“The Most Powerful Force in the World” September 19

 

The Most Powerful Force in the World - With the destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey fresh in our minds, few would doubt the sheer force of storm driven wind and rain. And we've all seen images of earthquakes and other natural disasters.   Man made destruction can be just as powerful: war torn countries, the effects of suicide bombers and terrorism, and our own twin towers. Now another enemy threatens with missile launches and nuclear tests.   But are any of those the most powerful force in the world? And, if not, what is?With the destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey fresh in our minds, few would doubt the sheer force of storm driven wind and rain. And we’ve all seen images of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Man made destruction can be just as powerful: war torn countries, the effects of suicide bombers and terrorism, and our own twin towers. Now another enemy threatens with missile launches and nuclear tests.

But are any of those the most powerful force in the world? And, if not, what is?

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 29
Psalm 108.1-6
Proverbs 25.21-22
2 Corinthians 11.1-15

 

The Most Powerful Force in the World

 

Proverbs 25.21-22:

Three Stories

 

Another Monday morning. Jeannie would have to pray. She and Sue were the only two women on a job that was hard enough without Sue’s constant antagonism. It was made worse by the fact that, as far as Jeannie knew, she had never done anything to warrant her hatred.

The cheating began just a few months into their marriage. Mary had cried, yelled, spied on him, and threatened to leave. Each time Joe would tell her he was sorry and promise to break off the affair. But before long, she’d overhear a conversation, someone would call and hang up, or Joe would stay out all night and she’d know.

Karen’s husband worked hard. He came home every night. He paid the bills. But week-ends were a nightmare. Before the sun set on Friday, Bill was well into a bottle of bourbon and the more he drank, the angrier he got. More than once he had pulled out his gun and waved it around, even pointing it at Karen.

 

Jeannie’s Story

Each workday Jeannie determined to be kind to Sue, in spite of her cursing and cheap shots. But there were days when she went home in tears and cried out to God for another job.

Then one day after a particularly angry outburst, Sue stopped and just stared at Jeannie. “What is wrong with you? Everyday you come back and treat me right no matter what I say or do!” What followed were tears, but this time they were Sue’s and not Jeannie’s, as she poured out a story of heartbreak and abuse. Eventually, she accepted an invitation to attend church with Jeannie where she found the grace to let God heal her heart.  Continue reading

“The Lens of Scripture” April 13

 

The Lens of Scripture

Our perception, the filter through which we “see” everything has a tremendous effect on our lives. I often tell people in counseling that we are affected much more by what we “think about” what happens to us that what actually happens to us.

So how do you view the events of your life? What is your filter? Are you looking through the lens of Scripture or through the world’s lens? Are you seeing through the sovereignty of God or through a self-focused lens?

 

Today’s Readings:
Joshua 15 & 16
Psalm 45.1-5
Proverbs 14.4-5
Luke 11.29-54

 

The Lens of Scripture

 

Luke 11.29-54:

Perceptions

 

Verse 34, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”

John MacArthur in his Daily Bible says, “The problem was their perception, not a lack of light.”

Our perception, the filter through which we “see” everything has a tremendous effect on our lives. I often tell people in counseling that we are affected much more by what we “think about” what happens to us that what actually happens to us.

As believers and children of the Sovereign God of the Universe, we should filter everything through the lens of Scripture beginning with verses like Romans 8.28-29:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

comparing shoes

When we’re tempted to compare ourselves to someone else financially, socially or career wise, do we allow envy to get a foothold or do we trust our loving heavenly Father to know what’s best for us?

When we must forgive – again – do we remember how much we’ve been forgiven and forgive graciously, or do we hold a grudge, give the silent treatment, or hold out for proof the other person really means it?  Continue reading

“How do you ‘see’ things?” December 26

 

How do you "see" things? - Today's readings cover everything from the lens we should use when we view our circumstances and how we "see" God to the danger of social upheaval. We'll, also, look at more of God's judgment during the Tribulation as He continues to turn up the heat. Here in Revelation 16 God pours out the seven bowls judgments. Part of which includes: incurable sores, water turned to blood, intense heat, darkness, floods, earthquakes, and unbearable pain.Today’s readings cover everything from the lens we should use when we view our circumstances and how we “see” God to the danger of social upheaval. We’ll, also, look at more of God’s judgment during the Tribulation as He continues to turn up the heat. Here in Revelation 16 God pours out the seven bowls judgments. Part of which includes: incurable sores, water turned to blood, intense heat, darkness, floods, earthquakes, and unbearable pain.

 

Today’s Readings:
Zechariah 1-3
Psalm 147.12-20
Proverbs 30.21-23
Revelation 16

How do you “see” things?

 

Zechariah 1-3:

What kind of lens?

 

God’s people had spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon (1.12). Now the first group of exiles, including Zechariah, had returned to Jerusalem.

They had begun rebuilding the temple, but had become indifferent, more focused on their personal lives than God’s agenda (Hag. 1.1-11).  God used Haggai to call them to repentance and a re-commitment to God’s priorities.

Now Zechariah was to encourage them and keep them moving ahead. He reminded them of God’s promises, especially the promise that Messiah would one day come and inhabit the temple.

I imagine the people returned to Jerusalem excited to start rebuilding. But when the work turned out to be hard and God’s enemies attacked them (Neh. 4.7-9), they must have lost their enthusiasm. Perhaps the people of Zechariah’s day began to allow their circumstances to dictate what they believed about God.

That can be a temptation for us, too. When things don’t work out the way we had planned or when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we desire, we weaken or give up altogether. We begin to believe He no longer loves us or conclude that He isn’t really good.  Continue reading