Tag Archives: Matthew

03 Jun

Great Truths for Times Like These

One of the hardest things in the Christian life is to reconcile God’s involvement in life-threatening illness, tragedies of all types, the impacts of the evil acts of other people, and in general, bad events or situations that occur in life. The current pandemic is one of those situations. However, regardless of circumstance, the Bible assures us of God’s love and care and continual working in our lives. The following eight foundational truths are for times like these.

God’s love for us is indisputable.
He loved us so much that he sent His only begotten Son to die for us that we might have everlasting life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God is interested in us personally.
He knows every sparrow that falls. He knows every hair on our heads. He has told us to come to Him with literally our every need. He knows and He cares about the details of our lives.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.(Matthew 10:29-30)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

God is not surprised by the things that happen to us.
He is omniscient or all-knowing. He is never caught off guard.

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? (John 18:4)

God does not promise to deliver us from all the bad.
That includes evil and suffering and the impact of the choices of others. But He does promise to give us the ability to endure, and the grace, and the peace, and the strength that is needed to meet the situation.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1 Peter 2:21)

God will never leave us nor forsake us.
His way is perfect. In return, He asks us to place our faith and trust in Him, regardless of the circumstance.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31)

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

God is working to conform us to the image of Christ.
He is a sovereign God, who will work the tiniest blessing and the greatest evil to our eventual good.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)

God is good, every day, all the time.
His love for us and watch-care over us are ever present.

Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. (Psalm 119:68)

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)

God’s secret things are beyond human understanding.
We must be content to leave those with God.

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Regardless of what may come our way, we can stand firm on these rock-solid, sure foundational truths.

16 May

A Unique Identity

Through the centuries, the Christian has made a positive difference in the world.  Before Christ ascended back to heaven, He gave His disciples an important responsibility to fulfill: that is to be the light of the world.  Light was one of the early creations of God.  In Genesis 1: 3, “God said let there be light, and there was light.”  Light is a symbol of holiness and purity.  John Wesley said that “God is not only the author of light, but also the fountain of it.”  Darkness is the opposite of light, symbolizing sin and guilt.

Being the Light of the world requires using the resources that God has provided for this calling.  First, the Bible gives the “how.”  Psalm 119:130 reveals that “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”  Christians are to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).  Obeying the word of God keeps us from sin and walking in darkness.  Christ is the source and power of light to which we must stay connected.  If we follow Christ, “We shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Also, the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer gives guidance.  The Spirit is our comforter, counselor, and advocate who teaches and guides us into all truths.  Only as we walk in the Spirit, do we really walk in light.

Not only do the Word and the Holy Spirit equip the Christian to be the light of the world, but also prayer is essential.  Prayer is a line of  communication between man and God, which creates a fellowship of personal contact.  In prayer, we may come for confession of sins over and over again.  A clean light shines much brighter.  Christ invites us to ask, and we shall receive.  How pleased God must be when we come in prayer just to praise Him and to give praise for blessings that cannot be numbered.  Luke18:1 reminds us “That man ought always to pray and not to faint.”

Having the gifts of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and prayer, we are equipped to be the light of the world if we choose to please our Father’s leading:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt.5:16). 

Every day, those who walk in darkness need a light.  Love cannot be hidden when it shines in action.  Shine forth!

14 May

Take Up Your Cross and Follow

It seems as though the Coronavirus, by and large is coming to a close, and life will soon be back to normal. However, the virus and everything that has come packaged with it has made me ask myself the question, “How serious of a Christian am I”? In Matthew 16:24 The Bible says,

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

There has been a certain amount of denying ourselves certain pleasures during this time, mostly because we have been required to. We have all had a certain amount of suffering. None of what we have undergone recently is what the Bible is talking about in Matthew 16:24, but all of it has made me think, if this is a preview of coming attractions, will I be willing to stay true to God and my relationship with Jesus if things get much worse in the future with a second round of COVID19 or whatever the powers that be have in mind?

We should all allow this time to be a time of evaluation to see if we will be willing to voluntarily, even gladly, give up/deny ourselves what we are used to in order to follow Jesus. It is much better to have the attitude of letting go now, so it is easier when forced, and have a joyful attitude we are doing what Christ said in, “take up his cross, and follow me.”

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