It was said of Jesus that “the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37). Most of the people in the large crowds who followed and listened to Jesus were members of this class, the common people. They were the ones who were fed on the mountainside and who heard the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said to them, basically, I know you are concerned about providing for your families. You worry about the food and drink that you will need daily and the clothing that you need for warmth and protection. But here is what I propose . . .
Read Matthew 6:25–33. What was promised here, and what were the people to do in order to receive those promises?
Many of the promises of God have elements of a bilateral covenant. That is, in order to receive the blessing, we need to do our part, as well.
Read Isaiah 26:3. What are we asked to do in order to have the peace of God?
Read 1 John 1:9. What will Jesus do if we confess our sins?
Read 2 Chronicles 7:14. What are the “ifs” and “thens” of God’s proposal here?
All these verses and many others deal with the important fact that although God is sovereign, although God is our Creator and Sustainer, and although salvation is a gift of grace and unmerited on our part, we still have a part to play in the great controversy drama here on earth. Using the sacred gift of free will, free choice, we must choose to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and obey what God calls us to do. Though God offers us blessings and life, we can choose cursing and death instead. No wonder God says, “ ‘Therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live’ ” (Deut. 30:19, NKJV).
Saturday, January 07
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Thursday, January 12
Seek Ye First
Friday, January 13