God called to him….And he said, “Here I am.” —Exodus 3:4
When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and we give no answer. Moses’ reply to God revealed that he knew where he was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where we are. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick to cry out, “Here I am.” Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not ready for some obscure duty.
Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing— it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God’s plans may be, we are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God’s voice as our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him. He can put us wherever He wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with Him is the same as His union with the Father. “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).
Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready— he is ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready once God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the person who is ready, and it is on fire with the presence of God Himself.
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
There is nothing, naturally speaking, that makes us lose heart quicker than decay—the decay of bodily beauty, of natural life, of friendship, of associations, all these things make a man lose heart; but Paul says when we are trusting in Jesus Christ these things do not find us discouraged, light comes through them. The Place of Help, 1032 L
Why Christians Need to Test Themselves to Make Sure They Are Ready to Answer the Tough Questions
Cold-Case Christianity with J. Warner Wallace
Oct 26, 2017
Wendy Griffith interviews J. Warner Wallace on the 700 Club and asks why it’s so important for Christians to ask themselves the tough questions posed by skeptics in our culture. How can we prepare ourselves to answer these objections and help our kids be more confident as Christians? J. Warner offers sample questions from his Forensic Faith Readiness Review. You can take the test for yourself to see how prepared you are to defend what you believe as a Christian by visiting ForensicFaithBook.com. All believers must recognize their duty and train themselves to develop a more reasonable, evidential faith, as described in the book, Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith.
Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me your statutes. Psalm 119:12
Most of us develop proficiency in some area of life. Schoolteachers master their subjects. Investors grasp the ins and outs of the stock market. Mechanics learn their way around engines. Baristas learn to make the perfect caramel macchiato.
Christians should become proficient with God’s Word, for the moment we trust Christ as Savior, we enter the school of Scripture. We hear it being taught and preached; we read books about it; but most of all, we spend time reading it line by line, precept upon precept, word upon word. The Bible may seem confusing at first, but the more we study it, the clearer it becomes.
As we read the Bible as seen in 2 Timothy 3:16, we learn more about God’s truth (doctrine). We learn what we’re doing wrong (reproof). We often read a passage about how we can live better (correction). And much of the Bible simply helps us grow to be more like Christ (instruction in righteousness).
Perhaps we should trade in some television or social media time for serious Bible study. It’s more profitable!
The Scriptures contain the deep things of God, and therefore, can never be sufficiently searched into by a careless, superficial, cursory way of reading them, but by an industrious, close, and humble application. George Whitefield
Because mankind is earthbound until death, misconceptions about heaven are common. Some people imagine it as an ethereal world of formless spirits who float about, whereas others flatly deny its existence. A few have returned from near-death experiences to describe what they saw. Amid all the confusing and contradictory views, we would do well to remember that our only sure source of accurate information about heaven is God’s Word.
Jesus had firsthand knowledge of heaven because He came from there to earth. Shortly before dying, He told His disciples that He would go to His Father’s house to prepare a place for them and then would come back to take them to their new home. Several weeks later the disciples watched the resurrected Jesus ascend, as foretold, into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).
Ever since that day, believers throughout history have been waiting for the Lord’s promised return. Each one will be given an immortal resurrection body similar to Christ’s. It will be physical, visible, and recognizable to others. We will even be able to eat. (See Luke 24:41-43.) Heaven is a literal place for actual, tangible bodies—a place to live, serve God, and worship and enjoy Him forever.
Knowing all the specifics of our eternal destination is impossible, but we can be sure that Jesus will fulfill His promise to come back for us. Stepping into our custom-designed dwelling places, we will each realize that we’re finally home—and throughout eternity can never be separated from our heavenly Father.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
The spiritual life of Solomon can, to a great degree, be traced through his writings as recorded in the Bible. They are not straightforward history but are rather in a poetic style that reveals his inner thoughts throughout his life. At the beginning of his reign over Israel, he asked God for “an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (1 Kings 3:9), and he subsequently became renowned for his wisdom (e.g., 3:28; 4:29).
Unfortunately, as is well documented in Scripture, his thirst for human wisdom led him into compromise and disobedience, setting the stage for national apostasy and idolatry upon his death. The book of Ecclesiastes chronicles a series of experiments that he conducted in search for the highest human good, but each forced him to conclude that “all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, etc.), that there is no humanly discernible pattern in the affairs of men. However, he concludes, life is the gift of God and should be enjoyed (3:13). Furthermore, he recognized the eventual judgment of God and concluded it best to live in obedience to God’s commands (e.g., 3:16-17).
Our text summarizes the entire book of Ecclesiastes. Here is the secret of human fulfillment. Note the two complementary commands, “fear God” and “keep his commandments.”
A true reverence for God necessarily results in obedience to His commands. Wise Solomon knew it, and Christ and the New Testament writers reinforced it (John 14:15; 1 John 5:2; etc.). Life’s harsh realities and seeming paradoxes are at times incomprehensible to us. Only by adopting a proper attitude toward life and God can we cope. JDM
That man is highly favoured who has godly neighbours labouring for his salvation.
Feeling that all they had to do was to bring their sick friend under the eye of Jesus, they did not stick at difficulties. If we loved men’s souls better, we should oftener seek out unusual methods of bringing them to the Saviour.
He struck his disease at the root. When sin is forgiven, every other evil is a small matter.
Mark 2:13, 14
This was Matthew, the tax gatherer. The Master’s voice said little, but effected much. Two words are enough to win a man to Jesus if they are attended by the power of the Spirit. As soon as he was converted, Matthew gave a feast, that his former friends might see Jesus.
Everything should be in harmony. To make babes in grace live in the same manner as aged veterans would be unnatural. Rigid forms no more suit the free spirit of Christianity, than an old skin bottle would suit new, fermenting wine.
From fisher’s net, from fig-tree’s shade,
God gathers whom he will:
Touched by his grace, th’ elect are made
His purpose to fulfil.
O grant us grace, that to thy call
We may obedient be;
And, cheerfully forsaking all,
May follow only thee.
Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)
Do not try to short-circuit God’s plans for your discipleship and spiritual maturity here. If you and I were already prepared for heaven in the moment of our conversion, God would have taken us home instantly!
We must remember that God exists in Himself. His holy nature is such that we cannot comprehend Him with our minds. He is of a substance not shared by any other being. Hence, God can be known only as He reveals Himself!
I have found this to be a fact: every redeemed human being needs the humility of spirit that can only be brought about by the manifest Presence of God.
This mysterious yet gracious Presence is the air of life eternal. It is the music of existence, the poetry of the Christian life. It is the beauty and wonder of being one of Christ’s own—a sinner born again, regenerated, created anew to bring glory to God!
To live surrounded by this sense of God is not only beautiful and desirable, but it is imperative!
“I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Josh. 1:5
This word to Joshua is often quoted; it is the basis of that New Testament word, “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Beloved, a life of warfare is before us, but the Lord of Hosts is with us. Are we called to lead a great but fickle people? This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that we shall need. Have we to contend with cunning and powerful enemies? Here is strength and valor, prowess and victory. Have we a vast heritage to win? By this sign we shall achieve our purpose; the Lord Himself is with us.
It would be woe to us indeed if Jehovah could fail us; but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one Occasion will the Lord desert us. Happen what may, He will be at our side. Friends drop from us, their help is but an April shower; but God is faithful, Jesus is the same for ever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us.
Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds may gather, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail; and, as He will not forsake me, neither will I forsake Him. Oh for a restful faith!