How does a soul, a family, a nation drift away from God?
How does a soul, a family, a nation drift away from God?
Back behind the devil’s tireless efforts to trip you up, there lies the ever constant, never failing protecting hand of God.
Even the best of marriages are beset by communication difficulties. Part of our problem is that we leave so much unsaid in our communication…
Psalm 78:5-8 sums up Domestic piety in a nutshell…
Our Christian life will never outgrow our knowledge of God’s love. It is the root from which everything else grows (Eph 3:17).
How can you claim to be walking with God, if your life trajectory is constantly moving away from Him?
God has filled the simple act of eating with a significance far beyond the daily necessities of nutrition. A deep and abiding social instinct draws us to the table together. Though we can snack alone, we prefer to meal together. Food is the universal language of love, and dining alone feels like a deserted city, an empty church, a dark fireplace. Solitary meals may satisfy one hunger, but they inflame all the rest.
When it comes to educating teenagers, the thing you have to remember is that it’s not so much about filling a bucket, it is about lighting a fire!”
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Brigitte Macron, the French first lady, complained this week regarding the overly restrictive atmosphere in the White house, “Mrs Trump can’t do anything,” she whined, “She can’t even open a window at the White House.” According to the Guardian's translation of Le Monde's French-language report, Brigitte continued, “She can’t go outside. She’s much more constrained than I am. I go out every day in Paris.”
My first thought when I read this was gratitude to our Secret Service. It seems they are actually concerned to keep the First Family alive. Every threat has been anticipated. Every avenue of attack has been closed down. Open windows represent a chink in the armor, a way for threats to enter, a risk factor threatening the atmosphere of safety inside the “Shield.”
My next thought after hearing Ms. Macron’s complaint was to think of our heavenly Father. He, too, has a “no open windows” policy around His children. No evil will be allowed near us (Psalm121:7), that is to say no unintended evil, unpermitted evil, evil that is not designed to work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
What an encouraging thought. An unseen protector has His eye on you continually. Before the President makes a trip from the White House, the agents spend up to 3 months planning every detail. But God has spent eternity planning your every movement. Life never takes Him by surprise. When things go “wrong” in our day, we sometimes say, “Stuff happens!” Life seems so unpredictable. But that is precisely what does not happen in God’s plan. Stuff never happens to Him. God has it all in His hands. From Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. He see’s every cell of your body. No hidden malignancy escapes his notice. The one who kept even the dogs from growling against Israel in Egypt (Exodus 11:7), keeps an omnipotent muzzle on the demonic forces who mean us woe. On His calendar, He marked the day you took your first breath, and He has marked the day, the hour, the second, you will take your last one. Every day in between is scheduled by kind providence. “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in His way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, for the Lord is the One who holds His hand.” Psalm 37:23-24). I have been meditating on this verse recently. Do you realize, Christian, God puts His heart into His plans for you. How this thought should silence every complaint. An old writer once said, “If I had the power of God there are many details I would change in my life, but if I had His wisdom and love, I would leave things exactly as they are!” Where in your life are you tempted to demur? Where is your soul tensing, resisting the massaging hands of God’s grace. He is rubbing the knots out. At times, to be sure, this process will be painful. The key is to relax into the pressure. He means us well and is too wise to err, and too loving to cause His child a needless tear. Whatever befalls you this week. Remember God’s no “open window policy.” You are His beloved. Everything is in His hands.
In the book of Revelation, John speaks also of a Trinity from the pit of hell: The Dragon, His image— the Beast from the Sea, and the Beast from the land.
At the request of several of the young people, I plan to begin a short series this week looking at the book of Revelation in our youth Sunday School. I wonder could you explain its message to your children if they were to ask you?
Many Christians are understandably threatened by this book. It’s images are dark, mysterious, and often foreboding; they don’t know what to do with them. To make matters worse, much of the American Church has completely lost the plot when it comes to interpreting Revelation, preferring to use fanciful and highly imaginative interpretive grids in an effort to come to grips with its message. In the end, however, such attempts tend to conceal much more than reveal John’s original message.
In his fantastic book, The Triumph of the Lamb, Dennis E. Johnson proposes a number of bedrock principles to guide us as we make our way through John’s apocalypse. I list them here in the hope that they might help you in your forays into this book (which I pray will be more frequent and fruitful in the future than perhaps they were in the past!).
We live perilous times, tomorrow is uncertain, but the future is clear and bright. Christ shall have dominion. “Dark, dark maybe the conflict, but dayspring is at hand. Glory, glory, dwelleth in Immanuel’s land!”
No doubt we will all face times when we lament, “I don’t know how this will end up!” But the book of revelation whispers, “Yes, you do! It will end with Jesus wiping all the tears from your eyes!” Take heart, little flock, the future belongs to Jesus, and because of Him, it belongs to us as well! Press on...
Pain is God's school bell, and one of the many ways He tells His children, I love you!"
The office of elder has deep roots extending back beyond the New Testament Church (1Timothy 3; Titus 1) to the time of Moses and Israel’s wilderness wanderings. God Himself intends these men to help Moses bear the burden of leadership, to be the Spirit’s earthly hands leading God’s people to the Land of Canaan.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (John 13:34)
"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy o those who merely happen to be walking about."
How do you find a point a point of contact with those with whom you seem to believe nothing in common?
Beneath the surface of our culture, a war rages with deep roots. It’s as if the French Revolution and the American Revolution are happening all at once and in the same country.
In Christ, the only way to save your life is to lose it.
How can we learn to love well?
It is easier to lament a lack of zeal than to find its source....