Seems like I’m always in the middle of some mess. I’ve heard you’re either going into a storm, going through a storm, or going out of one. And there’s not much room between going out of one and going into the next. It may be normal for life, but it is taxing on the soul.
At the moment I can’t tell if I’m going in or in the middle. Feels like being in and just getting darker. Guess that’s why I was thinking about Job. All the things he went through without knowing why.
But I remember what God said at the beginning. ”Have you considered My servant.” What an awesome statement! I’d never considered how much hope there is in those words. My servant. Not a servant, or the servant, or even the man. MY servant. Job belonged to Him.
A lot of things were about to happen to Job that he couldn’t explain, but in reality, he belonged to God and that was the best place to be. I know he wasn’t in on that conversation, so he didn’t hear God say that, but that doesn’t change the facts.
How blessed we are to live in our time. Paul said the prophets of old longed to see the things we see. And even the Angels are amazed at the mystery of redemption that is ours. We can see the whole plan of redemption from beginning to end. We know who the Messiah is. We know what He has done. We know He’s coming back. And we have heard Him say that not only are we His servants, but He also considers us friends.
“Well done good and faithful servant.” I’ve always wanted to think that I might hear that someday. But at the moment, “consider My servant” has a much better ring. To know I belong to Him is better than any reward I can imagine.
“A prophet is not without honor except in his own country.”
Why did God not give us more details about Jesus’s early years? After the tale of His birth and a short note about an incident when He was twelve, why does He just spring on the scene?
We would be like the people of His day. We wouldn’t listen because we think we know Him. If we don’t know someone we tend to listen to his message first and then look at the person. We’ll give folks the benefit of the doubt, even if it’s just long enough to hear what they say.
God gave us the best combination with Jesus. He shared Christ’s arrival, His deity, His Lordship with us to establish in our minds that this was the Christ, the Messiah of God, the One foretold in scripture. Then he jumps us forward to the point of hearing Christ’s message without allowing us the chance of creating a false impression derived by our judgment or misconception of events in His life.
Here is the King of the Jews as foretold by the prophets. Here is My Son in whom I am well pleased. Here is My Son; hear Him. Here is My Son dying on the cross for you. Here is My Son, conquering death by rising from the grave.
And one day soon…
HERE IS MY SON! HE HAS RETURNED!
“If My people, which are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways…” So the LORD said to the people of Israel in II Chronicles 7:14. Because of what Christ did by redeeming us to Himself and grafting us into His family, I believe we can apply these verses to ourselves. More importantly, I believe God has said we can; He will fulfill this promise to us as His children.
But are we understanding the true picture of what is being said? Humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways… A casual reading will lead us to think it means if we realize we need God’s help in fixing our mess, and we humble ourselves enough to ask Him for help, and we ask for His will to be done, and we promise not to do the same things again, then He is obligated to come fix our problems. I’m afraid we’ve missed the first point and thus miss out on everything else.
We must interpret the first point by the last to get on the right track. We must humble ourselves, not to the point of asking for help, but to the point where we realize and acknowledge that we are wicked. We have sinned. We are fully responsible for the mess we are in. And we must be willing to forsake it all. Completely. There must not be any vestige of ourselves or our pride left in our confession. We then pray and seek His face. Not His hands. Not what He can do for us, but God Himself. A relationship with Him. An acknowledgement that we want to continue our lives with Him and not on our terms. Then we will be empowered to truly turn from our wicked ways.
Sparkling hats, crazy eye glasses, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people crammed into Times Square in the bitter cold. Why do people make such a big deal of the new year? I know some will take any opportunity as an excuse to celebrate, but the revelry of a new year appears to be universal. Perhaps it’s the thought of something new, something different, the anticipation of what the new year will bring. For many, I’m sure it’s also the idea that they have a chance at a new beginning, an opportunity for a fresh start.
We all like second chances. Or thirds, or fourths. It’s not easy getting things right the first time, and many times we make such a mess of things, the only solution is to start over from the beginning. But does a new year really alter anything? Is making resolutions and perhaps changing our behavior truly making us different? We can change our actions and methods of living, but we’re still the same people. We can’t really create anything new. Turning over a new leaf may display different words, but it’s still the same book.
Fortunately, there is one who can truly make a difference in us, one who can recreate us and give us that second chance. The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” When you receive the free gift of salvation from Christ, He comes into your life and recreates you. Yes, you may look the same on the outside, and for a time, you may have some of the same habits and problems that you’ve always had. But you are no longer the person you were at the core of your being. And because of this, with His strength, you can change those habits and problems. You not only turn over a new leaf, you begin operating from a whole new book.
The Bible also tells us of another time, a time somewhere in the future, when all things will change and become new. Revelation 21:5 says, “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” New heavens and a new earth. What a day that will be! Receive His gift of a second chance. Let Him change you from the inside out and begin making you new today. Then you’ll be ready for that ultimate New Year.
Front pages all across our nation are carrying the same story this morning. Once again we are mourning the loss of innocence as some warped individual decided to act out a crazed fantasy or lost control of his faculties and lashed out at his view of reality. Television networks will bring in their experts for . . . → Read More: December 15, 2012
Election was yesterday. Barack Obama was re-elected. God have mercy on us.
Perhaps that is the point; we’ve put our faith in man and not in Him. We may indeed have passed beyond the point of avoiding judgement. As a nation, we’ve thumbed our noses at God and refused to repent. As His people, we’ve . . . → Read More: November 7, 2012
I use the social network site Facebook to keep up with family and friends. It’s nice to see what’s going on in folk’s lives, to see if they have joys to relate or problems that need prayer. It’s also a good way to find out people’s opinions on topics of the day.
Because the people . . . → Read More: Priorities
The people of Judah reached a very disturbing place. They tried God’s patience for hundreds of years, and now they had reached the end. God declared judgment on them; a judgment from which He would not relent.
15:1 – Then the LORD said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before . . . → Read More: Out of Time
We’ve looked at our need for salvation and God’s plan for our salvation. Finally, we’ll look at God’s fulfillment of our salvation which is through Jesus Christ.
We know that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for us. Because He was fully man, He could die in our place. And because He was also fully God, . . . → Read More: Salvation: The Fulfillment