Have you experienced this? – Writing an exam where you filled two pages as an answer to a question and felt very happy, but finally the teacher scored you less for the answer and made a comment, “you have written a different answer” or “your answer is not satisfactory”? In the same way, we might have answered certain questions in our lives by giving God offerings, alms and talents and felt very happy about it; yet in the end God is not fully pleased. If we pay attention to what God really desires of us and not just what we feel like giving Him, we would really please Him. God wants us to hit the bull’s-eye and not just the periphery! Offering, alms and talents are the periphery, whereas, faith, heart and a renewed mind are bull’s-eye.
A lot of us love hearing sermons, worshipping Jesus but when it comes to reading the Bible, we slack behind. I’ve heard common reasons like “I don’t like reading much”, “I don’t have time to read, so I just pray”, “I feel sleepy”. Let me tell you, it is by knowing (understanding) the TRUTH (the word of God), that you and I can be set free from chains, bondage and every weapon that the enemy attacks us with. That is why Jesus told those who believed in Him, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Yahweh, God, has detested idols from the beginning. In fact, a large portion of the Old Testament shows how God’s people, the Israelites, turned to idols so quickly and God was against it.
Idols are anything that take the place of God in our life! The question is, can a born-again believer go back to idolatry? Yes, that is possible. Let’s look at seven ways idols can enter a believer’s life and turn us away from God.
Have you tried to change that habit or that sin over and over again and failed? Or you’ve tried to do better in life but continue to struggle? Jesus says in John 15 : 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Have you ever watched a shepherd calling out and leading his sheep? It is a fascinating affair. All that the shepherd does is speak a word to call out to them, and in no time, his sheep listen to him from no matter how far they are, come to him, and flock around him. It is no wonder that Jesus used the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep as a parable to explain His relationship with those who love Him and believe in Him.
This is a prayer of King David asking God to search him and know his heart, to test him so that his anxious thoughts and offensive ways would come to light. And, in the end, he would be led to God, to Jesus who is the everlasting way. This prayer that David prayed is not an easy prayer but a dangerous one. Yet, why would he, who is a king, have to pray about something as minor as the matters of his heart? Well, it is no wonder that He was called a man after God’s own heart. A man who kept his heart in check, in alignment with God was indeed reckoned to become a man after God’s heart.
How often do we find ourselves fluctuating between good and bad moods, joy and sorrow, fearlessness and being fearful, like a wave tossed back and forth, high and low? For some of us, this is a reality that we are getting used to and beginning to live with.
Yet, the word of God tells us that this is not God’s will for us. He wants us to be steadfast. Yet, how?
You don’t know what to do, so you want to take control and do something. Hold on, God is calling you to him and asking you to have faith in Him.
The true holiness that Christ desires in each of us is beautifully portrayed in King David, a man after God’s own heart, also a man who had committed adultery. To God, King David is like snow. Just as David prayed, ‘Wash me white as snow’. Like snow, clean inside out. In his prayer of repentance, David shows us how we can truly be holy.
The pandemic that has hit this world has called for a phenomenal shift in the way we are supposed to live and the world calls this ‘social distancing’. This is no ordinary situation. People in the bible also faced this and felt lonely. King David in a psalm expresses how he felt alone when everyone including his son abandoned him.
So, how do we face a situation where we are alone and social distancing ourselves?