So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it.” Revelation 10:9
On two occasions in the Bible, God prepared scroll food for his prophets. The first was when He gave Ezekiel a scroll with writings on both sides, probably because the Lord had so much to say. Ezekiel ate it and found it as sweet as honey, though the message included words of judgment for Judah. It was still God’s Word, and, as one commentary says, “the sweetness came from the source of the words.” The apostle John had a similar experience in Revelation 10:8-11. His scroll, too, tasted as sweet as honey.
The Bible is often compared to food, to bread, to milk, to meat, and to nourishment. It is the proper diet for the inner self, and it’s necessary to keep us from spiritual starvation. People today are starving for spiritual truth, but many aren’t even aware they are hungry. There is a famine of the hearing of the Word of God (Amos 8:11).
One of the best ways to stimulate the appetite of others is letting them see how much you enjoy your daily bread. Keep an open Bible nearby all the time. Read it frequently. Quote it often. Trust it always. And find every opportunity to share the Bread of Life with others.
Put your nose in the Bible every day. It is your spiritual food.Kirk Cameron
Revelation 10 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
After my mother’s sudden death, I was motivated to start blogging. I wanted to write posts that would inspire people to use their minutes on earth to create significant life moments. So I turned to a beginner’s guide to blogging. I learned what platform to use, how to choose titles, and how to craft compelling posts. And in 2016, my first blog post was born.
Paul wrote a “beginner’s guide” that explains how to obtain eternal life. In Romans 6:16–18, he contrasts the fact that we’re all born in rebellion to God (sinners) with the truth that Jesus can help us be “set free from [our] sin” (v. 18). Paul then describes the difference between being a slave to sin and a slave to God and His life-giving ways (vv. 19–20). He continues by stating that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” (v. 23). Death means being separated from God forever. This is the devastating outcome we face when we reject Christ. But God has offered us a gift in Jesus—new life. It’s the kind of life that begins on earth and continues forever in heaven with Him.
Paul’s beginner’s guide to eternal life leaves us with two choices—choosing sin, which leads to death, or choosing Jesus’ gift, which leads to eternal life. May you receive His gift of life, and if you’ve already accepted Christ, may you share this gift with others today!
Most people think of the church as a building, but that’s not the biblical definition. It isn’t merely a meeting place for social interaction, scriptural instruction, and service projects. Rather, the church is composed of all those who have been redeemed by Christ. He is the head of church, and believers are called His body.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” He was referring to the entire body of Christ, which is composed of all believers worldwide from every generation. The church began on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came and filled Jesus’ followers, and it will continue until the rapture of the church, when believers in Christ will be caught up to meet Him in the sky (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
Until then, our job as Christ’s body is to follow our Head. We’re not the ones in charge; He is. The Lord builds His church, but He uses us to make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey all His commands (Matt. 28:19-20). We don’t come up with our own plans; we simply follow His.
“Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.” (Philippians 3:15-16)
Earlier, Paul had noted that he was not “already perfect” (Philippians 3:12), using a form of the Greek verb teleioo. In today’s verse, Paul uses the adjective form teleios. Although the root of the word is the same, this particular usage is significant.
In verse 12, the Holy Spirit inspires Paul to use the past perfect tense of teleioo, rendering the translation “not having been perfected” and thereby recognizing that the end product of God’s salvation has not yet been completed. The adjective form, teleios, denotes the sense of maturity, both in our text and the other 18 instances in the New Testament.
Those of the family of God who are “mature,” even if we might be “otherwise minded,” are to expect that our Lord Jesus will reveal “even this,” or the prize that we are to focus on in Philippians 3:14. The “one thing” of Philippians 3:13 is so important that we must “walk by the same rule” and “mind the same thing” (today’s verse).
The Greek word for “walk” is only used four other times in the New Testament, and it describes marching in a row and following a prescribed order. We are to “walk in the steps” that Abraham exemplified (Romans 4:12), just as we are to “also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
Finally, we are exhorted to “mind” the same thing. Our thought processes are to be focused on that one thing that is most important—seeking the Kingdom first. May these clear commands find their way into our hearts. HMM III
I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors. Guarantee Your servants well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me. My eyes grow weary [looking for] Your salvation and for Your righteous promise. Deal with Your servant based on Your faithful love; teach me Your statutes. I am Your servant; give me understanding so that I may know Your decrees. It is time for the Lord to act, [for] they have broken Your law. Since I love Your commandments more than gold, even the purest gold, I carefully follow all Your precepts and hate every false way (Psalm 119 vv. 121-128).
Most of us living in affluent America know little about servanthood. We expect excellent and efficient service from others and accept it as our due. It is so much more human to desire stardom than servanthood!
Three times in this passage, however, the psalmist—likely a person of honor and prestige in the community—professes his status as a lowly servant before God: “Guarantee Your servant’s well-being” (v. 122). “Deal with Your servant” (v. 124).”I am Your servant; give me understanding” (v. 125). He isn’t too proud to admit his need to be educated in the royal decrees or to seek divine wisdom for decision-making.
Ancient believers, overcome by the greatness of God and their own worthlessness, often prostrated themselves before the Lord in abject humility (Ps. 5:7). We do well to get on our knees once in awhile.
Yet Jesus, God incarnate, willingly left the glories of heaven to walk the dusty pathways of this earth. He owned no property, sought no public office, accumulated no possessions. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). He came to serve … and to die for my sins!
Such love compels me to fall on my face. “I am Your servant; give me understanding so that I may know your decrees” (v. 125).
