Why are some interested in the Bible while others belittle it? Why are some moved by the Gospel while others mock it? In response to Jesus, why did many give up their lives while many more sought to take the life of Jesus? Why has God chosen to show sovereign grace to some while leaving others under the influence of their depraved free will? I do not know. I have no answer. But I cannot help giving thanks.
Some ask why repent and say, “has not Jesus forgiven us even before we ask?” In repenting, we are continually reminded that we are nothing unto ourselves and as such, when we are quicker to repent we are also quicker to forgive others, just as God forgives us. In repenting, God blesses us with increased thanksgiving and joy. Listen in as Joe explains more.
Each Christmas for a brief time, all is right. Fellowship is going fine, Christ is being recognized more than at any other time of year. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. Paul tells us how as Christians we should honor Christ, that we may not labor in vain. Christ is not a babe anymore, so how should we do Christmas? Listen in as Joe explains more of what Christ is doing today. We serve a risen and ascended savior, He is sovereign over all…
Santa can seem somewhat divine at least according to what some legends would lead us to believe, omniscient, everywhere, promises gifts for those being nice and coal for those being naughty. As Christians we receive the greatest gift of all, not because we deserve it, but because we are redeemed through Christ’s eternal sacrifice.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God speaks to his people, “I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’ This has been your way from your youth, that you have not obeyed my voice.” (Jeremiah 22:21) Will we seek God, listen to God, and obey his voice in our days of prosperity, or will we be fools who only listen to God when he lovingly disciplines and hurts us? God will not leave us alone. He will not allow his children to walk through this life without getting their attention, allegiance, and affection. Let us learn to pant for God in the good days, as we are forced to pant for God in the days of tribulation.
Quite often, when encountering serious trials in this life, our minds begin to whirl, our problems appear to be gigantic, and our God appears to be so small. While it is true that we often think such thoughts, these thoughts which we think are not true. In the words of one theologian, “Such conclusions come from the pit of hell, and they smell like smoke.” So, what ought we to do when our problems seem large and our God seems small? David will help us in Psalm 63.
We are called to have incredible affection for Jesus Christ and righteousness. Consequently, we are called to have less affection for ourselves and a loathing for sin. But what are we to do when we prove to love ourselves and sin, and think far to fondly on Jesus Christ and his holy law? A prayer found in 2 Thessalonians gives me comfort, “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” In this text we see Satan’s desire, Jesus’ sovereignty, and man’s iniquity. We also see the always affectionate high priest praying for his friends and looking forward to the day when he causes them to repent and be restored to an even more effective ministry for him.
Too often, as worshipers of Jesus Christ, we respond to his proclamations with “No Lord!” This is so illogical, for in saying “No Lord!” we are being insincere in either proclamation of “Lord” or our proclamation of “No.” However, the scriptures are full of people who said “No Lord!” but turn around and soon say “Yes Sir!” And the Holy Spirit causes such transformations in the hearts, mouths, and feet of his worshiping children today. May we who too often say, “No Lord!” repent and find it exciting to say “Yes Lord!” to our Sovereign King.
Paul struggled with a “devilish thorn” in his life. However, he soon learned to boast and rejoice in the “messenger of Satan” sent his way. Why did he do so? Because Paul recognized God’s “devilish thorn” was also a “gracious thorn.”
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)