Monthly Archives: February 2017

What is the root of your grieving about circumstances? Heaven or earth?

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Too many today have lost their way and focus on the circumstances rather than the God of the universe. Turn your eyes upon the loving God!

http://bible.com/59/2co.7.10.esv

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Here’s some hope for today…

“the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/jer.31.3.esv

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a beautiful image of promise, provision and sovereignty

“Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.””‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭17:22-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In a hot, desert climate shade is vital. In this image all the birds enjoy that shade. 

Couldn’t we, the church of Jesus (who seems to be that sprig that turns into a noble cedar), be that new tree who provides that shade for all the birds?

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http://bible.com/59/ezk.17.22-24.esv

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beware of false hope: hope in human power, accomplishment, strength

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭33:20-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

In today’s march* through the Psalms I was struck by the set of verses above. 

No matter our context, when we’ve placed our hope in ANY human institution (sadly, this includes many ‘churches’) we are setting ourselves up for frustration, anger and anxiety.

I see these everywhere I go. 

It is good and right to seek justice.

It is both our right (in many places) and our responsibility to call out oppression and wrong through peaceful protest. 

But this must not be a response to fear or anxiety. If fear or anxiety about circumstances are driving your protest, your hope is misplaced. 

Our hope is not in human institutions (governments, religions, etc.). 

Consider some earlier verses from the same psalm. 

“The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.” Psalms‬ ‭33:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

A protester is not saved by his clear arguments or number of followers. 

Be certain that your protests are founded on a righteous indignation, not on your emotional reaction to what you feel is wrong. Be certain that your protest is rooted not just in your ability to garner Bible verses to support your argument, but rooted in your growing relationship and understanding of the God of those Bible verses.

For: “The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.” (Psalms‬ ‭33:13-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Protest away my friend, it is your duty! 

But have no protest any day with or against any man, until you have had a conversation of significance with God.

When you do this, you can (as a Palestinian pastor counseled) love your enemies (a group that, tragically, seems to be rapidly growing in number).

Empty are are arguments of man, full is the counsel of God.
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http://bible.com/59/psa.33.13-15.esv

* I’m reading, praying and journaling a psalm a day as a supplement to riding the M’Cheyne train – check it out: http://bible.com/r/O 

http://bible.com/59/psa.33.16-17.esv

http://bible.com/59/psa.33.20-22.esv

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