“Lessons from a Fish’s Belly” December 18

 

Important Lessons from a Fish's BellyYou may think you know the story of Jonah, but there is so much more for us to learn from his book. There is the fact that disobedience and running from God can land us in some pretty nasty circumstances. But there is, also, a great lesson in God’s mercy and willingness to forgive in the rest of the story.

Our New Testament reading is from Revelation 8 with the beginning of the seven trumpet judgments. The first four are horrible enough, but before the fifth one sounds an angel cries, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet …”

 

Today’s Readings:
Jonah 1-4
Psalm 144.1-8
Proverbs 30.6-9
Revelation 8.1-13

 

Lessons from a Fish’s Belly

 

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The Real Lesson from Jonah

 

Most of us grew up hearing the story of Jonah in Sunday school or at least had some vague idea of what it was all about. But there is so much more to be learned from this little book.

Jonah received a call from God to go to the capital of Assyria, the city of Nineveh. The Assyrians were the enemies of Israel and Judah. Instead of obeying God he got on a ship going in the opposite direction only to have God bring a fierce storm against the ship. He ended up being thrown overboard, though reluctantly, by the crew when they realized that it was the only way to save the ship and themselves. Jonah 1:

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they cried out to the LORD and said, “We pray, O LORD, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O LORD, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the LORD and took vows.

They recognized God’s hand in what was happening, and the text says they feared Him and offered sacrifices to Him. Even God’s judgment can cause people to turn to Him.

Back to Jonah himself. Don’t you wonder what it was like to be inside that fish’s belly for three days and three nights? God knows just how to get our attention. We don’t know everything that went through his mind, but chapter 2 gives us some insight:

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly. 2 And he said.
“I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction,
And He answered me.

Even though he had been disobedient and was running from God, he turned back to Him in his time of trouble.

He knew God was faithful:

4 Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’

7 “ When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the LORD;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.
8 “Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the LORD.”
10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Chapter 3:

1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”

Notice, God did not say, Continue reading

“The Unpopular Truth” December 15

 

The Unpopular Truth - The Bible is the unpopular truth to many today. And those who speak the truth are being told, "You can't say that here ... 'there's separation of church and state.' " Or, "You're trying to impose your religion on us." Others demand that we, "give hardy approval" to the sinful things they do. How does God expect us to respond to those pressures?The Bible is the unpopular truth to many today. And those who speak the truth are being told, “You can’t say that here … ‘there’s separation of church and state.’ ” Or, “You’re trying to impose your religion on us.” Others demand that we, “give hardy approval” to the sinful things they do. How does God expect us to respond to those pressures?

Also read about praying in difficult times, a word to Christian singles, and Jesus the soon coming King.

 

Today’s Readings:
Amos 6 & 7
Psalm 142.1-7
Proverbs 29.27
Revelation 5.1-14

 

The Unpopular Truth

 

& :

Speaking the Unpopular Truth

 

Chapter 7.12-13:

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos.
“ Go, you seer!
Flee to the land of Judah.
There eat bread,
And there prophesy.
13 But never again prophesy at Bethel,
For it is the king’s sanctuary,
And it is the royal residence.”

Rather than hear the truth and heed their warnings, the people of Amos’ day banished the prophets. How very much like the world in which we live. Today the cry is “separation of church and state” or “don’t try to impose your religion on me” or “you can’t say that here!” Those who talk about God’s standard are called intolerant, homophobes, judgmental or worse.

Many even demand that we approve their lifestyles and their right to live anyway they choose. Some people give in to their demands out of fear of criticism, intimidation, or misguided acceptance. Continue reading

“Are you a Christian fatalist?” December 3

 

Could you be a Christian fatalist?Could you be a Christian fatalist by failing to get actively involved in what God is doing? Are you failing to pray, and instead, passively waiting for God to do what He’s going to do?

Also read about praying for our enemies, the result of not parenting God’s way, and the importance of walking in the light.

 

Today’s Readings:
Daniel 9 & 10
Psalm 137.7-9
Proverbs 29.1
1 John 1.1-10

 

Could you be a Christian fatalist?

 

& :

Are you doing your part?

