DAN. 3: 16-18
THE STAND OF FAITH
Three Jews, in exile in Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego resolved
never to worship the Babylonian gods or the image of gold their King
set up (Dan. 3:16-18). Everyone else worshipped the image of gold( Dan.
3:7), and they were to be thrown into a burning furnace if they did not(
Dan. 3:13-15), but they resolved that they would not worship the King’s
image of gold( Dan. 3:16-18). To them, the LORD is able to rescue them
from the burning furnace and the King’s hand, but even if He does
not, they will not worship any other god (Dan. 3: 17-18). This is indeed
the stand of faith. It is the right stand. It is wholly supported by
the Scripture (Exod. 20:1-7). Like them, we must stand up for God in
spite of the consequences and circumstances (see Hab. 3: 17-19; Acts
4: 18-20; Acts 5: 29). We must never follow the multitude to do the wrong
(Exod. 23:2). Blessed indeed is the one who is able to stand up for God
in spite of the consequences and circumstances (see Jam. 1:12).
• Father, please enable me to stand up for you in spite of the consequences
• Father, please take away whatever hinders me from standing up for you
JOEL 2: 12-27
BLESSINGS FOLLOW GENUINE REPENTANCEFollowing His call to His people
to return to Him (Joel 2: 12-17), the LORD promised to bless them with
2: 19, 24, 26) and security( Joel 2:20), if they returned to Him from their
heart. He will send them grain, new wine and oil to satisfy them fully (Joel
2:19) and will give them plenty food until they are full (Joel 2:26). He will
drive the northern army that He used to chastise them into the eastern and
western seas (Joel 2: 20). But these blessings are dependent on their returning
to Him from their heart (Joel 2: 12-17). According to the passage, outward
return will not suffice, as far as these blessings are concerned. It is when
they returned to him from the heart that He will become jealous for His land
and people and repay them with these blessings( Joel 2:18-27). The Scripture
is quite consistent in stating this fact. The blessings of God always follow
wholehearted return to Him (see Deut. 28: 1-14; 1 Kgs. 8: 33-40, 46-51; Ps.
1: 1-3). There are no blessings but curses for those who refuse to return to
Him( see Deut. 28: 15-68; Ps. 1: 4-6). Anyone who desires the Lord’s
blessings and favours must first return to Him with all his heart ( see Joel
2: 12-27; Deut. 28: 1-14: Ps. 1: 1-3; Acts 3: 19-20).
• Father, please enable me to return to you wholeheartedly.
• Father, please take away whatever hinders me from returning to you from
• Father, please let your abundant blessings be my portion as you promised.
1 THESS. 4:7
THE CALL TO HOLINESSHere Paul gives a summary of what the Christian
life entails (1 Thess. 4:7). To him, the Christian life is a life
of holiness, not of impurity (1 Thess. 4:7). The goal or purpose of the
Christian life is holiness, not impurity (1 Thess. 4:7). If there
is one word that sums up the entire Christian life it is holiness, not
impurity (1 Thess. 4: 7). Paul’s view here is quite consistent
with the teaching of the Scripture. Holiness is central to the Christian
life ( Heb. 12: 14; cf. Eph. 4:22-24). Since God is holy, He demands
it of all His children (Lev. 11: 44-45; Lev. 19:2; Lev. 20: 26; 1 Pet.
1:15-16). There is no Christianity without holiness (Heb. 12:14). Impurity
has no place whatever in the Christian life (see Rev. 21:27). Impurity
and the Christian life are not compatible (see Rev. 21: 27). A life
of impurity is wholly improper for believers. A life of holiness is
not optional but mandatory for believers (Lev. 11: 44-45; Lev. 19:
2; Lev. 20:26; 1 Pet. 1: 15-16). Since holiness is God’s will
and goal for all His children, the activities and policies of the Church
and individual believers must be driven by it, not by impurity( Lev.
11: 44-45; Lev. 19:2; Lev. 20:26: 1 Pet. 1: 15-16).
• Father, please enable me to be completely holy unto you.
• Father, please take away every impurity from me.
THE UNENDING LOVE OF GOD
God directed Prophet Hosea to show love to his adulterous wife again
as He Himself loves the Israelites, though they turned to other gods
( Hos. 3:1). As Hosea’s wife returns to her husband, the Israelites
will return to the Lord (Hos. 3:2-3). It is the Lord’s will for
all His estranged children to return to Him (see Ezek. 18:23, 30-32).
His call to His estranged children to return to Him still stands (see
Ezek. 18:23. 30-32; Rev. 3:20). God is ready to show love to anyone
who returns to Him( see Prov. 28:13; Ezek 18:23, 30-32). He who returns
to Him completely is certain to find love and mercy (see Prov. 28:13;
Jn. 3:16; Acts 3:19-20). His love is ever available to anyone who returns
to Him wholeheartedly (see Prov. 28:13; Jn. 3:16; Acts 3:19-20).
