It seems every time I write a monthly update, I say something about the weather. So as I write this, we are seeing on the news the damage and loss of life in Lee County, Alabama from last night’s tornado (3-3-19). We are praying for all who were affected. Natural disasters are a sad reminder that we live in a fallen world.
Show Me Your Scars
The current population of the world (2-2019) is reported to be 7.7 billion with 2.3 billion Christians. About 2/3 of the world’s Christians live in difficult or unfriendly places. Those of us in the Western World are almost oblivious to the difficulties in other lands. It varies from extreme persecution of death to the difficulties of getting a good job or apartment because non-Christians will not hire Christians or rent to Christians.
Recently as part of my continual reading through the Bible, I once again “stumbled” upon a scripture the Holy Spirit used to grab my attention. It was in Exodus 36:2-7 where Moses instructed the people to bring an offering of materials for the construction of the Tabernacle. They were to bring items of gold, silver, bronze, jewels, linen, thread of blue, purple, and scarlet, acacia wood, and other items.
The last week of January, our kids here in Alabama were hyped up for a good snow, only to awake to a cold rain. Oh well, that’s Alabama for you! The Bible in Proverb 13:12a (NKJV) says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Most of us have been heart-sick over some disappointment. We get our hopes up and then it deflates like a cheap balloon. When we listen to people’s stories, we hear the heart-cry of broken dreams and promises. In these moments, we have a great opportunity to share the hope we have in Jesus.
There is an identity problem in our world that has led to great confusion. People are confused, not knowing who they are. They are searching for an identity, for a rock to stand on in a flooded stream. Some have went on journeys for the sole reason of “finding themselves” as if they were somewhere else. There are way too many poor, lost, wandering souls who are alienated from God’s original design and created identity.
Identity in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus, first identified with us. Man could not spiritually redeem himself by reformation or by following the rules. Mankind is innately a sinner in great need of a redeemer. The Redeemer had to come in the same form as our first-ancestor-father Adam. God provided the only sufficient sacrifice in the Redeemer—His Only Eternal Son.
Happy New Year! We have kissed 2018 goodbye and are now hugging 2019. We are thankful for the Lord’s blessings on us this past year and are excited about the opportunities in the coming year. We are thankful for your prayers and support in the past and ask for your continued help in the coming months of this year. For a recap of December, read on…
When I look back at the younger me, I am horrified at my lack of diligence. I am not the poster boy for it now, but I have improved some over the years. My wife has been a great example for me, when she sets her mind to accomplish something, she gets it done.
This time of the year, some folks make New Year’s resolutions that often fall flat by February. (Oh well, I’ll finish this post later… Second thought, I better just do it!) I am not one to set New Year’s resolutions. I just need to do the simple, spiritual things with diligence.
The world lay in the sway of darkness, sin, and death. Man’s journey from the Garden was marked by a trail of death and tears with each tomb a reminder of every man’s fate. Death reigned in the world by a cruel master, Satan, whose very name meant “Adversary”. The Hebrew prophets of old had prophesied approximately seven centuries before of a coming Messiah who would save and deliver.
During this season we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I seriously doubt Jesus was actually born in the time we call December but that’s a rabbit trail I am not interested in going down. The big question is, “What’s the big deal about Jesus’ birth?