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Showing posts from June 3, 2012

Silent Work

We are drawn to noise. Whether it is a scream, the roar of a crowd in a stadium, the siren wailing from an emergency vehicle, or bombastic music, it all calls for our attention.
Solomon decided on a unique strategy when the Temple for God was built. “In building the Temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” (1Kings 6:7)Solomon wanted the Temple to be seen as God’s magnificent building not man’s incredible creation. God was to get the glory not man. The Temple would rise quietly, almost reverently out of the ground and then just be there in all its glory.
The Scribes and Pharisees liked to make noise about their goodness and let everyone see how holy they were. We can get that way in life, too, as we think it necessary to make noise in order to have others notice our good works. But God said it is not the outward appearance that is evidence of inward change, it may be only a f…

Church Growth

Why is it that some churches grow and others seem to never grow past their initial surge? The apostles in Acts 6 were faced with the problem of ministering to the widows and found that they were lacking in a proper response to all of them. They determined to do better and chose seven men to help in the distribution of food to the needy. It was a special moment recognized by prayer and the laying on of hands.

Then, Luke sums up the results of this decision and we could include the confrontation with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 over their lies. “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7)
Here are some key principles in growth of any church or group within a church. They don’t have to do with mass mailings and incredible sermons but simple reproducible actions. One, they confronted those who were sinning in their midst; two, they got other people involved in ministry; three, t…

Adulthood

Some have said that to be a mature adult there are several areas of your life that need to sync up: physically you need to have grown to the place where you are growing no longer but maintaining the growth you have already acquired; mentally you are daily enlarging what you know, activating that knowledge and turning it into wisdom, being smart about life; socially acting like an adult in every situation; emotionally being able to handle the ups and downs of life and not being driven by your emotions; and spiritually coming to grips with God, His ways, His laws, and His direction for you.
King David lived a bright life from his killing of a bear, lion, and Goliath as a teen to the majesty of his kingship over all Israel and Judah. As he recognized the approach of death, he gave a charge to Solomon, probably his most beloved son of the only woman that scripture says David ever loved. “So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: walk in his ways, and k…

Pleasant Words

It goes without saying that there are some people we love to be around and others we seek an exit from as quickly as possible. I’m sure that in some situation in life you have had people walk away from you while you were still talking. It doesn’t feel good and doesn’t promote friendship while there are others you have been blessed by and desired to be around even more.
Solomon noted that “pleasant words are [as] honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24) This reminded me of the story of Jonathan, King Saul’s son, who was not aware that his father had told the fighting men to fast all day until the battle was over. While walking through a forested area, Jonathan comes across honey in a tree and eats it trespassing the commandment of his father. 1 Samuel 14:24-30 relates that when he did, “…his eyes brightened.” This is one of the results of a person with pleasant words.
Becoming such a person is a great blessing to those around you emotionally, physically, a…

Recognizing Friends

It is important to recognize your friends. Through the years some people stand out as worthy friends and your conscience recognition of this is helpful both to them and to you.

King David numbered the army of Israel in 2 Samuel 24 and found there to be 1,300,000 “able-bodied men who could handle a sword” (vs. 9). But in the previous chapter is identified 37 men who were a part of the “thirty” (23:39). And in 1 Chronicles 11:41-47, 16 more are mentioned as a part of the “thirty.” These were David’s closest men, the inner circle around him that fought for and cared for him. While at the cave of Adullam, protecting himself from the Philistines, David had longed for a fresh drink of water from the well at Bethlehem, and three of his “mighty men” passed through thebattle lines to obtain it for him (23:13-17).
Who are those that have been your closest friends? What have you said or done for them that acknowledges their place in your life? We cross paths with thousands of people over our lifet…

Extending Trust

A man put his young son up on a high table and then told him to jump into his arms, promising to catch him. So, the son jumps only to have the father allow him crash on the floor. Then the father says, “let that be a lesson to you son, never trust anyone.”
Should there be suspicion in trusting another? Should distrust be the norm? The father sought to instill suspicion in the boy about anyone’s ability to be trusted. He sought to teach the boy to distrust the words and actions of others.
Solomon stated, “blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:20b) Our human teachers tell us to be careful in extending trust; to make sure a person is trust worthy before we place our trust in them and that is good advice. Here Solomon says that happy is the one who places his trust wholeheartedly in the Lord.
There is no reason to not trust God. We may think there is because of our experience with the selfishness of individuals but God is not a sinful human being or one whose motives can be …

Jumping Ahead

It is often the case that we jump ahead of God. This happens when we anticipate the future on the basis of the past; that is, we assume all things will continue as they have been and therefore the future will be like the past.
A good illustration of this is the appointment of Matthias to fill the position of apostle vacated by Judas. Note the words of Peter, a very powerful and influential apostle on this process, “Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21-22)
Just before Jesus had ascended into the sky, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”(Acts 1:6) His response was don’t worry about that right now, just wait for the Holy Spirit to give you power. And so they waited and Peter felt it “necessary” and a…