God’s Word for Today: The Difference

Biblical hope is an unshakable assurance that God works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purposes. It is the belief that there is a future with and in Jesus regardless of circumstances. Hope is faith in the future tense. That means that most of faith is hope. The Bible says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). This suggests that hope is strengthened by the Word of God much like faith. Hope comes from reading the Word of God. Hope comes from digesting the great promises of God. Hope comes by developing a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our hope is a reflection of the trust we have in God and our confidence in His Word. The biblical definition of hope in noun form is “expectation,” and it indicates what is sure or certain. In verb form, it is “expect with confidence.” It is a confident expectation of what is certain.
Certain questions must then be asked: Can you explain what your hope is? Have you determined on what you base your hope? Do you clearly understand what your hope is so that if asked you could give a concise and reasonable answer?

Discussion: *What are three reasons upon which you base your hope in Christ and eternal life?

2020-09-08T16:36:38+00:00September 12th, 2020|Categories: God's Word for Today|Tags: |0 Comments

Sept 6, 2020: Faith

The Difference

Basic to the understanding of this lesson is a grasp of our own depth of faith. Some pray, “God, increase my faith.” We don’t need God to increase our faith. We need to exercise the faith that we have. How solid is the faith that you have in God? If you face shattering circumstances in life, is your trust in Him going to waver?

In Paul’s defense before King Agrippa in Acts 26, he concluded his statement regarding the death and resurrection of Christ by saying, in effect, “This is not a deep dark secret. Check it out for yourself. You believe what the Word of God says, don’t you? It is all there, as plain as day” (vs. 26, 27).

Does the devil bring doubts to your mind? Read the Bible and make up your own mind. It doesn’t make God nervous when we search the Scripture in order to bolster our faith.

Our faith is founded on the great realities of the Bible – a literal creation, the existence of Israel, the miracles of God, the prophecies of the Messiah and their miraculous fulfillment, the marvelous virgin birth of the incarnate Son of the everlasting God, His sinless life, His sacrificial death, His victorious resurrection, and His triumphant ascension into heaven.

2020-08-31T18:29:01+00:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: God's Word for Today|Tags: |0 Comments

August 30, 2020: The Need

THE NEED
When we find a really good restaurant or read a really good book, what is our typical reaction? We want to tell somebody. And it should go without saying that we want to tell someone if we come across something they really need. The group of lepers who had found a source of food outside besieged and starving Samaria said to one another, “We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace . . . now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household” (2 Kings 7:9).

If we have found new life in Christ, we have found the most wonderful thing in the world. But of course, many around us would not share our enthusiasm, considering the news of a clearance sale more exciting. How can we share with others what we have found? Should we try?

Be ready to give your class the answer on Sunday!

2020-08-24T15:42:17+00:00August 28th, 2020|Categories: God's Word for Today|Tags: , |0 Comments

God’s Word for Today

What is the significance of God having spoken through Jesus Christ “in these last days”?

Almost everyone understands that our world is in the midst of an authority crisis. Two related questions keep being asked. Who can I believe? Who should I obey?

These questions are not so different from the questions the writer of Hebrews is seeking to answer. In the early New Testament era there were many voices seeking to be heard, both within Judaism and in paganism. The writer of Hebrews seeks to show that, among all the voices clamoring for attention, Jesus is the only truly authoritative voice. As a teacher you might want to start today's lesson making a list of all the voices in our day clamoring for attention: psychics, new agers, politicians, economists, entertainers might be a good start. What evidence can a Christian give to the world that Jesus should be believed over any of these voices?

2020-02-25T20:11:55+00:00February 28th, 2020|Categories: God's Word for Today, Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments

February 16, 2020: God’s Word for Today

What prompted this woman to go to such an extreme effort to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment (see Luke 8:48)? What does this example teach us about genuine faith? Is faith something passive? Or does it manifest as something active? Explain the difference between these two different ways of understanding faith.

The Epistle of James has a lot to say about faith, especially in chapter 2. James summarizes his teaching on faith in 2:18 where he says, "shew me they faith without works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." James seems to be answering the question posed in our lesson by saying that genuine faith is active - that to say we have faith and not act on the basis of that faith is a contradiction. When I describe myself as a "believer in Christ," I am saying that my faith in Christ is the organizing principle of my life. But even then, faith is not passive. Faith in God is a constant source of spiritual motivation - a force that compels the Christian to action that demonstrates faith. James seems to be saying that if we are not acting on our faith, we likely do not have any. (Gordon Snider)

2020-02-10T15:01:54+00:00February 14th, 2020|Categories: God's Word for Today|Tags: , |0 Comments

February 9, 2020: God’s Word for Today

One of the discussion questions for today is, "In what do people place their final or ultimate faith and trust?" This post is designed to offer a possible answer to that question.

In today's lesson, Pilate  seems to places his ultimate trust in power - the ability to control. Another way of wording the same truth is that Pilate placed ultimate trust in his own self-sufficiency. Many people still do the same. "I don't need any help" seems to be ingrained in the American psyche - the idea that "I can pull myself up by my own bootstraps."

Another common point of trust is our own intellect. Maybe it is formal education, but more often people trust in their own logic or ingenuity. For such a person, there is no problem they cannot solve; no dilemma they cannot wiggle out of. You might refer to them as the "Teflon kid" - they are convinced that nothing can stick to them!

Some people trust their own experience. They feel they have been through it all, and they have the answers to their own or anyone else's situation.

Our lesson today shows that if place ultimate trust in anything other they God, we are sure to be disappointed. "The arm of flesh will fail you; you dare not trust your own" (George Duffield).

Gordon L Snider

Director of Publications for Herald & Banner Press

2020-01-31T19:36:15+00:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: God's Word for Today|Tags: , |0 Comments
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