Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver. Psalm 119:72
Vance Havner wrote, “Red-letter days and lofty experiences tend to fade. Resolutions, though penned in blood, soon lose their original drive. Spiritual stimulants, like shots in the arm, may serve a purpose, but living by shots in the arm, whether physically or spiritually, is abnormal. The trolley car does not run all day on one big push of power at the start. Its slender arm reaches up and keeps constant contact with the current.”
It’s wonderful to hear a great sermon or remember a childhood memory verse. We can’t read John 3:16 too often. But we need daily, constant contact with the Lord Jesus through the continual intake of His Word. Discouraging thoughts are driven away as we read what God says to us in the Bible. The words of the Lord impart strength for every burden, insight for every decision, and a beam of sunshine for every dark day.
The Bible is literally God speaking to you. It is God’s instrument in salvation…and God’s instrument for growing mature Christians….It is the blueprint for the Christian.George Sweeting
Psalm 119:65-72 (Teth) – The Greatness and Glory of God’s Word
Loving God, thank You for Your gentle, nudging correction. With my shoulders slumped, I murmured those difficult words. I’ve been so arrogant, thinking I could do it all on my own. For months, I’d been enjoying successful work projects, and the accolades lulled me into trusting my capabilities and rejecting God’s leading. It took a challenging project for me to realize I wasn’t as smart as I thought. My proud heart had deceived me into believing I didn’t need God’s help.
The powerful kingdom of Edom received discipline from God for its pride. Edom was located amid mountainous terrain, making her seemingly invulnerable to enemies (Obadiah 1:3). Edom was also a wealthy nation, situated at the center of strategic trade routes and rich in copper, a highly valued commodity in the ancient world. It was full of good things yet also full of pride. Its citizens believed their kingdom was invincible, even as they oppressed God’s people (vv. 10–14). But God used the prophet Obadiah to tell them of His judgment. Nations would rise up against Edom, and the once-powerful kingdom would be defenseless and humiliated (vv. 1–2).
Pride deceives us into thinking we can live life on our terms, without God. It makes us feel invulnerable to authority, correction, and weakness. But God calls us to humble ourselves before Him (1 Peter 5:6). As we turn from our pride and choose repentance, God will guide us toward total trust in Him.
Our Creator has no need for anyone to direct or counsel Him (Isa. 40:13). Yet so often we want to tell Him exactly what to do and how to answer our prayers. Then we’re disappointed when He ignores all our advice. Like Israel, we might say, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God” (Isa. 40:27). But we, not God, are the ones who lack understanding.
Sometimes we grow weary in the trials of life. However, God’s ways are always right, and He promises to give strength to those who wait for Him (Isa. 40:31). Isaiah uses the imagery of an eagle with wind beneath his wings to illustrate how God lifts and carries us through times when we don’t clearly discern the way.
In difficult situations, we often don’t know which way to turn. But God wants us to wait patiently and depend on Him for the strength we need to endure. When the time is right, He’ll answer our prayers, guide our path, and give us relief. Until then, we acknowledge that His understanding is inscrutable and He never chooses a wrong path for us—even when it’s slow going.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)
The Song of Solomon, as part of God’s inspired Word, is much more than an ancient erotic poem, as some have interpreted it. Solomon was given great wisdom by God, so that he “spake three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five” (1 Kings 4:32). Of these latter, he apparently considered this to be his masterpiece, his “song of songs” (Song 1:1). It can best be understood as a pure love song describing the courtship and marriage of Solomon and his first bride, long before he later married “many strange [that is, ‘foreign’] women” who “turned away his heart after other gods” (1 Kings 11:1, 4).
Another interpretation, favored by many Bible scholars over the centuries, is that the story is an allegory whose theme is the love of Christ and His heavenly bride, the true church.
That is, it really does seem to describe the love of young Solomon and his first bride. Such love had and still has God’s blessing, for the union of man and woman in permanent, loving marriage has always been God’s plan, ever since Adam and Eve (note Christ’s confirmation of this in Matthew 19:3-9). It is “the works of the flesh,” including adultery and fornication, that God condemns.
