Heather Adams is an author, speaker, and singer living in Connecticut. Heather’s passion is to equip and encourage believers to seek more of God’s truth and to experience more of His joy each day. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather's blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby! You can connect with her on her website: heatheradamsworshipwalk.com
Certain truths about God that we see in the Bible can seem out of character or illogical to our human minds. For some, this intriguing verse from the Apostle Paul falls into that category, because it implies that God is withholding important information from us.
1 Thessalonians 5 gives us a glimpse of what’s called “the mystery of God,” things about Him that we aren’t able to fully understand. Not knowing when to expect the day of The Lord’s return could leave us anxious. But the meaning behind this verse can actually help us find more peace and purpose in our daily lives.
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It’s important to remember that God looks first for a heart that is truly seeking to follow Him. This verse from 1 Samuel states just how important our attitudes and motivations are to God.
When we see God as the King of Kings, we are agreeing that He has absolute dominion. The title ought to stir up a sense of respect, worship, and even wonder within us.
Passages about hyssop in the Old Testament are connected to the blood of animal sacrifices. It represents God’s compassion on His people, how He is willing to reach down to save and heal us. Psalm 51 celebrates this, and shows the impact that this process can have on a person’s life.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” (Titus 2:11-12).
Sometimes it seems that the world at large suffers from a lack of clear moral standards. In the midst of all the noise, it can be hard to find the right compass to guide our decisions and actions. But God has given His people grace to live with virtue in every age, including our own.
Though many associate virtue with specific traits like purity or kindness, it is actually meant to be more. Being virtuous is really an overall approach to life that brings a level of excellence to all we do and say. God calls us to pursue it, because He knows how impactful we can be in our relationships and ministry as a result.
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Why is there so much admiration for someone who only appears once in Scripture? Part of the reason can actually be found in the reaction of those that knew her, as they saw her illness and death. The story of this Godly woman offers insights for Christians who want to make a real difference in their communities.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:13-14).
King David’s words celebrate the truth that God created us. We can feel his awe about being not just thrown together, but intentionally designed by his Lord. As amazing as that reality is, though, it can lead to a question - “What did He design us for?”
As humans, we have a deep need to discover our purpose and to find meaning in life. So, answering the question of why the Lord created us is important. Learning what God put us here for helps us define who we are and what we are meant to do. And when we know His plans for us, we’ll have the right compass to guide us through life.
The Bible shows us that God “fearfully and wonderfully made” us for a very special purpose. And within its pages, we’ll also find insights on how to fulfill that mission.
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When Israel was still a relatively young nation, the people began to be discontent with their lack of a human leader. Part of that came from envy of other nations, but there was also a belief that having a human king would make Israel look stronger to potential enemies. The elders brought this request to the prophet Samuel.
“They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.’ But when they said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king’” (1 Samuel 8:5-7).
Even after Samuel prayed and delivered a strong caution from the Lord, the Israelites insisted on getting a ruler from among them.
“We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles. When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, ‘Listen to them and give them a king’” (1 Samuel 8:19-22).
God knew this plan was based on wrong motives and would lead to trouble, but allowed Saul to be given charge over Israel. This king led the people in military victories, but also showed lapses in his moral and spiritual life. The account of his reign contains lessons for all of us about the importance of keeping our eyes, and hearts, fixed on God.
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In God’s view, gaining self-control is part of our progression toward Christ-likeness. In fact, the Apostle Paul included it in a list of basic qualities that believers should cultivate. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
God certainly doesn’t need us to pray in order to accomplish His plans. He already has all the strength and might He needs. And yet He calls us to do it, as Paul wrote, “at all times.” That’s because God knows what prayer does in us and for us.