Like Nebuchadnezzar strutting on the walls of Babylon (Dan.4), or Herod taking his bows in his royal robes (Ac.12), or the nine lepers thoughtlessly strolling on their merry way (Lk.17), when moderns carelessly deny God the credit for their origins or their daily blessings they cannot think that they will be exempt from the same divine response. Certainly God, above all others, deserves credit for his works. The Bible does not remember Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and the nine lepers as self-made role models, but as warnings. They are reminders that when the Creator decides to bless our lives and our world with beauty, pleasure or prosperity we, as his creatures, should always take the time to humbly praise him for being the gracious Giver. The Psalmist tells us to “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts” (Ps.105:1-2). Let’s embrace that directive, open our eyes to God’s works and boldly give him the credit for the great things he has done.
At Focal Point, one of our defining goals in the teaching we strive to produce is accuracy. Every word of Scripture was inspired by God and demands our careful attention. But it isn’t enough to know each verse in context. The living Word of God must have practical implications for how we live and guide our responses to life’s circumstances—the joyous occasions and the heart-rending tragedies.
How do we respond, for instance, when we are confronted by our fears? When we hear the devastating news that it’s cancer? When we suffer through painful losses? When we find ourselves face-to-face with our own mortality? As a pastor for more than twenty-five years, I have walked with many people through difficult valleys. These are the moments when our faith is put to the test, and our theology either sustains us or goes out the window.
When you give a donation to Focal Point this month, I would like to send you a copy of a book that demonstrates the practical relevance of the Bible to our lives: My God is True: Lessons Learned Along Cancer’s Dark Road. As a 28-year-old newlywed and seminary student, Paul Wolfe was stunned by his diagnosis of cancer. This book chronicles his journey and the questions he wrestled with along the way.
Perhaps you are currently facing a situation that is challenging you to come to grips with the biblical truths you acknowledge in principle. I pray that when you experience uncertainty, doubt, or insecurities, you will remember the unchanging truth of God’s Word. He is faithful to provide strength for today and hope for tomorrow.
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