Sometimes I think that today's "prosperity preachers" have hijacked a legitimate biblical term. After all, God does want His sons and daughters to prosper. But what does that really mean? That you'll never get sick? Never have problems? Never run out of money? Never have strains in your relationships? No, that is not what the Bible means by "prosperity."
...In typical Tiger-style, concentration on the stroke before him was intense. It was intense until a few hundred camera shutters let loose in an attempt to record the moment. Tiger's mental focus was broken and in anger he turned upon the photographers and blurted out the Savior's Holy Name...
When a speaker comes and insists on sharing a long litany of his accomplishments, publications, and degrees, you can be fairly certain they are not relying on the Holy Spirit. When Paul compared himself to the false teachers that were trying to draw the Corinthians away from the truths Paul taught, Paul said it was his weaknesses that were worth boasting about, not strengths.
How can God punish the sin and love the sinner? Ponder the achievement of God. He doesn't condone our sin, nor does he compromise his standard. He doesn't ignore our rebellion, nor does he relax his demands.
Are you careful about the words you use? Do they please God? Or do you often criticize people, grumble about the circumstances in your life, and say things you should not say? How would you feel about having a replay of any or all of your words? If you have a problem in this area, use the words in today's Key Verse to ask the Lord to help you say only things that bear repeating. Remember that some day you'll have to answer to God for the words you use.
Yes, there is no safety like that which comes of dwelling near to God. For His best beloved the Lord can find no surer or safer place. O Lord, let me always abide under thy shadow, close to thy wounded side. Nearer and nearer would I come to thee, my Lord; and when once specially near thee, I would abide there for ever.
If I see God in everything, He will calm and color everything I see! Perhaps the circumstances causing my sorrows will not be removed and my situation will remain the same, but if Christ is brought into my grief and gloom as my Lord and Master, He will "surround me with songs of deliverance" (Ps. 32:7)
Paul had an intense passion for the churches he founded. By this time in church history, false teachers were making their rounds trying to push certain false doctrines. From the passage we can learn several things about them. They carried an air of authority.
Are you fretting about something-perhaps wanting to do something your parents say you're not old enough to do? Or wishing you could go places with older siblings? Do you think you'd have more fun if you were grown up? Whatever you're waiting for will be more enjoyable and valuable because of the wait. Meanwhile, use the experiences God is giving you right now to develop Christian virtues-including patience.
As children, the minute we got home from school we would hit the pavement. The kid across the street had a dad with a great arm and a strong addiction to football. He couldn't resist when we would yell for him to play ball. He'd always ask, "Which team is losing?" Then he'd join that team, which often seemed to be mine.
Paul's thorn in the flesh that he mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12 could have been some kind of disability, something he'd been born with. More likely, it was something he incurred later in life as a result of his many beatings, shipwrecks, or the time he was stoned and left for dead.
Well, I can do as much as that. I can do a kind act toward the Lord's servant. The Lord knows I love them all, and would count it an honor to wash their feet. For the sake of their Master I love the disciples.
God's servants must be taught the value of the hidden side of life. The person who is to serve in a lofty place before others must also assume a lowly place before his God. We should not be surprised if God occasionally says to us, "Dear child, you have had enough of this hurried pace, excitement, and publicity.