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December 2017 S M T W T F S « Jul 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
“Some of you are fathers, and if your son asks you for some fish,
would you give him a snake instead, or if he asks you for an egg,
would you make him a present of a scorpion?
So, if you, for all your evil, know how to give good things to your children,
how much more likely is it that your Heavenly Father
will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
It does seem to be “in vogue,” when God is brought up in everyday conversation, to make the assertion that: Well, if so-and-so had a Bad Dad, it stands to reason their view of God will be skewed.
I’m not suggesting that this is altogether untrue – but I do think it’s been overstated and become a convenient excuse. Because there are many who have “good” dads by the world’s standards whose views of God are still, nevertheless, all messed up. Why? Because even the BEST of dads in this life is still a SINFUL man. Continue reading
Matthew 13:45-46 “Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
What an amazing picture of redemption. Here we see God’s perspective on the process of redeeming mankind unto Himself. In this scripture, we are likened to a precious pearl of “great price”, a pearl that was seen in the eyes of the merchant as so valuable, that he sold everything he had, just to be able to purchase that pearl. How true this picture is. Jesus looked at what was required to buy mankind back from Satan and slavery to the sinful nature and He willingly agreed to pay that price. In His heart, what He would receive in the end far outweighed any sacrifice He would make or pain He would have to endure. In the eyes of Jesus, we were more valuable than anything in His life. We were even more valuable than His life.
Hebrews 4:12-16 (ESV)
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need….”
“…YES, BUT IT’S A GOOD HURT….”
Please forgive me for the tardiness of this latest posting. And will you permit me a moment of vulnerability? Perhaps my very personal situation will encourage some of you?
“…I am reminded of your sincere faith,which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Euniceand, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:5-7
‘And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’ Exodus 19:10-11
Suggested Readings: Exodus 19, Leviticus 16, and Hebrews 10:19-22
Having an encounter with the God of the universe requires preparation. We often forget who we are talking to when we enter into prayer or gather together to worship. God is so awesome that we cannot stand in His physical presence or look upon His face this side of Heaven. He gives us each day of our lives and gives us the breath we draw into our lungs each moment. He is the creator all things who holds our lives in His hands. He is entirely Holy and on our own, we are not worthy to enter his presence.
We can be a frenzied, anxious bunch – even in the Church though Jesus clearly commands us not to be anxious for anything, but instead to trust our heavenly Father to provide for our needs. (see Matthew 6:25-34) It’s so “normal” to get worked up over things, we can be tempted to think it isn’t possible to live this life genuinely worry-free. In fact, it probably wasn’t so much a command as…maybe a suggestion. After all, Jesus knows we’re weak, frail people. Surely he knows it’s not possible for us to live completely without anxiety. Right?
Well, God doesn’t pretend we won’t be anxious, but he does give us both insight into the true root of anxiety as well as instruction regarding what to do with it when it surfaces in our lives. Pay particular attention to the context in these perhaps very familiar verses, and see if any “big ideas” jump out at you: Continue reading