We must carefully consider the offenses preventing the Israelites from entering the Land. That evil generation refused to trust Him, but complained continually.
We are mandated to live by faith, being given trials of faith in order to chisel our character. We must totally and unreservedly accept God's sovereignty.
Realizing God's willingness to help and knowing His worthiness begin to build in us the vital components of genuine, sincere worship.
People used to look to God more than they do now. It was common for people to take all their needs to God, confident that He would listen to and provide them.
Where does real power reside? All power has its source in God—and not just the kind of power we typically think of.
It can be encouraging to us that our patriarchs and the prophets had serious doubts, but God overrode all their fears in accomplishing His purpose.
Salvation is not a one time event, but a continuous process—not just immunity from death, but a total transformation of our nature into a new creation.
I John 4:17 reveals the depth of love God the Father has for us as unique, special components of His creation, loving each of us as much as He loved Christ.
We are assured that even though inexplicable things happen in our lives, God is still sovereign. We must develop childlike faith to trust in Him for solutions.
Among God's many titles is one that proclaims His supremacy over all others: 'Most High God' or 'God Most High.' It provides confidence in God's governance.
Paul knew that only through strengthening his relationship with God was he able to both abound and be abased. When we are in trouble, we need to contact God first.
God lovingly teaches His children, just as a perfect parent. As children cry out to their parents, so human nature drives God's people to complain to Him.
Even though the way God exercises His sovereignty is inscrutable to us , calling the foolish to confound the wise, all He does fits perfectly into His plan.
Faith in God and in the motivating power in God's Word have to be the driving force in everything we do each day.
Nothing and no one can thwart God's purposes. We need to develop the faith to yield and conform to His will as clay in the potter's hands.
The fear and trembling before God is more like reverence and awe instead of abject terror. It leads us to total dependence upon God with a desire to repudiate sin.
That God is sovereign means that He IS God, the absolute governor of all things. This has profound implications for us: It means He chooses goodness or severity.
Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we must quickly ask God for what we need to learn from this episode. Though we …
Paul demonstrated inner peace during turmoil, showing consistency in times of instability and faith in God during persecution, fulfilling the role God gave him.
God has a very real concern for us, promising to never leave us. We have to strongly believe in His faithfulness to build a relationship with Him.
Those who have made a covenant with God can be corrupted unless they make a concerted effort to know God, realizing He has the right to do as He pleases.
Unless we acknowledge God's sovereign authority in our lives, following through with the things we learn from scripture, we, like atheists, will not see God.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
Genuine humility is one of the most elusive characteristics a person can attain. It consists of of self-respect accompanied by a genuine desire to serve.
Despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. We must accept God's sovereignty.
Kim Myers, asking us "How long do we think we have to live before Christ returns?" reminds us that God handpicked us for a specific purpose, just as He did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, and their extended families. God also handpicked second-generation Church members, though their environment as children often shielded …
God, as our true Shepherd, provides total protection of His called out-ones forever. Being kept in God's name refers to assimilating the attributes of God.
God's highest goal is not salvation, but sanctification into godly character, leading to membership in His family as co-rulers with Jesus Christ.
Job was able to endure the multiple trials and tragic events by seeing the hand of God in his life, realizing that God works in both good and bad times.
Joseph Baity focuses on a prophecy in Micah 7:2-6 describing a culture of corruption and distrust, ignored by watchmen and prophets, a prophecy of the end-time we are experiencing today, a time of economic disparity and emotional turbulence, a time when some of the most grievous conflicts occur between family members. Like …
Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in on the "What is truth?" episode in John 18:32-37, suggests that John wants us to ask that question of ourselves. Pilate seemed to believe that all the charges against Jesus were built up on lies and trumped-up charges. Jesus, conversely, was the perfect witness and embodiment of the …
The demise of an institution can result from the irresponsibility of its constituents; if one member sins, the whole body experiences the effects.
We place confidence in people who provide emotional satisfaction and seem to have good intentions. Those whom we trust do not even have to be honest or faithful.
We may not put our hope in a secret rapture, but could we be guilty of the same assumed-infallibility with regard to a place of safety? Is our hope in a telephone call announcing that it is time to flee? Is our trust in being on good terms with the physical organization that is "guaranteed" to be whisked away and protected from …
As bearers of God's name, we must aspire to holiness. Perfecting holiness is the process by which we are transformed from the glory of man to the glory of God.
The story of Ebed-Melech goes far beyond a historical vignette. His story is an allegory of God's grace to the Gentiles.
Millions lack faith to receive answers to their prayers. To a large extent, this is due to a lack of understanding what faith is.
