Archive for May, 2012
“And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:28)
You’ve probably learned that people don’t always keep the promises. Sometimes they can’t. Sometimes they choose not to. But when God makes a promise, that promise will be fulfilled. You can count on it.
“Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ” ‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. (Ezekiel 28:20)
God said these things to a ruler who thought he was a god. It could be said about us also. We sometimes think we are in control of our lives, but it takes just a little time to realize we are not in control. Nor are we wise enough to solve all of our own problems, much less those of our family and friends. So let’s resolve today to just be ourselves. And let God be God.
“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)
Here’s a lesson that we have to learn. God wants simple, day-to-day obedience, not huge gestures of religious affection. We don’t need to try and impress God. We just need to do what he tells us.
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9)
Someone you know will do something wrong today. What will you do about it? Help them, or gossip about it? And if that someone is you, how do you want your friends to deal with it?
He was riding next to me on an airplane when he made that statement. We had been having the polite conversation about where we were from and what we did for a living. I even think he enjoyed what he did for a living, but he did not enjoy the fact that he felt like he had to work. He just could not see a reason or purpose for it. I hear the same thing each spring around college graduation. Conversations about getting a job and starting a career seem as if life is over and it is drudgery and “nose to the grindstone” from then on.
But Christians view our jobs differently because God does. We believe there is a reason and purpose for our labor. It is not to work so we can have bigger and better things: houses, cars, bank accounts, toys. Nor is the goal of our career to attain prestige and power. We do not let a job define who we are, nor do we see it as the most important thing we do. It is not how we measure success. Work is a way to make a living, not how to make a life. But we do believe there is a reason and purpose for our jobs.
- It is a way to provide for the needs of our families. We see our jobs as a gift from God that enables us to provide food, clothing, and shelter for those that depend on us.
- Work is a way to honor God and show Jesus. We do not work for our boss, but as if we are working for the Lord. We strive to be honest, dependable, and effective. Our work reputation is not about us, but about how we represent God.
- Income allows us to do things for the sake of the kingdom of God. We are able to help those in our community of faith who have basic needs. It allows us to help others in our town and in our world who do have the basic necessities of life. We are able to support people who give their lives to telling others about Jesus. We use what God gives us to help others.
Yes, we get tired and sometimes work is a job. But it is never just a job. It has purpose, just like everything in our lives.
“And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11)
It’s interesting that sometimes outsiders understand our God better than we do. Here we have the words of Rahab, who wasn’t an Israelite, who hadn’t seen God’s wonders firsthand. Yet she believed, because of what she had heard. So we too must put our faith in God, beyond what we ourselves have seen. We have to believe what we’ve been told.
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. (Isaiah 25:1)
It is good to exalt and praise God for the marvelous things He has done. Today He will do something marvelous in your life; something He may have planned long ago. And sometime in the future, you will look back and praise. But for today, look for the marvelous things God will do.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5)
In the end, this it what it all comes down to: there is only one God, and we are to love him with all of our being.
There are two who always know your sin — no matter how hard you try to hide it: you know it, and God knows. God knows and loves you anyway. God knows and sent His Son to fix it. We do not have to try to hide our sins from God.
“He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ” (Luke 16:31)
If we could just see a miracle. If we could just hear God’s voice, receive a sign, have some tangible evidence that God is real, then we could believe. Or so we think. But Jesus said that if we can’t accept the written evidence that we have in the Bible, not even the greatest of miracles will change our minds. Read your Bible! And let the words change your life.