God’s presence, his truth, his ways, are often described in the Bible as “light.” Some Christians have the privilege of soaking in so much light, they’ve begun to take it for granted. The late musician Keith Green, in his song “Asleep in the Light,” nearly cried as he sang, “The world is sleeping in the dark, that the church just can’t fight, ’cause it’s asleep in the light!” Just as you see ever-present man-made light in this video, consider all the spiritual light surrounding you. What are you doing with it? How are you harnessing it?
After God created everything else, he created people—one man and one woman, both “in his image.” Neither man nor woman is more an “image-bearer of God” than the other. Both genders play valuable roles in society, in the lives of families, children, friends and co-workers. When we choose to honor God and his word with our lives and behavior, that choice shows in how we honor and treat one another as men and women, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. Choose Christ-honoring, respectful and loving treatment of those of the opposite sex in your life today.
As you collect W2s, 1040s, 1099s and the like, you honor the 16th amendment, ratified on this date in 1913, establishing the right of Congress to impose a federal income tax. For 105 years, the U.S. government has laid claim to a portion of our individual earnings, to use for our collective good as a nation.
In an even more sweeping declaration, God declares all money, all possessions, indeed all the world, is his. He grants us stewardship of funds, land, parts of his creation, only asking us to remember it’s all his, use it wisely and return a portion to him. Calculating and paying taxes may seem tedious. But let your giving back to God remain giddily cheerful and overly generous, knowing he uses it all for our collective good as his people.
Summer English camp in the Czech Republic this year was the largest to date for Entrust’s Jerry and Marilyn Farnik, with about 180 of all ages in attendance. During English lessons, campers read and discussed Bible passages. One man had previously thought of the Bible as a fairy tale, but now said he realized it is a book of facts and history. Several people planned to continue reading the Bible after camp, and some indicated interest in attending a Bible study at the Farniks’ church in Prague. Pray for Jerry and Marilyn and for more Czechs to see the truth of the Bible.
It’s everywhere. Magazine covers (and inside those magazines), books, songs, movies, TV, billboards, websites. Almost seems like you have to be blind, deaf and numb to be 100% immune to sexually provocative imagery and yes, porn.
But the fact is, you don’t need to, and indeed should not, remove your eyes, ears and brain to avoid this insidious and ever-present tantalization. You need walls. Blogger Tim Challies says those who venture into porn are “cities without walls,” likening them to the city of Jericho, easily conquered when its walls fell down. “Through their lack of self-control,” Challies says, people who sample impure things “have done the work of a conqueror in their own lives. They have voluntarily flattened their defenses and left themselves vulnerable to attack. They are in the very act of committing spiritual suicide, of showing every enemy they are ripe for the taking. They, like Jericho, are defeated before the battle even begins. There’s no city more pitiful than a city without walls, and no man more pitiful than a man without self-control.”
Where are your walls? What would a secure wall look like in your life? Talk this over with a trusted friend, your spouse, your pastor and most of all, God. Today!
“Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.” (Prov. 15:17)
What are you serving out these days? Let this season’s abundance of produce – every farmer’s market, sack of tomatoes from your neighbor, trip down the grocery store veggie aisle – remind you of the value of the heart. It’s the inside, the attitude that matters, in all things.