FaithfulnessIt’s not uncommon in some sport or race for the favorite to lose the competition. The one that everyone thought would arrive first, for some reason fails to live up to the expectations. So it was with Israel. The people had so many advantages, but in the end wound up outside the kingdom of God.

To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.
Romans 9:5 NET Continue reading

If I were to throw myself from the Macela Rock, at over 6,000 feet elevation in the Mantiqueira Mountains (which I won’t do, since I have a fear of heights), who would get the worst of it, me or the rocks? The rocks would not hurt themselves. They would not even move or feel a thing. I’m the one who would come out of it all broken up!

And when God justifies but man accuses?

Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Romans 8:33 NET Continue reading

A man’s faith in himself wavers because he knows his foibles and limitations, his fears and doubts. A man’s faith in God may also waver, but not because of any deficiency in the Creator. The more one studies God, the more one’s faith grows.

The Lord Jesus urges us to look to God’s works as a builder of faith. “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:28 NET).

To answer his doubts and fears that God “might become inactive,” Asaph wrote,

I will remember the works of the LORD.
Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago!
I will think about all you have done;
I will reflect upon your deeds!”
O God, your deeds are extraordinary!
What god can compare to our great God?
(Psalm 77:11-13 NET).

To remember the works of God is to find faith.

What’s important is not to know facts and information, but to be known by God. Knowledge, without being connected to the person of God, is worth nothing, and actually prevents one from knowing him.

But if someone loves God, he is known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:3 NET

Knowledge about God is essential to know God, but more than mere knowledge is needed. Love is the connector. Continue reading

Devotional for October 5

Text: Matthew 7:1-6

Memorize: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive.” Matthew 7:1-2 NET

It was said of T.W. Brents, “He was absolutely without mercy toward error, but not so toward men; a man of charity toward human weakness and frailty, but woe be to the man who stood before him to champion an unscriptural position!” Jesus does not want us to sacrifice truth, but he warns against the judgmental attitude, the finger ready to point at the faults of others. Williams translates the first part, “Stop criticizing others.” Continue reading