Being Stubborn


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 8-10; 2 Corinthians 10

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 8:4-22

For many years, God knew that at some point the Israelites were going to want to anoint a king against His wishes (see Deuteronomy 17:14-21).  In today’s key passage, we see this desire for a king finally came to fruition.  The Israelites wanted to be more like their neighbors, and they wanted a king to call their own, so they came to Samuel and asked him to appoint one.  Now Samuel was a man of God, and he knew God’s wishes.  He knew that God was against the Israelites having any king over them other than God himself, so he took this request to God to ask for guidance.  In response to his request, God provided Samuel with a warning to pass on to the Israelites about appointing a king.  Samuel shared with the Israelites God’s warning about what would happen if they appointed themselves a king.  God promised that the king would:

  1. Make the sons of the Israelites serve him either in the army or in working his land
  2. Make the daughters of the Israelites be perfumers and cooks for him
  3. Take the best of the fields, vineyards, and olive groves away from the Israelites
  4. Take a tenth of the Israelites grain
  5. Take the Israelites best servants, cattle, and donkeys and make them his own
  6. Take a tenth of the Israelites flocks
  7. Make the Israelites his slaves

Now, I do not know about you, but none of these things sound very attractive to me.  Despite God’s warnings, however, the Israelites refused to listen and decided that they still wanted a king.  The Israelites were simply being stubborn.

Most of us have a tendency to be stubborn at times.  Sometimes this stubbornness can be a good thing, like when we refuse to quit a task despite its difficulties.  More often than not, however, stubbornness can lead to many problems, and when we choose to be stubborn despite God’s warnings those problems are guaranteed.  Like the Israelites, we will not have to guess when it comes to God’s warnings.  Just as God made His warnings clear to them through Samuel, He makes His warnings clear to us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We know what the Bible says about sin, yet we sometimes still choose to turn away from God and sin anyway.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us that something we are doing, saying, or thinking is wrong, we sometimes still choose to do, say, or think those things anyway.  Looking back on the Israelites choosing a king despite what God told them the king would do seems crazy to us, yet we continue to turn away from God despite the fact that His warnings against sin are far worse than just losing our possessions or our time.  Join me today in asking God to take away our stubbornness towards Him.  Join me in asking God to help us get rid of any “kings” we might want ruling over us other than Him.  Do not choose to be stubborn despite God’s warnings.  Choose instead to live in obedience to Him all the days of your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Acknowledging God in Our Own Way


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 6,7; Psalm 72; 2 Corinthians 9

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 6:1-5

During a battle with the Israelites, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant.  (The Ark of the Covenant was a large box that contained the Ten Commandments given to Moses.)  The Philistines were happy about capturing the ark because they had heard the stories of God’s great power in saving the Israelites in the past, and they hoped that since they now possessed the ark they would have that same power on their side.  What they found, however, was that everywhere they took the ark, devastation followed.  They took the ark from town to town, but God would always afflict the people in these towns with tumors as a punishment for taking the ark away from the Israelites.  In our key passage today, the Philistines were trying to decide what to do.  They knew they could not keep the ark any longer, because too many of their people were dying, so they decided to send it back to the Israelites.  They did not want to send it back to Israel (and to God) empty handed, so they decided to send with it a guilt offering consisting of five gold tumors and five gold rats.  This type of offering was the type the Philistines would make to their own gods, so they believed this would be acceptable to the God of Israel, even though this was hardly the type of sacrifice that God’s laws prescribed.  The Philistines were trying to acknowledge God in their own way instead of serving Him in the way He requires, and the results would be disastrous when the Philistines were defeated in battle by the Israelites.

Many people in our world today still try to acknowledge God in their own way.  These people have many different theories about God and believe there are many different paths to spending eternity with Him.  Some believe that if they do enough good deeds they will make it to Heaven.  Others believe that if they do not do anything “really bad” they will make it to Heaven.  Some people believe that as long as they go to church every once in a while or read the Bible, they will make it to Heaven.  Still others even believe that Heaven does not exist.  The sad truth, though, is that all of these people are lost.  Like the Philistines, those who are trying to acknowledge God in their own way will face devastating results.  Heaven is a real place, Hell is a real place too, and God has made it clear that there is only one way to ensure you make it to Heaven.  In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Some people believe that this sounds elitist or exclusionary, but in reality, it is actually quite the opposite.  There are no special requirements for coming to Jesus Christ and starting a personal relationship with Him.  The Bible says in Romans 10:9-10, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  Even if you consider yourself a “Christian”, if you have never truly accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, today can be the day that you stop trying to acknowledge God in your own way.  Today can be the day that you receive salvation.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Hearing God’s Voice


