Latest Thoughts of the Day
1 Corinthians 9:3
This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me.

It was hard to write to the church in Corinth. Believers there still had many hang-ups, and enemies there had tried for many reasons to disrupt and divide the work. Where God is working the Devil is working. Paul sees some need to answer the critics and to reassure the believers. In this paragraph he points out what ought to be obvious—Paul was certainly not involved in Corinth in order to gain anything from them. He worked to support himself while he was among them, and he spent and was spent on their behalf. He is preaching to these folks because of the call of God to do so, and he weathers every social storm in order to exalt Jesus Christ. Teach us, Lord, to imitate Paul-- to spend and be spent for Jesus.
Romans 9:3
For i could wish that i myself were cursed and cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race...

All good writers are poets. Hyperbole is a way of expressing how deeply they feel a thing. And Paul is expressing how deeply he feels and how willing he is to do anything he could do to save his own people from the condemnation of God. He would do the impossible. But it is hyperbole, and when it comes to sure, hard fact, his relationship with God is rooted and grounded in Jesus, and there is no way that he could be separated from Him. The truth of God undergirds and strengthens the poetry we experience above it all. The most extreme case is the impossible one, so that we rejoice and also find solid security in our relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Acts 15:3
The church sent them on their way, and as they travelled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This made all the brothers very glad.

It was claimed that these teachers from Jerusalem were officially sent with their false message, so Barnabas and Saul were sent to take the issue to the leaders there. Paul and Barnabas had no doubts concerning the perspective they held with regard to the Gentiles. And along the way gatherings of believers they encountered entered into their joy. Paul knew about Peter’s encounter with Cornelius. It was clear to him that these false teachers were not bringing Jerusalem’s message. Making this clear to everyone was also a chance for rejoicing among believers along the way. Lord, give us confidence as we live for You, and joy in sharing with all who have come to know and love Jesus.
John 11:3
So the sisters sent word to Jesus,"Lord, the one You love is sick."

Mary and Martha are applying a little pressure when they let Jesus know of Lazarus’ sickness. They really want Him to do their will in this matter. They clearly remember that He is Lord. But they argue from His love to try to urge Him on. Actually Jesus does not do what they ask. He allows the very worst to occur. But in the end His way accomplishes much to His glory. Lord, help us to trust in this. Your way is good and acceptable and perfect. You know Your love for us. We know it, too. We trust in Your promises, but our hope is not ultimately in Your promises. We may misunderstand them. Our confidence is in Your Person. Our times are in Your hands. Help us in our need, Lord Jesus.
Luke 13:3
"I tell you, 'No!' But unless you repent you will all perish."

People here tried to draw Jesus into the current gossip, but Jesus disappoints them. He makes an application which points the finger at them. He was aware of another popular gossip subject, and He uses that one in the same way. There are many reasons that people suffer calamities. God uses them in different ways in different person’s lives. Automatically assuming a connection between disaster and guilt is just plain wrong. The brevity and uncertainty of life is what we should be learning, and these thoughts should bring us to repentance. Whether we die by calamity or human instrumentality, or by natural causes, the chief concern is our sin, and unless we repent, we will all perish. God did not want us to perish, and so He sent His Son. Thank You for coming, Lord Jesus.

Mark 9:3
His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.

When they come down from the mountain after the transfiguration, the clothes did not retain their whiteness. Everyone down below would have marveled at them. The physical garments took on a glory when Jesus determined to reveal Himself in them. On a very small scale, this can occur in our lives when a particular experience at a particular place was used of God to manifest Christ to us. We will never forget that place or those circumstances or the surroundings of the particular moment when our eyes were opened to behold the glory of Christ. Ordinary things shine with a spiritual glory because they were used to show us the Lord Himself as He always was, but was never seen until that moment. Thank You for using that circumstance to reveal Yourself, Lord Jesus.
Matthew 15:3
Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?

The Jewish leaders were often at odds with Jesus because He did not take seriously the traditions that they had invented and passed down. No doubt some things were harmless, but others amounted to nullifying the commands of God in order to enrich themselves. Little wonder that besides being grieved, Jesus was angry. Lord, have we fallen into anything like what the Pharisees were doing? Does our selfishness push us in the direction of dishonesty? Are we sometimes willing to ignore something that truly is not right? Teach us to be simple and forthright and honest. Give us a check in our spirits when we are drifting into compromise. May our hearts be surely fixed where true joys are to be found. We thank You for the cleansing blood of Jesus.
Malachi 3:3
He will sit as a refiner or purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness...

God knows that this will be His last revelation to Israel for 400 years—until the voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord”. One last purification, as it were, and it must sustain the nation until Jesus comes. The priesthood must be put in order. The people must be challenged. The awesome judgment of God must be articulated. The challenge to faithfulness in regard to our resources must be underlined. The Day of the Lord must be brought to mind. In the fullness of time the Savior came. John the Baptist was the voice that proclaimed it. In the fullness of time, he will come again. Amen! Come Lord Jesus.

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