As you make your resolutions for 2019, the challenge of God’s Word to you is that you would resolve to strive after godliness by pursuing the kind of righteousness you see in the life of Christ, and by fleeing from the wickedness that He hates. Looking at Psalm 1 will help us learn to make the resolutions of the righteous.
Like a doctor slapping a smiley face sticker over a cancerous tumor, all some Christians know to do in the face of calamity is to pave it over with platitudes. But Lamentations teaches us, “Don’t downplay your suffering.” Minimizing suffering is more than just unhelpful to the pained, it’s also unappreciative of God’s plan. And by staying in a state of denial we deny ourselves and others true comfort and a unique opportunity to glorify God.
What other word can we have for you but “partner”? It is not just your giving, but your example, that encourages us to be faithful to the work that God has entrusted to us. You are part of our TMS family. You train men for gospel ministry.
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus warns that the deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word that falls on thorny soil. But money is just a thing, how could it be deceitful? Or perhaps a better question, what exactly are the lies money tells? If we aren’t careful, even Christians can fall prey to these fiscal falsehoods.
Psalm 46 was written as a refuge for God’s people in this age of suffering. Whatever storm we are facing, if God is our Savior and stronghold, we will not be shaken. Since God is the only real source of safety and security in times of great disaster and danger, the true believer need not fear because God’s protection and ultimate victory over the world is inevitable.
As a mercy, God allows tragedies to illustrate sin and serve as a warning to the unrepentant. Yet tragedies also point us back to the cross, where Christ died to rescue sinners from suffering forever.
Hearing the Word of God as He has delivered it in Scripture is the starting place for your life of prayer—whether you are new disciple of Jesus Christ or a seasoned prayer warrior. If you find yourself struggling in prayer, it can ultimately be traced to your struggle in the study and understanding of Scripture.
Just as the walls are the greatest defense for a city, self-control is our defense as believers. But we must also remember that we are only able to practice self-control as we surrender control of our lives over to Jesus Christ and live in victory over sin as He enables us to practice self-control.
There are three main areas of our lives we need to practice self-control over: our thoughts, emotions, and body. Athletes go through rigorous training for a trophy—a perishable prize. But as Christians, we are promised an imperishable crown that will never fade away. We must have self-control as we await our crown that we might be used by God for His glory.
When we fail to practice self-control, we are like the city of Jericho—open to attacks of the enemy and waiting for destruction. As believers, we face temptation on a daily basis. Self-control is the wall of defense against the sinful desires that wage war against our soul.