"Babes in Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:1
Are you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in him. You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father's heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, "put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!" but the smoking flax he will not quench. You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but he will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though "less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess." Yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation.
"God, my maker, who giveth songs in the night."
Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow--the difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by--who sings from his heart. No man can make a song in the night of himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing grows, and wherewith shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How shall a mortal man make a crown for the Lord where no jewels are? Let but this voice be clear, and this body full of health, and I can sing God's praise: silence my tongue, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless he himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Then, since our Maker gives songs in the night, let us wait upon him for the music. O thou chief musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon us, but tune thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving.
Today's reading: Isaiah 56-58, 2 Thessalonians 2 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Isaiah 56-58
Salvation for Others
1 This is what the LORD says:
and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2 Blessed is the one who does this-
the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps their hands from doing any evil."
3 Let no foreigner who is bound to the LORD say,
"The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."
And let no eunuch complain,
"I am only a dry tree."
4 For this is what the LORD says:"To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant-
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever....
Today's New Testament reading: 2 Thessalonians 2
The Man of Lawlessness
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us-whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter-asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness....
[Pŏt'ĭphar] - who is of the sun or a fat bull. The captain of Pharaoh's guardto whom Joseph was sold by the Midianites. It was his wife who tried to seduce Joseph (Gen. 37:36; 39:1).
GOD’S ATTRIBUTES – SPIRIT
Jesus said, “a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." This is one of the core attributes of God.
But what does “Spirit” mean? Both the Hebrew word for spirit (ruach) and the Greek word (pneuma) can mean breath, wind, or spirit. Like the invisible wind that comes from one direction, then another, and can assert itself with mighty power, so does God come as Spirit. Breath, too, is invisible, yet with breath, you are a living being; without it, you are dead. So “Spirit” is a wonderfully precise description of who God is–”the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God…” (1 Timothy 1:17).
We all know that there are two fundamentally different ways of looking at reality. One assumes that only what can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard is real. This is the materialist position. The other view allows that there are realities beyond our senses, the metaphysical beyond the physical. It assumes that there is a divine Spirit who is not limited by the material world as we are. He moves as he wishes; he is actively present in all places at once. He comes to us as pleasantly as a breeze, but also comes as a mighty cyclone.
If you put a negative spin on it, God’s spirituality may seem like an inferior trait, as if he is less than the creatures and things we all daily see, touch, and smell. It may seem easier to ignore God because he is invisible, and to go on with occasional debates about whether God exists or not-which is like talking about someone who is, in fact, still in the room with us. If there were a lion in the room, we wouldn’t ignore it, but it’s not hard to disregard an invisible God.
But God’s invisibility is not some lack on his part. It is what you would expect of a God who presides over a universe in which there are not just three dimensions, but at least eleven at last count, according to some physicists. And if someone says, “Why doesn’t God just show himself?” the answer has to be, “He did!” “The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.”
Excerpt from Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith Connect. Click for more.