Digging in Deeper: Mark 13:29, 32

“In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near–at the door. . .Now concerning that day or hour no one knows–neither the angels in heaven nor the Son–but only the Father.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Something a little different for you this morning and we’ll get back to Habakkuk early next week. With all the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world there is a growing question on the minds of many folks with even the slightest amount of spiritual sensitivity: Are we in the end times? Personally I’ve been asked this twice this week. So then, are we? Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:20

“But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What are you afraid of? That was actually a topic of conversation in my vehicle the other day. The list included a pretty standard set of things: spiders, snakes, mice, insects, and the like. Any of those on your list? Perhaps, but I’ll bet you have some other things on there as well; things that are bigger, harder for you to precisely define, and possess more control over your life than any of the cliched list. The good news is, you don’t have to live with this. Joseph didn’t either.

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 6:7-9

“And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, ‘How can the ark of the Lord come to me?'” (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

Have you ever set out to do what you were convinced was the right thing only to have it blow up in your face? Odds are, if you’ve experienced this, it only served to feed your willingness to buy into the truth of the cynical proverb, “No good deed goes unpunished.” In this moment, David would have understood how you felt. Read the rest…

A Message for a Stormy Day

This past weekend, our community, like many others, was impacted by Hurricane Florence.  By God’s grace we have not been devastated to the level others have experienced, but we couldn’t meet in person.  Instead, I was able to take to Facebook Live and share a message with the community that way.  Here’s what I shared as the storm raged around the region.  Thanks for reading.

A Message for a Stormy Day

Well, good morning.  For many of you, good rainy morning.  My name is Jonathan Waits and I have the privilege of serving as the pastor of First Baptist Oakboro.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been rainy here the last couple of days.  Actually, for a whole lot of folks in this region, “rainy” doesn’t begin to cover it.  Florence has given us the kind of rain that would have given Noah some much-needed relief after building a boat for 100 years.  We’ve had the kind of rain that will leave people’s land and lives devastated for a long time.  It’s the most rain this nation has seen since Hurricane Harvey dumped part of the ocean on southeast Texas last year.  Like that one, this terrible storm has already claimed a few lives.  Those grieving families are in need of your prayers.  And if you want to give toward the relief efforts that are already underway, consider one of the many faith groups with ready-made armies of volunteers who are knowledgeable and skilled in the various aspects of disaster relief—groups like Samaritan’s Purse and the Southern Baptist Convention (specifically, the Baptist State Conventions of North and South Carolina, and the Baptist General Association of Virginia).  You can go directly to their websites and give or sign up to volunteer just as easily. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Lamentations 3:21-24

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Lamentations is a series of complaints to God.  Jeremiah wrote these toward the end of his ministry when Babylon had conquered and destroyed Jerusalem.  It is mostly a bitter book.  It’s tone is both corporate and personal.  Chapter three here in particular is very personal.  The prophet describes feeling totally abandoned and even actively attacked by the Lord.  They are words that ring with familiarity to those who have experienced loss and grief and seasons of great distress today. Read the rest…