Posts Tagged ‘Psalms’

Loving The World

10/10/2011

Today we continue our formerly postponed series “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. Today is step 4, loving the world.

Loving the world isn’t the same as drifting away from Him like a boat floating from a dock. Loving the world is hopping in the driver’s seat, firing up the motor, and flying out to deep water.

1 John 2:15 tells us “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is no in him”. That makes it pretty cut and dry. You see, the world makes it so easy to love it. Many things seem to feel better when done the world’s way. Many equate this with material things, and being yourself. Not true, nothing is wrong with self-expression of having a few things here and there, the problem comes when we use those two things as justification for idolatry.

I know tons of “rich” and “blessed” people but from my experience with them, they don’t put those things above God. On the same token, I know those who do. I have been one of them. On both ends.

I have allowed my human “wants” to outweigh my spiritual “needs”. And if you are being honest with yourself, you have to.

How do we fix this and avoid step four? We keep God closer to our hearts than we do things of this Earth. Sounds easier than it is, but it is far greater to have the love of the Lord in our lives, than a love for cars, boats or houses.

 

God Bless,

Chris

Ten days of trust

06/07/2011
Illustrates Double Chiasm of the book of Danie...

Image via Wikipedia

I want to preface today’s message with letting you all know that my current studies are based on Psalms and Daniel. So if you notice a theme, this is why.

Today’s message comes from Daniel chapter one and focuses on exactly what can happen when we trust in God. In Daniel’s case, and the cases of his three friends who would later be known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We know of two major stories involving lion’s and furnaces involving this group of guys, but today’s focus is on something different. As the title reads, today’s message is about what God can do with just ten days worth of our complete trust.

Before we get into that, I wanted to give you some background on the Book of Daniel. Parts of Daniel are written in the first-person perspective, and others in third. Either way, tradition states Daniel is the author of the book. It is based on a time around 538-605 years before the birth of Jesus Christ during the Babylonian exile of the Jews. Something very unique and unusual about this book in the Bible is that it was written in two different languages. The opening (chapter one) and Daniel’s prophecies (chapters 8-12) were written in Hebrew. However, the stories of the lives of Daniel and his three friends (chapters 8-12) were written in Aramaic, an older form of language that predates Hebrew. This could have been because the writer, or writers feared that during this exile the books would be found and destroyed, but by writing them in different languages whoever found them would be confused and write them off as gibberish. Another school of thought is that there were two books written, the one we have, and one that was opposite with the languages, and done this way where at least something had a chance of surviving time.

Just after the exile once the guys find themselves in Babylon, a eunuch is charged with watching them and guarding them, as they are prisoners of war. The king (Nebuchadnezzar) ordered that they be fed the wines and meat of the royal table in exchange for their works and services. He knew they were men of God. The problem that the eunuch was having, was getting them to eat those foods. We would have probably been more than happy to eat steaks all day and drink the finest wines the world had to offer fresh from the king’s kitchen and table. Daniel and his friends however, refused because it would violate the Laws of Moses, and defile them (make them dirty) before the Lord God. The eunuch said to Daniel: “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king. (Daniel 1:10)”

In response, and trusting God completely Daniel replied: “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see. (Daniel 1:12-13)” 

To us, ten days doesn’t seem to be a big deal of water and veggies. In those days, things were different. Things weren’t as easy to get as they are here. Therefore, when people at the food of the king, you generally expected to see them appear much healthier than those who eat the most basic foods. But at the end of those days, they appeared to be healthier, more lean than all of the other young people who ate from the king’s table. On top of that: God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. (Daniel 1:17)

You see, these kids didn’t show their trust in God, to gain anything. They did it to prove to everyone around them, the other young people who were imprisoned, the guards, the eunuch, and the king that God can, and will provide for those who trust in Him. Not only did God make them healthier than everyone else, he gave them individual gifts of wisdom and knowledge as well. This gift that Daniel received would one day give us some of our prophecies of the End Times as well.

Today you might feel like Daniel or his friends. You might feel like if you don’t eat from the table, that the rest of your peers or colleagues are that you will be left out. I can tell you from personal experience, that following the path that God has for you, leads to much better than the tables of the kings of this Earth. Remember, Jesus is the King Of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. So to follow his way for your life, to eat from his table is a far better meal than any other.

God bless,

Chris

God Reveals Himself

03/25/2011

Let God Be Your Light In Your Tunnel

Have you ever had problems in your life that you just simply could not see how God could let you go through them? Well, have you ever thought that maybe just maybe, sometimes Jesus puts things in our lives to build us up? What about the thought that maybe he puts these in our lives to reveal himself to us? To show you His grace first hand.
 
God really put me through the ringer last year. I could not be more grateful either. I turned away from my family, my friends, my church, and most importantly, God himself. I completely ceased being charitable, stopped serving, put everything on the shelf that I was involved in. I lied to people, lots of people. I started heading down a dark road that didn’t at all feel like “me”. I know what triggered everything. And I have put that particular grief behind me, as has my wife. Sometimes when we are going through the worst storms of our lives, we don’t want to see God in the middle. But once you find yourself in the eye of the storm, you feel the peace in the center. That peace is God, showing his grace in abundance even when it doesn’t feel like it. Like the Allstate insurance commercial says, “that light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t have to be an oncoming train“. They could not be more RIGHT! That light doesn’t have to be a train, but if you calm yourself, breathe deep, and actually look around, you will see that it is not a light at all, it is God, in his own way, showing you Himself.
 
God Bless
 
Chris