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 3-5; Psalm 77; 2 Corinthians 8

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 3:1-15

Awhile back, I flew into Baltimore, MD for a business trip.  As I was driving to my final destination about an hour outside of Baltimore, the radio station that I was listening to kept fading in and out.  As I drove through the rolling terrain, I noticed that when I was on top of hills, the signal came through loud and clear, but when my rental car descended into valleys the signal would fade and I was barely able to hear the song among the static.  I did not think much of it at the time, but I vividly remembered this experience as I was reading today’s key passage.  So often, hearing God’s voice works the same way as hearing that radio station.  As we move through our spiritual life, we all have high points and low points.  At our highs, we are reading God’s Word daily, we are spending time with Him in prayer, we are living in obedience, and we are constantly seeking Him.  In those times, His voice comes in loud and clear.  When we begin to slip, however, things change.  As we begin to allow the business of life to distract us from His Word or from prayer, His voice becomes harder and harder to hear.  If we spend enough time with our focus and obedience away from God, all we will be able to hear is static.

In today’s key passage, Samuel also faced a problem in hearing God’s voice, but his problem was a bit different.  He had no trouble hearing God voice, but he had difficulty discerning the source.  One night while lying in the temple, God called out to Samuel three different times.  Each time, Samuel’s response was correct in that he answered, “Here I am”, but he thought it was Eli, the high priest, who was calling him.  In 1 Samuel 3:7, we begin to understand the problem when we read, “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.”  Because Samuel did not yet know God, he was unable to realize that the voice he was hearing came from the Lord.  As Samuel’s relationship with God grew, he would eventually solve this problem.  Likewise, as our relationships with God grow, we will not only find it much easier to hear God’s voice, we will also be able to discern when it is His voice that is calling us.  The further away from God we are, the more “static” we will hear.  We will find that we have so many voices speaking to us – the voices of our sinful desires, our past hurts, and our enemy – that we will be unable to distinguish between those voices and the voice of the most-high God.  Whenever you are having trouble hearing God’s voice and discerning His calling for your life, learn to press in even closer to Him.  Spend more time in His Word.  Spend more time in His presence.  As our relationship with God grows deeper and as we shift our focus more on Jesus Christ, we will start to hear from Him loud and clear, and we will be able to answer His calling by saying, “Here I am”.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Healing Through Prayer


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 1,2; Psalm 66; 2 Corinthians 7

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 1:1-18

In today’s key passage, we read the story of a man named Elkanah who had two wives, Peninnah, who had children, and Hannah, who had no children.  Three times a year, Elkanah and his wives would travel to the tabernacle in Shiloh to worship God and bring the required sacrifices to God, and each time Peninnah would insult Hannah because she was barren.  Hannah would get so upset during these trips, that she would end up crying constantly and would not eat.  Finally, during one of these trips, Hannah decided to pray.  She made a vow to God that if He would give her a son, she would dedicate him to a life of service to God.  The high priest Eli saw her praying and gave her encouragement.  When she finished her conversation with Eli, this woman who was so upset that she would not eat, “went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.” (Vs. 18)  In a matter of moments, Hannah went from feeling depressed and discouraged to feeling joyful.  Eventually, God blessed her with a child, and she kept her promise to God to dedicate him to a life of service. (Vss. 27-28)  In addition, God would later give Hannah five more children.  (Vs. 2:21)

In this story, Hannah actually received two different types of healing through her prayer.  She received a physical healing when her prayer was answered and God allowed her to conceive her first child.  In addition, she received emotional healing when she was finished praying.  It is important for us to note that she did not need to wait for her prayer to be answered in order to feel joy.  Her emotional healing came about not by God working on her behalf and making her pregnant, but through her faith in God and through the encouragement she received from Eli.  When she cried out to God in her desperate time, she was able to leave her problems with Him.  Moreover, she received moral support from a fellow believer that further led to her emotional healing.  So often, we have a tendency to hold on to our discouragement until the time comes when God answers our prayers, but we can receive emotional healing long before that ever happens.  When we pray, we can take all of our problems to God and can LEAVE THEM at the cross of Jesus Christ.  We do not have to hold onto our sadness, our anger, or our bitterness.  When we have faith like Hannah, we can finish our prayer knowing that God has heard us.  We can finish our prayer knowing that God is working in our best interest.  We can finish our prayer with emotional healing.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

