Saturday, May 5, 2012
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, April 3, 2009
I just finished reading Genesis chapter 37 about Joseph's life. After thinking about for a minute, I thought "Why did Joseph share his dreams? That's what got him in to trouble in the first place!" I think that is a valid question, but, then I remembered the dreams themselves:
"There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
“Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
These dreams were a prophecy that Joseph's family would all bow down to him. As to whether or not Joseph should have shared his dreams with his family, that's another question for another time, but I was reassured of the sovereignty of God in this passage.
You see, I thought it was a bit arrogant of Joseph to brag to his brothers who already were jealous of him "Hey guys check it out, I had a dream and in it you guys all bowed down to me!" And even if it was and sharing the dream was the wrong thing to do, God was sovereign in that situation and as we read later in the story, his brother's jealousy caused them to plot to kill him but instead they sold him as a slave, Joseph was eventually sold to Potipher and he gave him charge over all of Egypt. God was with him and he warned him of a famine so Joseph stored up grain. When they ran out of food in Canaan, His brothers did come and bow down to him begging for food.
God is sovereign. He is in control. His will is good and even in spite of my sin he causes all things to work out for good.
I was recently reminded of the Westminster Confession that says:
"God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established."
God was sovereign over Jospeh's life, and He is sovereign over mine. I'm a bonehead and blow it often, but even in spite of my poor choices God is still sovereign and His will will come to pass.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Back in the day, that's how it would have gone down...
In the past 7 years of being a Christian I have yet to see two people duke it out mano a mano. I have to say I'm pretty thankful for that.
But what do you do when somebody says or does something that offends you?
Here's what not to do:
- Don't punch them (yeah, we established that), but further than that don't let your anger take over and turn in to anything that would make the situation worse (Ephesians 4:26a)
- Don't ignore the situation. Offenses are a reality, it will happen. If you don't get resolution it can fester and turn into something much worse (Ephesians 4:26a).
- Don't tell anyone else. Gossip is sin. It is directed at the person who offended you. If somebody sinned against you, how do you find resolution in sinning against them? (Proverbs 16:28)
- Don't ignore or avoid the person who offended you. As Christians we are called to love (John ), that's obvious. Don't cut another member off from your love. That will only make them feel offended.
Here is what to do:
- Calm down. It will be okay.
- Gain a proper perspective. We all are sinners who fall short of the glory of God. We are going to offend somebody sometime. It's how you deal with it that is important.
- Get biblical. Read Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector."
Jesus gives pretty specific instructions on what to do.
- Confront the person personally and individually. Make sure at this point that you haven't already told anybody. Give them an opportunity to apologize. Forgive them. Repeat: forgive them.
- Hopefully at that point they have realized their offense and apologized. If they have not, get somebody to come alongside you and approach them again. Important! Don't bring your best friend that will agree with you emphatically and disagree with the other party completely. Get someone objective, a mutual friend, someone you both trust. Give them another opportunity to apologize. Forgive them. Repeat: forgive them.
- Hopefully at that point they have realized their offense and apologized. Hopefully at that point you have forgiven them. Now you have to get the church involved. I suggest speaking to the pastor regarding the situation, what happened, what steps you have taken to get resolution and where the process is at now. Set up a meeting with the person who offended you, the pastor, the other party involved in step 2, and yourself. Again, give them another opportunity to apologize. Forgive them. Repeat: forgive them.
At this point if they still don't realize that they have done something wrong or have hurt you, don't have anything else to do with them. Move on with your life.
I have never seen this go all the way through without forgiveness or an apology. Most people say stupid stuff without even realizing it, once they know that they have done harm they will apologize almost immediately, and praise the Lord, you have your friend back.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Does it look something like this:
This is how Webster's Dictionary defines the word "mystery":
A religious truth that one can only know by revelation and cannot fully understand.
The hidden, eternal plan of God that is being revealed to His people in accordance to His plan.
So, when there's something strange in the neighborhood, who you gonna call?
Sorry, not those guys... We can call upon Him in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
So, as we look at the scripture in 1st Timothy 3:16 we read:
And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh
Justified by the spirit
Seen by angels
Preached among the Gentiles
Believed on in the world
Received up in glory
What a wonderful mystery!
This verse contains the mystery, or the secret if you will to godliness, and guess what? No where in that verse are you or I mentioned. No where in that verse are what we are supposed to do, or how we are supposed to act mentioned.
What is this secret all about?
The mystery of godliness is centered upon and revolves around the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I think this is very purposefull in that if we try to attain godliness based upon what we do or don't do, we will only attain self-righteousness. If we attempt to attain godliness through the work that Jesus has already done for us, it wil leave us humble open to a real work of God in our hearts.
John 15:5 says "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing."
Bearing that fruit of godliness sprouts forth naturally from an abiding relationship with Jesus, not from our own list of do's and don'ts.
So, if we seek to live godly lives, we need to seek to abide in Jesus, to cultivate and maintain a rich, intimate relationship with Him through spending time in His word and praying to Him, and not forgetting to listen from time to time...