VIDEO Way of Escape Provided

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Many of us have been through the preflight instructions given by a flight attendant before take-off. How to buckle your seatbelt; how to use your seat cushion as a flotation device. And the most important: how to escape the aircraft through the emergency exits. Happily, the escape paths are almost never needed. Sadly, most people don’t pay attention to those instructions—negligence that could prove fatal.

The Bible gives Christians instructions on how to escape situations of spiritual danger. It does so by reminding us that the Israelites failed to take advantage of their escape paths and suffered dire results (1 Corinthians 10:1-13). Israel was tempted to sin and suffered in extreme ways. Paul writes that, in every tempting situation, God provides a way of escape if we will see it and take it. “Take it” calls for a choice on our part, a decision of obedience.

Don’t wait for temptation to look for the way of escape. Learn the paths of obedience beforehand and be prepared.

Escape the temptation, escape the sin.  Anonymous


Learning from Bad Examples (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

It’s Who You Know

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8

In early 2019, Charlie VanderMeer died at the age of eighty-four. For many decades, he was known to thousands and thousands of people as Uncle Charlie, the host of the national radio broadcast Children’s Bible Hour. The day before Uncle Charlie slipped into eternity, he told a good friend, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Of course, I’m talking about Jesus Christ.”

Even as he faced the end of his life, Uncle Charlie couldn’t help but talk about Jesus and the necessity for people to receive Him as their Savior.

The apostle Paul considered knowing Jesus his most important task: “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Philippians 3:8–9). And how do we know Jesus? “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

We may know facts about Jesus, we may know all about the church, and we may even be familiar with the Bible. But the only way to know Jesus as Savior is to accept His free gift of salvation. He’s the Who we need to know.

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

In your relationship with Jesus, how have you experienced that it’s Who you know, not what? What has Christ’s forgiveness meant to you?

Father God, I pray for all who’ve yet to come to know Jesus by believing in Him and accepting His sacrifice on their behalf. And if I’m one who hasn’t received Jesus as my Savior, may I confess with my mouth “Jesus is Lord” today.

To learn more about who Jesus is, visit ChristianUniversity.org/NT109-03.

How to Walk Wisely

Ephesians 5:1-17

Godly wisdom enables us to view things as the Lord does and to respond according to biblical principles. This discernment isn’t automatic, but it is available to all believers who “try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph. 5:10; James 1:5). And the best way to know what pleases God is to read His Word.

When we resolve to honor the Lord in all we do, say, and think, it transforms the way we make decisions. Instead of following natural instincts or sinful impulses, we’ll seek God’s viewpoint in a given situation. And when we want to know what He says about certain topics, Scripture will become our first resource, rather than our friends or the media.

With so many voices clamoring for us to follow worldly paths, we can’t afford to be careless in how we live. We can either walk in the world’s darkness or God’s light. The first option leads to foolishness, but the other is the way to goodness, righteousness, and truth.

Pleasing the Lord and conforming to His likeness are always the best choice. Ask for wisdom today, and God will guide you to live as children of light (Eph. 5:8).

Mercy and Truth

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)

The words “mercy” (Hebrew checed, also often translated by “kindness” or “lovingkindness”) and “truth” (Hebrew emeth) occur more often in Psalms than in any other book. In fact, “mercy” occurs more in Psalms than in all the rest of the Old Testament put together. Though at first these two concepts seem opposed to each other (for how can God’s truth, which abhors sin, be compatible with His mercy, which forgives sin?), nevertheless they are “met together,” for “his salvation,” according to the previous verse, “is nigh them that fear him” (v. 9).

“Mercy and truth” (or “lovingkindness and truth”) are brought together at least 16 times in the Old Testament, including 10 times in the psalms. And when God’s eternal truth can be united with His loving mercy, both mediated through His holy Word, there is great blessing indeed! “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies” (25:10). “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (138:2). The first time the phrase is found in the Bible is in the prayer of Abraham’s servant thanking God for “his mercy and his truth” (Genesis 24:27).

God’s mercy and truth, of course, are really met together only in Jesus Christ, through whom God can both “be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). He is “our peace” (Ephesians 2:14) and is “made unto us…righteousness” (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is “the truth” (John 14:6) and will show in the ages to come “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). HMM

The Healer

Matthew 8:14-17

OUR Lord’s ministry was threefold: teaching, preaching and healing. Matthew lists different classes of the sick—those taken with diverse diseases and torments, the demon-possessed, lunatics, those who had palsy, and then adds: “and He healed them.” No case was too difficult.

We read that the people were astonished at His doctrine, “for His word was with power.” We have that same message, which is to be given in demonstration of the Spirit and of power—but, alas, few are astonished today. It is not that they have become accustomed to it. No, the trouble is it is not preached with power, “with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven” (1 Pet. 1:12). The bench-warmers in the pews would sit up and take notice, and hungry souls would be fed and sinners convicted if we recovered that note of authority! But we speak as the scribes; there is the dreary monotone of the academic, the deaf reputation of dry platitudes. There is not even Jeremiah’s bone-fire of silence (Jer. 20:9).

