God’s Mercy: Manasseh

Manasseh’s repentance is a bit jarring. How could someone so wicked change and God receive him so willingly? Few among the kings of Israel or Judah are described as having such an evil character as Manasseh. However, God received him back favorably. He accepted Manasseh even before worship was restored. God could see the changed heart. Repentance begins in the heart and flows from there into action. No action we do can be worthy of God’s mercy (Psalm 51:16). God is waiting for the heart of man to turn humbly toward him.

Be Prepared

If you are like me, it is a bit tempting to fall into this trap. I like to tell myself things like, “I can eat a good sized bowl of ice cream daily, and it won’t affect my waistline.” And yet, over time, doing so creates a need for new pants. In behavioral economics, this is called Normalcy Bias. What has happened in the past is more likely to happen in the future. So cataclysmic events are of less probability than they otherwise might be. As an example, a robber might begin to think himself invincible, because he’s never been caught before.
The wise preacher, Solomon, reminds us that just because a judgment isn’t executed speedily doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. Poor behavior is not excused by the lack of consequences. God sees. God knows. And His judgment will come.

Do Not Quench the Spirit

The flesh knows this won’t always be pleasant. It isn’t pleasant to be convicted of sin (see Acts 2:37), but that is the Spirit working (John 16:8). It isn’t always pleasant to be told “no” (see Acts 8:19-20), but that is the Spirit helping put us in the right spiritual frame of mind. It isn’t our flesh’s desire to stand out in the crowd because of our faith (see 2 Timothy 1:6-7), but it is evidence of a powerful Spirit living within. The flesh wants to balk at the idea of trusting God with all our cares and concerns, but it is the Spirit who works through our prayers (Romans 8:26-28).

Christ is RISEN!

In studying through the gospels, it becomes clear that each writer presents tremendous evidence of Christ’s resurrection, but not always with the same details. In this article, I will present a chronological narrative of the resurrection encompassing all details provided by the four inspired authors. I pray you will find this aerial view helpful in your own study. Due to constraints, references will include only one gospel reference. Any additional commentary has been italicized.

Jesus Said No

In Luke 12:13-15, we read the following account, 

“Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’”

Jesus, who would rebuke the disciples for not letting the little children take up his time, would not arbitrate between this man and his brother. Plainly, he told this man, “No.” The Son of God did not have time to deal with this situation of the flesh.

The Barren Fig Tree

Mark 11:12-14, 20-24(also recorded in Matthew 21:18-22) presents an interesting event in Christ’s life. As morning came, Jesus was hungry. He saw a tree of opportunity and availed himself with the hope of satisfying the body’s needs. The fig was known for its sweet fruit (Judges 9:11), and so was a popular fruit among the people. …

What’s in a Name?

Ecclesiastes 7:1 begins, “A good name is better than precious ointment…” The wise Preacher states that a good name is better than costly cleansers or perfumes for the body. What, though, does he mean by a good name? While I would like to think we gave our children good names — names that just roll…

The Virgin Birth

“And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth…