Week 4 Questions for 2019 Reading Plan


womensbiblestudy

Tomorrow, January 21st, is the third Monday of the month. Aside from being Martin Luther King Day, it’s also Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I know it’s considered pseudoscience, but one idea about it stuck with me. By this time in the month, you’re either still following through with your New Year’s resolutions or you’ve given up. If you’ve given up, and too many people do, it’s enough to make you blue. If one of your resolutions was to get into God’s word this year and you’ve not been as persistent as you wanted to be don’t give up but rather start back up on Monday. Just pick up with Luke 15 and Psalm 9 and get into God’s word and turn this Blue Monday into a Red, or Orange, or Yellow Monday. Be my guest and take your pick for a happy color. Remember, there’s nothing more important in our lives than knowing God. There’s no way to know God than through His word. Blessings friends and keep on reading.

For those who are just finding this blog we’re following my 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan. I’m writing one question for each day’s reading to help us get the most out of our time in God’s word. As always, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.

Monday, Jan. 21 – Luke 15; Psalm 9

In these three parables about lostness – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son – Jesus sets his ill-disposed opponents straight about God’s welcoming attitude toward lost sinners. How do you think knowing that God diligently seeks the lost and rejoices over their return should affect the way you view the Father, yourself, and others?

Four “I will’s” launch Psalm 9 with David’s dedication to exuberant worship of the Lord. Write out the “I will” statements. How often do you live out these four proclamations in your daily life? If not often, how would your life be different if you did? Resolve today to follow David’s example. Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable.

Tuesday, Jan. 22 – Luke 16; Proverbs 3:13-18

Once again we find Jesus discussing money. For many different reasons, Christians have mixed feelings and opinions about money (maybe it’s based on a common misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10, money is not the root of all evil). Clearly from Luke 16, Jesus did not have any issues with money. The Lord never condemns riches, only their misuse. How can you, at times, be guilty of misusing your money? What principles of money management can you draw from this chapter (especially from vv. 10-13)?

In this short hymn to wisdom (note the section begins and ends with “blessed”), Solomon praises wisdom and understanding. Why is wisdom and understanding worth more than silver, or gold, or jewels, or for that matter anything else you could desire? What are you doing to gain such godly wisdom and understanding?

Wednesday, Jan. 23 – Luke 17; Psalm 10

All ten lepers had enough faith in Jesus to ask for healing (vv. 12-13) and obey Him before they had proof of their healing (v. 14). Yet, only one returned to thank Him. What’s unique about the Samaritan’s response to Jesus? (If it’s not immediately clear ref. John 4:9) What about the other nine, what was odd about their responses? Do you thank the Lord often for your blessings? Why or why not?

In Psalm 10 injustice and evil is rampant and to the psalmist God seems disinterested. However, the psalmist’s despair at the start shifts to hope by the end of the psalm. When you endure extremely difficult circumstances how do you move from “Why, O Lord do You stand far away?” (v. 1) to “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted” (v. 17)?

Thursday, Jan. 24 – Luke 18; Proverbs 3:19-26

Don’t give up praying is the message of Luke 18:1-8. What are some reasons that people (maybe even you) give up praying? To encourage persist praying, Jesus draws a portrait of a helpless widow stubbornly appealing to a heartless judge. But how is God different from the judge? In what way(s) does this picture of God encourage you to keep on praying to Him?

Solomon continues to extol the virtues of a life based on godly wisdom. From this passage note the words, “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (v. 24). Think of a time when you’ve had a restless night worrying about some trouble you’ve caused by your foolish actions? What was the situation? How would it all have been different if you would have exercised a measure of wisdom?

Friday, Jan. 25 – Luke 19; Psalm 11

I guess next to Jesus Loves Me, one of the first songs nearly any child learns in Bible class is Zacchaes.  You probably know the words and don’t forget the hand motions… Zacchaes was a wee-little man and a wee-little man was he. As adults we shouldn’t merely limit Zacchaeus’ story to a children’s song, he’s much bigger than that (pun intended). How does v. 8 show that Zacchaeus understands how Jesus’ offer of friendship should affect his life? In what way(s) is this an example to you?

From its opening words, “In the Lord I take refuge” Psalm 11 expresses the confidence that the faithful may have in God, even in a time of crisis. What does it mean to “take refuge” in the Lord? Think of a crisis you could easily imagine experiencing. Describe how you will take refuge in the Lord?

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Week 3 Questions for 2019 Reading Schedules


man praying with bible

Even though we’re three weeks into the new year, it’s still a good time to get into our bibles. To help us get the most out of our daily readings using the 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan I’ve written one question for each day’s reading. At the beginning of the year, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.

Monday, Jan. 14 – Luke 10; Psalm 6

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is perhaps one of the best known and most study parables of Jesus. By couching a Samaritan as the hero, the Lord powerfully over turns traditional definitions and shatters stereotypes of what it means to be “neighbor” to one’s fellow man. Describe the Samaritan’s actions from the point of view of (a) personal inconvenience, (b) financial cost, and (c) risk. How do one or more of these factors discourage your own neighborly actions? What exactly is Jesus saying to you when He states, “Go and do likewise”?

When was the last time you sighed and asked, “O Lord – how long?” Whether it was a bad situation of your own making or someone else’s, what did you need to have happen in your life during that time? How did the issue get resolved? What did you learn from that time about the sovereignty of God?

Tuesday, Jan. 15 – Luke 11; Proverbs 2:10-22

Through two pictures with commentary, Jesus strongly urges us to pray with boldness. What image of God does Jesus draw in the first picture (vv. 5-10)? In the second (vv. 11-13)? In what ways do you need these images of of the Father to transform your prayer life?

In your own words, summarize the benefit(s) Solomon says come “when wisdom enters your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul” (v. 10). Take a long moment and ponder these benefits. Write your thoughts on an index card or piece of paper and keep them close at hand as motivation for wise living.

Wednesday, Jan. 16 – Luke 12; Psalm 7

I’ve read numerous times over the years that our Lord talks about money more than any other topic. So, it shouldn’t surprise us that He says, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed!” (v. 15a). How would you describe the experience of greed? Why is it dangerous? How does the parable of the Rich Fool illustrate that a person’s life “does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (v. 15b)?

Psalm 7 is a plea for divine vindication in the light of an oppressor’s unjust allegations and actions. David’s confidence in the Heavenly Judge’s work and timing moves him from tense anxiety to a transcendent assurance. In one way or the other, we’ve all been treated unfairly by an enemy. What happens to our spirit if we take vengeance into our own hands? But if we, like David, leave vengeance to God, in what way(s) are we free to trust in His work and timing?

Thursday, Jan. 17 – Luke 13; Proverbs 3:1-12

The Jews looked at tragedies and concluded that the victim(s) must have deserved it (ref. John 9:1-3). But what lesson(s) should the people have learned from the sudden deaths discussed in vv. 1-5? As you contemplate the brevity and uncertainty of life, what lesson(s) do you need to take away from this passage today?

Proverbs 3:1-10 contains five important lessons for living, each couched as a command and an accompanying reward (vv.1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10). Select one of the five that speaks to you current life circumstances and write it out in the space below. Pray to God asking Him to write these words on your heart.

Friday, Jan. 18 – Luke 14; Psalm 8

In the midst of a tense dinner party, a pious remark (v. 15) gives Jesus a chance to tell a parable about those who will and won’t be among the blessed at the feast of God. What is the point of the Lord’s Parable of the Great Supper? Why do you think anyone would want to evade an invitation to God’s feast? Why accept?

In this Psalm, David’s praise of God is rooted in the majesty of the creation, “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers the moon and the stars, which You have set in place…” (v. 3). Tonight (if it’s clear), go outside and gaze up to the heavens noting God’s care in His placement of the stars and moon. Allow yourself to stand in awe of the Lord’s creative power and praise Him with song or prayer, knowing that the God of creation cares for you.

Week 2 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan


girl reading bible

It’s a new year, time to get into our bibles. To help us get the most out of our daily readings using the 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan I’ve written one question for each day’s reading. At the beginning of the year, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.

Monday, Jan. 7 – Luke 5; Psalm 3

Luke expands the narrative of Jesus’ call of Peter (along with Andrew, James, and John) from the accounts in Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20. In dramatic fashion, the Lord shows Peter that he is meant for something greater than the ordinary. List the steps you notice through which Jesus takes Peter to persuade him to leave everything and answer the call “Follow Me.” At which step can you closely identify with Peter? Why? What will you do to completely surrender control of your entire life to Jesus?

Psalm 3 is a prayer for protection and deliverance rooted in the time when David fled from his son Absalom (see 2 Samuel 15-17). Here we find a strong precedent for praying out of and through life’s trying experiences. What is it about a crises that drives us to prayer? Could it be the loss of control or a sudden awareness of how powerless we really are? In this regard, why do you suppose God allows these difficult circumstances to occur?

Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Luke 6; Proverbs 1:20-33

In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus gives concrete ways to love your enemy. Write down the name of an enemy of yours (that is someone who opposes you, or tries to frustrate your aims), along with something good that you will do for them, some concrete way you will bless them, and your prayer for them. Now follow through.

In this section of Proverbs, wisdom speaks in the feminine voice (see also: 3:16-18; 9:1-12). Why do you think Solomon chose to personify wisdom as a woman? What is lady wisdom calling for you to do?

Wednesday, Jan. 9 – Luke 7; Psalm 4

In Luke 5 you meet five people with diverse backgrounds and varying approaches to Jesus. What adjective(s) would you use to describe how the Centurion, the Widow, John, the Sinful Woman, and Simon the Pharisee each interacted with Jesus? Of the five people explain who are you think you’re most like?

David is besieged with suffering, injustice, and oppression. Can you identify? As he prays to God, he moves from anxiety to assurance, ending with a note about peaceful sleep. Why does pouring our hearts out to God in pray moves us from anxiety to assurance, from fear to peace?

Thursday, Jan. 10 – Luke 8; Proverbs 2:1-9

According to the Parable of the Sower (vv. 4-8, 11-18) wherever the Gospel is preached, results vary. Reread the conclusion of each section in this chapter from Luke (vv. 8, 15, 18, 21). What lesson(s) is Jesus stressing in His repetition? Are we able to develop “ears to hear” Jesus? If so, then how?

Solomon states, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (v.6). To this we can add James 1:5, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Think of an area of your life where you need more wisdom: maybe it’s in your marriage or singleness, parenting, work, money, friendships, etc. Write out a short prayer for wisdom in this area, record your prayer on an index card or piece of paper, and refer to often throughout the next several days.

Friday, Jan. 11 – Luke 9; Psalm 5

Focus on Luke 9:43-50, which highlights three of the disciples’ problems (vv. 44-45, 46-48, and 49-50). In your own words describe each problem. What do you see as the root cause of these issues? In light of what you’ve read today examine your own life, what blind spots, or area of spiritual immaturity, do you need to work on?

David says, “O Lord, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before You, and will watch expectantly” (v. 3). David, along with Jesus our Lord (ref Mark 1:35), found it beneficial to start their day with prayer. Why do you think is it important to begin the day talking with God? How can you carry over the conversation with Him throughout your day?

Week 1 Questions for 2019 Reading Plan


Gospel of Luke

It’s a new year, time to get into our bibles. To help us get the most out of our daily readings using the 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan I’ve written one question for each day’s reading. At the beginning of the year, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.

Week 1 – Jan. 1 – 4

Jan. 1 – Luke 1; Psalm 1

Luke’s stated purpose in compiling his narrative of Jesus’ life was so Theophilus might “have certainty concerning the things [he had] been taught” (v. 4). As you begin your journey through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs what to you hope to learn and discover?

The first Psalm stands as a kind of introduction to the rest of the book. It touches on two subjects that continually occur throughout the Psalms (and all scripture for that matter): the blessedness of the righteous and the misery of the wicked. Briefly contrast the life of the “blessed” and “wicked” persons. Do you see the qualities and blessings of righteousness in your life? Why or why not?

 Jan. 2 – Luke 2; Proverbs 1:1-7

In New Testament times, shepherds were considered outcast of Jewish society. Nevertheless, it was to these men that the angelic host proclaimed the birth of the Messiah and stating, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (ESV). To whom does God assure peace in v. 14? Why to them? What sort of “peace” is God offering through Jesus? (Consider Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14, 17; Colossians 1:20)

First, underline or highlight Proverbs 1:7 in your bible. Imagine you’re talking to an unbelieving family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. How might they misunderstand what it means to “fear the Lord”? In what way(s) would you go about explaining the profound meaning of this Proverb?

Jan. 3 – Luke 3; Psalm 2

Luke’s genealogy of Jesus begins with Joseph and reaches all the way back to “Adam, the Son of God.” Luke is stressing not Jesus’ Jewish genealogy (as does Matthew) but rather His humanness. Take a moment and reflect on this: Jesus became like one of us (cf. Philippians 2:1-11). How does this deepen your appreciation of Him?

Psalm 2 shines its poetic spotlight on four vivid scenes relating to humanity’s mutiny against God: Human Rebellion (vv. 1-3), Divine Reaction (vv.4-6), Divine Rule (vv. 7-9), and Human Responsibility (vv.10-12). Based on this Psalm, complete the following sentence: Since God is sovereign over the nations, I will… (Think of several resolutions.)

Jan. 4 – Luke 4; Proverbs 1:8-19

On the surface, Jesus’ temptations appear to have little resemblance to ours. Yet Hebrews 4:15 tells us He “has been tempted in every way, just as we are.” Think of a temptation you struggle with and write it down. In what way(s) is it like one of Jesus’ temptations from this passage? How will you battle your temptation in the same manner your Savior did His?

Here is a warning against enticement by sinners, who will succeed if the son fails to embrace wisdom. Hone in on vv. 8-9, by virtue of being parents, fathers and mothers bear a great responsibility in nurturing wisdom in the lives of their children. What sort of wisdom should parents teach their children? How best can it be taught? What are some consequences to parents if wise living is not instilled at home? (consider Proverbs 17:21, 25)

2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan


bible-matthew

As Christians, we know we should regularly read God’s word but sadly we just don’t do it. There are various reasons for this: maybe for you there just doesn’t seem to be enough time, or you feel overwhelmed by the bible itself, or it’s just never been a habit you’ve developed. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many believers have never fostered the spiritual discipline of regular Bible reading but it doesn’t have to be that way any longer.

This reading schedule is designed to promote this one issue – developing the habit of consistent Bible reading. Let’s get motivated by noting some of the benefits of regular Bible reading. First, you’ll grow in your relationship with God. All relationships take time to build and cultivate, even our relationship with God. Reading the Bible on a daily basis allows us the opportunity to get to know God. Second, it helps to fight temptation. We all struggle with sin. God’s word illuminates our propensity towards sin, as well as prepares us to fight it. Third, the word of God provides revival, wisdom and joy. Are you weary? Unsure of what to do? Or are you feeling down? There’s a Bible passage for that. Finally, reading the Bible on a daily basis transforms you to act like Christ. The Bible is not simply a textbook to teach us facts about Jesus, but how to emulate His way of living. As the word transforms us, we become living examples of Jesus to the world around us.

As the title suggests, this reading plan will take you through the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs throughout 2019. These three divine works have enriched the souls of believers for millennia. While you will read directly through the Psalms and Proverbs, the New Testament books are arranged in author and thematic groups. Since the goal is to develop a habit, not overwhelm you, there are only five short readings per week. Each reading is a passage from the New Testament with alternating readings from the Psalms and Proverbs.

Finally, let me suggest three practical points to help you develop a regular habit of Bible reading. First, and most important, pray often. Ask God to stir in your heart a hunger for His word and an understanding of what you read. Second, treasure your time with God’s word. Have a set time you spend with God and zealously guard it from all distractions. Lastly, share what you’ve read with others. When you share with someone what you’ve learned you deepen your own understanding; not to mention encourage others to explore God’s word. May God nourish your soul this year as you feed on the richness of His word. Amen.

2019 New Testament Psalms Proverbs Reading Plan

Forgiveness: Living Out the High Calling of Our Faith


forgive

Hurt. Anger. Pain. Grief. Agony. Disbelief. Sorrow. These and a hundred different other words describe the powerful feelings that naturally flood our hearts when someone has wronged us. As common as they may be, if left unchecked, these emotions can easily mutate into the gravely destructive disease of bitterness. The only antidote for such a spiritually fatal ailment is… forgiveness.

The truth is we all need forgiveness. The apostle Paul declared, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It then is painfully clear that we all have incurred an enormous debt of sin to God. However, the sum of that debt was graciously paid in full by God through the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus. The penalty we deserve was paid by our Lord.

As Christians we celebrate the forgiveness we receive from our Father, but the rub comes from other people. It’s the apostle Paul who charges us to, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Surely, those who have been forgiven so much by God should, of all people, forgive the offenses committed against them right? One would think, but even the saintliest of saints can struggle to forgive those who have wronged them. The fact of the matter is, how we deal with those who wrong us is a matter of spiritual life or death. The goal of this series is to empower us to live out the high calling of our faith; to forgive as we have been forgiven (cf. Matthew 6:12).

