Tag Archives: read the Bible in a year

The Best News You’ve Ever Heard

Type “good news” in the Google search engine and click “I’m feeling lucky” and what website will appear? The Good News Network, of course.

In 1997, Geri Weis-Corbley began publishing stories that offer a “Daily Dose of News to Enthuse.” If there’s anything positive about a story, Geri’s sure to publish it. Yesterday’s edition included stories about a new miracle fruit called the Ayurveda, a group of tennis stars who rallied in support of peace at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and a scientific breakthrough that can enable devices to be powered by soda pop and vegetable oil.

Please join us in our daily Bible conversation for the best news of all!

TODAY’S READING

Isaiah 15:1-18:7
Galatians 1:1-24
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 23:12

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Isaiah 15:1-18:7. In chapters 15 and 16, Isaiah prophesies against arrogant Moab. I can’t ignore the grief Isaiah feels over the news of Moab’s impending destruction. In chapter 18, Isaiah prophesies over Cush, which was located in modern-day Ethiopia and Sudan.

Galatians 1:1-24. Paul wrote this letter to rebuke the Judaizers who were undermining the church in Galatia. Judaizers were people who believed that certain Old Testament practices must be incorporated into the Christian faith. Galatians could be considered a condensed version of Romans—and both served as the foundation blocks of the Protestant Reformation.

First and Second Corinthians were written to a church that was too lax regarding conduct and behavior. The Galatians was just the opposite—they were the poster child of legalism.

It appears that Paul wasn’t in the best of spirits when he wrote this epistle. Usually he begins his epistles with a warm greeting and often addresses his recipients as “saints” (see 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1). Not so here. After his perfunctory greeting he gets right to the point.

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

Last Sunday morning I listened to a preacher on the radio while I drove to our worship gathering. In his sermon, he lamented the failure of churches to call sinners to repentance when they give their hearts to Christ. While I can’t argue the importance of repentance—Paul called all followers of Christ to “repent and be baptized” in Acts 2:38—I realized that he was communicating something far beyond repentance. He expected people to get their act together before giving their hearts to Christ. This isn’t only wrong, it’s heresy. Equally disturbing to me was the fact that this preacher’s sermon was broadcast across the country, because he was the radio voice of a Protestant denomination.

If I weren’t a believer, his words would have pushed me away from Jesus, not toward him.

Paul wrote to the church in Galatia, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all” (Galatians 1:6-7). The word for “desert” in this passage was a military term for a soldier who deserts his troops. The gospel the Judaizers were preaching was so full of rules and requirements that the word gospel—which means “good news”—no longer applied.

The gospel is always good news. Following Jesus isn’t always easy. When he calls us to follow him, he calls us to die to ourselves (Luke 9:23). But Jesus doesn’t call us to get our act together before we follow him, we follow him because we can’t get our act together. That’s the offense of the cross: we can do nothing to earn God’s forgiveness or eternal life.

Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus died for sinners—people like you and me. He died for us before we could clean ourselves up.

And that’s good news for all of us. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die on a cross so our sins could be forgiven. Anyone can give their heart to Jesus in whatever condition they’re in. With the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we can then begin to live like Jesus.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

What spoke to you in today’s reading?

If you’re reading this blog on FaceBook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here.

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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.

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Ten Heros In Afghanistan

Several years ago Dr. Thomas Grams made a fatal decision. He closed up his successful dental practice in Durango, CO and began providing dental care for children in Afghanistan and Nepal. Last week he and nine humanitarian colleagues were murdered by members the Taliban in Badakhshan, Afghanistan.

Grams and his team were true heros. We toss the word “hero” around way too easily today, especially in sports. But they gave their lives for something bigger than themselves. They knew the risks and faced them and paid a price for what they believed. I can only hope that their courage and selflessness is contangious and that I become fully exposed.

The tragic loss of their lives also made me wonder: What pushes people to make such difficult, selfless decisions? Though each of the ten was an individual and made his or her choice for individual reasons, faith in God played a role for many of them.

Like Nehemiah, from today’s reading, many on the International Assistance Mission team put themselves in danger in response to God showing them a need.

