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Are You Ready for God’s Test?

If you have ever studied the life of Abraham in Genesis, he had a tendency to act like a modern politician. Subsequently, one of the generational sins passed down to his son Isaac was lying. The most obvious is when Abraham told a powerful ruler that his wife Sarah was merely his sister. Since Abraham failed this test, the next one forced Abraham to choose his allegiance in the passage below.

After these events, God tested and proved Abraham and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. [God] said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you. So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and then began the trip to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance, Genesis 22:1-4.

Peter is another example who is seen as a spiritual rock in Matthew 16:18 but had his own issues when he thought his life was in danger, Mark 14:72. Peter viewed Jesus as an earthly king, expecting Him to be crowned King of the Jews. Yet, when God’s plan didn’t fit his own expectations, Peter denied knowing Jesus in public three times. Peter was so overconfident, 1 Corinthians 10:12, he failed God’s test. Nonetheless, one failure prepared Peter for a future one where he passed like Abraham, John 21:15-19.

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed, 1 Peter 1:6-7.

As Tom Hanks declared in Forrest Gump, “every day is like a box of chocolates, you never know what’s inside.” As the sun rises on another day, are you ready for God’s next test in your life? Since moving to South Carolina, I haven’t done well. I’ve become a D student spiritually. Perhaps if I would take a leap of faith rather than trust in my own abilities, I’ll become a better student by years end. As for now, keep in step with God’s Spirit, Galatians 5:25 and when your overwhelmed, trust in the Lord, Proverbs 3:5-6.

by Jay Mankus

Faithfulness Verses Forgetfulness

Whenever I listen to music, there are certain expressions or lyrics that I overlook. Such is the case for the attached song which talks about God’s faithfulness and our forgetfulness as imperfect human beings. This Geoff Moore song reminded me of something the apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Rome. God shows his faithfulness in the passage below, willing to send Jesus to die for forgetful sinners.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Therefore, since we are now justified ([f]acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God, Romans 5:8-9.

Meanwhile, all Christians have had their own Garden of Eden moment. A time when you were clearly introduced to and knew what God expected of you. And yet, a clouded mind, tempted and caught off guard by a supernatural Devil caused you to do just the opposite of what God desires. The apostle Paul speaks to this point in Romans 7:15-18, baffling one of the godliest men to walk the face of the earth.

And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity, Genesis 3:2-5.

Subsequently, every day there is an internal war that takes place, faithfulness verses forgetfulness. Paul not already considered himself one of the greatest sinners of all time in 1 Timothy 1:15 but explains this tug of war between our own sinful nature and Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:16-18. Therefore, if you want to avoid senior moments of spiritual forgetfulness, keep in step with God’s Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

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