Throughout the Bible, we see evidence of God’s authority over both humanity and nature. However, many of us have trouble reconciling God’s sovereign control with the existence of evil. Let’s look at what Scripture tells us.
In the beginning, God created a perfect world, after which He declared that all He had made was good (Gen. 1:31). Wickedness was not part of what He’d fashioned. In the heavens, however, an angel known as Satan sought to elevate himself above God and was cast down to earth (Isa. 14:12-14).
God created Adam and Eve in His image. They were made with the capacity to love their Creator and the ability to choose to obey or disobey Him. God had no desire for Adam and Eve to sin (James 1:13), but He allowed their will to be tested. We know the rest of the story. When they disobeyed God, sin entered our world and corrupted mankind. As Adam and Eve’s descendants, we inherited a sinful nature (Rom. 5:12).
The Lord’s permissive will allowed events to unfold as they have. God did not create evil, but He has permitted it to exist and uses it to accomplish His good purposes (Isa. 45:6-7).
When you have questions or doubts about the Lord’s sovereignty, start with what you do understand, study what God has revealed about Himself and His ways, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you believe. A few answers to your questions will come quickly, while some will require diligent study and spiritual maturity. As for the answers to other questions, which God has chosen to keep hidden, we are to walk by faith (Deut. 29:29).
Step into almost any bookstore, and you will find volumes covering every topic imaginable. Want new direction for your life? Self-help sections are extremely popular and accessible. Are your children disobeying? Parenting literature abounds. But do all of these “expert” authors have trustworthy credentials?
There is a place to find guidance and information that won’t ever mislead: The Bible will bless and benefit everyone who reads and applies its wisdom. Here’s what the Author—“the God of truth” (Isa. 65:16)—says about His own Word:
1. The Bible gives direction for life (Psalm 119:105). God uses His Word to lead us, no matter what our circumstances may be. The Holy Spirit can take even simple verses, which seem general at first glance, and apply them to our specific situation.
2. Scripture strengthens us when we grieve or face difficulty (Psalm 119:28, Psalm 119:116). By spending time processing what God says, we’re reminded that He loves us, cares about our situation, and can handle whatever we’re facing. Worry and pain turn into peace, hope, and joyful confidence.
3. God’s Word helps us understand our inner motivations (Heb. 4:12). Scripture acts like a mirror that lets us see ourselves as we truly are.
The Bible is the very mind of God put into words so that man can know his Maker more fully. In deepening our understanding of the heavenly Father, we learn how to live successfully and die unafraid.
To what extent do you depend upon this amazing Book as your foundation for life?
Scripture references: Philippians 2:3-4 and Matthew 25.
In yesterday’s post I introduced the question that might be asked of you by the Lord on the day you stand before Him and account for your life. The question asked was, “What have you done with the life I’ve given you?” If you take time to reflect on this question, it really makes you think.
In today’s times we get wrapped up in doing our thing. You know, going to work, watching TV, going out to eat, and partying with friends to name a few. But, where in the midst of all this activity or just “doing”, have you spent time reading God’s word and/or praying to him? By doing this you’ll discover what God says.
The bible gives us direction on that. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Did you catch that last part? Do not merely look out for your personal interests, but also for the interests of others. What interests you might ask? Food, clothing, a place to live, money to live on to name a few. Have you given lately to the poor and needy? I don’t mean just giving money but being present yourself when giving.
Matthew 25 discusses a lot of this through parables that Jesus told. They are the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the bags of gold and the parable of the sheep and goats. This chapter is pretty intense when you realize that God is saying to you, us, that we should always be prepared for his return (10 virgins); we should give more than we receive which results in having more (Bags of gold); and finally the sheep and the goats. This is where the rubber meets the road.
The sheep and the goats represent those who did things for the least of these which is Jesus and those who didn’t do anything for the least of these which are the goats and Jesus separates them to eternal darkness.
The life we have on this earth is short compared to eternity. God is giving us his direction on how to live a fulfilled life while at the same time giving of yourself to those in need. Living a life of selfless giving results in spending eternity with God and all that He has prepared for you.
Take time today to schedule time for reading the bible and prayer. Listen to and do what God is telling you and you will come out on top every time. You’ll be in with the sheep and not the goats. Guaranteed.
I am back from recovering from a flu shot. Some of you might think that a pretty lame excuse for not posting in my blog. Well, friends, let me tell you that as you get older the impact the flu shot has on your body is significant. So, now that I am rested and feeling better I am back to posting.
Today is Monday and the start of another week. If you’re like me, when you woke up this morning you probably started thinking about all of the things you have to do. Not only today but the rest of the week. OK, so your busy taking care of business and providing for your family but what about the spiritual side of your life? Have you planned any time in your schedule this week for reading the bible and praying? Figuring out how to serve the Lord along with your other activities is important too.
In tomorrow’s post I am going to ask the question, “What have you done with the life God has given you?” I would venture to say that question might cause a number of us to stumble but the importance of the question can’t be overstated.
In recent news with big headlines has been the story about how Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and the surrounding area. When I look at the damage to things and the impact it’s had on those peoples lives, it begs the question “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”
This is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Why should human beings (not eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent) expect to be able to fully understand God’s ways? The book of Job deals with this issue. God had allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job except kill him. What was Job’s reaction? “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). Job did not understand why God had allowed the things He did, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him. Ultimately, that should be our reaction as well.
Yes, sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. But God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand them. Above all, however, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. However, instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I’m thinking about God’s blessings. Every day I have the honor of sitting down with a book that contains the words of the One who created me. Every day I have the opportunity to let Him give me a thought or two on how to live. If I don’t do what He says, He doesn’t burn the book or cancel my subscription. If I don’t understand what He says, He doesn’t call me a dummy, He explains what I don’t understand.
As I think about my children, about the wife I have and that I get to be with her for a lifetime, I shake my head and thank the God of grace. And I think–Remarkable! I’m learning that if I open my eyes and observe, there are many reasons to look at the source of it all, and just say thanks!
What modern believers can learn from the patience of biblical saints like Abraham, Joseph, David, and Paul is that waiting upon the Lord has eternal benefits.
Look at Israel’s most memorable monarch. David left behind an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness for each of us to read and ponder. He was committed to waiting upon the Lord, and as a result, he had the Father’s approval and blessing. We cannot underestimate the reward of living in divine favor. That isn’t a special state reserved for the “giants of the faith” like David. All who obediently endure until the Lord acts on their behalf abide in His favor (Isa. 40:31).
David didn’t receive his blessings because he was special; he was honored among men because he honored the Lord above all. And since he trusted in God’s faithfulness, he endured hardship with patience. We, too, can expect to be blessed when we wait upon the Lord.