Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One message

It seems like God gives each prophet one message to preach. I don't think those of us "average laymen" can truly understand the burden these prophets carry in communicating this one truth.

As I have sat under my husband's teaching all these years, I hear one recurring message. This is it:

  1. We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but the sin of Adam and Eve caused separation between us and God. (Genesis 3:23)
  2. From that point on, man was born in the image of his sinful parents. (Genesis 5:3)
  3. The Good News is that Jesus Christ came to show us what the original image looks like and He provided a way back to that image. Restoration. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
As the one person closest to this man of God, this is what I have observed and want others to know:
  1. The prophet fights a daily battle to fully understand this truth. His battle is "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
  2. The prophet is not released from his call, despite the resistance he faces from those he is called to preach to.
  3. The prophet is called to obey the Truth, even when he doesn't see the final outcome of the promise - in himself - or those around him.
  4. A prophet gives his life to this call.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The blame game

This Sunday the sermon will be based on Genesis 3:12-13 where first Adam, and then Eve took turns playing the blame game. My first thought was to look up the dictionary definition of the word blame. From there I looked at both synonyms and antonyms for the word. Not too surprising that the opposite of blame includes words like harmony, health and peace. Wow! Isn't that amazing? Somehow we think (and I guess Adam and Eve did also) that if we blame someone else, we'll feel better, but it appears that the opposite is true. Take responsibility and find peace.

In my search, I also came across an interesting series of four radio messages on Family Life Today. The guests on the program are biblical counselors Ed Welch and David Powlison. They focus on the popular chemical imbalance theory that many use to explain things like depression and ADD. Did you know that there is no test that can show a chemical imbalance? It is just a theory! You can hear these talks by clicking this link:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I am in a desperate situation!

"I am in a desperate situation!" That's what King David said when he sinned against God by taking a census of his fighting men and his conscience began to bother him (2 Samuel 24). He asked for God's forgiveness and God forgave him, however, David still had consequences for his actions. Not only would David suffer the consequences for what he did, so would his people. When faced with a choice of punishment, David said "But let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands." (verse 14) 70,000 people died as a result of David's sin! Yikes! Was that too severe?

Or how about Moses? Yes, he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God had told him too (Numbers 20), but wasn't the punishment a bit severe? I mean not entering the Promised Land after 40 years in the desert with those grumbling Israelites would drive any sane person to hit the rock, right?

And what about us? We all sin and fall short of the glory of God and we all suffer consequences for our sins. Not only that, but other people sin against us too and we suffer consequences from their sin as well. Is any of it fair? We have a choice. Knowing that God is both loving and just, we can be angry at our situation or we can humble ourselves before our merciful God and let Him use what happened as a teaching time. That's what David and Moses did.

I love the song by Point of Grace, Heal the Wound. Here are some of the words:
"I used to wish that I could rewrite history / I used to dream that each mistake could be erased / Then I could just pretend I never knew me back then / I used to pray that You would take this shame away / Hide all the evidence of who I've been / But it's the memory of / The place You brought me from / That keeps me on my knees / And even though I'm free / Heal the wound but leave the scar / A reminder of how merciful You are /"
Yes, that's it...not only can God forgive...and heal...but in His mercy He can use our sin and the consequences to remind us how merciful He is!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Where we all go wrong

This Sunday my husband will be preaching on Genesis 3:1-6. I think it is the saddest chapter in the Bible because it is titled The Fall of Man. How did this happen? How did Adam and Eve go from walking with God in the garden, being united as one flesh with each other and feeling no shame - to being deceived into sin? Verse 1 says that the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made, but he wasn't smarter than man. I believe that what the serpent knew, was that we humans have one major weakness and that is to TRUST God.

I've seen it in my own life and in countless others around me. I don't really believe that God loves me and has a perfect plan for my life. After all, if God loved me, He wouldn't deny me what I want. If he loved me, He wouldn't allow suffering in my life. Lies! All lies! The Bible does not say those things at all. Rather, it says:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Back to Genesis 3. My husband always says that the worst thing Eve did (and where we all go wrong) was to start a conversation with the serpent. Once he slithered up to her and asked her the question "Did God really say...," she should have not only not listened, but walked away. It never does us any good to "answer a fool in his folly." (Proverbs 26:4) This type of intentional, focused living is not easy. It means discipline. It means training our minds to hear TRUTH. If we hear anything else, we do not listen. We walk away.