Just a Thought: What do you do when you hear the warning horns of an oncoming storm? Take action!
Acts 17:4-6 (English Standard Version)
The shopping mall is a dangerous place. You know that, right? And I'm not just talking about the potential thief in the parking lot or the danger of having someone steal your credit card information. I'm talking about something much worse. I'm talking about danger for our souls.
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a word in the English language that is more overused and a concept that is more underused than "love."
Today is Good Friday. The name seems like a misnomer when you consider that it marks the day of an execution - three in fact.
Oh, my aching tongue! You may never say that unless you bite your tongue. And while biting your tongue is painful and most of us avoid doing it as often as possible, it may be a something we should practice on a much more regular schedule.
I look at the calendar and realize tomorrow is already Easter4Kids. Let me explain. That's an event Abiding Grace has been putting on for years now, a free event for all the 3 to 10 year olds in our community. It's a day to celebrate the real meaning of Easter. (You still have time to register your children at e4k.abidinggrace.com, but I digress). But here's the thing. It always takes place the day before Holy Week starts.
As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken up into heaven, he determined to go to Jerusalem.
"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel."
It's one of those stories I've heard in so many different variations that I wonder about the real facts: A farmer comes upon the scene of a recent fire and finds a hen with wings spread, burnt to a crisp. He wonders why the hen didn't fly away and escape the fire until he gets a little closer and sees the little chicks are still alive and moving under the wings of their charred mother. They had been insulated from the fire by their mother's sacrifice.
"Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who will receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world began. I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.'"
You have heard it said, "One of these days, your tongue is going to get you in trouble!" But it isn't the tongue's fault - the tongue is just the messenger. The real culprit is the heart! (Luke 6:45) While the tongue is neither good nor bad, it can be used for both. Again, this is an issue that begins in the heart, but, if we set our heart on speaking truth, encouragement, godly instruction, ...
"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"
While Jesus was speaking to them, a ruler came and knelt in front of him, saying, "My daughter has just died. But come and place your hand on her, and she'll live."
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me."
"Or don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don't you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don't belong to yourselves?"
Solomon's humble spirit and request of the Lord resulted in God making him great (2 Chronicles 1:1, 7-12) He stood high above all others and had no peers who could compare. However, while God (and his walk with God) made him great, something happened, something that took this great man down.
"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.
Have you ever thought about how silly worship seems? And I could go through so many of the goofy seeming things that we do in the ritual of worship, but I just want to cut to the chase. Think about how crazy it seems that we give offerings. We go out of our way to get to church and then just give up significant proportions of our income...for free. Why? Why on earth would we go to church and take our time and give our money?