Question of the day: Do you wonder why the Bible mentions earthquakes at least 17 times, it never mentions volcanoes?
This month is March 2016 – or; 3/16. It is 3/16 all month and it won’t happen again for another 100 years.
It’s a good month to reflect on God’s love – as in:
John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 (NIV)
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Or you can choose to look at your hardships:
Job 3:16 (NIV)
16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child,
like an infant who never saw the light of day?
Lamentations 3:16 (NIV)
16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
Romans 3:16 (NIV)
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
Or you can sit and wait before the Lord and His guidance:
Ezekiel 3:16 (NIV)
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me:
You can focus on who you are as a believer:
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Or rest in His peace:
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
But no matter what, do not be lukewarm about your faith on 3/16 or any other month because there is fair warning:
Revelation 3:16 (NIV)
16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
For a complete list of the 3:16’s take a look at this blog:
The 1960’s and 70’s were an interesting time for music. Rock music hit the airways and played on transistor radios and vinyl. It was often hard to understand the words in songs and kids would gather and try to decipher what was really said. Some albums came with lyrics written on the cover but most of the time we were stuck trying to figure it out. Listeners called radio stations to ask for help. We held cassette recorders in front of the radio to “record” the music so that we could listen over and over again. Parents decried this music and said “how can you understand what they are saying?”
Jump ahead 50 years and lyrics are only a button away on the internet. Spotify even plays the lyrics along with the music. There is no point in guessing. Just look it up.
Are you hearing God in 60’s style – poor reception, unclear words, cassette reproduction, meeting with friends to understand? Are you guessing at what God is saying or do you have a better system to hear and translate?
We shouldn’t need to live in confusion. We should be able to hear and understand. The lyrics are available to read.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
There have been many times in my life that I was angry with God. It’s not really smart getting into a fight with God . . .it is always a losing battle.
Sometimes we are angry at something He did or didn’t do. Other times we are just angry at life (or ourselves) and we take it out on Him. The longest stretch that I remember being mad at God was three months. I don’t remember what it was about but I remember not talking to Him. I’m sure He was really disappointed. . . maybe He was glad to not hear me complain for awhile!
I always end up apologizing later when I get over my tantrum. God has big shoulders. I imagine Him being happier that I am close enough to Him to get angry then not having any relationship at all. How many of His children just don’t care and ignore Him?
Here is my suggestion: Tell God that you are angry. Tell Him that you know it is not His fault but that you are angry anyway and apologize ahead of time. He may send you to your room for a quiet time to calm down. Maybe He will suggest a nap. Maybe He will give you a snickers bar like in the commercial. Walk it out. Don’t walk away. God used Jonah in his anger. He can use you too.
Jonah 4:9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
A friend of mine recently said “I quit my job 5 times today”. No he’s not a policeman or sewer tech. He’s a missionary! In today’s world, any job can be stressful enough to make us want to quit 5 times a day. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth getting up in the morning!
Life is hard. It’s not easy to be young and it’s not easy to be old. Rich or poor – challenges are overwhelming. How do we carry on? Is it all worth the trouble?
I had the following scripture saved from month’s ago. I started reading it and thought that I had written it. Surprisingly, it is from the Bible!!!!! Imagine that, David had trials way back then too. He dealt with complaining. He had was ready to explode and quit too.
It doesn’t make our situations any easier but it does help to keep it all in perspective. It really is a brief time on earth . . .
Psalm 39 Living Bible (TLB)
39 I said to myself, I’m going to quit complaining! I’ll keep quiet, especially when the ungodly are around me. 2-3 But as I stood there silently the turmoil within me grew to the bursting point. The more I mused, the hotter the fires inside. Then at last I spoke and pled with God: 4 Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more.
On a previous blog I wrote about over fertilizing plants in my office. Yes, I have learned that too much of a good thing can kill. I sit and watch these plants daily knowing that they are destined to die. I could just throw them out but . . . they are still green and they look alive. I know they are dying but as Monte Python said it best, “I’m not dead yet”.
When do we decide if a plant is dead? When it is brown and shriveled or when it is still green but lifeless? Green and lifeless is not coming back. Why do I keep encouraging it?
