Tuesday, October 10, 2017

6 Verses To Remind Yourself That God Is With You

When you find yourself in the wilderness of life, it is helpful to remember that God is there with you. Whether you are facing disappointment, discouragement, abandonment or uncertainty; God is with you. Not only does He know where you have been and where you are, He knows where you are going. Use these verses to remind you of this powerful truth:

Because God is with me, I need not be afraid

Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Because God is with me, He will be my strength

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Because God is with me, I can live with confidence

Romans 8:38 & 39 - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because God is with me, I will keep on walking

Psalm 23:4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Because God is with me, I can engage His mission

Matthew 28:19 & 20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Because God is with me, I can be content no matter what

Hebrews 13:5 - Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How Should Christians Process Horrific Tragedies?

Every week I send an email to our church family. Often this is just an update or reminder about coming events. This week, I chose to write about the Las Vegas shooting, and how I've been processing my thoughts. Below are my words to the church:


Dear Friends,

Monday morning, we woke up to the terrible news that a man had chosen to destroy the lives of hundreds of people and families in Las Vegas. In times like these it is difficult to know what to say. We have questions about why God would allow this and why these people's lives were ended without any apparent reason.

As I pondered these questions and this tragedy, I was reminded of Jesus' words in Luke 13.  Pontius Pilate, the cruel Roman leader, had ordered the deaths of many Jewish people. Their executions were carried out by Roman soldiers in the temple while they were offering sacrifices. This horrific act seemed senseless and horrific. For the Jews, it raised several of the same questions we are asking about Las Vegas.

In Luke 13, Jesus was asked about these events and in his response he also referenced a tower that had fallen and killed 18 people. Here are Jesus' words:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Consider the important points behind what Jesus is saying:
  • These people didn't die because of their sin. Sometimes, in a fallen world, bad things happen.
  • Let this be a reminder to you that death comes for all of us, often unexpectedly.
  • Are you ready to die?

As we grieve for this great loss of lives and as we seek ways to reach out to those who are hurting, let us also take time to reflect on our own lives. Are we ready to meet our maker? How well have we invested the time and resources He has given us? What will I do today that will matter in eternity?

Also, let's not forget, that in the midst of this pain and suffering we have great hope. We can still live with joy because we know that this present evil is only for a short time compared to the eternal inheritance our Father has prepared for us. We can be grateful to Him, we can have hope in the future and we can pour love and joy into the lives of those around us.

I'll see you on Sunday, when appropriately, we'll be talking about David in the wilderness. How do you respond when you find yourself in life's wilderness? Join my at 9:30 or 11 to talk more about it!

In Him,
David

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Las Vegas Shooting: A Window Into Hell?

Jimmy Kimmel recently said, "It feels like someone has opened a window into hell."
He is exactly right. Romans 1 suggests that at some points in human history, God releases His creatures to the consequences of their own desires.


Because they worship the creation instead of the Creator (read: they believe God and His Word to be irrelevant), He allows them to see what life without Him is truly like. It is almost as if God releases His sustaining hand for a moment.
"since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done." (Romans 1:28)
It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.
And having opened that window and seen into that window, how much more should we desire to turn from that window and embrace the loving and gracious authority of our Heavenly Father who has called us to a better path and a brighter future?