GOD’S LOL

Sunday 12-15-19

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them’” (Psalms 126:2).

Why would someone even question whether or not God has a sense of humor? Oh, don’t be misled by the sour, fatalistic expressions of the religious types that occupy so much space in so many churches. Having entrusted his Kingdom’s work to the likes of us reveals much humor and only affirms that his work is just that—his. To be enlivened by his Spirit is to draw others into the wonder of his creation. You can’t help but to laugh out loud.

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MAKING JESUS REAL

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“He is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

With the incarnation of Christ, God became more real to the world. Partial glimpses were seen in a variety of offerings—creation, Israel, the voice of the prophets—but it was in Christ that the world was offered the full revelation of God. Humanity desperately needs Jesus to be real in their lives. He becomes visible when we shine as his light and exude the fruit of his Spirit.

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UNLEARNING WAR

Friday 12-13-19

“And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Isaiah 2:4).

At the earliest stages, we begin learning the nuances and subtleties of living at war with others—us and them, winners and losers, the haves and the have nots, who belongs and who doesn’t, who to hate or, at least, hold in suspicion—and how to maintain those lines of distinction. Whether it’s the lingering and wary stares, disparaging comments, the cutting words of diminishment, sowing seeds of discord behind the scenes, posturing for self-promotion and the illusion of importance, all are intended to separate, divide, and perpetuate conflict. With so much to remember and put into practice, it’s little wonder there is enough time to go to church and worship the God who offers a peace that passes all understanding.

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A MATTER OF TRUST

Thursday 12-12-19

“And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation…” (Isaiah 2:4).

Isaiah’s prophetic vision of peace rests not on the most dominant military armament but active expressions of trust. “In God we trust” is an expression that rolls off our lips and is even imprinted on our money, but what we do with money offers a more truthful testimonial of where our trust lies. Even with nuclear warheads at our disposal, the most powerful weaponry in the world, we must now fear those who might have them and who might be developing them. Go ahead and buy the best available, but guns, locks, and walls are never big enough, and alarms are never loud enough to offer the peace for which your soul so desperately longs.

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SERVING UP PEACE

Wednesday 12-11-19

“And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4).

Isaiah envisions the accomplishment of peace when weapons of war are transformed into instruments of service; when the greater good of others outweighs the demand of personal preferences. Such a transformation is achieved only when there has been a transformation of the heart. If peace isn’t being pursued at a personal level, it will never be achieved on a global scale.

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HIS WAYS ARE KEY

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“And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths,’ for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

Where do you find a peace of mind and soul that transcends any circumstance this life might thrust upon you? Some seek it out through the comfort of food; others escape through drink; many through relationships; and numerous individuals will turn to legal or illegal drugs, or both.  Unfortunately, these paths ultimately add to the conflicting turmoil of life as each one must be increased to levels of use that eventually become toxic and destructive. The peace all humanity desires can never be realized apart from the ways of God. All other ways are but a false bill of goods—an ever-increasing cost with an ever-diminishing return.

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A MOUNTAIN TO STAND ON

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“Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it” (Isaiah 2:2).

Ancient cities and fortresses were established upon hills. Strategically, high ground offered a militaristic advantage and sense of security from any threats that might arise. The prophet of God, however, envisions a Kingdom that transcends political kingdoms dependent upon the ingenuity and strategies of men. Politics and politicians will never usher in the kingdom of God or facilitate peace; they only perpetuate the problem and the constant warring of who controls “The Hill.” I’d rather stand with God on his mountain for all eternity than squat with men on a hill for a season.

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