September 6, 2021 · 8:00 am
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.
These verses teach practicable commands for daily Christian living. Paul’s down-to-earth directives are important and cogent for Believers in our present context. As we examine them this week, may our lives be transformed by the power of His Word.
Paul tells us that love should be rightly motivated. Our motive for love should be selfless and not self-serving. Genuine, authentic love looks out for others and does not focus solely upon the self. Love spurs us to do right, to flee evil, and to seek righteousness.
Love should also be expressed. Christian love is not simply a noun. Love is also a verb. Godly love will take actions that will be demonstrable and easily viewed by others. The impetus for Christian action is love for God and love for others. Christians will love in word and deed.
Humility is also a primary modus for love. Selfless love will give preference to others and will honor others. A living sacrifice will love people as Christ has loved them. Let us go and do likewise!
September 4, 2021 · 8:30 am
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands? ”Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 1If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Our God is able. God is able to deliver us from every trial and He can perform miracles. God is able to do more than we can ask, think, or comprehend.
He rescued the three Hebrews who refused to bow to the Kings’ idol. The fire could not touch them. Even their clothes were spared the stench of the smoke. The God of the Bible is able.
But, even if God does not send deliverance in this life, we still worship Him. We continue to obey Him no matter what. If the miracle arrives wonderful. If it does not, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego give us the formula for following God in Daniel 3. Follow Him in any and every situation. It may cost us in the short term. Following Christ will always be rewarded in the long term.
Are you willing to trust God and His plan in every event and complex of life? He is worthy of such trust and faith. Child of God, trust Him, obey Him, and leave all the consequences to God. He can handle it!
September 2, 2021 · 8:00 pm
10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; 13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; 14 Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”
The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom for our times. The wisdom contained in this book is greater than mere knowing. It is knowledge with application. The Proverbs (mostly attributed to King Solomon) help us put knowledge into practice. And that is the power of true wisdom. Two important precepts are contained in these verses. Let us examine them today.
The first important principle that is discussed in this passage is this—follow the path of righteousness and avoid temptation. Believers are commanded to keep themselves from sin and to forsake the path of temptation. Do not consent to sin, Child of God. No good can come from following the path of rebellion.
The Proverbs are replete with figurative language. The symbols used in verses 11-14 make two main points. First, sin always promises much. The world, the flesh, and the devil all promise that giving in to disobedience will fulfill our wildest desires. Also, temptation makes sin look so good and appealing. God’s people should look beyond the temptation to the aftermath of sin for the truth.
Second, you can always find a partner in sin. The words “us” and “we” are peppered throughout these verses. If we surround ourselves with those who are on the path of rebellion, we will find it difficult to resist temptation and live for Christ. We are called to love and share the gospel with everyone. However, we must be careful who we allow to influence our lives. Godly people will lead us to love the Lord and obey Him. Ungodly folks could easily drive us to forsake God and His will for our lives. Christian, follow the Lord’s wisdom!