Archive for July, 2014
“But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”” (2 Chronicles 18:13)
There’s a tension we face at times. We have the things that God has said. And we have what people want to hear. They don’t always match. At times, they directly conflict with one another.
God’s Word isn’t politically correct. And we have no right to try and make it so. We should speak the truth in love, but we should speak the truth. Our motto should match Micaiah’s words: “I can tell them only what my God says.”
“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies. (Habakkuk 2:15)
Be very careful of alcohol. Share it sparingly. Never use it in a way that leads to sin. This is a warning from God about alcohol abuse. Share this message from God.
“And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us that the LORD is God.” (Joshua 22:34)
Milestones. Markers along the way that remind us that God has been with us and will be with us. Sometimes they are physical markers, like this altar. Sometimes they come in human form, other believers who are there to bear witness to the truth of our faith. Other times it’s our memories themselves that say to us, “The Lord is God.”
With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed — an accursed brood! (II Peter 2:14)
Christians are forgiven of our sins… but not so we can keep on sinning. Stop sinning. Live forgiven. God calls us to change. Some do not. Do not be one of them.
The house was quiet and dark. The family inside was under quarantine. Diphtheria had found its way inside, claiming the lives of two infant girls; the young sisters had died within twenty-four hours of each other.
Now a group of people gathered outside the house. Among them was Cleland McAfee, uncle of the dead girls, brother to the grieving father. A Presbyterian minister and hymn writer, McAfee brought comfort in the best way he knew how: comfort in song. He had composed a hymn to express the consolation he was looking for during this difficult time. The first verse of his beautiful hymn says:
There is a place of quiet rest,
near to the heart of God;
a place where sin cannot molest,
near to the heart of God.
Words of comfort and quiet assurance. Not everyone finds such peace when faced with loss. But some receive that gift of God, the gift of a peace that passes understanding.
In the Old Testament, we read of King David and his infant son. The mighty king was powerless when his son fell ill; all he could do was pray, begging God to spare his son. Yet the baby died.
When they realized the child was dead, the king’s servants were afraid to tell him. Their whispers gave them away, however, and the king realized his son had died. He rose, cleaned himself up, and went to the temple to worship God. When questioned about his behavior, David replied:
“While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22–23)
May such tragedies never come your way. But should they come, please remember these thoughts. A child who dies leaves a world of strife, finding a place of rest. We can’t bring them back, but we can live our lives in such a way that we will go to them.
Our God gave up his only Son, sending him to this world to bring us the hope of eternal life. He reaches out to grieving families saying, “I know your pain. And I can turn that pain into hope.”
“The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” (Deuteronomy 2:7)
Not many of us have been led through the desert by a pillar of cloud and fire. Nor have we eaten manna that fell from the sky. But there are many of us that can testify and say, “God has blessed me and watched over my journey.”
Give thanks to God for his guidance and protection.
You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. (Obadiah 12)
Never celebrate trouble in the lives of others. Show compassion. Extend mercy. Pray. There but for the grace of God…
“When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” (Acts 11:23)
There’s an old show tune that says, “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” Beginning with our salvation through the grace of God, we work to ensure that we remain faithful to God throughout our lives. It’s not where you start. It’s where you finish. Finish your race on the path of righteousness.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)
Our sin separated us from God, but the blood of Jesus brought us back to God. Be thankful for that gift today.
“If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17)
We have a duty, an obligation to fulfill. We are to find out whether Jesus’ teachings are from God or not. Too many people sit back and say, “Well, I’m just not sure.” But that’s no answer! If the Bible is truly God’s Word, we need to know that. If not, we need to know that as well. But if we want to be right with God, it’s our obligation to find out the truth.