This Explains It All

Why is there so much evil in the world?

Why are our families being torn apart?

Why is there so much anger and hatred in our country?

Why are addictions the plague of our century?

Why are innocent children being abused and killed?

Why a worldwide pandemic?  Why now?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Satan takes the credit for all of this in the first chapter of Job.  He tells God that he just got back from “roaming the earth, going back and forth on it.” (vs 7 )

And Satan leaves a wide path of destruction wherever he goes.  That’s what we’re seeing – the work of Satan.  He has convinced a whole lot of people to ignore the truth, forget about being kind and forgiving, and just focus on yourself – that’s all that matters.

Satan smiles whenever we believe the lies swirling all around us in our culture.  He loves it when we consult Google instead of God when deciding what’s right and wrong, good or bad.

He enjoys watching us wreck our relationships and our marriages with our selfishness.  He encourages us to be impatient, impulsive and immature.

Wow!  He is really getting a kick out of the lack of respect for authority that is growing in our country.  It’s a win-win for him because everyone else loses.

Satan smiles when he can do anything to distract us from our relationship with God.  He’ll even bring good things into our lives if they will lure us away from God.

Satan is roaming……

today…..

everyday…..

going back and forth……

back and forth.

Please use us to overcome evil with good,  Abba Father.

 

I’m Hearing a Voice

Have you ever read the Bible in chronological order?  This is the order it actually happened in history instead of divided by books?

I’ll admit that Kings is not one of the most interesting books in the Bible- a lot of bad kings, not very many good kings, and extremely few great kings.  I read through a chronological Bible several years ago and I was stunned by the passages we are reading right now in Kings.

When you  read through this chronologically, you get to understand how all of those prophets whose books are at the end of the Old Testament were interacting with these kings.  They were talking to these awful kings constantly telling them to stop their wicked ways and to turn from their evilness.  On and on and on.  God was trying to talk to these kings and get them back on the right road.  He was trying to help them do what was right and good.

The prophets spoke loudly and boldly and courageously.

The kings just didn’t listen.

They heard the truth, they were given the stop sign by God – they just didn’t obey.  And king after king fell into ruin and death and lost their dynasty…… because they refused to listen to the Voice.

Dear Father, please open our ears.  We want to listen to your voice

The Unknown God

How interesting!  Paul is talking to the Athenians and the Bible explains that the Athenians seemed to spend all of their time discussing the latest ideas.  Do you know anybody like that?

What is the goal for people who do this?  What is their purpose?  To be ‘in the know’?  To be in the ‘in crowd’ ?  To be in the ‘in crowd’ of people who are ‘in the know’?

Paul tells them that he has noticed they are very religious in every way.  That probably sounded like a compliment.

Paul tells them that he was walking through their many shrines and saw an altar that was designated for an ‘Unknown God’.

“This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about,’ he tells them.

The Athenians wanted to cover all their bases so they had filled the city with shrines to every known god and they had added one more in case they had missed any and that one was for the ‘Unknown God’.  Do you think they felt something was missing with all of their manmade gods?  Were they sensing that there was something more?

It’s awesome when Paul says, “Let me tell you about this Unknown God” and then goes on the explain how God is the Lord of heaven and earth.  He himself gives life and breathe to everything and he satisfies every need.  For in him we live and move and exist.  Their unknown God had sent his truth to them through Paul – now they had to decide whether to believe or not.

Amen!  Thank you, dear Father, for making yourself known to us!

How the Mighty Fall

We read in 1 Kings about how great Solomon was – he was so wise that people from all over came to ask him questions and were astounded by his answers.  The Queen of Sheba was amazed by his wisdom.  Solomon was immensely rich and powerful.  He had it all.

God made it clear to him that he must not marry foreign women because they would turn his heart away from the Lord.

The wisest man of all time went ahead and married foreign women who turned his heart away from God and cost him his legacy of the kingdom.

