Skip to 42

Job 42
Job 42

Wouldn’t it be nice just to skip to Job 42?

Instead, we gotta complain. We gotta whine. We gotta give God our 2 cents on the matter. We call a buddy and have them confirm that we’ve got it bad. Then we definitely feel the need to enlighten the All -powerful Creator of the known universe with the way we would’ve done it.

Job did that. He had finally had enough. Job said enough of the boils and scabs, enough of the terrible advice from his “friends,” and enough of taking it. So, he let God know.

And God let him speak his little mind.

Then it was God’s turn. God said, “Brace yourself, I will question you and you shall answer me.”

By the time Job 42 rolls around, Job’s story has changed, hasn’t it? He realized that he spoke of things he didn’t understand. He pontificated on matters he couldn’t possibly understand. Finally he repents.

The LORD blesses the latter part of Job’s life more than the former. Way more! In fact, Job lived for another 140 years for crying out loud and saw his grandchildren’s grandchildren.

There are times when we shake our fists at God and feel like we’ve been dealt a crumby hand. However, there are things we don’t understand. Couldn’t understand. But God does. All He asks is that we love Him, believe in His Son, and leave the rest to Him.

I need to skip to Job 42 and just thank God.

May God’s Love be with you

And Peter

Mark 16:7
Mark 16:7

Two of the sweetest and tender words in the Bible are “and Peter.” What’s so loving about those words? It is actually a special message. It is a special message meant to comfort Peter.

In typical Peter fashion, he had been the first to defend his loyalty and the first to discard it. He boasted the loudest (I would die first!) and fell the hardest (3 times?). If Peter was anything, he was consistent, wasn’t he? The man always did it big. He won big (walking on water!) and He lost big (really, 3 times, man?!).

So, of all the Apostles, Peter was probably the most ashamed of abandoning Christ at the last moments. He didn’t just run away – he cursed Jesus’s name! Jesus knew this about His servant. Jesus knew Peter was probably beating himself up something terrible. So, He had the angel give a extra message to Peter.

“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.'” – Mark 16:7

I’m sure this message brought tears of relief to the eyes of Peter.

Go tell His people… AND Peter.

Especially Peter.

Make sure Peter knows.

Tell Peter in particular!

Jesus knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows when you have dropped the ball and are beating yourself up about it. He doesn’t like that. He just wants you to come back to Him. Just as He made sure to send this special message to Peter, Jesus has a special message for you too. He has a special message meant to comfort you.

Read Mark 16:7 and replace Peter’s name with your own.

“But go, tell His disciples and ______”

May God’s Love be with you

Ref: Kerry Shook’s Easter message, 2014

Self Entitlement

Luke 17:7-10
Luke 17:7-10

Ever take your car to the mechanic and he fixed it? Did he ask for a tip? Did he want your praise and adoration?

Of course not. He was just doing his job. He was supposed to fix it. He was not going above and beyond.

Teachers and business owners will tell you that the biggest problem they face today is the self-entitled student or worker. The people who feel they are owed something for just showing up!

“Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” Luke 17:7-10 

Luke is not attacking obedience itself, but the obedient servant who is self entitled. Whether it be praying, reading, preaching, or witnessing – these are all things we are supposed to do. The NASB translates it, “that which we ought.” We ought to be doing them! These acts are not extra. There isn’t any extra credit. If there were extra credit then men could boast, right?

The joke is that you cannot spell “entitlement” without I and Me. The focus should never be on us. It’s about what God has done, not what man is doing. We are unworthy even after doing what’s expected of us. I thank God for his long-suffering patience with me and my self-serving self entitlement!

May God’s Love be with you

God’s Kindness

Romans 2:4
Romans 2:4

If you owe someone something, aren’t you more likely to avoid them? You don’t want to run into them and be reminded of the debt you owe. It embarrasses you to know you haven’t repaid them. The debt is always hanging over your head. It becomes a burden. It becomes awkward.

If someone has a free gift for you aren’t you more likely to seek them out? You want to find them and get the present. It warms your heart to know they were thinking of you. Their love follows you wherever you go. It becomes a source of comfort. It becomes precious.

It is the promise of God’s kindness that should lead us to Him, not the fear of His wraith. Do you see the difference? Both servants are obedient, but one serves through fear and one serves through love. Are you obeying God because you don’t want to make Him angry or are you obeying God because His kindness moved you so?

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

It is God’s kindness that should cause us to turn away from our wicked selves. It is God’s kindness that should cause us to run into His arms. We don’t owe Him anything. Our balance is zero. The debt has been paid without any sense of repayment. We never could, even if we wanted to! When Jesus healed, it was never with the attitude that the healed now owed Him anything. He did so freely!

The Message says “Or did you think that because He’s such a nice God, He’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft.” The promise of His love and kindness is real. Also real is His promise of wraith and judgement. So, don’t be fooled. God will not be taken advantage of. The door one day will close. Which side of that door will you be on?

May God’s Love be with you

Brother From Another Mother

Brother From Another MotherAre you my brother? Or are you my brother from another mother? Is your mother Sarah or Hagar?

God promised Sarah a child. His name was to be Isaac. So she waited. And waited. Finally she got frustrated with waiting and took matters into her own hands. Sarai offered a surrogate; her Egyptian bondwoman, Hagar. Hagar produced a son, his name was Ishmael.

Just as God promised, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. Now Sarah was in a pickle. Ishmael was the first born and therefore, heir. Hagar and Sarah now began bickering. The last straw? Ishmael began mocking Isaac. So Sarah asked Abraham to kick Hagar and Ishmael out.

(Don’t worry, God would bless Ishmael. However, that is a story for another time.)

Ishmael represents self effort, the Old Covenant, and the Law. By not believing in God and having faith in his promise, Sarah created a bigger mess for herself. Hagar was Egyptian and “Egypt” always represents “the world.” Also Hagar was a slave which further strengthens the concept of bondage to the law.

Isaac represents God’s promise, the New Covenant and Grace. Isaac would later become a perfect image of Christ (as he was offered as a sacrifice). Eventually Christ Himself, would come from his line. Sarah was a free woman which strengthens the concept of the freedom offered by Grace! God wanted Sarah to be the mother, not Hagar. God wanted freedom for us, not slavery.

We are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free woman! Galatians 4:21-31

Who is your mother?

May God’s Love be with you

Ref: Genesis 16, Joseph Prince “Experience Grace”