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Waiting to see God’s Glory Revealed

Do you long to see the glory of God? Do you long for God to do something big in your life? Is there a prayer that you have been praying for some time and God seems quiet? Imagine how Martha and Mary felt as their brother Lazarus was sick and they watched as he grew worse. They sent for Jesus, but he didn’t arrive in time, and Lazarus died. They had probably seen Jesus heal many others and knew he had the power to heal their brother. But the truth is they longed to see the God’s glory revealed in their brother’s life, but Jesus didn’t come.

They knew Jesus loved their family very much. Can you imagine their confusion as Lazarus gets close to death and Jesus still hasn’t arrived yet? Can you imagine their heartache as their brother takes his last breath and Jesus didn’t come? Yet, they had enough faith to believe that, even at this point, Jesus could make a difference. As we look at the story of Mary, Martha, and Jesus when Jesus arrives after Lazarus’ death, there are three things we can learn that will help us in the moments that we long to see God’s glory show up in our own lives.

The Backstory

For a little backstory, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were friends of Jesus. In fact, the Bible records that it was this Mary that anointed Jesus with oil and wiped His feet with her hair. When Lazarus became sick, his sisters did the only thing they knew to do – they sent for Jesus. They had complete faith that Jesus could heal him.

However, we don’t find Jesus dropping everything and heading on over to Bethany as quickly as he can. He already knew what He was going to do, how He was going to do it and why. Unfortunately, in order to fulfill His will, it meant that Lazarus must die first (or maybe that’s not unfortunate for Lazarus because He got to spend a few days on vacation in Heaven!). So, Jesus hangs out where He was for another two days. Then He says to His disciples, “Let’s go to Judea.” Why? Because God’s glory was going to be revealed in a much bigger way than simply healing Lazarus.

Unfortunately, in order to fulfill His will, it meant that Lazarus must die first (or maybe that’s not unfortunate for Lazarus because He got to spend a few days on vacation in Heaven!).

God’s Delay Is Not a Delay in seeing the God’s glory

Lazarus, Mary and Martha needed their Jehovah Rapha – the God who heals. But Jesus chose not to go and these were His friends. Jesus was not being intentionally hurtful by not going right away. If we do the math, we know that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days by the time Jesus does arrive. That means that Lazarus was probably already dead when they brought the news to him that he was sick. He probably died not longer after the messengers left Bethany.

But the fact that Lazarus had been dead four days when Jesus arrived is significant and we shouldn’t miss the point of that. The Jews had a belief that a person’s spirit left their body after three days, unable at that point to reunite with the body. Perhaps this is the same reason that Jesus rose from the dead three days after the cross. It reminds me of the movie, The Princess Bride, where Wesley is “dead” but the little old, odd couple says he’s not dead, just “mostly dead” which, of course, is different than “completely dead.”

Because Lazarus was 100% dead, there would be no doubt in God’s glory

By waiting a couple days before going, there would be no doubt that Lazarus was not just “mostly dead,” he was completely dead. Dead as a door nail. He was so dead that when Jesus tells them to open the tomb, Martha says, “But, by now, he stinks.” (If Jarjar Binks were on the scene we might hear him say, “How rude!”) But I think God inspired John to include that particular interchange between Jesus and Martha so that everyone throughout time who reads the story of Lazarus will know that Lazarus was 100% completely dead. So dead that his body had started decomposing and stinking. Lazarus D.E.A.D.

Lazarus was not just mostly dead, he was completely dead. He was so dead that when Jesus tells them to open the tomb, Martha says, “By now, he stinks.” (If Jarjar Binks had been there we might hear him say, “How rude!”)

“If you had been here” – we would have seen God’s glory

If any of us were in Mary and Martha’s shoes as they laid the body of their brother in a tomb and sealed it shut, we’d probably feel not just the sadness and grief associated with death, but also confusion and hurt that Jesus hadn’t come. Can you hear the frustration and hurt in their voice as both sisters say the same thing to Jesus when He does finally arrive? They said, “If you had been here, our brother would not have died.” They knew He had the power to heal and they just didn’t understand why He didn’t show up when they needed Him.

