Bill Onisick reminds us that, during our pre-Passover self-examination, we need to ask God for the ability to see our hidden weaknesses. Paradoxically, when we see a major fault in someone else (according to the speck-and-beam principle), it could well be that God is pointing out a deeply concealed sin within our own deceptive, carnal nature. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. The contrast between the behavior of Nabal (nicknamed "fool") and Abigail (whose name means "father's joy") demonstrates the critical divide in our warring carnal and spiritual natures. Nabal, who could figuratively represent foolish, arrogant, defiant, and inhospitable behavior that we may harbor in our unrepentant carnal nature, stands in stark contrast to Abigail, representing humility, peacefulness, and gentleness, characteristics of the wisdom that comes from above. In our pre-Passover examination, does God see "Nabal's" self-deceptive foolishness in us, leading to shame and disgrace, or does He see "Our Father's Joy" in us, leading to honor and salvation.
Which leadership style do you follow: Andy Griffith's or Barney Fife's? Using experiences from his own life, David Maas explains that the desire to be in control and to win takes a toll on both one's relationships and one's health.
The third commandment seems greatly overshadowed by "bigger" ones like the first, second, and fourth. Yet, despite the common understanding that it merely prohibits profane speech, John Ritenbaugh contends that it is far more—to the point that it regulates the purity and quality of our worship of the great God.
Conversion, our walk with God, is a lifelong process in which we endeavor to see things as God does. John Ritenbaugh admonishes Christians to understand and act on the fact that God is deeply involved in our lives.
It is true that we cannot physically "see" the invisible God, but that does not mean that we cannot recognize His involvement in our lives. John Ritenbaugh helps us to realize just how much God wants to be part of our lives.
John Ritenbaugh points out 700 references to the act of eating, all providing contexts or vehicles of serious spiritual instruction. Banquets invariably provide springboards for instruction, from Abraham's entertaining of angels, to Joseph's banquet for his brothers, to Esther's banquet for Haman to Belshazzar's feast featuring the handwriting on the wall to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Banquets- eating or refraining from eating- not only display God's faithful provisions and human righteousness, but eating (or refraining from eating) displays tests of a person's morality such as Adam and Eve's eating of the forbidden fruit, the sign of keeping the covenant (Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14) and Christ's refusal to be tempted by food (Matthew 4). Eating reminds us that God's provision and human need also apply on a spiritual level.
John Ritenbaugh, in this powerful signature sermon, examines the vital missing spiritual component in believing, emphasizing that seeing doesn't necessarily lead to believing unless an active, productive, and trusting faith is added. The contemporaries of Moses and Jesus Christ experienced a plethora of awesome miracles, but did not believe, comprehend or understand. We see what we want, expect, or become educated to see. True wisdom (spiritual vision) comes from coupling human reason with revelation, reinforced by believing and practicing what God says or commands. Unless we acknowledge God's sovereign authority in our lives, following through with the things we learn from scripture, we, like functional atheists, will not see God.
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