“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 (ESV)
Some may consider the words “we have received…” to refer to the apostles and other writers of the Word of God. That is so but not exclusively. The is the promise made first to the disciples which would enable them exclusively to write the inspired words of God. But also to help all who believe and receive to understand the written inspired word of God. We know that when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, the Lord sends His Holy Spirit to live in that person. We also know that the Holy Spirit brings much into our lives. One of His functions is mentioned today in our selected verse. God knows that we are naturally very earthly minded. On our own we do not understand God very well. Nor do we understand the wonderful advantages of being children of God. We don’t know the wonderful benefits God has provided for us. That’s one of the reasons why we need divine help in knowing what is available to us as we trust. Let’s be sure that our hearts and minds are open to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach us about this every day.
“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” Colossians 2:9-10 (NASB)
The promise we find in the selected verse for today should give us encouragement in our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and in order to be our Savior he had to be more than what we are; He had to be perfect. We’re thankful that Jesus, the Son of God came to earth so long ago and lived his life in the form of a human being like you and me. Jesus was fully a human and he was also fully God. We are reminded today that when Jesus returned to heaven after his ministry on this earth and after his death and resurrection, that His work here on earth continues, but in a different way. He is present working through those who trust and obey so that is happens. It happens when we believe in Him and allow Jesus to work through us. Our mission is to tell others by word and by life example what Jesus has accomplished for all people. Anyone who believes receives Jesus into their life. The promise is that those who choose to believe and receive forgiveness and eternal life are made complete by the rule and authority of God.
“The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’” Deuteronomy 33:27 (NASB)
Moses was 120 years old and he had served God in leading the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people since he was 80. For 40 years he was an Egyptian living in Pharaoh’s house. For the next 40 years he tended his father-in-law’s sheep. God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. These recorded words were delivered by Moses to Israel just prior to Moses’ death. He pronounced these words of blessings on the people We too are children of God and can trust the words of promise as Moses reminds the people that God is eternal and he provides for His children a dwelling place, a refuge, from the world which threatens us. Underneath us are the everlasting arms which refer to the way God takes care of His own. We can know for certain that He is supporting us because He has promised. God will keep us from falling. God will keep us from falling into discouragement or fear. We can believe and relax. We don’t have to worry or be anxious and we don’t need to look elsewhere for help. He is there and He’ll care for us completely.
“…made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:5b-6 (ESV)
Today we have selected another passage which tells us how our God has wonderful plans for us and they include what He is doing with us, His children, these days. The Apostle Paul reveals to the believers in Ephesus and to us the amazing depth of what we have since God brought us into His family. Making for us a place with Jesus in heaven, He wants this to demonstrate something very important. And now that we are a part of His family He can be very kind and generous in His treatment of us. When He treats in a kind and loving way, He demonstrates how rich His grace is because we don’t deserve such treatment at all. It is all by His grace and mercy that He does this for us. Has God been kind to you, His child? If so, that is part of His plan to show how rich His grace is. It’s as our verse says that he might show what is incomparable – the unlimited extent of grace through kindness, lovingkindness.
“He who planted the ear, does He not hear? He who formed the eye, does He not see?” Psalm 94:9 (NASB)
This verse might cause us to pause just a moment with the question, “He who planted the ear..?” But, this is a common use of the word to speak of creation. When God created our human ancestors in order to have fellowship with them, He gave His creatures the ability to know what is going on. Each of us was given the ability to see what is around us and to hear sounds happening around us. Not every creature sees and hears equally well and some not at all, but such circumstances were not in God’s plan at the beginning. We are reminded today that the ability to see and to hear were given to us by the one who created us. God wanted us to experience a part of what He has always experienced. God gave us the ability to see in part because He sees everything. He made us able to hear some sounds because he hears every sound. Yes, our God sees us in our needy time and he listens when we pray – that is the promise he made when he made us. Let’s be thankful.
