Morning Musing: Amos 2:9-11

“Yet I destroyed the Amorite as Israel advanced; his height was like the cedars, and he was as sturdy as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath. And I brought you from the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness in order to possess the land of the Amorite. I raised up some of your sons as prophets and some of your young men as Nazirites. Is this not the case, Israelites? This is the Lord’s declaration.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Some sins are generational. When I was growing up, my family was within a few days of making our first pilgrimage to Disney World. I remember being upset about something and, standing in our front yard facing the door to the house where my dad stood, I complained that I didn’t have much to be happy about at the moment. He actually didn’t kill me. One of my own boys recently bemoaned how awful his life is. I didn’t kill him either, but reminded him of the many blessings he does enjoy. As a parent, this kind of thing makes you want to scream and pull your hair out. But it also makes you want to throw your hands up and shout, “What?!?!?” That’s a little like what God seems to be feeling here.

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the number one questions people of faith (and even some who aren’t) wonder about when it comes to life at large is what God’s will for them is. What’s God’s will for my life? What does He want me to do? Where does He want me to go? Which decisions will bring Him the most honor? It sure would be nice if the Bible had some places that just spelled this out for us in unmistakably clear fashion. As it turns out, we have one right here. Let’s look at what it says.

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 19:7

“Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

The emotions and politics of this chapter are complex. It is filled with grace and also tension. David is rebuilding his kingship after Absalom had done much damage to it in his rebellion. We’d like to think this was a nice, neat little endeavor since that’s how so many of our stories today are written, but it was not. Whereas so many of our stories stop with the victory, this gives us a glimpse of what comes after the victory has been won. 

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You Don’t Own Me

In this second part of our new teaching series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we begin talking about some of the ways to do just that.  The first way we can make our stuff small in our lives is to begin to develop an attitude of gratitude about it.  For the whys and hows check out the text below.  Thanks, as always.

You Don’t Own Me

Have you ever experienced the change of attitude that can come from being grateful for something?  Whether they knew it or not, when your parents and grandparents and teachers and any other busy-body adults you’ve had in your life taught you to say, “thank you,” when someone has done something for you, they were not just teaching you good manners.  They were actually giving you some powerful spiritual advice.  There’s something about developing a grateful heart that can cause changes in our outlook on just about everything.  Think about it like this: Have you ever had a really bad attitude about something?  Of course you have.  The better question is when was the last time you had a really bad attitude about something? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Jesus tells us not to worry and instead to trust in Him.  He presents worrying about even basic life necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing as a sinful mistrust in the Lord.  I remember still the first time I read these words and truly understood them.  They had a profound impact on me.  With only a few exceptions, I have largely purged worry from my own life because of them.  Sometimes, though, I have let this intention to not worry drift too far in the other direction which is laziness.  This prompts and interesting (at least to me!) question in my mind: What does it look like to live free from worry in such a way that honors Christ? Read the rest…