History is being made everyday, but it seems that the next couple of weeks will be particularly significant. This issue of Syria and the response of the United States will have huge implications, whichever path is taken. We certainly need to be in prayer for our leaders, and for the people of the region. In light of yesterday’s message on being STALLED due to the fear of people, I have been spending some time in Isaiah 40. There I have found some “big picture” history and perspective from God. It may be God’s word for our times. I quote it in part:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?
Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales…the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless…
Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. It is He who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless…
- Isaiah 40:12-23
This entire chapter was written to bring “comfort” to God’s people of Israel who were surrounded by hostile nations. (40:1) It is not that God doesn’t care for the nations, the comfort comes by being assured that God can and does carry out His plan and purpose in the world. He has no rival. He is the only sovereign. I hope you will explore this marvelous chapter as the news unfolds.
I am very excited about our new series that begins September 22 entitled The Ultimate Journey. What is it? You will have to wait! You can benefit the most by joining a small group for 7 weeks to explore it with others! Click here to find out more.
P.S. Come join us at 12:30! I preached from the floor yesterday—eyeball to eyeball!
Grace and peace,
"Stalled? get moving again: Fear (of people)" Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. - Proverbs 29:25
How real, how true is the wisdom of the Bible! Just read the verse again. Think about your own life…your family…your friends…your community and culture. Then consider the quality of your relationship with God. How does one affect the other? Please, take time and let this one sink in. Your “life” really does depend upon it.
THINKING IT THROUGH
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
Plastic people crack easily.
Left to ourselves we are at the mercy of our passions and fears.
Knowing who we are in Christ sets us free from the need to impress others. Our desire for approval can only truly be met by receiving God’s acceptance and approval of us.
LIVING IT OUT
1. In what ways are you stalled by the fear of other people and how can you tell?
2. What insights have you gained regarding how to begin to “get moving again”?
What next steps will you take?
"Stalled? get moving again: Anger" James 1:19-21
When God created human beings He chose to make us beautifully complex. This is true not just of our physical bodies but especially of our mental and emotional capacities. We experience a wide array of emotions, some more subtle than others. Anger is one of our most common emotions, and is something that can frequently get us stuck spiritually. Not surprisingly, the Bible has a lot to say about anger. Let’s take a look.
LOOKING IT UP
· The concept of anger first appears in Scripture in Genesis 4:5-6. What is the context of this reference? What important event in human history occurred in the previous chapter (Genesis 3)?
· There are a number of verses in Proverbs about anger. Read the following verses and make some observations about what you learn: Proverbs 15:18; 30:33; 14:29.
· Interestingly, anger is frequently used in Scripture in relationship to God. Read the following verses and observe what we learn about God’s anger: 1 Kings 11:9-10; Psalm 30:5; Mark 3:4-5.
· Now read James 1:19-21 and answer the following questions:
o List out each command from these verses.
o Why should we “be slow to become angry”?
o What do you think the difference is between “human anger” (or “man’s anger”) and God’s anger?
o What do you think the connection is between vs.21 and verses 19 and 20?
o What does it mean to “humbly accept the word planted in you?” (vs. 21)
o How might this “word planted in you” help with anger?
Posted on Wed, September 11, 2013
by Tom Oyler