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

Nehemiah 1:1-3:14

1 Corinthians 7:1-24

Psalm 31:19-24

Proverbs 21:4

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

Nehemiah had a cushy job. He was trusted and respected by King Artaxerxes, the most powerful man in the world at that time. Nehemiah lived in the palace, dressed well, had a top-notch education, ate the best foods, and drank the best wine. He was the cup-bearer, which meant Nehemiah served the king his wine, making sure the wine was not poisoned.

Why would he give all that up to go before the king and ask for an extended leave of absence to travel to the ruined city of Jerusalem and face possible death? Jerusalem was the bad-lands. The people living there were either oppressed or were the oppressors, lawless, violent, willing to kill, rob, and go to war to take what they needed.

When Nehemiah heard the news about the need of his people in Jerusalem, he experienced a discomfort that even all the money and power of Artexerxes could not deflect. God revealed to him that those “who survived the exile are in trouble and disgrace.” Nehemiah wept because the people were living in such poverty and hostility. And the temple, the place that once spoke of a loving, powerful God, lay in ruins.

Why did Nehemiah go? Because God showed Nehemiah a need and he responded with a prayer and then a plan to do something about it.

So too did Dr. Thomas Grams. So too can we. And we need not travel to Jerusalem or Afghanistan. Look over your backyard fence; visit a local school; listen to your co-workers and friends. There are needs all around us.

Is it possible that, as with Nehemiah, when we notice these needs, it is God’s nudge for us to pray and plan so that we may do something about it?

“Blessed are they who mourn,” said Jesus. “For they will be comforted.”

What if part of what Jesus meant by this is that, though our hearts may break because of what we have been through ourselves or when we see the pain of others, comfort comes through following God to do something about that pain.

I lost my father at age eleven. In some ways I have mourned ever since. And when I see or hear of fatherless children, my heart breaks.

Then recently God stirred my heart anew over fatherlessness and I began to pray. I shared this with Mike Klassen (my co-pastor and co-blogger) and he said he felt God calling him to do something about this as well. We prayed together and God formed in us a plan to launch a mentoring organization for fatherless young men at our local high school. We’ll keep you posted as to what God does with this vision.

But Mike and I are not facing death and danger as did the International Assistance Mission team nor Nehemiah. We are simply responding to a need God brought to our attention.

You can do the same. Will it cost us our lives?

I hope so.

P.S. Let’s pray for the families of the ten who were murdered. They must be in such pain.

God, please comfort and bring hope. Let your Holy Spirit fill in every gap and every tear. Surround them with strong, kind, grace-filled people. Walk with them. Answer their questions, if answers will heal and help. Bring justice as only a merciful God can. Let them, and us, know the real you through this. Please don’t let this vilolence begat more vilolence.

I know that anytime people who claim to represent God rain-down hate and vilolence, it breaks God’s heart. It also makes me ask him why he lets people like that claim his name and his favor. But then, it seems to me, that the question ricochets back to me. Why do I tolerate it?

I won’t any longer. Sharia law is wrong. Executing people in the name of God because they don’t believe what you beleive is wrong. We who believe in a God of mercy and love, the God who, rather than snuff out our lives, gave his life in Jesus, will not seek retribution, but we will not stand silent in the name of diversity or tolerance.

  1. What do these for passages share in common?
  2. What most breaks your heart?

If you’re reading this blog on Facebook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here. www.bibleconversation.com.

Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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Gaining God’s Longer View of Life

There are times in when life when God opens a door and someone unexpected walks through, and after that everything changes. For me, one of those moments happened in February of 2009. That was when, despite all the promises I made myself, I joined that much maligned group of older people who, at the slightest provocation, whip out pictures of dimpled cherubs and foist them on innocent bystanders. Last February Addi was born and I became a grandpa!

That was also when God once again used a normal life event to give me a peek at life from a different, longer perspective. That day I caught a glimpse of how God might see life.

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

1 Kings 12:20-13:34

Acts 9:26-43

Psalm 132:1-18

Proverbs 17:6

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

1 Kings 12:20-13:34: Obedience and partial obedience look so different from our perspective. But almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Not so with God. Yet each of the key figures in this passage choose what they think is right or wrong from a fluctuating point of view. And these almost right decisions eventually bring down the whole nation. How often do we choose partial obedience today and at what cost?

