A house divided cannot stand. A Family at odds with itself is neutralized from having influence. When will we as a family of believers remember that our war is with a world culture that wants to see the church obliterated. The world believes the world would be so much happier, if the followers of Christ would simply disappear. The sad news is that part of the reason is our own infighting. The obvious conflicts between denominations and branches of churches are bad enough, but, even within different local fellowships people are at each other’s throats over huge issues like critique of music, carpet or even volunteer leadership.
Truth is this has happened since the first century—It never honors God. If we remember we are families—and while the little dysfunctions within our congregations (while sometimes hurtful, but mostly just annoying), can be a reason to vent, cry or pray–they should never be a reason to leave or quit. Staff aren’t perfect, every message won’t be the sermon on the mount, volunteers will be cranky and sometimes undependable. but, as Christ’s followers we are called and must be the safe haven for our other imperfect family members. God calls us to love them, pray for them but stick by them! If you go to Church this week–look for all the dysfunctional family members and pray for them…oh by the way stop in the rest room and face the mirror! I know I will!!!!!!!!!!
God Bless You
I Corinnthians 1
10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”
13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.
Paul was an amazing author and mentor. He contributed so much to the early church. Our understanding of fellowship with our Lord are due largely to his discipleship of the early church. Paul wanted his disciples to understand that they were provided with everything necessary to humbly walk in fellowship with God and to be free from the world and sin’s hold on their lives.
Nearly 2000 years later, God still provides the necessary gifts to allow us to walk in freedom and victory. His spirit will give us the direction, comfort and strength to meet every challenge set before us. We simply need to trust he is God and we are not. Thanks Lord for your provision and grace. Please allow me to walk humbly in it.
God Bless You
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.
2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. 6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes with one main thought. Remember God while you are young because your respect for Him is all that will remain. All the things we do or accomplish, all the efforts we generate to manufacture a certain outcome—all the planning, effort and accumulation will fade as does youth. In the end, it will all seem meaningless. Focus upon Him and keep an eternal perspective. That is what will remain, that is all that is meaningful.
God Bless You
7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
8 However many years anyone may live,
let them enjoy them all.
But let them remember the days of darkness,
for there will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless…
Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
2 before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop…
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
Control is the evil-magician’s greatest illusion. Since Adam and Eve, the enemy has spun the idea that we could somehow control our own destiny by reason, effort or creativity. Throughout the bible and throughout history, man has planted his pennant into the top of a hill and said look at me. Without fail, life has toppled; plans have failed and the immortal have proven themselves extremely mortal. In the end, we all realize that the control we thought we had, rests at the bottom of the sea like the unsinkable Titanic. Solomon reminds us to never count on one thing to save us, diversify and rely upon God. Then God and God alone can and will direct our paths. Help me Lord, to follow your lead and look to you to control my life.
God Bless You
1 Send your grain across the seas,
and in time, profits will flow back to you.[a]
2 But divide your investments among many places,[b]
for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.
3 When clouds are heavy, the rains come down.
Whether a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls.
4 Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
5 Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb,[c] so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.
6 Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.
Because we can never know the future, we have to live in a way that we won’t look back and regret. I have seen pride destroy so many who thought they had it made and were untouchable—then a circumstance appears that will unravel the very chords of their lives. Then the harsh words and smug attitudes appear destroying any hope of a soft landing, If we live humbly in all circumstances, life can attack and expose us, but the only revelation that it brings is our singleness of mind and purpose, Our very core is reflected and as we follow him we begin to understand the verse we are hidden with Christ in God. In that we are comforted, inspired and moved to pour our lives out as a living sacrifice. Help me Lord to reflect you in my walk, my talk and my treatment of others.
God Bless You
14 No one knows what is coming—
who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
15 The toil of fools wearies them;
they do not know the way to town.
16 Woe to the land whose king was a servant[a]
and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth
and whose princes eat at a proper time—
for strength and not for drunkenness.
18 Through laziness, the rafters sag;
because of idle hands, the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter,
wine makes life merry,
and money is the answer for everything.
20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird in the sky may carry your words,
and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
Much about life, simply is not fair. But, as we continue to walk the journey set before us (Hebrews 12:3) we sharpen our skills, rely upon God’s presence and act in a way that honors God. As we do that, God blesses us with great friends, daily provision and the occasional miracle to remind us he is God and we are not. We are fulfilled as we take hold of those things that he provides. We are able to strengthen our faith when we quit trying to make and control God’s plan.
Thanks Lord for continuing to be our provision. Thanks Lord for directing our path through those things that are not fair or even explainable..
God Bless You
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 Fools are put in many high positions,
while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I have seen slaves on horseback,
while princes go on foot like slaves.
8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;
whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 If the ax is dull
and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed,
but skill will bring success.
12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,
but fools are consumed by their own lips.
13 At the beginning their words are folly;
at the end they are wicked madness—
14 and fools multiply words.
Dumb and Dumber—We see the movies of that genre with the stars like Will Farrell, Owen Taylor, Steve Corrall etc. and laugh, shake our heads and wonder how that crud gets on the screen. Clearly not designed to stimulate or minds, but, just to hit the base levels of physical humor. In life, we see folks that live their lives like that genre—dumb choices, bad attitudes and coarse mouths and manners. We laugh, shake our heads and wonder how they can go through life so misdirected.
Solomon is right. Pitiful behavior taints the best of circumstances. We can spot foolish folks from a mile off. Knowing that, we need to walk in a way that honors God. Our hearts and attitudes should reflect God. Live, Laugh and love—that is great; but, know that as you respond in a way that honors God, people will be drawn to you and you will be perceived as a wise person.
Help me Lord to live wisely and behave in a way that is not Dumb and Dumber!
God Bless You
As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. 3 Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are. 4 If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.