Longing for a Better Home

Re:Verse passage – Job 1:13-22 (day six)

As I write this blog post and read this passage, I can’t help but think of the 2.5 million refugees in Ukraine and the Afghan refugees here in our city. Since August there have been over 1,763 Afghan evacuees who have arrived in San Antonio since August with another 1,000 – 2,000 estimated to have moved here on their own. They’ve all experienced great loss and I wonder who of them believes in the God of the Bible. I wonder if they “have sinned and charged God with wrong?” I think most of these people would blame God or blame someone else.

Job’s life is an example of how we can lose everything in an instant. We also learn that God is in control of everything good and bad. Of course, the chaos today can be attributed to poor human choices and selfishness, but it still bothers most of us because we know that God could stop it. What I can’t stand is how the righteous Followers of Christ suffer at the hands of evil. It makes me want Jesus to come back quickly and stop the injustice. We all should be discontent with this world in the state that it is in. If we are in Christ then 2 Corinthians 5:4 should be our disposition, “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Are you “longing for a better country, a heavenly one (Heb 11:16)” or are you too comfortable here?

Let’s all pray with the Apostle John, “Come quickly Lord Jesus! (Rev 22:20)” Pray for the Faithful to ensure under persecution. Pray for everyone who had lost so much to know the Lord and be comforted by His merciful hand.

GUILTY AS CHARGED

Re:Verse passage – James 2:1-13 (day five)

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
A majority of people think they are a pretty good and that they’ve done nothing deserving of God’s punishment. The reason for this is that they are comparing themselves with others when they should compare themselves to God’s standard. In a world that is increasingly lacking in shame or guilt, this statement in verse ten should make everyone feel the weight of judgment. Only a little white lie will send you to the Lake of Fire (Rev 21:8). Jesus said if you look with lust you are an adulterer and if you’ve hated then you are a murderer (Matt 5).
If you’ve ever looked into the mirror of God’s Law then you know just how imperfect you are. The Law leaves this world guilty before God. It is a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. We all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. The problem is that the world is self-deceived like the rich young man that came to Jesus asking how to have eternal life (Mk 10:17-22). When we seek to save the lost the way Jesus did, it would be best to help people come to Jesus for the right reason: to be forgiven of breaking God’s Law. They must understand they have offended a Holy God, surrender to Him, and accept humbly the redemption paid for by Jesus’ sacrifice. No one is good enough. Mankind is guilty as charged.

Every Good Thing

Re:Verse passage – James 1:13-18 (day four)

I often remind people that every good thing comes from the Lord. “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” This is a comfort to us who have evil desires coming from within our own deceitful hearts. The world says people are good at heart, but they are wrong. The only good in this world is a gift from God. If anything good happens it’s only because God willed it into existence. Not because someone human made it happen. The very moment we go and do something good and get glory and praise because of it, that action becomes impure and sinful. God must receive all the credit for the good things we do. But don’t worry he gives you permission to take credit for the bad things. Just like the passage before said to ask for wisdom, why don’t you ask God to help you do something good for His glory today?

Byron Pitts
Community Missions & Evangelism

Don’t Be Ashamed

Re:Verse passage – Judges 6:22-35 (day four)

Gideon shows boldness when he destroys the idols of Baal and the Asherah poles. He shows a desire to obey the word of Yahweh when he makes a “proper altar” to the One True God. This could amount to going into a small town, tearing down all their idols, and building a church in their place, all in the name of Jesus.

It says he did this at night because he was afraid of the townspeople and family members. But at least he did it. When confronted he does not deny it and is actually defended by his father Joash. Gideon turned the unholy wood into a sacrifice that the God of Peace accepted. The Prince of Peace came and was nailed to a unholy cross of wood; He was made sin for you so you could have peace with God the Father (2Cor 5:21). Praise God!

Are you willing to make a stand for Jesus in unholy places? It’s up to us to be bold and show this world how to worship the One True God. You might not feel like a “mighty warrior” but just be faithful with the task Jesus gave you to do. Obey His voice. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel or of Jesus, or else He will be ashamed of you when you face God on Judgment Day (Luke 9:26).

Fruitful

Re:Verse passage – Philippians 1:20-26 (day four)

v22 – …to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me;
 
Would you define your life as “fruitful?” Are you producing good fruit that lasts? Paul said that to keep on living would mean he would be able to continue leading people to Christ. He wanted to see his Creator’s face and be finished with the work here on earth. I think Paul also knew that when people trusted in Jesus and became new creations, that he did get to see his Creator’s face in the face of every new believer. He was “hard-pressed in both directions” because there is so much joy to be found, no matter what happened to him. Paul was anything but selfish. He decided that it was better for the church’s sake if he carried on and preached the Gospel. Are you struggling to bear fruit? It may be that you have become disconnected from the Vine (John 15) and are not able to bear fruit. Maybe you have never known what it is like to be connected to Jesus in that way. If you aren’t producing fruit for God, then examine where your life comes from. Ask yourself what really matters to you. We can only be fruitful when we abide in Christ. Prove yourself to be Jesus’ disciple and bear much fruit. Ask Jesus to help you to remain united to Him and desire to see His face in a new believer that is completely changed by the power of God.

Be Wise

Re:Verse passage – Ephesians 5:18-19 (day four)

In Proverbs 1:7, we learn that, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” In our Re-verse passage in Ephesians 5, Paul says in verse 15 & 16, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” We understand that so well today and the more we become saturated and intoxicated with the Spirit of God, the more we are sober-minded and able to tread carefully in this reckless and careless world. There is nothing wise about getting drunk. Those who do so will lose control and wreck their lives and the lives of others. When we are drunk on the Spirit of God, then He is in control. The result is a heart that sings, worships, encourages others towards good works, and gives thanks for all things. Then you will be a Christian who dwells with others in humility and with the fear of Christ. Let’s practice the fear of our Lord Jesus every day. Jesus is coming again soon. Don’t you want to be found faithful when He comes? Pray that the Spirit of Christ will dwell in you until overflowing and give you the power to walk in wisdom.

Minister of Community Missions and Evangelism
First Baptist Church of San Antonio
Byron Pitts