VIDEO God’s Justice

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Genesis 18:25


The patient was only 53 years old. He died at 6:50 p.m. of a massive stroke after suffering a series of seizures. His cerebral arteries were so calcified that when tapped with tweezers they sounded like stone. What caused his stroke? The man had no history of high blood pressure.

His name was Vladimir Lenin. He died in 1924, but in 2012 a group of brilliant doctors gathered to determine his cause of death. Some determined he was slowly poisoned by Stalin. One doctor believed the culprit was high cholesterol. The case was unsolved. Had he lived another 25 years, imagine the damage Lenin could have wrought.[1]

We serve a just God. He will punish evil even if we don’t see His justice on display right away. While we love to sing of God’s love and mercy, we also need His holiness, justice, and wrath. Unrestrained evil must be dealt with, and unjust suffering must be answered.

When Jesus comes again, He will give rest to His people and in flaming fire take vengeance on those who oppose His good and righteous ways. Don’t be discouraged. Evil will not last forever—but the Lord and His redeemed will!

In a moral universe God must of necessity oppose evil. 
Robert Mounce

[1] Gina Kolata, “Lenin’s Stroke: Doctor Has a Theory (and a Suspect),” The New York Times, May 7, 2012.

Genesis 18 – 2009 – Skip Heitzig

Catching Contentment

I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2

In a psychiatrist’s advice column, he responded to a reader named Brenda, who lamented that her ambitious pursuits had left her discontented. His words were blunt. Humans aren’t designed to be happy, he said, “only to survive and reproduce.” We’re cursed to chase the “teasing and elusive butterfly” of contentment, he added, “not always to capture it.”

I wonder how Brenda felt reading the psychiatrist’s nihilistic words and how different she may have felt had she read Psalm 131 instead. In its words, David gives us a guided reflection on how to find contentment. He begins in a posture of humility, putting his kingly ambitions aside, and while wrestling life’s big questions is important, he puts those aside too (v. 1). Then he quiets his heart before God (v. 2), entrusting the future into His hands (v. 3). The result is beautiful: “like a weaned child with its mother,” he says, “I am content” (v. 2).

In a broken world like ours, contentment will at times feel elusive. In Philippians 4:11–13, the apostle Paul said contentment is something to be learned. But if we believe we’re only designed to “survive and reproduce,” contentment will surely be an uncatchable butterfly. David shows us another way: catching contentment through quietly resting in God’s presence.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

When do you most feel content? How could you set aside unhurried time to be quietly present with God today?

Dear God, I rest in You, the deepest well of my truest contentment.

Sanctified and Special

Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading to accomplish your God-given purpose. 2 Timothy 2:20-22

Do you feel special, or does a sense of insignificance hang over you like a cloud? The good news is that every believer is special in the Lord’s eyes, and He’s set you apart for Himself. Since you now belong to Him, you’re not here on this earth to live as you please. You exist to bring glory and honor to Him by becoming more and more like His Son in your character, conduct, and conversation. It’s not a matter of following a list of rules, but of Christ living His life through you. 

The Bible calls this sanctification. It’s the process whereby the Lord continually transforms us through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s not that we’ll become sinless, but the more we fill our minds with His Word and yield to the Spirit’s leadership, the more victorious we’ll be over sin. As our old attitudes and habits are replaced with godly ones, we’ll become useful servants in the household of God. 

Being special to the Lord has nothing to do with what kind of work you do or how intelligent or successful you are. Rather, it’s based on whose you are. 

The Obedience of Christ

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

Christ is our great example in all things—even in that of obedience to the Father and His will. As the perfect Son, He obeyed His Father in all things. “I do nothing of myself,” He said, “but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:28-29).

There are three specific references in the epistles to the obedience of Christ. One of the most profound passages in the Bible is Hebrews 5:8: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” How could the omniscient Son of God have to learn anything? There are some things that cannot be learned in books but only by experience, and obedience in hard circumstances is surely one of these. Jesus learned obedience by actual experience.

Christ obeyed His Father even after praying that the bitter cup might be taken away. “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

Had He been disobedient, as was Adam, we could never have known salvation. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Jesus was, indeed, always perfectly obedient to His Father’s word, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

As our text emphasizes, His obedience consisted simply of seeking and following the will of His Father in all things. “Not my will, but thine” (Luke 22:42). HMM
Now, like John’s disciples, it surely compels us, in the very depths of our souls, to “behold the Lamb of God” and follow Him. HMM

When a Man Comes to Himself

Luke 15:11-24

IN the fifteenth chapter of Luke, our Lord gives the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. It has been pointed out that the coin was lost and did not know it was lost; the sheep was lost, knew it was lost, but did not know the way home; while the prodigal was lost, knew he was lost, and knew the way home.

