“Suffering & Sin” August 8

 

Suffering & Sin - While we don’t know another’s heart and can’t assume their suffering is the result of sin, ... can sin sometimes be the cause of our suffering?While we don’t know another person’s heart and can’t assume their suffering is the result of sin, … can sin sometimes be the cause of our suffering or, at least, make it worse?

Also, with broken families and the pressures of living in a post Christian world, older believers have a mission that has never been more important. If you are a senior adult, do you know what that mission is and are you being a good steward of it?

And from our New Testament reading … Many people think they are children of God because they belong to a certain church, were raised in a Christian home, have “always believed in God,” have been baptized, taken communion, or are “good people.” But can any of those things save us?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 7 & 8
Psalm 92.8-15
Proverbs 22.17-21
Romans 9.1-15

 

Suffering & Sin

 

Job 7 & 8:

Soulcare

 

In chapter 7, Job pours out his complaints to his friends and to God and tries to justify his desire to die and bring all this suffering to an end.

Though there are times when we have to exhort, even rebuke, one another because we have gotten into excessive sorrow or self-pity, there are, also, times when we just need to listen and let them pour out their hearts. Bob Kellemen calls it “soulcare.”

In chapter 8, another of Job’s friends, Bildad, responds with the same underlying belief that Job somehow brought this on himself. Though not everything he says is wrong, it is his assumption that Job caused his own suffering, which was wrong. Remember God Himself said Job was, “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1.1).

That doesn’t mean our suffering is never the result of sin. Often it is caused, or at least complicated, by our own sin. Mike Wilkerson, in his book Redemption says we are all fellow sinners and fellow sufferers. It may be that we were sinned against, sometimes in grievous ways. But sometimes we respond to the other person’s sin with anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, by turning to drugs or alcohol, by acting out sexually, or in other sinful and self-defeating ways.

confronting comfortingAnd there are times when we must lovingly confront one another, even when we understand that the person was also sinned against:

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6.1-2).

How do we keep ourselves from ending up in the ditch because of some sinful response to another person’s sin?

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“The Root of Prejudice” January 26

 

The Root of Prejudice - How did the nation of Israel go from being favored by the Egyptian leadership to suffering so much persecution and prejudice that they would end up enslaved by a nation that once welcomed them? And what does it say to us as Christians in our nation today?How did the nation of Israel go from being favored by the Egyptian leadership to suffering so much persecution and prejudice that they would end up enslaved by a nation that once welcomed them? And what does it say to us as Christians in our nation today?

Also …

What if you were arrested for being a Christian? Would the evidence be for you or against you? One day each of us will stand, either before the “Judgment Seat of Christ” or “The Great White Throne Judgment.”

Jesus said, “ “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Will He be able to testify for you or have to testify against you?

 

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 1 & 2
Psalm 15.1-5
Proverbs 4.25-27
Matthew 17.1-27

 

The Root of Prejudice

 

Exodus 1 & 2:

Abraham, Joseph … now Moses

 

Now we begin another adventure into the Word of God!

God is getting ready to raise up Moses and remember:

“… whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15.4).

When we studied the life of Abraham, the Father of Faith, it helped us know and trust in the faithfulness of God to keep His promises. The Scripture says Abraham:

“Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be’ ” (Rom. 4.18).

In Joseph we saw a picture, a shadow, of Christ, the Son who was willing to lay down his life for His brothers, to forgive though they caused His suffering.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5.8).

Now, through the life of Moses, we’ll begin to see more of God’s character. This time as our Deliverer—the One who sees our bondage and hears our cries and “in the fullness of time,” His perfect timing, He delivers us. We’ll talk more about this in the days to come.

 

The Root of Prejudice

 

But today let’s take another look at chapter 1.8-10:

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”

How did the nation of Israel go from being favored by the Egyptian leadership to suffering such persecution and prejudice? Continue reading