Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Featured Posts
  • All Posts

It does not take much for people to express their displeasure in life. Ask the average person "How are you doing?" and frequently, a list of circumstances that are less than ideal are enumerated. Go on Facebook and scroll through your friends' and families' most recent status updates. While you will find descriptions of the mundane or excitement for different events, undoubtedly you will find someone expressing some displeasure on a variety of fronts, from the trite to the more serious. This is a far cry from repeated commands to give thanks. In Psalm 107:1 we find "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" And Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, tells us "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

As I recently read the story of God's delivering the Children of Israel (COI) from the Egyptians, I was struck with how similar our circumstances often are. The COI had it rough in Egypt. They were slaves to people who didn't love them or know their God. They were forced into breaking their backs so that the Egyptians didn't have to. The monuments they were building were for . . . the Egyptians.

Sin clings to us. And worse than that, it clings closely, even to believers. Shannon served us well last week by provoking us to run, and I'd like to consider just one of those sins we must lay aside. Complaining clings closely to us, and I wonder if one of the reasons is that we don't recognize and treat it as the woeful sin it is. It is all too easy to utter a critical word about the weather, or our possessions, or how someone else treated us, and never stop to consider that our complaints are offensive to God.

God's "weakness" is greater than all the power humans can muster. And God's power is available to us. We can stand against Satan, and sin, and temptation with God's power. We can endure persecution and loss in God's power. We can and will overcome sin fully through God's power. Several pastoral words ago we considered that God is powerful in creation and in the exodus. Let's consider now God's power in the Gospel generally and in resurrection specifically.

When you read this it will be January 1st. I'm not a fan of "new year's resolutions" but every year at the beginning of the year I consider changing Bible reading plans. Some years I have done better than others, some have a been a failure to keep on track. But as for choices, this year it's a cornucopia. Nate Bingham on has posted a comprehensive set of Bible reading plans. My suggestion