Archive | March 2014

He Gives Sleep

Focus Verse of the Week

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.Psalm 127:2 (ESV)

Classic Commentary

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows. Because the Lord is mainly to be rested in, all anxious care is mere vanity and vexation of spirit. We are bound to be diligent, for this the Lord blesses; we ought not to be anxious, for that dishonors the Lord, and can never secure his favor. Some deny themselves needful rest; the morning sees them rise before they are rested, the evening sees them toiling long after the curfew has tolled the knell of parting day. They threaten to bring themselves into the sleep of death by neglect of the sleep which refreshes life. Nor is their sleeplessness the only index of their daily fret; they stint themselves in their meals, they eat the commonest food, and the smallest possible quantity of it, and what they do swallow is washed down with the salt tears of grief, for they fear that daily bread will fail them. Hard-earned is their food, scantily rationed, and scarcely ever sweetened, but perpetually smeared with sorrow; and all because they have no faith in God, and find no joy except in hoarding up the gold which is their only trust.

This is not the way the Lord would have his children live. He would have them, as princes of the blood, lead a happy and restful life. Let them take a fair measure of rest and a due portion of food, for it is for their health. Of course the true believer will never be lazy or extravagant; if he should be he will have to suffer for it; but he will not think it needful or right to be worried and miserly. Faith brings calm with it, and banishes the disturbers who both by day and by night murder peace.

(Adapted from The Treasury of David, Psalm 127:2.)

A Thought to Keep

Do we believe that God is big enough to provide for us even after we rest and acknowledge our physical limitations? Sleep is a physical humility, an acknowledgement that all our efforts will fall short unless God blesses them.

 

(Source: BibleStudyTool)

 

Trusting an Unchanging God, Part 2

For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, but the righteous man shall live by faith. –Romans 1:17

God never changes. That’s as comforting as it is sobering.

When we read 2 Chronicles 28, we discover the tragic life of one of Judah’s kings, King Ahaz. Ahaz should have known God doesn’t change. God proved it to two significant people in his life-his father and grandfather. Read 2 Chronicles, chapter 26. Ahaz ruled jointly with his father Jotham for a while. And earlier, Jotham ruled jointly for a while during the time of his father, Uzziah. So the lives of son, father, and grandfather were connected close enough for there to be a remarkable influence.

According to 26:5, Uzziah continued to “seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.” Ahaz had opportunity to learn this precept. He should have recalled that God prospered Grandpa because Grandpa sought Him.

A generation later according to 2 Chronicles 27:5, Ahaz’s father Jotham fought with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed. In verse 6 we see that Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways according to God’s ways. This was Ahaz’s second opportunity to learn about God’s immutable character.

With these repeated blessings on his father’s and grandfather’s obedience, you’d think Ahaz would walk obediently before God himself. But he didn’t.

Ahaz learned about God’s unchanging attitude toward sin the hard way, just like his grandfather. Although Uzziah started out well, once he became strong, he too forgot that God does not change. In his pride, Uzziah thought he could offer incense in the holy place. Uzziah forgot the day Nadad and Abihu were killed by God for offering strange incense to the Lord. What made Uzziah think a holy God would not judge him for going where only a Levite could go?

Uzziah forgot God doesn’t change. That prideful lapse of memory brought leprosy from God (2 Chronicles 26:18, 19). He died in this condition, unable to return to the palace for the rest of his life. Ahaz also had this example to remind him that God does not change! If God judged Uzziah who started out great but ended presumptuously in sin, shouldn’t Ahaz have known he couldn’t get away with it? Shouldn’t he have believed it?

Before the two armies invaded, God gave Ahaz a fresh opportunity to repent and renew his faith. We learn this from the prophet Isaiah, so let’s review through his eyes. In Isaiah 7:1, we read: “Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it.”

Rezin decided to attack the holy city, the city of Mount Zion, where God had put His name and temple. But as hard as his armies fought, they couldn’t take it. When the report reached Ahaz that the Arameans were camping just to the north, his heart and the hearts of his people shook like trees under a strong wind.

