Equality and Unity

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galations 3:28

A Hope Well Placed

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 42:1-2

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5 / Psalm 42:11 / Psalm 43:5

Wouldn’t that be nice to just go and meet with God sometimes? Well, more than just ‘nice’ – more like amazing and awesome! We can’t exactly schedule a face-to-face meeting, or even a zoom call with Him. In fact, we can’t physically see Him at all. We place our faith and hope in an invisible God. And we can’t just not see Him, we can’t audibly hear Him, either. But that doesn’t mean we can’t meet with Him. We can meet with Him anytime. We can meet Him right now. We can schedule time with Him by taking time out of our busy day to talk to Him, and read His word, and just be quiet and think and listen. And hope. Where is hope best placed? Hope is in Him.

Horse and Chariot

 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.

– Psalm 20:7

On my way to drop off our minivan at the repair shop…again, I began thinking about the upcoming election. A chorus came to mind that starts with the verse above. No matter who wins the election or what happens afterward, it is not in the leadership of our country that we are to place our trust. In truth, God is not only aware of what is going on, it has been shown that He can intentionally put leaders in place to accomplish His purposes.

As the verses of the song played through my mind, I realized I was literally driving my modern day horse and chariot and feeling anxious about what could have caused that light on the dashboard to come on and the potential upcoming cost of repairs. I must place that into God’s hands, as well. I can’t always trust my ‘horse and chariot’, or my ‘king’, but I can trust God.

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;

– Daniel 2:21

The God Who Performs Miracles

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Psalm 77:11-15

John Mark

Acts 13 John Mark goes with Paul and Barnabas on a missionary trip to Cyprus where they face a standoff with a hostile sorcerer. He can’t handle it. It’s too much for him. He deserts the team and heads home at the next opportunity.

Acts 15 John Mark gets a second chance and Barnabas takes him back to Cyprus. However, he goes with the knowledge that Paul thinks it unwise to take him due to his bailing out previously. He has to prove himself and not let Barnabas down.

In fact, although Paul was the one who intially proposed a return Cyprus with Barnabas, he basically decides not to go if Barnabas insists on taking John Mark (and risking a repeat desertion), so he instead chooses Silas for a companion and heads off in a different direction to Syria and Cilicia.

In all of this, God’s hand was at work. John Mark gets the chance to try again where he failed before, Barnabas gets to follow his heart and giftings in giving him that opportunity, and they minister to the people in Cyprus. Paul and Silas form a new missionary team, encourage a second region of churches, and ultimately head further, to the unreached – through Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, and finally to Macedonia and Greece. Praise God that He can use differences and even conflict for His glory and for our good!

Called to be Free/Love Your Neighbor

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

– Galations 5:13-15

From Earth

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.

John 3:31

John the Baptist explains the difference between himself and Jesus.

John knew his earthly role like perhaps few people do. He was a true visionary and prophet, and could see with more clarity the difference. All of us are earthly. We belong to the earth and speak from an earthly perspective. We can’t help it. But I think it is important to be aware of it and recognize it, and to seek after God, and try to understand His heavenly perspective.

Mere Mortals

Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.

2 Chronicles 14:11

King Asa of Judah calls out to God when he and his fighting men are faced by an enormous army of Cushites.

Sometimes in life, when we feel powerless against the mighty, we are rescued. Sometimes we are not. But, there is no one like God. Sometimes we think that mere mortals are all that there is, and we forget about God. Sometimes we think that mere mortals are more than they are, and we don’t properly assess the situation; we don’t calculate God in the equation. We don’t seek Him, we don’t look to Him, we just see things as mere mortals do, living out our earthly life.

As for us, the LORD is our God

“As for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God. But you have forsaken him. God is with us; he is our leader. His priest with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. People of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.”

2 Chroncles 13:10-12

Announcement by Abijah, King of Judah, from Mount Zemaraim to King Jeroboam of Israel and his army, as he both warns and appeals to them. The army of Judah numbered 400,000 fighting men, while the army of Israel had 800,000. Guess who won.

Be Kind to the Needy

The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.

It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

– Proverbs 14:20-21