 

In chapter 9, Daniel had learned from his study of the Scriptures that the 70 years of captivity was close to its end. But instead, of passively waiting for that to happen, he humbly prayed, confessing the sins of his people and asking God to fulfill His promises.

Too often, we take a “Christian fatalist” view that God’s going to do what He’s going to do. We fail to understand that God desires to use the prayers of His people as part of the process of fulfilling His will in the earth. Prayer doesn’t change God, but it ushers in the promises of God and changes us as we get involved in what God is doing!

Notice, though, Daniel didn’t pray based on what they deserved. He didn’t say, “This isn’t fair,” or “Why are You letting this happen to us?” (9.5-12). And even though he wasn’t personally guilty, he confessed their sins to God as a nation and asked for mercy. Then he asked that God move because of who He is:

18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name” (9.18-19).

In chapter 10 we see a glimpse into the heavenly battles which are behind the events of human history. Even though demonic powers are at work to influence nations and individuals to rise up against God, His people, and His work in the earth, it is God’s will which will stand.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

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Praying for Our Enemies

 

prayer 3

This psalm was probably written toward the end of the captivity in Babylon. Perhaps the people saw the weakening of Babylon and looked forward to the defeat and complete annihilation of the enemy who had so pridefully and harshly oppressed them.

As believers we, too, should look forward to the time when God’s enemies will be defeated and destroyed, but not out of malice or personal revenge. In fact, we should be praying for our enemies in the hope that: Continue reading

Powerful Prayers When You’re on the Run

 

Powerful Prayers When You're on the Run - How much of that time is waiting? Waiting for kids or at the drive-through bank? Waiting in traffic?Why not fill those lost moments with "little” prayers?

 

Powerful Prayers When You’re on the Run

 

Do you ever feel frustrated about having time to pray and spend time with the Lord because it seems like you’re always on the run?

But how much of that time is actually spent waiting? Waiting in line at the grocery store or the drive-through bank? Waiting for a friend or client at lunch? Waiting in traffic or for soccer practice to end? And what about the hours you spend doing mindless chores? Why not fill those otherwise lost moments with “little” prayers?

15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph. 5)

It may sound like a good idea, but how do you train yourself to redeem those small chunks of time? Could it be that the prompts are all around us?

 

I once heard Bible teacher Cynthia Heald speak at a conference. She was talking about how to incorporate time for Bible reading and study into your life. During the question and answer period, a lady raised her hand and asked, “But what about your prayer time … when do you pray?”

That conference took place many years ago, but I never forgot her answer. I wish I could quote exactly what she said, but the gist of it was this … I just see God as my Father and I’m walking with Him all day long. I talk to Him all the time.

That’s what I want. I want to be aware of His presence every moment. I want to talk to Him about everything. I’m still a work in progress in this area. Sometimes I do better than other times. But here are some of the prompts I use. Maybe they can help you be more alert to opportunities to talk to Him and be a part of His work all around us.

 

Prayer Prompts for Powerful “Little Prayers”

 

When you hear the sound of an emergency vehicle … you can pray for the victims, for their salvation, their protection, and wisdom for the medical personal. You can ask God to use the situation for good in their lives and to help them see their need for Him.

When the kids are out the door for school … stop and pray for them. Pray that they have the strength to resist peer pressure (Prov. 29.25) and the courage to be lights in a dark world (Phil. 2.14-15).

When your husband heads off for work … pray that he would excel at his work (Prov. 22.29), but always have integrity and a desire to please God (2 Cor. 5.9; Matt. 16.26). Pray that God would guard his heart, his mind and his eyes from immorality (Prov. 4.23; Rom. 13.13-14; 1 Cor. 6.13). Pray that he’ll be more and more the man, the husband, the father that God wants him to be everyday.

When you find yourself single and wishing you were not … pray for God’s will in that area of life and ask Him to help you focus on being the woman of God He has called you to be.

When waiting in line at the drive-through … pray for those who are serving you. Pray for God’s help to treat them with courtesy and that they would see Christ in you, no matter how they treat you. Remember there may be no one in the world praying for them, if you don’t.

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5)

When someone cuts in front of you on the highway or is rude in some way … pray for their protection and the protection of those around them. Ask God for the grace to give you a forgiving heart and to deal with any anger (Eph. 4.31-32).

