HIS GOOD PURPOSE
Read: Romans 8:28-29
All things work together for good to those who love God. - Romans
Romans 8:28 - how easily and how often this Bible reference
rolls off our tongues! But perhaps we need to grasp more fully
what this verse is really saying.
Randy Alcon, in a book he has co-authored with his wife
Nanci, offers some insights on Romans 8:28. He quotes the New
American Standard Bible translation of this verse: "God
- causes all things to work together for good." Randy points out
that it doesn't say each individual thing is good, but that God
works them together for good.
Recalling his boyhood days, Randy tells how he often watched
his mother bake cakes. One day when she had all the ingredients
set out - flour, sugar, baking powder, raw egg, vanilla - he
sneaked a taste of each one. Except for the sugar, they all
tasted horrible. Then his mother stirred them together and put
the batter in the oven. "It didn't make sense to me," he recalls,
"that the combination of individually distasteful things produced
such a tasty product."
Randy concludes that God likewise "takes all the undesirable
messes in our lives, mixes them together, puts them under the
heat of crisis, and produces a perfect result."
Let's look beyond our circumstances and remember that God
has an ultimate good purpose. - Joanie Yoder
Gad has a purpose in our heartaches, The Savior always knows
what's best; We learn so many precious lessons, In every sorrow,
trial, and rest. - Javis
WHEN THINGS LOOK BAD, DON'T FORGET: GOD IS GOOD.
TROUBLE IN THE LAND
Read: Joel 1
Cry out to the Lord. - Joel 1:14
And we think we have trouble! It's easy to lose the right
perspective when we look at our world and see the way things are
going. In some places people are struggling to survive, while
in others they are busy killing each other.
If the difficulties of the past few years make us wistful
for the good old days, we haven't read about the really old days
Joel was talking about.
Here's what Judah was up against: A relentless hoard of
locusts had ravaged the land. The vineyards were so damaged that
the priests couldn't even squeeze out a drink offering. The fig,
pomegranate, palm, and apple trees were all ruined.The entire
agricultural base, which was the lifeblood of the Judean economy,
was wiped out. Indeed, as Joel described it, "Joy has withered
away from the sons of men" (1:12). At a time when many must have
been shaking their fists at God for allowing such devastation,
Joel told the people that it was time to go into the house of the
Lord and cry out to Him.
That is always the answer when there is trouble in the land,
our only recourse is to turn to God, call out to Him, and trust
Him without fail. No matter what calamity strikes today, that
should be our number one strategy.
Do we daily "cry out to the Lord"? - Dave Branon
There is only One who knows All the answers to my woes; He will
all my needs supply; When in faith to Him I cry. - Anon.
PRAYER IS THE CHILD'S HELPLESS CRY TO THE FATHER'S ATTENTIVE EAR.
Read: Job 1
Submit to God, Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. -
A 16-foot shark left a couple of 2 inch-long teeth and more
than 30 gashes in a small Japanese fishing boat. According to a
news release out of Tokyo, the boat was occupied by a lone
71-year-old fisherman who beat off the attacking shark with a
long wooden pole. "I thought I was going to die. So I tried all
means to repel it," said Yoshiaki Ueda. The shark rammed the
small boat several times before leaving.
That shark attack reminds me of the attacks of our spiritual
enemy. James said, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
But how? Certainly not with a stick. What will discourage
him? James, Job, and our Lord give us the answer.
Immediately before saying, "Resist the devil," James said,
"Submit to God." Job did exactly that when he resisted Satan's
attack by saying, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21). Our Savior resisted
the Devil in the wilderness by quoting the Scriptures and
submitting Himself to the Father's care (Matthew 4:1.11).
How do we resist the Devil? Not by shouting or swinging, but
by submitting to the One who can deal with the enemy of our
souls. Trust God for the victory. - Mart De Haan
When Satan launches his attack We must take heart and pray;
If we submit ourselves to God, He'll be our strength and stay. -
TO RESIST THE DEVIL, SUBMIT TO HIS ENEMY.
WHO IS MOST IMPORTANT?
Read: Psalm 1
His delight is in the law of the Lord .... He shall be like a
tree planted by the rivers of water. - Psalm 1:2-3
During an operation, an experienced surgeon asked a young
intern, "Who is the most important person in this operating
The intern groped for an appropriate answer. He didn't
believe that his mentor was asking for personal compliments, so,
trying to sound gracious, he replied, "I suppose that it would be
these nurses who assist you in such an efficient manner."
The surgeon shook his head and said, "No, the most important
individual in this room is the patient."
It's possible to overlook the obvious. In personal Bible
study it's easy to forget that the most important element is you.
Whether you find profit or not depends on your attitude. What is
the right attitude to bring to Bible study? First, approach the
Bible with a sense of your own need, not simply to teach it to
someone else. Second, approach the Bible with humility. Don't try
to make the Bible say what you would like it to say, but study to
discover what God bas said.