• Father, thank you for your everlasting love.
• Father, please enable me to return to you wholeheartedly.
• Father, please take away whatever hinders me from returning to you totally.
GAL. 2: 15-16
JUSTIFICATION IS BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE
In response to Peter’s hypocritical act(Gal. 2:11-14), Paul states
here what the gospel is in summary form (Gal. 2: 15-16). According
to him, justification, the act of being accounted righteous before
God, is by faith in Jesus Christ alone (Gal. 2:15-16). It is not by
observing the law, because by doing so no one will be justified (Gal.
2:15-16). This is applicable to everyone, including the Apostles (Gal.
2: 15-16). The Scripture is quite clear with regard to this matter.
Justification is by faith in Jesus Christ alone (see Rom. 3:21-24;
cf. Eph. 2: 8-9). Therefore, there is no justification outside of Jesus
Christ (see Acts 4:12). Furthermore, justification is neither attained
by works nor by a combination of faith and works, as is being taught
recently (Rom. 2:28). It is attained by faith in Jesus Christ alone,
apart from works (Rom. 8:23). On the basis of Paul’s teaching
in this passage, there is no such thing as justification by works (see
Rom. 3:28; Eph. 2: 8-9). Thus, anyone who desires to be justified before
god must believe in Jesus Christ alone (see Jn. 1:12-13. And since
justification is not by works but by faith in Jesus Christ alone, there
is no place for boasting by anyone.
• Father, thank you for Jesus Christ, my Saviour.
• Father, please enable me to believe in Jesus Christ alone for my justification.
• Father, please enable me not to trust in anyone or anything for justification
other than Jesus Christ.
• Father, please justify me through your only Son Jesus Christ.
COL. 3: 1-3
WHERE THE BELIEVER’S HEART AND MIND MUST BE
Those who belong to Jesus Christ are commanded to set their hearts
and minds on the things of Heaven where Christ is seated at the Father’s
right hand (Col. 3:1-2; cf. Heb. 12:2). They are barred from setting
their hearts and minds on earthly things (Col. 3:2). The fact that
they belong to Jesus Christ requires that they set their hearts and
minds on heavenly, not earthly things (Col. 3:3). This command is binding
on all believers (see Rom. 12:2). It is also most appropriate, for
earthly things are not compatible with those of Heaven (see 1 Jn. 2:
16-17; Jam. 4:4). The former can never bring about the latter. Anyone
who sets his heart and mind on earthly things cannot please God (see
Jam. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15; cf. Rom. 12:2; Rom. 8:6-8. One cannot set his
heart and mind on earthly and heavenly things at the same time (Rom.
8:5-8; Jam. 4:4). Anyone who desires to set his heart and mind on heavenly
things must first withdraw them from earthly things (Rom. 8: 5-8).
• Father, please enable me to set my heart and mind on heavenly things.
• Father, please deliver me from setting my heart and mind on earthly things.
1 CHRON. 10: 13-14
THE PRICE OF UNFAITHFULNESS
Saul the King died on Mount Gilboa during one of those battles with the Philistines
(1 Sam. 31: 1-6; 1 Chron. 10: 1-6). He took his own life after being badly
wounded ( 1 Sam. 31:3-4; 1 Chron. 10:3-4). This passage explains why he died
(1 Chron. 10:13-14). According to the passage, he died because of his unfaithfulness
to the Lord (1 Chron. 10: 13-14). His acts of unfaithfulness referred to
by the passage included his disobedience to the Lord in the matter of Amalek
Sam. 15: 1-35), consulting a medium ( 1 Sam. 28: 3-25), and failing to enquire
of the Lord( 1 Chron. 10:14). His death in the battle is not attributed to
the Philistines who wounded him but to his unfaithfulness to the Lord ( 1
Chron. 10 13-14; cf. 1 Sam. 28: 18-19). It means that if he was faithful to
the Lord would have kept him safe during this battle. With this we find that
the act of being unfaithful to the Lord is a fundamental sin before Him (see
1 Sam. 15: 23). God does not take any pleasure in the unfaithfulness of His
children (see Gen. 6:6). This is why He brings punishment when there is no
repentance (see Gen. 6:5-8; Deut. 28:15-68; 1 Sam. 28: 18-19; 2 Kgs. 24:
20; 1 Chron. 10:13-14; Jer. 52: 3). The Lord delights in our being faithful
Him than in our offerings, sacrifices and services (see 1 Sam. 15: 22). Our
offerings, sacrifices and services amount to nothing before Him if they are
brought while we are unfaithful to Him. Faithfulness is the basis of His
blessings, favours, and keeping (see Deut. 28: 1-14; Ps. 1: 1-3). Unfaithfulness
His wrath and displeasure (see Deut. 28: 15-68; Ps. 1: 4-6).
• Father, please enable me to be faithful to you in all things.
• Father, please take away whatever hinders me from being faithful to you.