In the Pisidian Antioch synagogue, where Jews of the city met together, Paul and Barnabas preached Jesus and concluded with a warning:
“Watch out, then, that what is spoken about by the prophets does not happen to you:
‘Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish!
For I am doing a work in your days,
a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you’” Acts 13.40-41
What mercy! One of the privileged few:
The world transformed the day Christ entered
My barren life, created anew;
Around the Lord all life is centered,
In him is Yes, the promise kept;
By rousing, robust grace I’m mentored
To share the news, to walk where he stepped.
READ: “Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven” Lk 10.20.
THINK: The saint rejoices in eternal salvation and in his participation in the sufferings of Christ, Mt 5.10-12; Acts 5.41; Heb 10.34; 1 Pet 4.13. Joy overrides circumstances. Trials are reason for joy, Jas 1.2-4. It is contagious, Rom 12.15. With so many reminders in the Bible, it seems that we easily forget our joy. Heavenly joy over repentance ought to be our joy also, Lk 15. Continue reading →
READ: “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” Lk 13.24.
THINK: Behind the phrase exert every effort is a word that means to fight (for), combat, compete, run (BGAD). This intense term, whence comes our word agonize, indicates maximum effort, “expend all one’s energy to reach a significant goal” (EDBW). This fighting effort is needed in knowledge, Prov 2.1-5, in prayer, Col 4.18, in meeting with the church, Heb 10.24-25; 12.1, and in the gospel, Phil 1.30, among other areas. Continue reading →
READ: “You have purified your souls by obeying the truth” 1 Pet 1.22.
THINK: Obeying the truth is the same as obeying the Lord Jesus, Mt 7.21. This truth is revealed in Scripture. Obedience purifies the soul from sin, which means redemption, Eph 1.7. Eternal salvation is for those who obey Jesus, Heb 5.9. Faith without obedience is useless for justification, Jas 2.14-26. Continue reading →
READ: “Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him.” Lk 17.3.
THINK: We can’t refuse to forgive a brother and expect God’s forgiveness, Mt 6.12-15. Forgiveness is more than not taking a brother’s error into account; it seeks his restoration through loving confrontation. He who loves rebukes; letting a brother continue in sin shows a lack of concern for his eternal destiny. Continue reading →
READ: “Then he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it’ ” Lk 9.23-24.
THINK: To follow Jesus, the self cannot survive. Dying to self is a daily task. The true person is not in the ego, but in following Jesus. Self-preservation is a diabolical act; self-denial is a divine act. Following Jesus is the way of salvation. A condition of following him: death! Continue reading →