VIDEO What Mysteries!

But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge. Psalm 141:8


Our meager mind cannot comprehend the bottomless, limitless, measureless reign of Almighty God. His ways are past finding out; His majesty is incalculable; His power is inexhaustible; His lifespan is without beginning of days or ending of ages. He is eternal, Three in One and One in Three, the Source and Sustainer of all that exists, visible and invisible.

That means we have the privilege of living with mystery. We can’t interpret every situation as He knows it to be. Pastor Philip Doddridge (1702-1751) wrote, “What mysteries, Lord, in Thee combine!”

Because we are human, we can’t understand all of God’s plans and ways, but we can trust His sovereignty. In addition to His holiness, His purity, and His power are the attributes of love and goodness. He is good in His essence, and all His qualities are good and loving. He cares! He cares about the details of our life. When things seem to go wrong, we can say, “But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge.”

What mysteries, Lord, in Thee combine! Jesus, once mortal, yet divine! The first, the last, the end, the head, the source of life among the dead. Philip Doddridge

Psalm 141 – No Compromise

Water of Life

You would have asked him and he would have given you living water. John 4:10

Andrea’s home life was unstable, and she left at fourteen, finding a job and living with friends. Yearning for love and affirmation, she later moved in with a man who introduced her to drugs, which she added to the alcohol she already drank regularly. But the relationship and the substances didn’t satisfy her longings. She kept searching, and after several years she met some believers in Jesus who reached out to her, offering to pray with her. A few months later, she finally found the One who would quench her thirst for love—Jesus.

The Samaritan woman at the well whom Jesus approached for water found her thirst satisfied too. She was there in the heat of the day (John 4:5–7), probably to avoid the stares and gossip of other women, who would have known her history of multiple husbands and her current adulterous relationship (vv. 17–18). When Jesus approached her and asked her for a drink, He bucked the social conventions of the day, for He, as a Jewish teacher, would not normally have associated with a Samaritan woman. But He wanted to give her the gift of living water that would lead her to eternal life (v. 10). He wanted to satisfy her thirst.

When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we too drink of this living water. We can then share a cup with others as we invite them to follow Him.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How do you think the woman at the well felt when Jesus asked her for some water? What does it mean to you to receive His living water?

Father God, You welcome all who are thirsty to come to the waters and drink. Satisfy my thirst through Your living water.

Being a Good Steward

The Bible teaches that sound financial management includes saving and giving Matthew 25:14-30

The choices that believers make should align with God’s will—and finances are no exception. Our heavenly Father has provided us with resources and expects us to manage them wisely. The Bible helps us understand His perspective and offers guidance in setting financial goals. 

Not everyone is able to plan years and years into the future. Sometimes there are seasons we can look ahead only a month or two. But even when finances are tight, the Lord wants us to plan for the future. Otherwise, shortsighted thinking can lead to high credit card debt, overdue bills, and inadequate savings. 

Then there are those of us who already have a financial plan—say, for college education, medical savings, or retirement—and are adhering to it. In this situation, the temptation can be to become overly protective of what we have. Luke 12:16-20 tells of a rich man who built bigger barns for storage instead of sharing what he had—and the Lord called him a fool. We certainly don’t want to be foolish in God’s eyes. 

Whether we have little or much, seeking God’s priorities for our spending, saving, and giving will help us use His money wisely. Imagine what can be accomplished when we follow His instructions for handling finances and invest our resources in His kingdom work.

John the Baptist and Jesus

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.” (John 1:6-7)

John the Baptist was, according to Christ Himself, the greatest man who had ever lived up to that time (Matthew 11:11). As great as he was, however, there is a striking contrast between himself and the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that John “was a burning and a shining light” (John 5:35), but he was not “the true Light” (1:9). The two Greek words used depict something like a candle in John’s case and a brilliant light such as the sun for Christ.

Similarly, John was a great “voice of one crying in the wilderness” (v. 23), but Jesus Christ was “the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v. 1). John “came for a witness” (v. 7), bearing witness to the light and to the truth, but Jesus Christ was Himself incarnate truth (14:6). Some even thought John was the Messiah, but he said, “I am not” (1:20).

John’s coming was prophesied 400 years before: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me” (Malachi 3:1). John was the divinely sent messenger, but Christ was the One whose way he came to prepare. John was “a man sent from God” (John 1:6), but when Christ came, John “saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34).

Both were called to baptize, but there was a great difference. John said, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3:16).

John was a mighty man of God, but when Christ finally came, John could only say, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). HMM

The Unpardonable Sin

Mark 3:20-30

THREE of the Gospels (Matt. 12:22-45; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-36) relate the healing of the blind and dumb demoniac and the controversy that followed. While the people were much impressed, the Pharisees accused our Lord of being in league with the devil. His answer was withering: “If I am in league with Satan, then he is fighting himself. So then, by what power do your exorcists cast out demons?”

He then speaks of Himself as the “stronger man” who binds the devil. Either we are with Christ or against Him: “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” There is no middle ground. Our Lord also gave the parable of the man who cleaned up his house, made a superficial reformation, but ended more demon-possessed than before. Christ, the stronger man, must take the devil’s place in our hearts. The Christian life is not a mere cleaning-up, it is the possessing and filling of the life by Christ Himself. Otherwise it ends worse than it began.

