Category: Lesson from the Bible

Is Lent Tempting You?

Today it’s three weeks into Lent. Did you decide to give up something three weeks ago? How is that going? Have you been successful?

Let me tell you about my Lent experience thus far. It’s not been going well at all. The first two weeks were not bad, but then the third week hit… There were so many temptations left and right and… yup, I confess, I couldn’t resist. The food category got to me once again, what else is new, hey? And the interesting thing was that it wasn’t even in an area that meant a whole lot to me. My struggle is with desserts, baked goods. But fast food? Really? Where did that come from? I have been able to say no to fast food before. Why not now?

burger

At night I would beat myself up and vow the next day would be different. Read more

A Prayer of Confession During Lent

Recently we celebrated communion in our church. But before we did, our pastor preached a pretty powerful sermon on communion. (I wish it were online for you to see and listen, but it was not posted.) He explained the importance of communion in different denominations and how we should view communion according to Scripture.

One thing that came to my mind during his sermon was: CONFESSION.

confession

I pulled out my iPad and started typing my prayer of confession. Read more

Glorious Impossible

This morning I woke up with this phrase in my head: Glorious Impossible. I couldn’t quite understand why these words were playing in my mind. Then it hit me: Glorious Impossible! Just the combination of these two words seems conflicting. What’s so glorious about impossible?

GLORIOUS IMPOSSIBLE. Can you hear it? Repeat it out loud if you need to: Glorious Impossible!

As I kept repeating these two words over and over during my morning routine I was reminded of the circumstances I’m facing, problems I’m dealing with, dreams I have. It occurred to me that most of them (if not all) have the word “impossible” attached to it.

impossible

It’s interesting how God Read more

What Forces You to Look Back?

The other day I came across this quote Mandy Anderson had tweeted:

Don’t look back, 

you are not going that way!

The picture I see here is someone whose body is moving forward but whose head is turned back. It’s not a natural position for anyone moving forward. It looks awkward and painful. How far can you get when your head is turned back and you’re not seeing what’s in front of you? You definitely won’t move very fast.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Read more

Mondays with Nehemiah

“Kill the Spider”

image credit: google images

Warren W. Wiersbe tells this story in his book “Be Determined”:
“In a certain church, there was a man who always ended his prayers with, ‘And, Lord, clean the cobwebs out of my life! Clean the cobwebs out of my life!’ One of the members of the church became weary of hearing this same insincere request week after week, because he saw no change in the petitioner’s life. So, the next time he heard the man pray, ‘Lord, clean the cobwebs out of my life!’ he interrupted with, ‘And while you’re at it, Lord, kill the spider!'”

Does that resonate with anyone? It sure does with me. It’s really great to offer up a prayer of confession and thanksgiving to God, as we’ve seen in Nehemiah 9. But what about after the prayer is said? What about after we say ‘AMEN’?

The people of Israel were so serious about following God’s Law and obeying Him. They made a promise and put it in writing with a seal and signatures. I had to think of the German saying, “Wenn schon, denn schon.” It’s all or nothing, not something inbetween,They went all the way, from start to finish!

“Then the rest of the people – the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, Temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the pagan people of the land in order to obey the Law of God, together with their wives, sons, daughters, and all who were old enough to understand – joined their leaders and bound themselves with an oath…” (Nehemiah 10:28-29a)

They bound themselves with an oath. That was serious business in Israel. There was a LOT at stake if you sealed it with an oath. All of Numbers 30 deals with vows. It says in verse 2: “A man who makes a vow to the LORD or a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do.”

And what exactly was the content of this vow? “They solemnly promised to carefully follow all the commands, regulations, and decrees of the LORD our Lord.” And a few of these commands, regulations and decrees are mentioned (or singled out, if you will) in chapter 10:

1. Marriage: God did not approve of a mixed marriage. “The danger in mixed marriages was the loss  of faith on the part of the Jewish mate.” (a)

2. Observing the Sabbath: the Jewish Sabbath was supposed to be a day of rest and meditation on all things spiritual. The people of Israel disobeyed God greatly when it came to the Sabbath. “This was one reason why God sent them into captivity, that He might give the land seventy years of rest. This would compensate for some 500 years of disobedience on the part of the nation (7×70), one year for each neglected Sabbatical Year or Year of Jubilee.” (a)

3. “We promise together not to neglect the Temple of our God.” (Nehemiah 10:39b) And so they promised to pay the temple tax, bring the wood offering, the offering of first fruits, and the tithes. “We must so love the Lord that generous giving will be a normal and joyful part of our lives.” (a)

“We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.”
(Winston Churchill)
“Wherever your treasure is,
 there the desires of your heart will also be.”
(Jesus in Matthew 6:21)

Lord, don’t just clean the cobwebs of my life, kill the spider, too!

(a) Warren W. Wiersbe, “Be Determined”