Archive | November 2013

God’s Provision and Protection

“Oh! how sure and safe is the inner life of the believer! If all the powers of earth and hell could combine against it, that immortal principle must still exist, for He who gave it pledged His life for its preservation. An who ‘is He that shall harm you,’ when God is your protector?” – Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, November 18 Morning.

Devastation and destruction, whether caused by the forces of nature or our personal experiences, reap a toll on the human spirit. As I was reading my Bible and devotion this morning, it struck me that believers and non-believers alike go through similar life experiences, but Christians have the promise of God’s provision and protection.

Now many would want to believe that this means physical safety or that our perceived needs are always met, but God’s knowledge and vision is so much more powerful than our fallible, human concepts.

Specifically, God’s provision is the promise of salvation for the elect:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.    1 John 5:13, ESV

We can trust in God’s protection, that He will be glorified through us:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.                            Romans 8:28-30, ESV 

No matter what we humanly experience, God’s understanding and strength are infinite:

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.               Psalm 147:3-5, ESV

 We can rejoice that God is on the throne!
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Disparaging Results

If you’ve been following the news in politics, no doubt you’ve heard about the Virginia gubernatorial race.  A strong conservative Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli faced off against Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Chairman who was aided in his campaign by the Obama administration and the Clintons. McAuliffe, who supports big government ideas like Obamacare, won by a very narrow margin, even though he out-spent Cuccinelli and was supported by many big-name politicians.

Gathering my thoughts together on the events of last night, I posted the following on Facebook this morning, explaining what God had showed me in the Scriptures:

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV

While the outcome of the Virginia gubernatorial race is not to my liking and I was tempted to be overcome by worry and feelings of uncertainty for the future, Kenny reminded me (what I already knew) that our hope is not in man. The truth is that each day is uncertain for us all, even if every leader we ever voted for won the race. 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. – Psalm 43:5, ESV

It is now important that we pray for our nation, our leaders – that they seek the Lord and not the power of man. 

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. – 1 Timothy 2:1-2, ESV

I pray, for our children’s sake, that it is not too late for America, but I fear we will see judgment as our nation has many sins against a great and holy Lord.

Later this morning I was reading today’s morning devotion in Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. It led me to examine portions of Isaiah 43 and 44.

26 Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right. 27 Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me.  28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary, and deliver Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reviling. ~ Isaiah 43:26-28, ESV

According to John MacArthur’s ESV Study Bible, this refers to Israel’s sins against God and how they must suffer while they await Christ for complete His work on the Cross.

In the first 5 verses of chapter 44, Isaiah lays out the promise of the Lord’s blessings that will follow the suffering.

1 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! 2 Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. 4 They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. 5 This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.” ~ Isaiah 44:1-5, ESV

I am joyful at the thought that one day, Christ’s promise will be complete. No matter the suffering we must endure personally or as a nation, we are the Lord’s and He is our Hope.

Pondering Election Day

As I was reading 1 Corinthians 1:18-29 this morning, I was struck by how it applies so wholly to the climate of our modern society.

 

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  ~1 Corinthians 1:18-21, ESV

 

Many politicians claim to be the wisest choice for office, but when we shine the light of God’s Word on their track record, political promises and moral values, do we find them to be a person seeking the Lord and His Will? A person whose policies hold up God’s Word and spiritual truths?

 

Chances are, each candidate falls short, as Romans 3:10 reminds us, “no one is good, no not one.”

 

So, how are we to know which candidate deserves our vote?

 

First, seek the Scriptures for answers. In my reading today, it became so clear to me that God’s definition of wisdom is often the opposite of what the world considers to be wise.

 

 

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; ~ 1 Corinthians 1:26-27, ESV

 

Second, prayerfully consider what God’s Word is revealing. Christians have the Holy Spirit as the Great Discerner.

 

9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, ESV

 

Unfortunately, many Christians disagree with the interpretation of Scripture. Because we know that God is orderly and not confusing by His very nature, (For God is not a God of confusion but of peace… 1 Corinthians 14:33, ESV) how can we explain some Christians claiming God supports one candidate and some claiming it is another?

 

Whether we like it or not, only one group can be right.

 

Finally, we cannot be swayed by emotion, caught up in the political frenzy and ad campaigns. Eventually, leaders, both political and spiritual, reveal their fallen nature. We can only put our hope in the Lord, trust His leading and seek to glorify Him in all our decisions, especially in our political choice.

 

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.  ~ 2 Peter 3:15-18, ESV