Jesus also declared that since words reveal the heart, they will justify or condemn us in the day of judgment. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. He gave them the sign of Jonah, signifying His death and resurrection. Remember that all depends upon His being raised from the dead. If He rose not, our preaching and faith are vain (1 Cor. 15:14-19).

But what has concerned readers most in this passage is our Lord’s statement about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which has no forgiveness. Since words reveal the inner state, the blasphemy of the Pharisees in attributing Christ’s work to the devil revealed their inner condition, and it is that inner state, rather than any act, that is beyond forgiveness. The spoken blasphemy is but the expression of the condition of a heart that has become impervious to good—has so long hardened itself against the light and resisted the truth that it regards good as evil. It is possible to reach such a condition in which one is so calloused to the good that it no longer makes any impression. It is not so much that they could not be saved if they wanted to be, or that God refuses to save them, as that they do not want to be saved and manifest no interest whatever. Unfortunately, many people have worried themselves sick thinking they had committed this sin, when the very fact that they are concerned shows they are not in such a condition! The very mark of the unpardonable sin is utter indifference to the light and the pleadings of the Spirit. Those who are guilty are not worrying about it.

But there is here a warning not to resist too long the gospel call. Just as every day one goes barefoot the feet become more toughened, so it is with the soul that tramples daily the grace of God.

There is a time I know not when, a place I know not where,

Which marks the destiny of men to heaven or despair;

There is a line by us not seen which crosses every path,

The hidden boundary between God’s patience and His wrath.

How long may man go on in sin, how long will God forbear,

Where does hope end and where begin the confines of despair?

One answer from the sky is sent, ye who from God depart,

While it is called “today” repent and harden not your heart.

“Fear thou not: for I am with thee.”

Genesis 43:1-14

Joseph’s brethren returned to their father with abundant provisions, but these were before long exhausted, and the same distress filled Jacob’s household. Bread that perisheth does not endure like the bread of heaven.

Genesis 43:1-5

Israel had said positively “My son shall not go down,” and yet it was needful that he should do so. We had better not be too positive in our determinations, or we may have to eat our words.

Genesis 43:6

Poor Jacob, out of fear for his darling son, thinks his sons unkind. We should not do injustice to others because of our partiality to one, but we are very apt to do so.

Genesis 43:7-10

Judah in becoming surety for Benjamin is a delightful type of our Lord Jesus, who is the surety of the New Covenant. He will assuredly fulfil his obligations and say at the last, “Of all those whom thou hast given me I have lost none.”

Genesis 43:11

This was prudence. Faith in God is not above using the means. It was well to conciliate those upon whom they were so dependent.

Genesis 43:12

The money had been put into their sacks by Joseph’s order, but they were not aware of that fact; therefore they were to restore it. This was scrupulous honesty, but not too scrupulous. We are not permitted to take advantage of the oversights of others. Every honest man will rectify mistakes by which another is the loser, even though he had no share in the error. Note what a good calculator Jacob was, and how he knew that the corn would rise in price, “Take double money” says he. Men of faith are not simpletons.

Genesis 43:13-14

Jacob’s faith now came to the front. He left the issues of his case with the all-sufficient God, and in holy resignation accepted the trial, if the Lord willed to lay it upon him. When we resign our mercies cheerfully, we are most likely to have them back again. Abraham was allowed to keep Isaac because he was willing to part with him at the divine bidding, and so Israel received Benjamin again because, after some struggling, he at last acquiesced in the Lord’s will. When we are at the end of our selfwill we are not far off the close of our trials.

Our times are in thy hand,

Why should we doubt or fear?

A Father’s hand will never cause

His child a needless tear.

Our times are in thy hand,

Jesus, the Crucified!

The hand our many sins had pierced

Is now our guard and guide.

Only Servants of Truth Can Know the Truth

…So is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

Only the servants of truth can ever know truth. You can fill your head full of knowledge but the day that you decide that you are going to obey God, it will get down into your heart. You shall know!

I once read a book about the inner life of a man who was a sharp intellectual. By his own admission, he stood outside and examined spiritual people from the outside but nothing ever reached him. And that’s possible!

You cannot argue around this. Read your Bible—any version you want—and if you are honest you will admit that it is either obedience or inward blindness. You can repeat the Book of Romans word for word and still be blind inwardly. You can know the doctrine of justification by faith and take your stand with Luther and the Reformation and still be blind inwardly. For it is not the body of truth that enlightens: it is by the Spirit of truth.

If you are willing to obey the Lord Jesus, He will illuminate your spirit, inwardly enlighten you; and the truth you have known will then be known spiritually, and power will begin to flow up and out and you will find yourself changed—marvelously changed.

It is rewarding to believe in a Christianity that really changes men and women. In that great day of Christ’s coming, all that will matter is whether we have been inwardly illuminated, inwardly regenerated, inwardly purified!

The question is: do we really know Jesus in this way?