Acts 9:26-43: Though the caution the Jerusalem Church shows toward the unproved convert Saul is understandable, it also shows how quickly the church formed an insider versus outsider mentality. Then and today how can a community promised so much by Christ, live so often in fear?

From this point on in Acts, Peter fades in influence. Paul increases. Was Peter replaced as the Apostle to the Gentiles by Paul because Peter grew more fearful of insider criticism and curtailed his ministry to the outsiders?

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

Some things you have to experience to truly understand. Until Addi was born, I tolerated grandparents with their silly grins, their wallets and purses stuffed with pictures. Now I wear that silly grin and my iPhone is packed with pictures. And I will whip them out and show them to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

But that is not what Proverbs 17:6 means by “Children’s children are a crown the the aged.”

Though I don’t consider myself aged, I am none-the-less a grandfather.  Indeed there is something grand about living long enough to hold that fresh, innocent third generation in your hands and know that no matter the mistakes you’ve made, there lies hope disguised as a diapered, squirming new life. No crown could fit so well.

Holding that new born hope as a grandpa, I flashed back to the joys and worries I had when I held each of my own three children. What tender, unique miracles each of them were. But what if I don’t measure up? I worried. What if I can’t keep them from suffering and struggling? Life is so beautiful and fragile and dangerous and difficult.

The years have taught me I often haven’t measured up. Yet my children’s lives have been beautiful though they have also struggled. As a grandfather I can now see what I couldn’t then, the longer view.

Is that how God sees our lives? Like a grandfather who has a longer view of life, who knows that we will learn our ABCs and more, much more. Who knows we will stumble but walk, fall but stand again.

Someone asked me if I am softer now that I am a grandpa. Softer? Will I go easy on my grandkids. I don’t know. I hope so.

Maybe it’s not softness though. But maybe like God, grandparents can worry and fret less, trust and smile more because they have seen and experienced the longer view. I would like to think so.

  1. How has God shown himself faithful to you over time?
  2. What experience has taught you most about God?

If you’re reading this blog on Facebook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here. www.bibleconversation.com.

Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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The End of The World As We Know It…Or Not

December 21, 2012. The last day on the Mayan calendar. I marked it on my calendar as the end of the world as we know it…

Not!

Every few years, a movie or a book is released foretelling the end of the world. Relying on “inside” information, the authors proclaim that the end of the world is upon us. And people can’t get enough of it!

In 1973, Hal Lindsey wrote The Late Great Planet Earth, which sold 28 million copies, making it the best-selling book of the 1970s.

Following in their theological footsteps, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins authored the Left Behind series with over 75 million copies sold (the only thing “left behind” about that book were two wealthy authors!).

But they weren’t the only ones making a buck off their prophetic End-Times book sales.

In the mid-1970s, Salem Kirban’s books mesmerized me. It still astonishes me that I was only 10 years old at the time. One book that particularly arrested my attention was his tome I Predict. In it, Kirban offered specific dates about the end of the age. For instance, he predicted that marijuana would be legalized by 1975 and Jesus would return by 1980.

Fifteen years later, another pamphlet rocked the evangelical world: 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Is In 1988 by Edgar C. Whisenant.

Then in 1994, Harold Kamping, predicted Jesus would return on September 6 of that year.

So far, everyone has missed the mark.

Why do we keep predicting dates and why does Jesus keep waiting to return?

Please join me in today’s reading.

For examples of more unfulfilled prophecies, click here.

TODAY’S READING

Exodus 23:14-25:40
Matthew 24:29-51
Psalm 30:1-12
Proverbs 7:24-27

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Exodus 23:14-19. We’ll explore these festivals more in-depth later in our reading. But what strikes me is that Israel was commissioned by God to celebrate. Boring, meaningless, ritualistic-driven church is not of God. Christians should be known for having a good time. I’m preaching to myself, here!

Exodus 23:21. The phrase “my Name is in him” means the angel is an extension of God.

Exodus 23:32. The command not to make a covenant (or treaty) with the surrounding nations wasn’t followed by the Israelite leaders and later came back to haunt them. We’ll read more about it in the book of Joshua.

Exodus 24:9-11. Take notice of something important in this passage: Moses and the elders saw God…without dying. This was pretty significant. And extremely rare.

Exodus 24:18. The number 40 shouldn’t be taken literally. Most scholars agree it represents a long period of time.

Matthew 24:34. This verse has always been troublesome to me: “this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” The generation passed away, but don’t some of elements in this prophetic passage remain unfulfilled? Not exactly. Many scholars believe this is a reference to the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. But I’m not convinced. Donald Hagner speculates, “The fact that…the expression clearly alludes to a sinful generation, one ripe for judgment, fits the fall of Jerusalem (and not merely the end of the age). That sounds more plausible, but I’m not sold 100%.

Psalm 30:5. This verse is like balm in those moments when I fell like I’ve messed up: “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

When authors begin naming dates concerning the end of the world, do you ever wonder if maybe they’re right…even a little bit? Do you? You know you do! Despite my severe disappointment that Jesus didn’t come back by 1980, I still fight those thoughts.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t think people devour all those prophetic, end-times books because they’re looking forward to going to heaven. They just want to hedge their bets that they won’t be left behind.

Really, any time someone offers a date of when the world will come to an end, we should feel pretty confident that Jesus won’t come back on that date. In today’s reading, he said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36).

In spite of this, prophetic teachers arrogantly reply to this verse, “We may not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season!”

Jesus didn’t say anything about knowing the season.

The apostle Paul, though, offers us great advice: “be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). Just be ready. This world isn’t our home, so don’t live as though it is.

Finally, this prophetic, end-times discussion begs the question, “Why does God wait?” Here’s my take: time is an element of grace. God is giving us time to prepare ourselves. Like the bride waiting to marry the bridegroom, he’s giving his church time to get in shape and prepare her heart for eternity together with him.

Thank God he hasn’t sent Jesus back just yet because I’m not ready!

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What spoke to your heart in today’s reading?
  2. In Exodus 23:23-33, God clearly tells the Israelites that when they settle in the Promised Land, they must not follow the other nations’ practices nor even let them live in their land. How do we live today in that tension—being in but not of the world?
  3. Why do you think people devour books and movies about the end of the age? Is this healthy? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever felt duped about the end of the age? What hooked you?
  5. How can we live “ready” for the end of the age?
  6. Why does God wait?

If you’re reading this blog on FaceBook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here.

www.bibleconversation.com

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.

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Your Life And Rat Race The Movie

Have you ever noticed that Hollywood loves epic journey movies? Think about it: There’s RV (see the movie trailer above), Rat Race and of course, the original epic journey movie: It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

The epic journey story dates back to the Odyssey by Homer. Some of the stories are comedies, others are not.

But one common thread seems interwoven through all of them: the main character or characters undergo a transformation—usually for the better. And they usually come at the price of pain.

In today’s reading, you’re going to witness a painful but positive transformation–and the journey of pain that made all the difference. Perhaps you share a common journey…

TODAY’S READING

Genesis 39:1-41:16
Matthew 12:46-13:23
Psalm 17:1-15
Proverbs 3:33-35

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INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Genesis 39:16. Think back to chapter 37. What contributed to the contention between Joseph and his brothers? A cloak. What did Potiphar’s wife use as evidence of Joseph’s attempted rape? A cloak. Coincidence? I think not.

Genesis 39:20. Something tells me Potiphar wasn’t completely convinced by his wife’s accusations of Joseph. Rather than execute him, Potiphar threw Joseph into the royal prison, which was more comfortable than other prisons and which also gave him accessibility to members of Pharaoh’s court.

Genesis 40:19. The NIV translators softened this verse. Literally, Joseph told the king’s (former) baker that he was going to be impaled on a pole. By leaving the baker impaled and exposed, people at that time believed it prevented their soul from resting in the afterlife.

Genesis 41:1-16. Notice how dreams continually appear in Joseph’s story.

Matthew 12:46-50. We’ll explore this later in our journey through the Bible, but I can’t escape the fact that Jesus redefined the family in this passage.

Matthew 13:1-23. I’ve studied this parable so many times that it often loses its full force. This time, however, I’m struck by the role my heart plays in growing in my faith and in being healed (Matthew 13:15).

Psalm 17:8. The Bible Background Dictionary explains the meaning of apple of your eye: “Literally the term is ‘the little one of the daughter of your eye.’ This idiomatic expression is also found in Deuteronomy 32:10. The pupil or apple of the eye is the most sensitive part of the body and thus the part needing the most protection.”

Psalm 17:10. Interestingly enough, this psalm addresses calloused hearts just like our reading in Matthew.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

It’s a long hard road from Canaan to Egypt…

Did you notice a difference in Joseph between Genesis 37 and 39? The spoiled, cocky, flamboyant, tattle-tale suddenly morphed into a humble, industrious servant.

Joseph’s long caravan ride to Egypt must have given him ample time to evaluate his shortcomings and regrets.

After his arrival in Egypt, the writer of Genesis goes to great lengths to emphasize that God was with Joseph—despite his forcible enslavement (verses 2, 3, 5 and 23). If God’s hand was on Joseph’s life, why would God allow him to continue in slavery? Why would he allow Joseph to be falsely accused, thrown into jail, and then forgotten? It doesn’t sound like God’s blessing.

Or does it?

Sometimes I wonder if God’s perspective on pain is different than ours. Character is forged in the fires of suffering. The greater the heat, the deeper the change. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

While I prefer that God change me in an instant, my calloused heart usually requires a great deal of time and a measure of pain. In the process of suffering, I wrestle against the temptation of become embittered against God. Sounds like the parable of the sower and the seed in our reading in Matthew 13. Soft, fertile soil produces a much greater harvest than the soil beaten down on the path.

Really, it’s a choice between becoming bitter or better.

Obviously, Joseph chose the better way.

I pray that I can do the same.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. How did God’s word speak to you today?
  2. What do Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:46-50 tell you about his’ definition of family?
  3. In his parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus described the soil in four areas: the path, the shallow soil, weeds, and fertile soil. Which best describes you?
  4. Have you ever experienced a journey like Joseph? How did it change you? What does your journey look like right now?
  5. Some legs of the journey include injustice and false accusation. What does this say about God and the journey?

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The Vice Of Freedom

“It’s a free country!”

If you’re a parent of an adolescent child, you’ve probably heard that excuse plenty of times. In our house, our daughters usually offer it when we tell them to clean their room, practice their cello or voice, or join us on a family outing.

While we do live in a free country, it doesn’t mean that my children are free to live as they please.  What would my daughters be like if my wife and I failed to intervene into their everyday lives?

They might look like a character in today’s reading. He’s the poster child of the vice of freedom.

TODAY’S READING

Genesis 26:17-27:46
Matthew 9:1-17
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 3:9-10

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
Genesis 26:17-33. The wells in dispute were dug by Isaac’s father Abraham, which meant they rightfully belonged to him (Genesis 26:18). Commentator’s look at Isaac’s response as an example of his timidity.

Genesis 27. More on this in THE WORD MADE FRESH.

Matthew 9:3. Jesus was accused of blasphemy because the religious leaders taught that only God can forgive sins (technically, this is true). By absolving the paralytic man of his sins, Jesus implied that he was God (which is also true).

Matthew 9:9. Matthew (the writer of the Gospel of Matthew) is telling his own story here.

Matthew 9:10-11. What a great example Jesus gave us. He hung out with tax collectors and “sinners.” The New Bible Commentary explains, “Tax collectors were not only notorious for exploitation but also religiously and politically ostracized as collaborators with the pagan Roman government. For a pious Jew to eat with them was therefore unthinkable.” The irony, of course, is that the Pharisees failed to see that they were sinners, too.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

Genesis 27 is a very unsettling chapter, spurring countless questions inside me. Did God approve of—even sanction—Jacob’s actions? Why would God bless Jacob’s deception? What was wrong with Esau? Here’s what the passage speaks to me:

At the end of chapter 26, we read that Esau married two wives, both of whom were Hittites (Genesis 26:34-35). Most striking of all is the comment we read about the two wives: “They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.” How were they a source of grief? We don’t know.