My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug … cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.—Jeremiah 2:13
One of the major problems with which we are all confronted is that we have at the core of our being a deep thirst for God, which makes us entirely dependent on Him for satisfaction. Our sinful human nature resents this, because it dislikes the feeling of helplessness that such dependence brings; it prefers to have a hand in bringing about its own satisfaction.
This terrible tendency of the human heart to try to satisfy its own thirst independently of God is brought out clearly in the passage before us today. The Prophet Jeremiah indicts Israel—the people of God—for depending on “cracked cisterns” in their efforts to quench their spiritual thirst (cisterns which they themselves made but which can hold no water).
Note the two observations our text for today suggests. First, the people were thirsty, and second, they moved in the wrong direction to satisfy their thirst.
God said it was as if they walked right past the clear waters He provided and chose instead to dig their own well. They wanted to run their own lives and refused to come to God, allowing Him to quench their deep thirst. This stubborn commitment to independence is responsible more than anything else for preventing us from having feet like “hinds’ feet.”
Gracious Father, I see that the problem You had with the nation of Israel is my problem, too. For far too often I try to dig my own well. You are searching deeply into my life. Help me not to evade or avoid any issue. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jdg 17:1-6; 21:25; Pr 28:26; 1Co 10:12
How does the book of Judges sum up the human heart?
God loves to work across the generations. If you are the first in your family to come to Christ, God can start something brand new with you that is going to go far beyond you and touch generations yet to come.
Family life has never been easy. Most, if not all, Bible families were more or less dysfunctional, from Cain and Abel to Jacob and Esau to Joseph and his brothers to David and Bathsheba. Even Jesus’ family did not believe in Him and apparently tried to persuade Him to give up on His mission. But God did not give up on the idea of family and neither must we.
One of the problems in our culture today is that families so seldom eat together. This can be one of the practical steps to take toward strengthening family life-determining that at least once a day, we are going to make the sacrifices necessary to touch base with one another—to sit down, pray and eat together as a family. More important even than talking about prayer is praying your way through life’s crises with your family.
Our best devotional times were when we had an issue to deal with as a family. We’d look to the Word of God for guidance and we’d pull together in prayer to work our way through it. Sometimes it was after a sharp difference of opinion, and sometimes tears were shed on the way to a solution.
Our own personal prayer life is so important as we model our faith to our families. Our daughter Jennie sent my wife a beautiful Mother’s Day note one year. She shared a number of memories of her mom and concluded with this:
“My fond memory is of you praying and reading your Bible each morning, yet holding out your arms to me if I woke too soon and interrupted your time. I do the same with Beth (her daughter), because the greatest lesson you taught me is that loving your children unconditionally is prayer itself.”
Devotional times with our families are invaluable because they give a pattern of spiritual discipline to our children that will strengthen them in working out that discipline in their own lives and passing it on to their children.
Keep believing for your children’s salvation. God is faithful to His promise— for you and your household.
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17, NIV
David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, remembers how his mother would crochet doilies to raise money for missions. “My parents were… some of the most generous people I’ve ever known,” he wrote. “Their spare living and meager income did not stop them from being generous in a thousand different ways. Mother may have had only three or four dresses in her closet, but if she heard of a woman who needed one, you could be sure Mother would soon arrive at the woman’s doorstep with a dress in hand.”
The Bible tells us to be generous. That’s critical to our calling as believers. But no government can ensure that everyone has exactly the same amount of assets. Every attempt to create a level economy has pushed people into poverty with only its leaders living in luxury. Shared wealth does not bring unity. It creates envy and resentment, and ultimately causes socialism to fail.
We can’t control the governments of the world. That isn’t our job. But we can be generous!
I could have become president of the United States and [my mother] would have said the same thing: “What are you doing for the Lord?”David Green
20 Proverbs 17-19 – J Vernon McGee – Thru the Bible
This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Jeremiah 36:1
In the early nineteenth century, Thomas Carlyle gave a manuscript to philosopher John Stuart Mill to review. Somehow, whether accidentally or intentionally, the manuscript got tossed into a fire. It was Carlyle’s only copy. Undaunted, he set to work rewriting the lost chapters. Mere flames couldn’t stop the story, which remained intact in his mind. Out of great loss, Carlyle produced his monumental work The French Revolution.
In the waning days of ancient Judah’s decadent kingdom, God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you” (Jeremiah 36:2). The message revealed God’s tender heart, calling on His people to repent in order to avoid imminent invasion (v. 3).
Jeremiah did as he was told. The scroll soon found its way to Judah’s king, Jehoiakim, who methodically shredded it and threw it into the fire (vv. 23–25). The king’s act of arson only made matters worse. God told Jeremiah to write another scroll with the same message. He said, “[Jehoiakim] will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night” (v. 30).
It’s possible to burn the words of God by tossing a book into a fire. Possible, but utterly futile. The Word behind the words endures forever.
No one enjoys sensing conviction about having done wrong, but that uncomfortable feeling is actually a demonstration of divine love. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin, their lack of righteousness, and the reality of coming judgment so they’ll turn to Christ and be saved. If wrongdoers never feel the guilt of their sin, they won’t see the need for a Savior. Every prick of the heart is intended to draw them to Christ.
And we should also be grateful that the Spirit’s convicting work doesn’t end once a person is saved. He continues to instruct and shape us after salvation and convicts us of disobedience to our heavenly Father. In other words, He makes us aware of specific sins and God’s attitude about such behavior. He also prompts us to confess our wrongs, repent, and turn back to the path of righteousness.
In addition to protecting and leading us in these ways, the Spirit does much more for us. He guides us into truth, discloses the meaning of Scripture, transforms our character, and empowers us to live a holy, obedient life characterized by love. So listen to His conviction and promptings. They are for your good and God’s glory.