Do you feel like your have a purse with holes? Have you put God on a back-burner? Could He be using circumstances to get your attention?
Ezra 5 & 6
Ezra 5 & 6:
The people who had come back enthusiastic and ready to rebuild the temple, had met some resistance and gradually quit doing God’s work and, instead, got busy with their own lives.
God used the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to stir and rebuke the people about their priorities. In Haggai 1, God said:
“‘Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.’ Thus says the Lord God of Hosts, ‘Consider your ways! Go up to the mountain, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,’ says the Lord” (Hag. 1.5-8).
What about you? Do you need to consider your ways? Are your priorities God’s priorities? Have you gotten “too busy” to be concerned about the things of God? Could God be using circumstances to get your attention?
Everything comes from Him
Verse 7b says, “All my springs are in you.” In Acts 17.28 Paul said, “… in Him we live and move and have our being.” James 1.17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above … ” (NASB).
God is the source of every talent, every ability, every blessing. Scripture tells us that He even blesses the unrighteous in many ways. The Puritans called it “common grace.” And yet, we are so easily puffed up and become proud of our achievements, our possessions, even, our children. We need to be careful to give God the glory that He and He alone is due!
Contentious and angry
In verse 19, God again sees fit to warn us, ladies, that we can easily go from being a blessing to being a curse to our husbands and/or children.
“Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.”
Of course, we women are not the only ones who struggle with anger and it’s just as destructive when it’s you husbands, dads, sons, and brothers.
If you struggle with anger get a copy of Wayne Mack’s book Anger and Stress Management, God’s Way. In it he explains that anger that is selfishly focused or controls us is sinful—no matter how we try to justify it. If you’re dealing with angry children, check out The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo.
Religion verses relationship
Paul was basically in protective custody, but the religious zealots were still not content. Some banded together agreeing not to eat until Paul was dead and then worked out a plan to bring that to pass.
Such is the way of religious fanaticism! We see it today in Muslim extremists who are willing to blow themselves up in the process of killing their supposed enemies.
The irony is that the very thing these Jewish extremists claimed they wanted to protect, their Jewish purity and heritage, was the very thing that God wanted to use to draw others to Him. Instead, in their pride they twisted it into an excuse to exclude everyone but themselves.
The devil doesn’t care if people are religious. In fact, he often uses religion to stir up strife, trouble, wars, and all kinds of evil. What he doesn’t want is for you to have a genuine relationship with Christ, because he knows that has the potential to change your life and draw others to God.
Lord, keep us from religious self-righteousness. Help us to be lights shining out in a dark world. Help us to fulfill what You said were the two greatest commandments—to love You and to love others with Your love. In Jesus name … amen.
|Anger & Stress Management, God’s WayBy Dr. Wayne A. Mack / CalvaryPressWhat is the Biblical and God-Glorifying way to handle anger and stress?Anger and stress are perhaps the two most defining aspects of our world today. There are many ways of handling stress and anger: You can get increasingly angrier and more stressed out, you can resort to drugs and alcohol, you can turn violent, you can retreat into your own world and become cold and distant—or you can react God’s Way!Dr. Wayne Mack, one of the most well-known and trusted Christian counselors of our time, puts his years of experience and Bible knowledge to work for you in this book! In it, he tells you, not just how to handle anger, but the root causes of anger. By doing this, Dr. Mack helps you to better understand why your reactions to stress, and its accompanying anger, are usually the result of “not getting what we think we need.” He then goes on to explain how to restructure your thinking to make your reaction more Christ-likeIf you’ve ever struggled with anger, if you’ve ever been so stressed out that you don’t know where to turn, then let this book, guided by the principals of scripture, change your life—forever!|
|The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in ChildrenBy Lou Priolo / Calvary PressDo you have an angry child? Do you know someone who does? In today’s age of rage, it’s critical that you recognize and address this concern before a child becomes habitually motivated by hostility. Priolo, an experienced counselor, offers practical, biblically based help for correcting or preventing the development of unhealthy external behavior.|
|Uprooting AngerBy Robert D. Jones Everyone experiences anger, but few of us handle it in a Christ-centered way or know how to help others biblically. We need something better than our own moral efforts and resolutions if we really want to rid our hearts of deep-rooted anger. In this biblically-based, practical guide to anger management, Robert D. Jones focuses on changing the underlying motivations and beliefs of the heart that drive angry behavior. By uprooting these heart problems, readers will learn to handle their anger and see the fruit of thorough and lasting change. Ideal for either personal or group study, this book includes discussion and application questions in each chapter.|
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