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Why then were you not afraid?

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Why then were you not afraid?

Respect for our leaders

The Bible has a lot to say about respect for our leaders. The Apostle Paul was very clear about this: ‘Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.’ (Rom. 13:1-2) The role of leaders is to maintain order and thus protect us from evil. Thus when the Apostle Paul says to Titus, ‘Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient,’ (Titus 3:1) his call is not to be obedient to the whims of men, but to the role of authority.

Why then were you not afraid?

‘Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’ (Num. 12:8) It is a question from God to people, not the other way round. The Lord is chastising Miriam and Aaron. ‘Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. ‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the LORD heard this.’ (Num. 12:1-2) The enemy nudged Moses’ brother and sister and they began to speak against him. They did not approve of Moses’ wife, but it seems that the Lord did not have a problem with her! The Lord challenges them about their lack of respect, but first He points out to them something about Moses’ position: ‘When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.’ (Num. 12:6-8). The Lord was saying, look at what happens with Moses. He’s not like an ordinary prophet of mine; he has a special position with me whereby we communicate face to face. The Lord’s subsequent response was to bring public disgrace to Miriam (Num. 12:9-15) who initiated this rebellion against Moses. There is a general principle in Scripture that is very powerful: when God brings someone into leadership, it is dangerous to raise a hand against him or her. We see this principle being worked out, not only in the case of Moses, but years later in the case of David and Saul.

Obey your leaders

‘Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.’ (Heb. 13:17) We are to respect the authority that leaders have and realize that they are accountable to God. God will deal with unruly leaders. Our response, if we have a problem with a leader, is to take it to the Lord. It is not to rise up against that leader.

Leadership can be a burden in the Kingdom of God. Spiritual leaders are the first in line for attacks from the enemy, and the person rising up against God’s leader, is simply becoming a tool in the hand of the enemy. We must leave them in God’s hands. This is what Miriam and Aaron should have learnt. Ultimately it is a basic question of belief. Do we believe the Lord can deal with those in spiritual authority? If we simply don’t like the way our leader is leading, then our response is to go and talk it through with the Lord first, and then perhaps graciously share our concerns with that person in leadership.

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

   

Why proclaiming the Word?

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Why proclaiming the Word?

What is God’s Word?

God’s Word is life!

It is a living Word that regenerates the hearer. The new birth comes from the Word. Living faith comes by hearing the living Word! (Deut. 8:3; John 6: 63; Rom. 10: 17; Phil. 2:16; James 1:18-21; 1 Peter 1:23)

God’s Word is power!

It is a burning Word, consuming the dross in the hearer. It is both convicting and breaking down the resistance of the hearer. (Jer. 20:9; 23:29; John 15:3.7; Rom. 1:16; 10:17; Eph. 6:17)

God’s Word is light!

It is an illuminating Word guiding the believer. Without the Word a believer does not know how to live. Apart from the Word we could only grope about in the darkness. (Psalm 119:105; 2 Cor. 3:5-6; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Tim. 4:13-16)

God’s Word is food!

We are to eat God’s Word, digest it and assimilate it. The Word has to become a part of our lives. It has to be applied. No food means no growth! (Jer. 15:16; Ezech. 2:8-3:3)

What does God’s Word do for us?

God’s Word searches us

This dynamic Word of God is active in accomplishing God’s purpose. It is a living power that searches us as with an all-seeing eye, penetrating our innermost being. (Heb. 4:12; Psalm 147:18; Isa. 40:8; 55:11; Gal. 3:8; Eph. 5:26; James 1:18)

God’s Word judges us

The main purpose of the Word of God is to present the only Saviour. His purpose in the Saviour’s coming was not to judge a sinner, but to bring salvation. Judgment is the other part of salvation. The same way as the purpose of the sun is to shine, but when the sun shines, shadows are to be expected. (John 12:48)

God’s Word testifies to us about the Lord Jesus

Though God’s Word speaks about many things but the main purpose is to show us the Lord Jesus. He must remain the main Person of the Bible. (John 3:11-13, 34; 5:39; 6:63; Luke 24:44; Acts 28:23)

God’s Word cleanses us and gives growth

Through God’s Word we are cleansed and we receive power to live for God. Pruning produces fruitfulness. Good fruit can be produced only by the Word of God. (Jer. 15:16; Psalm 107:20; 119:9; John 15:3; Eph. 5:26; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:23, 25; 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

   

Why can we not get along with each other?

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Why can we not get along with each other?

Someone in the crowd said to the Lord Jesus, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ (Luke 12:13). Instead of mediating, the Lord Jesus gave a warning against greed. It seems that the man’s family conflict came as a result of his greedy attitude. At another time, the Lord Jesus warned us against finding fault in others when there are even worse faults in ourselves,Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’ (Matthew 7:3-5).

Why can’t we get along with each other? The reasons can be summarized this way:

Satanic involvement

Satan is described in the Bible as a deceiver and the father of lies, who disguises himself as an angel of light and goes around the earth tempting individuals and looking for people to destroy. The Lord Jesus was clear concerning Satan, ‘He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’ (John 8:44). Satan and his demons are powerful, evil schemers whom Christians are taught to oppose in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Personal attitudes and actions

Perfect people do not exist, even though some individuals are easier to get along with than others. Interpersonal tensions often begin and end with people whose personality traits, attitudes, feelings, and behaviours create conflict and distrust. The prophet Habakkuk wrote: Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.’ (Hab. 1:3).

