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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Timing

"God, your timing is awful." I have to confess, I have been thinking those words for a couple of days now. 

God through his grace has brought me a wonderful opportunity, but he didn't do it the way I wanted him to. I wanted him to bring this opportunity to me back in May. If he did that, I would have had the TIME to really take CONTROL and plan everything out the way I wanted. 

Have you ever read Romans 9. If you haven't, take a minute to read it. After you read it once, you will have to read it again, and again, and again. It is very deep and discusses some very difficult doctrine to wrap your head around. 

One thing we learn in Romans 9 is the reasons behind the whole, "Pharaoh" power struggle when God sent Moses to free the Hebrews. 

Romans 9:17 says, "For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.'"

We see above that God had a very specific purpose for Pharaoh's life as he does for everyone. Here we see that that purpose was to show God's power and that God's name would be proclaimed throughout the world.

I'm sure that word got out after Hebrew slaves were able to usurp the most powerful king of that time. I'm sure word got out that the Red Sea parted and the Hebrews escaped the Pharaoh's grasp. It is reasonable to think other nations began to contemplate whether the god's of Egypt or the God of the Hebrews was really running the show.

What's the point?

The point is, that God took Israel through some dark times...some tough times.
Their journey to the "promised land" was not easy, especially with a crazy king chasing them into the desert. However, even though the Hebrews couldn't see it at the time, God had a very specific purpose for what he was doing through that crazy pharaoh guy. 

So these events are their to teach us ...

...how POWERFUL and MIGHTY our God really is.

We don't see it at first. We don't understand because the situation or circumstances seem impossible, and the timing just seems to be all wrong

BUT

God's timing is not my own, and I know that, "He has made everything beautiful in his time..." (Eccl. 3:11) and he will do the same in my life.

What I think is awful timing, just might be perfect timing. I guess I just need to wait, trust, and watch as His master plan unfold. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Faith

Have you ever thought about how hard it really is to have faith as an adult? What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 tells us, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." 

It's not a terribly difficult concept to understand, however, as adults, it seems to be a very difficult thing to actually do in our complicated lives. 

I remember when I was younger, faith wasn't that big of a deal. I remember learning about it in Sunday School, Youth Group, and Chapel. It seemed easy...of course I can trust God...of course I want His will...sure, I can be patient...hmmm...why was faith so easy? 

Because I didn't have a lot of responsibility. 

I have found, as an adult, It is harder (practically speaking) to live or "do" faith because of responsibility I have as a Husband, Father, Provider, Spiritual Leader, Good Steward of our families money, and the list goes on...

Why does responsibility make it more difficult to have faith? 

Because we all have a natural tendency to try and control every single circumstance and "iota" (like that word...its Hebrew) of our lives as adults. 

We play out countless hypos in our mind and talk out how we think each circumstance will play out trying to gain some CONTROL over the unknown. 

Now it's good to seek godly counsel on issues we need guidance on, but it's a whole other thing altogether when we try to do God's job for Him.

Why do we do that? 

The unknown is scary. The unknown makes us helpless. The unknown makes us vulnerable. 

Back to FAITH

Hebrews tells us that faith is confidence in what we hope for. Do you realize how hard it is to have confidence in something that hasn't happened. This seems to be a contradiction to the rational mind. It's just not possible. The rational mind tells us we can only have confidence in what we know or what we can control. 

Hebrews gives us a "part 2" of the FAITH DEFINITION - "assurance of what we do not see" 

Honestly, this verse makes me want to scream. How are you assured of anything if you can't see it, or touch it, or have some sort of tangible anything???

There is only one explanation for all this--Faith is not a human function. Faith is not natural for man. Faith is contrary to rationality. Faith is a confidence that comes from God. Faith is an assurance that comes from our Savior. 

Faith is a peace that passes all understanding that guards your hearts and minds. Faith is how God reveals His supernatural will to us. 

ITS SUPERNATURAL

(that's a song by DC Talk by the way)

If you don't put much stock in the supernatural, you probably have very little faith or your faith is weak. 

TIME TO BUFF UP!

Challenge: Ask God to fill you with peace, confidence, and assurance that He has His Best for you in every aspect of your life that you just can't seem to "nail down."

Let the Lord surprise you with his perfect will by trusting Him with the unknown.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Christian Celebrities

Have you ever seen that music video by Brad Paisley about Celebrities? Check it out below.





Celebrities...I will never understand the concept. It's just amazing to me that people are idolized, as if they are some how better than someone else because they were in a movie or they have a lot of money, or they play a professional sport. Genesis 1 tells us that we were all made in the image of our creator.

You know...this whole "celebrity" thing has been going on for centuries. The Bible talks about this in 1 Corinthians 1:11-12, which says,

"My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another, 'I follow Apollos'; another, 'I follow Cephas'; still another, 'I follow Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?"

These are strong words from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. The only one who we should follow is Christ. He is God. Throughout history there have been countless men and women of God who teach wonderful and great things, but remember that they are only human. They had a sin nature just like you and I. They needed the blood of Christ to cover and wash their sins away too.

It's a wonderful thing to know what you believe and to know how to explain it, defend it, and preach it. Its another thing altogether to say I believe what he believes. Your faith shouldn't be based on your respect or admiration of another person. You need to grab hold of your faith and make it yours. Look at the Scriptures for yourself and compare them to what you hear.

Don't make the mistake of putting people above or before Christ. When you align yourself with another Christian, it shouldn't be because you think he is cool, or you just love his preaching, or he or she seems like such a loving person. It should be because you have compared his/her teachings with Christ, so ultimately you are not aligning yourself with another "Christian celebrity," but rather you are agreeing and promoting God's Word from another perspective.

Our worship and admiration goes to CHRIST ALONE!


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Smarter than God?

You know, sometimes I come across people who are extremely pompous. So much so, that they seem to think they are smarter than God. They probably wouldn't come right out and say it, but their actions seem to say it for them. Maybe you've been around these types of people. They are usually very controlling, and selfish. They seem to always think about their needs and their wants before anyone else. They usually make quick decisions, and have a hard time being patient. They want things to just HAPPEN. 

We have all been there at times. We all want to have more control in our lives, but being a genuine follower of Christ means we continue to submit. We continue to wait. We continue to seek Him through our disappointments because....

because why??? 

Because He is the only WISE GOD! (Rom. 16:27) He is the source of sound Wisdom! 

Job 12:13-17 says, "With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open. If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools."

This passage above is very strong. You can't miss how Job reinforces the great SOVEREIGNTY of God, but you also need to notice how he is explaining God's WISDOM. 

Job is saying that our reasoning, as logical and sound as we might think it is, isn't always right. "He makes judges into fools." 

I am so guilty of this in my life. I know that I let my rationality consume my decisions and try to control things that I should just let go of and allow God to just lead. 

I need to stop being so pompous and controlling. I need to stop being so selfish. I need to trust in my sovereign wise God.  

Challenge: As much as we may reason and think, remember that God's Wisdom is much higher than Mans Rationality. Seek out His Counsel even when you don't understand the disappointments and confusion that surrounds you.