Throughout our lessons we’ll explore the various facets of forgiveness in light of the scriptures. There won’t be any magic words or secret formulas to learn. In fact, it’s unlikely that we’ll uncover many, if any, profound or new insights. Simply stated, forgiveness is not a method to be learned, but a truth to be lived. For most Christians, the problem isn’t that we don’t know the truth about forgiveness, it’s that we don’t practice it as we should. To encourage us to be more forgiving the course of our study will be two-fold:

God’s Forgiveness of Us:

1. Our Forgiving Father (Luke 15:1-32)

2. Our Need for Forgiveness (Ephesians 2:1-10)

3. Confessing Our Sins (1 John 1:5-2:2)

4. Accepting God’s Forgiveness (Psalms 32, 51)

Forgiving One Another:

5. Saying I’m Sorry (Matthew 5:21-26)

6. Saying You Hurt Me (Matthew 18:15-20)

7. The Power Of A Forgiving Spirit (Romans 12:14, 17-21)

8. The Danger Of A Unforgiving Spirit (Matthew 18:21-35)

When printing lessons, set printer to double-sided w/ flip on short edge.

It has been said that forgiveness is like a door leading to peace and joy. But it’s a small door, and it can’t be entered without stooping – or kneeling. Yet, if we’re willing to humble ourselves and pass through that door, joy and peace awaits us on the other side. I’m truly convinced that when a person forgives another the transformation power of the gospel of grace is at work. Friends, this dark dying world needs more believers who will freely share God’s grace and thereby bring more joy and peace into the lives of others.

It’s my prayer, that as we search the scriptures together, our hearts will be open and receptive to God’s word concerning the grace of forgiveness and that we will be divinely inspired to live out these truths in our lives.

~Clay Gentry

Rahab’s Persevering Faith


Rahabs Persevering Faith

Well I guess I’m officially old. Sure I turned forty last September, but that did not phase me; it was just another day. No, I am now old because of something far more damaging to my youthful-ego… the classic rock station is now playing songs from my youth. The soundtrack of my teens and early twenty’s is now old. Don’t get me wrong; I am flattered that my music made on the same station as my dad’s music, because he called it garbage. Ironic, is it not? Nonetheless, I was not ready for this to happen. 

Unfortunately, the trauma brought on by this realization has caused me to forget the song that pushed me over the proverbial hill. However, there is another classic song from my teens that I often hear on the classic station, R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

I really to like that song (even if it does make me classic). It is one of the tracks where the tempo demands you roll the windows down, turn the radio up and sing along with gusto. The gist of the song, at least the repeated chorus, is that the world as we know it is coming to an end, but that’s alright because “I feel fine.” The song will occasionally be featured in a post-apocalyptic movie (one of my favorite genres), usually somewhere in the opening scene. Its use foreshadows the impending disaster, but do not worry – humanity will prevail and survive.

Bringing this around to our lesson: if I were to put a sound track to the story of Rahab, I think I would choose this song for this particular scene in her life. It was the end of the world as she knew but she would be fine. Let’s explore why. Thus far in our study of Rahab’s faith, we have considered Rahab’s Working Faith and her Outreaching Faith. In this, our third installment, let’s turn our attention to her Persevering Faith 

The Pledge:

You will recall from our previous posts that under the leadership of Joshua, the children of Israel had ended their forty-year wondering and were poised to take the Promised Land. Just before their first invasion, Joshua sent two spies into the land (Joshua 2:1).

However, their clandestine operation was foiled, and with their covers blown the two spies took shelter in the home of “a prostitute whose name was Rahab” (2:1). With some quick thinking, Rahab concealed the two men and sent their pursuers on a wild goose chase (2:3-7). Once the coast was clear, she brought the two spies out from their hiding place and asked for her and her family’s safety during the coming invasion (2:12-13). The two spies pledged that she and her family would be saved if she followed these conditions: not telling anyone their mission, identifying her house with a scarlet cord, and no one could leave the home (2:14-21).

With the promise of safety secured Rahab let the two spies “down by a rope through the window, for her house was built upon the city wall, so that she lived on the wall” (2:15). The city wall probably formed the back wall of her house with a window opening up the outside. As we will see, this detail will play an important role in the testing of her faith. 

