The spies returned on the 8th of Av, and as the 9th of Av began, the people murmured, beginning a long list of calamities to befall Israel on this date.
Millions lack faith to receive answers to their prayers. To a large extent, this is due to a lack of understanding what faith is.
We will not have faith tomorrow simply because we had it yesterday; we must renew faith daily by deliberately remembering God's prior interventions.
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, cuing in on the recipients of I Peter 2:9 and focusing on the concept of identity (physical or spiritual), claims that with a sense of identity, the study of biblical history and prophecy is effervescent, sparkling, and scintillating. Joseph's descendants have been in the forefront of massive international 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.
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.
The Bible abounds in metaphors of warfare, indicating that the Christian's walk will be characterized by stress, sacrifice, and deprivation in building faith.
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 only tangible measures of faith is faithfulness, trust, and loyalty to God. We don't need to ask God for more faith, but rather work on being faithful.
Faith falters when our attention moves to ourselves. God periodically allows storms to test our faith. We are driven back to God when there is nowhere else to turn.
The heroes of faith may have had a longer period of testing than those called now, but the trials will come at greater intensity here at the end.
The example of Lot's wife teaches us that God does not want us to maintain close associations with the world because it almost inevitably leads to compromise.
All of God's people should be watchmen like Habakkuk, living continually by faith, discerning, listening to, and responding to God's instructions.
God's people are pressured by this evil age. We must remember that God will fight for us; we need to wait silently and patiently for His promised intervention.
As we attempt to overcome the world, we soon realize that we battle against invisible principalities, requiring us to form a close relationship with Christ.
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.
Fear and discouragement have infiltrated the church of God, causing many to stop fellowshipping on the Sabbath and some to give up keeping it altogether.
Phobias are common, but our fears can have far more serious consequences. The Bible warns that the wrong kind of fear could keep a person from God's Kingdom.
Anxious care and foreboding are debilitating and faith-destroying. Meditating on what God has already done strengthens our faith and trust in God.
Fear can be broken down into two broad categories: the fear of God and the fear of everything else. If we fear God, we will not need to fear anything else.
Jesus cast a demon out of a young boy who would have seizures and fall into fire or water. The disciples could not cast the demon out themselves — here's why.
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.
Fully accepting God's sovereignty should drive us to seek Him so that we can come to know Him as completely as possible, which is vital to our salvation.
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 …
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'.
God did not give us a spirit of fear or bondage. Faith is the antidote to a spirit of slavish cowardice and timidity, the opposite of boldness from the Holy Spirit.
We are in various stages of our wilderness journey, not knowing where our journey will take us. The turns give us opportunities to strengthen our faith.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that physically emancipating people from slavery does not automatically unshackle their hearts or minds or preparing them for productive responsibility in a free society. Likewise, our emancipation from sin does not automatically remove our acquired spiritual shackles. We must gradually grow out of the …
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.
Those who view religion as a life of gloom and deprivation are too short-sighted to realize that the world's entertainments do not satisfy the deepest need.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Hebrews 4:1-2 (describing the utter failure and demise of the ancient Israelites, who did not regard God's commandments as a delight), continues elaborating on the qualities (holiness and goodness) necessary for attaining the priesthood. Having God's spirit blunts somewhat the carnal mind and the …
The church of God is not immune to the deterioration of doctrine. Minor deviations from doctrine bring about irreparable, disastrous consequences.
The most formidable foe in our spiritual battle is the flesh. We must mortify, slay, and crucify the flesh, enduring suffering as Jesus Christ exemplified.
The key to overcoming the fear of loss of control is to admit that God is in control. If we have our priorities straight, God will take care of our anxieties.
God's sovereignty is one of the most important issues a Christian must consider. Have we acknowledged that He has total authority over us in particular?
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 …
Martin Collins, reflecting on Abraham's obedience to God, observes that character is determined by response to tests. Obedience and concrete works must follow and prove the existence of faith. Real saving faith is a gift from God, but we are obligated to walk by this faith, developing incremental levels of faith through …
Richard Ritenbaugh warns that being reared in a democratic nation sometimes complicates our relationship with God. The type of liberty we have in this form of government is different from our liberty granted by God, a condition of our slavery to righteousness. God's government is actually a sovereign, benevolent dictatorship. …
God assumes the burden for our salvation, but we are obligated to yield to His workmanship—made manifest by good works, the effect of salvation.
Living faith has its roots in fervently, diligently seeking God and His righteousness with intense desire (like a passionate lover) through habitual prayer.
Anxiety and fretting (symptoms of coveting and idolatry), in addition to cutting life short, erode faith, destroying serenity by borrowing tomorrow's troubles.
The spiritual journey of God's people is more difficult than the physical one of the ancient Israelites, requiring as it does more resources to navigate.
Fear and anxiety are normal human emotions. But through changing our focus from earthly to heavenly things, we can rise above the concerns, remembering Who is with us.
Commitment to a course of action is essential for physical or spiritual success. Faith motivates and sustains right action, protecting us from the yo-yo like fits of starting and stopping. Shallow or incomplete faith is contrasted with complete or mature faith. Our simple faith must transform into mature or enduring faith, which …
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 …
Paul wrote some of his most optimistic letters from prison, under the possibility of execution, but absolutely convinced that ultimate victory was imminent.
Those who emphasize one trait of God, or one doctrine, at the expense of the others run the risk of distorting the truth, creating a grotesque caricature.