If this were us in this story, we might have questioned just how much Jesus really cared about us and our situation. Jesus knew that in not going to them and healing Lazarus, there would be grief and confusion, but Jesus had a greater plan and in that plan they would all see God’s glory perfectly revealed to them. So, the first that we can learn, is to trust God’s timing.

Jesus knew that in not going to them and healing Lazarus, there would be grief and confusion, but Jesus had a greater plan and in that plan they would all see the glory of God.

Trust God’s Timing

I have to admit that waiting is NOT my thing. If you want to see my grumpy side, just let me wait – for anything. I have a couple of games on my phone so that when I find myself waiting, I can pull my phone out and occupy my time. Yet, waiting on God often needs more than a few rounds of a match-three game. At times, we wait years to see God’s glory through answered prayer. You might have been praying so long that you don’t even know how to pray anymore. The good news is the Bible tells us that when we don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit will step in and pray for us (Romans 8:26-27). So if you have reached the place of not knowing what or how to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you and pray on your behalf.

Sometimes, we wait so long that we might even give up praying for that thing on our heart. But unless God gives us an answer of “no,” we need to keep praying, keep seeking His will, keep looking for where He is at work in our lives and know that in His perfect timing, He will show up and whenever He shows up, we will see His glory.

Unless God gives us an answer of “no,” we need to keep praying, keep seeking His will, keep looking for where He is at work in our lives and know that in His perfect timing, He will show up and whenever He shows up, we will see His glory.

Trust God’s Heart

Not only can we trust His timing, but we can trust that His timing is the absolute best because He loves us and He only wants the very best for us – even when we don’t know what’s best. Mary and Martha thought that what was best for Lazarus was for Jesus to come and heal him. Had Jesus only healed him, all of them would have missed out on the greater miracle that Jesus was going to do. Had Jesus only healed him, Lazarus would not have had the opportunity to spend four days in Heaven. Imagine the stories he could have told about what heaven was like! The point here is that God always gets the timing right and we can trust His heart to do what is absolutely best for us in ever situation – even when it doesn’t make any sense.

Had Jesus only healed him, all of them would have missed out on the miracle that Jesus was going to do. Had Jesus only healed him, Lazarus would not have had the opportunity to spend four days in Heaven.

Jesus wept

We can see Jesus’ heart in verse 35 as His human emotions are expressed. This short verse simply says, “Jesus wept.” But what caused our Savior to cry? He already knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back to life, so he wasn’t crying because his friend had died. What cause Him to be “deeply moved” (verse 38)?

I can think of two reasons why Jesus’ emotions were moved to the point of tears. One reason may have been because as He saw the people standing around, He saw those who did not believe and would spend eternity in hell because of their hard hearts. But He also saw the emotional hurt and pain of Mary and Martha and He loved them. He cared about how they were feeling. He knew how heavy their hearts were in their loss, grief, and sadness, and because he cared about them, his heart was heavy, too. But, there is no better way for God’s glory to be revealed than when he steps into our brokenness and makes beauty out of ashes.

When we hurt, God hurts

My friend, when you are hurting, Jesus is hurting with you. When the people who should be there supporting you, cheering you on, and encouraging you instead would rather see you fail, Jesus hurts with you. Or when someone close to you dies, Jesus hurts with you. When your children turn away from the faith you’ve raised them in, Jesus hurts with you. And when you long to hold a child in your arms, but infertility is your reality, Jesus hurts with you. When your spouse ignores you, leaves you, or cheats on you, Jesus hurts with you. And when a friend betrays you, Jesus hurts with you. Jesus hurts for each and every hurt that weighs us down. When you grieve, God grieves. When you cry, God cries. We have a God with a big heart. You can trust God’s timing, and you can trust God’s heart. 

When you grieve, God grieves. When you cry, God cries. We have a God with a big heart. You can trust God’s timing, and you can trust God’s heart. 

Trust God’s Power

Now remember that Lazaurs wasn’t just “mostly dead.” He was four-day, stinkin’ dead. They didn’t practice embalming, so decay had already set in. Prior to raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus had performed two other resurrections, but they had only been dead a short time. It would take a BIG miracle where Lazarus was concerned and Martha had to point out just how dead Lazarus was. But in verse 4O, Jesus speaks words that could turn the deepest, darkest grief and despair into bright, shining hope. After Martha points out that Lazarus’s decaying body would stink by now, Jesus replies to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” Then with a loud voice, Jesus says three words: “Lazarus, come forth!”

