Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
"Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the Lord your God has forbidden you." (Deuteronomy 4.23, ESV)¹
¹As time goes by we often tend to forget the past. This includes important details, events, conversations, people, instructions, etc. No wonder our Creator deemed it necessary to remind us of His instructions. In our text, God's people were to remember the covenant they made with their Lord. One of the ways God helped His people was by instituting memorials (Exo. 12, etc.); just as we have the Lord's Supper today, as a memorial of our Lord's death (1 Cor. 11.23-26).
Interestingly, one of the purposes of the Holy Scriptures is to remind us of everything God has revealed (See Deut. 6.12; Rom. 15.15; 1 Cor. 4.17; 15.1; 2 Tim. 2.14; Titus 3.1; 2 Peter 1.12-13; Jude 5, etc.). This is not only understood in the fact that the inspired writers constantly made mention of stirring their readers' minds up by way of reminder, but that the Scriptures are to be read, studied, meditated upon, and read again; especially by us today.
If we do not continue steadfastly in God's word we can be sure we will forget His will for our lives. Moses recorded for the Israelites' memory, “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today..." (Deut. 8.11).
God has done His part by preserving His word for us today. Will we do our part by remembering it (James 1.21-25)? If you want to learn more about God's word e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4.7, ESV)¹
¹Want to hear the secret to defeating Satan? The Lord's brother, James, wrote that if we resist him, he will flee from us. Peter wrote concerning Satan, "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5.8b, ESV). We all know when lions attack; when their prey is weak or is not paying attention. Hence, Peter calls us to remain sober-minded and vigilant against the lion's attacks (1 Peter 5.8a). This involves us being spiritually alert at all times because spiritual carelessness breeds all kinds of opportunities for the devil. Furthermore, when we understand that God has always provided us with a way of escape from temptation (1 Cor. 10.13), resisting the devil is not only possible, it is expected. Therefore, when we stand firm in our faith (1 Peter 5.9), the seeking-someone-to-devour lion loses his prowling and devouring abilities. In other words, when we fully surrender to God by humbly submitting to Him, we take away any opportunity for the devil to catch us off-guard (cf. Eph. 4.27).
This leads us to an interesting thought: If we do not give him an opportunity, what power does he have over us? In fact, James says that if we resist him that he will flee from us. If a lion is fleeing from us it is because we are stronger than he is! Therefore, Satan only has the power we choose to give him (See Romans 6 for additional study)! And if no power, no control! If you’re interested in learning more about God’s word and how you can have power over Satan instead of the other way around, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5.10, ESV)¹
¹Contextually, Peter wrote about the suffering that his readers were experiencing and would continue to experience. Though these saints were being grieved by various fiery trials, their genuineness of faith was being tested (1 Peter 1.6-9; 4.12, etc.). In other words, remaining faithful in a dark world will involve hardship, and even more so, remaining faithful through suffering proves our commitment to God. In reality, it separates those who love the Lord and those who give Him lip service.
However, to help these suffering saints endure these trials Peter instructs them how to conduct themselves throughout their life here on earth and builds them up by reminding them of the promises of God to deliver them in the end (please read both 1 and 2 Peter for these instructions and promises). This helps explain our text at hand. Simply put, Peter's point is after we have been tested and found to be genuine that the God of all grace will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. In other words, we will receive the end of our faith - the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1.9). What great promises! We may have many hardships that we must endure, but our Father who calls us to His eternal glory in Christ says this is just for a little while, and does not compare to the eternity that awaits us (see 1 Peter 1.6; 2 Cor. 4.17; Rom. 8.18).
Are you in Christ (Gal. 3.26-27)? If we suffer, Peter instructs us not to suffer as a sinner, but as a Christian who has entrusted himself to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4.12-19). If you want be comforted with the peace that only Christ can give you, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 97.10, ESV)¹
¹Any Bible student knows that God hates sin. The apostle John taught "that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1.5, ESV). The Psalmist declared, "...you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness..." (Psalm 45.7, ESV) and "Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way" (Psalm 119.104, ESV). Additionally, God requires those who claim allegiance to Him to "Hate evil, and love good...." (Amos 5.15, ESV). Since Christ died on the cross because of sin, one can be absolutely sure that sin is in complete opposition to everything God is, and stands for. Peter wrote, "...who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Peter 2.24, ESV). Notice the connection: Jesus suffered and died for our sins (1 Peter 3.18) so that we would die to sin and live for righteousness (Romans 6). In other words, we choose to abhor what is evil and love what is good (see Rom. 12.9). The truth is clear; we can only love Jesus if we hate sin.
The Bible teaches us that we cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6.24); nor can we claim allegiance to both sin and righteousness (Rom. 6.16-18). The question then is, who is your master? Who do you love? Jesus or this world? If you're interested in learning how to love Jesus over sin email Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
Psalm 119.97, "Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day."¹
¹The Psalmist beautifully describes God throughout the book of Psalms. One thing that stands out is the importance that the writer places on his meditation of his Creator. As the book opens, we immediately read, "Blessed is the man... [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1.2 ESV). Not only did he meditate on God's law which included His precepts, statutes, testimonies, and promises (Psalm 119.15, 23, 99, 148), but he also filled his mind with all that God has done, namely, His wondrous works and mighty deeds (Psalm 77.12; 119.27; 143.5). All this and more was constantly on his mind as he contemplated the overwhelming greatness of God! The Psalmist said, "Let ... the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight..." (Psalm 19.14 ESV). What about us? What are we are meditating on, and is our meditation pleasing to Him (see Phil. 4.8-9)?
If you're interested in learning more about God's word email Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.