Of course, believers don’t receive everything they ask for. At times, God simply says no. Other times, He adjusts our desires to match His. In our humanness, we can’t possibly know all the details of a situation. So we ask for what we think we need, based on our limited information. A submissive heart accepts the Father’s gentle redirection. When the awaited object of desire comes, it may not look like what we originally requested, but it will be exactly what we need.
Another benefit is that waiting patiently on the Lord is an awesome witness. When He responds, others see the reality of God, His faithfulness, and the wisdom of our commitment. In addition, our own faith is strengthened. Fools rush to seize their prize, but wise believers know that blessing will come in God’s good time.
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:73)
Understanding the Word of God begins with seeing God as the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16-17). The beginning of faith rests solidly on belief in the creation (Hebrews 11:3), and even the “everlasting gospel” embraces the conscious worship of the Creator (Revelation 14:6-7). “I am the LORD, and there is none else….Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!” (Isaiah 45:5, 9).
Scholars who distort Scripture to compromise with the atheistic naturalism of evolutionary science wind up “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). May God rebuke them.
The theme of this stanza (Psalm 119:73-80) weaves a series of requests around various examples of need centered around the psalmist’s leadership position. “They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word” (v. 74). “Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies” (v. 79).
Though he recognized that the Lord “afflicted” him in the past (v. 75), the psalmist also expected the Lord to bring him mercies and comfort, for the law of God was his delight (v. 77). We might view this godly leader as “set for the defence of the gospel” (Philippians 1:17) and “ready always to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15).
In summary, the last verse of this stanza reads: “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed” (Psalm 119:80). Would God that our hearts be driven to this level of boldness in our witness while resting in the absolute authority, integrity, and accuracy of the infallible writings of the Creator God for our salvation (2 Timothy 3:16). HMM III
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul. Psalm 19:7, NASB
After an extended workout at the gym, or a long bike ride on a scorching day, a refreshing sports drink can restore the body’s electrolytes. After a grueling week to hit a project deadline at work, a long weekend can restore one’s strength. And after a prolonged time of trouble leading to a diminished faith, the Word of God can restore the soul.
Or so says the psalmist David, who, given his life’s up-and-down path, should know. But restoring the soul is not all the Word of God can do. It can make the simple wise, it can bring joy to the heart, and it can enlighten the eyes (Psalm 19:7-8). And who wouldn’t want more of those benefits? It is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (verse 10). Who would turn that down? But to get all those benefits, we must embrace the Word. The more we do, the more of those benefits we will desire—and we will dig deeper and deeper.
If those benefits appeal to you, don’t miss a day reading and studying God’s Word. The more you do, the more you will be blessed!
The Bible is the book of my life. It’s the book I live with, the book I live by, the book I want to die by. N. T. Wright
Warning His Servants, Psalm 19:7-11 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. Psalm 119:18
I recently discovered the wonder of anamorphic art. Appearing at first as an assortment of random parts, an anamorphic sculpture only makes sense when viewed from the correct angle. In one piece, a series of vertical poles align to reveal a famous leader’s face. In another, a mass of cable becomes the outline of an elephant. Another artwork, made of hundreds of black dots suspended by wire, becomes a woman’s eye when seen correctly. The key to anamorphic art is viewing it from different angles until its meaning is revealed.
With thousands of verses of history, poetry, and more, the Bible can sometimes be hard to understand. But Scripture itself tells us how to unlock its meaning. Treat it like an anamorphic sculpture: view it from different angles and meditate on it deeply.
Christ’s parables work this way. Those who care enough to ponder them gain “eyes to see” their meaning (Matthew 13:10–16). Paul told Timothy to “reflect” on his words so God would give him insight (2 Timothy 2:7). And the repeated refrain of Psalm 119 is how meditating on Scripture brings wisdom and insight, opening our eyes to see its meaning (119:18, 97–99).
How about pondering a single parable for a week or reading a gospel in one sitting? Spend some time viewing a verse from all angles. Go deep. Biblical insight comes from meditating on Scripture, not just reading it.
Oh, God, give us eyes to see.
Reflect & Pray
What do you think the difference is between reading Scripture and meditating on it? How will you spend time meditating on today’s verse?
God, open my eyes to see each wonderful thing within the Scriptures. Guide me down the paths connecting each one.
We’re so used to a hurried world that we sometimes expect speed in our spiritual life, too. However, God “acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isa. 64:4 NIV). Let’s look at three reasons believers are called upon to wait.
God may be preparing us to receive His blessings. Perhaps we need new skills, maturity, or a particular spiritual insight before we’re ready for God’s plan. For example, David waited years to sit on his appointed throne. But when he did, he was stronger, wiser, and a battle-tested king.
Our Father is often teaching us to have confidence in Him. How would we learn faith if He immediately fulfilled our every request? In my own life, the Lord has often said two words: “Trust Me.” And He has never been late to meet my needs. No matter how we justify rushing ahead of God, doing so amounts to saying, “I don’t trust You.”
The Lord will sometimes withhold blessing to protect us. We may never find out why, but be assured that God carefully decides whether to place the object of our desire in our hands.
Waiting isn’t easy, but rushing ahead of the Lord can short-circuit His plan. When that happens, believers are left unsatisfied, and they often live with the consequences. Be patient while God works out details. His best is on the way