Tag Archives: rejoicing

Genesis 16; Matthew 15; Nehemiah 5; Acts 15

How many times I have struggled with something and called it my “thorn in the flesh?” Abram’s wife, Sarai was no different.

Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, and so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Why don’t you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” Abram agreed with what Sarai said. – Genesis 16:1-2 GNT

Though I try to hide it, there is pain from not seeing the hand of God moving in my life. If I leave it unattended, even the hope of prayers not yet answered leaves me. If I have been vocal, there is public shame. Then I come to the place where I blame God and that brings a different kind of pain in my life.

So I walk around and from time to time speaking audibly – “Lord have mercy on me” – just to clear my soul. No different then the woman looking to Jesus for healing.

Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.” – Matthew 15:21-22 GNT

It is a form of intercessory prayer.

That is what Paul and Barnabas wanted to do in their missionary journey – visit all the church plants, see what was going on, and then deliver a report so the whole church could be praying for them.

Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in every town where we preached the word of the Lord, and let us find out how they are getting along.”  – Acts 15:36 GNT

Am I rejoicing, am I secure in who I am in Christ, am I weeping and am I experiencing comfort in my salvation?  The offer is to come and pray together.

Father, even when I think You are not there, may Your Holy Spirit remind me of Your promise to always be there. Do let let me think too long or too hard on myself so that it hardens my heart towards You. I need Your mercy and if that is all I cry out to You for, give it to me in the largest measure possible. As long as I have You, You are all I need. Being strengthened, I can walk alongside others You send my way that need encouragement and hope just like I did. Thank You that I can talk to You at anytime. Amen

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Isaiah 65, 66 & Romans 13

At a recent meeting with all of our staff and administrators, I loudly spoke the word “no” in answer to a question the guest speaker assumed we would say, “Yes.”  The pause was noticeable.  Unfortunately (at least for me, probably), the administrators were seen to sit silently with eyes cast down.  There may be repercussions, I don’t know.  What is clear to me is my own distrust in the system, the change, and the oversight in our agency.  I guess my opinion is clear to all at this point.

What was I thinking when I answered?  Was I certain that I would be heard and vindicated?  Did I expect that others would support my views?  To be frank, I didn’t even think about counting the cost of bringing my discontent to the ears of my supervisors.

In Romans 13, Paul instructed the Christians who were living under the cruel rule of Nero to obey authority.  I wonder what they thought about this since Nero used Christians for sport in the bloodbath arena of the Coliseum.  I don’t have to fear that kind of persecution, so my outburst is not likely to result in death.  However, kicking against those who God has placed over me is not a thing God takes lightly.  In fact, my submission to authority can be viewed as an act of submission to God Himself.

Leaders are humans, apt to make mistakes, and sometimes even prone to do more harm than good – nothing novel about this.  However, only God has the power to place or remove authority over us.  We learn to follow God through the instruction and experience of submitting to leaders who are not perfect. The short term outcome may not be of our choosing, yet in the long run we will have learned to submit to God.  Only Christ can lead with perfection.  Isaiah describes what the world will be like when He does;  the new structure will be so different from what we’ve known that we will be amazed.  A lion eating straw?  A time when a prayer is answered without pain in between the asking and the giving?

So why do I throw myself into the turning wheels of an earthly institution as a wrench thrown into the spokes of a wheel?  What will it profit me?  Lord, God, teach me to understand Your sovereignty through earthly authority.  I will choose to follow the authority over me in this life and learn to obey Your commandments of submission so that You will call me home to a perfect world of peace and rejoicing under Your great kingship.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament