excerpt from “Past Mercies for Present Times” from 2 Timothy 4:16-22
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“But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” -Job 23:10
Sometimes the lonely places are where God puts us so we can be alone with Him. There are times you might feel all alone, discouraged or depressed, but God is at work. That’s His preparation time. –excerpt from Steve Wainright’s Sunday Evening Sermon:“God’s Preparation Time”
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” -Hebrews 13:6
Because God will never leave nor forsake us, we may well be content with such things as we have. Since the Lord is ours, we cannot be left without a friend, a treasure, and a dwelling place. This assurance may make us feel quite independent of men. Under such high patronage we do not feel tempted to cringe before our fellowmen and ask of them permission to call our lives our own; but what we say we boldly say and defy contradiction.
He who fears God has nothing else to fear. We should stand in such awe of the living Lord that all the threats that can be used by the proudest persecutor should have no more effect upon us than the whistling of the wind. Man in these days cannot do so much against us as he could when the apostle wrote the verse at the head of this page. Racks and stakes are out of fashion. Giant Pope cannot burn the pilgrims now. If the followers of false teachers try cruel mockery and scorn, we do not wonder at it, for the men of this world cannot love the heavenly seed. What then? We must bear the world’s scorn. It breaks no bones. God helping us, let us be bold; and when the world rages, let it rage, but let us not fear it.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
Sunday School | Ruth 1:1-22 | Bro. Steve Dawson
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” -Ephesians 2:19
Similar to when Naomi returned home, when we become part of the family of God, we are no longer strangers!
Morning Worship | 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?”
Avoid idolatry. Why? Because of the Lord’s supper. Idolatry is demonic and is equal to fellowshipping with demons. If you are worshipping idols (fellowshipping with demons), you can’t have fellowship with Christ. The Lord’s Supper is more than just remembrance; it makes the Lord’s death and life more real. It makes us sensitive to the presence of God.
Evening Worship | Leviticus 25 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” -Ephesians 1:3
The joy of Leviticus 25 deals with the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee which focuses on the land and the people.
I. The Sabbath Year (vs. 1-7) pointed to a rest for the land by the Creator.
II. The Year of Jubilee (vs. 8-17)
Obedience (vs. 18-19) / Disobedience (Leviticus 20:22)
Trusting God and His Provision (vs. 20-22)
Reminded God owned the land, Test of faith and basis for blessings, Provided for poor, Kept in check greed of accumulating land
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” -Isaiah 53:3
(This is a thought-provoking post by Jon Bloom of Desiring God)
We know very little about Jesus’ childhood. But as I’ve been meditating recently on what it must have been like growing up having Jesus as a sibling, I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for him.
We know that Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe in him (John 7:5), possibly until after his resurrection (Acts 1:14). Could some of Jesus’ experience of rejection and grief possibly have resulted from estrangement he experienced in his own family simply because he was without sin?
He was a perfect child living with sinful parents, sinful siblings, and sinful extended relatives. The difference between him and them must have become increasingly apparent and awkward. Sinners can be cruel to those who are different from them, especially if envy infects their cruelty.
Sometimes we feel alone in the world. But in a very real sense, Jesus was alone in the world. No person on earth, much less in his family, could identify with him. No human being could put an arm around him as he sat in tears and say, “I know exactly what you’re going through.”
I’ll bet Jesus understands loneliness far better than we might think.