“‘Be angry, and do not sin': do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” (Eph 4:26-27)
Anger is our normal emotional response to a perceived threat, hurt, wrongful doing, or injustice. Anger isn’t always bad, but it must be handled appropriately. Why is it important to handle anger properly? If expressed thoughtlessly, anger can hurt others and destroy relationships. If bottled up inside, it can cause us to become bitter and destroy us from within. If we nurse our anger, we will give Satan a foothold which can divide us.
“The word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel to priest…and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.” (Ezekiel 1:3)
Ezekiel was already in captivity. He was among those first captives who were deported, those who were cast out of the promised land. Then why, oh why did God still send the word of God through Ezekiel since He was unhappy with them?
It is only when we connect this question with Ezekiel 6:9 that we get the answer: “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.” Continue reading
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor 4:8-9)
Have you ever felt like your life was shattered by unpredictable troubles? How do you cope with your difficulties and anxieties? In the above verse, the apostle Paul described four devastating experiences and how each crisis was turned around. These troubles show that Paul was weak, yet he was not defeated. This tells us that God gives strength to the weak and also works through weak people like Paul.
“Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8)
Defending his ministry before King Agrippa, the apostle Paul was amazed that people found it so unbelievable that God had the power to raise the dead. Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead, and do you hold firmly to such hope? Has it occurred to you that one of the main reasons for going to church each week is to receive Sabbath rest, which foreshadows our eternal rest? Now we take a break from our daily toil and labor and go to church for Sabbath rest; later, we cease all work and enter into God’s eternal rest.
Being a child of God is blissful. We are blessed, protected, and guided by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Yet, Paul reminds us that if only for this life, we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor 15:19). Continue reading
“‘Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.’
‘Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God.'” (Jer 3:22)
Backsliding is very serious. The backsliding of the people of Judah led to the fall of Jerusalem and Judah. Throughout history, God has called for His people to return. “Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16, NIV). After the exile, the Israelites finally returned to the Lord and His law.
Christians can become backsliders when they lose their fellowship with God, have a cold or lukewarm heart, or fall into sin. We need to be alert so as to not become loveless, lifeless, or lukewarm believers as described in the book of Revelation to the churches in Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea. In the first steps of our Christian lives, we may have had enthusiasm without knowledge. Do we now have knowledge without enthusiasm? If you find yourself feeling indifferent to church, to God, or to the Bible, you have begun to shut God out of your life. Continue reading