VIDEO Why Be Humble?

Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34


British science historian, James Burke, created one of the most popular documentary series in BBC history called Connections. In this series, he explained and demonstrated the interconnectedness between scientific discoveries—how to have the whole picture one must connect the parts.

The same could be said of the biblical trait of humility. Aside from it being a noble virtue, there is another reason God honors it and opposes pride, its opposite—because Satan was full of pride, lacking humility (1 Timothy 3:6). Satan wanted to be like God; he was not content with his assigned role from the Creator (Isaiah 14:12-15). When God says in James 4:6 that He “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” it is not just so we will have a more pleasing character. It is so we won’t be like the devil: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Unlike Satan, humble people submit to God. When Satan sees our submission to God, he flees from us.

Instead of being proud like Satan, be humble like Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:6-8). Better to be humble than to be humbled (Luke 14:7-11).

The surest mark of true conversion is humility. J. C. Ryle

Proverbs 2 – 3 • Exhortations to Wisdom

Scripture Training

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

In the late 1800s, people in different places developed similar ministry resources at the same time. The first was in Montreal, Canada, in 1877. In 1898, another concept was launched in New York City. By 1922, some five thousand of these programs were active in North America each summer.

Thus began the early history of Vacation Bible School. The passion that fueled those VBS pioneers was a desire for young people to know the Bible.

Paul had a similar passion for his young protégé Timothy, writing that “Scripture is God-breathed” and equips us “for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). But this wasn’t just the benign suggestion that “it’s good to read your Bible.” Paul’s admonition follows the dire warning that “there will be terrible times in the last days” (v. 1), with false teachers who are “never able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (v. 7). It’s essential we protect ourselves with Scripture, for it immerses us in the knowledge of our Savior, making us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (v. 15).

Studying the Bible isn’t just for kids; it’s for adults too. And it isn’t just for summer; it’s for every day. Paul wrote to Timothy, “from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (v. 15), but it’s never too late to begin. Whatever stage of life we’re in, the wisdom of the Bible connects us to Jesus. This is God’s VBS lesson to us all.

By:  Kenneth Petersen

Reflect & Pray

What are your favorite Scripture passages? How do they point to Christ?

Loving God, thank You for the gift of Scripture and how it helps me learn about Jesus.

Learn effective Bible study methods.

Pay Attention

Do you turn to God first when trouble comes? 2 Chronicles 20:1-4

What does it take for the Lord to get your attention? In times of great crisis, fear, tragedy, or sickness, do your eyes and thoughts lift heavenward to seek God’s help and wisdom?  

Those who already have a habit of seeking the Lord’s direction know how to respond when emergencies arise. That’s what we see in King Jehoshaphat’s reign. The Lord was with him because he followed the example of King David by obeying and seeking to honor God. So when a dangerous situation arose, Jehoshaphat’s first response was to fast and pray for His help. 

Is seeking the Lord’s will the habit of your life, or does He have to use harsher means to get your attention? Through the Scriptures, He instructs and teaches us the way we should go—as long as we’re paying attention. But if we’re stubborn “like the horse or like the mule” (Psalm 32:8-9), God’s ways of reaching us may be more painful.

The Lord has much to say and wants us to train ourselves to stay attuned to Him. Don’t let the busyness and distractions of life keep you from connecting with Him every day through His Word and prayer. 

The Winds of the World

“The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.” (Ecclesiastes 1:6)

This is one of the Bible’s many scientific insights, written long before such a process was discovered in the modern science of meteorology. The basic circulation of the atmosphere (which generates the winds of the world) is “toward the south” near the ground, which then “turneth about unto the north” aloft. The heated air near the equator expands and rises, then flows north to replace the colder, heavier air that has descended to the ground in the polar regions.

This simple north-south-north cycle is complicated, however, by the earth’s rotation. Further complexities are introduced by the different topographical features of the surface (oceans, mountains, etc.), but the end result is a general circulation of the whole atmosphere, which “whirleth about continually, and…returneth again according to his circuits.”

None of this was understood at all until very modern times, but this ancient verse in Ecclesiastes corresponds beautifully to modern science. In fact, it was not even known until recent times that air had weight, but the patriarch Job had noted about 4,000 years ago that “he…seeth under the whole heaven; to make the weight for the winds” (Job 28:24-25), and this fact is essential to the atmospheric circulation.

