One of the glorious truths of the gospel is that God is long-suffering in his love and mercy for his creation. That patience is meant to lead sinners to repentance and reconciliation with God, himself. That patience definitely does not communicate that God overlooks sin or has allowed us to define what is sin and what is not.
On Sunday our pastor led our congregation in a study of Isaiah 11:1-12. In this passage, Isaiah further expounds upon his prophesy of a coming child that he introduces in chapter 9, the One who will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). On one level this prophesy offered encouragement to the Israelite people in that time who had been taken captive and forced to leave the land God had given to them. They could be reminded of God’s plan and his faithfulness to complete that plan. Even though things were bleak for them currently, God would return a remnant of his people to the promised land in order to finish what he had started through them. God had promised Eve that he would provide a seed of a woman who would crush the head of the serpent. He then promised Abraham that this seed would come from his lineage. Isaiah reminds the Israelite people that despite their own
Jesus makes two very important promises to his disciples in John 14:12-14. It just so happens that these two promises
One of the most well known declarations of the Apostle Paul can be found in Philippians 1:21. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Upon reading these words Paul offers his readers an opportunity to see his great internal struggle as he nears the end of his life. Although the work brings him great joy as he writes to what he considers to be the greatest fruit of his labor for the gospel, his body is worn and broken from the persecution and suffering for its sake. He knows that both avenues mentioned will bring glory to his Savior, as he has just stated in the previous verse, but if the choice were left to him, he cannot be sure which he would ultimately choose. The one thing he does, he continues to rest in the sovereignty of God, knowing that each breath provides him more time to complete ‘fruitful labor’ (v. 22). As I
In the opening verses of 2 Timothy 3, Paul warns Timothy concerning godlessness in the last days. The warning contains a sad list of the resulting realities of sin within a world filled with sin sick hearts. The list includes love of self and money, pride, arrogance, heartlessness, slanderousness, treachery and reckless behavior, among others. He encourages Timothy that the people he has described “will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all…” (v. 9). Perhaps this should encourage us in a day that many believers feel incredible pressure to compromise the truth in order to be accepted. In light of this dire forecast, Paul offers the following reminder to his young brother in the faith: You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings…But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you