 

Trusting God’s Plan


Daily Bible Reading – Ruth 3,4; Psalms 64,65; 2 Corinthians 6

Today’s Key Passage – Ruth 4:9-22

In today’s reading, we finish the story of Ruth.  Yesterday, we read about her hardships.  We found out that Ruth was a widow living in poverty.  To feed herself and her mother-in-law, she found a field belonging to Boaz and gleaned.  Today, the story is wrapped up when Boaz and Ruth get married and have a child.  The story of Ruth is a good one – one that almost sounds like it would make a great plot for a movie.  Picture this – a woman loses her husband and moves to a town far away where the only person she knows is her mother-in-law.  There she lives in poverty until she receives charity from a man who owns some land.  He notices her and they end up falling in love and having a baby.  That is a great movie right?  If that was the end of the story, it would still be a good one, but the story of Ruth has so much more to offer.  You see, the child they had together was named Obed (which means worship).  Obed would go on to have a child named Jesse, and Jesse would go on to have a child named David who would later become known as King David.  King David’s genealogy would continue through a few more generations all the way to a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem.  When Ruth married Boaz and had a child, she set off a chain of events that would culminate in the birth of Jesus Christ.

When I read the story of Ruth, I think about how she must have felt when she lost her husband.  I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that must come with losing a spouse.  On top of that, she found herself living in poverty, literally picking up scraps from a field to eat, and living in a foreign land.  How easy would it have been for Ruth to start to question God?  How easy would it have been for her to think God had completely left her?  Throughout all of these hardships, though, Ruth remained dedicated and faithful to God.   She trusted that God had a plan for her and that He would work out her situation in His time.  God used her painful situation to bring about events that would lead to the greatest event in the history of mankind – the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Of course, Ruth could not have possibly known this at the time.  All she could see was her present situation.  All she could see was her pain.  When we face trials, no matter how bad they are, we can rest in knowing that God has a plan for us.  Sometimes the trials we face, as painful as they may be, are absolutely necessary for God’s plan.  If Ruth had not lost her husband and become poor, she never would have ended up in that field meeting the man she would marry, and she never would have given birth to a genealogical line that would end with Jesus Christ.  Very often, when we face difficulties or when things do not go according to our “plans”, we find it difficult to see how our pain might turn out to be a great thing for us.  We can only see a tiny dot in the big picture of life.  God, however, can see the whole picture.  He knows where each piece fits.  We can trust His plan and we can have faith that everything He does is for the greater good.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Gleaning in the Right Field


Daily Bible Reading – Ruth 1,2; Psalms 53,61; 2 Corinthians 5

Today’s Key Passage – Ruth 2:1-23

Today we began the story of Ruth.  In chapter 1, we read that Ruth was a widow living in Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi.  When Naomi decided to leave Moab and return to Bethlehem, Ruth decided to go with her and care for her even though she was not obligated to do so.  During this time in history, being a widow typically meant living a life of poverty and neglect, and this was true of Naomi and Ruth.  In chapter 2, we learn that since they did not have much money, Ruth decided to find a field in which to glean.  (By Israelite law, when it was time to harvest wheat and barley, landowners were not permitted to harvest the edges of their fields.  In addition, during the harvest anything that fell to the ground was to be left there.  Poor people could then come along and pick up the leftover wheat and barley, which was called gleaning.)  Ruth found a field belonging to Boaz and began to glean there.  She worked hard all day to gather as much as possible to feed herself and Naomi, and Boaz (the landowner) noticed her.  He told Ruth to stay in his field and glean as much as she wanted.  In addition, he told his men to leave some of the prime harvest for her to pick up.  At the end of the day, Ruth had gleaned an ephah of barley (which was about 30 to 50 pounds) which she took back to share with Naomi.

