Archives For Bible

Who are You?

October 21, 2015

Whether it is our job, school, or even in church; we are all familiar with working hard in order to receive approval.

This is the way life works, but grace and Christianity are meant to be different.

“God pronounces believers righteous at the beginning of the course, not the end of it…it cannot be on the basis of works they have not yet done” FF Bruce

Let’s not just talk about this, lets see it in Bible; even in the life of Jesus

Luke 3:21-22 tells us the story of Jesus’ baptism. He had not begun his ministry. But God’s feelings for him were not based on what He did but who he was.

“You are my Beloved Son with whom I am well pleased”

When we receive Jesus, we are a new creation; receiving a new identity.

Grace and Anger

September 1, 2015

The topics of grace and anger are difficult to bring together. Even more so when we consider the emotions of God.

Our natural tendency is to transform God into a human. When we consider him as our Father, the reflection of our earthly parents influence our perspective.

How do we consider the anger of God and reconcile it with his grace without turning God into a human?

We use terms like “righteous anger” in an attempt to express it.

  • Jesus walked in this godly emotion while upsetting the tables in the temple.
  • “Be angry but do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)
  • Psalms 7 says God has “indignation every day” (Vs 11)

I have a number of situations right now where my prevailing emotion is anger. I’ve heard all the warnings through the years against this emotion.

  • Stay away from bitterness.

Dark Night of the Soul

August 4, 2015

Most of us are familiar with this term. Many have experienced a true, dark night of the soul.

All of us can relate to times when our journey was at least a “dim night of the soul.”

The phrase originated with St. John of the Cross who contemplated this from prison. He spoke of “how God changes us not just through joy and light, but through confusion, through disappointment, through loss.”

This background first came to my attention through John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You.

Ortberg says, “God’s love is not content to leave us in our weakness, and for that reason, he takes us into a dark night.”

Our greatest enemy during these seasons is a lack of patience to wait for whatever God would give us, in the timing God chooses.

  • We want rescue now!

Remember

July 21, 2015

The idea of “Remember” is key in many areas of our lives.

To remember means:

  • To not forget.
  • To remind.
  • To reorient oneself to a previously determined course.

It is no wonder God uses this term often. With Israel, He always challenged them to remember the covenant. They were to observe many festivals and feasts, all designed to remind themselves of God’s deliverance, provision, and character.

These were holidays built into the calendar. In South Africa, we do this as well. One of my favorite ones is Freedom Day. This day remembers the struggle against apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.

The Bible is full of things to remember:

  • Remember your Creator. (Ecc. 12)
  • Remember the Sabbath. (Ex. 20)
  • Remember the wife of your youth. (Prov. 5)

Why all this talk of remembering?

Simply put, because we are forgetful.

No President will get elected on a platform of restraint and cutting back. Political and economic decisions are often made for today without thinking of the future.

In South Africa, where I live and work, we are having an electricity crisis. They need rolling blackouts because the demand exceeds capacity. The attempt to shut it down as little as possible, puts us dangerously close a national blackout because the buffer is so little.

Perhaps they should shut down power in more of the country so they can fix the problem faster?

Even in our personal lives, how often does the lure of “now” influence our purchases? That new cell phone or the upgraded car seem so needed, so we lock ourselves into a long-term contract. Don’t even get me started about debt versus savings rates in most homes!