Monday, July 27, 2020

The small things

“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” (Zechariah 4:10)

In the above-referenced Scripture, The Lord was encouraging His people from despising what seemed small in the rebuilding of the temple.

We often ignore the small things that appear to be unimportant, but yet have the greatest impact if missing or not functioning. Big toe, baby toe, tongue. What about tasks? Washing dishes or scrubbing toilets? Or what about having experience in your career field but having to start at the entry-level? Or what about ministry? You really want that solo but instead, you have to sing in the choir for years before you're ever handed a mic? Or maybe you've been called to preach/teach, but somehow you're serving in the infant room every Sunday during church service?

Or shoot, look at what's happening around us. Could this be a time of rebuilding? Though it is uncomfortable, I challenge you to be still and see the value in the "small things."

God is always moving, even when it doesn't seem like it. Stand in hope that the small things are part of His big master plan. Don't despise them because they have purpose. Instead, ask God what He wants you to learn in the small things.

Monday, July 20, 2020

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me, 
and what answer I am to give to this complaint. (Habukkuk 2:1)

Habukkuk is questioning God about what he sees before him - the destruction of Judah, the lack of justice, and evil prevailing. Why isn't God stepping in? God does answer the prophet with a response that gave me pause. See verse 1:5. God is working but told Habakkuk that he wouldn't believe His work even if He told him.

"God, why aren't you doing anything" can be the cry of many of our hearts during this time. Is evil prevailing? Why is our justice system broken? Lord, where are you in the midst of this madness?

God is a Holy and just God. I believe He is working. And as in verse 5, we wouldn't believe what He was doing if He told us. Though what we perceive as normal has been twisted upside down, that doesn't change who God is. In fact, everything changes except God. There is an appointed time for every season of life (see Ecclesiastes 3), we must only trust in God's love and character. Habukkuk 2:4 reminds us that the just (us, God's children) shall live by faith.

Our faith, our hope, is not in things of the world, a government, a church, or any other institution, but in the Lord Jesus, our Savior. He is loving and He cares for His children; so don't be weary in doing the right thing, but keep a posture of love, humility, hope, and peace. Be led by your faith in Christ Jesus. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Running to God's voice

 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (Jonah 1:3)

Jonah's story is familiar. God gave him a direct command and he ignored it, hoping to flee from God. Is that even possible? This was my Bible study recently, and I want to share my notes/thoughts of encouragement/observations.

*Run to God's voice and not away from Him when He speaks. Even when what he has said seems scary, trust Him.

*There is no place we can go to escape the Lord. He is omnipresent.

*My disobedience can cause storms in other people's lives and vice versa. Is there anyone in my life running from God?

*It's funny how Jonah was the person to cause the trouble, yet he was on the boat resting peacefully during the storm. (Think about that)

*If the crew knew Jonah was running from God (Jonah told them so), why did they allow Him on the boat? Money? Because they didn't know God or His power? (Have you encouraged disobedience in the life of those around you?)

*Only after the storm did they question Jonah about who he was. He told them to throw him over the ship, yet they refused and the storm became rougher. Once they finally overthrew Him, the storm calmed. They vowed to serve God after this. I suppose Jonah running wasn't all bad. Several men were saved that day and witnessed the power of God because of Jonah's disobedience.

Though God can use even our disobedience to draw others to Him, we shouldn't make it a practice to walk in our own way. My sincere prayer for you and me is that we'll make it a practice to run to God's voice and not in the opposite direction.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Let love lead

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)

I recall the story of Daniel in the lion's den but it had been so long since I've read it that I'd forgotten the details. He was sent to the lion's den because other nobles who were jealous of him, tricked the king into signing a decree that anyone who prayed to any God for the next 30 days would be thrown in the lion's den. This decree backfired on those who tried to destroy Daniel.

*The enemy tried to tear down/attack Daniel's faith. His accusers knew that he was faithful and they knew this trick was sure to get him destroyed by lions. They were partially right. The decree worked, but they didn't count on God saving Daniel. They didn't know God's power.

*God is faithful. There are times when things don't turn out well like they did for Daniel, but one thing we do know is that God is faithful. He honors those who honor Him! God will not forsake the righteous - His chosen ones. And we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus.

*Don't be jealous. Sounds simple, but those feelings can creep in and cause you to do crazy things that can/will backfire. See the folks who set the trap for Daniel? Well, they ended up in the lion's den and suffered the exact fate they had planned for Daniel.

*Our decisions affect those around us. Not only were those men thrown in the lion's den, but so were their wives and innocent children. Be careful not to do crazy stuff that will harm the innocent.

*God protecting Daniel in the lion's den drew others to Him and taught them about His power. I'm certain that was an uncomfortable situation for Daniel, but sometimes God allows us to go through stuff so that His power can be demonstrated.

This coronavirus business is madness, but at the end of it, I see more of God's people returning to Him and honoring His name. Everyone is suffering, some way more than others, but we know suffering brings about endurance. (Romans 5:3-5). We must love one another. Daniel 6 would not have happened if love was leading the nobles.
#ChooseLove #ChooseJesus