Archive for August, 2016
“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name” (Genesis 3:19).
From the beginning, mankind has exercised dominion over creation and continues, today, in the pursuit of unveiling and naming the multi-faceted layers and dimensions of God’s created order. Modern scientific research and discovery should never be considered a threat to human faith, but rather, a celebration of the height, depth, breadth, and wonderment of God’s glorious creation. That we can never know all there is to know is an endorsement of faith and never a reason for unbelief. Only the narrow-minded can say there is no God.
“The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!’” (Genesis 3:4).
Voices that would seek to lead humanity away from the clearly established tenets of God’s word were not limited to the garden and Adam and Eve. It is an everyday reality faced by both you and me. It is a competition for what will be the authoritative guide in your life — the ever-changing intellectual postulations of man or the never-changing principles of God’s word. Never forget that the research of today’s experts are but the footnotes of tomorrow. God’s word, alone, has stood the test of time.
“The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die’’” (Genesis 3:2-3).
Man had it made in the garden but grew dissatisfied with what he knew and wanted to know more. This self-deifying and idolatrous desire to be like God didn’t bring the autonomy, freedom, and liberation anticipated. Instead, Adam and Eve’s newfound knowledge wove fear and shame into their lives. Thus, it can be argued that we can come to a place where we know too much for our own good; especially when it leads us creatures to think we have surpassed the Creator and no longer have to trust in him.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4).
Despite the fear and misunderstanding of the word, from the standpoint of scripture, every believer is a charismatic. Charismata is the Greek word referring to the gifts given by the Holy Spirit at conversion. You can never argue that you don’t have a gift. The Bible says you do. You can never say you have nothing to offer to God’s work. The Bible says you do. The failure to utilize and implement your unique giftedness means that something isn’t being accomplished that the Lord desires to see accomplished in the life of the church. You have charisma. Let it show!
“But now I come to you; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves” (John 17:13).
From every direction and venue, we are bombarded daily with the message that joy and happiness is to be found in what we have or what we accomplish. So we breed false hope by buying more and more only to find out that we are settling for less and less. We labor endlessly to build a name for ourselves only to one day discover that our family barely knows us. We have wrongly believed that joy and happiness is something external; that must be pursued; that comes into our lives. Jesus reminds us that joy is something that lies within; it comes out of our lives as a result of knowing and doing the will of God.
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there’” (Deuteronomy 34:4).
Education, marriage, children, and career are just some of the chapters found within the story of life. Any one of these chapters may be filled with regret and that haunting sense of being incomplete and unfinished. We love stories that conclude as we think they should. The story of Moses ends in a way that seems to us unfair. In other words, it is a representation of life. Live long enough, and you discover that the journey is more intriguing than the destination. Ours is a story written not by us, but the Lord our God. Our hope never lies in any of the characters or circumstances of the story, but rather, the Author that ties together all the loose ends into the conclusion he desires.
“And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased’” (Matthew 3:17).
I realized long ago that questions regarding my experience of God’s “call” emerges not from an interest in me, but rather, a person’s seeking to understand something about themselves. We could only wish that the clarity of God’s voice be as clear as in today’s verse. The reality is anyone who chooses to follow Christ does so out of a sense of being “called” by him. This sense of calling never ceases but grows and can emerge into other forms service based upon one’s season in life, experience, and circumstances. Just look around you. Where you see the greatest need of the moment being intersected with your God-given giftedness; that is his call upon your life.
“For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children’” (Acts 17:28).
Researchers have found that it takes some 10,000 hours to master a given skill set. When observing someone having achieved such a level of proficiency, we might say of them, “They look like poetry in motion.” That is, they have a smoothness, flow, and ease of movement in performing their craft. Unless faith is embraced and practiced, a person’s life will always be stilted, awkward, and out of sync with its intended capabilities. Might our lives be a recitation of faith.
“…that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:20).
While verbal expression is of utmost importance, our lives can speak the presence of Christ in limitless ways. In a world that seeks to muzzle any conversation of God, the world must at least hear us speaking well of one another. When secular elitists have rejected the notion of absolute truth, the lives we live must speak of the Truth to which we hold. In a culture of moral relativity, our actions must reflect a lifestyle that transcends both circumstances and genetic predisposition. The world is actually waiting for us to speak up.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Nervous about today? Does it seem as if your life has been turned upside down? Is anxiety following you at every turn? Fearful of starting a new school? Promoting to the next grade? Interviewing for a new job? Facing a performance evaluation? There are a thousand and one reasons to be afraid, but just one reason not to be — the Lord your God is with you.