The Jesus Code: “Why doesn’t God do something about evil?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 26 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1.2).

God had said he was going to allow the pagan nation of Babylon to destroy the city of Jerusalem and take the Jews into captivity. The Prophet Habakkuk was stunned. It didn’t make sense. Why would God allow a nation so wicked to do such a thing to His people.

The Prophet asked a question many of us have asked at one time or another. Where are you God? I’m praying, but you don’t seem to be answering! Why are you letting this evil happen?

Hawkins says:

If there really is a God who is all good and all powerful, why doesn’t He always answer our prayers for good and right things? Why does He allow evil and suffering? Here is the age-old skeptic’s argument: Either God is all powerful but not all good (therefore He does not stop evil), or He is all good but not all powerful (thus He cannot stop the evil around us). That statement sounds so logical. If He is really all powerful, then He could eliminate all evil, pain, and suffering.

In fact, He could absolutely eradicate all evil in an instant. But suppose He were to decree that, at the midnight hour tonight, He would radically stamp out all evil. On the surface that appears a wonderful idea, but is it? If He did, do you realize that not one of us would be here at 12:01?

The fact is God has already done something about evil, He sent His Son to die for evil people like us and He has given us His grace and His Spirit.

Hawkins says:

The book of Habakkuk contains only three brief chapters, but in them the prophet showed us that the real issue at hand is not one of evil, but one of focus. Habakkuk outlined the route from focusing on our circumstances . . . to focusing through them . . . and finally, to reaching the place where we focus beyond them.

When we focus on the circumstances, we are tempted to think: “Why God?” “Why me?” “Why aren’t you doing anything?” But the author reminds us that just because we’re in a storm doesn’t mean we aren’t right in the middle of God’s will. Just ask Jonah.

The first step in focusing “through our circumstances” is to get God’s perspective. That’s the reason Joseph was able to forgive his brothers for their horrible betrayal. In Genesis 50:20, he said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good to save many people alive.”

Looking through a problem also requires patience, waiting on God and His timing, while holding on to His promises. Next come participation, walking in faith during the process. Hawkings:

Finally, in focusing through the circumstances of life, there is the element of perception. Habakkuk saw that “the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him” (v. 20). God is still in charge. He has not abdicated His throne.

But focusing on “through the circumstances” isn’t the ultimate level of trust. Prayerfully, like Habakkuk, we can learn to focus beyond them. The Prophet ends the book with these beautiful words:

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NASB):

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “Will a man rob God?” (Malachi 3.8).

Last week’s question: “What does the Lord require of you?” (Micah 6.8). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.


Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking The Modest Mom
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays Kelly Balarie
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart While I’m Waiting
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully Creative K Kids
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Ask Latisha
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “What does the Lord require of you?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 25 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “What does the Lord require of you?” (Micah 6.8).

This should be one of our greatest concerns, “What does God require of us?” Hawkins says:

God is rich in mercy and full of grace, yet He requires certain things of us who are citizens of His kingdom. Sometimes we think that because our sins are forgiven, it really doesn’t matter how we live. Wrong! And the prophet Micah, who wrote seven hundred years before Christ, understood that.

Micah is best known as the one who foretold that the coming Messiah would be born in the tiny, seemingly insignificant village of Bethlehem: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5: 2). Micah is also known for his very practical teaching in chapter 6. The lesson comes in a combination question/ answer verse: the answer is embedded in the very question it asks! “What does the LORD require of you . . .” His three-part answer immediately follows: “Do justly . . . love mercy . . . and walk humbly with your God” (6: 8). These three actions are not suggestions. Nor are they mere options. These behaviors— related to our actions, our affections, and our attitudes— are “required” of each of us.

Our Actions

As believers, we should live differently from those around us. Our actions should always be moral, ethical, and just. God requires us to “do justly” in our own actions and to defend those who are treated unjustly.

Our Affections

God’s people should “love mercy.” The author says:

Mercy is best defined as “not getting what we deserve,” whereas grace is “getting what we don’t deserve.” Micah’s instruction means that we are required to give people what they don’t always deserve; we are to cut them some slack and show them some mercy.

If we truly love God we will show it by loving others and that love is often demonstrated through mercy.

Our Attitudes

Hawkins points out that  we are to walk humbly before God and others, and walk refers to how we live our lives.

Christ, Our Example

Again, quoting the author:

And Jesus is our ultimate example. Knowing that divine justice demanded payment for the penalty of mankind’s sin, and even though He Himself never sinned, Jesus went to the cross to “do justly.” And from the cross we see how He loved mercy, saying to those who had driven the spikes into His hands, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23: 34). Did He walk humbly? Even on the evening of His betrayal and arrest— the evening of His greatest need— Jesus was on His knees, washing His disciples’ feet (John 13: 1– 17).