The Wait:

As soon as Rahab had helped the spies escape “she tied the scarlet cord in the window”(2:21). Then she waited. A close reading of Joshua 3:1-6:14 reveals that nearly a month passed from the time the spies left, to the day Jericho fell. (I’m allotting 2-3 weeks to heal from the circumcision.)

Do not discount the agony of her waiting. I have no doubt that while Rahab waited, fears and anxieties arose in her heart. Put yourself in her sandals! Imagine being locked up in your house fearful to leave least you die. The kids were crying, your dad is doubting, your sister is silently withdrawn and as usual your brother is no help. The tension is thick in the air. Then confusion and bewilderment really set in when the army of Israel comes against the city and does nothing but march around the city once a day for six days (6:1-13). Certainly, the stress of waiting tested her faith. 

The End:

The climatic fall of Jericho is recorded in Joshua 6:15-27. After marching around the city once a day for six days, the text says, 

“On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priest had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, ‘Shout, for the Lord has given you the city’… As soon as the people heard the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.” (Joshua 6:15-16, 20)

With her house situated on along the city’s wall, Rahab’s home must have violently shook as Jericho’s wall came tumbling down (cf. 2:15). As I envision what it must have been like within the walls of her home, I feel fear all around and I hear ear piercing screams. The instinct to run into the streets must have been incredibly hard to squelch (cf. 2:19).

Then to compound matters, the roar of deadly battle exploded outside her door and the army of God stormed the city. So great was the annihilation we are told, “They devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword” (6:21). Finally, after the battle had died down and before the city was burned, the two spies went into the defeated city, “and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her” (6:23).

As we have already noted, Rahab was a woman of great faith. What we must understand is that her faith was made great through testing (cf. Romans 5:2-5; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-9). The risk she took in hiding the spies and accepting their word was a test of faith. Each day she anxiously waited for her salvation was a test of faith. Staying in her home as the wall fell and the battle ensued was a test of faith. Through each one of these tests, she did not give in or turn back; she persevered.  

To say Rahab had a Persevering Faith does not imply that she was never afraid or anxious about the future. She was human, to feel and experience those emotions is only natural. Rather, what it meant was that she did not succumb to those fears or worries. With each test, her faith grew stronger and served as an unshakable anchor for her life and for those around her. Only through testing could her faith, her great faith, produce the endurance necessary to hold onto the promises of salvation. In essence she lived out truth of James 1:2-4; 

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

As Christians today, we need, more than ever, to model Rahab’s Persevering Faith. When our faith is tested and negative emotions flood our hearts we must hold onto to the One in whom we have believed, and with His help rise above the chaos of this world (cf. 2 Timothy 1:12). Our faith should serve as “a sure steadfast anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). Sadly, for far too many Christians their faith does not impact their day-to-day lives and thus they end up being “tossed to and fro by the waves” (Ephesians 4:14) of fear and doubt. Therefore, they give in and give up.

Much like Rahab, we too have been given a pledge of salvation, and, like her, our faith is continually tested as we wait for the end to come. The question is will we give up or persevere to the end?

The Pledge:

The Lord Jesus has pledged to return and take us home to be with Him forever.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

The promise of the Lord’s return should bring comfort (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) and provide a catalyst to endure amid the troubles and trails of life.

 The Wait:

However, it has been nearly 2,000 years since Christ Jesus pledged to return. Because it has been so long it would be so easy now, as some did in New Testament times, to question, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:4). As each day passes it can become harder to wait and resist the temptations of this wicked world. Thus we are admonished to have a Persevering Faith that will,  

 “Be patient… until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”(James 5:7-8)

 The End:

As the last days approach, “times of difficulty” for believers will increase (cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-9).  Then suddenly,

 “The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works are done on it will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

He then continued by asking,

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:11-12a)

The pledge has been made; the Lord Jesus will return. The wait continues, but the end is near. What sort or people then should we be? People who demonstrate a Persevering Faith. Believers who do not give in or give up, but rather live lives of holiness and godliness as we wait for our blessed hope – the appearing of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. For the Spirit has promised,

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trail, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) 

The end of the world as we know it is coming. Will you be fine? If you have a Persevering Faith like Rahab you will. If I can help you with any spiritual need drop me a line at clay@claygentry.com. May God’s blessing be upon us as we keep sharing the good news.