Sunday, May 5, 2013
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. If we are to win the battle against the flesh, we must understand its weaknesses and tendencies. Now, more than ever, our world is filled with temptation. Advertisements use seduction and lust more than anything to capture our eyes, and to keep our attention while they try and sell to us their product. For them, it is just a way to keep us looking, but unfortunately, the temptation doesn't end when the commercial does. Our eyes are a gateway to our mind, and when we don't keep them in check, our mind can take an innocent look to a whole new level that ultimately leads to sin, which leads to more sin, which leads to destruction. Job was obviously a wise man that understood lust to be a sin that most often begins with a look. It would be wise for us to guard our eyes. No, we can't keep everything tempting from our sight, because of the multitude of opportunities that each day brings. But we can keep our eyes from gazing to the point of lust, and we can definitely choose to stay away from places or things where sin is just the turn of a page, or just a click away. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can close our eyes to that which would tear us down, and instead we can choose to gaze upon Him.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Job 28:28 And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’” Wisdom is more valuable than any material possession. There are many with riches that lack wisdom, and there will come a day when their money won't buy them out of jeopardy. Likewise, the poor may also have a deficit of wisdom and fall prey to the same vices of the enemy. Wisdom comes from a healthy reverence of God, and His moral guidance for our lives. The world doesn't dictate what is right and wrong, that is God's place of authority, and the wise will take it to heart. This chapter speaks of the great knowledge that people have to find all sorts of things, but they can't seem to find wisdom. Their end is ruin, no matter how much they might have of this world's wealth. You can be certain, true wisdom won't bring popularity, but it will bring true prosperity of life. Don't ever forget that the wisdom that comes from God will be looked at as foolishness, but our aim is not to please or impress men. Instead, let us fear our Maker, and know that His Word is best for us.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Job 23:11, 12 For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. It's easy to stay on the right path when you can see tangible results and blessings. It's when the rewards disappear that walking in God's will gets a lot tougher. Job resolved to stay true to God even though he had lost all of the blessings that seemingly were given to Him by God because of Job's integrity. Tribulation makes it difficult to keep walking. It makes you ask questions about God's love, about your own heart. To top it off, Job also had so called friends who were raising more questions about Job and God. Job still had God's Word, and he treasured it. He had God's commands, and he chose to stick with them. We must remember that God's Word is the only thing in our life that will never change. One billion years from now, God's Word will remain. Like Job, we must treasure it, and endeavor to keep it through the power of the Spirit living within us. It will surely keep us through times of blessing, and through times of difficulty. Help us Lord to stay on Your path.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Job 19:25, 26 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! Hope can't be faked. It can't be bought, or stolen. Hope is precious, more valuable than diamonds. Job was robbed of everything that he had. Everything except his hope in God. His hope in God ran deep. Deeper than material possessions. Deeper than livestock and houses. Even deeper than flesh and blood. His hope ran deeper than the grave! To me, this is where the battle was won. This is where the devil must have realized that this whole Job experiment would not pan out the way he wanted it to. After losing it all, and even facing his own mortality, Job still had the faith to recognize that his Redeemer was alive, and had the power to give Job a new body in the resurrection. Job's hope was in the resurrection! He would not hang his hat on finding hope in this life, because that would only lead to misery (1 Corinthians 15:19). Job understood that losing it all in this life would one day be a distant memory, and would be long forgotten in the presence of the Creator for eternity. How deep is your hope? I pray that it runs deeper than life!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Job 9:2 “Yes, I know all this is true in principle. But how can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight? No one is innocent in God's sight on their own. Even the best of the best have blemishes that become obvious when placed before the holiness of God. Now I can find people to compare my righteousness with that leaves me looking pretty good, but righteousness isn't based on how good my neighbor is. There is a much higher standard than that, and our white robes look very dingy in His presence. So if blessings come through obedience and righteous living, how do any of us stand a chance? That' is Job's response to his friend Bildad. If living right excludes someone from tragedy, how can anyone be excluded? First of all, none of us are excluded from tragedy or loss because of our right living. As long as we live in a world under the curse of sin, we will see and experience tribulation. We will lose loved ones. We will hurt. The good news, however, is that condemnation has been destroyed in Christ. When "Bildad" tries to place the guilt upon us, we can rest assured in His grace that we have been declared innocent through Jesus.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Job 8:4 Your children must have sinned against him, so their punishment was well deserved. I don't claim to be the best at helping someone through a time of grieving, but I think I can do better than Job's friend Bildad! After telling Job that everything must have happened because of his lack of integrity, he tells him that his children got what they deserved. Now that is not what you tell someone on the verge of a mental breakdown! This is the danger of trying to reason things with our weak and sinful minds. We see disaster and tragedy and jump to the conclusion that God must be punishing someone or even a place for their wickedness. I've heard Christians give reasons for tornadoes and hurricanes, and even terrorists, linking them to what must certainly be the deserved wrath of God. Who are we to jump to such conclusions? Obviously, Bildad was wrong in his assumption. Job was not facing great tribulation because of his sins, in fact, it was quite the opposite! Now surely there have been times throughout history where God dealt justly with the wicked, but we have not been called to identify what or why. The bottom line is this: He is God, and I am not. He can do what He wants, and He doesn't need my permission, neither do I need to understand everything about it. I personally thank God that He doesn't give everyone what they deserve, because if He did, I wouldn't be breathing today. It's okay if you don't know all of the answers as long as you trust in the One who does!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Job 7:17 “What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often? Job, because of all that had happened, was ready to throw in the towel. Who could blame him for desiring that God just let him die? To Job, death seemed easier to handle that all of the misery. But God, even though He created us from dirt, does not treat us like dirt, even though we deserve it. I often feel compelled to ask the question. Why does God make so much of us? Why does He think about us so often? It's mind blowing to think that the Creator of the universe has feelings for us! Well, it might be mind boggling, but it's true. Even when it seems that God doesn't care, He still does. Job didn't know that God was showing the devil up through Job's faith and perseverance. Not only was God paying attention during Job's struggles, God was paying very close attention to every detail of his life. I believe that if we knew how much the Father thought of us each day, it would drive us to be with Him more. Even today, God is making much of you!