When God acts, He calls us by name

Have you ever thought about that fact that Jesus called Lazarus by name in raising him to life. The power of God is such that had Jesus just said, “come forth,” every dead body within the sound of His voice would have risen from the dead. Jesus had to call Lazarus by name so that only he came back to life. This moment, this act of God that would reveal His glory, was for Lazarus alone to experience.

Those who witnessed God’s glory in action saw it happen, but only Lazarus experienced coming back to life. In that moment, the cells in his body that had already started to break down and decay instantly reversed – in just a split second the 100% completely dead Lazarus breathed and he came hopping out of the tomb still wrapped up like a mummy, and the 100% completely dead Lazarus was now 100% completely alive! That’s the power of our God. And whenever and whatever God speaks to the need you have, He will call you by name so that His glory is revealed in your situation.

The power of God is such that had Jesus just said, “come forth,” every dead body within the sound of His voice would have risen from the dead. Jesus had to call Lazarus by name so that only he came back to life.

In just a split second the 100% completely dead Lazarus breathed & he came hopping out of the tomb still wrapped up like a mummy. The 100% completely dead Lazarus was now 100% completely alive! That’s the power of our God.

Waiting to see God’s glory

If you are longing and waiting to see the glory of God in your life, I hope that you will remember to trust God’s timing, to trust His heart, and to trust His power. If God can fix 100% completely dead, he can fix whatever is going on in your life. The same God that brought Lazarus back to life has the power to do the impossible in your life. The same God that wept when His friends were hurting, weeps with you because He loves you and you are so very precious to Him. And because He loves you, He will reign down His glory on you at only the most perfect moment and in the best of ways, so trust His timing. Rest in His love. Believe in His power and wait to see God’s glory.


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2 Chronicles 16:9. Are you Team Problem or Team Solution?

2 Chronicles 16:9 for the devotional: "Are you Team Problem or Team Solution?"

What does God sees when he looks over the earth? From our perspective, we are able to see hatred, bias, self-centeredness, violence, immorality, jealousy, and any other sin you can think of. We can also see people who are kind-hearted, caring, helpful, advocates, and loving. Yet, our view of things is often slanted. We see and hear based on what is in social media and the news. Our own backgrounds in life can also slant how we see things. The experiences we have in life can influence how we interpret the world around us. As a result we are either on Team Problem or Team Solution.

An Unslanted View

But Jesus, the creator of the world…including every single person, looks down on the earth and His view isn’t slanted. As Solomon took over the throne and David was near the end of his life, he tells Solomon: “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought.

You see, we can’t see the intention of other people. We make assumptions based on what we hear, experience, and observe. Often, it leads to being on Team Problem. Only God can see what motivates anyone to do the things we do – whether good or bad. In 2 Chronicles 16:9, we are told that God searches through all of His creation for those who’s heart is perfect toward Him. For those people, He will show Himself strong. These are the people who are on Team Solution. Do you think He finds any such people today? Maybe this is why we hear so often “Where is God in this?” Or maybe this is why people say God is dead. We don’t see God showing Himself strong because our hearts are not perfect toward Him.

How do we have a perfect heart toward God?

What exactly does it mean to have a perfect heart? And how do God’s people attain it? First, a perfect heart does not mean a sinless, flawless heart. Man judges perfection by outward performance, but God judges the heart, the unseen motives (see 1 Samuel 16:7). David was said to have had a perfect heart toward God “all the days of his life,” yet we know David failed the Lord miserably. His life was marked forever by adultery and a notorious murder.

Biblically, perfection is defined as “completeness,” “maturity.” In both the Hebrew and Greek, the term includes “uprightness,” “being without spot or blemish,” “totally obedient.” A perfect heart is one that quickly and totally responds and reacts to the Lord’s wooings, whisperings and warnings. It is the heart that constantly seeks the path God wants them to take and then obediently travels that path without compromise or shortcuts.

A perfect heart is searchable

A perfect heart is searchable. It’s hard to find a searchable heart because being searchable can be painful and brutal. The searchable heart longs for the Holy Spirit to dig into the depths of its innermost being— to investigate, dig out and expose all that is unlike Christ so they can be transformed into the image of Christ.