The lost sheep illustrates our Lord’s concern for the straying soul. The lost coin illustrates the joy “in the presence of the angels” among the redeemed over one sinner recovered.

Have you noticed how many things the prodigal “came to” before he came to himself? He came to his father, to the far country, to riotous living, to want, to degradation—all before he came to himself. Sin is a state of departure from God, a spending state, a wanting state. The famine always follows the far country.

This youngster didn’t know when he left home that he was headed for a hogpen. He started for pleasure and ended in the pigsty! And what degradation it was for a Jew to be forced to feed hogs!

But he came to himself. The longest road in life is usually the road to one’s own self. We come to everything else first. We do everything possible to avoid meeting “old number 1.” The jails, asylums, hospitals are filled with people trying to get away from themselves. But around some corner we must run into ourselves.

The prodigal came first to consideration: “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” He realized that he was in a dissatisfied state: “He would fain have filled himself.” He was in a disappointed state: “No man gave unto him.” He was in a dead state: “This my son was dead.” He was in a demented state—for if he “came” to himself he must have been “beside” himself.

He came to conviction: “I have sinned.” Others in the Bible have said that, but only David and the prodigal really repented. He came to a decision: “I will arise and go to my father.” He did something about it. He could have sat among the hogs the rest of his life feeling sorry, but he decided and then acted upon it: he arose and came home. He made confession in all humility and was willing to be made a hired servant. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise.”

So he came home, and “when he was yet a great way off his father saw him.” The prodigal did not even finish the speech he had prepared. He was restored and reinstated. The robe speaks of the garments of Christ’s righteousness, the ring of our adoption, the shoes of sonship (for slaves went barefoot), the fatted calf of the rich satisfactions of the gospel. “They began to be merry.” We do not read that it stopped. There is joy over the sinner come home, and it goes on through all eternity! Take care that you are not a sour, Pharisaic older brother who grows bitter over the joyous delights of others when sinners come home to God.

“The Lord hath redeemed Jacob.”

Exodus 12:21-36

Our last reading set forth the Lord’s command as to the passover, we shall now see it obeyed.

Exodus 12:21, 22

They must abide under the shelter of the blood or perish.

Exodus 12:23

Else had Israel died as well as Egypt. It was not character or position, but the sprinkled blood which made the difference. The sacrifice of Jesus is the true reason of our salvation.

Exodus 12:24

Whatever else we forget we must hold by the substitutionary atonement as long as time endures.

Exodus 12:25-27

The youngest ought to be instructed in the doctrine of atonement by blood: it is the most vital truth of our most holy faith.

Exodus 12:28-30

Death reigned where the blood was not sprinkled, and so must it be. Are we all marked with the blood of our Great Substitute?

Exodus 12:31, 32

Here was the overthrow of pride. The haughty tyrant surrenders, and becomes himself a suppliant. God’s sword can reach the heart of leviathan himself, though he thinks himself invulnerable and invincible.

Exodus 12:35

These were not borrowed as we understand the word, but asked for, and freely given, because the people honoured the Israelites, and were afraid to incur their anger.

Exodus 12:36

Their long and unpaid services were thus, in a measure, requited by the gifts of the Egyptians.

When souls are spiritually set free from sin, the Lord is pleased to adorn them with many precious things; for he is abundant in lovingkindness towards his people.

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,

All our sins on Thee were laid:

By almighty love anointed,

Thou hast full atonement made:

All Thy people are forgiven

Through the virtue of Thy blood:

Open’d is the gate of heaven;

Peace is made ‘twixt man and God.

Jesus Christ: Our Chief Joy and Delight

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. Psalm 32:11

I must agree with the psalmist, even in our modern day, that the joy of the Lord is still the strength of His people. I do believe that the sad world around us is attracted to spiritual sunshine—the genuine thing, that is!

Some churches train their greeters and ushers to smile, showing as many teeth as possible. But I can sense that kind of display—and when I am greeted by a man who is smiling because he has been trained to smile, I know I am shaking the flipper of a trained seal!

But when the warmth and delight and joy of the Holy Spirit are in a congregation and the folks are just spontaneously joyful and unable to hide the happy grin, the result is a wonderful influence upon others. Conversely, the reason we have to search for so many things to cheer us up is the fact that we are not really joyful and contentedly happy within!

I admit that we live in a gloomy world and that international affairs, nuclear rumors and threats, earthquakes and riots cause people to shake their heads in despair and say, “What’s the use?”

But we are Christians and Christians have every right to be the happiest people in the world! We do not have to look to other sources—for we look to the Word of God and discover how we can know the faithful God above and draw from His resources.

Why should the children of the King hang their heads and tote their own burdens, missing the mark about Christian victory? All this time the Holy Spirit has been wanting to make Jesus Christ our chief joy and delight!