In the past month, we have seen floods, hurricanes, earth quakes and lots of other natural disasters. The most commonly heard question is where is God? Why would God allow this? In addition, you might have asked God why He would allow a prolonged sickness in a child or your marriage to fail, a close relationship to break, your company to fire you or the horrible thing that person did to you when you were young...Why God?
The modern church sends so many people on one to two-week mission trips to build wells and orphanages. They send young people to the inner city to pass out water bottles. What does all of this have to do with the gospel?
Our country promises security through insurance, government, bank accounts, investments... but all are partial securities. All can disappoint. The ultimate security is in how we deal with insecurity. Do we sing? Do we smile? Do we thank God for both security and insecurity?
As of late, I have been bombarded with negative events and suffering. This has been eye opening to me because it has tested my spirit, joy and constitution. I know that it is a test of my faith and I know that is always good. You see, I believe that every test is a way to grow closer to Jesus and to grow stronger as a witness of His love and joy.
In the Gospel of Luke, he describes a scene when Jesus was confronted by a Roman Centurion. I always have pause when I read it because the Roman soldiers were known for their brutalit, harsh treatment and lack of compassion. You might want to picture a lineman on an NFL football team to get a picture of what they were like. Like some football players, this particular soldier defies the stereotype. He pleads with Jesus for compassion for his servant who is ill, but does so with a humble heart.
I have read the Bible and numerous books on Christianity and I felt at a loss of how to talk to this man who is at death’s door. What do I say or share that he will listen to? How do I approach him? I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the words and yet no words came to me.
In business and planning clarity is very important and necessary in order to create solutions that are relevant and timely. In God’s world, clarity is not important. You might ask me why? To answer that question I will have to go over three terms that are prevalent in the Bible: Faith, Hope and Trust.
The second alignment with God in The Lord's Prayer is “thy name.” E. Stanley Jones explains that the word “name” stands for the character in Scripture. I never knew that. To pray in the name of Jesus is to pray the kind of prayer Jesus would pray. It is the character of Jesus. This is what makes the prayer Christian.
Jesus prayed a lot when on earth but His disciples did not pray but were curious about prayer. They weren’t God possessed because they weren’t prayer possessed. Are you? Are your children? How do you communicate the value of prayer to your younger or older children, because I believe it might be your greatest legacy!
For weeks I have been sharing about things that we need to release so that we can fully serve Jesus, such as worshiping idols, pride, etc. Today, I want to summarize the sixteen dead ends and then encourage you with God’s blessings.