ear, eye, hear, Psalm, see
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 (ESV)
As an Apostle, Peter, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus helped spread the news of the early Christian Church. Peter walked with Jesus and heard him teach. He many times ate meals with Jesus and talked with him face to face. Peter wrote these words in his first letter because he wanted those who would be reading it but had never seen Jesus. We have never seen Jesus as Peter did but we love him and we believe in him. The promises are many as we focus on verse 9. “Obtaining” could be translated “presently receiving for yourselves.” Christians now possess the result of their faith, a constant deliverance from the power of sin. In another sense, we are waiting to receive the full salvation of eternal glory in the redemption of our bodies We can experience this inexpressible and glorious joy because we have believed in Christ – even though we have never seen him. Our faith has opened the eyes of our hearts and minds to believe in Him as our Savior and Lord. It’s hard to express sometimes but in our hearts we know He is true. What a joy it is to have that assurance.
“How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.” – Psalm 112:1 (NASB)
“He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” – Psalm 112:7 (NASB)
“The wicked will see it and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked will perish.” – Psalm 112:10
We have chosen three verses which reminded us of steadfast heart and how the world responds. Verse 1 encourages believers – those who fear the LORD God. They delight in God’s Word. Verse 7 describes a picture of a heart that is resting on something solid so that it is not shaken no matter what happens. There is no fear of the evil in the world. It is common today to hear the angst expressed by believers when they see that the world around us is unstable and coming apart. Our promise is that our hearts can remain unmoved. The verses today explain how this comes about. It is by trusting in the Lord. What else could provide a more solid foundation than our God? As we trust and fear the Lord we find satisfaction in his promises and commands. The wicked in the world will be disturbed by the believer’s steadfast faith. Gnashing of teeth they melt away. We won’t be bothered by things going on around us. Our feelings and our thoughts will always be steady knowing that God is faithful. Today, let’s be like the person in verses 7-9.
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” – Ezekiel 36:27 (NASB)
All who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have experienced a great change in our lives. The prophet Ezekiel was used by God to explain in part these words from God. The promise is for us as well. God’s plan and promise is that when we believe in Jesus, God’s Holy Spirit is sent to dwell, to live within us spiritually. When Jesus was still on earth He also made this promise of the Holy Spirit and He mentioned several functions which He would fill. One of these promised functions is in today’s verse. The Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of believers to motivate us to obey the Lord. As we trust in Him, we learn to sense the impulse within us often to do what is pleasing to God. In Hebrews 10:24, we are encouraged accordingly: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” It may reading the Bible or hearing the Word preached that our hearts are stirred with the desire to do what God says He wants in His Word. The stirring is the work of the Holy Spirit moving us to follow God’s will.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.” – Isaiah 59:1 (ESV)
Does it sometimes seem like your requests to God are not heard or perhaps not important enough for His attention? These words from the prophet Isaiah it this verse can help us remember God’s ability to help His followers and His earnest willingness to help them. God gave these words to remind his people in Isaiah’s time that if they did not experience God’s help it was not His fault. In the next few verses we learn that it was the sin that caused God to not hear from them. God wants us to know that The Lord’s strength is more than adequate to bring deliverance but we must confess our sin that separates us from God. This is a universal truth applying to all people. God can help and nothing is so separated from God that He cannot reach it and he is able to hear when with a repentant heart we ask for help. Our God is listening and hears our call. His ear is turned in our direction waiting for us to express our prayers to Him. God will intercede for us; He can reach us and give us the help we need.
“He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 5:5 (ESV)
One fact that we can know and rejoice in is that God has plans for us who have believed and accepted the free gift of salvation. We are reminded of this in our verse. God has and is continuing to prepare us for living with Him in heaven. It is God who had made this happen, for there is nothing we can do to receive the Holy Spirit who is our guaranteed promise. We realize that His plans for us are really beyond our ability to comprehend. God knows, and that is the reason He has given us His Spirit. In part the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to show us a bit of what heaven will be like. Even that we take by faith for our eyes have not seen, our ears have not heard, all that God has prepared for us who love Him. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives guarantees eternal blessedness for us in heaven. Paul emphatically states that the believer’s heavenly existence will come according to God’s sovereign purpose. Let’s be sure our hearts are open to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach us about heaven.