Shabbat Shalom

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. Deutronomy 5:12-14 NLT

We do not rest on the Sabbath so we can work during the week. We work during the week so we can rest and refresh our souls on the Sabbath.

Observing the Sabbath is not only an act of obedience, it is an act of faith. It is trusting that God will empower us to accomplish all that he has called us to do in six days a week. And by not working on the Seventh Day, we are affirming that God created the world and, just as He ceased from work on the Seventh Day, so do we.

Our obedience is also a witness to an increasingly godless world. We can have no idea the impact of our act of faith and obedience in the Providence of God.

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Exodus 20:8 NRSV

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Love Made Manifest

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 NLT

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Orientation

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Being unhappy is the easy way out.

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An Orientation Of The Heart

Daily Bible study, prayer, and practicing of the presence of God, ultimately produces an orientation of the heart to faith. To hope. To love. To truth. To God.

This from God’s word:

Supplement your basic faith with a generous provision of moral excellence (good character), and moral excellence with knowledge (spiritual understanding), and knowledge with self-control (alert discipline), and self-control with patient endurance (passionate patience), and patient endurance with godliness (reverent wonder), and godliness with brotherly affection (warm friendliness), and brotherly affection with love for everyone (generous love), each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 2 Peter 1:5-7, Paraphrased,

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The Arc Of History

Providence is God hooking things up.

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It Was A Day Like Any Other

My righteousness draws near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for Me, and for My arm they wait. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will never be dismayed. Isaiah 51:5-6 ESV

If you knew Jesus was returning tomorrow what would you do differently today?

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Martin Luther King Day

On this Martin Luther King day, a contemplation on character:

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4 NLT

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Creation Knows The Voice That Spoke Into The Void

A familiar Bible passage tells us that things work together for good for those who love and follow Christ. Does this mean some things? A few things? Most things?

No. It means precisely what it says. All things.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” 8:28 NKJV

Here is an example of ‘all things’ from God’s providence.* After a failed murder plot, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph’s faith in God never wavered. While in Egypt, Joseph is thrown in prision on false accusations. Joseph’s faith in God never wavered. Serendipitously, Joseph ends up as second in command of Egypt, and, through foresight (see: wisdom), saves the country from the ravages of a 7 year famine. And sets in motion the events that lead to the Exodus.

Begining to see a pattern here?

Here is Joseph speaking to his brothers near the end of the famine (circa 1700 BC):

“But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil, for he brought me to this high position I have today so that I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families.” And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them..” Genesis 50:19-21 TLB

All things. I’m just saying.

*See more on the providence of God here.

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On Obedience

This is the day the Lord has made. My obligation is to use it to glorify Him.

Defend the Truth. Life the faith. Advance The Kingdom.

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Do Not Settle

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 TLB.

Never settle in your walk with God. Never let Him show you a truth that you don’t immediately begin to live up to.

He who follows discipline shows the way to life,
But he who ignores reproof leads astray.
Proverbs 10:17, Tanakh (NJPS)

Three characteristics of never settling:

  • Face the brutal facts.
  • Be drastically resolute, willing to pay whatever price, engage in whatever discipline necessary.
  • Acknowledge that you can’t do it alone, that you are entirely dependent on the power of God. Full stop.

Obedience means never settling.

From the #imjustsaying series.

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