Tag: God is faithful
Scripture reading for March 15th: 1 Samuel 2-5
Key Scriptures: 1st Samuel 1:27-28-2:2 “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” . . .”Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in Your deliverance. There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one beside You; . . .”
Hannah was barren and she sought the Lord for a son. She promised to give the son to the Lord for His service and dedicate him as a Nazirite. God heard her prayer and she followed through by bringing the child to the priest Eli. As she released her son to God’s service, she worshiped with a song of rejoicing!
Rejoicing in the Lord: God is faithful and hears and answers prayer! We also can rejoice in the Lord for who He is! “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” (Philippians 4:4-6)
Scripture reading for September 18th: 1st Thessalonians 5
“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1st Thessalonians 5:1-2) Paul concluded his letter to the young believers with a final reminder about the coming of Jesus Christ. He repeated the teaching of Jesus about no one knowing the day or the hour. (Matthew 24:36, 43-44) In fact, people would be thinking that everything was normal when the Lord would suddenly return like a thief in the night. The return of Christ requires watchfulness and readiness on the part of His Church!
“So then, let us not be like others, who sleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Thessalonians 5:6-9) God appointed His people for salvation from His coming wrath upon sinners who refuse repentance. Those who continue to sin, live in darkness. The Church lives in the light of Christ and His word.
“May God Himself, the god of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” (1st Thessalonians 5:23-24) Paul’s final prayer is for the believers complete sanctification. Jesus will complete in us what He began!
Scripture reading for July 29th: 2nd Corinthians 1
As Paul wrote this second letter to the Corinthians, he was being attacked by some in Corinth and others in Asia. His troubles were so severe that he said ‘we despaired even of life.’ (2nd Corinthians 1:8) But Paul assured the Corinthians of God’s faithfulness to him and also to them!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)
God had sustained Paul through his troubles. Paul understood that those that live a godly life following Christ will suffer. The sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives as well as we live a holy life, separated to God. But God also gives His people comfort! The word for comfort is “paraklesis” and has the meaning of a person who stands along side of someone and encourages them in their trouble. What a comfort to know that God is faithful to us in our time of need!
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2nd Corinthians 1:21) We have God on our side and He has given us a special gift–the Holy Spirit! The Spirit lives in our hearts, anointing us with God’s grace and comfort. We are assured that we belong to God and eternal life in Him is certain! God is faithful!
Scripture reading for November 19th: Romans 4-5
Faith always has an object and that object is God! God alone is trustworthy and faithful to His word. If He said it, He will do it! He has the power to do whatever He says He will and the character of never lying! Paul writes to us today about Abraham and Sarah and what they discovered in their journey with God.
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it has been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.'” Romans 4:18-22
Sometimes things look impossible to the natural eye. When Abraham and Sara left their home to go to Canaan, God told them that He would give them offspring. (Genesis 15:4-6) In fact, their offspring would number more than the stars in the sky! Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness!
Time passed and they tried to produce the offspring. Sarah gave Abraham her maid and she conceived a son, Ishmael. They thought that perhaps this child was the promised seed, but God visited them again and told them that in their old age that they would have a son from their own bodies! This seemed so impossible that Sarah, listening to the angelic visitor, laughed out loud! (Genesis 18:10-15) However, God restored their bodies and they had the child, Isaac, whose name means “laughter’!
Faith is not difficult. It is simply coming to the point of being fully persuaded that God is faithful! What He has promised, He will bring to pass! Your faith is counted as righteousness! How marvelous is the grace of our amazing God!
Scripture reading for November 13th: Hebrews 11:17-31
Faith in God’s word causes us to be winners in life and even death! In fact, it is impossible to lose when we live by faith. He watches over His word to make sure it comes to pass! Reading about these great men and women of God who believed and acted on God’s word should inspire us to live even more passionately by faith!
Abraham obeyed God when he was told by God to take his only son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham had been told by God that it would be through his offspring that the promises made to him would be fulfilled. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:19) God was faithful to His word, and provided the sacrifice in place of Isaac. It was through Isaac that the promised seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, eventually came.
