Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Daily Bread 4/23

Our daily bread will take us through Hebrews, Exodus and Proverbs today... and each are linked to the specific passage at Here you can change the translation if you prefer, say, the New King James Version, New Living Translation, New International Version, etc. Or you can follow along in your bible.

Hebrews 11:1-40

Exodus 15

Proverbs 6:1-7:5

Hebrews Commentary:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb 11:1)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb 11:6)

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Stew on that for a moment. Without faith it is impossible to please God. What a powerful statement. Faith is obviously and blatantly critical to pleasing God and, therefore, it is something that we should take very seriously. In Hebrews 11:1 we see that "Faith is being sure of what we hope for (faith in future things) and certain of what we do not see (faith toward invisible things)". Now that we have an idea of what faith means, we can re-read Hebrews 11:6 with a clearer idea of what is pleasing/displeasing to God.
Lets give it a try:
And without [being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see] it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

God is faithful and wants us to believe wholeheartedly in the promises He makes to us. He wants us to believe that He is in complete control, that He is sovereign, He will provide for us, and that He cares about what happens to us. Faith is more than just believing, however, it is backed with action and obedience to God. Hebrews 11 lists biblical figures who lived lives of faith... Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. Could you imagine the amount of mocking Noah must have endured as he faithfully built a gigantic ship for a "supposed" flood? But Noah believed in what was not seen and God spared him, not only because he had faith, but his faith resulted in action.

I find so much truth in a commentary on faith from the NIV Quest Bible:

"Ultimately, the way we see God will determine the shape of our faith. If we see a big, faithful, all-powerful God, then our faith will rise to those levels. If, on the other hand, we see a smaller God, a distant or less active God, then our faith will plateau at those levels."

Proverbs Commentary:

"There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers." Proverbs 6:16-19

Anything that the Lord hates or finds detestable I want to take note of and steer completely clear of. It is easy to point out and despise these seven things in others, however, we must take inventory and hate these qualities in ourselves and through prayer and self-discipline, eliminate them.

Haughty eyes... arrogant, lofty and snooty. Instead, we should strive to be humble. Matthew 23:12 says, "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
Lying tongue... deceitful, deceptive or misleading words, being two-faced. Proverbs 26:28 says, "A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin." Instead, we should focus on being truthful and honest with those around us. " The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12:22
Hands that shed innocent blood... murder, battery, brawling. There is no excuse or condoning the shedding of innocent blood. "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Psalm 34:14
A heart that devises wicked schemes... planning, plotting or contemplating things that are shameful, unethical or scandalous. Proverbs 10:20 "...the heart of the wicked is of little value." Instead, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things." Philippians 4:8.
Feet that are quick to rush into evil... taking part, without consideration, in things that are corrupt, destructive, harmful, hateful, malicious and wrathful. Instead, we should be quick to exercise self-control and self-discipline. "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." Proverbs 29:11
A false witness who pours out lies... A person who intentionally and voluntarily lies about another person, including slandering another person's character through rumors and false testimony. "A false witness will not go unpunished and he who pours out lies will not go free." Proverbs 19:5 Instead, be truthful and consider the repercussions your honesty (or dishonesty) will have on another person...and your own reputation. "A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies." Proverbs 12:17
A man who stirs up dissension among brothers... A person who provokes and encourages gossiping, arguments, bickering, strife, friction or trouble among family and friends. Instead, seek to peaceful, to encourage harmony among family and friends and to promote agreement. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9

In conclusion, let our hearts burn to please our Lord, by earnestly seeking to know Him more deeply.... that we may understand the Lord in a way that we readily admit how much we still have to learn... to realize how big and all-mighty the Lord really is... and, accordingly, have faith that can move a mountain. Let our faith be a way of heart and mind, but also of action. Let us strive to be a person of character, seeking to be humble, self-disciplined, truth-seeking and peace-making. Let our lives be a shining lamp on a hill for all the world to see... so through us, the world can know Jesus and God be glorified...for He is worthy. :)

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