When a believer makes a public profession of faith through the ordinance of baptism, he or she is simply demonstrating on the outside what God has begun on the inside. Baptism pictures an eternal reality that a new life has begun. We can do nothing to earn this new life. It’s all because of His mercy. God’s motive for that mercy is His love. The word for love Paul used in verse four is the one used only twice in the New Testament from which we get the word philanthropy. We are heirs to eternal life only by God’s grace, not our works.
He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy,through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 HCSB
From a distance, riches promise the the keys to happiness and solutions to every problem. Riches mesmerize us into ruts and sends us into frenzies. We stare at what we don’t have until we move toward what we can’t resist. When we reach the pot of gold there’s always a bigger pot just ahead holding more promises of greater happiness. Picture God watching us grasp at tiny coins and paper cash. We become to intent on chasing these prizes to look for our Father or to ask His advice or help. Knowing those bits of metal and paper will only distract us from finding true joy and peace could lead a loving Father to take a deep breath and blow them away.
Proverbs 23:5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. NKJV
Look up! What good advice for all people in all circumstances. Where else shall we look to avoid discouragement and despair? To look within is to discover our own inadequacies. To look around is to realize the chaos of our times. Only as we lift our eyes heavenward, toward Him ”with whom is no variableness nether shadow of turning” [James 1:17], do we find a remedy for our fears and a strong ground for our confidence. In God we trust.
Psalm 146:5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,Whose hope is in the Lord his God, NKJV
Each of us is subject to someone higher up: parent, teacher, boss, God. Refusal to yield to a higher authority through rebellion or lack of discipline can bring only misfortune. Jesus did not insist on going His on way. His desire was to do the will of the Father, whatever the cost. This should be our desire as well.
Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
The Bible teaches us that we have no guaranteed number of days on this earth. Any moment of life might be our last.That fact should teach us to appreciate the days we have and to make the best use of each moment. If there is some act of kindness you think to do, then do it while you can. If there are loving words to be spoken or written to family or friends, then do it while you are able. The time for regret is terribly long.
yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14 ESV
Life can often seem unfair , even for Christians. Psalm 43 describes the process our minds may take when there is trouble; from questioning why to questioning why we ever doubted God. There is no promise that following Christ will prevent trouble in our lives, but in Hebrews 13:5 we do have the promise that our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. Friends may disappoint us, attorneys can fail us, and all the money in the world can’t solve our problems , but our eternal Advocate is always attending our case.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul?and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 43:5 AKJV
Too many believers excuse neglecting Bible study, saying ”I can’t understand the Bible.” But that attitude puts us in grave danger. Not giving attention to the Word leaves us vunerable to those whose words sound good but are misleading. Here are some examples of twisted truth:– God wants His children to be wealthy; God loves us but promises to meet our needs, not our wants. Scripture warns that the love of money breeds evil.– Name it and claim it: God promises to answer prayers that are in accord with His will- and not every answer is yes. We have no bargaining chips; all we receive from God is by His grace.– Because we are under grace, not law, we can do as we please: Christ graciously forgives sin, but sin is never Gods purpose for us. We study to discern truth from falsehood.That pleases God. He gave us the Bible as our life map to obey and live by wisely; then we won’t be ashamed when we stand before the Lord.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. NKJV