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt. 6)

When pulling weeds, planting flowers, or mowing the lawn … thank God for His creation.

When heading out or a car trip or an hour of carpooling … turn off the radio and pray. Pray for your protection. Pray for any children or co-workers who’ll be traveling with you. Pray for opportunities to build relationships and share biblical truth.

When putting your kids to bed … don’t give in to the fatigue of another day and the desire for it to be over. Stop and pray for them. Ask them if there’s something they would like you to pray about. You might be surprised what you learn. Don’t let it be a meaningless ritual (Matt. 6.7). Let them hear you pray for real needs with sincerely and give them a chance to do the same (Deut. 6.6-9).

When you go shopping … pray for wisdom to spend wisely and to be a good steward of God’s blessings.

When you pass a school, hospital, or homeless shelter … pray for those inside.

American flag on the Old City Hall building in Boston, Massachusetts, USAWhen you pass a government building or a flag … pray for those in authority. Pray for your leaders, your nation, your state, and your city.

¹ I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Tim. 2)

When waiting for someone who is late … pray for the people in your life who are difficult to love. And pray that you would not be the difficult friend or family member.  Continue reading

Now is the Time to Pray for Our Nation!

 

Now is the Time to Pray for Our Nation!

Now is the Time to Pray for Our Nation!

 

Before this election there were posts and memes and tweets everywhere saying, “No matter who is president, Jesus is King.” And no matter which side of the election battle you were on or whether you went into the voting booth wishing you didn’t have to vote for anyone … that meme is still true!

 

Jesus is the King!

 

And … no matter what His reasons, He has allowed the results of this election. For some … this is a miraculous victory and it is, based on the polling data and so many other predictions.

Others are wondering why … “Why would God allow a man as flawed as Donald Trump to become our president?” I’d like to offer some thoughts.

As I have read through the Old Testament this year, in particular the history of the nation of Israel and her kings, I was struck by God’s mercy even with the most godless of kings. When they showed any sign of movement toward Him, He often held back His judgment.

Our nation has been on a downward spiral away from God, away from morality, and in some cases, away from reason and common sense. Many of us would despair if we didn’t understand and believe in the sovereignty of God.

This morning I’m acutely aware that God has raised up a flawed and improbable man to be our next president.

 

It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall (Ps. 75.7).

 

Could He be holding back judgment on our nation? And if so, why? Could it be for nothing more than Mr. Trump’s willingness to take a stand for the rights of the unborn? Or could it be because God sees something many of us don’t? Remember God took a murderer and persecutor of the church by the name of Saul, saved him, changed him and allowed him to become the Apostle Paul. And many of us could look at our own lives and say … if not for God’s grace …

To be sure God has placed around Mr. Trump a number of godly men, not the least of which is the Vice-President Elect.

I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know if Mr. Trump will keep his promises. I don’t know if he believes what he has said. I don’t know the future, but I do know this …

 

Now is the Time to Pray for Our Nation!

 

Pray that God will take this flawed, imperfect man and use him for His glory. Pray that godliness, reason, humility, love, mercy and a fear of God will return to our nation. Pray that we His people will stand up for righteousness and that others will see Christ is us. Pray for revival in our land. Pray for His kingdom come and His will be done. Pray that God will do what only He can do.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land (2 Chron. 7.14).

Blessings,
Donna

 

Now is the Time to Pray for Our Nation! - Pray that God will take this flawed, imperfect man and use him for His glory. Pray that godliness, reason, humility, love, mercy and a fear of God will return to our nation. Pray that we His people will stand up for righteousness and that others will see Christ is us. Pray for revival in our land. Pray for His kingdom come and His will be done. Pray that God will do what only He can do.


 

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“What can a Christian expect?” November 8

 

What can a Christian expect?What can a Christian expect when he or she comes to God in prayer? Are we to expect judgment and begrudging answers? Or are we to expect something quite different?

And what is it about God’s Word? Why is it so challenging and why does it have the ability to pierce our hearts in a way nothing else can?

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 7 & 8
Psalm 120.1-7
Proverbs 28.15
Hebrews 4.1-16

 

What can a Christian expect?

