There are some things you can work hard for, some things you can go all out to attain, which, when you get your hands on them, turn out to be of so little worth that you realize that the effort made to obtain them has diminished you as a person. Material wealth, prestige, power and uninterrupted pleasure are not miserably small goals to strive for. Not so the values of Jesus. He calls us not to self-preservation, but to sacrifice; not to getting, but giving; not to status
A gleam of light pierces the night of Israel's apostasy. It emanates from within God himself where a strange and solemn striving occurs. It is something like the emotional turmoil of a lover betrayed by his wayward spouse. Justice is on his side; it is his right to let the beloved reap the fruit of her unfaithfulness. But his love is unabated, so he cannot stifle compassion. Glimpsed here is the true cost of evil: the wounding of God.
For reasons beyond our understanding, God brings weak, ignorant men and women into his campaign to bless the world, and equips them to be his co-workers. Many a servant of Jesus becomes aware of power beyond their native ability; of God is working through them against the evil of the world. But power is a seductive thing, and Jesus warns us not to let it occupy our imagination. The much greater wonder is that we are in God's family; our names are in his book. Grace--what God
The reason greed is not good; the reason it is a vice is that it does not accord with reality. It is a lie. It is true that a minimum level of food, water and shelter is necessary to sustain life, but those same essential in surplus diminish it. Most of what makes us human is non-material: values like love, joy and peace. Where these are absent, people wither.
That the earth's bounty is shared so unequally among its human inhabitants is a wrenching offense to its creator. Governments the world over watch on while those who already have too much accumulate more, and those who have too little make do with even less. Those who know God have no choice but to cooperate with him in resisting and opposing this evil.
Civilization and the government of God are not identical. The former is resists the latter and is hostile to it. That is why every follower of Jesus will, sooner or later be called into question by the powers that be. But there is no use worrying about it. There is grace for today's temptation, and when tomorrow comes there will be grace for that too. Those who submit to God before all other authorities live in freedom from fear. To fear God is to fear none other.
Doctors say that even in someone who has smoked for decades, restoration and health begins to return to his/her lungs from the moment of quitting. As in nature so in grace. God can turn the remaining years of a wasted and dissolute life into a season of joy in goodness and service to others.
Two ideas are put. And they are related. First, though sparrows are not highly valued among humans--'a dime a dozen'--God is not indifferent to them. He values them. Second, humans, self-conscious and capable of experiencing God personally, are the subjects of his greater investment and sponsorship. God is the patron of his entire creation but only humans can know and enjoy him. It is principally humans who are addressed in the gospel; humans are the lost whom God comes to s
Even now! This exclamation comes at a time when Israel's unfaithfulness has gone on for so long that a floodtide of justice begs to be unleashed. But behold, and wonder at the divine reluctance to abandon people to the consequences of their own behavior. No pit of human evil is so deep that God will not descend into it to retrieve a soul that calls to him for help. It is never too late to turn to the Lord.
Those who hold themselves accountable to God before all others powers thereby make those powers relative and insubordinate. That is why the powers hate and try to extinguish them. But he who fears no one but God is splendid in his freedom. Death is no barrier, nor can it interrupt a life lived in fellowship with the living God.