As we prepare to "re-enter" society following shutdowns on a national and international level, we are preparing ourselves for more change. Though the natural rhythms of life remain the same, they may look different from what we were used to before the pandemic. But we will be okay by God's grace. Our circumstances and cultures may change, but God's beauty and order do not. Some of our spiritual habits should never change either.
Three Gospel writers record the narrative found in Mark 6:45-52. Mark writes with his theme in mind: Jesus as servant (Mark 10:45).
Many of us may not feel wealthy when we look at our budgets. The Bible says that we should be content with food, clothing, and shelter (1 Timothy 6:8). By that standard, especially compared to the majority of people in our world, we are an affluent group of people. Solomon gives wisdom for wealthy people to maintain our eternal purpose for living.
God has a personal plan for each person within His larger plan. Sometimes this truth is hard to believe when we go through confusing or difficult circumstances. Just as there is a purpose for each piece within a large model of a plane or ship, there is purpose in every aspect of your life.
We have spent the first part of this year studying how to walk in a way that pleases God by living His character. The next book we will study as a church family is one that shows us how to do this.
Psalm 12 expresses how David felt when he had been abandoned by godly friends. In Psalm 13, David is so alone, he feels he has been abandoned by God Himself. This feeling is prompted by the length of his suffering. Perseverance in a long time of difficulty is perhaps the most trying to our minds and hearts.
David's struggle will feel familiar to many people of God. In a marathon of trust, we often ask similar questions. Is God one who abandons? Through David's wrestling, we will learn that God's character and work confessed in prayer sustains us during long, drawn-out periods of suffering.
In whatever change we seek, God seeks to change us.
Should believers still struggle with fear? What purpose does fear play in our life? How should we handle fear when it creeps in? What a relief to know that both David and Paul feared at times, as we see in Romans and Psalms. Part of God's work in our lives is allowing circumstances that cause fear.
Aspen, Colorado, has 6000 permanent residents, and 50 of them are billionaires. To some, living in Aspen is the height of material prosperity. However, people of spiritual virtue have different values. Godly moms in particular desire a spiritual home through which they may leave a faith that will remain through generations of their families to come.
Quick wealth often destroys. We don't have to look hard or far in our culture to find examples of this reality. At the end of his letter, Paul gives Timothy instructions for Christians "who are rich in this present world" (1 Timothy 6:17-19). This passage is widely preached out of context. The main point of these two verses is this: Prosperity should never devour mission. Prosperity should underpin mission.
Have you been a victim of evildoers? We all have been touched by the presence of evil as the cumulative effect of sin in our culture. The Psalms have much to teach us about how God's people are to respond when they are touched by evil. Our time and culture is not uniquely distressing: God's people in every age have lived with the impact of evil on their lives. Psalm 37 shows David's personal response to encountering evil in his life.
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