Archive for October, 2012
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi 3:8)
It is robbery to steal what belongs to someone else. We rob God when we so not give back to him what is his. All we have is from God. Do not rob him. Give.
“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ ‘Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.’” (Joshua 5:13–14)
Almost every army in the world has marched out with the idea that God was on their side. Truth is, while God may use one group or another for his purposes, what will always be advanced is the cause of the Kingdom of God, not that of men’s nations.
…having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)
Baptism is more than a command. It is an act of faith in the power of God. We are buried and raised with Christ by the same God who raised Jesus from the dead. New life here … and life forever.
We have all heard that phrase. It is typically used when someone has planned, worked, controlled, or manipulated things to achieve a certain result. Of course, it always seems that something out of our control then comes along and undermines everything. All the planning, all the work has now been for nothing. “I have this under control.” “I can handle this.” Then when we are proven wrong, we hear the statement: “How’s that working out for you?”
I have seen in relationships. I have seen it in work situations, and in travel plans. I have seen in almost every life situation. You have too. It happens in our behavior as well. The addiction that we are positive is not really an addiction. We are certain we can quit any time we want. It does not control our lives. We do not need any help whatsoever to manage it. How’s that working out for you?
The truth is that you cannot control things in this world. None of us can. Weather disrupts ballgames and farm harvests. People do not respond the way you expect them to or in the way you want them to. A banker you have never met makes a decision that impacts your business in a way that you could never have foreseen. You think you can control everything, only to realize that in reality you can control almost nothing. How’s that working for you?
That is why I am a Christian. I believe there is someone in control. It is just not me. So I have given up my efforts to control this world, to control other people. If we are honest, we have to admit it is hard to even control ourselves. So I surrender myself to the One who actually does have power. And it is wonderfully liberating. I no longer worry about weather, or the economy, or even other people. I do not even worry about myself. I give my worries to someone who can actually do something about them. I give them to God. You may wonder how that is working for me. The answer is… just fine.
If it seems to simplistic, and you still feel everything is up to you, let me ask you a question. How’s that working for you?
“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” (Luke 9:23)
The decision to follow Jesus isn’t something we do just once. Every day we make the choice between taking up the cross or following our own desires. Every day we must say, “Jesus, today I want you to be the Lord of my life.”
What a great thing to be a prophet and have the word of the Lord come to you. Of course, I can hear the word of the Lord any time I want. That is what the Bible is — the word of God. And it is ours to hear today.
“On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12)
Jesus didn’t come to minister to the perfect people of this world. He came to work with people like you and me, people who sin but want to do better.
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (I Thessalonians 5:15)
It is sometimes what we want to do — pay someone back for what they have done. Make them feel the same pain they inflicted on us. But God calls us to be kind to each other as believers. And then to be kind to everyone else also.
“Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” (Joshua 14:12)
This is Caleb talking, an 85-year-old man who fully trusts in the Lord. He has been promised something by God and knows that God always keeps his promises. Caleb doesn’t worry about giants or fortresses; with God’s help, he’ll take the land he’s been promised.
Talk about the things that matter with your friends. Discuss, pray, disagree, study, and learn together. Wise counsel, spiritual insights, and good advice are among the benefits.