A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So who is God and what is he really like? As we will see in this chapter, our answers to these questions will shape the way we live.
Why are there so many problems in this world? Every religion, scientist, philosopher, and politician has tried to answer this question and offer solutions. While there are massive disagreements about what is the real problem on this planet, there is little disagreement that there is a big problem. We all know things are not the way they are supposed to be, both in the whole universe and in our own lives.
What’s the purpose of God’s law? If we are saved by grace and through faith, what’s the point of the law? If Christ came to fulfill the law, does this mean God’s law no longer applies to us since Christ accomplished it for us?
By studying Romans 3:19-31, we can see four purposes in the Bible for God’s law.
I find it interesting that humility is not one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. I think this is probably because it is one of those qualities that works its way into all of the fruits of the Spirit. All of the good qualities Christians are to posses have an element of humility within them. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control … you can’t have any of these things without humility.
Throughout the book of Proverbs, it seems every chapter has nuggets of truth regarding humility and pride. They seem to play role in everything good or bad described in Proverbs. Humility helps your relationship with God, with people, with your finances. And so rather than zero in on one of these elements, I’d like to take a bigger view this morning and ask the question, “How can we be humble and not proud?”
Today we will be talking about Thomas. Doubting Thomas, as he has been known throughout the centuries. As we read today, I think we will see that Thomas is a perfect example of all of us at times. We all have questions about God, some nagging thought we fear might unravel our faith if we investigate it too deeply, but then we blurt it out at God more as an accusation than a question asked in faith.
So as we study our texts of John 20:24-31 and John 14:4-7, I would like to answer this question, “What should you do when you have questions about God?” As we will see by studying these passages, Jesus doesn’t have a problem with our questions. He has a problem with our doubt. And there is a big difference between the two.
What does Jesus want from you? The most obvious answer is that Jesus wants us to love and obey him. But how does he want us to love and obey him? What does it look like?
Does the Bible say that the ends justify the means? In other words, does God care about what we accomplish for him, how we accomplish it, or both? The Bible is very clear that in God’s eyes, the ends never justify sinful means.
In part 1 of this blog series called, “How to be used mightily by God,” we learned that Jesus prepared Peter to be used in great ways by reminding him of his need to listen to Jesus.
Through comparing John 21:1-19 and Luke 5:1-11, we saw how Jesus had to repair the damage Peter had done to himself when he betrayed Jesus. The way Jesus did this was by reminding Peter of how their relationship had begun in the first place.
In part 2 of “How to be used mightily by God” we will talk about three more prerequisite actions Jesus helped Peter do to be prepared for God using him. If we prepare in these three ways as well, God will use us for his purposes.
God can use anyone. God even uses men and women who are in rebellion against him like he did with Pharaoh (Exodus 9:17). God can use men and women who love him and yet have moments of backsliding like Moses did (Numbers 20:2-13). While God can use anyone, he prefers to use a certain type of person.
In Genesis 20, Abimelech was deceived by Abraham. Abraham lied to Abimelech about Sarah being his sister rather than his wife. In Genesis 20:18 we see that Abimelech was negatively impacted by the deceit of Abraham. Abimelech did nothing but believe the words of Abraham, and yet God did not spare Abimelech of the consequences of following Abraham’s lies.
Likewise, when we are deceived by others and thus participate in their wrong doings, either inadvertently or otherwise, God still holds each of us accountable for doing the right things regardless if we were duped or not.
In short, God expects all of us to avoid being deceived by others. Thankfully, we can learn from Genesis 20:1-18 on how to avoid falling for the lies of others.