I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, God, are holy.Psalm 77:11-15
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Acts 13 John Mark goes with Paul and Barnabas on a missionary trip to Cyprus where they face a standoff with a hostile sorcerer. He can’t handle it. It’s too much for him. He deserts the team and heads home at the next opportunity.
Acts 15 John Mark gets a second chance and Barnabas takes him back to Cyprus. However, he goes with the knowledge that Paul thinks it unwise to take him due to his bailing out previously. He has to prove himself and not let Barnabas down.
In fact, although Paul was the one who intially proposed a return Cyprus with Barnabas, he basically decides not to go if Barnabas insists on taking John Mark (and risking a repeat desertion), so he instead chooses Silas for a companion and heads off in a different direction to Syria and Cilicia.
In all of this, God’s hand was at work. John Mark gets the chance to try again where he failed before, Barnabas gets to follow his heart and giftings in giving him that opportunity, and they minister to the people in Cyprus. Paul and Silas form a new missionary team, encourage a second region of churches, and ultimately head further, to the unreached – through Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, and finally to Macedonia and Greece. Praise God that He can use differences and even conflict for His glory and for our good!
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.– Galations 5:13-15
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.John 3:31
John the Baptist explains the difference between himself and Jesus.
John knew his earthly role like perhaps few people do. He was a true visionary and prophet, and could see with more clarity the difference. All of us are earthly. We belong to the earth and speak from an earthly perspective. We can’t help it. But I think it is important to be aware of it and recognize it, and to seek after God, and try to understand His heavenly perspective.
Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.2 Chronicles 14:11
King Asa of Judah calls out to God when he and his fighting men are faced by an enormous army of Cushites.
Sometimes in life, when we feel powerless against the mighty, we are rescued. Sometimes we are not. But, there is no one like God. Sometimes we think that mere mortals are all that there is, and we forget about God. Sometimes we think that mere mortals are more than they are, and we don’t properly assess the situation; we don’t calculate God in the equation. We don’t seek Him, we don’t look to Him, we just see things as mere mortals do, living out our earthly life.
“As for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God. But you have forsaken him. God is with us; he is our leader. His priest with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. People of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.”2 Chroncles 13:10-12
Announcement by Abijah, King of Judah, from Mount Zemaraim to King Jeroboam of Israel and his army, as he both warns and appeals to them. The army of Judah numbered 400,000 fighting men, while the army of Israel had 800,000. Guess who won.
The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.
It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.
– Proverbs 14:20-21
Arise, shine, for your light has come,Isaiah 60:1-3
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.Proverbs 21:3
And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.(Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees.) Matthew 12:7
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?