God’s Not Done

We are living in a moment of crisis and chaos. It seems in many ways that God has left the scene and we are merely fending for ourselves. This is exactly how it felt in Israel at the end of the season of the Judges. But, as we turn the page on that book and peer into the next–Ruth–we are reminded of an incredibly powerful truth: No matter how dark things may get, God’s still working. Keep reading to see how this incredible reminder unfolds.

God’s Not Done

Alright, I want to start this with a little survey. You can’t participate by a show of hands, but hit your “like” button or post a comment with your answer. Hit your “like” button or comment about it if you have ever had a cold before. Now, I can’t see those from where I’m sitting, but Nate is checking on them and letting me know the entirely expected news that most of you have had colds before. Okay then, next survey question: How many of you have recovered from your cold? Since you’re tuned in this morning or at least haven’t died yet from a cold if you do have one—and that’s one positive thing about this format…you didn’t just out yourself as a germ-factory to a roomful of people who all want to get away from you now—I’m going to go ahead and assume that everyone has answered that question affirmatively. Do you know how that happened? Your immune system kicked into gear and kicked out the cold. That’s a pretty surface-skimming explanation, though. Do you know how your immune system actually works? I know we have a few medical folks watching who know a bit more than the average bear, but that’s admittedly not a question we generally think too much about—the current season being an exception to the rule.

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Right in Our Eyes

We’re told every single day and everywhere we look that if we will be true to ourselves and do what lies in our hearts, we’ll be on the right track. As we arrive at the end of the book of Judges in our series, Going It Alone, we see a powerful example of the fact that this just isn’t the case. What is the case? Read on to find out.

Right in Our Eyes

Have you ever seen the movie Suicide Squad? It came out a few years ago. They’re working on a sequel/relaunch with a new director and some new key character swaps. D.C. Comics is trying to get all the mileage out of the fan-favorite character Harley Quinn they can, especially after her solo/ensemble film Birds of Prey flopped so badly a few months ago. As far as superhero movies go, Suicide Squad was pretty good. The major villain seemed to serve as more of a placeholder while the stories of the various “heroes” were told, but in that arena, they really hit a home run I thought. It made enough money to prompt the sequels I mentioned, but I can’t see how it will serve as much more than a minor rabbit trail in the larger cinematic universe that D.C. Comics is still trying to build in hopes of rivaling the juggernaut that Marvel has put together. So far, they’re staying pretty far behind in terms of both quality and box office returns.

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The Leaders We Deserve

As we continue in our journey through the book of Judges, things are getting ugly. God keeps raising up leaders to help the people when they are in trouble, but the stock of people from which He can draw is getting pretty poor. As a result, rather than leading the people, these men are merely reflecting them. There’s a lesson here for us: Our leaders are ultimately going to look like us. What kind of leaders are we meaningfully going to be able to produce? Let’s talk about it.

The Leaders We Deserve

Have you ever seen a movie in which a great leader calls a people to rise above themselves and do great things? That’s a pretty broad category of mostly good movies if you think about it. There is one, though, that stands atop the rest: Braveheart. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what scene I’m talking about. The Scottish clans are all lined up on the hill waiting to run into battle against their English oppressors. They are hopelessly outnumbered by the British regulars. And then William Wallace rides up and down their ranks and speaks courage and confidence into their very souls. The most famous passage of the speech ended like this: “And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

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What Will You Leave Behind?

This week as we get back into our series, Going It Alone, we’re talking about legacies. How do you want to be remembered? Your answer tot that question matters a great deal. Whatever you might affirm verbally, your behavior will always bear out what you really believe. A strong, good legacy can last for generations…but so can a weak or ugly one. Let’s talk about it.

What Will You Leave Behind?

How do you want to be remembered? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind after you’ve left this place? That’s a question most folks wrestle with at some point in their lives. It’s something that everybody thinks about whether they are a follow of Jesus or not. Christians don’t have any kind of monopoly on that kind of thinking. In fact, for folks who aren’t followers of Jesus, this is an even bigger deal because if there’s nothing after this life, then the legacy we leave behind is the closest thing to immortality there is. And so, for many, many people, the idea of their legacy is a really important one. But, not only will we leave a legacy behind us, but we are also the heirs to someone else’s legacy. Most of us are the way we are and have experienced the things we have experienced because of what someone else did before us. It may have been your parents. It may have been your grandparents. It could have been someone else as well. It could be that you’re doing the things you’re doing as a conscious effort to continue the legacy of one of these people. It could be that you’re doing them as a conscious attempt to thwart it.

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Now or Never

As we continue in our series, Going It Alone, the next judge we meet is named Barak. Barak’s story reminds us that when God calls us to something, how respond matters, but not always in the ways we imagine. If we want to be used by Him fully, we’ve got to be willing to go where He goes and do what He does. He won’t necessarily punish us if we don’t, but He won’t have to. Sometimes life really is a now or never game. Thanks for reading.

Now or Never

Have you ever gotten a call you didn’t want to take? What excuse did you give to the person who answered the phone? You were in the bathroom? You were “indisposed”? You were running errands? What? You used to be able to get away with that kind of thing at home, but with the recent takeover of video conferencing, it gets a bit harder. When the other person can see you, it’s harder to hide. I heard someone the other day say that she now keeps makeup and a mirror on her desk so she can freshen up quickly before getting on the phone. Welcome to the new world, right? Oh for the days when you could just hit a button and ignore the call, or even make up a quick story the other person couldn’t possibly know was not quite as true as you made it sound. Actually, I probably shouldn’t endorse lying now that I think about it…

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