Why and What

Psalm 56_4_Why and What.

I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:4, NLT)

They are remarkable words of perspective from David.  Yet the setting in which he wrote them is equally amazing.  If your Bible has headings, it may say something like this for Psalm 56:  “A psalm of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath.”

David wasn’t sitting on a throne in Israel with servants feeding him grapes when he wrote.  No, he was in a Philistine dungeon deep within enemy territory.  And those “mere mortals…”? – think scads of Goliath-sized men and you get the picture.  Interestingly, David repeated the same questions a few verses later (v.11).  And in between, he listed all the things the mere mortals were doing to him!  It was while facing completely overwhelming and bleak circumstances that David paused and asked himself two questions.

1).  “You believe in God, so why are you afraid?”

2).  “What can men do to you?  The worst they can do is reunite you with the God you love and believe in.”

Notice that David didn’t pretend he wasn’t afraid; he just countered his fear with some eternal perspective.  And friends, we can (and should) do likewise.  There are many fear-inducing realities in this fallen world.  They may take the form of things like illnesses, job losses, or broken relationships, but we all have our “prisons” and “enemies.”

But instead of giving in to fear, frequently pause and ask yourself, “Christian, you trust in God, so why be afraid?  What can this situation do to me?”  If necessary, rinse and repeat!  –Dave

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Father to the Falling

Sunday_Psalm 145_14_A Father to the Falling

In our unsettling times, it’s good to remember that our Lord helps those who are falling under the weight of the world.  He is there to pick us up!

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The Voldemort Virus

I hope this short video will bring some much needed peace and perspective to our times!

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I Am Passionately ______ ?

Romans 12_11_Passionately

“I have no special talent.  I am only passionately curious.”  (Albert Einstein)

As a child, The Theory of Relativity was given to me as a Christmas present (and I had always thought Uncle Charlie liked me)!   Try as I might, I simply couldn’t understand most of it.  The man dwelt in planes of thought that are simply foreign to me.  Yet from the quote above, Einstein apparently didn’t see himself as uniquely special or talented – only passionately curious.

His words made me wonder how much we might accomplish for God’s Kingdom if we stopped waiting for some special talent to use, and simply cultivated some passion.  Yes, there are roles which require special talent.  Believe me; you don’t want me trying to wire your church for electricity!

But so what if we have no special talent? God can do a great deal with those who are simply passionate for Him and for other people.  Imagine what could happen when God’s servants are passionately loving, passionately giving, passionately praying, and passionately encouraging.  Loving, giving, praying, and encouraging require no special talent – but they do demand a certain passion.

Friend, set your passion on the table before the Lord and give Him permission to use it.  You might just be amazed at what He’ll do! –Dave

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11)

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Get On With It

2 Timothy 1_6_Get On With It

You owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at. (WH Auden)

We’ve previously discussed God’s gifts to us and our need to use them to serve others and glorify Him.  However, have you ever considered the impact if we refuse to do so?  What happens when Christians choose to sit at home refusing to participate in a local church?  Or when a gifted believer merely attends worship services but doesn’t utilize their God-given abilities?

First, the individual suffers.  They suffer due to disobedience to God’s instructions to use what He has given them (1 Peter 4:10-11).  The uninvolved Christian also suffers because they’re missing out on a primary purpose for their lives – to serve Christ and His kingdom (Matthew 28:19-20).  Life never fully makes sense until we discover a way to personally and consistently serve our Creator.

Secondly, the church suffers.  The uninvolved Christian who doesn’t serve with the gifts he’s been given is like the UPS driver who refuses to deliver the packages in his truck.  He has within his possession what the occupant of the home needs for a better existence.  The reality is, we just don’t know how important what we have may be to another soul waiting on us to bring it.

Paul once told Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” so that Timothy could become what the church needed him to be (2 Timothy 1:6).  What do flames do?  They light and guide the way.  They provide warmth and protection.  They allow meals to be prepared, etc.  In other words, flames serve the very real needs of very real people.

Friends, God made you good at something – you owe it to Him and the rest of His people to get on with it!  We’ll all be glad you did! –Dave

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The Blessing in Belief

Luke 1_45_Blessed Belief

A few days earlier she had had the strangest visit from Gabriel.  Hearing that her cousin was also expecting a child, Mary went to see Elizabeth.  It was during this encounter that Elizabeth stated:

You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said. (Luke 1:45, NLT)

There would be many wonderful blessings for Mary as the mother of Jesus.  However, there would be much heartache too.  In fact, when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to be dedicated in the temple, the prophet Simon forewarned Mary that her child would pierce her heart (Luke 2:35).  So playing the role of Jesus’ earthly mother was a mixed bag for Mary.

However, Elizabeth’s blessing could not, would not be impacted by the earthly events involving Christ.  “Blessed” in this verse means to be “exceedingly happy” or “in an enviable position.”  And notice carefully that Mary’s blessed position was the result of only one thing – she believed God would do what He said He would do through Gabriel’s message.

Friends, genuine happiness is not found in acquiring stuff.  It’s not even in having children and a family (as wonderful as they are), nor in having a successful career, etc.  No, true happiness results from believing the promises of God.  It’s called faith – and without it, there is no lasting joy or happiness. –Dave

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Sign of Strength?

Ephesians 4_26_A Sign of Strength.

Whether their ire is directed at me or not, angry people make me uncomfortable.  They’re unpredictable, which can make them dangerous.  While we might not be aware of it, one of our subconscious hopes may actually be to make others uncomfortable with our anger.  After all, anger may give us a sense of control over a situation – control we so desperately want.

I’ve heard it said that anger results from hurt in the past, frustration about today, or fear regarding tomorrow.  Whether it’s yesterday’s hurts, today’s frustrations, or tomorrow’s fears, all three time periods remind us that we’re largely unsuccessful in bringing about what we think should have happened, is happening, or will happen.  The result – anger.

But anger in and of itself is not wrong.  What we do with it certainly can be, however.  In simple terms, we will either subject our anger to the Lord, or we will subject others to our anger.  It all depends upon whether we control it, or it controls us.  The first conversation we should have while angry is with God.  He can handle our anger.  He understands our anger.  And He can help us manage our anger so we don’t wound others with it.

Only after we’ve talked with God and gained control over ourselves should we think about approaching others with the situation.  Remember, anger is not a sign of strength; it’s a sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed.  Use it wisely. –Dave

“In your anger do not sin…” (Ephesians 4:26)

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