All Things Are in God’s Hands

 

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God, in His sovereignty, places our leaders into their positions as well as the arrangement of the leaves that fall. We should remember that, along with everything else, He is in control of:

Judges, lawyers and criminals;
Businesses, employees and customers;
Politicians, voters and nonvoters.

We can rest assured that all things are in His Hands – regardless of our expectations.

Mike Owens
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Prayer and the Sovereignty of God

 

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Let us beware, in our prayer, that we do not set ourselves above the Supreme. Let us not inform Him Who knows all, or reform Him Who has made all. He is not an idol of putty, so that we may remold Him to conform to ourselves.

Those who know Him do not wish to change Him. They are satisfied and delighted to have Him as He is. Neither do they wish to change His purpose or His plan. His will, to them, is the only good. They wish to change themselves, not Him. They want Him to conform them to His will.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 40 (1949)
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The Cycles of Life

 

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Last week was Inauguration Day. I was born on Inauguration Day, and 16 presidents have been sworn in on my birthday. Exactly half of them have been Democrats and half have been Republicans. Early in this nation’s history there were Presidents from other parties as well: the Federalist and Whig parties. Some of the earliest Presidents were “unaffiliated” with any party.

We have a tendency to listen to, and are often greatly influenced by, the rhetoric of those around us – parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, preachers, teachers, news sources, etc. As a result, on Inauguration Day half of the country was elated, the other half was dejected. In another election the responses will be reversed. This is merely the cycle of human governments.

This nation is incredibly young, as the age of nations goes. The lesson is that Presidents come and go, political parties come and go, and even nations come and go. They are all just a part of the perpetual cycles of life. Nevertheless, these cycles are all divine cycles, for “all is out of God, all is through God, and all is going back to God” (Romans 11:36).

The one thing that remains stable and constant? Our Father.

… The Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The Intimate Relationship of God to All

 

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Seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all: to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen! (Romans 11:36, CV).

The phrase “out of Him” suggests a much closer union than the phrase “through Him.” What a man makes with his hands has come into existence outside of him and has no vital relationship to him. But with his descendants, who were in him and are out of him, he is in a close and vital union. To him they are the nearest, loveliest and best, his greatest and most valuable possessions. Such a relationship with the universe has been established by God by the fact that, at first, He carried all in Himself. His ownership of the creation is not, first of all, based upon its creation, but this is because it was first included in Him. That is what gives Him the original title to the whole universe. He is its only true Owner.

M. Jaegle
The Writings of M. Jaegle, Bible Student’s Press (Facsimile Reprint, 2018)
Chapter 2, “The Beginning of Creation”
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The Meaning and Purpose of Life Lays with God

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As an engineer at a manufacturing company, I knew that every product has a designer. I knew that the meaning and purpose of every product were given to the products by the designer – it was not the products themselves that decided how they were to be used! So, if there was a Creator, that meant that the meaning and purpose of my life lay with Him, and not me! This was a question of authority.

Toru Yasui, M. Eng.
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The First and Great Commandment

 

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One of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:’ this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:28-30).

This response of Christ was given to show the impossibility of keeping the law. Concerning this E.W. Bullinger has written,

Thus is the first and great commandment emphasized by the combined figures of [speech] in order to convict us of the impossibility of keeping this law and to bring us to the feet of Christ, Who alone could keep it: that so we might be impressed with a sense of our own impotence, and cause us thankfully to cast ourselves on His omnipotence (see Luke 10:27) — Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Bible Student’s Press), page 147.

E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
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Doubt and Faith

 

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The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised (Job 1:21).

Job lost all of his wealth and his children overnight. Despite the harrowing news, he at first looked to God in hope and praised Him for being the source of everything. He acknowledged God’s sovereign hand even in times of calamity. We marvel at his strong faith, but Job also struggled with despair. After he lost his health (2:7), he cursed the day he was born (3:1). He was honest with his friends and God about his pain. Eventually, however, he came to accept that both good and bad come from God’s hand (13:15; 19:25-27).

In our sufferings we, too, may find ourselves vacillating between despair and hope, doubt and faith. God doesn’t require us to be dauntless in the face of adversity. Though our faith may fail at times, we can trust God to always be faithful.

Poh Fang Chia
Our Daily Bread, May 9, 2020
(adapted & edited)

The Whole World Is Lying in the Wicked One

 

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Many seem to be somewhat surprised and enamored when they see evil all around us. Sometimes it is more apparent than at other times, but the simple fact of Scripture is that “the whole world is lying in the wicked one” (I John 5:19, CV). After all, this is the “present evil age” (Galatians 1:4, REB).

God is absolutely sovereign, and having created evil (Isaiah 45:7) He is presently using it to accomplish His purpose that will eventuate in the good of His whole creation, and He is doing so with the utmost precision.

Only the eye of faith can see this now. To all others it is hidden, resulting in multitudes being captivated and distracted by the various “sides” of causes and movements, depending on their own limited perception about the “knowledge of good and evil.” All of this, of course, results in endless agitation, anger, hatred and strife. This is why “the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing” (Psalm 2:1; Acts 4:25).

All the while, the “God of peace” (Romans 15:33) has “called us in peace” (I Corinthians 7:15), and it is to be arbitrating in our hearts (Colossians 3:15, CV), manifesting itself in a model of pacific life.

To be calumniating no one, to be pacific, lenient, displaying all meekness toward all humanity (Titus 3:2, CV; cf. I Timothy 3:3).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Not Dependent on Us

 

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God selected us and predestinated us before we had any experience whatever. When He called us it was according to His purpose and grace, and did not depend upon our thoughts and acts. Our experience is only a contrastive preparation for the future.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 44 (1953)