VIDEO Attention Getter #4: Know the Word

Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. Ezra 7:10, NLT


As you share Christ, you may find yourself fielding questions. How do you know there’s a God? Why is Jesus the only way to heaven? Wasn’t the Bible made up of certain books chosen by an emperor?

You don’t need to know the answer to all those questions. The man in John 9 simply said: “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). But as we grow in the Lord and in the experience of sharing our faith, we need to learn how to answer spiritual questions, and that involves knowing God’s Word. 

If someone stumps you with a question, make it an opportunity to study Scripture and to study apologetics, which involves the defense of the Christian faith. As time goes by, you’ll find people tend to ask the same questions over and over. So work at always being ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope you have (1 Peter 3:15).

We may never run across someone who asks tough questions about our faith, yet we should still be ready to respond if someone does. Norman Geisler

Ezra 7-8

God Carries Us

There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deuteronomy 1:31

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian overwhelmed the islands of the Bahamas with intense rain, wind, and flooding—the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. As he sheltered at home with his adult son who has cerebral palsy, Brent knew they needed to leave. Even though Brent is blind, he had to save his son. Tenderly, he placed him over his shoulders and stepped into chin-deep water to carry him to safety.

If an earthly father facing a great obstacle is eager to help his son, think of how much more our heavenly Father is concerned about His children. In the Old Testament, Moses recalled how God carried His people even as they experienced the danger of faltering faith. He reminded the Israelites of how God had delivered them, providing food and water in the desert, fighting against their enemies, and guiding the Israelites with pillars of cloud and fire. Meditating on the many ways God acted on their behalf, Moses said, “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son” (Deuteronomy 1:31).

The Israelites’ journey through the wilderness wasn’t easy, and their faith waned at times. But it was full of evidence of God’s protection and provision. The image of a father carrying a son—tenderly, courageously, confidently—is a wonderful picture of how God cared for Israel. Even when we face challenges that test our faith, we can remember that God’s there carrying us through them.

By:  Karen Pimpo

Reflect & Pray

In what ways have you seen God’s provision and protection in your life? How can you face difficulties knowing that God carries you tenderly and confidently?

Loving God, help me remember that You carry me, even when I don’t feel it. Thank You for Your strength and compassion.

God Uses the Wicked

Genesis 50:15-21

At times ungodly people appear to triumph over the righteous, and it makes us scratch our heads, wondering why the Lord doesn’t intervene. But the truth is, He often uses the wicked to accomplish His purpose.

Joseph faced one hard-hearted individual after another during his life. His brothers sold him into slavery and had him shipped off to Egypt (Gen. 37:25-28). His master’s wife accused him of an unspeakable crime (Gen. 39:7-18). And even those he helped, like Pharaoh’s cupbearer, forgot about him (Gen. 40:23). But once the story of Joseph’s life was written in full, it was clear that everyone who harmed or neglected the young man contributed to God’s plan. The Lord used all the trials in bringing Joseph to power at the right moment to spare his family—who were the Messiah’s ancestors—from the effects of famine.

In our own life, we can see God’s actions only from the limited vantage point of our humanness. Often the Lord’s goals and purposes are hidden from us until His plans come to fruition. We may wonder at the turns our life takes, but we can be certain God is sovereign over all the earth. The wicked may triumph for a season, but the final victory belongs to Christ and His righteous followers.

The God of My Salvation

“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” (Psalm 25:3-5)

Have you encountered persecution in your neighborhood, workplace, or even within your own family? How can you find comfort and relief?

In today’s text, David was discouraged by nameless enemies. Yet his discouragement was met by confident trust and consistent theology. The Lord is completely trustworthy. He cares for His people, and this fact is confirmed throughout the Psalms.

Waiting on the Lord is not a passive afterthought (Psalm 27:14; 37:7; Luke 12:35-40). No, this is an active pursuit. Biblical hope is more like a tense expectation. David knew the Lord would deliver him—if not on Earth, then certainly unto his heavenly future (2 Timothy 4:18). Consider implementing David’s pattern in your own life.

  • Adoration: Praise the Lord for His sovereignty, holiness, and omnipotence.
  • Humility: Daily seek God’s Word with faithfulness, humility, and the desire to obey.
  • Worship: Honor and thank the Lord for His gift of salvation from temporary trials and for all eternity.
  • Patience: Wait on the Lord to deliver and provide. He alone is worthy of our trust and hope.

Will you choose to adore, humbly pursue, worship, and patiently trust the God of your salvation? MH

Make Friends with Money

Luke 16:1-13

ONE of the strangest of the parables of Jesus is that of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13). Here is a steward about to be turned out of his job who cleverly gets himself into the good graces of debtors to his master by reducing all their accounts. He thus hopes to be welcomed into their homes after he loses his position. And his master commends, him, not for his dishonesty but for his foresight in looking after himself.

