Our tendency is to look at the heroes of the Bible as spiritual giants. But when we peal back the curtain on their lives we see that many were just ordinary people like the rest of us. In fact, many of the heroes in scripture are relatively unknown.
in 2 Samuel 7:16, the Lord's purpose in redemptive history is made known when He promises King David that the line of David would be an eternal one. Thus, the purpose of bringing the Saviour through the line of David is made known.
Opposed to this, we see Satan's attempts again and again to thwart God's purposes. But God, in His wisdom, uses ordinary people to accomplish His plans on earth. In today's lesson, we see two examples of this.
First, we will look briefly at 2 Chronicles 32:30 where we see the workers who built Hezekiah's Tunnel and the place this played in God's redemptive history.
Second, we will look at Jehoshabeath, the granddaughter to wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Despite her upbringing, this relatively unknown woman was used by God to literally save the line of David, thus protecting the line that led ultimately to the Lord Jesus.
How will God use you for His purposes. As you listen, may your heart and mind be opened to the ways in which God plans to use you; an ordinary person used for God's purposes and glory.
When the apostle Paul met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus, the Lord said of him, "he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel...I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake." Certainly this was the life Paul led as an ambassador for Christ. As he wrote to the church in Corinth, he had been imprisoned, beaten times without number, received the thirty-nine lashes from the Jews five times, stoned, shipwrecked three times, and the list goes on. But despite the constant threat of suffering, Paul eagerly served the Lord without fail.
Knowing the road that lay ahead of him, Paul eagerly took up the stewardship of suffering given him in his service for Christ. But what could possibly motivate someone to take up such a mission? And how can we apply this to our lives today.
In today's lesson from 2 Corinthians 5, we get a glimpse into Paul's motivation for service. May you be blessed as you listen to it and meditate upon God's Word.
There once was a duck village populated by ducks. In this village, was a duck church and they had their duck bible. One Sunday, the duck preacher exhorted the duck congregation, "My duck brothers and sisters, God has given us wings so we can fly and glorify God." The duck congregation shouted in agreement, "Amen!" and then waddled home.
Throughout scripture, we see that man is justified by faith apart from works. But then we get to James 2 where we read that faith without works is dead, and that we are justified by our works. Is this a contradiction in Scripture? How do we reconcile James with the rest of Scripture?
In today's lesson, we see there truly is no contradiction here. We are justified, declared righteous through faith. Works, then, become the evidence of that faith.
Mountains appear in various times and in various ways throughout scripture. Mountains are sometimes tied with various aspects of God, His character and His redemptive plan.
Mount Sinai is often associated with God's Law and the requirements of the Law. Through our own efforts, we can never measure up to the righteous requirements of the Law.
Contrasted with Mount Sinai, today's lesson looks at Mount Zion, the mountain which Paul, in Galatians 5:21-5:1, equates with God's redemptive grace through Christ.
In our modern culture, the formula for peace and happiness has become, beauty plus the "perfect" family plus the "perfect" job plus stuff plus success equals contentment. Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," is the motivational mantra to get what I want.
In contrast, if one were to look at the life of the apostle Paul, we would expect to see a depressed man. But we see the opposite. Paul wrote this letter to the church in Philippi from a prison cell. He experienced various imprisonments, flogging, shipwreck and more. But in the midst of this, we see a man, not depressed, but full of joy and contentment. In this passage, we see the secret to Paul's contentment, and the key to our contentment.
In today's lesson we will see Paul's joy, Paul's contentment, and finally the source of Paul's contentment. May you be blessed as you listen to today's lesson.