Category: Doctrine of God (Page 1 of 8)

God Will Provide

And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece. (Lk. 9:3)

And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” (Lk. 22:35)

These two verses, though chapters apart from each other are directly connected. They link two historical events and they illustrate the truth that God provides for His people.

In Luke 9 Jesus called the twelve apostles to Himself for the purposes of commissioning them, commanding them, and equipping them for the immediate task of reaching the lost sheep of Israel (Mt. 10:6). He gave them authority over evil spirits, power to heal diseases (Lk. 9:1) and He sent them out to preach the good news of the kingdom of God (vs.2). The subsequent instructions that He gave them appear to have a sense of urgency. The disciples were not to take anything with them. Jesus said, “Take nothing for your journey, neither staff nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece” (vs.3).

The question is: Why did Jesus say this?

Was it simply because the matter of preaching the good news of the kingdom was urgent? Was it because He did not want them encumbered and preoccupied with things that could slow down their mission or distract them from their primary objectives? Was it because Jesus had some measure of concern in relation to the appearance of the disciples, meaning – He did not want them to look like ‘profit seekers’ who were ministering in the hopes that people would drop money into their bags?

Those concerns might have, in some measure, been part-and-parcel of Jesus’ rationale, but I think a primary one can be seen in the question that Jesus asked chapters later: “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything” (22:35a)?

And the disciples responded, “Nothing” (22:35b).

This mission, with all of its other incredibly important, kingdom-centered objectives, had the purpose of teaching the disciples, experientially, that God will provide. They were to walk in faith, commit themselves to the tasks given to them, minister to those who needed to hear the good news and experience healing, and they were to find that God would come through with the provision they needed when they needed it.

Perhaps that is a lesson you need to be reminded of today. This lesson does not dismiss all of the Biblically-appointed means of attaining provision that God has set before us; rather, it undergirds it with a rock-solid Biblical truth that is exemplified and stated throughout the Old and New Testament – the God who numbers the hairs of His people’s heads is the same God who calls His people to seek Him and His kingdom first with the promise that everything they need will be given to them (Mt. 6:33).

By God’s grace, you too will get to the end of your journey, and if you were asked, “Did you lack anything you needed as you went about the mission?” you’d be able to respond, “No, Lord, you sustained me and you gave me everything I needed to complete the task and finish the race.”

May you be exhorted to know that what may look like a challenge of faith today will become a monument of God’s faithfulness later with the memorial ensign – God will provide.

 

An Exhortation with a Glorious Implication

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17).

Usually the exhortation above is remembered within its immediate context of commands: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (vs.16-18). And, when remembered, these verses appropriately function as imperatives that Christians ought to embrace at any given moment. Christians always have reason to rejoice; Christians ought to be in constant communion with the Lord; and, regardless of circumstances, Christians invariably have an ample array of reasons to give thanks. And as true as those realities are, I would like to briefly consider the glorious implication behind the middle exhortation: “pray without ceasing.”

Via the apostle Paul, the God of the universe is commanding His people to interact with Him non-stop!
 
Think about that. Could you imagine telling someone, “Please, don’t stop talking to me. Just keep going. Be unceasing in your conversation and interaction with me.” If you did tell someone that, and they took you up on the offer, at some point you’d reconsider and say, “Actually, relax, I need a little break.” Yet, the God who redeemed His people commands them to be relentless in their commune with Him.
 
I think that one of the best ways to heed the command “pray without ceasing” is to see the heart of God behind it. Rather than simply thinking, “this is what I have to do because it is the right Christian thing to do,” we ought to say, “God loves a wretched sinner like me so much that He not only sent His Son to die for me, but He likes me enough to want me to continuously commune with Him?” That kind of thinking sets God’s gracious disposition towards us right before our eyes. And at that point, the desire to pray will hopefully come as a response to such amazing love and kindness.
 
Therefore, may you be exhorted today to think upon the glorious implication behind the exhortation, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17); and then, in light of such magnificent love, humbly and joyfully respond to the imperative and invitation of your God.

True and False Profits (Prov. 10:2; 11:4)

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 10:2)

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4)

 

Immediately in these verses our attention is drawn to the end of life, the concept of death, and deliverance from both death and wrath. Not exactly subjects that fallen men love to contemplate. The mottos found in society are more apt to be things like: ‘live for the here and now’, ‘all you have is today’, and ‘you only live once’; but the Scriptures would have us be wise by looking to the future. That is the best way to live wisely today – living with an eternal and biblical perspective.

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Seeing the Attributes of God in Genesis 13

Restorer. Notice how the chapter begins: “Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South” (vs.1). And so the dismal days of unbelieving, lying, self-protecting behavior that earned Abram a reprimand from an ungodly king were behind him. Interestingly, it’s as though the geography reinforces that idea. After all, Abram went – now watch how the text describes the locale – “to the place where his tent had been at the beginning” (vs.3b) and “to the place of the altar which he had made there at the first” (vs.4a). In back-to-back verses that specification is given. These historic reminders bring us back to Genesis 12:8 – the place where Abram built an altar and worshipped the LORD before going to Egypt. In one sense, yes, it was ‘back to square one.’ But it’s also as though Abram was getting a fresh start since he was back at the place where he was before he failed. Even though he faltered he would still become ‘the father of the faithful.’ A spiritual slump in Egypt didn’t send Abram into early retirement. You could say that here in Genesis 13 we get a kind of hint of what we would see so vividly displayed later on in redemptive history in the life of Peter – God is a restorer. Although sin is serious, it does not indefinitely sever a believer from usefulness. Peter, for example, was called to strengthen his brethren and feed the flock post his thrice denials (Lk. 22:32; Jn. 20:15-17). So there is indeed good news for failures like Abram, Peter, and us – God is a restorer. He can restore years (Joel. 2:25-26), nations (Jer. 30:17), joy (Ps. 52:12), and all things (Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 21:1-5) – including faltering patriarchs and stumbling saints.

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Lessons from Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain (Gen. 4:19-22)

Have you ever asked any of these questions?

What can I learn from Jabal?

What can I learn from Jubal?

What can I learn from Tubal-Cain?

 

Probably not. These names are among the more obscure ones in Biblical history. That being said, when we look at what is said about them and the context in which they are found, there are valuable insights to be gleaned. First, by way of creating context, these men are descendants of Cain and sons of his descendant, Lamech. Lamech was a murderer and the first polygamist in Biblical history. He had two wives: Adah and Zillah; and the aforementioned men were the sons of these two women respectively.

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