Trouble is the Norm

Exodus 8.23 declares ‘I will make a distinction between my people and your people.’images

Pharaoh needed a great deal of encouragement before he would release his slave labor. This encouragement came through plagues that nearly destroyed everything and everyone in Egypt.

The first three plagues were suffered by both Egyptians and Israelites while the final plagues were only suffered by the Egyptians in order for them to understand that the God of the Hebrews was able to distinguish between those who are His and those who are not.

This cycle of both receiving the same difficulty and being sheilded from these difficulties will continue until that day when God separates for all eternity those who love Jesus from those who wanted nothing to do with Jesus.

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Judging Evil

Job 24.1 asks ‘why are times not appointed by the Almighty? Why do those who know him not see his imagesdays?’

Job wants God to judge him believing he will be found righteous. His friends are accusing him of being an evil doer which is their explanation for the tragedy that is occurring in his life.

Job argues his trouble is not a result of his wrongdoing but rather the result of some injustice being leveled against him by God. Job would like to see God hammer the evil and reward the righteous.

I think we all fall into this ‘prayer’ that God would smash those who do evil and bless those who please Him.

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The Key to Serving God

Exodus 6.30 records Moses said to the Lord, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh imageslisten to me?”

Moses is certainly one of the great saints but he wasn’t flawless. Moses began serving God the way most of us do; he measured his ability by the size of the task and counted himself inadequate.

If we are serious about God, His will and His work, we find it daunting. If we are honest about ourselves we find our capacity to obey His will and complete His work beyond our current assets.

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Who are we Trying to Please?

Luke 6.26 warns, ‘woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treatedimages the false prophets.’

Earlier God said it was blessed for men to speak evil of you on account of Him.

Have you ever been called a ‘goody – goody’ or some equivalent? Have you ever felt left out because of your Christian faith? Most of us recoil at these events if they ever happen.

The truth is we do our best to fit in and get along with everyone because our need for acceptance and approval runs so high.

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Finding Wisdom

1 Corinthians 3.19 reveals the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.image

No one wants to be the fool. The fool is that person who just doesn’t seem to know what’s going on or how to appropriately assimilate into the mainstream.

No doubt God was such a person when He lived among us as Jesus. Probably explains from the human dimension why He was so adamantly hated by the leadership of His time. Jesus continued to live and teach against the common flow of thinking while being able to so perfectly, logically and easily defend His wisdom from God.

So what is the wisdom of the world that is foolish to God?

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There REALLY is a correct way to Worship God

John 4.23 describes a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship theimages Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

God has told us how to worship Him: in spirit and in truth. It makes sense that He would tell us how to worship Him since He has commanded us to worship Him, to reverence Him, to honor Him and to recognize Him as God alone and that there is no other.

But what does it mean to worship God in spirit or in the Spirit and in truth?

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Getting Into Heaven

Mark 12.34 observes Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”images

If you believe in God it cant get much scarier than to have Him say you are not far from entrance. The good news is you are close. The bad news is you are close!

Getting close to entering heaven isn’t the same as being in heaven. Its like saying Seattle won the Superbowl, they didn’t but they sure were close.

Why was the this guy close and not in the kingdom of heaven?

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Passing the Test

Mark 8.11 records to test Him, they asked Him for a sign from heaven.image

God tests people, people don’t test God.

People want to test God to see if He exists, God tests men to see if they will obey. People test God so they can believe in Him, God tests people so they will manifest their belief in Him.

Despite the fact that God detests being tested by people most of us do it all the time. This is probably why much of the time we aren’t sure about God because He fails to show up for the test.

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The Sovereignty of God

Job 1.22 observes Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.image

Job had just lost his business and his children but still he didn’t blame God for his tragedies. Instead he proclaimed that we come into the world naked and we leave the same but God is always to be praised.

Far easier said than done by the rest of us.

Everyone believes in the sovereignty of God, His ability to do anything He wants any way He wants any time He wants. This is our universal definition of God.

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