Friday, August 31, 2012

Jeremiah Wasn't the First

Jeremiah wasn't the first.

Jeremiah was commissioned by God to preach everything God told him. He preached his entire life. He converted no one.

God knew Jeremiah would not be effective, so why have him preach? So the Jews would have no excuse. They could not say, "I was never told".

But Jeremiah wasn't the first.

Moses and Aaron were commanded to communicate to Pharaoh everything God had said. But God advised them He would inhibit Pharaoh from complying.


So "I can multiply MY signs and MY wonders. I AM THE LORD." Exodus 7:2-5 

The Egyptians would be without excuse.

What has this have to do with you and me?

We are the "Jeremiah's" of this generation. Like Moses and Aaron, we tell unlikely respondents about God's great works. And like Moses, we tell them again, and again, and again. They NEED to know who the Lord is.

Who will you speak to today?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wrongs to Right

How many wrongs does is needed to make one right? Does it take three evils to make one action glorious? Or are seven injurious actions required?

The story of Joseph being delivered to slavery is found in Genesis37:31-35. How many low actions or attitudes do you count in this story?
  • His older brothers sold him as a slave.
  • Joseph's father was deceived by those older brothers.
  • They pretended to be ignorant of what happened to Joseph.
  • Those brothers caused their father deep emotional pain.
  • The 11 brothers attempted to 'comfort' their father, while it was their idea that caused his pain.

It was wrong from beginning to end. Wrongs never create right.

But God took all these 'wrongs' and made them into a great plan for His glory, and for the good of Abraham' great-grandchildren.

Much like you, I have experienced depressing events in my life. But my relationship with God has allowed Him to find good purposes for those tragedies.

Is life a rose bed or a briar patch? The way you look at life, either good or bad, simply reveals your trust-level in God.

Stuck In Anaerobic?
The decay of debris at the depths of a pond is done by bacteria. And sometimes bacteria are more adaptive than humans. 

On sweltering summer days the wind is still, and oxygen is not dissolved in the water. As dissolved oxygen is depletes, bacteria change living and growing to survival and struggle. They switch to anaerobic respiration. These days are not good.

When the wind blows, waves add oxygen to the water. When oxygen is present, bacteria use aerobic respiration to break down the debris. These are the good days.

Bacteria switch back calmly and without hesitation.

Some opportunities look good and we look forward to great successes. Time after time the Devil tricks us. Once more, he has played us for fools. Now sinners, we battle against unfavorable conditions. We feel bogged down. Improvement appears impossible. Liars feel compelled to continue lying. Thieves have no choice but to continue stealing. Unchecked anger agonizes over titanic outcomes. It is survival and struggle. These are not good days.

Then the refreshing breeze of hope comes. He is Jesus. He furnishes the freedom to switch. He presents to the burdened consummate circumstances in which to thrive. Jesus presents liars freedom to tell the truth, thieves to earn a living, and anger governed.

So why does mankind persist in prospecting for solutions that exclude Jesus?

Bacteria switches, instantly, when the opportunity for oxygen comes. Are bacteria brighter than we are???
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Civil Disobedience

This is NOT about civil disobedience as a tool of Mohandas Ghandi. He used nonviolent resistance as his political device.

Nor is Henry David Thoreau's book, Civil Disobedience, the object of this post. As an advocate for people not permitting governments to control a conscience, he urged citizens to avoid acquiescence, thus not becoming agents of injustice.

Being civil disobedient usually is recognized as non-violent passive resistance. Demands are made, but nothing happens.

God agrees. Note these examples.
  • In Exodus 1:15-20, the king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives to execute all males emerging from the womb. But the Hebrew midwives "feared God". They did not obey the kings demand. They let the boys live. Demands were made, but nothing happened.
  • Peter was (again) brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jews governing body. They had ordered him (and Jesus' other apostles) to not preach or teach Jesus. But they did. Peter's reply to them: "we must obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29 . Demands were made, but an atypical civil disobedience occurred.

Uncle Sam
Christians are true-blue to Uncle Sam. Christians comply with the edicts of governments. Laws are for our good. But civil disobedience is imperative when laws or government codes collide with God's commands or doctrine.

What should Christians do when homosexuals, and those promoting or protecting them, cloak themselves behind man's laws? (Rom 1:27-32)

Should I pay taxes to a government that endorses embryonic stem cell research, knowing the cells came from a "sacrificed" human embryo?

Should I support the prolonged process of executing a convicted criminal for a capital crime when God says punishment should be prompt. (Eccl 8:11)?

Should I vote for government leaders that champion evil groups (gays, immigration law violators, etc.)?

Besides, who is mightier than the almighty government? Romans 13:2. (LINK)

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

If Joseph Carries a Grudge...

In the movie "Rainman" the main character kept a journal of all wrongs done to him. He recorded them.

Most of us harbor aggressions in our head or heart.

After Jacob was buried, Joseph's brothers asked themselves "What if Joseph carries a grudge?" The thought scared them sufficiently for them to beg forgiveness.

Someone once said a grudge is "the heaviest thing to carry." has "8 Tips To Stop Holding A Grudge". They include:
  • Acknowledge the problem.
  • Share your feelings.
  • Switch places.
  • Accept what is.
  • Take the positive.

These project prudence and pleasantness, but Joseph's answer uncovers an uncomplicated comprehensive course of action. Genesis 50:20 says; “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

God can change your conflicts into peaceful, positive purposes for others. Like Joseph said, " preserve many people." He can take:
  • unwanted marital unfaithfulness, and commission you to counsel others..
  • disillusionment, and sanction you show others how to deal with disappointment.
  • people's anger at you, and offer you opportunities to develop their self-control.
  • alcoholism surrounding you, and allow you demonstrate resilience.
  • rebellious family members, and enable you to demonstrate God's powerful, gentle perseverance.
  • lies about you, and validate your use of truth as your strength.

The goal of this struggle is to allow God to mature you for His use.