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Showing posts from May 8, 2016

Accusation

Have you ever felt like there was a person intent on your downfall? It could have been at work, church, or in your neighborhood that someone began to spread rumors about you that were not true. What did you do? King David shares an example in his life where this took place in Psalm 109. David was troubled greatly, causing him physical and emotional pain, when those who he sought friendship with took up opposition to him. They accused him of many things and wanted to take him to court and place an accuser on his right hand to address these issues already having assumed he was guilty. Also, they brought down curses of ruination on his family. This was a dire situation with long-lasting consequences. What did David do? He prayed for them and praised God. He sought vindication from God and requested that God would bless them. He said, "they may curse, but you will bless; when they attack they will be put to shame, but your servant will rejoice." (109:28) David's confidence was …

Condition

There are some Psalms that seem to illustrate the condition we are in a humans. Psalm 107 is one of them. Four different ways of depicting our predicament are expressed along with the intervention of God for each one. One, the wanderer (vss. 4-9) in too wide a world is without a compass therefore lost, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted. God offers through Jesus, "the way," "the bread," "the water of life," and "rest." Two, the trapped person (vss. 10-16) in too small a world, a prisoner bound in by walls, chains, and bars. He is released, freed from darkness and imprisonment. Three, the sick who are self-afflicted by their sinful hearts are identified as "fools" not meaning unintelligent but meaning perverse. These are restored by God's grace. He loves and the guilty and rebellious are healed. Four, the storm-tossed by the forces of the ocean show us how little we are. Note this awesome statement from Derek Kidner in his explanation of t…

Disciple

To be a disciple is to be a follower, a pupil of a teacher. Early in Jesus' ministry he had lots of "followers" so he had to narrow the definition of a "disciple" to help those following to understand the true nature of a disciple. This is what John shows us that Jesus did in John 6. He started with a great crowd of people who "followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick." (6:2) They were there because of the amazing things that happened daily when Jesus was around. He would allow sick people to come or be brought to him and he would take away their sickness. They loved to tell these stories. They were there for the miracles. Later, he spoke to those who were following "not because you saw the miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill." (6:26) They were there for the meal. Jesus always provided for those who followed, so to be with him was to have a full stomach. Finally, Jesus narrows…

Boundaries

How far will God go with you? I mean, what distance is He willing to go to make Himself known to you? We often limit Him in our life out of a misunderstanding of who He really is. The feeding of the 5,000 examples the limits we put on God. Jesus was followed by a great crowd to the east side of the Sea of Galilee but because of the time of day there was much hunger among the crowd. So Jesus asked his disciples "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" (John 6:5) Philip went right to estimating what they would need, which revealed it would costs too much to feed them (8 months wages for just a bite). Andrew went out and found some food (5 small barley loaves and two small fishes) but diminished his find by saying, "how far will they go among so many." (6:9) They would need a great amount of money or more than the small amount they had. Jesus had done this to "test" them (6:6) for he knew what he was going to do. First, he had all the people sit dow…

Idle or Measured Words

They have a term in Real Estate for an agent that is misrepresenting a property by using general adjectives that may be too general to support his claims, like "the property is super fine." This is called "puffing." In our Legal Update for February of 2016, we were told to "avoid making these statements." Isaiah challenged the people in times of fasting to not be "speaking idle words." (Isaiah 58:13) Idle words could include hasty, angry, untruthful, hateful, sarcastic, despairing or discouraging words. When Samuel confronted Saul who was giving him excuses for saving the King he fought against and also the best of his flocks to "sacrifice them," he said to Saul, "to obey is better than sacrifice." (1 Samuel 15:22) In life there is a distinct difference between idle and measured words. Samuel is a boy who "continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men." (1 Samuel 2:26) And this growth "in…