Through Many Tribulations (Part 2): Hardships

Through Many Tribulations

When Paul explained God’s choice of Jacob over his brother, he quoted from the prophet Malachi: “Just as it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (Romans 9:13; cf. Malachi 1:2-3). Jacob was chosen for prominence over his brother and for the blessings that came from being part of God’s promise (Romans 9:6-12). The Lord appeared to Jacob and said to him, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Genesis 28:13-15).

However, despite the fact that God chose Jacob and promised to bless him, he faced great hardships throughout his life. When he stood before Pharaoh, he said, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life” (Genesis 47:9). Notice some of the hardships that Jacob experienced:Continue Reading

Through Many Tribulations (Part 1): Loss

Through Many Tribulations

Job was a man who was “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1). When Satan appeared before the Lord, God Himself even praised this man: “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8). This man had been greatly blessed by God with seven sons, three daughters, and a large number of animals and servants (Job 1:2-3).

However, the Lord allowed Satan to tempt Job. Satan presented the challenge: “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face” (Job 1:9-11). Satan believed that if Job experienced loss, he would turn against God. The Lord replied, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him” (Job 1:12). After this, the temptations quickly came against Job.Continue Reading

This World Is Not My Home

Old House

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

As Paul wrote to the brethren in Corinth, he described the fact that our lives on earth are temporary, yet we have an eternal home in heaven. It is important that we understand this – this world is not our home. Our real home is in heaven. In this article, we are going to contrast these two homes and consider how an understanding of the difference between them should cause us to live here.
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Not Even Named Among the Gentiles

Computer

The church in Corinth had many problems that Paul needed to address in his first letter to them. One of these problems had to do with a case of sexual immorality that was being tolerated by the church.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:1-2, NKJV).

One of the members of the church at Corinth was engaged in a sexual relationship with “his father’s wife.” Likely, this means she was his stepmother rather than his biological mother. The Law of Moses condemned this type of relationship (Leviticus 18:8). But Paul pointed out that this was such a perversion that even the Gentile world generally understood it to be wrong.

Times have changed.
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“He Has Denied the Faith”

Couch potato

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).

The inspired apostle Paul delivered some harsh condemnation for those who refuse to provide for their own. But why is it that God likens this to one denying the faith? It is because the refusal to provide for one’s own is contrary to several fundamental characteristics that one must have in order to be a disciple of Christ.
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The Character of the Excellent Wife

Virtuous Woman

Many read the passage in Proverbs 31 of the “excellent wife” or the “virtuous woman” (KJV) and assume that the wise man is describing the ideal woman who does not exist in reality. However, even though culture and technology have changed since the time of the book of Proverbs, the “excellent wife” today is going to have the same focus as the one described in the following passage – fearing God, supporting her husband, serving her family, and helping others. There can be no change in culture or technology that would rightly call for a shift in focus from these four fundamental areas. Rather than think of the “excellent wife” of Proverbs 31 as an ideal that only exists in abstract terms, women today must look at her and see how they might imitate her in their lives.
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Bringing Up Children in the Lord (Part 5): Raising Children in a Wicked World

Bringing Up Children in the Lord - Lesson 5: Raising Children in a Wicked World

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

It would be difficult to find a society that was as corrupt as the one in the days of Noah. This society was so wicked that “every intent” of man was “only evil continually.” This degree of wickedness caused God to be “sorry that He had made man” and decide to “blot out man…from the face of the earth” (Genesis 6:6-7). Yet Noah found favor with the Lord because he was righteous (Genesis 6:8-9). He raised three sons in this wicked world (Genesis 6:10) and they were saved with their father.

Is it possible to successfully raise children in a wicked world? Yes! It has been done before and can be done again. However, that does not mean it will be easy. Parents must be diligent and trust in God’s plan, no matter how corrupt the world becomes.
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