What This Test is About

‘These trials will show that your faith is genuine.’ 1 Peter 1:7 NLT

The tests we face reveal both our weaknesses and our strengths. When the Bible speaks of ‘a refiner’s fire’ (Malachi 3:2 NIV), we’re inclined to think of the negative things God wants to remove from our character. But we also have inner strengths and gifts that need to be refined. We’re not aware of them because a demand hasn’t been placed on them.

In 1 Kings 17, when the widow and her son met Elijah there was a famine in the land, and he asked her to share their very last bit of food with him. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘How selfish!’ Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions! One of the best days in this woman’s life was when God placed a demand on her faith. Her response changed her future and saved her family.

So when you’re faced with a need, how do you respond? Do you back off? Give just a tiny bit to ease your conscience? Give what you’re asked because you’d feel guilty if you didn’t?

Or—do you see it as an opportunity to change your future by obeying God? You can actually give your way out of trouble! (See 2 Corinthians 9:6–11.) When God sent Moses to Pharaoh, He said, ‘The king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him.’ (Exodus 3:19 NIV)

And today God may be permitting the enemy to test you in order to reveal:

(1) how much He cares for you

(2) how you’ll act when your back’s against the wall

(3) who you’ll believe when God says, ‘I will bring you out with a mighty hand,’ and the enemy is saying, ‘I won’t let go.’

That’s what this test is about.

SoulFood: Luke 24:50–53, Acts 1:1–11, Eph 4:7–10

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

Luke 24:50–53 ()

()

50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Acts 1:1–11 ()

()

1:1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Ephesians 4:7–10 ()

()

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,

  “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Thu 30 May, 2019


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