Archive for April, 2015
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” (Joel 2:13)
In ancient times, people would tear their clothes as a sign of great negative emotion: sadness, loss, repentance. Here God tells his people that he doesn’t just want an outward sign of their sorrow for their sin; he wants them to change their hearts. God looks on the inward man, not just outward actions.
Don’t think that God is looking for empty rituals; he wants your heart, all of your inner self. Give yourself to God.
It is still one of the most important questions you can ask. If you are not sure of the answer, read the Bible or ask a Jesus follower. Then have the courage to act.
“Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” (Psalms 71:17–18)
Each generation of Christians has the responsibility of passing on their faith to the next generation. As youngsters, we learn of God and His Word from older Christians. Then we have the chance, all through our lives, to pass on to others what we’ve learned.
Let’s not drop the ball! Tell someone today what God means to you.
Of course creation testifies to God. He made it. He is the one who created everything. So look for the beauty in creation and take a moment to thank God.
It happens all the time. People often remember, or tell, a different version of events than what really happened. Most people recognize that this happens. Winners write the history, so they were always just, noble, and right. Your great-grandparents walked ten miles to school in the snow – uphill both ways. 12,000 people claim to have witnessed a game in a stadium that only holds 8,000. Everyone saw it coming; whatever it was.
It is called Revisionist History.
The funny thing is that revisionist history always makes us look smarter, better, moral, and right. No one does revisionist history to make himself look worse. But the fact still remains that telling a different version of events does not change reality. It does not in fact alter what was done, or the consequences, or the character of the people involved.
That is true about our sin as well. No amount of revisionist history changes what you did. The guilt and the consequences remain. Unless…
Jesus is the one way to revise history. And here is how he makes your past different.
- The blood of Jesus takes away the guilt of your sin. It is as if it never happened.
- Life in Jesus helps you to manage the consequences of your sin. Relationships can be healed, your mess can become your message, and joy, peace, hope, and purpose can be yours.
- Jesus changes you. You can become a different person than you have been. God’s forgiveness, following Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit can make you into a new person.
“He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth— the LORD God Almighty is his name.” (Amos 4:13)
We serve a great God. He is the Creator; nothing exists apart from that which he has made. He is the God who has revealed himself to us, showing himself through his creation and through the Bible. And he is the God who is still active in this world. He’s not a far away God; he’s the God who lives and walks among us.
The LORD God Almighty is his name.
For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. (Ezra 7:10)
Do you want to please God? Study his word. Do what it says. Teach others to do the same.
“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9–10)
Conversion to Christ is a turning from and a turning to. We turn from our former idols: our desires, our possessions, this world and its riches. And we turn to God, serving him and waiting for Jesus’ return.
That’s the conversion process.
Times of temptation will pass. The devil will leave. He may come back but he is not more powerful than our God. God will take care of you during your time of trial. Ministering angels. Caring family. Loving church. God is present.
Peace isn’t just the absence of war. Peace reaches down into the innermost parts of our soul, freeing us from all anxiety. Peace lets us fear no one and love everyone. Peace lets us rest, truly rest.
That kind of peace only comes from God. Those that live their lives ignoring God or rebelling against him will never know what real peace is.