Samuel’s First Message from the Lord (4/8)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from 1 Samuel 1-3.

As a boy, Samuel “ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest” (1 Samuel 2:11). At this time the Lord spoke to Samuel, calling him three times, yet each time Samuel thought it was Eli who was calling him (1 Samuel 3:4-8).

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him” (1 Samuel 3:7).

Naturally, Samuel did not recognize the voice of the Lord. After Eli figured out what was happening and told him to listen to the word of the Lord, God revealed His message to the young boy.
Continue Reading

"The Secret Things Belong to the Lord" (3/20)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Deuteronomy 28-29.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

This verse comes after Moses reviewed the law and the covenant with the people. Many commands and instructions were handed down, yet God did not reveal everything in His mind to man. He revealed enough for man to be faithful to Him.
Continue Reading

It is Not in Me; God Gives the Answer (1/26)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Genesis 41-42.

When Pharaoh was troubled over two dreams which he had, he was told of a young Hebrew in prison who could interpret dreams. Pharaoh sent for him immediately to teach him the meaning of these dreams.

Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer’” (Genesis 41:16).

Joseph knew that he was not the one who possessed such great insight and wisdom. Independently, he was incapable of interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. He knew that without God’s revelation to him, he could not accurately explain them. He was also humble enough to admit this. It did not matter to Joseph that Pharaoh gave him credit. Joseph wanted it to be clearly understood that he merely explaining the interpretation which God was revealing to him. He wanted God to receive the glory, not himself.
Continue Reading

He Hangs the Earth on Nothing (1/10)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Job 24-28.

He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7).”

This is one of those passages that helps reinforce the validity and inspiration of the Bible. How were the ancients to know that the earth was suspended in space? How were they to know the earth was not resting upon some foundation, whether that foundation was the backs of elephants, turtles, or something else? Myths like these existed, but Job believed something that was not only different, but correct.
Continue Reading

How God Is Able to Establish You

Bible

As Paul concluded his epistle to the Romans, he praised God for His ability to establish them (Romans 16:25-27). This means He was able to make them strong, complete, and equipped to follow Him and to face the trials that exist in this life. Is God able to establish us today? If so, how?

Earlier in this letter, Paul expressed a desire to come to them in Rome: “For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established” (Romans 1:11). What were these spiritual gifts that Paul would impart to them in order to establish them? These miraculous gifts of the Spirit are enumerated in the first letter to Corinth and included such gifts as knowledge, prophecy, and the ability to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Do we need to have some miraculous spiritual gift in order to be established today? If so, we are in trouble because Paul later said that such miraculous spiritual gifts would be “done away” and replaced with the completed revelation in the word of God (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). This is what we need in order to be established today – the word of God. In our text, Paul described the word in several different ways, showing how it is able to establish us.
Continue Reading

Be Filled With The Spirit

In the letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul commanded, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Many believe that a Christian being filled with the Spirit is wholly dependent upon some direct action by God. This is puzzling, considering that Paul phrases this as a command. A commandment implies a responsibility to obey. Therefore, we are responsible for being “filled with the Spirit.” So how are we to do this?

Continue Reading

By Your Providence

Sunset

God’s providence is something that many people take for granted, yet do not have a definitive way to explain it. We often resort to a “who knows” approach in trying to explain providence, citing the example of Mordecai as he spoke to Esther about her position as Queen: “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

If we are going to talk about God’s providence, instead of taking a “who knows” approach, allowing anything and everything to be attributed to God, we should endeavor to speak where the Bible speaks. What does the Bible say about providence?
Continue Reading