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Showing posts from December 30, 2012

Grief Guidelines

"When Job's three friends...heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was." (Job 2:11-13)
There are important actions mentioned in this passage for anyone who would be of help to one in grief. Job had suffered the loss of all ten of his children, he had buildings destroyed, his livestock stolen and many of his servants killed trying to protect them. This was a difficult time for Job but that was not all, he was then struck with boils and terrible physical ailments. Job was in shock, disbelief and physical as well as emotional pain. His three friends find him on the ash …

Impact

God is concerned about the earth and those who dwell on it. The story of the corruption of the earth in Genesis 6:1-7 is followed by the word "but" and the identification of one man, Noah, who was to have an impact against this corruption.
"But Noah found grace [favor] in the eyes of the Lord." (Genesis 6:8) In the previous verses, and in yesterday's Today's Word, we discuss the slow creep of evil into the hearts of men but Noah "was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time." (Genesis 6:9a). God was going to use Noah to change the world through his preaching, his building, and his gathering of the animals and his own family into the ark.
What was at the heart of Noah being a "righteous man?" There are three evidences of this righteousness in Noah's actions. One, Genesis 6:9b states that he "walked with God." In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, Noah found a way to fashion his life around God, to c…

Corruption

How quickly did the human race go "downhill?" This year I have chosen to read through the Bible from a different resource. It is called a Chronological Bible and seeks to organize the text in sequence rather than just by book. Because it seeks to do this, it is possible to get some idea of the number of years between events. It is not a perfect science and certainly not inspired but what it does do is reveal a suggested time line.
When you read this statement, "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways" (Genesis 6:11-12), it makes me wonder, "how long did this take?"
Although sin in the human race began with Adam and Eve's decision to eat of the fruit, this downward spiral is viciously evident at the death of Abel, killed by his brother Cain. Cain was put under a curse by God (Genesis 4:11-15) in that the ground, which received his…

Marriage

There is a specific process involved in the forming of a marriage union. There are conscious decisions that are made by both the man and woman that have powerful ramifications. In the book of beginnings (Genesis), this process is elaborated, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)
This statement is repeated by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:5-9. It involves separation from parents who have raised the child and taught them by their words and deeds. The fifth of the Ten Commandments required obedience to parents as they were the pin in the hinge between the two wings teaching love for God and love for neighbor. This initial step in marriage seems to be the most difficult because of the strong and enduring bond (whether good or bad) that has kept their initial family together.
The second step is the uniting of the new husband and wife (man and woman). This is best illustrated when a fat…

Considering the Future

We have come to the last day of this year and today for sure is a day we think about next year. Just a few hours will pass and we will begin again the journey through the months and seasons of a New Year. And in all of it, what will have changed for any person? We will take our passions, bills, dreams and problems into the New Year. As much as it is different, it will be the same, but that will not be the case when God ends all New Years.
When God creates the new heaven and earth everything will change:
No more need for the salt seas that cover two-thirds of earth's surface. "No longer any sea." Revelation 21:1
No longer capitals for each nation for "The new Jerusalem" will come down out of heaven from God..." Revelation 21:2  It will be the capital of the earth.
No more thirst for "I will give drink without cost from the spring of the water of life." "flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city…

Perfect Love

In this season, the creation of the body of Christ is our focus and well it should be because it becomes the sacrifice given for our sins. Consider the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, and the perfect love that was necessary for Him to link himself eternally to a body.
Before the beginning He existed. He is the creator of the heavens and earth. He is the Angel of Jehovah who comes down to connect with individuals. He was in the fire of Moses' burning bush. He wrestled with Jacob on his way back to reconcile with his brother Esau. He makes the decision to be the One born of Mary, a young virgin girl. His body is used to communicate to his disciples; to be an example before them; and to reason with those who opposed Him.
This body was not discarded at death but resurrected into a new eternal body. He revealed it to his disciples post resurrection. He ascended in this body to heaven. He today greets weary earthly sojourners in this body when they enter the gates of heaven. T…