This is only one of many scientific principles implied in the Bible ages before men discovered them in their scientific research. In contrast, there are no demonstrable scientific errors in the Bible. This is not really surprising, for the same God who wrote the Word made the world! In Jesus Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). HMM

“Thou Fool, This Night”

Luke 12:13-20

THE first portion of Luke 12 records diverse admonitions of our Lord, climaxing in the parable of the rich fool. In the presence of a multitude so enormous that men often trode upon each other, He warned His disciples of the leaven of Pharisaic hypocrisy. Why be hypocritical? All will be revealed anyway, so why hide anything? God is presented here sternly as having power to kill and to cast into hell; He is the One to fear.

But Jesus moves immediately to declare that even the sparrows are not forgotten of our Father. Two sparrows are sold for a farthing and five sparrows for two farthings, and He is the “God of the odd sparrow.” Then even more minute a figure is used: “Even the very hairs of your head are numbered.”

Our Lord declares that those who confess Him before men He will confess before the angels, and those who deny Him He will deny. We tell people to believe, and certainly they must, but we have soft-pedaled confession. Yet God’s Word couples mouth confession with heart belief in an unmistakable and unbreakable connection (Rom. 10:9-10). The Bible demands public mouth confession of Christ as Lord and Savior as emphatically as heart belief for salvation.

Jesus presents here the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, the sin without forgiveness. It is that expression of a nature so hardened in sin and impervious to God as to call the works of Christ the works of the devil. He advises His disciples not to prepare their messages in advance when called before synagogue councils and other authorities, but to depend upon the Holy Spirit. While this does not rule out sermon preparation, it does remind us that humble dependence upon the Spirit is the best rule of homiletics.

The parable of the rich fool was an answer to a covetous request from a man who wanted property. Our Lord first made it clear that He was no judge and divider, settling petty differences about lands and goods. “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possessed.” The things may be abundant, but the life is not.

The awful contrast appears in the rich fool, with God saying to his soul, “Thou fool, this night….” We think to make ourselves secure for the future by barricading with stocks and bonds and early wealth, but the only life insurance is saving faith in Christ. How foolish that a man will insure life, home, car, everything except his soul, the only thing he will have a few years from now! Men pride themselves on business shrewdness and clever management and fail to receive eternal life. Any man who lets Jesus pass by is a fool, however he rates at the bank. “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion.”

Exodus 5:1-4, 6-23

Exodus 5:2

Though his proud spirit defied Jehovah, he had before long good reason to know who Jehovah was.

Exodus 5:3

This was by no means a large demand, and was doubtless meant to be a test question. He who would not yield the less would be sure to refuse the greater.

Exodus 5:4

let or hinder

Exodus 5:4

With what impudent scorn he defied the messengers of the Lord, haughtily treating them as slaves, who had better go back to their labour at once.

Exodus 5:6-9

As the bricks were made of mud mixed with straw, and the straw had hitherto been supplied to them in the brickfields, it was a heavy addition to their toils when they had to collect straw themselves.

Exodus 5:15, 16

These poor Israelitish officers thought that the Egyptian taskmasters were unwarrantably keeping back the straw, but indeed they were acting under the King’s own orders.

Exodus 5:17-21

Things are always worst when they are about to mend, but these downcast spirits could not see far before them.

Exodus 5:22, 23

Moses did well thus to refer the case to the Lord. Let us bring all our troubles to our heavenly Father.

Mighty Redeemer set me free

From my old state of sin,

O break these bonds of slavery,

This iron worn within.

From daily load and daily smart

Thy pleading captive free,

Then shall my liberated heart

Thy willing servant be.

Truth Addresses Itself to the Total Man

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17

The Bible is, among other things, a book of revealed truth. That is, certain facts are revealed that could not be discovered by the most brilliant mind. These facts are of such a nature as to be past finding out.

These are facts that were hidden behind a veil, and until certain men who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost took away that veil no mortal man could know them.

The lifting of the veil of unknowing from undiscoverable things we call divine revelation.

What is generally overlooked among humankind is that truth as set forth in the Christian Scriptures is a moral thing; it is not addressed to the intellect only, but to the will also. It addresses itself to the total man, and its obligations cannot be discharged by grasping it mentally.

Truth engages the citadel of the human heart and is not satisfied until it has conquered everything there. The will must come forth and surrender its sword. It must stand at attention to receive orders, and those orders it must joyfully obey. Short of this any knowledge of Christian truth is inadequate and unavailing.

Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition. It is only when the hearer is made to understand that truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in. As long as people can hear orthodox truth divorced from life they will attend and support churches and institutions without objection!