Re:Verse passage – Acts 2:42-47 (day five)
“And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Make no mistake, in this early church, it was the Lord who was at work. It was the Lord who was adding “saved” people to the church. Yes, the people were engaged and actively worshipping, giving, praying, and sharing their faith. Yet, Luke rightly gives the credit and glory to the Lord.
Also, take note, it was happening every day and everywhere. In the temple and in homes. Not just Sundays. Not just weekdays. The gathered church has the same mission and ministry potential as the scattered church. Discipleship. Worship. Evangelism. Fellowship. Ministry. There is significant opportunity when we gather. There is just as much potential as we “scatter” across the city. Every day. Everywhere. It will be the Lord who is at work!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Timothy 3:14-17(day five) “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,”. One of the greatest privileges in my days of youth ministry, was “partnering” with volunteers, parents, and grandparents to disciple teenagers. Such a wise strategy found in the scriptures- ministers, mentors, parents, and grandparents all speaking the truth of scripture into the minds and hearts of children and youth. I love how Paul describes Timothy’s faith- “things you have become convinced of”. Preaching, teaching, family devotions, bedtime prayers – all used by the Spirit to convince a young heart and mind of the purpose and power of the scriptures. Salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. So, who are you talking to? Who is talking to you? We can be used to convince. We still need to be convinced.
Re:Verse passage – Romans 8:15-17, Ephesians 5:22-32 (day five)
One of the great possibilities that God designed for families is the chance to learn and model the gospel (to and from each other and to others outside our homes). It is an amazing concept to wrap our minds around. The gospel can be proclaimed and portrayed in every household that is made up of believers who understand and follow the scriptures. Wanna teach your children and grandchildren the gospel? Then one of the ways is to practice the principles found in a Godly Marriage. Wanna show the neighborhood what a loving savior looks like and how people should respond in trust and obedience to that amazing love? Clearly and consistently live out God’s design for marriage. The world gets to see a compelling picture of the Savior and a picture of the Church. That is remarkable!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (day five)
“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”
We value the worth and dignity of others because we can attribute who they are to the fact that they are created and loved by God. Scripture makes this very clear. Who they are is less a mystery and something we easily understand. Along with “who”, scripture can also answer the “where” question as well. God places believers exactly where he wants and desires. There is intentionality and precision. As you look around the sanctuary this Sunday, does that thought and insight cause you to think about the other members of this body (FBCSA) differently. With care and confidence, God places people in His church to worship, serve, fellowship, and minister. He has done that for them and for you (me). That’s cause to celebrate and encourage all the members of the Body of Christ.
Re:Verse passage – Job 42:5-17 (day five)
“So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”
Job’s experiences have served to bring him closer to the Lord. The Lord has used Job’s situation and suffering not only to reconcile Job to Himself, but also his three “friends”. Isn’t it just like the Lord to use any and all circumstances to reconcile people to Himself. Not only that, now God is using Job as a part of His great plan. Want to be used by God to reach others? Want the Lord to use you to influence and encourage your friends and neighbors with the gospel? Look at Job’s heart and actions. We must be repentant and obedient. God desires to use us for His glory and the good of others. Will He find us humble and faithful when opportunities arise?
Re:Verse passage – Job 40:6-9, 15-19; 41:1-7, 10-11; 42:1-6 (day five). “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”
Job is learning about the unlimited power and possibilities of God. Something he previously knew and understood. Yet, God has confronted him with these truths. Job’s response shows the growth and tenderness of his heart and faith. Job responds in awe with worship, confession, and repentance. They all go together in a beautiful and humble response. When we learn and sense God’s greatness our reaction will indicate the condition of our hearts. Is there worship, confession, and repentance? Is there awe?
What does our reaction indicate about our hearts? What does our reaction indicate about our view and understanding of God?
Re:Verse passage – Job 38:1-7; 40:6-9(day five)
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
Did you notice the name used for God? (First time since chapter 2). (You’ll have to look this up- this software doesn’t allow formatting to indicate the text) It’s the name for the covenant God, the personal God. Maybe Job’s biggest need was to be reminded that God was near and still loved him. Look at chapter 23. “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”
And that’s the need God meets first. The author wants us to know, the personal God who cares and shows faithful love is talking to Job.
Whatever the circumstance or crisis, whatever the need, the first thing to remember, understand, and hold onto, is that the Lord is near and with us. He promised!! Psalm 46:1, Matthew 28:20.
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 (day five) “Behold, God does all these oftentimes with men, To bring back his soul from the pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.”
“Don’t let what you don’t know, keep you from believing, saying, and doing what you do know.” These were the words of a wise professor at Howard Payne to his ministry students. One of the points he made with this quote is that there most always will be things that we don’t know or cannot understand about the Lord. The other important point, is that there are things we do know and understand about the Lord. So, today will you make a list (verbally, mentally, physically) of the things you do know about the Lord? His love. His mercy. His strength. His forgiveness. His faithfulness. This list will turn into praise. This list will serve as a reminder of the greatness (both known and unknown) of God. This list could cause a reverent hunger and thirst to know God better and at a deeper level (discipleship). This list will give voice to confession of sin and communication of truth (repentance and witnessing).
God has already made enough of Himself known to save us, for us to grow, and for us share the gospel with others (creation, scriptures, changed lives).
Re:Verse passage – Job 19:20-27 (day five)
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” (emphasis mine)
At some point, enough counsel will have been imparted and enough differing opinions and perspectives will have been shared. Then, it will be up to each one of us to determine and declare what we believe, who we believe. The conclusions of our experiences, knowledge, and feelings will result in personal convictions and confession- some sort of worldview. At the end of the day, the deepest question that should be answered is not, “Do I believe in God?”, but rather “Do I believe God?” Do I believe: What he says about Himself, What He says about humans, What He says about salvation, sin, suffering, love, and grace. The Spirit and scriptures clearly communicate God’s character and promises.
Notice the individual question. Do I.
What is your conclusion? What is my conclusion? What is our confession? For each of us, it will matter for eternity.
“For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
Re:Verse passage – Job 19:13-19 (day five) “He has removed my brothers far from me, And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have failed, And my intimate friends have forgotten me.”
Part of the suffering that Job experiences is the absence of human relationships and fellowship. The pain and torment of this facet of Job’s trials are quite real and profound.
“Job’s burning concern for God does not make him insensitive to human relationships. On the contrary, the two are inseparable in the life of any person who attains wholeness as a human being.”- Francis Anderson
Hopefully you have heard or will soon hear the words “Better Together” around FBCSA. We believe that human relationships and fellowship are part of God’s design for believers to grow and mature in their faith. And beginning in June, we will call our church to consider this important facet of personal faith and church-life (what it means to be Better Together). How might we be used to minister to those around us even now (inside and outside the church) who are suffering in the same kinds of ways as Job describes? “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,”