- Tuesday, 5/15/19 1
Timothy 6:17, Charge them that are rich
in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but
in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. “Rich” would
include talent or knowledge. Might you be considered a tad bit arrogant because
of your education? Wealth? Talent? Manual dexterity? Athleticism?
2 Thessalonians 2:10b, ...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. “Love of the truth,” in other words, the love of Christ. This non-reception keeps these from getting saved. We’re saved already, but are we guilty of not receiving His love currently? Much of our angst at God and lack of faith would be cured by a large dose of awareness of His love.
- Wednesday, 5/16/19 1 Thessalonians 4:1b-2a, ...how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you... Very simply: how’s your obedience level on what you know? Soul winning? Tithing? Purity? devotion? diligence? honesty? That one who did you or your family such wrong. How is that sinner doing? Do you know? Have you checked? Since they were “bad” and you were “innocent,” i.e. stronger, I assume you’ve done all you can to reclaim them for God? 1 Thessalonians 5:14, Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. Consider some definitions: Warn: gently reprove. (This would involve conversation.) Unruly: unarranged; religiously insubordinate. Comfort: encourage. Feebleminded: little spirited, faint hearted; i.e. about to quit. Support: brace. Weak: without strength; beaten down; impotent. That “awful sinner”...are you waiting for them to heal themselves or are you like the Holy Spirit: one who runs TO and helps them up? As one who’s been abandoned...I can tell you that being ignored by “loved ones” and “family” was the hardest part of my trials. (And I admitted that the majority of faults were mine...) Very bluntly: does Galatians 6:1 in your Bible say to “restore” the sinner, or to “ignore” the sinner? No, not on the your printed copy; in your living copy? (I don’t say this to “get back at” those whom I feel abandoned me (I’m doing fine), but to help others who are actively abandoning another.)
- Thursday, 5/17/19 Psalm 12:1, Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. Oh, may it never be said of us that we weren’t there for a Christian in need. I need you to remain faithful to God, church, and me. And you need me. Let’s pray and strive for each other. Psalm 13:1-2, 5, How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. We know it intellectually, but struggle with it practically: if the Lord never did another thing for us, that He gave us salvation freely by simply trusting in the finished work of Calvary MORE than compensates for any “ignoring” He does of us now. Maybe all of us need to discipline ourselves (there’s a novel idea!!) to think more of what we have eternally than what we’ve got temporally.
- Friday, 5/18/19 People with some class dress appropriately for the occasion, right? Psalm 93:5, Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever. Holiness is appropriate for His house. Are you conscious of your (un)holiness? Are you wanting, striving to change it? I challenge you to show some lovingkindness this morning: at work, at school, at home, on the road!! If you have none of your own stored up, use some of God’s. Psalm 92:1-2, It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night...
- Saturday, 5/19/19 Mark 12:2, And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. The Master demands production from the vineyard (a new crop). Are you helping or hindering His demands? Hebrews 2:1, Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Honesty check: What have you let slip in your daily practicing of Christianity? OK, maybe you think that certain standard or truth may have been an exaggeration by the preacher or isn’t really a sin to commit. However, is NOT doing it bad? My beliefs have changed a little over the years and my implementing what I believe may be different, but the basic way I believed back in my early days of Christianity, back in Bible college days are still intact. But that way that you “used to believe”...would it be wrong to live those higher standards be wrong today? Would violating what I used to believe be wrong even if I (or the Lord) might not consider it sinful? Would it be more pleasing to the Lord to do what you used to do? Again, this is simply an introspective question. Each of us will stand alone before the Lord...what set of actions would be more likely to help you stand without shame?
- Sunday, 5/20/19 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. “As a brother”...this is how we are to treat even the worst Christians among us. I don’t want your forgiveness!! (Yes, you read that right.) Forgiveness specifically involves a clearing of the debt that I owe you. I don’t want that...only. I want reconciliation. To re-concile means to “be friendly again; to bring back to harmony. Forgiveness is cancelling a debt; reconciliation is extending credit again. Forgiveness is settling a bill; reconciliation is doing business in that store again. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. You may have forgiven that one who so hurt you...but have you reconciled with them? What more could you do? Forgiveness often times is manifested by the attitude of “OK, I forgive you...but please stay at a distant arm’s length!!” Remember the illustration of the man forgiving an offender 7 times in a day? Well, that means that he allowed the offender to get close enough each time to hurt him again. Cancel that debt...and do business with that person again. Let them be a “valued customer” again!!
- Monday, 5/21/19 1 Chronicles 11:21, Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three. Attainments are often not under our control: others often have a say in them, but we can determine our honorability. Be honorable today. Take the high road. Mark 14:29, But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. So often, we vacillate between supreme self-confidence bordering on arrogance (like here) and deep despair bordering on hopelessness. Both positions are wrong. We need to honestly evaluate our strengths and weaknesses: give God credit for our strengths; realize even a strength can be thwarted or exploited by the enemy; and work on our weaknesses. How did Micah put it? “...do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God”?-----------------------------------------------------------------
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