“…but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:” 1 John 2:5 (ESV)
This season can be distracting, stressful, confusing, and difficult. The message from the world out there does not always give us the truth. The passage we have today is part of a longer sentence in which the Apostle John compared those who claim to know God but fail to keep His commandments and those who manifest God’s love through their obedience. John repeats the words “know … keep” to emphasize that those genuinely born again display the habit of obedience. Obedience results in assurance of salvation. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word, our Bible. All this comes from the Lord because He loves us. When we follow the standards God has shown us in His Word that His love for us is made complete. Let’s be willing to let God’s love work in our hearts and obedience becomes a part of our lives. So when we learn of something in the Bible that God wants us to do or a principle He wants us to follow remember, He wants it because He loves us, not because He is a dictator. His promise to us is to make us complete through our faith in Him.
“This God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” – 2 Samuel 22:31 (ESV)
“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4 (NASB)
Today we take a verse of promise from David’s “Son of Deliverance” in 2 Samuel 22 and another verse from “The Song of Moses” found in the fifth Book of the Law, Deuteronomy 32. Again, we see God called a Rock, or in this occasion, “The Rock!” This word, represented the stability and permanence of God. It was placed at the beginning of the verse we believe for emphasis and was followed by a series of phrases which elaborated the attributes of God as the Rock of Israel. His work is perfect. All His ways are just. He is a God of faithfulness. He is a God without iniquity. He is righteous and upright. These are the principal themes in this song by Moses. It stresses the unchanging nature of God in contrast with the fickle nature of the people. The description of God in this verse contrasts strongly with the description of the people which follows in the next verse, a perverse and crooked generation (Dt 32:5). Jesus used this phrase in Matthew 17:17 of an unbelieving generation. Let us choose today to trust in the Rock, our perfect shield who is just in all His ways.
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
“Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)
This promise for today is for every day. It is well worth keeping it in the top of our mind. We all face times when the peace we have is challenged by events and circumstances. What we expect fails to be what we get and our peace is gone like a puff of smoke in a sudden breeze. We resort to worry, doubts and are tempted to go down a different path. What we need instead is to grip onto and hold firmly in our mind the truth in this promise from God. Isaiah penned these words inspired by the Spirit of God. He wrote, a fixed outlook of trust in the Lord causes a peace within that the wicked can never know (Isaiah 57:21). Such trust prevents double mindedness (James 1:6–8) and serving two masters (Matthew 6:24). Perfect peace means complete, genuine peace that comes only by grace from God. As we experience this inner peacefulness our faith grows and we are encouraged to continue trusting our Lord and Savior Jesus. Let’s prepare ourselves now for today’s opportunity to exercise trust in God who is our Rock forever. Perfect peace can be ours.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
Confidence is good, especially when we have confidence in the outcome of a project we’re doing. When asked if we can take on a job and finish it correctly we say, “I’m confident I can.” But there are times when our confidence is not as strong as we need. In our verse Paul declares his confidence; not in himself, or in the Philippians, but in God. Paul is confident that what God starts in our lives, He will see that they will complete it. Some versions like the one we use here today (NASB) say that God who began a good work will ‘perfect it.’ The (ESV) promises that when God who began a good work in us will ‘bring it to completion.’ The (KJV) uses the promise ‘will perform.’ The word in the original Greek is used in only this verse and in Galatians 3:3. It has all these meanings; complete, accomplish, perfect. Our confidence is placed in Christ Jesus when we take on the tasks He gives us. What we have been called to do, God promises to be with us to accomplish it through us. He will supply all our needs to do so.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
Are these familiar words to you? They may be just the promise we need to hear these days. Because we all face uncertainty and trying times, because we all can find ways to be upset inside because of outside turmoil. When things are not as they should be, at least in our own understanding, peace escapes us. We believe that we all need to be reminded often of these promises. But first, let us understand what this promise of peace is promising perfect peace. Perfect peace may not be just the absence of turmoil. Perfect peace can be ours in the midst of upsetting challenges. Perfect peace is complete, genuine, inner tranquility which we find when we trust the word of God. There are so many influences and distractions in this world to interrupt our thinking and to disturb our peace. Remember, who is it that benefits from God’s peace? It is the person who trusts in God because those who trust in God focus their thinking on God’s faithfulness and this gives their minds a real steadfastness. Steady thinking is really a part of real peace. Let’s keep our minds steady today, trusting the Lord.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
Of what truth do you have such confidence that nothing and no one is able to dissuade you from your belief? A common crisis for many is the struggle to believe the promises of God. Especially that His care for them and their lives are untouchable by the enemy. The good work, the good and blessed outcome promised by God will happen according to His promise in today’s verse. It’s a process. It takes time. In fact, it will take the rest of our earthly lives before God completes the good work He has begun in each of us. We can absolutely trust that absolute truth.
Warren Wiersbe writes about the battle for God’s truth “God works in this world through the truth of His Word, and (our evil enemy) Satan opposes this truth by substituting his lies. Human nature is prone to believe a lie and resist the truth. Satan accomplishes his best work through people in so-called Christian institutions (churches, schools, etc.) who do not believe God’s truth.”* Each time the truth of God is spoken, heard, read, and studied, the enemy uses lies to steal it away from us by tempting us to doubt God’s truth.
*Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 2:201.