Work within your limitations

Retired people find themselves at home a lot, with time on their hands. So they say. I wouldn’t know. Then, sickness often restricts people to a bedroom or a couch for a time. Mothers used to stay at home with little children (congratulations to those who still do), and they’d sometimes feel stir-crazy being confined with the toddlers. And let us not forget the golden agers who lose mobility, are stuck at home, or now find themselves living in a care facility where their every activity is regimented and controlled.

Life situations sometimes restrict us, and we can’t do what we once did. We can’t go out, we can’t get about, we can’t decide when and where to go. Continue reading “Work within your limitations”

God the seeker

Jesus has a precedent for his scathing denunciation of the religious leaders in Matthew 23. The Lord condemned the leaders of Israel as shepherds who failed to feed the sheep, Ezekiel 34. This chapter falls in the latter section of the prophet’s book that looks toward the restoration of God’s people, Ezekiel 33-48. Before the nation can be reclaimed, its leaders must be changed.

The true shepherd will take action. Continue reading “God the seeker”

Make no mistake about it

I think I know what I need. That’s my first mistake. Then I work my fingers to the bone going after what I’m sure I need. That’s my second mistake. After that, the mistakes just keep multiplying.

David acted crazy before the Philistine chief Abimelech because he thought that was the solution to his danger (1 Samuel 21:10-15). It was a crazy strategy for what he thought he needed. Supposedly, it got him out of hot water. But did it? Continue reading “Make no mistake about it”

Ingrate!

Parents who wanted their children to have what they were deprived of often discover it growing among the toys and privileges.

Christians who help the poor sometimes see it in the scowls at the same time the hand is extended.

Friends who share the amazing gift of God’s grace with their loved ones see it in the face of those who find salvation a small thing. Continue reading “Ingrate!”

Thankful for answered prayer

I have prayed prayers, waited years, and never have been able to recognize empirically that they were answered. Your mileage may vary, but I suspect we all have put our concerns and needs before the Lord without seeing an identifiable answer.

But I believe the good Heavenly Father answers all the supplications, petitions, and intercessions of his faithful children. I believe it because the Bible affirms it, and I believe it because he has answered enough of my prayers to convince me of that truth.

Just this morning I asked the Lord about a subject. Within an hour’s time I had an answer. The answer was not a natural outflow of events. It came, atheists and skeptics might say, out of nowhere. But it actually came from heaven. Now that’s not a divine rule, as if he were a fast-food server working on a timer to get out the burger-answer to the drive-through customer Christian. Continue reading “Thankful for answered prayer”

The last word on righteousness

It is altogether fitting that the last word on righteousness comes from the last chapter of the last book of the Bible. The old apostle John, last of his tribe, writes what are probably his last words to a cowed and persecuted church.

As he wraps up the series of apocalyptic visions showing the grand victory of Christ and his followers, he makes what at first glance appears to be a strange statement. Continue reading “The last word on righteousness”

God judges because he loves

Theologians make their fine distinctions and hard classifications. They like the old idea of taking one thing at a time. They consider God’s holiness, then move on to his love. Such an approach is probably acceptable, as far as it goes.

The various and wonderful aspects of God’s nature and personality are a single unit. Westerners like to break things down into their component units. The ancient Hebrews, however, liked to pull things together, considering them as a whole. The former group excels in analysis; the latter, in synthesis.

When it comes to the one true God, the Hebrew approach recommends itself. If God is one, his nature partakes of that oneness. Continue reading “God judges because he loves”

7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33

The Old Testament is a rich mine of truths about God and his ways. The prophets reveal the divine heart and intentions. Get a taste of truths about God from this little slice of Ezekiel 33.

No. 1. God is a revealer. “The word of the Lord came to me” (Ezekiel 33:1, ESV). He tells man what he is doing and what he expects. God does nothing without letting us know his intentions and actions (Amos 3:7; Ephesians 3:5). Things he reveals are for us all, that we might obey his commands and thereby find joy and peace (Deuteronomy 29:29). God’s revelation to us, now contained in the Bible, is for our salvation. “The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations” (Psalm 98:2). Continue reading “7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33”