Tag: God’s plans

A Holy Calling!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: 2nd Timothy 1, Psalm 47, Proverbs 12

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:6-9  “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us into a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purposes and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, . . .”

This was Paul’s last recorded letter written to his son in the faith, Timothy.  Paul was alone and faced certain execution at the hands of Rome.  He encouraged Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God, and to never be ashamed of Jesus Christ and the sacred Gospel testimony.  He also restated the holy calling that rested on his life and Timothy’s (as well as all believers) to share the Gospel and to suffer if needed as a result of the sharing.  Jesus saved us to fulfill His own purposes, established before recorded time.

Faith Confession:  I am saved by Jesus Christ and set apart by Him with a holy calling to preach the Gospel and to suffer, if necessary, for the cause of Christ.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel and identify with Christ and His followers.

Psalm 47:8-9 “God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.  The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.  For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted!”

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Religious bigotry!

Scripture reading for June 8th:  Acts 25

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 25:1-3  “Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where the chief priest and Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul.  They urgently requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.”  

Paul was imprisoned without facing trial for two years by Felix because he failed to give him a bribe!  Felix kept him in jail to appease the Jews as well.  Then a new governor took over and upon visiting Jerusalem, these same religious leaders again requested a “favor” of the governor.  They asked that Paul come to Jerusalem for a trial.  Their underlying plan was to kill Paul as he was traveling there because they knew they did not have a case!  It is interesting how wicked the “religious” can be to get what they want.  But God has His plans that will not be thwarted!

Observations for over-comers:  Believers must realize that religion and politics are tools of the devil to bring fear and worry on God’s people.  But God is in control, even though His timing is not always ours!  “But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are  my God.”  My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and those who pursue me.”  Let Your face shine on Your servant; save me in Your unfailing love.”  (Psalms 31:14-16)

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God at work to accomplish His will!

Scripture reading for May 14th: Esther 1-2

The story of Esther takes place in Persia during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah when the Jews were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.  It never mentions the name of God, but God’s presence is implied and felt throughout the story.  It is the story of ordinary Jewish people who are trying to be faithful to their God while they live in a foreign land.

This story begins with a king of Persia who liked to drink, boast of his wealth, and evidently his women, too!  He called for his beautiful queen, Vashti, to come and display herself before the nobles who were drinking with her husband.  Queen Vashti refused to do what he asked.  The king was furious and sought counsel as to what to do about this offense.  It was decided that she must be made a public example so that other women would not get the idea that they could disobey their husbands and show them disrespect.  Queen Vashti was removed from her royal position, never to come into the king’s presence again!  A search was made for the most beautiful and suitable woman to take the queen’s place.  God exalted Esther, a Jew, to this place of honor!

In today’s culture, what Vashti did would have been totally acceptable!  She did not want to be eye candy for a group of men that were already inflamed by wine.   But in that culture, women were expected to be totally obedient to their husbands and disrespect (disobedience) was not tolerated!  In the pagan culture, all the men in power felt threatened by the queen’s action!  They took action to protect themselves and their way of life. (Esther 1:18-20)

But God used the culture of that day to accomplish his purposes.  He removed Vashti, protecting her for her stand of faith.  He placed Esther in the place of influence and gave her favor in order to bring about the deliverance of all his people!  (Esther 2:17)  As a godly Jew, Esther knew how to obey the king and still remain loyal to her God.  By faith she became to all an example  of a woman true to her people and to her God!

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Things to Come

Scripture reading for January 18th: Genesis 48-50

Leaders work for God during a time and a season.  (Psalm 75:6-7)  Jacob had lived a full life and he knew his time to depart was near! (Genesis 48:21)  Jacob did not fear death, but had some things he wanted to leave with his children and grandchildren before he left this life.  Great leaders always leave a legacy for their families!  They know how to bless their children and pass on the blessing that they received by faith from the Lord.  We can learn from them how to live successfully and also how to leave successfully!

Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers.  And to you, as one who is over your brothers, I give the ridge of land I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”” (Genesis 48:21-22)

Israel left Joseph a word of prophesy and a piece of land.  God would be with him!  God would take him back to the land of his fathers.  Although Egypt had been a place of refuge from the famine, it would not be his home.  He had property that was given to him in the land of Canaan!  What Joseph did not necessarily see was the nearly four hundred years that his family would dwell in Egypt.  This word was given to him as a leader over his brothers, to inspire faith-filled and God directed leadership.  God’s Word brings vision and is a light for our path! (Psalm 119:105)

Jacob called for his sons to gather around him so that he could tell them what would happen in the days to come.  (Genesis 49:1)  Jacob’s words to each of his sons brought either rebuke, correction, encouragement or a vision of what was to come.  One son, Judah, was told that he was a “Lion’s cub”.  He would have from his offspring One who ruled and all nations would obey Him!  He would wash his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes.  (Genesis 49:10-12)  From the perspective we have, this “ruler” is none other that Jesus Christ!  He is known in heaven as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”!  (Revelation 5:5)  His robe is dipped in blood and His Name is the Word of God!  (Revelation 19:13)  Surely these are visions of things to come!

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