God wants us to enjoy life, not trudge through each day just going through the motions. We often set unrealistic expectations on ourselves for what we can accomplish in a day and end up feeling like we failed. Here we’re told that God has given us the work we are to do. What is that work for you?
If we’re focusing on what God wants, and we already know that his timing is perfect, then our day should go exactly like it should. If we are enjoying the life God has given us, living it to please him, then we have accomplished something very great. There are plenty of people who don’t have this connection to God and are not feeling fulfilled.
Continue reading “Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 – Enjoy Life”
Have you ever confessed your sins out loud to another human? Our sins certainly become a lot more “real” when we do that. It’s also a great way to give away the power our sins have over us, simply by speaking them out loud. And we have an accountability partner to keep us from falling into that sin’s trap!
James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Nehemiah’s contemporaries are ready to make their confession public. I bet you haven’t ever sprinkled dust on your head or worn a burlap garment because of lament over your sin.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 9:1-3 – Confession”
Habakkuk’s prayer speaks to the supreme power of God, thus his sovereignty. In the face of what he has heard from God and the position he has been placed to share that message, Habakkuk’s world has been rocked. We see how he responds.
Habakkuk prays with humility. First and foremost, he calls out God’s deeds and dreams for his people. He tells God that no matter what calamity happens, “I will rejoice in the LORD!” How often do we praise God in the storms of our life? We’re probably complaining, a bit like Habakkuk did, but do we also give praise, as Habakkuk is modeling for us?
Continue reading “Habakkuk 3:1-19 – Sovereign Lord”
These Christians had so much to learn, even though they had “been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others.” However, it seems they were stuck in the basics. They knew what it meant to be Jews, but to be followers of Christ changed their faith journey dramatically. Here we see the Preacher rebuking them. “You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” It was time for them to stop being lazy Christians, and the Preacher uses a bit of “shock and awe” in this reading.
When people first come to faith in Jesus, we need to be careful not to overwhelm them with knowledge they aren’t ready for. Just like you wouldn’t give a newborn a piece of steak. However, the Preacher warns that it’s too easy to stay with “milk” and not move on to a deeper faith and understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower. I’ve seen many churches struggle with this very thing, and as a result, the congregation never goes deeper than the what the “newbies” can handle.
Continue reading “Hebrews 5:11-6:12 – Going Deeper”
Read Jeremiah 5:20-31
What’s horrible and shocking? Is it what is going to happen to God’s people or what they’ve done to bring God to this place of fury? The latter according to our text when God calls it out in verses 30 and 31. Even the prophets and priests have turned blindly away.
The warnings to Judah in this reading are clear and specific. The people were so disillusioned by the messages of the world they had forgotten the majesty of God. Even today, many people need a wake-up call to remind them of how great our God is. I loved this line from our text. “Let us live in awe of the LORD our God.” That was the mindset the LORD wanted from them and us!
Continue reading “Jeremiah 5:20-31 – Horrible & Shocking”