Today’s Reading: Hos 13:1–14:9, Acts 6:1–15, Job 17:1–16
Today’s Theme: Hope in God
Today’s theme looks at the hope we can have in God.
God the only Saviour
But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no saviour. (Hosea 13:4, ESV)
God makes these exclusive statements that only He can make. He reminds the people and us about who He is, the only God and Saviour.
The good times test
but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. (Hosea 13:6, ESV)
This is the test, do we forget God when we prosper and all goes well? Sadly this is often the case. We need to test our hearts, if God is our number one desire then we will not forget Him in good times.
Seize the opportunity
The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb. (Hosea 13:13, ESV)
Lord, help us to be wise and to seize the opportunity in the lifetime of the opportunity.
Death will be defeated
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes. (Hosea 13:14, ESV)
This is a prophetic passage, in the end Jesus will defeat even death, there will be no more death.
Hope for Apostates
I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. (Hosea 14:4, ESV)
This verse shows the loving heart of God, and the amazing truth that there is even hope for the apostate to be healed and restored.
The ways of the Lord
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. (Hosea 14:9, ESV)
God’s right ways are the litmus test of authentic faith; do we walk in the Lord’s ways? If we do, that is evidence of true conversion. If His ways are a stumbling block to us, we are not yet converted.
And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. (Acts 6:2, ESV)
This daily distribution must have something to do with the pooling of resources that was happening so that everyone had food etc.
Social action and service should not be pitted against the preaching of the Word, both are important, but the Pastor should be able to focus on the highly important task of studying the word to preach and teach it to the church.
Some in the West, play down this role and give very little time in their service to the exposition of the word. I thank God we are in a church where the expository preaching of the bible is central.
Ministry in the word
But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4, ESV)
Another good example for today’s churches; elders should devote themselves to the word of God and prayer. These spiritual disciplines are crucial in the lives of the church leaders, for the growth of the entire body.
Also note the context here; a deacon’s focus should be the social care of the church.
The power of the gospel
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7, ESV)
Another reminder of the power of the Gospel, many of the Jewish priests from the tribe of Levi were converted.
But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. (Acts 6:10, ESV)
This is the kind of wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives to us as God’s people. We will speak with the kind of wisdom that cannot be refuted.
Also note the word “Spirit”; they were not able to resist the power of the Holy Spirit in Stephen. We need the Holy Spirit in order to be effective witnesses.
This is why when we speak the truth in the Holy Spirit, we are not met with reason or logic, but ignorance and violence.
Hope in God
where then is my hope? Who will see my hope? (Job 17:15, ESV)
Job has been explaining in this whole chapter that he has no hope. Thank God for Jesus, we do have hope if we put our hope in God.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Acts 6