Ephraim and Pekah are coming against Ahaz and he’s trembling; and so are his people. They know they’re done for, finished. But the God who keeps His promises, who is not willing that any should perish, tells Isaiah the prophet to take his son and deliver a message to Ahaz-a message he needs to hear quickly (Isaiah 7:3).

Isaiah says two things to Ahaz: I want you to meet my son Shear-jashub-which means a remnant will return. In the very introduction, God gives His Word. The introduction of Isaiah’s son comes with the promise-all is not going to be lost. There’s going to be a remnant: a remnant will return. “Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands” (Isaiah 7:4). It doesn’t matter that Ephraim and Pekah have planned evil against you-they won’t succeed!

Have you ever had somebody tell you they’re out to get you? They are going to level you? They’re going to get you fired? They are plotting against you? Maybe you’ve had children or your spouse turn against you. This is exactly what’s happening here. What does Ahaz do? What should he do? What should we do?

We should realize that because God doesn’t change, He is our hope-the anchor for our soul in the midst of crises.

Beloved, God calls us to live (and endure) by faith (Romans 1:17). Those who come to God are required to believe not only that He is but that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith, we read in the same verse, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). After we do His will, living by faith, we receive His promises (Hebrews 10:36).

Are there ways you’ve been turning to the wrong sources for answers and success instead of turning to God? I want to assure you that God will hear and respond to your cries to Him.

When Isaiah reminded Ahaz of God’s promise to David, he introduced him to his son. In fact, God had told Ahaz “a son” would be the sign of his enemies’ destruction (Isaiah 7:14-16) and of the coming of another Son, the Son of God-the Son that would be raised up to sit permanently on the throne of David. “A virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel.” In Matthew 1:23 we see that this Immanuel is Jesus-God with us!

Here’s your assurance: we now have that Son, Beloved, so we have a surer, more precious promise than Ahaz had. The Word of God says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

All things? Yes, Beloved, yes! So here is the answer. God never changes. He can be believed. He can be trusted because He has given the ultimate gift of His Son, and with Him comes all things. Because He’s given you His Son and His Son is in you, you have God’s promise-He’s with you and will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nordepth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38).

I don’t know what’s going on in your life, Beloved-the trials you’re facing in your marriage, your job, your family. We all have our own. I know during election months we’re all prone to worry about our country as well as our personal lives. What will the future hold? What will happen to the economy? What about health care, war… etc., etc?

Just stop and ask yourself: Does God change? Can He be believed?

Know this, Beloved, not because I say it, but because God’s Word proclaims it: the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, the Eternal Father is the One and only unchanging being in your life. You can always trust Him to act in character according to His holiness and His Word.

So live accordingly. Believe it. Look to Him and be saved…and be safe! For “if you will not believe, you surely will not last” (Isaiah 7:9b NASB).

Discover and spend time with our glorious King, beloved. Get into the Bible and discover Truth for yourself.

By; Kay Arthur

 

KOJOKROM – THE CRITICAL THINKING OF OUR FUTURE

By; Charles Kofi Fekpe


The world has moved in a new direction – a direction I pray everyday, that we and our leaders see, understand and embrace:

A nation’s competitive advantage no more lies in its natural resources or specialized production units, but in the brainpower and critical thinking ability of its citizens. The real advantage today is in thinking ourselves into the future, before anyone else gets there. It is a bold statement to make, but the Economic Philosophies of Adam Smith is dead, and so are our old stock of economic thinkers.

**Parents need to treat our children differently when they ask “WHY”. We need to help them discover real answers and not shut them up everytime.
**As businesses and employees, we need to always be thinking about better and more efficient ways of delivering. This is no more for the CEO. Executives need to become lovers of change and listeners of their own employees.
**Students need to question and viciously challenge their lecturers and lecturers need to continually force their brains to be ahead of the game
** Government needs to overhaul our educational system. Train teachers to be critical thinkers themselves and to teach students that historical answers don’t always hold and that they themselves can be the answers Ghana needs. In the new world, the teacher is NOT always right. Education should no more be about getting students to memorize “what has been” but to conceptualize “what must become”.
**Spiritual leaders must begin to inspire their congregations to know our brains are formed in the image of God, not for feebleness or resignation, but for creativity of the highest divine order

And if we don’t get this right, our focus is wrong, our energies will be channeled wrongly…. and so too, our future!! This is NOT a prophecy, it is TRUTH!! A truth upon which our future rests.

Development is NOT in building non-value-adding-roads it is in raising value-creating-brains, consciously, purposefully and with aggressive intent!

#Critically #Thinking #The #New #Ghana

MINOR INDIGESTIONS FROM THE BAWUMIA LECTURE

By  Charles Kofi Fekpe

 

Introduction:

It is very common knowledge, that a camel can go without water for many many days – interestingly, research shows a giraffe can go without water, much longer.. It makes me wonder how long Ghana can go on without a stable economic life or better still, a solid mechanism to quickly and effectively stabilize any misdirected economic accident as and when they happen. At least, not until I read the scripts of the Lecture by Dr Bawumia on Ghana’s ailing Economy on 25th March 2014.

“At the heart of the problem is the lack of fiscal and monetary discipline” – I couldn’t have agreed more with this statement. More importantly, I would also like to know what the Government has done with $20 billion of development monies of the last few years. And I totally agree too, with his corrective/stabilization measure recommendations at the end of his lecture. I was however hoping that after all was stabilized, what next? What do successive governments have to do to ensure that any stabilization is solidified economically speaking at least in the medium term?These having been said and purely out of respect and for the purposes of complimentary discourse, there were some arrears of the Honourable economist’s presentation that could do with some defence. Seeing that they form a fundamental context of his position.
(1) Dr Bawumia indicates that “To bridge the gap between black market and official exchange rates, foreign exchange bureaus were established in February 1988, leading to the virtual absorption of the foreign exchange black market. The cedi exchange rate therefore became market determined with an increase in demand for foreign currency resulting in depreciation……” Do we interpret this to mean that, it was only when the Forex Bureaus were established in 1988 that the Cedi started being influenced by the demand and supply market? Shall we in extrapolation thus also assume that the black market should not be considered part of the currency influencing market because of their black nature? – that’s a bit of an exchange rate racist discrimination sir, don’t you think? Sir?
(2) Dr Bawumia says the only reason for the Cedi Depreciation in the periods before 2014 is because we moved from fixed rates (established by the British West African Currency Board (WACB)) to floating rates? He forgets that in the era of the fixed rates, it was in the interest of Britain Empire to keep the rate of the West African Pound at par with the GBP, because they technically owned both currencies. After independence, I am sure the Dr will agree that keeping the rates in line with the British Empire’s GBP standardization mechanism would have meant, effectively, chaining the economic management of Ghana and her currency to Britain’s Economic policies – effectively we would have social independence but no Financial Management liberty. As far as his lecture notes show, he has only effectivley explained the Cedi’s depreciation in the 3 years leading to 2014, as being due to economic fundamentals. Sir, it didn’t all just happen in 2014. According to your graph, depreciation has been on the steady rise all the way back from independence. I wish the Dr would explain to us how the depreciations in the 40+ years prior happened? Or shall we then conclude that returning to Fixed rate exchange mechanism will correct everything about the Cedi?
(3) SKEWED COMPARISONS:

    •  Sir you start off the partial causative analysis by indicating that Ghana’s currency exchange was fixed under the The British West African Currency Board (WACB) and you compared the West African Pound to the British Pound, then in analysing the outcomes of those causative issues, you switch to the Cedi versus the US Dollar – why the dissimilar parameters for comparison? Sir?
    • Over the period 1965 to 2012 you compare the USD/GBP and the GhS/USD and conclude that whereas the GBP appreciated by 1.5% over a 48 year period against the Dollar, the Cedi slumped by 2,000,000%. That’s an intentionally skewed comparison to make. Why wasn’t the Cedi:USD fluctuation compared to the fluctuation against the USD of a country with similar economic, social and historical backgrounds like Nigeria or Kenya? Sir? I am just curious!

