“For I desire faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
What does God want? Do you ever find yourself asking that question? Sometimes it’s a question. Sometimes it can be more of an accusation. We feel like we’re constantly running around trying to please Him and never quite managing to hit that mark. It can be pretty discouraging to feel that way for long. Fortunately, God tells us what He wants in the Scriptures. Frequently. We’ve only got to listen to what He says.
It’s vacation week! Blogs will keep appearing this week, but the audio recordings may not. Things will be back up and running like normal starting next week.
“Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us? Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (CSB – Read the chapter)
As the prophet Malachi was offering various warnings to the people of Israel to get back on track with God, he took a minute to remind them of who they were. He reminded them of the common heritage they all shared. Although this reminder wasn’t aimed at us, the spirit behind it is still very much relevant today. It is relevant for our nation. It is relevant for the church. Let’s talk about why this morning.
“Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Have you ever wanted more? Your first thought to that question was probably: More of what? Well, anything for now. Have you ever wanted more? I sure have. I’ve wanted more of a lot of things. In fact, there are not many things I haven’t wanted more of. The real question to answer seems to be not, do we want more, but how do we get more? Jesus has a thought here.
This past Sunday we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm. If you are the kind of person who believes the Scriptures should have some kind of a place of authority in your life, you are left with a thorny problem: There are some stories in there that are just downright uncomfortable. If they are there on purpose and for our benefit, what are we supposed to do with them? In this series, we’ll explore several of these hard stories and begin to see that all Scripture really is for our benefit. Even the hard stuff.
You Want Me to Do What?
Have you ever
watched or read something that just wasn’t good? It’s not necessarily that it was bad, it just
wasn’t good. You just didn’t enjoy it. I remember watching Adam Sandler’s Punch
Drunk Love when I was in college. If
you’ve never heard of it, you’re better off for that. It’s a dark comedy about a socially awkward
guy falling in love. It was awful. The credits rolled and all of us gathered in
my friend’s living room watching it looked around at each other and as almost
the same time said, “We can’t have that two hours of life back.” I remember reading Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
when I was growing up. A book combining
science fiction and medieval adventure should have been an easy winner. It was all I could do to not put it down and
find something better to read. If I
wasn’t such a perfectionist about finishing books I probably would have. The thing about reading a book or watching a movie
that isn’t good is that you can always just walk out. There are some stories, though, that are
harder to ignore.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Jesus said some uncomfortable things during His ministry. This particular saying is close to the top of the pile. Frankly, it’s even worse than what He says next about cutting off the hand or gouging out the eye that causes us to sin because those are obvious instances of hyperbole. This one isn’t. This one is just hard. There’s no wiggle room here. So…what do we do with it.