Archive for June, 2017

I once had a coin that was dated back to the 1300’s. I was going to keep it so it would grow in value-I ended up losing it. Was it valuable? I will never know.

Some valuable relationships are often lost, while some have value to God but not necessarily to us. Genesis 21:8-21 reveals a story Abraham would not want to defend in a court of law. There were two sons, two moms, and one dad in this story. One mom and her son were sent into the desert and would have probably died except for God’s perspective of value.

Ishmael = God hears. And God did hear because Hagar and Ishmael were very valuable to God. Not so much to Abe, and for sure not at all to Sarah. But God is always attentive to our pain, confusion and irritations. He’s for us; we are valuable.

Check out Psalm 34:18 in the Message “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; If you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” (Sweet action on God’s part!)

WHAT THIS MEANS: Think about an instance in which you wondered where God was as you dealt with pain, confusion…Did you get through it with JOY and CONFIDENCE of God’s provision and love? Or, is there some residue of anger, whining or complaints you have? Can you be vulnerable with someone about it?

DISCIPLESHIP THOUGHT: Growing as a disciple only happens when we are vulnerable with others. Look at 1 Thessalonians 2:8

How old do you have to be when it dawns on you? How far from where you know you used to be are you now? How much has the culture, like an invisible magnet drawn you to a place where you wonder what happened?

When was the last time you knew God spoke to you about something so relevant to life today that it stopped you in your tracks? Maybe a more practical question might be- has God ever spoken to you?

Genesis 17:1 is almost out of reach for many of us. God shows up and talks with Abraham when he’s 99 years old. Check out God’s conversation with him. Abe got it, and fell flat on his face.

There’s never an age or distance you and I are from God in which we are free from His outrageous love for and challenge to us to live life to the max (which is to live it as He designed it). Our sophisticated or rationalized choosing to live as we want results in erasing God from our life.

WHAT THIS MEANS: One reason we don’t want God to speak to us is that when He does, it always means something will change in our lifestyle. How serious are you about wanting to hear from Him? Be honest with yourself about this one.

What does Jackson like to do on Saturdays? Tell me about his strengths and weaknesses. Who is his favorite author? What ticks him off? Would you be able to answer any of these questions?

Hosea 6:6 in The Message puts it in part like this: “…I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings.” Is your relationship with God personal enough that you could describe Him to someone who only hears about God from a fan, after a referee’s poor call at an athletic event?

In a movie I watched recently, the words Jesus and Christ were used in two sentences as adjectives to describe a person’s irritation with something. Really?

In connecting with another, there are significant issues we must deal with. Will we be truthful or hide? Will we let fear of being known limit what we share about ourselves?

WHAT THIS MEANS: Are you willing to get real with God and deal with the cost involved to really know Him? Or are you ready to talk about your weaknesses and faults with  another? Can they ask you any question? Are you willing to honestly answer it?