What is up with that?  He could have picked any wife he wanted from the Israelites and kept his kingdom.  Where did he go wrong?  Why didn’t he listen?

This just reminds us of how easily we stray.  The wisest man in the world took his eye off the target and he made some fatal mistakes that ended up making him look like a fool.

How easy it is to get caught up in the day.  To get caught up in our own plans..  To start listening too closely to other people and not close enough to God.

Dear Father, we don’t want to stray.  Please keep us close and help us to listen closely to you.

Who are they kidding?

Foolish!  Ridiculous! Seriously?

Ananias and Saphira sell some property and then give part of the money to the apostles claiming that it’s all of it.

So God doesn’t know this?  They think they’re hiding this from God?

The problem is not that they kept some for themselves – God wants us to give generously with open hands and he doesn’t ask for it all.  The BIG problem is that they claimed it was all.  They lied.  They wanted the credit and recognition for something they didn’t do.

The consequences were brutal but they remind us of the importance of being completely honest.  God knows.  God sees.  We hide nothing from God.  It’s something we can learn from their example.

In this same passage we hear some of the wisest words I’ve read in the Bible that weren’t from Jesus.  Gameliel stands up in the middle of this group of Jewish leaders wh0 were scheming about how to get rid of these pesky apostles and his wisdom breaks  through the evil cloud hanging over them.  He tells them to leave the apostles alone.  If this is just something the apostles are doing on their own, it will not last. 

But if this is from God, all of their evil scheming will be powerless.  Do they want to try to fight God?  Because they will not win.

This reminds me of the Experiencing God Bible study I did in the past where we learned to see what God was already doing and then join him.  When God is doing something, we might as well join in and help it happen.  Because it’s going to happen – with or without us.  And we should never be foolish enough to try to fight it.  Or ignore it – pretend it’s not happening.  Or try to control it.

We would never do that, would we?

Thank you, Dear Father, for the examples you give us in your word to help guide us and for letting us join you in what you’re doing right here, right now.

We Almost Never Know

God watches over us….

He stands beside us as a protective shade….

He keeps us from harm…

He keeps watch over us as we come and we go.

Have you ever thought about ALL of the things God has protected you from?  It’s kind of mind-boggling…..because we don’t know.  We don’t know about the car accidents that didn’t happen because God was protecting us.  We don’t know of the disasters that didn’t happen to us because we were under His protective shade.  And we don’t know the heartaches that we didn’t have to experience because God was keeping us from harm.

Then there are other times where God lets us see his protection.  I experienced this when I had 12 blood clots in my lungs that should have kept clotting and 5 doctors told me they should have killed me.  God showed me very clearly that I was not going to die from this.  He protected me and gave me a whole new understanding of his omnipotence from the experience.

Thank you for your protection, dear Father!

We Don’t Know

Jesus also did many other things that we don’t know about.

And they’re not all written down.

I would love to read about all of them.  Why isn’t there a whole library of books about what Jesus did while he was on earth?  It might take me my whole life but I’d really love to read all of them.

There is so much more about Jesus’ life here on earth than what we read in the Bible.  Most of the stories we read tell us how he healed one person out of crowd.  And we wonder – why that one person?  But we really don’t know that it was just that one person, right?  He could have healed everyone there that day…it’s just not written down.

And then I’m reminded that God put our Bible together.  This is what he wants us to know.  This is what he wants us to study and etch on our hearts.  This is his complete revelation to us here on earth.

So maybe we have to wait to see the rest in the movie version up in heaven :)?

Thank you, dear Father, for your Word to us here on earth.

It’s June!

Wow – halfway through the year.  Halfway through the Bible!

I appreciate the time that some of you have taken to make comments in response to some of my blogs.  That’s great!  I love to hear what’s going on in your reading.  Keep it up!