God's providence is a subject that few people, even in God's church, have a full grasp on. Most look on it too narrowly, but we must consider it carefully.
We cannot allow our troubled hearts to lead us away from God and His purpose for us. Two vital elements will deliver us from destructive fear and unbelief.
At the end of the Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus asks, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith...?" The answer is surprising to many.
As God's instruction manual, the Bible contains the answers and guidance we need in times of trouble. Scripture reflects His mind more than any other resource.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Americans have heard a great deal about hope. Yet, "hope" means different things to different people. Mike Ford explains that the political hope held out by politicians does not compare with the hope found in Scripture.
Like the Israelites, Christians must live by faith as we follow Christ through a spiritual wilderness. Faith is the vital component carries us through.
God does not want us to have confidence in ourselves or other people, but only in Him. Consequently, it is a mistake to trust the media or the leaders of nations.
Gideon began his life as a coward, became a conqueror, and ended a compromiser, all the while needing assurances from God to bolster his flagging faith.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the admonition of Christ that we must take the straight gate or the narrow way (symbols of grave difficulty), indicates that our experience in overcoming and developing character will be fraught with difficulties. Nevertheless, God will provide the power to get through all this difficulty and …
We sometimes mistake faith for certainty about God's will. However, faith is not knowing what God will do in a situation but trusting Him to do what is best for us.
Anxious care and foreboding are debilitating and faith-destroying. Meditating on what God has already done strengthens our faith and trust in God.
It may sound impossible, but we can have hope in the face of the monumental problems facing, not just the United States, but also the entire world.
Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.
In tough financial times, some Christians reduce or cut out altogether God's tithe. They justify it with an excuse like, 'God wouldn't want me to starve!'
Many Christians today believe that killing in self-defense is sanctioned by the Bible. David Grabbe explains that this is a terrible misunderstanding of Christ's teaching.
Psalm 23 depicts the gratitude we should display from a sheep's point of view, as the animal boasts of blessings and marvels about the care of his Shepherd.
Even if a present snapshot of our lives looks dismal, it cannot reveal what happens next. What happens next is in God's hands—and He finishes what He starts.
With all the military metaphors in the Bible, there can be no doubt that God likens the Christian life to a war against the evils and temptations we face.
The church of God is not immune to the deterioration of doctrine. Minor deviations from doctrine bring about irreparable, disastrous consequences.
Because we act on what we believe, any affront to our belief system will alter our choices and behavior, placing us on a destructive trajectory.
In an environment in which we are continually lied to (in politics, popular media, marketing techniques, insurance adjustment, etc.) it is no wonder that our faith in anything is flagging. Nevertheless, we are asked to believe in a Being nobody has directly seen or heard, whose written word has been vilified and scorned. Without …
Faithfulness in a person ultimately rests on his or her trust in God, and if a person is going to be faithful, its because he or she believes what God says.
Ted Bowling, reminding us that prayer is our lifeline to God, a medium in which our faith is strengthened, focuses on several positions or postures used in prayer, including kneeling , bowing the head, or lying prostrate (all conveying degrees of submission and humility), but gives special attention to the posture of raising …
Deuteronomy, which is to be reviewed every seven years, provides us with vision and instruction for living in our spiritual Promised Land.
Living faith has its roots in fervently, diligently seeking God and His righteousness with intense desire (like a passionate lover) through habitual prayer.
Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not have a blind faith; it was based upon observation of God's proven track record of faithfulness.
Paul wrote some of his most optimistic letters from prison, under the possibility of execution, but absolutely convinced that ultimate victory was imminent.
Richard Ritenbaugh, focuses again on Book Two, aligned with Exodus, Ruth, and Pentecost, emphasizing the wave loaves made of beaten down flour with leavening and baked with intense heat—loaves which symbolize us and our preparation for the Kingdom of God. Eight of the psalms of Book Two were not written by David, but by …
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that the Church of the Great God has reached its 20th anniversary, acknowledges also that we have no idea when Christ will return. We have to trust God's judgment that He will fulfill our needs until He does return and establishes the Kingdom of God. We must be ready, preparing ourselves …
Faith permitted Enoch, Noah, and Abraham to receive God's personal calling. Like our patriarchs, we were called while we lived in the wicked world.
Americans (indeed most of the industrialized world) tend to be skeptical, cynical, and jaded, demanding mountains of evidence before becoming convinced of anything. We run the risk of losing our childlike credulity, becoming calloused, hardened, and stiff-necked like our forebears on the Sinai, even though God Almighty supplied …
Faith and fidelity to God and His way of life should be a major part of our character. In this fourth article on the weightier matters, it details what faith and fidelity are, how to recognize a lack of them in our lives and how to develop them so we can grow into the image of Jesus Christ.