A perfect heart is teachable

A perfect heart is also teachable. It’s the heart that anticipates digging into the Word of God. They hide it in their heart. They search out the Holy Spirit to help them understand it and no matter how much they discover – they want to know more.

A perfect heart is a trusting heart

A perfect heart is a trusting heart. It knows that God is in control of all things. So even in the moments when we don’t understand, we can trust in God’s perfect plan. Because it trusts God it can say: “All my steps are ordered by the Lord! He is my loving Father, and he has an eternal plan and purpose behind whatever I am going through.”

A perfect heart is a broken heart

The perfect heart is a broken heart. Brokenness is more than weeping, sorrow, a crushed spirit, or humility. True brokenness releases the power of God to make beauty out of ashes. It is the heart that is broken over the sin in this world. It is broken over those who are lost and going to hell. In the Bible, it is the broken heart that has stayed the hand of God when he pronounced judgement.

On one occasion, God sent a prophet to tell a king to get his affairs in order because he would not recover from an illness. The king is brokenhearted and cries out to God. Because He was a King that lived right before God, God heard him and added 15 years to his life. Whenever the Bible tells us about a king in Judah who’s heart was broken over the way the nation was living, we see a nation that returns to God – at least for the time that king was alive. How brokenhearted are you over our world? And what is your motivation for your brokenheartedness? The perfect heart is found in Team Solution.

God’s Description of Team Problem

There was a previous time that God looked down on the earth. Here’s his interpretation of what He saw:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. –Genesis 6:5.

Sounds like our world today, doesn’t it? A whole bunch of people on Team Problem. What did God do when he saw the great wickedness of man and their every intention was only evil continually? The result was God destroyed the earth with a flood. Yes, He promised He would never again wipe out every living thing by a flood. We do not have to worry about that happening again. However, there are no promises that He would not destroy the earth by another method. In fact, there is a promise in the Bible that God will destroy the earth.

The next time God destorys the world

In 2 Peter 3:8-10, Peter writes about this promise:

Dear friends, remember this one thing, with the Lord one day is as 1,000 years, and 1,000 years are as one day. The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise as some people think. He is waiting for you. The Lord does not want any person to be punished forever. He wants all people to be sorry for their sins and turn from them. The day of the Lord will come as a robber comes. The heavens will pass away with a loud noise. The sun and moon and stars will burn up. The earth and all that is in it will be burned up.

With the state of our world today, we are hurling ever closer to this day. Every day more and more people choose Team Problem. Could God’s people with a perfect heart stay the hand of God and give more years before this time comes? Only God can give an answer to that, but it sure wouldn’t make that day come sooner. And everyday until then is another opportunity for someone lost without Jesus to come to Him. It s another day someone walks away from Team Problem and joins Team Solution.

The Fate of Nations Who Turn Their Backs On God

There are no promises in the Bible that God would not destroy a nation that turns away from Him. In fact, He did exactly that to both Israel and Judah. History has shown the rise and fall of nations. However, history tends to leave out the fact that God was involved. The Bible, however, is a chronicle of ancient nations that rose and fell according to God’s plan and purpose. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome—all are mentioned in the Bible. All of them played key roles fulfilling God’s judgement on Israel. Greece and Rome had its role in the establishment of the Church founded by Jesus Christ. God is still rising up nations and tearing nations down. He’s not dead – He is very much alive and at work.

An Example: Babylon

Daniel tells us about Babylon who was the first in a line of empires that would impact the world. As a whole, Babylon was very much Team Problem. Yet, God rose them to power to cause the fall of Jerusalem as His judgement because they turned their backs on God and chose to worship false gods. Today, our false gods might look different but they are still here. We make gods out of our careers, bank accounts, children, spouses, hobbies, cars, and sports. Anything or anyone that we make a higher priority than God becomes our god.

Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar

In Daniel 2:21, Daniel tells the king that God “removes kings and raises up kings,” In Daniel 5, we find the account of the Babylonian King, Belshazzar, at a great feast and a hand appears and writes on the wall. No one can interpret what is written and then they remember Daniel. They call Him in and he provides a brief history of Nebuchadnezzar’s experience with God, including a reminder that “the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses” (Daniel 5:21). He then tells the king what was written on the wall: “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it…you have been…found wanting;…your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:26-27).

