- Tuesday, 8/6/19 Bible
Big Picture #11. Anyone’s story,
struggles, circumstances, success, failures, can be used to produce a blessing
or a warning or a lesson to another. But not just another...somewhere,
sometime...to ME today.
Proverbs 27:10, Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off. This verse is saying that going to your brother’s house and complaining when you’re enduring a calamity will drive that brother “far off.” It’s a sad truth that most people really don’t want to bear our burden. If we’re having a calamity, we shouldn’t talk much about it. Take it to the Lord. Get specific counsel about what to do, but QUIT SEEKING SYMPATHY. (I know I’ve often been guilty...and I apologize.)
- Wednesday, 8/7/19 Bible Big Picture #12. The story goes on: the sun comes up every day. Whether it comes up for me specifically, it still comes up. So, God loves and cares about me and my life, but ,He loves and cares about the lives of others too. The day that sees a funeral for one family, sees a wedding or a birth for another. You and I are not the BIG PICTURE or the MAIN CHARACTER in this play. At best, we’re role players on the side. Matthew 21:29-31, He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. A reminder: Christianity is to be a lifestyle, a way of living, not simply a code of beliefs. It's easy to say “Amen” and affirm that we agree with a doctrine, but it’s another thing to actively DO the will of God.
- Thursday, 8/8/19 Bible Big Picture #13. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. And we often don’t know if the event is good or bad, and we DEFINITELY don’t know if the person is good or bad. And, just because something seems to be good or bad at this present moment doesn’t mean that that’s the final outcome or “taste.” Psalm 29:1, Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. A command, to the strong. Young adults, give your strength to the Lord: your zeal, your endurance. Yes, you worked hard all week...run a bus route on the weekend. Direct a youth choir; teach a SS class; help the Youth Director. Quit making your life all about you getting more money and a bigger house. Older, more successful adults, starting to feel age creeping up...what can we do? Hopefully, we’re mighty in knowledge, experience, organizational abilities. Again, teach a SS class to pass on that wisdom. But what about your profession? How can your accounting business, your carpentry skills, your mechanic knowledge be given to God? Volunteer your services to the elderly of the church or the widow(ed); volunteer at the church property itself, or volunteer to use your skill/trade/ability at no charge to the church staff. If they refuse, OK...but offer. Again, a command to give your best to the Lord. Will you?
- Friday, 8/9/19 Two weeks of “Bible Big Pictures.” I hope they helped. Call them themes, or simply observations. Maybe write the list down in the front of your Bible. A verse (a la “a tree”) can be of great encouragement, but so can the entire book (“forest.”) Don’t miss the forest while admiring the leaves. Psalm 29:2, Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Whenever we see the word “glory” we are to think of a spotlight. How are you turning your spotlight onto God? We have a physical aspect to our light; we have a mental aspect; we also have an emotional one, and a spiritual one. Do you “light up” God with your body? Sing, whistle, hum at work. Be friendly. Be faithful to church. Mentally...what’re you doing. Do you ever witness to the lost? Teach a SS class? Preach in a jail? Emotional...how’s your “FQ” (forgiveness quotient)? How quick to anger are you? Do you humble yourself and apologize? Then our spiritual spotlight. He tells us: worship (kiss toward; an intimate interaction) in holiness. Are your standards of dress, behavior, language, separation, higher or lower than a decade ago? When was the last time you wept in loving overwhelm-ment because of His goodness. Give God His due.
- Saturday, 8/10/19 Psalm 30:5, ...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Sometimes, the best spiritual medicine is a good sleep. Let it go...eat and sleep. God did that for depressed Elijah. Sleep on it; get a fresh perspective; if you can do nothing about the problem, then care for yourself. Psalm 30:6, And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. In our good times, we think this is the “new norm” and things will go on like this forever. (“Our marriage, this job, our health, my character, Mom & Dad’s marriage will stay like this for a long time.) THAT’S when we get thrown for a major look when the “norm” changes. Likewise, we often feel that our hard times will last forever. No, life is cyclical. If you’re up, prepare for the downswing: strengthen your walk with God, pay down bills, work on your relationships. If you’re down, stay faithful. Don’t make any major, impulsive decisions. Live frugally and keep on praising God.
- Sunday, 8/11/19 John 10:4, And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. Perhaps the reason we don’t hear from God is not that “Christianity doesn’t work for me,” but that He’s moving and we’re stationary. Would your life be more closely characterized as “walking with God,” or trying to “sit with God”? “Kids, we’re going on vacation in a few months: save your spending money!!” John 4:36a, And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal. Folks, we’re going to Heaven soon, do you have ANY spending money saved up? I don’t know what we’ll have to use it on, but He said the reapers are getting wages and fruit for later... “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...”
- Monday, 8/12/19 Proverbs 3:7a, Be not wise in thine own eyes. Will you do your job this week using your knowledge, education, and experience? Or, will you utilize God’s mind, His insight, His foresight, and follow His prompting? Make work a “team effort” this week: and let Jesus be Team Captain. Matthew 23:3, All therefore whatsoever [the Pharisees] bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. We are to do their deeds, but not their works. It seems that “deeds” and “works” are different. “Works” seems to encompass a larger philosophy or attitude. John 6:29, Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. The “work,” the “philosophy” of God is to believe solely upon Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection so as to get to Heaven, however we cannot “deed” ourselves there. If you’re trying to good things (church attendance, baptism, confession, sincere effort) in order to merit Heaven, that is less possible than skipping to the Moon. If you’d like to know the Bible way to Heaven, message me.
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