VIDEO Hindsight Is Clearer

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28


The ability to see, with both eyes, an object clearly from twenty feet away is referred to as 20/20 vision. (In Europe, it is called 6/6 since they use a distance of six meters instead of twenty feet.) While not everyone has 20/20 vision, it is often said that hindsight is always 20/20. That is, we may not be able to see everything clearly as it happens, but after the fact we can see things much more clearly.

While hindsight is not always perfect, from a biblical perspective it means that we sometimes have to wait to see what God’s purpose was in allowing something to happen. There are certainly enough biblical examples to prove that premise. Job, Joseph, David, Daniel, Esther, Paul, and others were puzzled at what God allowed to happen in their lives—but soon came to see God’s hand at work. Especially Esther who saved the Jewish people from genocide in Persia.

When God allows circumstances in your life, the purpose of which is not clear, remember the examples and promises of Scripture: “All things work together for good.”

Contentment is an embracing of the providence of God. George Seevers

The Greatest Promise in the Bible | Dr. David Jeremiah

A Refreshing Oasis

Blessed is the one . . . who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1–2

When Andrew and his family went on safari in Kenya, they had the pleasure of watching a variety of animals frequenting a small lake that appeared in the scrabbly landscape. Giraffes, wildebeests, hippopotamuses, and waterfowl all traveled to this life-giving source of water. As Andrew observed their comings and goings, he thought how the “Bible is like a divine watering hole”—not only is it a source of guidance and wisdom but it’s a refreshing oasis where people from all walks of life can quench their thirst.

Andrew’s observation echoed the psalmist who called people “blessed” when they delight in and meditate on God’s law, a term used in the Old Testament to describe His instruction and commandments. Those who meditate on the Scriptures are “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season” (Psalm 1:3). Just as a tree’s roots reach down into the soil to find the source of refreshment, people who truly believe in and love God will root themselves deeply in Scripture and find the strength they need.

Submitting ourselves to His wisdom will keep our foundations embedded in Him; we won’t be “like chaff that the wind blows away” (v. 4). When we ponder what God has given to us in the Bible, we gain nourishment that can lead to our bearing fruit that lasts.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How does the Bible provide a foundation for the way you live? What can help you meditate on Scripture throughout the day?

Loving God, You’ve given me the gift of Your words in the Bible. Help me to treasure them with gratitude and wonder.

Serving Diligently

Look for opportunities around you, and trust the Holy Spirit to provide all you need to help others Romans 12:9-13

God sends opportunities every day to positively impact lives around you. Your “service” may simply be an encouraging word, a listening ear, or a kind act. But in other situations, helping someone may involve the sacrifice of long periods of time away from your regular routine or giving generously of your resources. Whether serving in large or small ways, when God’s love flows through you, you’ll be able to unselfishly adjust your schedule or budget and not count the cost. 

No matter what you do, your service should always be done “in Jesus’ name.” This means it is motivated by love, done in harmony with God’s revealed will and in submission to His authority. And as today’s passage urges, we are to be “fervent in spirit” as we serve the Lord and “not lagging behind in diligence” (Rom. 12:11). To live out your faith in this way requires dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s power. Only by yielding to His control can your work produce real spiritual fruit. 

As ambassadors of Christ, we must serve with humility so that God receives the glory He deserves. Whatever success we experience belongs to the Lord, whose Spirit is working through us. Pray for Him to make you alert to the service opportunities He places before you.

Much Yet to Do

“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” (Joshua 13:1)

There is no set “retirement age” for the Christian, for there is always “yet very much land to be possessed.” Joshua had survived 40 years in the wilderness, then led in the long hard conquest of Canaan, and was now at least 80 years of age. Not only was he “old and stricken in years,” but God even told him he was old! But instead of allowing him to settle down to enjoy a few retirement years in his hard-won new home, God sent Joshua out once again for further conquests.

That must always be the case with those who love and serve the Lord. There is still much Scripture to study and learn, many people yet to reach with a gospel witness, many with whom to share God’s love and comfort, much money yet to be earned to give to missions. Even those who must retire from active service or become confined at home still have much praying to accomplish.

No one who knows the redemptive love of Jesus Christ is ever too old to possess more “land” for the Lord. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” (Psalm 92:12-14).

Old age eventually comes to everyone who survives youth and middle age, but that does not mean it is time to quit. “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come” (Psalm 71:17-18). HMM

The Divine Paradox

Mark 15:31

WHILE Jesus hung upon the cross, the chief priests, mocking, said among themselves with the scribes, “He saved others; himself he cannot save” (Mark 15:31).

In their scorn, they were declaring a truth greater than they knew. While they meant to belittle Him, the real truth of their statement is to His eternal glory. To save others He must give Himself: it is the stupendous heart of the atonement. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).

In a lesser sense, and one applicable to you and me, it was also a fulfillment of Jesus’ own paradox: “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24). If Jesus had decided in Gethsemane to save His life, He would have lost it as our Savior: but in losing it, He truly saved it as our Redeemer.

