And God Created

Genesis 1 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Creation of the World

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.earth_4k-hd1.jpg

The Dark Valleys

March 1, 2018

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

There are many dark valleys mentioned in Scripture, and these typify the many sufferings and hard experiences through which the people of God must pass. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29).

The valley of Achor—which means “trouble”—was so named because sin in the camp of God’s people had caused great defeat for their armies there (Joshua 7:25-26). Willful sin inevitably must result eventually in a trek through the dark vale of trouble and defeat.

Then there is the vale of tears called Baca, or “weeping.” Opinions differ as to whether this was an actual valley in Israel, but it came to symbolize a time of deep loss and sorrow. Repentance and restitution will lead one out of the valley of Achor, but God’s comfort will guide through Baca. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee. . . . Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well. . . . They go from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:5-7).

Perhaps the darkest valley of all is the valley of the shadow of death. All must enter that valley once at least—some may even travel it often before its thick darkness finally conquers them. For those without Christ, it is a valley of great fear; there have been multitudes “who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15).

But for those who know the Lord, they need fear no evil for God is with them. Even His guiding staff and buffeting rod are comforting for they prove the love of the Shepherd. No wonder the 23rd Psalm is the most requested passage of Scripture by those deep in this dark valley. HMM

From The Institute For Creation Research,
Have a blessed day!
Later,
Pat.

Thinking Theology: A Q&A with Dr. John MacArthur, Day 6

Bible Gateway

Today’s reading is drawn from 2 Thessalonians 1:4.

What should a believer’s attitude be toward suffering?

In 2 Thessalonians 1:4, Paul speaks of the “patience and faith” of the Thessalonians. Nowhere was their growth in faith and love more evident than in the way they patiently and faithfully endured hostilities and suffering from the enemies of Christ. Although there was no need to speak, since the Thessalonians’ lives spoke clearly enough (1 Thessalonians 1:8), Paul’s joy before the Lord over their perseverance bubbled up.

Having a right attitude toward suffering (v. 5) is essential, and that required attitude is concern for the kingdom of God. They were not self-centered but concentrated on God’s kingdom. Their focus was not on personal comfort, fulfillment, and happiness, but on the glory of God and the fulfillment of His purposes. They were not moaning about the injustice of their persecutions. Rather, they were patiently enduring the sufferings they did not deserve (v. 4). This very attitude was “manifest evidence” or positive proof that God’s wise process of purging, purifying, and perfecting through suffering was working to make His beloved people worthy of the kingdom (2:12) by being perfected (James 1:2–4; 1 Peter 5:10).

For believers, afflictions are to be expected (1 Thessalonians 3:3) as they live and develop Christian character in a satanic world. Suffering is not to be thought of as evidence that God has forsaken them, but as evidence that He is with them, perfecting them (Matthew 5:10; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 12:10). So the Thessalonians demonstrated that their salvation, determined by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, was genuine because they, like Christ, were willing to suffer on account of God and His kingdom. They suffered unjustly as objects of man’s wrath against Christ and His kingdom (Acts 5:41; Phillippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24).

 

 

Streams in the Desert, Day 6

Today’s reading is drawn from Nehemiah 8:10.

Day 6

Anxiety should never be found in a believer. In spite of the magnitude, quantity, and diversity of our trials, afflictions, and difficulties, anxiety should not exist under any circumstances.

This is because we have a Father in heaven who is almighty, who loves his children as he loves his “one and only Son” (John 3:16), and whose complete joy and delight it is to continually assist them under all circumstances. We should heed his Word, which says, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” [Nehemiah 8:10].

… We are to take everything to God—little things, very little things, even what the world calls trivial things … living all day long in holy fellowship with our heavenly Father and our precious Lord Jesus. We should develop something of a spiritual instinct, causing us to immediately turn to God when a concern keeps us awake at night. During those sleepless nights, we should speak to him, bringing our various concerns before him, no matter how small they may be. Also, speak to the Lord about any trial you are facing or any difficulties you may have in your family or professional life.

… Even if we have no possessions, there is one thing for which we can always be [joyful]—that he has saved us from hell. We can also give thanks that he has given us his holy Word, his Holy Spirit, and the most precious gift of all—his Son. Therefore when we consider all this, we have abundant reasons for [joy].

May this be our goal!

From Life of Trust by George Mueller

Bible Gateway

Ragamuffin Reflections from Brennan Manning, Day 6

Today’s reading is drawn from Jeremiah 1:1-19.

 

Never Too Young

 

The prophet Jeremiah is a striking example of the Biblical paradox that surrender means victory, that in losing our life we find it. (Jesus Christ identifies with Jeremiah more than any other prophet and quotes him most frequently.) In the year 625 BC, the Lord summoned Jeremiah to a prophetic career. Jeremiah’s immediate response was reluctance. “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” he said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young” (Jeremiah 1:6). He was nineteen at the time. Jeremiah was not the confident, self-assured type like Amos or Isaiah. Sensitive, accustomed to the quiet of small-town life, he was temperamentally unsuited for public life and the harsh treatment that is the customary “reward of the prophets.”

Timid and afraid, Jeremiah had no ambition for such a mission. In no way did he want to preach God’s Word to his fellow Israelites. Nothing pleased him more than to be Mr. Nobody, ignored by the ruling clique of royal counselors and priests. How content he would have been to live in the tiny world of his own heart. And so he remonstrated with God, “Ah, Lord God. I am only a boy.” Each of us can sympathize because Jeremiah is every man and every woman.

Bible Gateway