Archive for May, 2003

Does it take sin? – Job 11-14

“With friends like you, who needs enemies?” – This statement seems to sum up the situation in which Job finds himself. He is talking with a bunch of friends who keep on giving him bad advice. The show a complete lack of understanding of what is actually occurring. Zophar begins his tirade by basically telling Job he must be fooling himself if he believes he has not sinned against God. Zophar is right that each of us have sinned and therefore need grace to be right before God, but what he does not understand is that Job has done nothing to merit the horrible situation he finds himself in. Zophar talks out of a mistaken belief that God punishes us for each little infraction. He believes (as did many of his day and even some today) that all bad things come from the wrath of God. The truth is bad things happen to all people and good things happen to all people. Job knows he is righteous before God. His only problem is he is having an internal struggle trusting God for his deliverance (I believe most of us would not been able to do half as well as he did.)

Dear Jesus,

Help me to look at every situation in life, whether good or bad, as an opportunity to learn and to serve you. Help me to see your purpose in every circumstance. While I know it is possible to be out of your will for my life, I also know you work through every situation. Thank you for being my guide and my giver of grace. Continue to guide me as I seek to follow you in all of my ways. I love you Lord. Amen.

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Does it take sin? – Job 11-14

“With friends like you, who needs enemies?” – This statement seems to sum up the situation in which Job finds himself. He is talking with a bunch of friends who keep on giving him bad advice. The show a complete lack of understanding of what is actually occurring. Zophar begins his tirade by basically telling Job he must be fooling himself if he believes he has not sinned against God. Zophar is right that each of us have sinned and therefore need grace to be right before God, but what he does not understand is that Job has done nothing to merit the horrible situation he finds himself in. Zophar talks out of a mistaken belief that God punishes us for each little infraction. He believes (as did many of his day and even some today) that all bad things come from the wrath of God. The truth is bad things happen to all people and good things happen to all people. Job knows he is righteous before God. His only problem is he is having an internal struggle trusting God for his deliverance (I believe most of us would not been able to do half as well as he did.)

Dear Jesus,

Help me to look at every situation in life, whether good or bad, as an opportunity to learn and to serve you. Help me to see your purpose in every circumstance. While I know it is possible to be out of your will for my life, I also know you work through every situation. Thank you for being my guide and my giver of grace. Continue to guide me as I seek to follow you in all of my ways. I love you Lord. Amen.

Understanding God – Job 8-10

Bildad, a friend of Job, replies to the lamenting word of Job with much wisdom. He basically predictes the end of the book of Job. He tells Job that God will not allow him to remain in this sorrowfull and lowly positon. Job does not want to hear it. He is so overwhelmed by his situation he cannot deal with it in any semblence of a rational manner. It is easy to understand this, but it is allow good to see that Bildad understands God better than Eliphaz. I believe what we learn here is that our all powerfull God who can control anything and do anything also has the power to chose not to. Often, people what to blame things on God when they go wrong. You will hear phrases such as “Why does God let bad things happen.” In reality, most of the time God does not let bad things happen. God let us have the freedom to make choices and me must live with those choices. There are times where God allows us to be tested, such as Job. In these times we must do our best to keep our eyes on God (most of us would probably still act like Job, including myself). Bildad tried to be an encouragement to Job. I am not sure he succeeded. It may have been best for him to not offer the worlds of encouragement, but I feel he did his best and he truly loved Job in this situation.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to see your face in every circumstance. Help me to learn for the life situations I find myself in regardless if they are joyful, sorrowful or somewhere in between. Lord, show me you will in every situation and circumstance. I truly love and adore you. Thank you for loving me and training me in your ways. Amen.

Understanding God – Job 8-10

Bildad, a friend of Job, replies to the lamenting word of Job with much wisdom. He basically predictes the end of the book of Job. He tells Job that God will not allow him to remain in this sorrowfull and lowly positon. Job does not want to hear it. He is so overwhelmed by his situation he cannot deal with it in any semblence of a rational manner. It is easy to understand this, but it is allow good to see that Bildad understands God better than Eliphaz. I believe what we learn here is that our all powerfull God who can control anything and do anything also has the power to chose not to. Often, people what to blame things on God when they go wrong. You will hear phrases such as “Why does God let bad things happen.” In reality, most of the time God does not let bad things happen. God let us have the freedom to make choices and me must live with those choices. There are times where God allows us to be tested, such as Job. In these times we must do our best to keep our eyes on God (most of us would probably still act like Job, including myself). Bildad tried to be an encouragement to Job. I am not sure he succeeded. It may have been best for him to not offer the worlds of encouragement, but I feel he did his best and he truly loved Job in this situation.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to see your face in every circumstance. Help me to learn for the life situations I find myself in regardless if they are joyful, sorrowful or somewhere in between. Lord, show me you will in every situation and circumstance. I truly love and adore you. Thank you for loving me and training me in your ways. Amen.

Giving Hope – Job 4-7

Job is going through so much. He has lost everything except a wife who suggest he die (it seems like he would be better off without her). He has been afflicted in his body with terrible maladies, yet he goes on. The real lesson from Job 4-7 is not what we can learn from Job, but what we can learn from Eliphaz the Temanite. Eliphaz has the best of intentions. He is trying to help Job think of anything that may have brought the calamities upon him. He begins by discussing his belief that bad things do not happen to good people. Unfortunately, this false assumption invalidates his arguments. Bad things happen to good people each and every day. Essentially, Eliphaz is just babbling. In fact, I believe what we need to learn is the art of listening, speaking only with encouragement and to avoid giving advice unless it is definitely from the Holy Spirit. Job needed his friends to be there for him. He did not need his friends to try and solve his problems and be his psychotherapist. Just listening and loving is one of the hardest things for any of us to do. It is also one of the most important gifts we can give any friend or loved one. Sometime God lets us go through trials to learn, but the learning comes from the trial not the advice of others.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to understand you are the best friend and best counselor possible. Help me to understand that I do not have all (or many times any) of the answers. Help me to love, listen and occasionally encourage. Help me to not judge, over evaluate or give too much advice. Thank you for creating me with a problem solving mind and thank you for helping me to know when not to use it. Amen.