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1.2).

Last week’s question: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4.4). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.


Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking Mom2Mom Linkup The Modest Mom Embracing His Will
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart A Simplified Life
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew TGI Saturdays
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “Warts and All” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 24 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4.4).

Most of us are familiar with the story that unfolds in the first three chapters of the little book of Jonah. In short, God gave Jonah an assignment: go to the Assyrian city of Nineveh, preach, and call them to repentance.

The Assyrians were well known to Jonah and the Israelites as a wicked, cruel people. So instead of obeying God, Jonah got on a boat going the other direction.

But … as our teaching Pastor, Larry Lamb, says, “You can run from God, but you’re not that fast!” Neither was Jonah. He ended up thrown overboard and swallowed by a giant fish. As he sat there with seaweed wrapped around his neck stewing in the fish’s digestive juices, God got his attention.

What a sight he must have been when he finally showed up in Nineveh! His preaching and warnings led to a great revival, but the story doesn’t end there.

From the Jesus Code:

When seventeenth-century British military and political leader Oliver Cromwell sat for his official portrait, the one that would display his likeness for all future generations, he instructed the artist to paint him just as he saw him— in his own words, “warts and all.” Since that day, the expression “warts and all” has been used in the English-speaking world to refer to a true representation of a person, to reveal the weaknesses as well as the good points.

Jonah, the runaway prophet, concluded his small book in the Bible by doing this very thing: in chapter 4, he pulled back the curtain of his heart to show his true self, warts and all.

Most of us, had we been writing this book about ourselves, would probably have closed with chapter 3’ s account of the mighty outpouring of revival upon the city of Nineveh. But Jonah didn’t. He added another chapter and included God’s rebuke: “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Jonah’s wart was his spirit of resentment: he could not tolerate the fact that the Ninevites had received God’s blessings.

Instead of rejoicing over a great revival, Jonah was bitter and angry because God had shown them mercy. His bitterness had distorted his perspective.

In Jonah’s case he was angry because God had done good to wicked people. What tempts you to be angry at the circumstances or, even, at God Himself?

Is it because something bad has happened to someone good. Is it because there is some relationship or circumstance in your life that is unpleasant or hard? Has God allowed something you think is unfair?

We may not always understand everything that happens and why God allows certain things in this life, but the answer lies in knowing God better, knowing His character, and growing in our ability to trust in His sovereign grace.

In Jonah’s case God pointed out the fact that there were thousands of people in Nineveh who didn’t know Him and revealed Himself as a God who wants to save even the wicked if they will turn to Him in faith and repentance.

If you are struggling to trust the sovereignty of God is some area, get into His Word, get to know Him better. Run to the cross and remember, if you belong to Him, He loves and forgives you “warts and all” and ask Him for the ability to see even the worst of sinners through His eyes.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “What does the Lord require of you?” (Micah 6.8).

Last week’s question: “Is it true?” (Daniel 3.14). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.


Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking Mom2Mom Linkup The Modest Mom Embracing His Will
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart A Simplified Life
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew TGI Saturdays
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “Tolerance or Test?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 23 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Is it true?” (Daniel 3.14).

Three young Hebrew men by the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were faced with a decision. The King had built a golden statue of himself and ordered all his subjects to bow down and worship his image. Anyone who didn’t would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

It would have been easy for them to justify doing it. After all, he was the King and his word was law, but not these three!

Hawkins says about the King:

Upon hearing the news of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego acting according to their convictions, the king summons them into his presence. He wanted to know “Is it true?”

Today the “King’s law” is “tolerance.” Hawkins says:

Tolerance used to mean that we recognized and respected other people’s beliefs and values even when we didn’t share them. Today tolerance means something entirely different: it now means that everyone’s values, faith claims, and lifestyles should be accepted and that all truth claims are to be treated as equal.

As believers we should be loving and kind to others, no matter what their beliefs. We should respect the laws of our land as long as we are not being asked to sin or “give hearty approval” to those who claim evil is good (Rom. 1.32).

Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were tested, so are we. Will we respond as they did?

… who lived according to inner principle, not by outer pressure. When their moment of crisis came, they stood tall and firm because their decisions were guided by the Word within their hearts, not by the external world system. As the morals of our culture continue to crumble, we believers should expect to hear this same question asked of us: “Is it true? Is it true . . . that you do not bow to the gods of this world?” These three young Hebrews are shouting encouragement to us across the centuries today. They are saying, “Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Don’t give out.”

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4.4).

Last week’s question: “Who among you fears the Lord?” (Isaiah 50.10). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.


 

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking Mom2Mom Linkup The Modest Mom Embracing His Will
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart A Simplified Life
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew TGI Saturdays
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!