Even demons recognized our Lord’s authority. These demoniacs whom He set free were not merely crazy people. Demon-possession is real, for here it is the demon who cries out with a loud voice (Mark 1:26), and there is a distinction made between the possessor and the possessed. The liberating word of God is still able to defeat the devil, but today we stand at the foot of the mountain like the disciples in failure before a devil-possessed world. Our note of authority is gone, and we are not defeating the devil! Our Lord said the power came by prayer and fasting. Of course, we are told that this verse is an “interpolation,” but certainly the truth of it is undeniable. Our note of authority over evil is lacking because prayer is lacking.

Our Lord proves His power over disease by the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother. Then follows (Matt. 8:15, 17; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41) a sunset scene of healing which stands out in the three Synoptics. Worthy of any painter’s best efforts this lovely picture must have been!—the sick and weary multitudes pressing upon Him at the close of day and heading home well and strong again. We have grown accustomed to reading such records, but think what a sensation it would be if that should happen today!

Mark and Luke add another incident, one that shows the other side of this ministry of power. In the morning, Jesus rose a great while before day and departed into a solitary place and there prayed. He knew that if He was to give forth power He must receive power from the Father. If He needed so to pray, how can we expect to minister in power without the early retreat to the solitary place? There is the secret of power: “If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth” (2 Sam. 18:25). There must be solitude if there is to be a testimony of power; Elijah, must hide himself before he can show himself to Ahab.

Peter finds our Lord in prayer and says, “All men seek for thee.” We would have returned to the popularity and the plaudits; indeed, we would likely never have left them! But our Lord knew what was in man, and that He must move on to where He was sent. How easy it is for us to forget orders in the flush of success. Like Abraham’s servant, may we permit no man to hinder us when God has prospered our way.

A Spiritual Adventure

The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped.“—Judges 7:7

This passage illustrates an important point: God is looking for people who will “stand.” When the hosts of Midian came against the Israelites, Gideon gathered together a large army of 32,000 men. Then God reduced them to a mere handful. Of the 32,000, there were only three hundred whom God could trust. He saw that they were men who would stand and never quit, so He dismissed the rest. And with just a small army of three hundred, He proceeded to discomfit and rout the Midianites.

God has always done His greatest work in and through a comparatively small number of people. This is why, when it comes to spiritual victories, we forget the idea of numbers. What God wants is men and women who are prepared to “stand,” whose feet are “sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15). He will not entrust great responsibility to people whom He knows will not “stand,” for that would be an exercise in fruitlessness.

Are you standing for God—in the environment in which God has put you? Or are you ready to stand? You cannot stand until you are prepared to stand. It begins with a firm attitude which then issues into resolute action. As in Gideon’s day, the Lord is looking for people who will take their stand on His Word, come what may, and commit themselves to doing what He asks even though they may not feel like it or see the sense of it. Are you such a one? If you are, then I predict that ahead of you is an exciting spiritual adventure.

Prayer

O God, help me not to miss the highest because of my spiritual unpreparedness. Help me to be ready for all that You have for me—even before I see it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Gl 6:1-9; 1Co 15:58; Eph 4:15

What is the result of remaining steadfast?

What can hinder our spiritual success?

An Anchor in a World Adrift

Hebrews 6:19

As we network the globe with the wonders of the World Wide Web and probe the secrets of distant planets, the molested bodies of small children are exhumed in Belgium and victims of genocide are uncovered in mass graves in Bosnia and Rwanda. Teenage militia roam the streets with automatic weapons ablaze. Little children are exploited as cannon fodder, marched in waves across mine fields ahead of their older comrades.

Sadly, the lives of children are cheap. Millions of unwanted children are ripped from their mothers’ wombs in the most prosperous nations. The horrors of sexual abuse of small children is but the tip of the iceberg of moral degeneration. Land mines lodged in the landscape of warring nations are the tragic legacy of conflicts that have already exacted a horrific toll. Eight hundred persons a day have been killed by them and thousands more maimed—often children.

Society is paying the consequences of the pollution of our moral ecosystems with pornography and permissiveness and more subtle but powerful messages that incite to morally outrageous behaviors. When we have forgotten the worth God sees in us and abandoned the purpose God has for us, then the glory of human persons is abdicated. When the Shekinah of His glory fades, life becomes cheap.

Meantime, the fragile ecosystems of our planet home are increasingly threatened by indifference and greed, and the irreplaceable resources of the human family are recklessly squandered.

We enter a millennium that will be remarkable for its mind-boggling technological achievements, but without moral direction. We must speak to a generation searching for a place to stand, someone to trust, searching for a place to lodge faith’s anchor, to find meaning, a place to invest one’s life for a purpose grander than achieving financial security and self-gratification.

We have just such an anchor! Against the drift of the tide of meaninglessness and despair, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”

(Hebrews 6:19). The question is whether we have taken hold of the hope offered us in Jesus Christ. And whether we are prepared to offer it to others, and to say,

“Master, for just this, we are here, in this time, in this place, in our kind of world—a world adrift, a world in moral danger of self-destructing. Master, for You, for that world, we are here.”

Kay F. Rader, The War Cry