(4) The Dr said “Declining economic growth is worrying because without an expanding economy we cannot create jobs and many of you students will find it difficult to find jobs when you complete your studies….” – it would be good to know if as an economist, our focus should be on job creation or productivity. Let’s be brutally honest sir, if job creation were to be considered as an end in itself, then Hitler did it by employing every citizen in digging trenches and making bombs. Are you sure the real worry is in the creation of jobs or the nation’s productivity? Sir? I am just curious!
(5) The Dr said, very correctly, that excessive government spending domestically and the financing of such increased spending using direct cash injections has been one of the main factors causing the exchange rate slump because it fundamentally meant more Cedis chasing fewer Dollars – I agree and believe too, that this is
a critical issue that will impact on short, medium and long term economic performances of Ghana. As critical as this is however and knowing that Government insofar as the population and economy was expanding no matter how little, will continue to need increased spending – The Dr made no offer of measures that governments ought to carry out to generate, increase and sustain local revenue, seeing that he suggested in the body of his lecture, a reduction in levies, taxes and rates, and in contradiction, a scrapping of tax holidays in order to make the cost of doing business Ghana attractive to investors – although I would have argued that corruption and uncertainty add substantively to the cost of doing business in Ghana. So, just how, should Government generate income other than by expanding revenue catchment through biometric means and social formalization – assuming these will require public spending which the Dr has suggested need cutting down sharply and immediately. thats a fixy situation sir, dont you think? Sir? I am just curious!
(6) Dr Bawumia, in putting Ghana’s Public Debt Interest payments in perspective says that total interests payable in 2014 is 6 times the budget of these 6 “KEY” ministries namely:  Ministry of Roads, Trade/Industry, Fisheries, Food/Agriculture, Water/Housing and Transport. Sir, I don’t know how you determined the “KEY” ministries, but if you were trying to compare the sizeable and central nature of the interest payments, it would have been comparatively fair to compare it with the equally SIZEABLE and in my opinion, “CENTRALLY KEY” ministries such as Finance, Defence, Education, Food/Agric, Health and Energy/Petroleum, in which case you would have realised that the interest repayments for 2014 only amounts to 0.5 TIMES the combined budgets of these 6 “CENTRALLY KEY” ministries. Does that shift the arguments a little? Sir? Oh by the way sir, according to the publicly available budget documents on the website of the MoFEP, you said the total budget allocated to Ministry of Roads was GhS779mil – it is actually GhS699; you said that for Fisheries was GhS279mil – it is actually GhS128; You said Food and Agric had GhS128 – it is actually GhS306. Sir? I am just curious!
(7) Dr Bawumia, does a brilliant table that compares Months of Import Cover (MiC) per liquidity for Ghana (pop 25mil), India (pop 1.3bil) Indonesia (pop 249mil), Malaysia (pop 31mil), South Africa (pop 52mil), and of course, Ghana compares very poorly – Did the Dr fail to acknowledge that national productivity does generally have some linear relationship with population sizes or was it a slip of intent? It was unclear the source of the data and whether or not these were averages over time or as at the end of 2013. We don’t know. But how about we compare apples with apples SIR? How about we compare African countries with similar levels of populations and the picture doesn’t look too bad all of a sudden at the end of 2013 (from World Bank sources): Kenya (Pop=44mil; MiC=4); Uganda (Pop=35mil; MiC=5); Ivory Coast (Pop=23mil; MiC=4); Mozambique (Pop=24mil; MiC=3) and Ghana (Pop=24mil; MiC=3). On World Bank Datasheet website, Seychelles has an MiC of 40, Algeria MiC=34 and Lybia MiC=41; Comparatively, will Dr Bawumia therefore say the following countries are comparatively close to economic extinction? i.e. USA MiC=2, Denmark MiC=6 and France MiC=2. Or, Hurray!! we can even say Kojokrom’s MiC is much better than Obamatown. If so, then we can all just shout “Edey be k3k3!!” Conclusively, using the Months of Import Cover on its own is not enough to explain a country’s liquid stability without understanding the basics of it such as the nature of imports, the relative type of the country’s export, the timings etc., the nature of its foreign contracts the private/covernment ratios of those imports etc
Conclusion:

