The prophets gave clues. Their words spoke of time when God would dwell among His people. They wrote of a transformed life. They told of a day when the Spirit of God would be poured out. Jesus clarified those ancient prophecies by saying that He would be back to make His home in those who obeyed Him. The apostles came to realize they were living in that day.
Several times in the letters of the New Testament, the author gives a list of present, active, imperative commands. The verb tense in Greek tells us that each of these instructions is something we must do now. Right now and always we are to be joyful. It is a fruit of the Spirit.
Are you too young to preach? To organize meetings? To prepare a dinner? That's all right. Some day the Lord may ask you to do those things. Right now, perhaps you-not your mom-can be a friend to the new kid at school. You-not you ...
Righteousness is often costly to the man who keeps to it at all hazards, but in the end it will bear its own expenses, and return an infinite profit. A holy life is like sowing seed: much is going out, and apparently it is buried in the soil, never to be gathered up again.
The Thessalonian church was worried about those who had died. They thought that the return of Christ would come before their death. Paul told them that what he is about to share came from Jesus' own lips. Peter, or one of the other apostles, must have shared this with Paul. We don't find it in the Gospels. If Paul had not relayed it to this church, we wouldn't know the encouraging truth found here.
Does Satan fool you by making sin look attractive? He likes to keep you from seeing the ugly side of doing wrong things. If someone gets away with stealing candy, shoplifting may look attractive. When someone cheats and gets a good grade, it may seem like cheating is a good idea.
When my eldest daughter was 13, she flubbed her piano piece at a recital. The silence in the auditorium was broken only by the pounding of her parents' hearts. She hurried off the stage, threw her arms around me and buried her face in my shirt. "Oh, Daddy." That was enough for me.
The vision of the Angel of the Lord came to Moses while he was involved in his everyday work. That is exactly where the Lord delights in giving His revelations. He seeks a man traveling an ordinary road, and "suddenly a light from heaven" (Acts 9:3) shines on him.
What does it mean to devote oneself to prayer? What would you say you are devoted to? Paul encouraged the Colossians to make that kind of life commitment, watching for God's instructions, and expressing thanks for all His goodness.
Are you grateful for the wisdom and guidance of your parents? God has given them authority over you, and many of the rules they make are to guide you away from dangerous and harmful behavior. The next time you're tempted to disobey, think of rules as guardrails. Remember that God often uses parents or other family members and their rules to protect you from danger.
One of the first things I remember about the day I put my faith in Christ was the sense of peace filling my heart. It was as though someone had lifted a heavy burden from me. It wasn't until later, when I read the Bible, that I learned about God's promise of peace to every believer. He has given it to us as a gift.