Giving Hope – Job 4-7

Job is going through so much. He has lost everything except a wife who suggest he die (it seems like he would be better off without her). He has been afflicted in his body with terrible maladies, yet he goes on. The real lesson from Job 4-7 is not what we can learn from Job, but what we can learn from Eliphaz the Temanite. Eliphaz has the best of intentions. He is trying to help Job think of anything that may have brought the calamities upon him. He begins by discussing his belief that bad things do not happen to good people. Unfortunately, this false assumption invalidates his arguments. Bad things happen to good people each and every day. Essentially, Eliphaz is just babbling. In fact, I believe what we need to learn is the art of listening, speaking only with encouragement and to avoid giving advice unless it is definitely from the Holy Spirit. Job needed his friends to be there for him. He did not need his friends to try and solve his problems and be his psychotherapist. Just listening and loving is one of the hardest things for any of us to do. It is also one of the most important gifts we can give any friend or loved one. Sometime God lets us go through trials to learn, but the learning comes from the trial not the advice of others.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to understand you are the best friend and best counselor possible. Help me to understand that I do not have all (or many times any) of the answers. Help me to love, listen and occasionally encourage. Help me to not judge, over evaluate or give too much advice. Thank you for creating me with a problem solving mind and thank you for helping me to know when not to use it. Amen.

A perspective on a bad situation – Job 1-2

I cannot help but look at the first three chapters of Job and marvel at this man who refused to give up his faith in God even though he had lost everything – family, health and possessions. Don’t get me wrong. I know and believe the situations of this world should not and must not dictate our relationship with God. God is God regardless of our life situation. We must learn from every situation we go through regardless if it is good or bad. The real question is this, “Could I react like Job? If I lost everything that is important to me would I be able to react like him and not only keep my faith, but keep perspective?” I believe Job understood God much better than many modern day Christians. He lived in a time when mercy and grace were not there just for the asking. He lived in a day when it was not unusual to see God strike people down for sin. He did not sin, yet he was afflicted worse than many of those who did. I will also look up to Job and the faith he maintained through it all. His only real request was that he should not have been born. The fact is this may be complaining, but it is not rejecting God. Job is a hero of the faith.

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I face trails and situations in my life each day that pale in comparison to Job help me keep perspective. Help my faith to never waiver as I look to you for my strength and wisdom. I know you desire to help me to be an even greater Christ follower. I love you Lord and ask for a double portion of your mercy and grace. Amen.

As I face trail and situations in my life each day that pale in comparision to Job help me keep perspective. Help my faith to never waiver as I look to you for my strenght and wisdom. I know you desire to help me to be an even greater Christ follower. I love you Lord and ask for a double portion of your mercy and grace. Amen.

A perspective on a bad situation – Job 1-2

I cannot help but look at the first three chapters of Job and marvel at this man who refused to give up his faith in God even though he had lost everything – family, health and possessions. Don’t get me wrong. I know and believe the situations of this world should not and must not dictate our relationship with God. God is God regardless of our life situation. We must learn from every situation we go through regardless if it is good or bad. The real question is this, “Could I react like Job? If I lost everything that is important to me would I be able to react like him and not only keep my faith, but keep perspective?” I believe Job understood God much better than many modern day Christians. He lived in a time when mercy and grace were not there just for the asking. He lived in a day when it was not unusual to see God strike people down for sin. He did not sin, yet he was afflicted worse than many of those who did. I will also look up to Job and the faith he maintained through it all. His only real request was that he should not have been born. The fact is this may be complaining, but it is not rejecting God. Job is a hero of the faith.

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I face trails and situations in my life each day that pale in comparison to Job help me keep perspective. Help my faith to never waiver as I look to you for my strength and wisdom. I know you desire to help me to be an even greater Christ follower. I love you Lord and ask for a double portion of your mercy and grace. Amen.

As I face trail and situations in my life each day that pale in comparision to Job help me keep perspective. Help my faith to never waiver as I look to you for my strenght and wisdom. I know you desire to help me to be an even greater Christ follower. I love you Lord and ask for a double portion of your mercy and grace. Amen.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

The parting words of Ecclesiastes seem to sum up everything that came in the previous 12 chapters. As humans we attempt to find our meaning, value and worth in worldly items. These can be good items such as wisdom, philanthropy, service to others etc. However, every single one of the “good” things have no value without the direction and love of God. Worldly endeavors only have value as they are placed within a context of faith. Even helping the least of these (Matthew 25:34-45) does not have value unless it is done out of a deep faith in God and love for his creation. People are always trying to find meaning through the material world. We have gone as far as to give “spiritual” meaning to many of the things we do — such as helping those in need. Ironically, there is a spiritual meaning to everything we do, but only when it is done in the context of faith. God gives everything meaning. Without God nothing has meaning. Our secular jobs have meaning when we do them because God created us to do them. Our secular meetings, occasions and struggles have meaning when they are done through eyes, ears and bodies of those who have faith. When we understand we are servants of the most high God, all of our actions, guided by him, are ministry. When we do not have faith, none of our actions are valuable — regardless of how humanly noble they may seem.