Daily Bible Reading

Boast

Boast is a strange word. We don’t use it often and when we do, it can have negative connotations. Pride. Arrogance. Biblically speaking, the root word translated to boast can also be translated to shine.:

SHINE: To emit rays of light; to give light; to beam with steady radiance; to exhibit brightness or splendor.

Now that changes things a little bit, doesn’t it?

This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NLT)

As humans, we cannot truly boast. We cannot truly shine. While we are made in God’s image, we are meant to reflect His glory, His light. We have no light of our own. Anything that we reflect other than God’s glory is a counterfeit.

But God, in His love and kindness has given us the capacity to know Him. And not just know about Him, but to truly know Him.

KNOW: To perceive with certainty; to understand clearly; to have a clear and certain perception of truth, fact, or any thing that actually exists.

God has given us both the capacity and the right to know Him, with clarity and certainty. And He delights in us when we do what He has allowed us to do. God loves it when we get to know Him. He’s not hiding from us. He doesn’t hold back from himself. He gives. Freely. This is what we should boast in—the truth that should radiate from us: that God knows us and that we can know the Creator of the universe, that He doesn’t want us to just know about Him, but that He wants us to know Him intimately and without doubt.

The more time you spend with someone, the more you reflect that person’s attitudes, ideals, and even mannerisms. It’s the same with God. Our time with Him should be so influential that we imitate Him in every way. Like a proud parent when their child mimics their (good) behavior, so God also delights in us when we act like Him.

So go ahead, boast. Shine.

Daily Bible reading: Jeremiah 9-10, 1 Timothy 3

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Daily Bible Reading

When in doubt

Doubt, if not kept in check, can become a default. We begin to question everything. Can anyone or anything be trusted. Can you trust yourself? It’s a slippery slope that can be just as easily avoided as it is to tumble down.

When doubts fill my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Psalm 94:19 (NLT)

In addition to being full of doubt, many of us also have the tendency to try to be completely independent. We don’t want to have to depend on others for anything. We can do it on our own. But that’s not what we were created for. No one was meant to live life entirely alone. Our purpose is to fulfil God’s purpose for us. We are supposed to be completely dependent on Him.

 

The Lord will not reject his people;
he will not abandon his own special possession

Psalm 94:14 (NLT)

One thing we should never allow ourselves to doubt is God’s love for us. We are His people. His own special possession. When something is in your possession, chances are that you have a specific purpose for it. This works the same between us and God. We are His. He has plans for us. And, no matter what we do or how we feel, those plans never change.

For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

Romans 11:29 (NLT)

The next time you feel doubt start creeping in, remind yourself of who you are—God’s special possession. Know that you belong to Him, the creator of the universe. Once you’ve reminded yourself of who you are in God, remind yourself of who God is.

Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is to understand his decision and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36 (NLT)

You exist by His power and are intended for His glory. Never doubt that.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 93-95, Romans 11:22-36 

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Touch and see

Do you ever doubt that Jesus lives in you? Does it ever cross your mind that, maybe, this whole Christianity thing is one great big hoax that has been fooling millions of people for millennia?

Doubt is not the problem. Our response to it is.

And he said to them, “Why are you trouble, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

Luke 24:38-40 (ESV)

Jesus accepted the doubt of the very men who walked with him. Rather than rebuking them, he gave them proof.

Draw near to God, and he he will draw near to you.

James 4:8a (ESV)

This is one story among countless others. For many of us raised in the church, we may find it difficult to remember a single defining moment in our faith. But for people like the man in the video, God went out of His way to show Himself to a single person who was doubting.

God doesn’t hide from us.

You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! I will let you find me,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:13-14a (NCV)

When we have doubts, God wants us to come looking for Him. He wants to show Himself to us. He lets us find Him.

Daily Bible reading: 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 24:36-53

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Receive

So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.

Mark 11:24 (NCV)

I am guilty of going to God in prayer with a laundry list. I plan out all the things I need and/or want, quickly spout them off, say amen, and be done with it. But did I really believe that God would come through?

In some church circles, this verse has become all about money. It’s not. Read back a few verses. It’s about a fig tree. Jesus was hungry. The tree had no fruit. Jesus cursed the tree. The tree withered. No money involved.

While I firmly believe that God can and will provide for us financially, this verse says so much more than that. It’s not about what you can get from God, but rather about how you go to God. It’s about taking God at His word and knowing that,

With God’s power working, in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.

Ephesians 3:20 (NCV)

If someone tells you they have a gift for you, but you don’t believe they really have it, how easy will it be for you to receive that gift?

Go to God’s Word. Discover His promises. Learn what He has already provided for you. Then you can go to pray knowing that He has already made a way for you and doubt will no longer prevent you from receiving your promises.

Daily Bible reading: Deuteronomy 3-4, Mark 11:20-33