Consider Your Calling

Man thinking

In Paul’s first epistle to Corinth, he spoke of the gospel – “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Though many had rejected it, these Christians had accepted it. However, they needed to remain faithful to the Lord. In order to encourage them to do this, Paul admonished them, “Consider your calling” (1 Corinthians 1:26). We must do the same if we hope to please the Lord and be saved in the end.Continue Reading

Do Not Be Like Ephraim

Donkey

The prophet Hosea warned the people of Israel (Ephraim) about God’s judgment that was coming against them because of their sin. In the passages we will discuss in this article, he compared the people to different things – the dew, a dove, and a donkey.

These things have been “written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). The warning for us is this: Do not be like Ephraim!
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To Acquire Wisdom, We Must Be Humble

Notes on Proverbs

Humility is necessary in order to acquire wisdom. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom” (11:2). As wisdom comes from instruction and understanding, we must be humble enough to admit our own lack of wisdom and the need to pursue it. Without humility, we will not believe we need wisdom and will, therefore, ignore it.
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Those Who Trusted in Themselves (10/30)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Luke 17:11-18:14.

Jesus told a parable of two men – a Pharisee and a tax collector – in order to teach a lesson about attitudes and how one perceived himself before God.

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted’” (Luke 18:9-14).

The Pharisee would have been recognized by others as being righteous. The tax collector acknowledged that he was a sinner. Yet he was justified, and the Pharisee was not. Why? Notice the two problems with the Pharisee:
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"You Are a Man and Not God" (9/5)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Ezekiel 28-31.

In the following passage, Ezekiel prophesied against the arrogance of the king of Tyre:

Son of man, say to the leader of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Because your heart is lifted up and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods in the heart of the seas’; yet you are a man and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God” (Ezekiel 28:2).

The verses that follow describe the great wisdom and riches that the king of Tyre had obtained for himself (Ezekiel 28:3-5). What often happens when one obtains such wealth and wisdom is that he becomes arrogant and rebels against God. This is what happened with the king of Tyre. His “heart [was] lifted up” (Ezekiel 28:5); and he tried to make himself out to be equal with God (Ezekiel 28:2, 6). God described His attitude toward those who seek to portray themselves as being gods in the minds of the people.
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"Let Him Who Boasts Boast of This" (8/9)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Jeremiah 7-9.

Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

Man often judges himself by his strength, his accomplishments, and his possessions. There is nothing inherently wrong with such things. In the passage above, the Lord does not condemn a man for having wisdom, might, or riches. Rather, He condemns a man for boasting in these things.
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Holier Than Thou (8/1)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Isaiah 64-66.

It is not uncommon to hear people use the phrase “holier than thou” to speak critically of those who arrogantly operate as if they are somehow better than others (or are perceived to do so). People do not appreciate it when others act in this way. The passage below shows us what God thinks about this attitude.

Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day” (Isaiah 65:5).

As God described this “rebellious people” (v. 2) who would “continually provoke” Him (v. 3), one of His complaints against them was this arrogant, “holier than thou” attitude they had toward their fellow man.
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