In our information culture where "seeing is believing" and we want "just the facts, Ma'am," it is difficult to have faith in anything we can't take in by the five senses. Richard Ritenbaugh shows the vital importance of establishing iron clad trust in God for spiritual matters (salvation, forgiveness, …
We must emulate Christ, who learned through suffering, preparing Himself for His role as High Priest. Giving in alienates us from the fellowship with God.
When things go wrong, an improperly rooted person becomes hard and cynical. This disillusionment happens if our hope or trust are in the wrong place.
Ted Bowling, drawing a spiritual analogy from the growth of a pineapple, observes that it takes a long time from planting to harvest—approximately three years for the plant to mature. At first, all that matures is the foliage. The majority of the growth or maturation takes place from within. The same holds true for our …
Richard Ritenbaugh, asking us whether we trust the current Federal government, points out that, according to recent polls, confidence in government has eroded to an all-time historical low, with only 13% of the citizenry believing government does right most of the time, 10% believing government never does anything right, while …
There is a danger that arises when the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper: trying to put God under obligation to bless us through becoming 'super-righteous'.
The virtue of love gets the most attention, yet the life of Abraham illustrates how foundational faith—belief and trust in God—is to love and salvation.
Here is the story of a young man's momentous choice regarding his keeping of the Sabbath, a decision he had to make all on his own.
We would like God to instantly gratify our desires. Consequently, we find living by faith difficult; we do not trust that He has things under control.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that satisfaction in life does not derive from material things or wealth, by instead from an eternal relationship with God who has given us abundant spiritual gifts which we must reciprocate by developing skill in living from using godly wisdom. Wisdom enables us to make the very best practical use of …
John Ritenbaugh, claiming that one major reason people find Ecclesiastes to be pessimistic is that much of life also contains negativity, suggests that Solomon, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, found much of life discouraging, disappointing, trying, and fraught with vanity. Nevertheless, his lifetime observations …
At the time of the end, sin will be so pervasive and so compelling that our only resource for enduring its influence will be our relationship with God.
The Passover is a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless milieu. Jesus provided hope at His last Passover, exuding confidence despite what lay ahead.
God is absolutely faithful to finish what He started, knowing the end from the beginning. Our strength is dependent upon the relationship we have with God.
Anxiety and fretting (symptoms of coveting and idolatry), in addition to cutting life short, erode faith, destroying serenity by borrowing tomorrow's troubles.
Far from being blind, faith is based on analyzing, comparing, adding up from evidence in God's Word, our own experience, and our calling by God's Holy Spirit.
In Revelation 21:8, Christ lists three spiritual conditions and four behaviors, all of which He links to deceit and which will lead to the Lake of Fire.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God based the awesome promises He gave to His friend Abraham on the patriarch's proclivity to believe Him even when he had only partial and sometimes disturbing information. Abraham remained a lifetime sojourner, owning no land except for Sarah's tomb. His offspring, after some 400 years, received …
Martin Collins, focusing upon the poetic prayer-song at the end of Habakkuk 3, concludes that this passage is one of the most inspiring parts of God's Word. The moving prayer-song, asking God to revive His work in the midst of years, and to temper judgment with mercy, provides a model of an effective prayer. Though the prophet …
Richard Ritenbaugh, pointing to I and II Chronicles as the most overlooked and most infrequently cited book, a document the Greeks referred to as a miscellaneous compilation of 'things omitted' from I and II Samuel and I and II Kings, maintains that Chronicles looks upon history with a different perspective, a different take on …
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating the warning of the apostle Paul that evil company corrupts good habits, warns us that the desire to sin is highly contagious and is a deadly, communicable disease. Because the world we inhabit swims in sin, we have the obligation to become a thinking people, voluntarily choosing God's purpose for …
Mark Schindler, reflecting upon a recent survey by the Barna Group reporting that, while a majority of Americans accept Jesus as a historical personage, beliefs in His divinity and His sinlessness precipitously decline with each successive generation, declares that, if we do not trust in Christ as our salvation, we will …
Martin Collins admonishes that we desperately need to avoid shallow thinking and distractions, developing spiritual depth by meditating (using mental exercise and effort) upon God's creation, His truth, His Law and His standards of morality and righteousness. With the help of God's Spirit, we should concentrate on what is pure, …
Having anxiety, foreboding and fretting about food, clothing, and shelter, or being distressed about the future, demonstrates a gross lack of faith.
God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.