Tuesday, June 30, 2020
We are seeing the beginnings of this prophecy: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be..." These words are from 2 Timothy 3. I didn't post it all because this is the most important thing to catch from it...the terrible times will come because of how people will act towards one another. In difficult times when people are our problem be a person who loves like Jesus did. Love them all! Overcome their hate, anger, rage or whatever they are going through with simple love. Just love them. Then, when they relax a bit and know you really care you can talk about the problems they are struggling with. Love is the balm that heals every wound. Apply it liberally!
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
God loves variety.
In fact God invented variety!
He is a wonderful and creative God. He made colors, all of them, and he uses them in sunsets, trees, flowers, birds and animals. He loves color! And God is amazingly creative in the animals he made, giraffes with their long necks, lions with their manes, deers with their antlers, elephants with their trunks…the list is amazing and diverse. And he colored all of them as well! Look at his birds! WOW! The colors he used in making birds is way over the top. He is creative! He didn’t stop with nature or the animal kingdom, he extended his creativity to us. He made some of us tall, others short. Some with straight hair, some curly. He made redheads, blondes, brunettes and a combination of several more (I'm not sure where pink hair came from). He made some with big noses, others with small petite ones. Some have big feet and some cute little ones. Blue eyes, brown, hazel, gray...what an amazing creation. And some he gifts with athletic skills and some (like me) are clumsy. And He used his amazing colors with us as well. Some tan, brown, black, red, etc. All to show his creativity and his design. All of this, all of it, was done by God to celebrate and show off his glory. All of it to be celebrated as a way to worship an amazing God. So, how could we, why would we take just one part of his work of art and say it is less than, worse than, lower than any other? We are not insulting the man we discriminate against alone, we are insulting God who made him! How dare we criticize the artist for the glory of his work! But that’s what sinful men do. We have now become God’s art critic and the outcome is we judge his works of art as well. Whenever a baby is born, no matter the color, God smiles and says, “I made that! This one is special!” How dare we demean or destroy a work of God! We are called by the artist himself to love his work simply because he made it. We are never to be color blind, that’s not glorifying to God, but rather we are to celebrate the handiwork of God and love it because God made it. No matter what color it is. God loves variety….that’s why he made each of us and says, "love one another as I have loved you." And do you know...and this is important...that God sent one of the early deacons Philip on a special trip to share his love with just one black man on his way home to Ethiopia...One of the earliest converts to Christianity was a black man sought out by God. God loves his creation and he loves each one he made. And he invites us to imitate him...love one another!
Friday, June 19, 2020
"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
That is a great question! It's the question asked by the author of this Psalm. It's a question being asked in many ways today. What can we do? How do we navigate these days in a way that honors God and helps rather than hurts those around us?
Here's my short list of things we can do when the foundations are destroyed:
1. Pray. We have a really BIG God who is sovereign over the affairs of men. I'm sure he is interested in being part of your solution...why don't you ask him?
2. Don't fret. In the midst of chaos and destruction we easily become fearful, fretful, worried, scared....add your own words, you know what I'm talking about. Out of prayer should come on thing very clearly- peace. It comes from trusting a big God with the worries of your life. See Psalm 37, Mat. 11:28-30 and Phil. 4:6-7.
3. Love. Look for ways to show love and compassion to those around you. Really look for ways to love others. The ways are everywhere if we would simply look. John 13:34-35 and Eph. 5:1-2 come to mind. In the midst of anger and fear a person who loves well will change the emotional environment around him.
4. Take a nap. That sounds strange, doesn't it? But remember when Jesus and the disciples got in the boat to go to the other side of the lake? Jesus went in the back of the boat and fell asleep. He trusted himself to God. Trusting God looks strange in a storm but that's when. you most need him. Prov. 3:5-6
5. Keep your "eyes" on Jesus. Another storm story illustrates this. The disciples in the boat, Jesus walking on the water, Peter asking if he can do it and he does.....but the text follows with these insightful words about Peter, "but seeing the wind he became afraid and beginning to sink he cried out...." Did you see Peter's cause of fear? He focused on the wind instead of the creator of the universe right in front of him! Watching the wind will make you afraid. Keeping your eyes on Jesus will give you peace. The situation may be no different but you are. No matter what, focus on Him!
What can we do when everything is crumbling around us? Start with these and let's see what happens.