We don’t hear much about Babylon today but the Bible tells us they will have a key role at the end of the age. So where is Babylon today? It lies in ruins under what we know as Iraq. Since we know it plays a part in the end of time, there will come a time when God will raise Babylon up out of its ruins.

God determines the course of nations

God determines the course of nations, not man. He can set up or remove a leader when He wills. He can bring prosperity – and He can bring destruction. America has enjoyed centuries of prosperity. It was founded on Godly principles woven into every part of who we are as a nation. But, like nations before us, we have turned our own way. We have shoved God out so we can live any way we want and think we will be free of guilt. Changing laws and redefining God’s terms doesn’t make us free of guilt. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Does God look down on proud America and find us wanting? Again, I ask: “What does Jesus see when He looks down at the earth today?” When He searches the intents of our thoughts and heart – what does find?

How Does Jesus Feel?

In John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible, it says, “Jesus wept.” This verse takes place when Jesus comes to Mary and Martha after the death of their brother, Lazarus, and before Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. Why did He weep? He didn’t weep for Lazarus. Jesus knew Lazarus was in heaven. He also knew that He was there because He was going to bring Lazarus back to life. So what caused Jesus to weep? He wept out of compassion for those who were suffering and mourning. Jesus wept because of sin and it’s effect on the world. He wept because of the lack of faith people had in who He was. He wept because of His love for us.

How Jesus must weep over the earth today! The very world that He gave His life for shuns Him, throws away His commandments to live any ol’ way they please. Isaiah 53:6 says that every one of us have “turned to our own way” and because of that, Jesus took the punishment for us. Yet still today, the world continues living their own way.

What Causes Jesus to Weep Today?

Yes, I am sure that Jesus weeps over the world today. He weeps for the drug user, the alcoholic, the prostitute, the adulterer, the homosexual, the thief, the child that was aborted, the murder and the murdered, the one who shakes his fist at Him and says “There is no God!” Jesus weeps because He has been kicked out of our schools and our court rooms. He weeps because we look at skin color and not the hearts of people. Our Savior weeps because we’ve become satisfied with just enough of God to keep us out of hell, but refuse to give Him first place in our lives. He weeps because His name is used to curse instead of bless.

Are there just 10 perfect hearts?

In the Old Testament, we find the account of Abraham being informed of God’s plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, knowing his nephew Lot lived there, begins to barter with God. “Lord, if you find 50 righteous people, would you destroy the righteous with the wicked?” God promises not to destroy the cities if there are 50 righteous people. Abraham then asks, “What if there are only 45 righteous people?” Again, God promises not to. Abraham continues to barter until he gets down to 10 righteous people. And God says for even 10 righteous people He will not destroy the cities.

But God couldn’t find not even 10 righteous people and He rains down fire and brimstone. Yet, because He cared about Abraham, He made sure that Lot was out of the city before it was destroyed. How many righteous people do you thing God would find when He searches the intentions of the heart looking for the heart that is perfect towards Him? Would God find even ten perfect hearts in your city?

Very Good….or Very Disappointing

In the creation story, each time God created, He said, “And it was good.” Only when He created man in His own image do we find God saying, “And it was very good.” Do you think with the way we live today He regrets making us? Do you think that when He watches how we treat one another that He is pleased with His creation?

John 13:34-35 says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” How will people know we are a disciple of Christ? By loving others as Christ loves them. Christ loves unconditionally. His love is never-ending. It is a perfect love that sacrificially gave His life for every person. If we love like Christ, how would our world be different?

Two choices

We basically have two choices: We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. One will lead our nation – and even our world – hurling to the end of time when God destroys the earth by fire. The other can bring revival and change. You must decide if you will be on Team Problem or Team Solution.

Team Problem:

The more we stir up strife and hatred, the more we are being part of the problem. If we continue to turn our back on God, we are part of the problem. Choosing compromise of God’s standards is being part of the problem. Romans 12:2 tells us: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We’ve done too much conforming — and that is our problem. If you are willing to conform to this world, you’re on team problem.

Team Solution:

If we want to be part of the solution, then we need to understand that our problem in our world today isn’t about racism, hatred, violence, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, child abuse, or all the other things wrong in our world. Our problem is sin. It is not skin color. Our problem is a heart-problem. We have each turned our own way. As a result, we have shut God out and allowed Satan to wreck havoc in our world.

We’ve allowed prayer to be removed from our schools and the Ten Commandments from our court rooms. We voted immoral people into political offices. We’ve allowed the government to “redefine” marriage. We’ve allowed the murder of innocent unborn children to be legal. We have allowed it all and yet, we can’t understand what’s going on in the world. How have we allowed it? By not doing anything about it. We’ve sat back within the walls of our churches with a righteous blindness to what Satan was doing. Now, we are here.

We feel crushed in spirit and heartbroken – and we should. We should certainly feel crushed and heart broken over the loss of life – any life. But. why are we not outraged at the millions of babies who have been murdered? Why are we not outraged by the number of children in foster care? Why are we not outraged over the idea of “same-sex” marriage?

Will the Perfect Hearts Please Stand Up?

Who is standing up to put prayer back in our schools? Is there anyone on their knees praying for God to revive the hearts of His people? Does anyone feel crushed in spirit and brokenhearted over the rampant sin in our world? Where are the people who feel crushed in spirit and brokenhearted by their own sin. Who in the world is so burdened for the state of the world today that they fall on their face before God in humble contrition and repentance? Is anyone longing for and seeking God’s presence to return to this nation? Who is willing to turn from conforming to the evil of this world and be the person God is searching for that has a perfect heart toward Him? If this is you, then you’re ready to be on Team Solution.

What is the Solution?

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” Christians, the way to change the world, begins with us humbling ourselves before God, seeking Him with all our hearts. We then must allow the Holy Spirit to create within us a clean heart. Then we can begin to pray for others and for God to heal our world. As we personally seek His presence and surrender our hearts to Him, He will exchange our heart of stone for a heart of flesh. He will shape and mold our hearts into a perfect heart. He will teach us to love other as Christ loves them. Then we can be the light of Christ shining in a dark world.

Our World Needs Jesus

The solution to our problem is Christ. Oh, how our world needs Jesus! God chooses to work through those who are willing to be His servant. If we are going to bring the lost to Christ….if we are going to bring the solution to our world…..it beings with humbling ourselves with a searchable heart that is praying and seeking God’s presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the painful work of revealing our sin to us, confessing it, repenting of it, and turning away from our wicked ways. We then must live for Christ in such a way that we sprinkle a little of Jesus everywhere we go. We also need to boldly tell others about Jesus and lead them to Him. With every person we bring to Christ, we make an eternal impact on our world.

Are you ready to have a perfect heart and be on Team Solution?

Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. Acts 8:22

#team problem #teamsolution #John

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If not, come join us as we read the Bible through in one year. Each day we post the scripture reading along with links to read it online.

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Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

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In the series of blogs, we breakdown why people in ministry need to practice self care, explain the differences between stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue, and combine both psychology and Biblical principles to help pastors, missionaries, small group leaders, worship pastors, nursery workers, facility/maintenance staff, religious non-profit staff, and any other ministry staff understand why self-care is crucial to you continuing the work God’s called you to do.

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What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

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2 Chronicles 16:9

2 Chronicles 16 9

What do you think Jesus sees when he watches over the earth? In John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible, it says, “Jesus wept.” This verse takes place when Jesus comes to Mary and Martha after the death of their brother, Lazarus and before Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. Why did He weep? He wept out of compassion for those who were suffering and mourning. He wept because of sin and it’s effect on the world. He wept because of the lack of faith people had in who He was. He wept because of His love for us. How Jesus must weep overt he earth today! The very world that He gave His life for shuns Him, throws away His commandments to live any ol’ way they please. Isaiah 53:6 says that every one of have “turned to our own way” and because of that, Jesus took the punishment for us. Yet still today, the world continues living their own way. Yes, I am sure that Jesus weeps over the world today. He weeps for the drug user, the alcoholic, the prostitute, the adulterer, the homosexual, the thief, the child that was aborted, the murder and the murdered, the one who shakes his fist at Him and says “There is no God!” He weeps because He has been kicked out of our schools and our court rooms. He weeps because we look at skin color and not the hearts of people. He weeps because we become satisfied with just enough of God to keep us out of hell, but refuse to give Him first place in our lives. He weeps because His name is used to curse instead of bless. He weeps when we weep.