There are many lessons to be learned from the story of Ruth.  We can learn about her character as she lived a life of obedience to God.  We can learn about her positioning herself in a place to receive God’s blessings.  We can also learn a valuable lesson about gleaning.  We may think that gleaning is an unimportant thing of the past that does not apply to us today, but in reality, each of us “gleans” every single day of our lives.  We “glean” from different places as we feed our minds and our spirits with material.  Whether we realize it or not, we are going to “pick up” things all the time, either from what we see, hear, or read.  It is important that, like Ruth, we find the right field in which to glean, and the best field we can find is the Word of God.  In this field, we can gather the spiritual nourishment we need to survive.  Gleaning in God’s Word may not always be the easiest choice, and sometimes it may take work on our part, but once we have found this good “field”, we should stay there and glean as much as we want.  As we search God’s Word, we will be rewarded for our work as He leaves all sorts of “prime harvest” for us to pick up to feed our souls.  It is not enough, though, for us to simply get our fill of God’s harvest.  We must take our “gleanings” and share them with others, just as Ruth shared her gleanings with Naomi.  Take a look today at where you are spending your time.  From what fields are you gleaning?  From what fields are your spouse and children gleaning?  The field of God’s Word is available and waiting for you to come along and start picking up a harvest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Serving God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 19-21; 2 Corinthians 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

As followers of Christ, we are all called to be His ministers in the world.  No matter what your job title is or what you do for a living, you have been called to be a full time servant of Jesus Christ.  The greatest decision you can ever make is the decision to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.  Perhaps the second greatest decision you can ever make is to choose to be His servant.  Have you made the decision to serve Christ in all that you do?  Do you have a burden for the lost and want to see others come to Christ?  If so, in today’s key passage Paul has a few tips for us in our service to Christ:

1. We have mercy - “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (vs. 1) Never forget that we have been given the right to minister for God not by our own actions but by God’s grace and mercy.

2. We need integrity - “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (vs. 2) When talking to others about Christ, never try to alter the message to fit what the audience wants to hear.  Our job is to simply speak the truth about God’s Word.

3. We have an enemy - “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (vss. 3-4) The “god of this age” is Satan, and he has blinded people to the truth of God’s Word.

4. We need a priority - “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (vss. 5-6) Our priority should never be to talk about what we have done.  Our priority is to keep the focus where it belongs – on Jesus Christ.

5. We are weak, but He is strong “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (vss. 7-9) Like jars made of clay, we are frail humans who are prone to sin and suffering.  Even though we are weak, God still uses us to reach the lost.  We cannot serve on our own, but God gives us the strength we need to keep going.

6. We must speak up - “It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak” (vs. 13) It is not enough for us to simply know the Good News about Jesus Christ.  To reach the lost, we have to be willing to step out in faith and tell them about Him.

7. We have a reward - “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (vss. 17-18) We may face trials on this earth as we serve Him, but we will receive our reward in Heaven.

Are you ready to serve God?  Are you ready to step out in faith?  Pray to God today and tell Him that you are ready for Him to use you.  Tell Him you are ready to go wherever He leads.  Tell Him you are ready to do whatever He needs done.  Tell Him you are ready to make a difference for His Kingdom.  If you open yourself up to becoming His servant, He will blow you away with all that He can do in you and through you.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Proclaiming the Greatness of God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 17,18; Psalm 89; 2 Corinthians 3

Today’s Key Passage – Psalm 89

In reading Psalm 89 today, I was struck by the first two verses in which the psalmist says, “I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.” God had promised to preserve David’s descendants and to make one of them the king of the earth forever.  The psalmist was so overjoyed by this fact that he wanted to tell everyone he knew.  He wanted to sing God’s praises forever.  He wanted to shout from the rooftops about the greatness of God.  He talks about the strength of God in verse 8 when he says, “O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.” He talks about God owning everything in verses 11-12 when he says, “The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.” He praises God’s character in verse 14 when he says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” He talks about the joy God brings in verses 15-16 when he says, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.” The psalmist has found so many reasons to exalt and revere God that he simply cannot hold them all in any longer.  He must proclaim God’s greatness to everyone he knows.

This psalmist was on fire for God because of a promise.  At this point in history, God had simply promised David that someday one of his descendants would rule forever.  As excited as this psalmist was about this promise, he did not even know the whole story that we know today.  He did not know that Jesus Christ would be born from David’s line, but would also be born from God.  He did not know that Christ would live a perfect life and would die for the sins of the world.  He did not know that Jesus would be resurrected and would sit at the right hand of God interceding for us.  He did not know that Christ would reign forever.  Fortunately, we have the benefit of knowing these things.  As excited as the psalmist was, how much more excited should we be?  How much louder should we be shouting from the rooftops?  When we are born again and Christ comes to live inside of us, we are filled with the joy of knowing that these promises God has made are true.  As the Holy Spirit inside of us begins making changes in us, we will find that, like the psalmist, we cannot help but to proclaim the greatness of God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Learning from History


