For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Hebrews 4:12 (New Living Translation)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 (New King James Version)
God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.
Hebrews 4:12 (The Message)
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (New Living Translation)
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 (New King James Version)
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
Micah 6:8 (The Message)
What does God expect? With the multitude of voices added to the messages of your conscience, you may feel overwhelmed. The prophet Micah makes things simple and clear.
by Max Lucado
Peter knows he is in trouble.
The winds roar down onto the Sea of Galilee like a hawk on a rat. Lightning zigzags across the black sky. The clouds vibrate with thunder. The rain taps, then pops, then slaps against the deck of the boat until everyone aboard is soaked and shaking. Ten-foot waves pick them up and slam them down again with bonejarring force.
These drenched men don’t look like a team of apostles who are only a decade away from changing the world. And you can be sure of one thing. The one with the widest eyes is the one with the biggest biceps—Peter. He’s seen these storms before. He’s seen the wreckage and bloated bodies float to shore. He knows what the fury of wind and wave can do. And he knows that times like this are not times to make a name for yourself; they’re times to get some help.
That is why, when he sees Jesus walking on the water toward the boat, he is the first to say, “Lord, if it’s you … tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)
He is aware of two facts: He’s going down, and Jesus is staying up. And it doesn’t take him too long to decide where he would rather be.
Perhaps a better interpretation of his request would be, “Jeeeeeeeesus. If that is you, then get me out of here!”
“Come on” is the invitation.
And Peter doesn’t have to be told twice. It’s not every day that you walk on water through waves that are taller than you are. But when faced with the alternative of sure death or possible life, Peter knows which one he wants.
The first few steps go well. But a few strides out onto the water, and he forgets to look to the One who got him there in the first place, and down he plunges.
Peter’s response may lack class—it probably wouldn’t get him on the cover of Gentleman’s Quarterly or even Sports Illustrated—but it gets him out of some deep water:
And since Peter would rather swallow pride than water, a hand comes through the rain and pulls him up.
The message is clear.
As long as Jesus is one of many options, he is no option. As long as you can carry your burdens alone, you don’t need a burden bearer. As long as your situation brings you no grief, you will receive no comfort. And as long as you can take him or leave him, you might as well leave him, because he won’t be taken half-heartedly.
But when you mourn, when you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your cares on him, for he is waiting in the midst of the storm.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Romans 10:10 (New Living Translation)
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:10 (New King James Version)
With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!
Romans 10:10 (The Message)
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
Psalm 9:9-10 (New Living Translation)
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:9-10 (New King James Version)
God’s a safe-house for the battered,
a sanctuary during bad times.
The moment you arrive, you relax;
you’re never sorry you knocked.
Psalm 9:9-10 (The Message)
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (The Message)
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (New International Version)
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (New Living Translation)
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:8-9 (New Living Translation)
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:8-9 (New King James Version)
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
Matthew 5:8-9 (The Message)