Moses was another hero recorded in Scripture who had to live by his faith. Moses was aware of God’s word about him given to his parents. He chose to believe God about his mission of delivering God’s people instead of enjoying the passing pleasures of sin in Egypt. (Hebrews 11:24-28) He refused the treasures of Egypt while looking for the reward God promised. By faith he led the people of Israel out of Egypt and persevered as if he could see the invisible God. He offered the passover lamb, along with others of faith and was spared from the destroying angel! Faith lead the nation to victory and freedom!
Many others also lived by faith and obtained God’s smile of approval! Joshua led the nation in circling the walls of Jericho and saw them fall by God’s power. Rahab, the prostitute, hid the spies knowing God’s word and believing Him. Gideon, Samson, Barak, David and Samuel all led the nation in victory over their enemies by following God’s infallible word!
“Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35b) Hebrews records that faith sometimes looked to the world as failure. Some chose to suffer rather than deny their faith or violate God’s word. They looked with eyes of faith for the reward God promised. All these ancients died in faith, patiently looking to God for the promise. What an inspiration for us!
Scripture reading for August 27th: 2nd Corinthians 1:12-2:8
Paul’s failure to visit the Corinthians as planned had left some of them charging Paul with being unreliable. Paul wrote this second letter to them to defend his reliability and to deal with issues that needed resolution. Paul explained that he had dealt with them in holiness and sincerity, according to God’s grace. He had planned to visit them on his way to Macedonia and then come back though on his way back to Judea. He decided not to personally visit at that time to spare them a personal rebuke. He was not being deceptive, but faithful to God. (2nd Corinthians 1:15-17)
“For as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in Him has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2nd Corinthians 1:18-20) Paul may have appeared to be undependable, but God was and is faithful. God’s word can be trusted. Every one of His promises are true and believers can say “Amen” to them for their lives.
Paul next wrote to encourage these Corinthians to restore the brother that they had disciplined for having his father’s wife. (1st Corinthians 5:1-5) “The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. No instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. . . .in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2nd Corinthians 2:6-11) This man’s punishment of being handed over to Satan had evidently brought deep sorrow and repentance to this brother. He was a broken man who now needed restoration from the same church family who had in love put him out. Paul encouraged them to obey his direction. Forgiveness was needed to restore him and this congregation to the flow of God’s grace.
Are you standing firm in God’s grace today? Is there a promise of God that you need to say “Amen” to? Is there a brother or sister that needs restoration and forgiveness? Be obedient!
Scripture reading for May 12th: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39
Nehemiah knew that the real strength of God’s city would come not from walls of stone around it, but from a renewed commitment to follow the Law of the Lord. The word of God is a sure foundation for blessing and success and also a strong source of protection when His people are walking in faith. Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law began to read aloud to the people. They listened attentively. (Nehemiah 8:1-3)
As the people listened, they needed explanation. It had been many years since they had heard God’s word and some had never heard it. The people began to weep at the law of God. Nehemiah told the people not to weep, but to share food and fellowship and rejoice because the “joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)
They were reading the law of God again the second day and found that the Israelites were to celebrate the Feast of Booths by making shelters and living outside for a week. This feast commemorated their deliverance from Egypt and wandering in the wilderness. They decided to celebrate it. They read from the Book of the Law each day for seven days and on the eighth day had a holy assembly. There they repented and separated themselves from foreign influences and confessed sins. A beautiful prayer of repentance is recorded in Nehemiah 9.
Following this prayer, they made vows to God to maintain purity in marriages. (Nehemiah 10:30) They recognized God’s desire for godly offspring and purity of living and worship. They promised not to buy or sell on the Sabbath and to cancel debts in the seventh year. (Nehemiah 10:31) They promised to pay their temple alms and tithes to care for the Levites and the House of God. (Nehemiah 10:32-37)
All this commitment was brought about by simply reading aloud the Book of the Law! God’s word has power to bring change in our hearts. It brings conviction of sin and reveals the love and mercy of God. The confession was public and the vows of commitment were even put in writing! (Nehemiah 9:38) This new commitment brought the joy of the Lord to the people and it was their strength!