 

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The Living, Powerful Word

 

bible church

Verse 12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Bible is no ordinary book; it is the living, breathing Word of God. It has the power to speak to our hearts in a way human words do not.

That’s important to remember even when teaching and training our children. It’s important to explain things using God’s Word whenever possible. It’s His Word which doesn’t return void (Is. 55.11) and His Word that has the power to change lives (Rom. 1.16).

 

What can Christians expect when they pray?

 

Prayer

And verses 15-16:

15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

A throne speaks of authority, but this is a throne of grace. I like what Matthew Henry says about these verses:

“In all our approaches to this throne of grace for mercy, we should come with a humble freedom and boldness, with a liberty of spirit and a liberty of speech we should ask in faith, nothing doubting we should come with a Spirit of adoption, as children to a reconciled God and Father. We are indeed to come with reverence and godly fear, but not with terror and amazement not as if we were dragged before the tribunal of justice, but kindly invited to the mercy-seat, where grace reigns, and loves to exert and exalt itself towards us,” Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible, Heb. 4.

Of course, we come, not based on our own goodness, but because of our High Priest and Mediator, our Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.

And what can we expect? “… grace to help in time of need.” If we will but go to that throne of grace, He will give us all the grace we need for any situation.

And when do we receive? “in time of need.” This is not tomorrow’s grace, but today’s grace, for today’s problems, in whatever measure we need, so we can handle them without sinning (1 Cor. 10.13; Matt. 6.34).

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

& :

The Time of God’s Judgment

 

Even though God had blessed the nation of Israel and had shown them mercy over and over, they had continued to go their own way. Now it was time for God’s judgment.

Not only were the people living ungodly lives and refusing to acknowledge Him as the One True God, they were actively worshiping false gods of every sort. Even their spiritual leaders were involved in a secret society which worshiped demons ()!

But even in judgment, God’s purpose was loving and good.

“… Then they shall know that I am the Lord!” (7.27b).

That statement was repeated over 60 times in this book, but the people had so hardened their hearts that only pain and suffering could reach them. Psalm 32: Continue reading

“Standing for the Truth” October 13

 

standing for the truth

These are challenging times to be a believer. There is a huge clash of world views. The truthfulness of God’s Word is being attacked on many fronts. Perhaps, you are being attacked personally for standing for the truth. How should a believer respond to those attacks?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 11 & 12
Psalm 118.10-14
Proverbs 27.8
Colossians 4.1-18

 

Standing for the Truth

 

& :

Responding When People Reject Truth (& Us)

These truly are challenging times to be a believer, and while it is going to get more and more intense as this world of ours spins closer and closer to the 2nd coming of Christ, it’s not new.

There was a “clash” in Jeremiah’s day, too. Chapter 11.21-23:

21 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, lest you die by our hand’— 22 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts. ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.’”

There were people who didn’t want to hear the truth and who threatened Jeremiah. In fact, they threatened to kill him if he continued to speak God’s truth. But God said, don’t worry about them, Jeremiah, I’ll deal with them in My time and in My way.

despising yourselfThere will be people who are not going to like it when we speak the truth. They may be family members, co-workers, supervisors, friends or enemies. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, but how should we respond?

First, we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for His name ().

We shouldn’t try to fight evil with evil. Remember Romans 12..21 tells us: Continue reading

“Do you pray like Paul prayed?” October 10

 

pray like Paul prayed

How did the Apostle Paul pray and do you pray like Paul prayed? Could his prayers become a model for your own?

Many today are more concerned about being politically correct or not offending someone with the truth just as they were in Jeremiah’s time (see our Old Testament reading). While we are to speak the truth in love, we are still to speak the truth. So let’s allow the words of our mouths, whether in prayer or in conversation, speak what is pleasing to God.

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 5 & 6
Psalm 117.1-2
Proverbs 27.3-4
Colossians 1.1-29

 

Do you pray like Paul prayed?

 

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What do your prayers look like?

This chapter contains one of the four great prayers of the Apostle Paul:

9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (vss. 9-10).

In Ephesians 1.17-19 he prayed:

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.