But consider this: Abraham was adamant that Isaac marry a girl from within their extended family, and NOT a Canaanite girl. He even sent a servant to find Isaac a wife. So what did Isaac do to ensure his sons avoid marrying a Canaanite woman? Nothing. As I mentioned in today’s INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS, Isaac was, indeed, a weak, passive man.

The Word Biblical Commentary offers this observation: “Once we realize that neither Esau nor Isaac care about Abraham’s principle of not marrying Canaanites, we cannot entirely condemn the way Jacob and Rebekah achieve their goals. Esau’s indifference to the law’s demands, which Abraham held so dear, suggests that perhaps he does not deserve to inherit Abraham’s blessing.”

Had Esau continued Abraham’s “firstborn” lineage, God’s plans could have been thwarted. Think back: Esau sold his birthright for a pot of stew! That’s why Scripture refers to Esau with such contempt (Malachi 1:2-3, Hebrews 12:16).

Isaac was too lazy, timid, and passive to live proactively. Instead, he approached his daily life with a laissez-faire mentality. Laissez-faire means “Noninterference in the affairs of others.”

How does this speak to me? While I don’t believe God wants me to control my kids, I see the shortcomings of laissez-faire parenting. Just look at Esau’s life. Esau missed out on God’s blessing, in part because Isaac failed to proactively help his children follow God. How often do we hear parents say to their children:

  • “I don’t care what you decide—as long as you’re happy”
  • “I want my children to decide what they believe”
  • “My kids will figure it out on their own”

Our children need proactive parenting.

This also applies to how I live my life. Laissez-faire living lulls me to sleep and allows the surrounding (Hittite?) culture to squeeze me into its mold. A few days ago, we read that Jesus wasn’t afraid of bucking the conventional norms of his day. In the same way, I cannot allow culture or people’s opinions of me to dictate my life.

Godly parenting doesn’t just happen. A godly life doesn’t just happen.

Be like Abraham…not Isaac. It’s a choice of being passive or passive.

CONVENTION STARTERS

  1. What spoke to you in today’s reading?
  2. Who do you identify with most in Genesis 27—Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, or Jacob? Why?
  3. In what ways do you approach your life with a laissez-faire mentality? What causes this and what would help you correct it?
  4. Why do you think Jesus hung out with tax collectors and sinners? Who are the tax collectors and sinners Jesus might be calling you to hang out with?

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Pressing Your Reboot Button

Sometimes—actually about once a week—I wish my life resembled a computer: logical, unemotional, and equipped with a volume button that I can turn down. Way down.

You understand if you live in a house with as many as four women. I love all of them dearly but they don’t always make sense, they insist I join them on their terrifying emotional roller coaster rides, and at times their volume level is stuck on “YELL!”

Did I mention that I love them dearly?

All joking aside, the aspect I admire most about the computer is its ability to reboot. Back in the day when I was enslaved to a PC, I observed this ritual on a daily basis. Now that I work on a Mac, I still follow the practice on an irregular basis, just because it feels good to start over. And on those occasions that even my Mac gets stuck, I know I can press the power button for 10 seconds and everything will begin anew.

When my life gets cluttered and confused, or I get frustrated with the person I’ve become, I long for a reboot button. The closest thing we have to this amazing function is New Year’s Day.

New Year’s Day is really like any other day. The sun comes up in the morning and sets in the late afternoon. The weather may or may not resemble the day before or the day after. It does offer a panoply of college football games. But it’s just another day.

Except that it also offers a new start. Despite all the great New Year’s resolutions people make involving weight loss, education, self-improvement or getting out of debt, I believe the greatest goal is the commitment to get closer to God. But without a plan, it likely won’t happen.

Your Can Reboot In Two Days (actually, you can reboot whenever you want!)

In two days we’ll begin reading through the Bible in a year. Every morning, very early, this blog will supply you with:

  • An online link to four Scripture passages—a selection from the Psalms, a selection from Proverbs, and readings from the Old and New Testaments;
  • Tips for understanding that day’s readings;
  • Reflections on how they speak to my heart; and
  • An opportunity for you to share with our online community how it speaks to yours.

You can also receive a daily email with everything in it. Just sign up on the main page.

I hope you’ll join me.

If you read consistently and listen with your heart, you will be changed. The word of God is too powerful not to.

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)

http://www.bibleconversation.com

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