Week 13 March 25-31, 2018

If God gave you five minutes to ask Him anything and He promised to respond in a clear, audible voice with complete answers, what would you ask Him?

Some popular questions might include one of these: Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Why did you let my loved one die? Why is life so difficult? Why do I struggle with the same sin so much? Why are there so many gnats in South Georgia?

The truth is our human hearts are hungry to find answers to the mysteries of life here on earth. We don’t know why we experience so much pain, why God allows certain tragedies, why life is such a difficult struggle, or even why God created gnats in the first place.

We are forced to deal with our earthly restrictions of both time and space, so we yearn to reach out to our Creator who stands outside of time and space and repeatedly ask Him one word: Why?  

While God does not condemn us for asking so many questions, He does tell us that we should spend our time, energy, and focus on the answers He has already given us through His Holy Word. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

This passage teaches us that God has sacred secrets He keeps to Himself for His own sovereign reasons. Since He is an all-knowing God, His mind transcends the limitations He has placed on our human reasoning. Therefore, He chooses to keep many of His divine purposes a secret from His creation.

On the other hand, God never intended to keep us in the dark about His existence, His nature, or His purpose for us here on earth. This is why in a wonderful act of mercy and kindness, God revealed His Word to humanity so that we could know Him, serve Him, worship Him, and love Him. His “Word” simply means His wisdom and logic, and He has revealed His Word to the world in two ways: (1) The Bible (God’s written Word); (2) Jesus Christ (God’s incarnate Word). Both the Bible and Christ help the invisible God of this universe to become visible and understandable to us as His created beings. Through receiving this divine revelation, we can now respond by repenting of our sins, placing our faith in the finished work of Christ, and enjoying an eternal relationship with Him.

We need to remember, however, that even though God has revealed Himself to us, He has not revealed all of Himself to us. There are aspects of His eternal identity and plan that He chose to keep hidden. Those details belong to Him alone for His glory alone. What He has revealed to us is enough for us to live in obedience to His commands and fulfill His plan for our lives.

The Lord reminds us that what He is looking for from us most is not our understanding but our faithfulness. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

So, let us keep our minds and hearts centered on responding in faith to what we already know about God. He may not answer all of our questions, but we already have all the information we need to bring Him glory by loving Him and enjoying Him forever.

The Sacred Secrets of God

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We are Tied to Our Treasures

Throughout the gospels, Jesus emphasizes the point multiple times that our material possession are a reflection of what we love and care about the most. In Luke 12:34 he says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This does not mean we cannot enjoy material blessings in this world, but it does mean that what we own will always reveal where our heart is. So, what do your possessions say about where your heart is today?

Individuals Have an Impact

In chapters six and seven of Joshua, we quickly learn how one individual’s faith can have an eternal impact on an entire family. In Joshua 6:25, Rahab the prostitute hid Israelite messengers in her home and Joshua responded by protecting her entire family from destruction. However, just one chapter in Joshua 7:24-25, Achan’s idolatrous decisions force the Israelites to stone and burn his entire family. These two passages remind us that through either our obedience or our sinfulness, our choices can have a lasting impact on the ones we love the most.

The Mandate to Meditate

The entire book of Deuteronomy was a reminder from Moses to stop and meditate on the wonderful works of God. In Psalm 143:5, we see that King David fulfilled this mandate to meditate. David says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” If we desire to have the faith of David, we need to imitate the thoughts of David by meditating on what God has done and what He has promised He will do.

Tips to Keep You on Track

Week 14 Readings:  April 1 - 7

-Day One:  Joshua 14-17; Luke 17

-Day Two:  Joshua 18-21; Psalm 15; Luke 18

-Day Three:  Joshua 22-24; Psalm 116; Luke 19

-Day Four:  Judges 1-3; Psalm 16; Luke 20

-Day Five:  Judges 4-6; Luke 21


          Our reading plan will continue this week with an introduction to the book of Judges. A perfect description of the spiritual condition of the Israelites during this time period is found in Judges 17:6, where is states, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” As you begin reading through the accounts of the Judges of Israel, pay special attention to the cycle of sin and redemption throughout each story. In these stories you will see a pattern of Israel falling into sin, crying out for redemption, being delivered and restored through a judge, and then falling into sin once again.

          While it would be tempting to condemn Israel for this repetition of rebellious sin, we must all admit that our hearts also follow a pattern of disobedience because of our sinful nature. The book of Judges, as well as our own daily lives, point over and over to the fact that we need Jesus Christ. As our Lord and Savior, Christ has not only provided salvation of our souls, but He is also working in us to provide transformation for our hearts.