“Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:1-2 (NASB)
In all the books of the Bible, there is none that matches the Book of Job. It is a story of God giving permission to Satan to test one of His own. Job was an extremely wealthy man. Some say the most wealthy of his time – sometime after Babel and before Abram. With permission from God Satan laid on Job the most serious trials in an effort to get Job to curse God and turn from his faith in God. Job lost everything except his wife and his own life. It was a stiff trial and very difficult to understand for a man who loved and followed God all his life. At the end and after hearing many recriminations from his so-called friends, Job confessed the words in today’s verses. He acknowledged God’s sovereignty over his life and all life. Nothing that God purposed to do can be thwarted is the promise we have. Have you a promise from God? Believe it friend and know that God will never renege on any promise he makes. His love for us is perfect and his grace has saved us if we have believed in Him.
“The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.” Isaiah 43:21 (NASB)
In the writings of the prophet Isaiah in our Bible, he delivered messages God gave to the people of Israel. Today we read where God Isaiah why He had chosen the people of Israel. During Old Testament time God would made His plan known through the prophets who were decedents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were the people God appointed and called especially to carry the Words of God to His people. After Jesus died on the cross, He rose from the dead with a new life. He expanded His offer to the whole world and God is now working with all who accept Jesus as Savior. God’s message is expressed in our verse and applies to all who by faith believe in Jesus. Yes God is forming a people for Himself throughout the world today. His purpose remains the same we find in our verse, “that we might proclaim His praise.” Let’s not forget that’s what God wants from us today – our praise. Let’s be sure today that we are sincerely praising God, not only with our words but with our whole heart. He has promised to take care of us because, we belong to Him.
“…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” – 2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV)
The very first words in the Bible are; “In the beginning God created…” An important truth from these words is that there was ‘a beginning’ of time. Before God created all the rest he created time. It was before the ages began. “Time, ‘like an ever-rolling stream,’ flows on and on and on. But before it even began we were already included in the gracious purpose of God.”* God purposed to give us grace ‘before times of the ages’ as the words are literally translated. That grace of God was hidden, and it is part of the “mystery” given to the Apostle Paul for him to reveal to the world. In Colossians 1:26 Paul also wrote, “the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations,” Grace from God for us, hidden from before the foundation of the world was in the Old Testament only dimly discerned by those who believed. But it in the New Testament it “has now been revealed or manifested.” When we think of grace, we think of Jesus our Savior, anointed by God for the purpose of saving his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
* William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 4:232–233.
“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” – Philippians 2:1-2 (NASB)
Our passage today from the letter to the Philippians, written by Paul the Apostle continues an appeal he made in chapter one. (Let’s remember that chapter divisions and verse markings were applied 1150 and 1500 years later.)
In Philippians 1:27, Paul wrote about living our Christian life in harmony with the message on which it is based. He followed that message with a call to show spiritual unity. This unity is possible because of the reality of the four qualities mentioned in 2:1. The “if” clauses speak of certainties, about realities, not questionable things. So in this passage “if” may be translated “since.” Paul appealed on the basis of any encouragement from being united in Christ; any comfort from His love; any fellowship with the Spirit; and any tenderness and compassion. We are exhorted furthermore to demonstrate unity in practical ways. This unity is ours in Christ. Our expression of spiritual unity results in complete joy for all. Matching the four realities are four specific ways in which our spiritual unity will be understood. We will find ourselves being like-minded, sharing and showing the same love; united together as one in spirit; and focused on one common purpose.