All in all, I think it was a largely positive and forward-looking presentation barring that I was hoping his recommendations would have been ones that looked beyond stabilization and into medium to long term actions of depth. Congratulations sir. You have done well breaking one horn of the bull……… the rest, is in all our hands. As I have always reiterated, resources are nothing without the people to convert them into wealth. So too are agendas and policies without the right people to implement them – as far as we can all see, our economy and therefore, the currency, which is a reflection also of that economy, is a reflection of the mental and creative majority of us, as a people; sadly, the required critical mass of citizens, needed to stabilize the thinking and creative base of Ghana currently lies in the hands of our majority illiterates.

What Did Jesus Say about Divorce?

Lately, the Western world has zoomed in on the topic of same-sex marriage, leaving the issue of divorce virtually ignored. Yet Christians and non-Christians alike continue to struggle through both considering divorce and the decision to divorce. We need clear guidance on this topic. The Bible’s teaching on divorce is expansive; however, in this short piece, we’ll narrow our focus to one important aspect of Jesus’s teaching from Mark 10:1–12—the condition for divorce.

When the Pharisees tested Jesus on this controversial issue of divorce, His response focused on the “one fleshness” of a married couple (Mark 10:2–9). Later, the disciples privately asked Jesus to explain His answer (10:10). As was His custom, once He was alone with the disciples, Jesus underscored the salient part of His teaching. He clearly stated that marriage is to be a permanent bond between one man and one woman. To break it off and marry another is adultery (10:11–12).

Jesus affirmed (and still affirms) the permanence of the marriage bond. But He also acknowledged that because of the depravity of the human heart, the marriage bond might be severed under certain circumstances. What are those circumstances? That requires us to turn to the “exception clause” of Matthew 19:9:

I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

The Greek word Jesus used for “immorality” is the word from which we get our modern word pornography. “Immorality” in this verse is based on the word porneia. The root, porne, means “prostitute.” In Matthew 19, Jesus could have used the word molxeia, the word used specifically for adultery, but He chose a broader term. Porneia, when applied to illicit sexual activity among unmarried couples, is often translated “fornication.” When applied to illicit sexual activity among those who are married, porneia is often translated “adultery.” In either case, porneia is considered immorality.

Generally, the Greek term porneia refers to sexual activity that is immoral, illicit, and sometimes unnatural. For this reason, some scholars interpret the term loosely and apply it to homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and the like. But let’s keep in mind, no matter how immoral these activities are, Jesus only permitted divorce for such offenses… He did not command it.

If you have a spouse guilty of the kinds of things just described, you’re not commanded to walk away from that person. The goal in such marital relationships is reconciliation—always. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1: “If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.”

I know of a case in point. A married man, away on a business trip, viewed an X-rated channel in his hotel room. He watched for only a minute or two, but then turned it off, feeling guilty and ashamed. When he returned home from his trip, he couldn’t sleep. Finally, he confessed to his wife what he had done. At that moment his marriage ended. His wife refused to forgive him of that single failure. She was determined to get him out of her life. And over the course of a brief period of time, she did.

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t condone what that man did in his hotel room. But neither do I agree with what his wife did. Divorce is a personal decision, not a divine mandate. And porneia isn’t a blanket rule that we smear across all immorality in marriages and say, “Ah-hah! Now you’ve done it! It’s over! Our next stop is divorce court.” Again, divorce is permitted in cases of porneia; it’s not commanded. Reconciliation is the goal—a spirit of, “How can we work through this serious breach in our relationship?” not, “How can I get out of it?”

