Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Verse for Today - 1 Peter 5:8-9 (Click for mini-blog)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Read all of 1 Peter 5

What does the world do with a verse like this?  Probably nothing.  Depending how they see they world, they might think there’s no need to be alert and watchful.  From their perspective they might think that Satan and evil beings don’t exist.

What do Christians do with a verse like this?  It’s something we should think about.  Sometimes Satan pretends to be an Angel of Light (see 2 Corinthians 10) and sounds almost Christian.  He uses deception and seduction to fool people into thinking they’re with him on God’s side when they’re not.  Of this sort are pastors who make you feel good about yourself and entice you with promises of wealth, success and happiness.  They won’t tell you to deny yourself, take up your cross and be ready to suffer for Christ. 

In Verses 8 and 9 we’re warned that sometimes Satan doesn’t pretend at all.  He hates God and he hates devoted Christians (see Rev. 12:17).  Sometimes he can ruthlessly persecute and crush them, seemingly at will.  What should Christians do when confronted with evil in this way?  

ANSWER: “Be watchful and sober minded.”  “Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”  Stand against evil and the Evil One and you have done your job.  In the last part of the verse he connects our trials to those of others around the world… and perhaps throughout history.  With faithful devotion, God will be pleased to either rescue us or welcome us into his eternal kingdom.  Those with genuine faith trust their heavenly Father to provide for them in this life and in the life to come.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Verse for Today - Psalm 19:14 (click for mini-blog)

Psalm 19:14

"May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Read all of Psalm 19

Psalm 19 is an important Psalm.  It is the classic reference for the two ways in which God has revealed himself.  He has done so by "General Revelation (vss 1-4) and Special Revelation (vss. 7-11)... that is to say through the creation all around us AND through the self-revelation of His Word. 

In other words, for those with eyes to see, the EVIDENCE is everywhere... around us and within.  Examples abound... from birds being able to migrate to places they've never been and construct nests they've never seen, to the way our minds can remember the past, and really even the existence of life at the molecular and chromosomal level.  

Special revelation is something else.  It is the visitations and written record of these visits and revelations.  On a practical basis, God's special revelation is mostly the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture was given by inspiration of God is profitable..."  It records the truth and teaches us about God, His grace and the work of salvation He accomplished in Christ.  

In our Verse for Today, the Psalmist recognizes the importance of the words he is speaking and thoughts he is thinking... that their ultimate standard is God Himself.  

We will all be measured by the the same Standard, and so we should all pray this same prayer.