KG Nov. 20-26

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November 20, Sunday

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God’s Purpose of Kindness — One attribute of God is His justice; He is completely right in His judgment of mankind, showing no partiality (v. 11).  Other attributes listed in this passage are “his kindness and forbearance and patience” (v. 4a), and significantly, the purpose of “God’s kindness is … to lead you to repentance” (v. 4b).  Today, there is a certain “God understands” attitude among many Christians, presuming that the pressure is off for them regarding strict obedience to God’s commands.  The purpose for God’s kindness to us, however, is not to make us more comfortable in our sin, but to encourage us to turn from our sin in repentance.

Depth of Mercy – YouTube

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November 21, Monday

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By No Means! — Paul used the emphatic expression, “By no means!” (vv. 4, 6), twice in this passage to show us something about God.  First, he said that man’s sin does not nullify God’s promises (“Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?  By no means!”—vv. 3b-4a).  God had promised Israel that He would keep them as a nation to be His own people.  Although “some were unfaithful” (v. 3a)—actually most of them at times—He would keep His promise.  God occasionally painfully disciplined them to bring them back on track, but He never gave up on them as His people.  God is just as faithful today in His dealing with Christians who stray away from Him into sinful attitudes and actions.  God keeps His promises.  The second time Paul used this emphatic expression, it was to show us that God is not wrong or unfair in His judgment (“That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us?  By no means!”—vv. 5b-6a).  He must punish evil.  Thankfully, Jesus willingly took that punishment for us.

Jesus Paid it All – YouTube

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Meditation: It is interesting that all three Persons of the Trinity are connected with truth in Scripture. Twice in this passage, God is connected with truth: “…let God be true though every one were a liar…” (v. 4), and “…God’s truth abounds to his glory” (v. 7).  The Son of God said, “I am the way, and the truth…” (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit is said to be “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26).  There is no falseness or deception in God; everything about Him is true.  Jesus also said to the Father, “your word is truth” (John 17:17).  What you are reading every day in God’s Word is truth.  Believe and depend on it!

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November 22, Tuesday

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Growing While Waiting — How long did Abraham have to wait for the birth of Isaac after God had promised him a son?  About 25 years.  In spite of this long wait, however, “he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God” (v. 20).  Does your faith grow stronger as you wait for God to act, or is it gradually lessened as time passes by?  How did Abraham’s faith grow?  It was “as he gave glory to God.”  He kept his focus on God.  It is true that Abraham lapsed in his faith when he accepted Sarah’s advice to take Hagar as a wife to produce offspring, but that was not the fulfillment of God’s promise.  Even after Ishmael was born to Hagar, God clarified His promise to Abraham: “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac” (Gen. 17:19).  If God “gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Rom. 4:17), He can also give a promised son to a 100-year-old man and his 90-year-old wife.  God can do the “impossible.”  Abraham waited and grew in faith because he trusted God to keep His promise.

While I Wait – YouTube

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November 23, Wednesday

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Our Daddy, Helper, and Model — This passage has much to say about Yahweh.  Eight times it refers to God the Father, eight times to the Holy Spirit, and twice to Christ, the Son.  The emphasis on the Father seems to be about our relationship with Him, our “Abba” (“daddy,” v. 18).  We Christians are His “children” (v. 16) and His “heirs” (v. 17).  We are close to Him in fellowship.  The Father is also our helper, as He causes “all things [to] work together for good” (v. 28).  The stress on the Holy Spirit in this passage seems to be that He is our Helper.  He helps us “put to death the deeds of the body” (v. 13); He leads us (“…led by the Spirit of God”—v. 14); He “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (v. 16); He “helps us in our weakness” and “intercedes for us” in our prayers (v. 26).  The focus on Christ, the Son, seems to be on our partnership with Him, being “fellow heirs with Christ” (v. 17) and being “conformed to the image of his Son” (v. 29).  He is our model, and as we focus on Him, we “are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18).

Abba Father – YouTube

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November 24, Thursday

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The Will of God — This is a very difficult passage that has generated much controversy for over 700 years.  It emphasizes that God’s election for salvation is not based on works (v. 11).  The example given is that God chose the younger Jacob and rejected his twin brother, Esau, even before they were born (v. 13).  Why?!  Doesn’t that sound unfair?  Paul anticipated that question, and answered that there is no “injustice on God’s part” (v. 14).  He even makes God’s decision seem to be arbitrary by quoting God’s statement to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy” (v. 15).  God’s choice does not depend “on human will or exertion” [“or effort”—NIV], but “on God, who has mercy” (v. 16).  Then, when Paul likened God to the potter making “vessels … prepared for wrath” and “vessels of mercy” (v. 23), God’s action seems to be even more arbitrary.  Is God’s choice based on His foreknowledge of a person’s future faith, perhaps reflecting back to Abraham-like faith that saves (Romans 4)?  Unfortunately, this passage doesn’t tell us the basis for His having mercy on some and not on others.  When Paul asked, “For who can resist his will” (Rom. 9:19), he used the same root Greek word for “will” (noun boúlēma) that Peter used when he wrote, “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing [verb boúlomai] that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  How could God not wish any to perish, yet prepare vessels for destruction (Rom. 9:22)?  Somehow, both of these statements are true.  To add complication to the question, Paul used a different Greek word when he wrote that God “has mercy on whomever he wills [thélõ], and he hardens whomever he wills [thélõ]” (v. 18).  Yet, Paul used the same word to tell Timothy that God “desires [thélõ] all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).  Again, it appears to be contradictory, but it cannot be. If you are interested in seeing the other related NT verses that use these two basic Greek words, you may click on the link below:

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We Are Called to Be God’s People – YouTube

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November 25, Friday

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Unsearchable and Inscrutable — Paul closed this chapter with a beautiful doxology of praise to God, first exclaiming, “the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” (v. 33).  He implied that those three attributes of God go far beyond our comprehension because He is infinitely greater than we are.  That should not make us want to give up in trying to understand, however, but it should cause us to praise the magnificence of who God is.  The next expression of praise begins with, “How unsearchable are his judgments…”  That includes God’s justice.  We struggled yesterday with the difficulty of understanding the concept of God’s justice in choosing Jacob over Esau before they were even born.  Because of the goodness of God, we know that His judgments are absolutely just, but we don’t see the whole picture that God sees.  His judgments are unsearchable; we cannot understand them completely.  Paul followed that statement by adding that God’s ways are “inscrutable.”  What does that mean?  This Greek word is used only one other time in the NT (Eph. 3:8), where the ESV translates it as “unsearchable.”  The dictionary defines inscrutable as “not readily investigated, interpreted, or understood.”  Other Bible versions translate the word in this verse as “past finding out” (NKJV), “beyond tracing out” (NIV), and “unfathomable” (NASB).  It is far beyond us.  So, we shouldn’t get too upset when we encounter concepts in the Bible about God that we cannot fully comprehend.  He is awesome beyond our understanding, and we should praise Him for that.

Unsearchable – YouTube

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November 26, Saturday

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Acceptable Sacrifice — In the OT, God required animals to be killed in sacrifice as worship to Him.  Today, God also requires sacrifice, but it is a “living sacrifice” (v.1).  Jesus was the final sacrifice for which God required death.  Following the death of Jesus, God requires a “living sacrifice,” another way of saying “surrender.”  The sacrifice of surrender is the sacrifice that is “holy and acceptable to God” for Christians.  Our whole lives should be seen as being offered to God for His purposes.

I Surrender All – 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.

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