The faults that hinder good interpersonal relations may include:

A self-centred need to be noticed, to be in control or to have prestige, and position;

The Lord Jesus noticed these types of people, ‘To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable.’ (Luke 18:9). This is a parable about Pharisee and tax collector. (Luke 18:10-14)

A non-forgiving and harsh approach to others;

The Apostle wrote,Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Eph. 4:32).

An inclination to be judgmental and hypercritical.

The Lord Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.’ (Luke 6:37).

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

   

Why a vision?

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Why a vision?

(Habakkuk 2:2-4)


The Lord’s reply came in the vision

Habakkuk waited on the Lord until he received an answer to his painful questions (Hab. 2:1). The Lord’s reply came in the vision introduced in Hab. 2:2-3, which provides a true perspective on history and gives the Divine promise about its outcome. This answer does not resolve all the painful questions, but it does teach God’s people the way of covenant life here and now (Hab. 2:3-4). God’s ways culminate in real life for the faithful, but woe and death for the arrogant sinners (Hab. 2:4). The Lord’s presence in His temple affirms His Lordship over history and assures us that God’s valid claim to the whole world will be universally acknowledged (Hab. 2:14.20; Isa. 45:21–25; 1 Cor. 15:24–28). The wicked take paths that lead to death. The righteous by faith take a path that leads to life. This distinction is a comfort to Habakkuk and to all God’s children.

The just

In contrast to the proud, the just will be truly preserved through his faith in God. This is the heart of God’s message to and through the Book of Habakkuk.

By faith

In this context, the Hebrew word denotes steadfast confidence on the Lord, a trust that perseveres. In the midst of a land filled with wickedness (Hab. 1:2–4) and subject to the wrath of God, the Lord promises that a righteous remnant in Judah will trust in the God who remembers mercy in His wrath (Hab. 3:2). The Epistle to the Hebrews recalls the words of Gen. 15:6 and applies them to Habakkuk’s situation. By faith, Abraham waited patiently for the fulfillment of God’s promises (Heb. 6:15), and now Habakkuk and the remnant must wait patiently, too (Hab. 3:16).

Faith as the pattern of life

Faith is not a one-time act, but a way of life. The true believer, declared righteous by God, will persevere in faith as the pattern of his life (Col. 1:22-23; Heb. 3:12-14). Only the perspective of faith, obedient trust in God, provides for meaningful existence in the world during the present period, between the ‘already’ of initial fulfillment of God’s promises and the ‘not yet’ of their final realization.

Proclamation of the Gospel

The Apostle Paul uses Hab. 2:4 as a basic text for his proclamation of the Gospel (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb.10:35–39). Like Habakkuk (Hab. 1), the Apostle knew that sin is incompatible with God’s holiness and that the fatal tension between these opposites could only be resolved by Divine intervention. The prophetic word to Habakkuk (Hab. 2) reveals principally the way God would deal with the incompatibility of sin and holiness.

The Cross of Jesus Christ

The Cross of Jesus Christ and the final judgment are fulfillments of God’s revelation. Like Habakkuk, the Apostle Paul affirmed that true life was only possible in a relationship of total dependence on the Lord. Such dependence, based on the faithfulness of our God, transforms our existence in this world, filling our lives with joy in the certainty of God’s faithfulness to His promises (Hab. 2:3; 3:17–19).

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

   

When God is silent

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When God is silent

Habbakuk 1:1-13

God’s answer: yes!

Abraham’s servant prayed for God’s direction in finding a wife for Isaac. Moses, standing before the Red Sea, prayed that Israel would cross over on dry land. Hannah prayed for a son and the result was Samuel. Elijah prayed for a manifestation of God’s power and the fire came down from Heaven.

God’s answer: no!
Moses begged God to let him lead his people into the Promised Land. Moses died.
The Apostle Paul prayed three times for the removal of that ‘thorn in the flesh.’ He was compelled to make the best of it for the rest of his life. The Lord Jesus prayed a prayer that was left unanswered. He cried out in the garden, ‘take this cup of suffering from me.’ He prayed that He would not have to suffer death on the cross. Instead he had to suffer the pain of it.

1. We misunderstand prayer (James 4:3)

True prayer must be God-centered. We often turn prayer into a self-centered activity. The object of prayer is that God might be glorified. A theologian once said, ‘Our prayers often reduce God to nothing more than a man.’ The Bible promises that God will hear our prayers not our orders.


2. U
nbelief blocks prayer (James 1:6)

Another reason why prayer may go unanswered is that the person offering the prayer does not believe in prayer. The prayer is simply an empty ritual, or perhaps it is simply spoken as superstition.

Prayer is sometimes spoken without any faith or belief.

3. Sinfulness blocks prayer (Isa. 59:2; Prov. 15:29; Matt. 5:22)

Our sins cut us off from God. God’s arm is not shortened nor has He gone deaf. Instead, our sins have formed barriers, which block us off from God’s purpose and plan. Answered prayers are preceded by genuine confession of sin, by which the barriers are broken down so that God’s message can get through. Prayer and forgiveness go hand in hand. No man can be wrong with his brother or sister and right with God at the same time.

4. Unanswered prayer is often answered later (Psalm 40:1)
In Jeremiah 42, the people ask
ed the prophet to speak to God and to provide them with direction for their lives. The people told Jeremiah, Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.’ (Jer. 42:2-3) Sometimes, the problem with unanswered prayer is that our timing is not God’s timing. And what we often interpret as unanswered prayer is simply a matter of an answer that is delayed.


5. God knows best!

How often we struggle with the problem of unanswered prayer as if it is a failure on God’s part. No matter what happens in our prayers and with our desires, we should always be focused on the fact that God knows best. (Romans 8:28)

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

   

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