My first round of plants finally died from my fertilizer mishap. Now I’m on round two. I dumped all that over fertilized soil into a bag with other soil, mixed it around and then reused it on new plants that I bought. Guess what. Those new plants didn’t like it either and they are drooping and dropping all around me. They too are still green but I really don’t think they are going to make it.
Don’t we learn? I know that I can be slow but “I’m not dead yet”. Stop pouring water and tending to lifeless activity. Even Jesus cursed the fruitless olive tree. If it is not bearing fruit or giving life, let it go. Give your effort to something that is ready to grow.
Mark 11:12 The next morning as they left Bethany, he felt hungry. 13 A little way off he noticed a fig tree in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But no, there were only leaves, for it was too early in the season for fruit.
14 Then Jesus said to the tree, “You shall never bear fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.
“It’s all fun and games until you poke your eye out” – we all heard this message from our mothers growing up.
We all had BB guns as kids – they’re probably not politically correct anymore. The old ones were not very powerful but there was always the fear of shooting someone in the eye which would have been horrible!
David didn’t have a BB gun when he faced Goliath – he only had a sling shot. While his type of sling shot was more powerful then a BB gun, it would take a lot of skill to be accurate with it.
Imagine facing a giant in today’s world with only a BB gun. He would have protective gear, a machine gun and hand grenades. Imagine facing a NAVY SEAL or Army Ranger! Imagine the laugh and disgust that would come to the mind of that soldier. A boy with a BB gun. Is that all the enemy can send out? (this is not a comparison to terrorists who sadly send children out with explosives taped to their bodies).
David had a great aim and hit his enemy. He brought down Goliath.
You may be facing an enemy today – a giant that looms over you. You may only have a BB gun. Will you take down the giant? Will you conquer the enemy? Are you fighting for Lord’s army or for your own selfish ambition?
Can you hit the enemy in the eye?
I Samuel 17:41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
This may be my favorite post of the year:
I was looking for a song that I liked from my teen years. When I found it I saw the name of the recording artist. I couldn’t remember their name. I can’t say that I ever knew their name. They were a “one hit” artist. They never recorded another hit song and they disappeared from fame after this one song that hit the chart.
Many groups have experienced this – they come and go with only one hit song. It doesn’t mean that they weren’t great musicians. It only means that they hit the charts for a moment. Many great musicians don’t ever accomplish that much.
When we think of people in the Bible, we often think of the main characters – Moses, David, Joshua, Peter and Paul. These men had repeated input to God’s Kingdom. But what about the “one hit” people? Were they any less significant?
As we carry out God’s will, are we trying to be massive influencers, one hit leaders, or are we simply doing what we are called to do? Whether we make a “hit” or not is really not important. It’s the character that we walk out in the course of our life that may or may not lead to a “hit”. Walk with God and let Him have the glory.
Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
What would Mary look like today? Estimates range from 14 to 18 years old. She was a typical girl. No one knew her as the mother of Jesus. She was just a young unmarried teenage girl who found herself pregnant.
If she lived today, would she drive? Have an iPhone? Pierced ears? Nose ring? Carry a backpack to school? Would she be white, Hispanic, black, Asian?
How would we view her? Would we accept her? Judge her?
Matthew 1:18 His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Why am I going here? Good question. If you read my first post on polygamy I stated that the same sex marriage advocates have changed (re-written) the laws of marriage and thus have opened the door for others to rewrite marriage even more. Society doesn’t currently want to hear those arguments – they are currently happy with the change that was made. My point is that other changes are coming and it is only a matter of time for the doors to be opened.
The Bible clearly speaks against homosexuality but it doesn’t clearly speak against polygamy. Polygamy is not described as sin. It is common in the Old Testament – even by Godly men. Monogamy is implied as the correct marriage but I have not found polygamy cursed.
Should society push for this change? How will the church respond? There are clearly some benefits – I know far more single women that desire a husband than single men looking for a wife. Polygamy can be a hurtful, lonely institution. Hurtful, but is it a sin? I am not an advocate for polygamy but I could have assimilated it quicker than same sex marriage simply based on scripture.
1 Corinthians 7
“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. …
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.