Here is the application for us: In saving others, we cannot save ourselves. I speak of saving others in the sense of winning them to Christ and God. If we are to rescue others, we must expect to spend and be spent. So long as life revolves around self—self-advancement, self-promotion, self-satisfaction—we are wretched and miserable. If we are to save others, we must forget ourselves. When the family is sick, mother forgets herself in caring for others—and generally the Lord seems to keep mothers going in such times. In service, we Christians must lose ourselves with the spirit of Paul: “Neither count I my life dear unto myself” (Acts 20:24).

Then there is the other side of the paradox: In losing our lives to save others we most truly save ourselves. I am not here speaking of saving our souls; no good works can save the soul, but faith in Christ only. We can save our lives, our time, our talents as we spend them in saving others. The only time you ever save is the time you spend for others. The only money you ever save is the money you spend for others. It is the only certain investment in this gold-brick age. Paul has it in mind when he bids the Ephesians redeem the time. Jesus has it in mind when He says to lay up treasure in heaven. It is the principle of the parable of the unjust steward: use your earthly assets to make for yourself friends through service. Bread cast on the waters of service returns even if after many days.

How slow men are to learn that in saving life they lose it, but in losing it for Christ’s sake they save it. Mind you, Jesus said, “Whosoever will lose his life for My sake”—not for one’s own sake, not to be called a hero, not for consciences sake, but for Christ’s sake. Mere idealistic service is not meant here. Often that is a price men offer for salvation.

This is a day of introverted living. We look at everything in the light of self: what it will profit us, where we can gain by this and that move. Christ turns life outward so that selfish Saul, proud of his legal righteousness, becomes a Paul who could wish himself accursed for his brethren’s sake. Spend life and you save it; give it and you get it.

We do not save our lives while we save others, but because we save others. We often lose our money, our health, our temporal fortunes. But if we leave all for His sake, we shall be compensated in this world—and in the world to come, receive eternal life.

In saving others you cannot spare yourself. Yet in saving others you do most surely preserve yourself! All that you save is what you spend on others for His sake.

“I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord.”

Genesis 49:16-33

We will now read the rest of the benedictions pronounced by Jacob upon his sons.

Genesis 49:16

Dan signifies judge; the patriarch declared that he would verify his name.

Genesis 49:17-18

Here Jacob made a pause. His utterance of weakness has neither petulance nor complaining in it, but is expressive of hope growing out of long confidence. Soon he hoped to enjoy the fulness of salvation in the presence of the Lord.

Genesis 49:19

This is often exemplified in the believer’s life. Many trials press him down, but he rises up again.

Genesis 49:21

Vivacity of spirit was linked with readiness of speech, a good combination for a minister of the gospel.

Genesis 49:26

The heart of the venerable patriarch was enlarged concerning Joseph; he evidently felt that he could not pour out a benediction copious enough. And truly, if we turn our thoughts to Jesus, the greater Joseph, no language can ever express our desires for his exaltation. Watts has well put it—

“Blessings more than we can give

Be, Lord, for ever thine.”

Genesis 49:27

This was to be a contentious tribe. Though Benjamin stood high in his father’s natural affection, he did not dare for that reason to invent a blessing for him, but speaks the word of the Lord neither less nor more. To fight from morning to night is a sorry business, unless it be against sin.

Genesis 49:28-33

He was not left even after death among the Egyptians, but slept in the family tomb of the pilgrim band, to awake with them at the resurrection. In all things he maintained his character as a sojourner with God, looking for a city yet to be revealed.

Shrinking from the cold hand of death,

I soon must gather up my feet;

Must swift resign this fleeting breath,

And die, my father’s God to meet.

Number’d among thy people, I

Expect with joy thy face to see;

Because thou didst for sinners, die,

Jesus, in death, remember me!

Jesus Christ Is Every Man’s Contemporary

Be still, and know that I am God.... Psalm 46:10

Our fathers had much to say about stillness, and by stillness they meant the absence of motion or the absence of noise, or both. They felt that they must be still for at least a part of the day, or that day would be wasted!

God can be known in the tumult if His providence has for the time placed us there, but He is known best in the silence. So they held, and so the sacred Scriptures declare. Inward assurance comes out of the stillness. We must be still to know!

There has hardly been another time in the history of the world when stillness was needed more than it is today, and there has surely not been another time when there was so little of it or when it was so hard to find.

Christ is every man’s contemporary. His presence and His power are offered to us in this time of mad activity and mechanical noises as certainly as to fishermen on the quiet lake of Galilee or to shepherds on the plains of Judea. The only condition is that we get still enough to hear His voice and that we believe and heed what we hear.

As we draw nearer to the ancient Source of our being we find that we are no longer learned or ignorant, modern or old-fashioned, crude or cultured, white or colored: in that awesome Presence we are just men and women. Artificial distinctions fade away. Thousands of years of education disappear in a moment and we stand again where Adam and Eve stood after the Fall, where Cain stood, and Abel, outside the Garden, frightened and undone and fugitive from the terror of the broken law, desperately in need of a Saviour!