To Pity The Afflicted

How do you comfort a grieving friend? As one who has given and received comfort in times of grief, I can tell you it was not what I thought it would be. It was so much more simple than I had ever imagined. What do I mean by that? Let’s look back at the life of Job for a great example of this:

    “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.” (Job 2:11-13)

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The Sympathy Of A Saint

One question many Christians have difficulty answering is why does God allow suffering. That is one of the favorite arrows that atheists love to shoot at us. And many times that arrow is rooted in personal suffering or tragedy. What is the answer? Why does God let good people suffer? The most obvious Biblical answer is found in the Book of Job.

    “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:3-7)

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Severe Upon Our Own Faults

Some days all the strife within the church I see from the emails I receive or what I read troubles me greatly. More than that it infuriates me and wearies me. Part of that weariness comes when I realize I’ve contributed to it. Now I am not speaking of confronting evil or sin, God’s Word exhorts us to not grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9). I am talking about the bitter quarreling and antagonistic conflict that I’ve seen. I guess I’m just getting tired of it all.

The Bible commands us to avoid strife at all costs because it does bring contention and weariness:

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Malice or Mercy

Are we to forgive be for forgiveness is sought? Is it a waste of time to forgive someone before they’ve repented of their offense? Why do these questions even matter and what do they have to do with me? Many a Christian’s life verse is from Proverbs chapter 3; in fact it usually combines two verses:

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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Sugar Water or Sledgehammer?

If we are to be Christlike then my simple mind tells me we are supposed to be like Christ. I’m not making a play on words, but sadly it is becoming more customary in the Church is to throw Christian clichés around like some sort of holy Frisbee. It can be a lot of fun but you don’t really get a lot of exercise from it. When the Apostle John introduced our Lord to us in his Gospel, we get a complete definition of who Christ is:

    “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

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The Attitude of Independence

Even though I am a child of God, adopted into His family, I am still very capable of selfishness and self-righteousness. I can easily get to the point that I believe I have all the answers for my life. My flesh and my adversary will be cheering me the whole way. The height of man’s arrogance, pride, and sinfulness is self-reliance. We get to the point where we believe we can compartmentalize where and when God should have sovereignty over our lives. I may have misread this in the Bible or been mistaught by my pastor, but I’m sure God wants to rule in all aspects of my life and that I am to make all decisions in light of His precepts and providence.

The areas of my life that I don’t want God to be a part of are the areas where the Holy Spirit needs to do the most work. If I’m suffering from stinking thinking, then the Word of God can cleanse my mind. In fact His Word says that if I’ve allowed stinking thinking to rule the day then I can make a change:

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A Priceless Privilege

We’re just like the Prodigal’s older brother. Yes you are and don’t try to deny it. I can prove it about you but we’ll make this about me since these devotionals are you eavesdropping on God’s conversations with me. Plus it won’t make you squirm in your seat as much.

I’m just like the older brother. Too often I could care less if my prodigal brother returns much less party with him and my father about it. Quite the opposite, in my flesh it almost disgusts me. And it doesn’t make it any easier if my Father tries to explain it:

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What Does It Mean To You?

So often I hear Christians say, “Well, what this passage in the Bible means to me…” and then they go on to give an inaccurate analysis at best and heretical at worse. When reading the Bible it is not up to us to determine its meaning rather to discover it. We must keep in mind to whom the writer is writing, what the meaning was to them, how it applies to life today in general and to each of us specifically. To simplify that, an old way of saying it is:

What did it mean then?
What does it mean today?
What does it mean to me?

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The Necessity of Deliverance From A State of Condemnation

The wonderful outpouring of support for Dan Cathy’s stand on traditional marriage resulting in world record single-day retail sales for Chick-fil-A was and still is all the talk of the blogosphere and social media. As for the mainstream media’s coverage of it I have no idea as I do not watch any news most of the time. I would suspect it was scant and slanted if covered at all.

But I think we need to get to the root of the issue that caused the supposed firestorm and that is the blatant, evil hatred of the Left who support the homosexual agenda. Steve Deace commented yesterday on his show and website that gay activists cleverly used victimhood as a ploy to gain sympathy to their cause painting those who oppose their lifestyle as intolerant and bigoted. In fact they are still using this ploy but it is now backfiring on them. The reason is they have become intolerant and bigoted. And they should; they are lost people swimming in a pool of debauchery guided by a reprobate mind:

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