November 20, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 34; Job 13-14; Amos 8; John 19; Hebrews 6-7

Amos 8 vs. 11-12, “The time is surely coming, says the Lord Godwhen I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lordbut they shall not find it.”

So many are searching today. Searching for the mysterious “it”.  We have churches on every corner.  We have multiple TV channels with ministries preaching every hour of the day.  Entire bookstores filled with Christian books and devotionals.  Yet many don’t seem to find what they are looking for.

God hasn’t withdrawn his word from us, but the world has drowned it out with other voices.

If we want to be closer to God, if we want to find meaning in our lives, then we need to return to the place where we can see and hear God’s voice.  We need to return to his word and listen intently at the feet of Jesus.

November 19, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 33; Job 11-12; Amos 7; John 18; Hebrews 4-5

Hebrews 5 vs 11-14 talk about our spiritual growth.

How many times does it happen?  A person comes into a church as a new member.  He shows up regularly.  But as time goes on he begins to miss an occasional Sunday.  Soon he’s missing more often.  Then he’s missing a month at a time.  At the end maybe it’s just Christmas and Easter.

He was so full of fire initially, what happened?

Our spiritual life is like our physical life.  If we deny ourselves food we lose weight.  If we go long enough without food we die.  If we ate only one meal a weak the likelihood is that we wouldn’t last long.

Our spiritual growth is dependent on what we do after Sunday.  Do we spend time in the Bible?  Do we spend time in Prayer?

We need to do these things if we want to grow our faith and love of our Savior.

November 18, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 32; Job 9-10; Amos 6; John 17; Hebrews 2-3

Jesus spends 26 verses telling us a few simple truths.

First is that God loved each of us so much that Jesus came to earth.

Second, that Jesus gave us his very words to guide our lives and our thoughts.

Finally, the world will not accept the message and may not accept those who believe Jesus teachings.

November 17, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 31; Job 7-8; Amos 5; John 16; Philemon & Hebrews 1

Hebrews 1 verse1-4

“Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 

He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. 

When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”NRSV

November 16, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 30; Job 5-6; Amos 4; John 15; Titus 2-3

When Hezekiah became King, he conducted a major renovation project.  He rebuilt the temple, fixed the alter, put the Levites and Priests back in charge of the church.  He did a lot.

But then he set about handling the most challenging task.  The task of rebuilding the spiritual life of both Judah and Israel.

It had been a long time since the Passover was celebrated.  So long that people actually probably didn’t even remember ever celebrating it.

They were late with the repairs, so they missed the chance to do it during the biblically accepted month.  So they moved the celebration out a month.

They called all of Israel, not just those in the kingdom of Judah, Hezekiah extended the invitation to any and all throughout the nation.

Many laughed.  Why would this crazy king want to dredge up this old tradition?  Who needed that anymore.

But many did come.

But the people had forgotten the rules.  They’d forgotten to ritually purify themselves.  So Hezekiah did the only thing he could.  He asked God for forgiveness and God freely forgave.

I don’t think that God was worried one little bit about whether or not the Jewish people followed the rules to perfection.  God accepted each and every one of them in the exact state they were in.  Poor, meager sinners who desperately needed to hear the good news that God loved his people and wanted to forgive them in spite of what they’d done.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

November 15, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 29; Job 3-4; Amos 3; John 14; 2 Timothy 4 & Titus 1

In his final words to Timothy, before Paul’s execution, Paul sends a message to Timothy.  It’s loud and clear.

Things are going to get dicey my son.

People were scared.  Nero was going after anyone who proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah.  He had blamed the Christians for burning parts of Rome.  Now anyone who proclaimed Christ as Savior was subject to execution in some of the most horrible ways.

Paul’s message to Timothy was simple.  Proclaim the good news no matter what.

It doesn’t matter what unbelievers say or do.  Our mission is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.  Nothing more nothing less.  We’re not to water it down or change it to make the world happy.  We are just supposed to proclaim it.

It doesn’t matter if people don’t want to believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  We need to keep preaching it.

It doesn’t matter if people don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God.  We need to keep proclaiming it.

It doesn’t matter what the world thinks.

What God thinks is the only thing that really matters.

November 14, 2018

What I read today

2 Chronicles 28; Job 1-2; Amos 2; John 13; 2 Timothy 2-3

When we were first married, I wasn’t going to church very much.  In fact, I did everything I could to avoid going to church.  After I was confirmed I pretty much walked away from the church I attended as a young person in Woodstock, IL.

We were married in a small church in Wilmot, WI.  At our wedding both the Pastors who had confirmed me showed up for the wedding.  I hadn’t seen either of them in a long time and hadn’t stepped foot in the church there in many years.

Eight months into our marriage Cara went into premature labor 3 months early.  In 1984 that was not good. The care for premature babies has come a long way since then, but in 1984 the odds of survival were not good.

I was sitting in a waiting area while the prepped Cara for an ultrasound when the mother of a young man I had been confirmed with saw me sitting alone.  She came over and sat next to me and asked what was going on.  I was so shaken up that I could barely tell her.

A few hours later as the doctors and nurses were preparing my wife for transport to prenatal ICU in Rockford one of the nurses came in and said there was someone to see me.  I walked out and there standing at the desk was Pastor Ken Ahlstrand.  He told me that if we needed him at anytime day or night to let him know.  No matter what he was there.

It’s hard to understand the impact of a visit like that, in a time like that.  That’s what being a servant is.  It’s not about preaching the grandest sermon, or being biblically correct or getting every doctrine just right.  It’s about being there and showing love and kindness for someone who needs it.