1. Prayer. It is something all of us do. It is something all of us would like to do better! The Bible tells us we are to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But have you wondered how in the world we are supposed to do so? Much of our days are spent on the job or in the classroom. Not to mention the hours we spend sleeping (which for so many of us is probably NOT enough). So what does God expect of us? Donald Whitney who as written so many excellent books on the spiritual disciplines (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Simply Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed, and Praying the Bible) answers this question for us! Check out what he has to say here!
2. This week I finished teaching a course on Apocalyptic Literature in the Accelerated Undergraduate Degree program at Lancaster Bible College (I teach on campus vs. online). Now the title may sound impressive ... but in reality, most of our time is spent going through the two primary apocalyptic books in the Bible: Daniel and Revelation. I consider it a HUGE privilege to guide students through these two particular books. As a freshman in Bible College (and a fairly new Christian as well), my very first Bible course was Dan-Rev. And that began a love affair with these two books ... as well as the entire Bible! Every time I teach this five week course (every April) I am reminded of two powerful truths.
- God is sovereign over the affairs of humanity and the ebb and flow of human history! This means he has a plan for this world (and for you and me) and he is working that plan! This world will NOT go on and on ad infintum. There is a termination date known only to God (Revelation 21:1 and 2 Peter 3:11-13). So instead of getting all worked up about all that's wrong with our world, we can find hope and comfort knowing that God is still on his throne!
- God is not only a God of love and patience, he is also a God of wrath. This is particularly seen in the pages of the Revelation. The word "wrath" occurs about a dozen times in the book (check out Revelation 6:15-17). Now do we need to fear facing the wrath of God? No ... not if we have embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, when Jesus died upon the cross, he faced the wrath of God. He paid (IN FULL) the penalty for our sin and rebellion against God. The wage we owed ... he paid! So when we repent (turn from) our sin and rebellion and ask God to forgive our sins and give to us eternal life - he freely and graciously does so! I often say during my sermons that our salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone! God made Jesus (who had no sin) to become sin for us ... so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Wow! What a God! What a savior! What a gospel!
3. As I was sitting in the waiting room yesterday to see my orthopedic surgeon, the lights in the facility went out. A second or two later they were back ... barely enough time to notice. One of the office staff made a comment that not only caught my ear but also irritated me. She said, "What was that? Glad they came back on or all of the old people around here would be freaking out!" OK. Having been told earlier this week by my six year old grandson that I am "old," I guess I am a bit sensitive to negative comments about "older" people (and the tone of the remark left no doubt it was negative in
nature). Now I understand that I appear "old" to my grandson (even thought I am ONLY 61). My memories of my dad's mother are that of an old woman (yet she was only 62 when she died of cancer). Unfortunately, in our youth driven culture, old people don't get the respect that they are due! Our world would not be what it is (I am thinking in a good sense) if it were not for all the contributions of the older generation. In addition, now that I have joined the "60's" club, I am learning that growing old is NOT for sissies! When the knees creek and groan when they bend and the ears don't hear what is being said - this is painful in more ways than one. This is something young people simply don't understand. And what does God tells us in regard to how we view and treat the older people among us? We must respect them (Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 16:31; 1 Timothy 5:1-2)! So let's give honor to those who are older, always remembering doing the simple tasks of life only gets harder the older we get.
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