KG Nov. 6-12

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November 6, Sunday

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Justified By What? — The Lord is both a God of justice and God who justifies—two different ideas with similar words.  Justice has to do with evaluating and responding to what is truly right.  Justifying involves giving positive credit for something.  James used the word “justified” three times in this passage, and he also provided a definition: To be justified is to be “counted … as righteousness” (v. 23, from Gen. 15:6).  God credited Abraham for his act of faith, i.e., his willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice at God’s command.  Whereas James emphasized Abraham’s act of faith (“his works”—v. 22), the Apostle Paul stressed Abraham’s faith when God promised him a future son (Rom. 4:1-5).  When the son was promised, there were no works involved—he just believed God, accepting what He said as truth, that it would be fulfilled.  But when Abraham’s faith involved his God-aborted act of offering Isaac as a sacrifice, works were involved; it was an act of faith.  Paul and James were not really in conflict when they used Abraham as an example of faith; one emphasizing what might be called the mental side of faith, while the other stressed the proof of that faith by action.  God justified us by a faith that works, a faith that outwardly proves its reality.  Paul was saying that works cannot bring us to God; James’ point was that works prove that the faith that brought us to God is real.  Faith without the evidence of subsequent works is not only “useless” (James 2:20), it is “dead” (v. 26).

We Walk by Faith – YouTube

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November 7, Monday

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Compassionate and Merciful — James wrote that we should be patient and not grumble because “the coming of the Lord is at hand … the Judge is standing at the door” (vv. 8-9).  That sounds ominous, doesn’t it?  It is similar to our reaction of instinctively driving slower when we see a police car near us.  The threat of punishment can be an incentive for righteous living.  The rather negative mental image of the Judge at the door is quickly followed by the positive image that “the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (v. 11).  The Judge is also the Rewarder.  He demonstrated it by delivering Job and the prophets from trouble because of their steadfastness (vv. 10-11).  God also shows that He is “compassionate and merciful” by healing people.  The sick person is instructed to call for the church elders to pray for them in faith (v. 14).  The promised result is that “the Lord will raise him up” (v. 15).  That is our “compassionate and merciful” God in action.  He cares about our troubles, feels for us, and desires to help.

God of Mercy and Compassion – YouTube

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November 8, Tuesday

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Gospel Preached to Abraham — False teachers had opposed Paul’s teaching and confused the Galatians.  They were Jews who wanted to hang onto the requirements of the OT Law.  Paul had encountered this same kind of thinking in Antioch (of Syria) from teachers who insisted that circumcision was also required for the salvation of Gentiles coming to Christ through faith (Acts 15:1).  But the Lord was anticipating the salvation of Gentiles over 400 years before He gave the Law to Moses, and through the Scriptures, God “preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham” (Gal. 3:8).  What was that gospel?  It was that the “The righteous shall live by faith” (vs. 11, quoted from Hab. 2:4).  We are saved by faith alone, and we are to live and grow by that same kind of faith as we continue in our Christian walk.

By Faith – YouTube

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November 9, Wednesday

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The Strength of Weakness — Why does God seldom choose wise and strong people to be saved?  It seems that characteristics like human wisdom and strength are barriers to humility.  “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).  Jesus mentioned another barrier: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25).  Mankind tends to desire to be self-dependent.  Even most people who want to go to heaven try to earn it through their own efforts.  God’s way is so unlike man’s way!  God’s way is the narrow path of humility.  In our passage, Paul said that “it pleased God … to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).  The wise unbeliever thinks that it sounds too simple; the strong unbeliever feels that it is too easy.  Humble people see God as their only hope—One who is far wiser and stronger than they are.  That is the strength of being weak.

You Are My All in All – YouTube

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November 10, Thursday

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Available Wisdom — Whereas yesterday’s reading spoke of the limitations of human wisdom, our passage for today contrasts the vast wisdom of God, which contains things most humans have never “seen … heard, nor … imagined” (v. 9).  However, all of this opens up “for those who love him” (v. 9).   This is not talking about the future bliss of heaven; it is what we receive through the personal, intimate relationship we have with the Spirit of God (“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (v. 10).  Have you ever been in a work situation where an experienced person was supposed to train you how to do something, but they seem reluctant to let you know all they know so that you cannot reach their level?  God is not like that.  He does withhold His wisdom from those who do not want it, but “for those who love him” (v. 9), He is very generous in teaching us all we need to know.  What a tremendous blessing and advantage we have, in that “we have the mind of Christ” (v. 16).

May the Mind of Christ My Savior – YouTube

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November 11, Friday

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Source and Purpose — God the Father is the source of Creation (“from whom are all things”—v. 6a) and Jesus Christ is the agent of Creation (“…through whom are all things”—v. 6b).  The question being addressed in this passage is about the authenticity of idols, which are only “so-called gods” (v. 5).  The closest idols can come to being supernatural is that they may be connected to demons, fallen angels that rebelled along with Satan (“…what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons…”—1 Cor. 10:20).  There is an interesting twist in verse 6 of today’s passage: Not only is God the source of all things, He is also the purpose or reason for creating humans, because He is the one “for whom we exist.”  He Himself made us to have a relationship with Him.  He created within each person a need for worship.  That is why people who do not know God invent substitutes, like idols, for worship.  The Christian’s relationship with God is the fulfillment of this worship-purpose He created in us.  We were made to worship Him.

Here I Am to Worship – YouTube

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November 12, Saturday

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Changed by God — Paul ended the previous chapter, contrasting the legitimacy of his apostleship, being “commissioned by God” (2 Cor. 2:17), versus some insincere imposters who were “peddlers of God’s word.”  Paul felt a great responsibility, so he exclaimed, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2:16).  His answer to that question comes in our chapter for today: Nobody!  Paul wrote that we are not “sufficient in ourselves … but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5).  The plural pronouns were written to include Timothy and Silas, but they also applied to believers in Corinth, and they extend to us as well.  We are not sufficient in ourselves.  That is an idea that really goes against the attitudes of our culture, doesn’t it?  Self-reliance is the elevated ideal for most people around us today.  But all people are dependent on God, whether they recognize it or not.  Then, Paul continued to say that God “has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant” (v. 6).  God makes us sufficient for the purpose of ministering to other people, and His sufficiency is shown in changing hearts through the message we bring to them.  It is the stamp of God, “written … with the Spirit of the living God … on tablets of human hearts” (v. 3).  Those who surrender to God are changed by Him.

Changed – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

2 thoughts on “KG Nov. 6-12

  1. Often, the Lord brings to mind a particular song while I am working on the “Comments.” I also use Hymnary.org a lot. There, I can type in Scripture references or key words, and they suggest hundreds of songs that might be appropriate. I also sometimes type in key words into youtube.com, like “God’s forgiveness lyrics,” to come up with other suggestions. I make my choice from among those possibilities.

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