Monday, January 4, 2010

Faithfulness Confronting the Challenge

OK, work with me here...I want you to stop and read Genesis 4, Ezra 4, Matthew 4, and Acts 4. This is the Scripture reading for January 4 on the Robert Murray McCheyne Bible reading plan. I have read the Bible following this plan for many years. Today as I read these four chapters, I was struck by the congruity and consistency of something found in all four chapters. In these four chapters there are three things to be noted: righteous obedience to God, a challenging trial given to the obedient servant of the Lord, and a faithful response on the part of God's servant to the challenge. In Genesis 4 Abel presented an offering that God honored, but Abel was killed by his brother (Cain) who hated him for his righteousness. God responded to Cain's sin on Abel's behalf avenging Abel. In Ezra 4 Zerubbabel and his friends were building God's temple. They were challenged by discouragement and fear by many around them, but they kept their commitment to God and the vision of obedience to Him. In Matthew 4 Jesus was tempted by Satan, yet Jesus faithfully fought off the temptation using the Word of God as His sword. In Acts 4 the apostles were abused and mistreated for preaching Jesus, yet they committed themselves all the more to the truth, trusting in God to give them strength to be faithful.

In all of these passages we see the following truths presented:
1. The righteous will be opposed by those who are not righteous.

2. True doctrine will be opposed by those who do not believe in true doctrine.

3. Obeying and following the Lord will bring challenges, trials, and struggles.

4. God calls His people to look to Him in these difficult times, and He will give them grace and spiritual strength.

5. As we obey the Lord by grace, we become a witness and an encouragement to others as Abel, Zerubbabel, Jesus, and the Apostles are to us.

Christian friend, this is our moment in time. These are our days of faithful life and service. We are, and will continue to be, challenged and tried by many things, but we must be faithful even to the end. God will not abandon us. He will stand by us, He will stand with us, and He will stand over us to shelter and care for us in the hour of our need. We must trust Him to be true to His promise to us. Let the people of God arise and go forth in faithful proclamation of truth and obedient service for the Lord!


  1. Thank you for this observation and challenge. I needed the encouragement tonight as I sit in Kelsey's hospital room.

  2. You are welcome; glad God can use these ramblings of mine through the "miracle" (I use the word advisedly) of technology. I have to admit, sometimes it works. Praying for Kelsey and all of you. Irma and I are coming up to see Kelsey tomorrow after she takes Joel to school.

  3. Thanks Bro. Greever for this study today. It was both interesting and challenging! Please keep up the ramblings.