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 13:1-5

As I have been reading Judges for the last week or so, two famous quotes have come to mind.  The first, attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke is, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  The second, attributed to a variety of people including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  These two quotes seem fairly appropriate to any discussion of the book of Judges.  During the period of the Judges, the Israelites found themselves in a pattern of destructive behavior.  When they had no one to lead them, they would turn away from God and “do evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  Because of their evil, God would deliver them into the hands of an enemy who would oppress them for a period of years.  When the Israelites could no longer take the abuse, they would “cry out to the Lord” for help.  At that point, God would give them a judge – a person to lead them who would conquer their enemies.  When that person would die, the Israelites would once again turn away from God and the whole cycle would repeat itself.  It seemed that no matter how bad things were when they were far from God or how great things were when they were close to Him, they could not seem to break this cycle and they would always choose to ignore their own history.  They would do the same things over and over again and expect a different result.

As is common when we study the Bible, it is pretty easy to look back at the Israelites in hindsight and see their mistakes.  It is easy for us to wonder how they could possibly keep turning from the Lord when it always went so badly for them.  The sad truth, however, is that most of us do the same thing as the Israelites in one degree or another from time to time.  Think about it – every time we give in to temptation and sin, are we not turning away from God?  Are we not doing evil in the eyes of the Lord?  When things get bad for us because of our sinfulness, do we not cry out to the Lord for help, repent, and do everything we can to follow His ways again until the next time we fall to temptation?  Just like the Israelites, we too can find ourselves caught in a vicious cycle of sin, guilt, and remorse.

Fortunately for us, we have hope in breaking this cycle.  First of all, we have history to study to help us learn what happens when we stray.  Like the Israelites, we can look at our own personal histories to see the cycle of sin and see what happens when we choose to turn away from God.  Unlike the Israelites, we have something more.  Instead of just looking at our own history, we can also study the history in the Bible to see this same cycle through the ages.

Secondly, we have the help of the Holy Spirit living with us to break this cycle.  Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can overcome any temptation, no matter how great.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” God does not want to see us fail.  He does not want to see us in the same cycle as the Israelites.  He wants us to have freedom over temptation and sin, and He wants us to stay close to Him.

Finally, we have hope in knowing that in His limitless grace and mercy, God is always waiting for us with open arms if we fall.  Time and time again, when the Israelites cried out to Him, He answered their call.  Time and time again, when they were ready to follow Him again, He was there to lead them.  No matter how many times you have fallen, He is waiting for you to cry out to Him.  If you are willing to follow Him, He is willing to lead you.  Do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.  Learn from your own history and the history of countless other generations before you, and press in closer to God today.  Allow Him to be Lord of your life, and break the cycle for good.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Overflowing Comfort


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 11,12; Psalm 50; 2 Corinthians 1

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

In the past, I have talked a lot about how God comforts us in our times of sorrow.  When we are suffering, God provides us with comfort in many ways.  We are comforted by His Word and by stories of the comfort He has provided for others during times of strife.  We are comforted by His promises to us of eternal protection.  We are comforted by the Holy Spirit living inside of us providing us with the encouragement to move forward.  There are countless ways in which He provides us with His comfort.  In today’s key passage, Paul touches on something a bit different, though.  Paul talks about why God comforts us.  Obviously, one reason God provides us with comfort in our times of need is because of His great love for us.  He does not want to see us suffer since we are His children.  However, there is another reason for His comfort that I would like us to really focus on today.  In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  See, God does not just comfort us for our own sake.  He comforts us for the sake of others.

As followers of Christ, we learn to love others unconditionally by focusing on the unconditional love God has for us.  Likewise, we can learn to comfort others by focusing on the comfort God provides to us.  One of the primary ways God comforts us is by using our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Have you ever noticed that when you are really down or things are going badly, another believer comes along and says just the right thing to make you feel better?  This is an example of God using His people to provide us comfort.  Have you ever been stuck in a bad mood but find your spirits lifted by a song on the radio?  This is another example of God using His people to provide us comfort.  God does this all the time, and the fact is that He wants to use YOU to help comfort someone else.  He provides you with comfort in your time of need to the point of overflowing so that the level of comfort you have received from Him can be shared with others.  When a person comes along and says the perfect thing that you need to hear in your time of distress, it is partly so that you will be able to say the perfect thing that someone else needs to hear in his time of distress.  Focus on the ways in which God has comforted you in the past.  Focus on what He has done to help you.  Then, when you see others in need of comfort, share your comfort with them.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

 

 

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