In Ephesians 3.16-19 he prayed:

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

And in Philippians 1.9-11 he prayed:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

These and other prayers and passages of Scripture can be great models for our own prayers. There’s great power in praying God’s Word, because when we do, we’re praying His perfect will. God, through the prophet Isaiah, said:

10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it (Is. 55.10-11).

How do you pray? Do you ever pray the Scripture back to God? Do you find yourself praying for spiritual growth or is your focus mostly on other things?

While it’s not wrong to pray for health, finances, or other material blessings, Paul’s primary concern was the spiritual well-being of those for whom he prayed. How might God be calling you to pray more like Paul?

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

& :

Swearing Falsely

“Though they say, ‘As the LORD lives,’ surely they swear falsely” (Jer. 5.2).

Sadly, there are many people who attend church, may even be involved in ministry, and who say all the right things. Their conversation is peppered with “praise the Lord” and other “Christian-ese,” but they swear falsely.

When they toss around God’s name merely to look spiritual, they are, actually, using the Lord’s name in vain. And “… are foolish for they do not know the way of the Lord …” (5.6). Jesus said it this way;  Continue reading

“Is your state of mind tied to your relationship with God?” October 9

 

State of Mind

What is your state of mind? Is it full of anxiety or is there peace? Are you meditating on some wrong done to you or how God has blessed you? Are you content or striving for more? Your state of mind leads either to peace or to turmoil. But more importantly, what does it say about your relationship to God.

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 3 & 4
Psalm 116.15-19
Proverbs 27.2
Philippians 4.1-23

 

Is your state of mind tied to your relationship with God?

 

Philippians 4.1-23:

Pray & Be Thankful

Yesterday I talked about some of my favorite passages in Philippians. Today I want to share a few more:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“Be anxious for nothing …” is a command, not a suggestion.

Worry is sin! Ouch, that hurt since I have a couple of things weighing on my heart right now.

We’re told not to be anxious, worried, fearful and fretful about ANYTHING! Instead, we are to pray about everything and be thankful, and when we do, the peace of God, which often makes no sense to the world, will stand guard over our hearts and minds. What a great promise! But it’s a conditional promise—dependent on our faithfulness to choose not to worry and to pray and be thankful, instead.

The more we come to know Him, to trust in His sovereignty and goodness, the more His peace will guard our hearts and minds. In other words, the level of our peace depends on the quality of our relationship with Him.

Think About This

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Instead of playing the video tape in your mind about that hurt, that sin, or that wrong done to you, meditate on what God says about your situation: how He’ll use all things for good (Rom. 8.28-29), how He takes care of His own, including any retribution that needs to happen (Rom. 12.17-21), how we can be joyful in trials (Jas. 1.2-5), and how, out of His love for you, He died in your place so you could extend His love and mercy to others, even your enemies (Matt. 5.43-48).

So how do we grow in our ability to trust in Him and to live the way He’s called us to live? It starts with our thinking.  Continue reading

“Entitlement, Contentment & Hard Work” July 25

 

Entitlement, Contentment & Hard Work - Many people today, including believers, have an entitlement attitude. We want what others have and refuse to be content where God has us. In some cases, we are lazy and not willing to do what is required. Instead, we grumble, complain, and sometimes become bitter and resentful.

Many people today, including believers, have an entitlement attitude. We want what others have and refuse to be content where God has us. In some cases, we are lazy and not willing to do what is required. Instead, we grumble, complain, and sometimes become bitter and resentful.

 

Today’s Readings:
Nehemiah 1 & 2
Psalm 88.11-18
Proverbs 21.25-26
Acts 25.1-27

Entitlement, Contentment & Hard Work

 

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Grumbling, Complaining & Coveting or Faithfully Working & Obeying?

 

“The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare.”

These two verses make me think of a story I read about a famous pianist. A man came up to him once and said, “I would give my life to be able to play like that.” The pianist replied, “I did.”

I am not advocating neglecting family or any other God-given priority to seek selfish goals, but so often we want things that others have without being willing to do what it takes to obtain them. In the case of a lazy man, he covets the things that others have worked to obtain, but isn’t willing to do the same.

This is an attitude that is rampant in our society today. Many people, even Christians, have an entitlement attitude, even about spiritual things. Continue reading