Here are the reading for June.  If you’re behind and stopped somewhere, you can just jump ahead and join us:

1 2 Samuel 18:1-19:10; John 20:1-31; Psalm 119:153-176; Proverbs 16:14-15
2 2 Samuel 19:11-20:13; John 21:1-25; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 16:16-17
3 2 Samuel 20:14-21:22; Acts 1:1-26; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 16:18
4 2 Samuel 22:1-23:23; Acts 2:1-47; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 16:19-20
5 2 Samuel 23:24-24:25; Acts 3:1-26; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 16:21-23
6 1 Kings 1:1-53; Acts 4:1-37; Psalm 124:1-8; Proverbs 16:24
7 1 Kings 2:1-3:2; Acts 5:1-42; Psalm 125:1-5; Proverbs 16:25
8 1 Kings 3:3-4:34; Acts 6:1-15; Psalm 126:1-6; Proverbs 16:26-27
9 1 Kings 5:1-6:38; Acts 7:1-29; Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 16:28-30
10 1 Kings 7:1-51; Acts 7:30-50; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 16:31-33
11 1 Kings 8:1-66; Acts 7:51-8:13; Psalm 129:1-8; Proverbs 17:1
12 1 Kings 9:1-10:29; Acts 8:14-40; Psalm 130:1-8; Proverbs 17:2-3
13 1 Kings 11:1-12:19; Acts 9:1-25; Psalm 131:1-3; Proverbs 17:4-5
14 1 Kings 12:20-13:34; Acts 9:26-43; Psalm 132:1-18; Proverbs 17:6
15 1 Kings 14:1-15:24; Acts 10:1-23; Psalm 133:1-3; Proverbs 17:7-8
16 1 Kings 15:25-17:24; Acts 10:24-48; Psalm 134:1-3; Proverbs 17:9-11
17 1 Kings 18:1-46; Acts 11:1-30; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 17:12-13
18 1 Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12:1-23; Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 17:14-15
19 1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 12:24-13:15; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 17:16
20 1 Kings 22:1-53; Acts 13:16-41; Psalm 138:1-8; Proverbs 17:17-18
21 2 Kings 1:1-2:25; Acts 13:42-14:7; Psalm 139:1-24; Proverbs 17:19-21
22 2 Kings 3:1-4:17; Acts 14:8-28; Psalm 140:1-13; Proverbs 17:22
23 2 Kings 4:18-5:27; Acts 15:1-35; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 17:23
24 2 Kings 6:1-7:20; Acts 15:36-16:15; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 17:24-25
25 2 Kings 8:1-9:13; Acts 16:16-40; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 17:26
26 2 Kings 9:14-10:31; Acts 17:1-34; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 17:27-28
27 2 Kings 10:32-12:21; Acts 18:1-22; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 18:1
28 2 Kings 13:1-14:29; Acts 18:23-19:12; Psalm 146:1-10; Proverbs 18:2-3
29 2 Kings 15:1-16:20; Acts 19:13-41; Psalm 147:1-20; Proverbs 18:4-5
30 2 Kings 17:1-18:12; Acts 20:1-38; Psalm 148:1-14 Proverbs 18:6-7

 

Need a light?

Ever feel like you need a light to show you what decisions to make?  How about a guide on this journey of life that we’re on?

I would be very surprised if any of us said no to either one of these questions.  I know I would like a personal guide for each day.  What would it be like to get a personal agenda from God each day on my IPhone?  It would tell me what time to get up, what people to talk to, what to tell them and it would give me a total timeline for the whole day so I could do exactly what God wants me to do today.

It sounds great but who wants to make the first bet that I still wouldn’t do everything on my God-given agenda?  I think I’d probably do a good job the first few days but then I would gradually move back onto my own agenda, making excuses for why I wasn’t following God’s.

Because God has already given me an agenda.  I’m supposed to love him with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength.  And love and care for others as much as I worry about myself.  He wants me to daily seek him and his direction.  Then he can shine a light on the path that I should go.

Which is why we’re reading the Bible together this year – God is shining the light.  He is teaching us.  He is guiding us.

Thank  you, dear Father!