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” Christians, the way to change the world, begins with us humbling ourselves before God, seeking Him. Allowing him to create within us a clean heart. Then we can begin to pray for others and for God to heal our world.

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
–Psalm 51:10

 

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Does Jesus Weep over the Earth Today?

Jesus weeps over earthAs Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, he took a path that began at the Mount of Olives, down the western slope where the people stood in crowds, waving palm branches and praising Him loudly. But as He looked down at Jerusalem, Luke 19:41 tells us, “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it.” The Hebrew word for wept is ἔκλαυσεν. This is not a silent cry with a single tear that slips down His face, but instead the word gives the meaning of weeping loudly. Even with all the suffering He would endure on the cross and leading up to the cross just a few days later, the Bible does not record Jesus expressing this kind of sorrow. But as he saw Jerusalem, he felt an intense grief…but why? Because He is God, we know that he knew the future destruction of Jerusalem. In verses 42-44, we can understand why Jesus wept over the city.

Jesus desired peace for the city. Verse 42 says, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this they day, the thing which belong unto they peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” His own people had rejected Him and it cost them peace. In fact, the name “Jerusalem” means, “The City of Peace.” Instead it has been attacked and plundered by the Assyrians, Bablonians, Greeks, Romans, Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, and the Ottoman Turks. In more recent years, it has been fought over by the Palestians and the Jews. Today, it is known as “the most contested piece of real estate on Earth.” Rather than being a city of peace, it is more like a city of weeping. Jesus wanted peace for Jerusalem; after all, He was a Jew. He knew it wouldn’t happen. In verse 43, he said, “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.” As he rode down the slope on the donkey into the city, he not only saw the city as it was, but as it would be 40 years into the future. In AD 70, the Romans brought destruction to the city along with great loss of life. The destruction was so great that all was left after Titus, the Roman General captured the city and demolished it was just a wall—what we know today as the Wailing Wall. The destruction didn’t just eliminate the city, it also eliminated the Jewish nation for close to 2000 years, scattering the people throughout the world. The people chose to not obey God and they did not seek Him. We find in John 12:43 that the chief rulers loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. But the nation’s greatest sin that brought their demise was the sin of rejecting Jesus…the long awaited Messiah. John 1:11 says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” They refused to recognize Him as their God. The cheering crowd at the triumphal entry would, just days later, yell “crucify Him.” But even through their cheering and praise, He could see their inward motives, the sinful and selfish hearts, that chose to reject Him as their Messiah.

I believe when Jesus looks at our world today, he weeps…just as he did over Jerusalem. Like Jerusalem, we have missed our opportunity for peace because we have rejected Him. We have thrown Him out of our schools and government. We worry more about political correctness than spiritual correctness. We are so caught up in making sure no one is offended that we don’t stop to think how God is offended with what we have done to the world He created. We choose to not obey God and, as a nation, we do not seek Him. We have become a people that would prefer the praise of men more so than the praise of God. We have turned our back on Him just as His own people did. As a result, our world is a mess. One only needs to turn the news on to realize just what a cesspool of sin covers the globe. People no longer know how to identify gender. They pass laws so their sin can be ok in the eyes of man…but it will never be ok in the eyes of God. People sitting in church on a regular Sunday, are gunned down. Terrorist attacks happen all over the world. Drug usages is at an epidemic. The concept of “until death us do part” in marriage has become more like “until you do something I don’t like.” Families are falling apart. Kids end up in foster care or as a juvenile delinquent. Yes, Satan is at work and the church has for too long sat in silence. How could He not weep over our world today? He weeps for the salvation of the lost. He weeps for the Christian who is too busy to spend time with Him. He weeps for those whose priorities are misplaced. He weeps for the churches who want to “water down” the gospel or preach only the “good parts” of the Bible. He longs for the church and Christians around the globe to be revived…to return to Him as their first love.  If God would destroy Jerusalem for their rejection of Him, does America or any other county blindly think that God would not destroy it?

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Are you, dear Christian, willing to humble yourself and pray and seek His face and turn from your wicked way so that God will hear you, forgive your sin, and heal our land?

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Luke 19:41

Luke 19 41