Let me add that porneia isn’t an unforgivable sin. Admittedly, it is a serious, heartbreaking, and emotionally shattering act of disobedience and betrayal. But it need not be treated as if it cannot be forgiven. If you’re in the midst of heartbreaking betrayal and you believe your marriage is hanging in the balance, please consider the hard work of reconciliation before you make the kneejerk reaction: “I’ve got grounds for a divorce, and I’m not stopping until I get it!” More often than not, filing those papers will only trade one heartache for an even deeper one.

By: Charles R. Swindoll (BibleStudyTool)


 

Why Does Jesus Use the Phrase “I Am”?

One of the most stunning scenes in the Gospel of John is when Jesus debates the Jewish leadership at the end of chapter eight and declares, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (8:58). There is little doubt that this constituted a claim of divinity because in the very next verse we read, “So they picked up stones to throw at him” (8:59).

While there is little doubt that the Jews understood Jesus to be claiming a divine identity, there is some doubt regarding why they believed this. What is the background of Jesus’ “I am” declaration? Most of the time, it is assumed that Jesus is alluding to Ex 3:14 when Yahweh expresses his own name as “I am who I am.”

This is certainly a possibility. But the Greek constructions are not precisely the same. There is another possibility that is more likely the background of Jesus’ “I am” declarations, namely the book of Isaiah, particularly chapters 40-55. Not only are these chapters formative for early Christian theology (e.g., Is 40:3/Mark 1:3), but they contain some of the most direct declarations of God’s identity as the only true God. And many of these declarations use precisely the same “I am” construction (ego eimi).

A few examples:

Isaiah 41:4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he (ego eimi).

Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he (ego eimi). Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.

Isaiah 48:12 “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he (ego eimi); I am the first, and I am the last.

These instances show that Isaiah uses the “I am” language to emphasize God’s exclusive status as the one true God. The phrase, in essence, means “I am [He]” or “I am [the One]” or “I am [the LORD].”

If so, then this brings insight into how John uses the “I am” language outside of John 8:58. For instance, when Jesus is arrested in the garden, he declares in 18:6: “I am he (ego eimi).” While most readers would miss the connection here, the response of the soldiers gives us a clue to what is meant: “When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he (ego eimi)’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (18:6).

The falling back is a contextual clue that Jesus is speaking like God speaks in Isaiah. Thus, there is likely a double entendre here in 18:6. On the one hand Jesus is simply answering the soldiers’ question by saying, “I am he [the one you are looking for].” But, on the other hand, he is saying, “I am he [the one true God].”

In the end, the “I am” language in John is a likely reference to God’s self-declarations in Isaiah, and thus a dramatic claim by Jesus to be the one true God of Israel. By appealing to Isaiah, Jesus is not portraying himself as another God, but the one and the same God of the Jews.

By: Michael J. Kruger (source:BibleStudyTool)

 

Beyond Sunday: The Potter and the Clay

Focus Verse of the Week

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:21)

Commentary

If we examine the right that God has over us, in a more general way, with regard to his intelligent creatures, we may consider God in two different ways: as Creator and Lord of all, or as moral Governor and Judge.

God, as sovereign Lord of all, distributes his gifts or favors to his creatures with perfect wisdom, but by no rules or methods that we understand—the time when we shall exist, the country where we shall live, our parents, the make up of our body and turn of our mind. These, and numberless other circumstances, are no doubt ordered with perfect wisdom, but by rules that lie beyond our comprehension.

But God’s methods of dealing with us, as our Governor and Judge, are dearly revealed and perfectly known. Namely, that he will finally reward every man according to his works: “He that believes shall be saved, and he that does not believet shall be condemned.”

Therefore, though “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden,” they become hardened in consequence of their obstinate wickedness. Yet his is not the will of an arbitrary, capricious, or tyrannical being. He wills nothing but what is infinitely wise and good, and therefore his will is a most proper rule of judgment. He will show mercy, as he has assured us, to none but true believers, nor harden any but those who obstinately refuse his mercy (Jeremiah 18:6–7).

(Adapted from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes.)

A Thought to Keep

Our great God has planned the details of our lives according to His perfect wisdom. Walk in faith knowing that He is both in control… and full of unfailing mercy.

(Source: BibleStudyTool)