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Showing posts from January 19, 2014

Small Faith

It seems that Jesus was always challenging his disciples to expand their faith. He once addressed them by saying, "You of little faith." (Matthew 16:8) His intention was not to humiliate them or act superior to them but to suggest to them that there was so much more faith they could acquire. He wanted them to remember what they had already experienced, tasted, touched, smelled and seen with him. He said, "Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?" (Matthew 16:9-10) He wanted them to reflect on the fact that not only were thousands of people fed but 12 basketfuls and 7 basketfuls respectfully were gathered when each event was over. Abundance came with faith. Small faith happens because we limit our thinking. We build boundaries either consciously or subconsciously that keep us hemmed in and hinder us from expanding. Small faith …

Hidden Truth

Joseph's story of betrayal by his brothers, slavery and imprisonment in a foreign land and his eventual rise after thirteen years to the most powerful position under the Pharaoh is grand. But there is another story of his father Jacob, renamed Israel by God, that has as many twists and turns. Jacob's swift departure to his uncle Laban in Haran to escape his angry brother Esau led him to dwell their twenty years, acquire two sisters as his wives, build wealth and status. His secret departure from Laban created a stir which ended in a final meeting and blessing by his uncle. Jacob enters the promised land, reconciles with his brother Esau and begins life there. Joseph became his favorite son although he was number eleven and this caused his brothers to envy him. They deceived their father convincing him of his favorite son's death. Jacob struggled and mourned heavily. Thirteen years pass to get Joseph into his powerful position, then seven years of abundance in Egypt and th…

Faith Journey

What happens to your faith when storms surround you? One late afternoon Jesus sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee and promised to join them later. About halfway across the lake as night descended a storm arose and waves crashed against their small boat. The men, some experienced at being on the Sea, were all fearful that their life was about to end. Jesus waits till around three o'clock in the morning to come walking to them on the water in the midst of the still raging storm. At first they believe him to be a ghost but he identifies himself and says to them, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." (Matthew 14:27) Peter says, "tell me to come to you on the water." (14:28) Jesus says, "come" and Peter climbs over the side and stands up on the water. However as he walks toward Jesus he takes his eyes off him and onto his circumstances. The storm still splashes around him and he begins to feel uncertain about his choice and immediately be…

God's Intent

The Psalmist says so many things about God. He reveals his deep dependence on God as the one who protects, preserves, provides and cares for him. He is the source of the Psalmist's strength and completeness. He is the source of the Psalmist's victories. But the greatest statement made in the midst of Psalm 18 is made in verse 35b, "you stoop down to make me great." David recognizes that all he has been given whether it be strength, wealth, wisdom, or beauty is related to the Creator's willingness to come and walk by his side. The statement "you stoop down" reveals to us that David sees God as far above him. He sees him high and lifted up and it is this bending down that shows his compassion. It is this act of kindness and intentionality that makes David great. It does not happen out of his own strength. Here is the lesson for us: To live in humility and recognition of God as the source of all our success is to find peace, rest, love and joy. To exalt ou…

Roller-coaster Life

There is a man in the Bible that did all the right things but still suffered. He had great privilege but also great suffering. This was the roller-coaster life of Joseph, son of Jacob. His father gave him special privilege and a robe that acknowledge such although he was the eleventh son. His brothers envied him and sought to kill him. He was thrown in a pit, sold to a Midianite traveling band, sold again to Potiphar captain of the Egyptian guard for the Pharaoh, charged with the rape of Potiphar's wife, thrown in prison, interpreted the dreams of two of Pharaoh's official also there who were later released, forgotten by the cup bearer of Pharaoh, finally remembered and brought to interpret Pharaoh's dream, exalted to the highest position in Egypt under Pharaoh and given the whole land to oversee. Joseph was seventeen (17) when he was sold by his brothers and thirty (30) when he was given the overseeing of the land of Egypt under Pharaoh. Thirteen (13) years of his life w…