Spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, and suffering is one of God's tools to perfect us. Suffering refines endurance and character.
The constant tests to which God submits His people enable them to build character by responding in faith. God perfected Abraham's faith through difficult trials.
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.
The first commandment sets the stage for understanding Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. God wanted to know: Would Abraham put Him first and have no other god?
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.
In this message on self-deception and illusion, Martin Collins focuses upon the pernicious insidious trait of human nature to deceive itself, living in a perpetual fantasy and self-delusion. God uses a lifetime regimen of testing, designed to distinguish genuine from flawed character, developing tenacity, perseverance, and the …
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
A spiritual Israelite undergoes a metamorphosis in which his own self-centered will is broken so that God's creative work can be completed within him.
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.
John Reid warns of an impending time when Satan will provide us a "test act" to determine whether we will conform to the image of the Beast or face grave, life-threatening consequences. Likewise, God the Father and Jesus Christ have also provided a "test act" determining whether we will stay loyal to God's …
As God tests His people, He desires that they test and prove His Laws to demonstrate that they invariably work, to prove these principles by following them.
John Ritenbaugh, after recapping the parallels and differences between the pilgrimage of ancient Israel and the Israel of God, affirms that God intends that we go forward, prodding us onward as well as blocking us from returning to spiritual Egypt. God has always abundantly supplied our needs, even though we have tried His …
Jesus and Abraham rose above their emotional pulls by exercising living faith—a faith built on acts of obedience. Faith can never be separated from works.
Here are four qualities of character that our full acceptance of God's sovereignty will build and that will prepare us for whatever work God may choose for us.
Prayer is not a dictating to a reluctant God, but a demonstration of our attitude of dependence and need. It is a means to get into harmony with God's will.
At the marriage supper of the Lamb, the resurrected saints, those who have faithfully kept God's commandments, will be allowed to assemble on the sea of glass.
Israel had every opportunity that the Gentiles did not have. God gave the Israelites gifts to live a better way, but they completely failed to reflect Him.
The true nature of God differs greatly from the trinitarian concept. Having created us in His form and shape, God desires to develop us into His character image.
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience, and how do we come by it?
As God found it necessary to test our forbears, He allows us to go through grueling experiences (trials, tests, and temptations) for maximum growth.
Trials define who we are by placing choices before us, forcing us to have faith in God. Character is built by making right, though difficult, choices.
Ryan McClure, acknowledging that self-reflection over our own spiritual progress (perhaps without seeing any progress) has potentially a negative effect, avers that we should understand self-reflection as a God-given tool to produce abundant spiritual fruit. The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 teaches that God requires a …
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes, focuses on three interrelated terms: paradox (something contrary to expectation), conundrum (a riddle), and wisdom (skill in arts, such as Bezalel and Oholiab who were gifted in a specific skill—or spiritual insight). We are called into the body of Christ gifted …
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that a life lived apart from God, under the sun, amounts to vanity and a fist full of wind. As we become aware of God's involvement in our lives, we begin to stand in awe of God, developing an appreciation for the proper investment of our time. 780 references to time recur through Scripture. Thousands …
Mark Schindler, reflecting that 40 is the number of trial and, coincidentally, the number of his and Nancy's anniversary, ruminates about the early days when he asked his future father-in-law's permission to marry his daughter. Forty years constituted the length of the wilderness trek of our ancestors, a time when they …
God uses trials to test our hearts, but He never places a trial before us to tempt us. God uses trials we bring on ourselves to draw us closer to Him.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing the traditional opening night Feast of Tabernacles "Handwriting on the Wall" message, focuses on the plaintive Psalm 94 in which the psalmist despairs of the crescendo of wicked men and institutions causing the righteous to move "underground" for safety purposes. The church is …
Greek and Roman myths have shaped the world view of Western culture, including our attitude toward hope, a concept which is often abused and distorted.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that when God created Adam, He prepared only a foundation for mankind's eventual spiritual creation undertaken by the Second Adam. Spiritual creation requires much intense pressure and continual testing to determine character. Jesus went through this process first to provide us an example. We are to be …
Like a loving parent, God brings just the right pressures to bear to bring about necessary change in His children. Each trial has a place in His purpose.
Like with the heroes of faith, our testing will be commensurate with the job God has prepared for us. We must make our relationship with God our top priority.
We do not think about crowns much, but one awaits us if we continue in the faith! The Bible describes the crown we will receive when we enter God's Kingdom.
Like the four groups of seeds exposed to various qualities of soil, many have heard the true gospel, but few have remained faithful after the onslaught of hardship.
Ted Bowling, focusing on Psalm 8, marvels along with David about the majesty of God's Creation and the seeming insignificance of man in its vastness. Mankind, having been created in God's image, possessing a modicum of God-like abilities, has the awesome potential to grow into Christ's image, with His mind, and to receive an …
We live daily in uncharted territory, but the sobering account in Numbers provides a roadmap, establishing God's pattern of judging our pilgrimage conduct.
America is an experiment in self-government, successful only if the citizens remain moral. The law of liberty works only if we obey God's Commandments.
God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.