But the song can also bring great blessing to the reader as he sees therein the eternal love of the Lord Jesus and His heavenly bride. Our text verse, read in this light, is a glorious truth. Not even the waters of a great flood could quench such love, nor all the possessions of a wealthy king ever purchase it. It is true eternal love, bought by the blood of the Bridegroom and received with undying faith by His beloved bride. HMM
Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mina, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. —Romans 12:2
Some people seem to think that Jesus came only to reclaim us or restore us so that we could regain the original image of Adam….Christ did infinitely more in His death and resurrection than just undoing the damage of the fall. He came to raise us into the image of Jesus Christ….The first man Adam was a living soul, the second man Adam was a life-giving Spirit. The first man Adam was made of the earth earthy, but the second man is the Lord from heaven!
Redemption in Christ, then, is not to pay back dollar-for-dollar or to straighten man out and restore him into Adamic grace. The purpose and work of redemption in Christ Jesus is to raise man as much above the level of Adam as Christ Himself is above the level of Adam. We are to gaze upon Christ, not Adam, and in so doing are being transformed by the Spirit of God into Christ’s image. WPJ149-150
We choose to be transformed to His image, but we cannot create that image by our own morality or struggles after righteousness. We must be created anew in His likeness by His own Spirit, and stamped with His resemblance by His heavenly seal impressed directly upon our hearts from His hand. WS033
He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own.—John 16:13
The Christian faith is a religion of the Spirit, and unless we are continually filled with His divine resources, then our lives are largely ineffective. If the Scripture places so much emphasis on being possessed by the Holy Spirit, then it follows that we ought to find out everything we can about the One who seeks to indwell us.
I say “who,” for the Holy Spirit is not just an impersonal influence, nor is He just a sense of fellowship when we get together, nor an enthusiasm over ideas or causes. It is evident from the personal pronouns used of Him in the Scriptures that the writers viewed Him as a member of the Trinity, equal in honor and status to the Father and the Son. However, the Holy Spirit does not like to draw attention to Himself. In the Old Testament, the Spirit turns the spotlight fully upon the face of the Father. In the New Testament, He turns it fully upon the face of the Son. Never does He focus attention on Himself.
We owe a great deal of our understanding of the Holy Spirit to what Christ said of Him in the Gospels, for there Jesus returns the compliment and occasionally turns the spotlight upon the Holy Spirit, revealing His nature and His ministry. Jesus, in fact, put His disciples through a deliberate course of mental and spiritual training to prepare them for the reception of the Spirit. If we are to understand the Spirit’s ministry in our lives, then we must enroll in this course, too.
Gracious Father, as I seek to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what He wants to do in my life, give me an eager mind and a receptive spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.—Genesis 6:8–9
No matter how ungodly the environment you may be in, God will always find you and walk with you. Noah lived in perhaps the most wicked age in history. No one worshiped God. All the people worshiped idols and pursued their own sinful pleasures. Noah’s neighbors were evil; every person he associated with in the marketplace, or along the street, or in public gatherings, ridiculed the very thought of being faithful to God. Every temptation imaginable was abundantly available to Noah. How oppressive such an environment would have been to a righteous person!
The people of Noah’s day were so wicked that God planned the most complete and drastic act of judgment recorded in Scripture. Nevertheless, Noah was not lost to God in the crowd of sinners. God noticed every act of Noah’s righteousness. Noah had chosen to live uprightly before God despite what everyone around him was doing, and God had observed him. There may have been times when Noah wondered if it mattered if he lived a righteous life, since no one else was. Yet he continued, and his persistence in righteousness saved his life and the lives of his family members.
Are you constantly surrounded by evil? Do you struggle at times to live a righteous life when those you associate with each day have no concern for God? Find assurance in the life of Noah. God watches you, even as He observed Noah. God will seek you out of the crowd every time, and He wants to bless you and your family just as He blessed Noah