Isaiah 5:20–23 (NIV) “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.”
These individuals believe the lie and will say good is evil — evil is good — they will fight for it and criticize those who have the proper definitions. Recognize and remember that God is the one who created the world, and He is the only one who may set the terms, definitions, and categories.
Look at what is taking place right now — there is no person or group is innocent in the political and cultural sphere however there are obvious distinctions. Which party is pro-abortion (murder of children) which party is against Gods version of sexuality and marriage? Which party is against any form of truth that comes against their own and will become vicious and even violent to shut you up? I am against this no matter what side does it. Right now in our country, we need clear minds, who support the right fights in the right manner. To accomplish that, we must have something that supplies us with wisdom and peace of heart, believing that even if events don’t go God’s way, we are ok. When we allow fear and anger to overpower us, we overreact and we even challenge the right fights the sinful way and give Jesus a black eye. I pray for wisdom for believers. Not just politically but personally everywhere they work, live, and play. We get this as we worship and study and pray. We are aware of the predictions (prophecies) in the bible. This all should never come as a surprise to the Christian that is schooled in God’s word and the holy bible. John 14:1 (NKJV) “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”
I have a nephew I‘ve always thought of like my brother. He lives on the east coast and me on the west coast. Neither of us has a lot of disposable income we can just spend to fly back and forth. Only due to the death of a family member does he make it out to visit. His younger brother has begun chemo for liver cancer, so on his way to spend time with his brother, he made a stop in Idaho for a few days to spend with my husband and I. Nine months ago his father died of cancer, so we all gathered together for that reunion. A year before that, his grandmother passed away, so we spent time together then. I am always so excited to get together with my nephew who I seldom see, but through each visit, I am competing with his cell phone. I thought maybe I was boring him.
I feel rejected by a family member or friend when they spend more time on their phone than enjoying the moment together. It has taken the loss of family members to bring the rest of us together, but it only takes a small, electronic device to divide us when we occupy the same room, car or dinner table. In my day, it was the television that took priority at meal time. Before the television, the newspaper was the older generations escape from conversations. God made us for relationships, but have you noticed how people hide behind their screens to avoid a conversation with their spouse, children or friend?
We are becoming people that are so self-absorbed, we’re unaware of our own surroundings. One of my favorite things to do is to go camping where electronics don’t work. I love to sit and listen to the sound of nature. The breeze blowing through the leaves; the birds making joyful sounds; the frogs calling for a mate, or the sound of the creek spilling over the rocks. I take the time to appreciate God’s wonderful work and listen to His small voice. I sometimes sing praises to my Lord my God or read scripture.
The last generation of children have grown up with computers, cell phones, tablets, and the list goes on. I feel sad for those that can‘t appreciate the sounds of silence, a good board game with family or friends, or visiting with those who are elderly and have some very interesting stories to share. I am so looking forward to heaven. Please God, don‘t let there be cell phones or computers. Amen.
Our small group just finished up on the book of Jonah. In all sincerity, the only information I had about Jonah was that a huge fish swallowed him. I never knew why. Did Jonah get loose, or become fish food? The book is only a few pages but it’s an extremely powerful story. I never knew how we as Christians have so much in common with Jonah as difficult as it is to admit.
Has God called upon you to do something you didn’t want to do? Have you ignored the call? Jonah was a prophet. God gave Jonah a mission to travel to Nineveh, inform them about God, and to get the Assyrian people to repent and seek redemption. Jonah hated the Assyrian people because of their heartless cruelty to the Israelites. He knew that God was a loving and forgiving God and didn‘t feel that the Assyrian people deserved mercy. Jonah decided to hide from God by getting on a ship in route to Tarshish. As I read this part, I wondered, Jonah’s a prophet and still he thinks he can hide from God? God, unrelenting, intervenes in Jonah’s plan of escape by sending a storm and breaking up the boat. This you might say, is God’s wake up call. Has God ever tried to get your attention? Has He broken something in your world to draw you back to Himself?
I honestly can’t say I’ve tried to hide from God, but I must admit there have been people in my life I haven’t wanted to pray for because I didn’t like them, or I didn’t feel as though they deserved forgiveness or redemption. Have you ever wanted to keep God’s grace to yourself rather than sharing it with those you felt were less deserving? Ouch! These are the storms that God may have sent to help bring closure or peace in your heart. God is asking us to step out in obedience. We may not understand what His intentions are, but we should realize God has a plan for us and will challenge us to do something we don’t want to do.
God asked me last year to serve in the Youth Ministry (high school girls) at our church. “No, thank you,” I said. “I’d rather serve on the worship team.” But God was not letting me off the hook that easily. He continued to put youth ministry on my heart. I finally said to Him, “You know my past when I was a teenager. I hardly think I‘d be a suitable example.” But that was His point. I would have empathy. I could sense the battles these girls were experiencing because I had been one with a history I‘m not too proud of, but if it could help save these girls from the mistakes I made, maybe, just maybe, something positive could come out of my shame. And so I serve, and I love it. God knew what He was doing.