German theologian Johann Bengel said, "Be like a maker of a
well who brings no water to his source but allows the water he
finds there to flow freely without stoppage, diversion, or
defilement." Those who do that will grow like trees "planted by
the rivers" (Psalm 13). - Haddon Robinson
Afraid to see what's in God's Book? It's meant far you, don't
fail to look. The words and thoughts contained therein will bring
God's peace and cleanse your sin. - Beals
BIBLE STUDY IS MEANT NOT MERELY TO INFORM BUT TO TRANSFORM.
TAKE AS DIRECTED
Read: Psalm 119:33-48
Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me
the joy and rejoicing of my heart. - Jeremiah 15:16
Dr.Smiley Blanton was a busy New York City psychiatrist who
kept a Bible on his desk. Somewhat surprised to see this, a
client asked, "Do you, a psychiatrist, read the Bible?"
"I not only read it, I study it," said Dr.Blanton, a devout
Christian. Then he added, "If people would absorb its message, a
lot of psychiatrists would go out of business."
To clarify his point, Dr.Blanton said that if clients who
are plagued by guilt would read the parable of the prodigal son
and his forgiving father. (Luke 15:11-32), they could find the
key to healing.
Do we look for healing in God's powerful Word? We may read
the Bible, but do we really believe it, study it, and put its
teachings into practice? The saving truth of Scripture is God's
potent medicine for delivering us from the disease of sin.
The prophet Jeremiah, despite difficulties and hardships,
found joy in the words of the Lord (Jeremiah 15:16). And the
Psalmist loved the commandments of God (Psalm 119:48) and said to
Him, "I will delight myself in Your commandments .... I will
meditate on Your statutes" (vv.47-48).
Like medicine, God's Word must be taken as directed. Are you
internalizing its truth? - Vernon Grounds
God's Word brings health and healing, To every sin-sick soul, But
we must take and heed it, Before we can be whole. - D. De Haan
THE BIBLE CONTAINS THE VITAMINS FOR SOUL HEALTH
WHAT WILL YOU HARVEST?
Read: Judges 1:1-7
As I have done, so God has repaid me. - Judges 1:7
No one can escape the principle that we reap what we sow. I
read about a troublemaker who rode his bike into an inner-city
park, jumped onto a box, and told the people to ignore the law
and steal because no one should be poor while others are rich. A
few minutes later, he discovered that his bike was gone.
Infuriated, he shouted, "Where's the bum who stole my bicycle?"
How true are the words of Job, "Those who plow iniquity and sow
trouble reap the same" (4:8).
In today's Bible reading, when Adoni-Bezek was captured and
treated in the same manner he had treated others, he knew he was
tasting the bitter fruits of the same kind of cruelties he had
shown his enemies.
This reaping principle also applies when seeds of goodness
are sown. I once visited a man in the hospital who was
overwhelmed by the number of cards and plants he had received. I
told him he was reaping what he had sown. He had always been kind
and thoughtful to people, and now people were being kind and
thoughtful to him.
Lord, help us to treat others the way we would like to be
treated. May we live with the awareness that we will surely reap
what we sow. - Herb Vander Lugt
If you sow seeds of wickedness, Sin's harvest you will reap; But
scattered seeds of righteousness, Yield blessings you can keep. -
SOW TODAY WHAT YOU WANT TO REAP TOMORROW.
OUR UNSEEN HELPERS
Read: Psalm 34:1-7
Are (angels) not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister
for those who will inherit salvation? - Hebrews 1:14
At one point in his stormy career, Martin Luther received
some discouraging news. But he responded by saying, "Recently I
have been looking up at the night sky, spangled and studded with
stars, and I found no pillars to hold them up. Yet they did not
fall." Luther was encouraged as he reminded himself that the
same unseen God who was upholding the universe was caring for
There is another unseen source of help from which God's
children can take courage when facing a physical or spiritual
crisis - angels! Those heavenly hosts, called "ministering
spirits" (Hebrews 1:14), are instantly responsive to God's
command. Little do we know what powerful protection and help they
provide. When Jesus was enduring agony in Gethsemane, "an angel
appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him" (Luke 22:43).
But you say, "I've never seen an angel:" No need of that!
It's enough to know that they do their quiet, delivering work
beyond the realm of physical sight (Psalm 34:7), calling no
attention to themselves lest we look away from Jesus, out Savior
and Lord. But their protection is real. Just knowing that these
unseen helpers are on our side strengthens our trust in the God
they so faithfully serve. - Dennis De, Haan.
What ready help our Father gives, To struggling saints below! He
sends His heavenly messengers, His power and grace to show. -
THE ANGELS OF GOO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF GOD AS THEY DO THE WORK
Uploaded to this Website March 2007