Our Lord uses this strange story to drive home the point that the people of this world are more prudent in their temporal affairs than believers who are stewards of the manifold grace of God. The proper investment of money is in helping others, that when we die they may welcome us to our eternal home. It is plainly taught that those we help here shall greet us in heaven if they are believers—and that throws light on recognition of friends in heaven. Paul tells us to share with others and lay up in store for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life (1 Tim. 6:18-19).

We are bidden to labor, working with our hands the thing which is good, that we may have, not something to put away in the bank, but to give to him that needeth (Eph. 4:28). It is generally overlooked that the Bible teaches that money is to be invested in others, where it is sure to pay dividends. If the thousands who put it in banks during the past years had put it in human lives, they might now be realizing returns.

But our Lord goes even further. He plainly declares (Luke 16:10-12) that how we handle money is an index to how we would handle greater treasure. If we do not rightly use that which is another’s (for to have is to owe, not own), how shall we use spiritual wealth? I am convinced that God is withholding blessing from many a man today because He has first tried the man out with money and he has not been faithful in that, so He will not commit greater things to his stewardship. If we are unfaithful in the less, we shall surely be in the greater. The Pharisees derided Jesus for this teaching. They still deride the man today who follows Him in this precept and practice. For Pharisees follow the wisdom of earth and lay up treasure, while the Lord bids us to be rich toward God and rich in faith. After all these years of preaching, the average Christian follows the worlds code in investment of money.

It certainly is a neglected truth that the use we make of money here will have much to do with our heavenly reception when we reach the other side. The greatest fortune is found in friends, and the Christian should certainly use spiritual foresight even as this world uses it in things temporal. Make friends with money rightly spent in the name of the Lord!

Deliverance from Fear

Be strong and courageous …. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.—1 Chronicles 28:20

If we are to have feet like “hinds’ feet,” we must ask God to rid our hearts of all and every fear. I am convinced that perhaps millions of Christians are held back from pursuing God by fear.

Not all fears are harmful. When fear is spelled with a small “f,” it can have useful, biological ends. It makes the frightened deer alert and fleet of foot; it makes the surgeon skillful, for he sees the dangers that beset him if he does the wrong thing. Fear harnessed to constructive ends may be constructive. When we use fear and control it, then it is good.

But when fear uses and controls us, it is bad. When fear becomes Fear with a capital “F,” it becomes fearsome. I am sure that you have known times, as I have, when God beckons to you, as He did with John in the Revelation, to “Come up here” (Rv 4:1), only to find that as your mind got ready to begin the journey, your heart suddenly became gripped with fear. You wanted to move upward, but your progress was halted because you could not mount “with all four feet.”

Overcoming fear ought to be one of our greatest objectives. The first spoken word of Luke’s Gospel was the voice of the angel: “Do not be afraid” (Lk 1:13). The first word of Jesus after His resurrection was: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:10). Between that first word and the last, the constant endeavor of Jesus was to help us get rid of fear. We must learn His secret.


O God, give me deliverance from every harmful and unproductive fear. I know this is a prayer that You delight to answer, for You have fashioned me for faith, not for fear. Help me, then, to surrender to what I am made for. Amen.

Further Study

1Ch 28:20; Mt 14:22-33; 17:1-8

What caused Peter to sink?

What did Jesus say to the disciples on the mountain?

The Secret of it All (cont.)

2 Corinthians 5:15

Would we come and look where she had lived? They led us to one of the huts somewhat on the outskirts of the village. A simple mud hut consisting of two pieces, whereof the larger served for meeting place. The inner had been the Colonel’s own little room.

Dismay took hold of me as I looked. Could it be possible for anyone to live and work in this small space, and that for three consecutive years? No room for table or chair or any other bit of furniture, just a raised mudbank in one corner which had served in turn as table, sitting and sleeping place. In this place Yuddha Bai had lived and toiled for the population of the village three full years, absolutely separated from all European contact, comforts, and habits. She—the lady of gentle birth, reared in a home of ease and comfort, surrounded by all the culture and refinement.

Considering all that and hearing so much more of her devotion, her abnegation day by day and year after year, how could we help being deeply moved? How my little bit of discomfort paled into insignificance beside her noble sacrifice. For me it meant just a few weeks out in the villages and back again to home and comfort, while this lady had given her life to that one village and district.

What was the motive for this life of self-renunciation, of sacrifice, conforming to the life and habits of these villages, down to dress and food, learning their language? Such came the insistent question—the motive, what the underlying secret? Could her rich gifts, her graces, her social position, her beautiful devotion not be used to better advantage in the home country? Were they not spent in vain in the lonely deserts of this barren land?

Only one answer is possible. Is it not because she had drunk deeply of the spirit of her Master and tasted something of “the joy that was set before Him, enduring the cross and despising the shame,” (Hebrews 12:2) in going after Him to seek His other sheep, for whom, too, He died.

Was it not because that love, that wonderful love of Calvary, had constrained her to count all things—all these earthly advantages—but “loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

And shall it not be found to be our secret too, of a joyous, blessed life with Him and spent for Him here in the days of our warfare and pilgrimage?

Catherine Bannister, The Practice of Sanctification