Our God is great and good, eternally!
Receiving praise through battle and victory hymn,
The Lord sits reigning on his glorious throne
Among four creatures, angels, and cherubim,
In splendor and might; above the heaven’s dome,
He guides the affairs of man, and blesses him
Who wavers not against the enemy.

READ: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter” 2 Thes 2.15.

THINK: Without the live teaching of the apostles, we have their holy writings in the NT. The traditions are the teachings that Christ gave to the apostles and prophets in the first century. One must not go beyond what is written, 1 Cor 4.6, add to the word of God nor take away from it, Deut 4.6; Prov 30.11; Rev 22.18-19. What was transmitted by the apostles must be practiced exactly, 1 Cor 11.2. Continue reading

rain-or-shine

What would cause the Israelite leaders to take such a radical position?

A proclamation was circulated throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles were to be assembled in Jerusalem. Everyone who did not come within three days would thereby forfeit all his property, in keeping with the counsel of the officials and the elders. Furthermore, he himself would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles.
Ezra 10.7-8 NET

Many of the people, recently returned from exile, had married foreign women. It was against God’s law, v. 3. It constituted “infidelity,” v. 6. Continue reading

do-not-stumble

Jesus warned his followers ahead of time what would happen to him. He would suffering at the hands of the authorities, would be killed, and on the third day would rise from the dead.

I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.
John 16.1 HCSB

Stumbling in this context means to lose or abandon one’s faith (see NLT). “Forewarned is forearmed,” says the proverb. The disciples would not be caught unawares. They would know that God was still in control and that all would happen according to his plan. Continue reading

“Faithfulness to God requires a willingness to wait on God’s promised action, especially when all visible evidence points in a contrary direction.”

—Steven J. Kraftchick, Jude, 2 Peter, ANTC, 161.