Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: —1 Peter 1:6
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. —1 Peter 4:10
In the Peter’s first epistle he uses the word “manifold” twice—Once in reference to temptations and once referring to the grace of God. These two references make an interesting parallel.
The word “manifold” is a combination to two words: “Many” + “fold.” It means “various in kind or quality; numerous; multiplied or complicated.” It indicates a thing of many kinds or having a variety of forms. For example, an automobile engine has an exhaust manifold. It collects the exhaust gases from multiple cylinders into one pipe.
As believers we encounter “manifold temptations”— Temptation comes in all shapes and sizes and from various sources — Sickness… Financial… Family… Persecution… Disasters… Ministry… Satan.
But, as believers we are stewards of “the manifold grace of God” which is more than sufficient to counteract the “manifold temptations” we face.
“As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.” —Ps. 109:17
The law of recompense says you reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7). It is an infallible law that is repeated throughout the Bible, confirmed empirically by science, and demonstrated countless times in people’s lives.
Jesus repeated this law in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you… For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Solomon said, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Eccl. 11:1). What you give will be given back to you—You give out love, you’ll receive love in return. You give out hate, hatred will come back at you. When you show mercy, mercy will be shown to you. As you judge people, you will be judged the same way. “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Mt. 7:2).
The law of recompense also applies to being blessed. The blessings of God are not to be hoarded or kept to ourselves. They are to be shared with others. God blessed Abraham to be a blessing to the world (Gen. 12:2; Zech. 8:13).
Our text says the reason why some are not more blessed than they are is because they take no pleasure in being a blessing. The way of blessing is simple—If you want a blessing, be a blessing!
As the song says, Make Me A Blessing. Be a blessing to someone today, and see a blessing come back to you!
Who will you be a blessing to today?
- “There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.” (William Hazlitt)
- “God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.” (Dr. David Livingstone, quoted in Daily In The Word)
- “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” (Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Des Moines Register)
- “The Promised Land always is on the other side of a wilderness.” (Havelock Ellis, quoted in Passport to the Soul)
- “Anyone can make a mistake. Only a fool insists on repeating it.” (Robertine Mayard, quoted in Reader’s Digest)
- “The money spent on government today doesn’t make it one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money we spent twenty years ago.” (Will Rogers)
***Here is the final installment of quotes by Chuck Knox, former coach of the Seattle Seahawks from his book Hard Knox—
- “Winners form the habit of concentrating on what they want to have happen. Losers concentrate on what they don’t want to have happen. In pressure situations, winners call up past wins, losers call up past losses, and both are self-fulfilling.”
- “Nearly as important as experiencing a big win is understanding how you won, why you won, so you can go on to win again.”
- “I consider the act of playing harder when you are ahead as important as not giving up when you are behind.”
- “We don’t have to change what we are doing—We just have to do it better.”
- “Sometimes a guy will want to know what his title will be. Bad question. I tell him, you want a title, join the service, get a job at the bank. Here, we are only looking for guy called workers.”
- “I never fire a coach… once they are hired, they are with me as long as they want to be. It is easier to develop continuity and vision that way. It’s harder to hire, because I can’t afford to make a mistake, but once they are here, it’s easier to be their boss. If a coach is not doing his job, the bottom line is, I brought him in, he’s my responsibility, I’ve got to make him better.”
- “It’s not how far you’ve come, but what kind of trail you left for others to follow.”
- “The thing I’ve discovered is that life’s results won’t always fit neatly into a line score. Success and failure cannot always be judged by the game films. All a man can do is walk straight and upright and believe that if behind him things don’t look so good, around the corner they must be eye-popping wonderful.”
Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. ―2 Chronicles 20:12
Jehoshaphat is faced by a powerful combination of Moabites, Ammonites, and others. In his desperation he turns to God: “O God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us.”
Are we not often in this plight? Do these lines fall under the eye of someone sore beset by an alliance of evil confederates, whether in the flesh or of the unseen world of principalities and powers? You do not know what to do. We never do. We have no might against the Moabites.
But we can take Jehoshaphat’s way out: “Our eyes are upon thee.” We may not know what to do, but God always knows what He is going to do. He is never caught off guard or taken by surprise. Commit your case to Him. You can lie down at night and sleep, although tomorrow the Moabites will arrive. Many a saint has pillowed his head on a promise when all hope seemed gone. And when the dreaded day arrived God had handled the Moabites in His own way.
“Our eyes are upon thee.” “Looking unto Jesus.” We know not what to do, but He knows. No sleeping pill can rest a man like knowing that!
“…and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” —Obadiah verse 21
When Nazi’s overran France in WW2, the French Resistance fought against the Nazi’s in guerrilla warfare. Suppose you were a member of the French Resistance fighting along side of other Frenchmen you believed were your friends. Then came a day when a member of the French Resistance betrayed your group to the Nazi’s. Many of your friends were killed and you are captured and imprisoned. At that point what would you need to hear that would encourage you? You would need to hear, “D-Day is coming! The Allies are coming to free you.”
During the prophecy of Obadiah, things looked very dark for Israel as they were betrayed by Edom and captured by the Babylonians. But Obadiah gave some encouraging words, “the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” This promise would be a great encouragement to Israel in it’s affliction.
Today we are living in dark days also (2 Tim. 3:1). Wickedness is on every hand (1 John 5:19). Where can we find a word of comfort in these perilous times? Just as Obadiah comforted Israel in their distress by assuring them, “the kingdom shall be the Lord’s,” we also find comfort in God’s promise that, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout… and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which remain shall be caught up together with then in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore COMFORT one another WITH THESE WORDS” (1 Thess. 16-18).
Be encouraged Christian, the day is coming when “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).
Amen! “The kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”