Archive for January, 2015
“Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you.” (Jeremiah 7:23)
More than rites and rituals, God wants a relationship with his people. Come be my people. Walk with me. That what he says.
God wants to be in a relationship with you. Learn what he wants of you. Not empty laws, but living words that tell us what to do to be pleasing to our God, to be able to live in close fellowship with him.
Jesus understands exactly how it is to live in this world. He got hungry, he got tired, he was tempted. He gets it. It is why we can trust him. He has been here.
“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalms 13:1)
Have you felt like this? Felt that God wasn’t listening? That he had turned away from you?
If so, remember that God is there. He is faithful. He is good. He is wise. He is powerful.
Like the psalmist, you’ll be able to go on to say: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.” (Psalms 13:5–6)
” ‘If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible. (Leviticus 5:1)
Remaining silent or minding your own business can be just as wrong and damaging as saying something that is false. There is a time to speak up concerning what you know.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
Wisdom isn’t the same as smart. It’s not the same as knowing lots of facts. Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
And true wisdom comes from God alone.
He and all his famly were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. (Acts 10:2)
He is spiritual, fears God, prays often, and is a generous giver. And when you read the rest of this story, you will see he still needed to know Jesus to be saved. You do too. No matter how good you are.
Getting a call from God was unusual but not unheard of as one reads the Bible. However, if you were the recipient of such an interaction, life changed.
Almost all of the calls from the Almighty included: bright illumination, a voice that was hard to describe except that it was overpowering, some type of physical reaction by the mortal to whom the call was directed (falling down was a regular response) and then an acknowledgement that it was God who initiated the contact.
The Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel is a case in point. He describes his encounter with God in the first three chapters of the book in the Bible that bears his name.
He sees God in the appearance of fire with brightness all around and he falls on his face (1:27-28). Then God speaks to him (Chapters 2 & 3). The Spirit lifts him up and he hears the proclamation: Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place.
This call to Ezekiel precedes receiving his commission or mission because God had directed him to do something specific.
There are amazing similarities when others who received their calls from God. It is interesting to compare all of these to each other.
Moses: Exodus 3:1-7
Isaiah: Isaiah 6:1-8
Zechariah: Zechariah 1:7-2-13
Saul/Paul: Acts 9:3-18
John: Rev. 1:9-17
God’s calls today may be different in the way He sends them, but I believe there is still: illumination of understanding, hearing God’s voice through scripture and thoughts, a physical reaction of doing what he says do or stop doing things you know are evil and there must be an acknowledgement that He is God.
Ezekiel and others had very dramatic calls from God; our somewhat less spectacular receptions do not minimize how essential is His direction in your life.
Has God called you? If He has not, why not?
These words were written at a terrible time in Israel’s history. Jerusalem had been overrun by her enemies. After a terrible siege, the enemy had entered the city, raping and pillaging. God’s temple was destroyed.
In the midst of this horror, the author remembers that God still lives. And God never runs out of mercy. When things are at their worst, we can still hold on to hope, because God is a good God.Eventually, he will bring about good things.
And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their associates, who stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as prescribed by David the man of God. (Nehemiah 12:24)
Leaders do not just lead in ministry and mission. Real leaders also lead us in praise and thanksgiving to God.
“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.” (2 Timothy 2:3–4)
It’s way too easy to get caught up in the affairs of this world and forget that we’re citizens of a different place. We’re not Americans or Europeans or Africans… we’re citizens of heaven. We need to focus on the business of our kingdom, not the things of this world.