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November 19

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“The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Psalms 118:6 NLT).

From: November 19, 2019

HOW BIG AND HOW LOVING IS YOUR GOD?

Why should the child of God fear anything? What is so great or terrible that it should trouble the believer’s heart with anxiety? Let us join with the apostle Paul who asks the rhetorical question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). Surely this question can only be answered with a resounding, “No one can stand against God’s purpose for me!”
 
The size of that which causes us fear or anxiety is directly proportional to the size of our faith. Or as it has been stated by others, “Your God is too small.” Which is to say, that your view of God is too small. Step back and look up, so that you can take in a larger view. What you are facing may be too big for you, but nothing is too big for God! When David faced Goliath, he took little notice of his nine foot frame, but instead had his eye on El Shaddai, the Lord Almighty, as he charged into battle.
 
Of course, the source of our fear may not be that our God is too small, but that our God is too severe. In other words, he is big enough, but not loving enough. We doubt that God is really “for” us. We feel unworthy of God’s help, which is really about feeling unworthy of His love. Yet our God is not only all-powerful. He is all-loving. For “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
 
If we have placed our faith in Christ Jesus, then we are children of God, and as God’s children we may surely say with the psalmist, “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear!” For if God did not spare His own Son for us, how can we doubt that He is “for” us?
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to grow in our knowledge of You. The more we focus on Your face and on that of Your Son, the less we are worried or fearful about the things of this world. O how we want to know You better and better. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone” (James 2:24 NLT).

From: November 19, 2018

WORKS EVIDENCE NOT PRECEDENCE OF SAVING FAITH

At first glance, this statement about faith seems to contradict Paul’s letters to the Romans and the Galatians, which clearly uphold that faith alone pleases God. Yet, James and Paul are not in conflict. Paul is concerned that some would make works and law-keeping the means for justification. He rightly proclaims that faith in Christ’s finished work is the only means for our justification. While James is concerned that those who claim to be followers of Jesus, might bear the fruit of salvation, which is good works.

Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is Paul’s clear teaching. But if Paul corrects those who think that good works will be sufficient for salvation, James corrects those who would offer mere lip service to their faith without any fruit verifying its authenticity. Paul is concerned with what true faith believes, while James is concerned with what true faith does after it believes. Good works are the evidence, not the the precedence of saving faith.

“In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city” (Ezekiel 40:2 NKJV).

From: November 19, 2017

God gave Ezekiel a vision of a new temple in Jerusalem. The description is very detailed, so much so, that it is clear that it doesn’t describe Solomon’s temple from previous days, nor Zerubbabel/Herod’s in days after. Ezekiel’s temple has yet to be built. Those who read this vision metaphorically see a spiritual picture of the Church. Those who see the description as too specific and connected to the geography of Israel, see it as the temple that will be built during the millennial reign of Christ.
 
Ezekiel’s temple vision is a mystery and difficult to understand, yet it is filled with beauty and hope for the future. This hope is not in a temple made with human hands, but in the God who gives such visions and fulfills all of His promises. “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes!'” (2 Cor. 1:20). One day we will understand Ezekiel’s temple vision as the Lord Jesus will give us full understanding.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10 NKJV)

From: November 19, 2015

Those who love talking beware! The tongue has great power. Power to bless and to curse. Yet, sin is on the tip of the tongue. Complaining, gossip, lying, filthy language, sarcastic joking and cursing are among the sins of the tongue. From where does this talk come? The heart. The tongue is a heart monitor. It reports the attitude of the heart. Only God can give us new hearts and tame our tongues.

“So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone” (James 2:24 NLT)

From: November 19, 2014

At first glance, this statement about faith seems to contradict Romans 3:28 which clearly upholds that faith alone pleases God. Yet, James and Paul are not in conflict. Paul is concerned that some would make works and law-keeping the means for justification. He rightly proclaims that faith in Christ’s finished work is the only means for our justification. Faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone is Paul’s teaching. But if Paul corrects those who think their own works will be sufficient for salvation, James corrects those who would offer mere lip service to their faith without any fruit verifying its authenticity. Paul is concerned with what true faith believes, while James is concerned with what true faith does after it believes. Faith alone grafts us onto the Vine that we might live, but fruit-bearing shows that we do live.

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8)

From: November 19, 2013

Learn to trust in the Lord finding a place of security in Him. Trust in man will always lead to disappointment. Dependence on human government (“princes” as in v.9) or other human systems is also not advised. Depend on God.

“When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability” (Proverbs 28:2)

From: November 19, 2012

Even Solomon, who God used to write this proverb, led Israel’s decline into idolatry and “moral rot.” If God’s chosen nation was susceptible, then any nation is. Americans are increasingly of the opinion that moral character is a private matter that has no bearing on public competence. However, the Bible says that character and competence cannot be separated. Morality matters.

“No man can tame the tongue” (James 3:8)

From: November 19, 2011

Those who are ‘talkers’ beware! Sin is on the tip of the tongue. Complaining, gossip, lying, filthy language, sarcastic joking and cursing are among the sins of the tongue. From where does this talk come? The heart. The tongue is a heart monitor. It reports what’s in the the heart. Only God can change hearts and tame our tongues.