God gave Paul a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble and to teach him valuable truths that he would never otherwise have learned. When Paul accepted this hardship, God used it in powerful ways. God also allows trials to come into our lives to stretch our faith, to deepen our love for Him, and to make us more cognizant of the needs of others. Are you allowing this process to take place in your life?
Ask different people what they think about pastors and you’ll hear everything from, “I love my pastor” to, “They’re all a bunch of phonies!” How is it that church leaders have earned such a wide range of responses from people, and what standards can you use to determine whether you are being led by the right kind of leaders?
There is, in all our hearts, a rebellion against authority. We see it in everyone, from the infant who screams when she doesn’t get her way, to the old man who still cheats on his taxes. We don’t like anyone ruling over us, but we were created to live within the boundaries of God’s authority. Is there still rebellion in your heart; areas where you are determined to go your own way? Surrender those to God, find joy under His authority, and you will finally discover true freedom!
We all know about the Apostle Paul and the astounding ways God used his life, but do we know the man who stood up for Paul when no one else wanted him, and who actually put Paul in a position to be used by God? The truth is, God’s work is not sustained and enriched by the prominent people in the spotlight, but by the mostly unknown men and women serving faithfully behind the scenes. Are we willing to be that person?
In Luke 17 Jesus heals ten lepers but only one returns to gives thanks. Though Jesus did not command them to return and give thanks, he was surprised that only one did; and that he was a foreigner. What can we learn about being thankful from this? Was this man simply being respectful, or was there more? Why should we be thankful, and what does that mean?
Knowing that God doesn’t change, we understand that He is reliable, dependable, trustworthy, truthful. He is a rock; a cornerstone or foundation stone which secures a whole building. He will be our firm foundation for the trials and storms of life, we must simply be obedient. His attitude toward sin is always the same, his attitude toward a repentant sinner is always the same. We must live our lives in humble obedience to God.
White light, shone through a glass prism, reveals all of the colors. Pure white light contains all of the colors; you do not have pure white light if you remove one of the colors or if they are out of balance. God’s attributes are like the colors in the color spectrum. If the God you know only consists of some of his attributes, do you really know who He is. You cannot accurately understand pure white light if you are missing certain colors, and you cannot accurately understand who God is, if you are missing certain attributes. If you do not know the God of “White Light”, do you actually know God … what’s stopping you?
God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. He is perfectly pure; altogether, in himself complete. He is altogether Righteous; altogether Just; altogether Good. He has revealed himself to us in various ways, but in order to understand that revelation, we must be humble before the Lord; for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.