Genesis 25:19-34 19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to … Continue reading →
More than 50 years ago now Martin Luther King Jr wrote these words from a Birmingham jail –
I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
King was right, there was injustice in our city, and I am grateful for men like him who were bold enough to follow their convictions and respond to that call. How are your convictions leading you? Are you willing to truly give yourself to the task of making this world right? Or will you like so many throughout history cower in fear when faced with trials?
One of the most haunting stories in the Bible is the story of Esau. Esau was the older brother of Jacob, he was strong, he provided for the family, and everybody loved Esau. One day he came in from hunting and he was exhausted. Seeing an opportunity his brother Jacob offered him a bowl of soup in exchange for his birthright, which was a promise that the family’s honor and wealth would be passed on to him. And in a moment of weakness his appetite for food overcame him and he exchanged his most valuable possession for a bowl of soup. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, it takes a lifetime to build a fortune, or career, it takes a lifetime to build a great family, and all of that can be thrown away in a moment. Won’t you learn from Esau? Won’t you fight the appetites in your life? So that you may do what is right, and ultimately so that you may please the Lord.
What does it mean to be tough? Toughness is strength, determination, and resilience. Someone is tough when they have the heart and the commitment to overcome incredibly difficult situations. So how do you get tough? Or how do you instill toughness into your children? The two key ingredients for toughness are Passion and Hope, and for this reason the toughest people I know are Christians, Christians who have a deep passion for God, and the sure hope that he will do what he says. A few weeks ago a man named Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in Lybia by the Muslim brotherhood for spreading the gospel in that country. Shortly after his killing, his wife said in and interview, “I don’t want revenge, I want the killers to know that I love them, I forgive them, and I want them to know the love and the forgiveness that they have in Jesus.” That is passion for God, that is hope, and that is women who is truly tough.
We are going to be talking about The Seven Deadly Sins. For those of you who came out of Catholic background this is something that you are probably very familiar with but if you came out of a protestant background … Continue reading →
Are you a New Years resolution maker? Or are you someone who used to make New Years resolutions but never kept them and so now you don’t even bother? Wherever you fall on this paradigm, a New Year is a good thing. It is a great time to evaluate your life and to make adjustments where needed. There is an old adage that rings true, “A life not evaluated is not worth living.”
I hope that this year will be a year of evaluating and dreaming for you. What are your dreams for your life? And what is keeping you from fulfilling those dreams? Is it fear? Lack of Discipline? Or Perhaps a lack of clarity? My prayer for you in 2014 is that this would be a year of courage, discipline, and focus so that you can become the man or the woman that God designed you to be. May 2014 be a year that you can look back on one day and say, “that was a year well spent.”