See God At Work

Do you want to know what God is doing? Would you like to see what He is up to? Would you like to understand what He is doing and why?

We all like to understand. It doesn’t matter if it is why our spouse does something or how to do our jobs. We like knowing and understanding. It gives us a sense of control.

Unfortunately, it is a false sense when we look at the things of this world. We also often think it is impossible to understand what God is doing. Yet, it is not as difficult as we make it.

Jesus explained to the two men on the road to Emmaus how the Old Testament pointed to Him. He explained why all that happened had to happen. He explained why the crucifixion. He explained why He would rise again. I’m sure He even explained the virgin birth.

God has gifted each of us His Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would explain what He taught (John 14:26). We merely need to open our minds, open our hearts and listen for the Spirit to teach us. How do we open our minds? The Apostle Paul says we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in Romans 12:2. That means we must allow God to renew our minds.

I pray we all open our minds and our hearts. I pray we seek to understand what God is doing. I pray each of us seek to understand what Jesus taught and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us. Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open your mind. Seek to understand God’s plan. You can understand.

Luke 24:25-27 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Wisdom From Heaven

Have you noticed all the upheaval in our nation, our world? Would you love to see peace win the day? Would you like to be part of the solution? Does it appear to be overwhelming? Do you realize you can help?

We see discontent all around us. We disagree with decisions being made by leadership. Our disgruntlement deepens and the gap expands. Our culture screams for tolerance and yet is intolerant. We see the very people who want others to understand them refuse to try to understand others.

We hear people who claim to be followers of Jesus calling for renewal, yet they do not pursue it. We see people who march for change reject any change they do not like. Our culture has ceased to think beyond ourselves and their own personal agendas. We consistently fail to use the brains God gave us to evaluate all perspectives before opening our mouths or take action.

The wise person does not speak quickly but listens (Proverbs 12:14-19, 17:27-28). The implication is the wise person thinks through the situation, attempts to see all angles, and formulates the appropriate answer before speaking. This is the way of wisdom.

How do we acquire wisdom? We ask God for it, and He gives it generously (James 1:5). It is wisdom that will change our world, even if only us personally. Without wisdom, we are no more than sounding gongs making noise and creating more discontent. To be part of the solution, we need to do less talking, more listening, more thinking, and more praying. By doing so, God will open our eyes, open our ears, and renew our minds. Then we can make a positive impact.

I pray we all seek the wisdom of God. I pray we listen more and speak less. I pray each one of us will spend time thinking, evaluating, and praying, asking God to reveal His wisdom to us. Seek wisdom. Listen. Evaluate. Remove preconceived notions. Ask God to renew your mind. Be a positive impact.

James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Light Revealed

What are you seeking that seems to be hidden? What are you looking for that is concealed from you? Are you looking in the right place? Are your eyes open? Are you ears open, listening for the proper clues? Do you believe you will find it?

We may be seeking the ever-elusive perfect mate. We may be seeking the earnestly sought-after promotion. It often seems as though the things we long for are just out of reach, never quite attainable. But what if we could seek and attain what we need?

We have often heard today’s passage taught to us as a deterrence for doing wrong. We are taught that all things will be revealed. Though that may be true, that is not really the context for this passage. No, when we look at the context of Scripture around today’s passage, none of it points to our bad behavior or habits being revealed.

If it is not about our dirty laundry being cast into the open, what is it about? Let’s first answer another question. Who is the light? Jesus, of course. If He is the light (or lamp), He is being brought out into the open. Though God’s plan had once been concealed, with glimpses provided by the prophets, it is now being revealed.

Jesus is telling the crowd around Him and us to open our ears. We are to hear Him. We are to see Him. We are to seek an understanding of what He is teaching. He has laid it out for us. He has shown His light into this world. He has revealed the Father in Himself and gifted us with the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to open our eyes to see what He has done and continues to do in this world.

I pray we all see the light of Jesus. I pray we hear His teaching. I pray each one of us will open our eyes to see what Jesus has done and continues to do in our lives. See the light. See Jesus. He has revealed God’s plan. He has brought God into the open for all. Hear His voice. Understand His teaching. See God at work.

Mark 4:21-23 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Ask, Seek, Knock

Do you consider yourself to be a seeker? Are you a person who yearns to know? Do you continue to ask until you get an answer? Are you driven to know what is going on? Do you seek to understand why?

Too many people can answer “Yes” to the above questions. Unfortunately, their desire is to know what others are doing. It is to hear gossip. Their desire to hear the latest about someone else can drive them to the brink of disaster.

But there is One we can seek who is very healthy for us to know. As we grow in knowledge of Him, our life continues to improve. As we continue to ask for Him to reveal Himself, He reveals what we desire. As we desire to know Him, He opens Himself to be known.

We have the written Word of God to reveal His nature, His guidance, His will for us. If we are seekers and desire to know Him, reading His Word will reveal Him. It won’t happen in a quick reading. It won’t happen by reading the Bible like a novel. It will only happen when we ask Him to reveal Himself and by our diligent study of His Word.

Jesus promised to give us the knowledge we seek about Him. He promised to open the door to knowledge and understanding if we ask Him. It is not a matter of Him being hidden but of our desire to know Him. Will we truly seek Him out?

I pray we all will seek to know Jesus. I pray we desire to know Him deeply and understand His teaching. I pray each one of us will ask Jesus to reveal Himself to us. Be a seeker of Jesus. Yearn to know Him deeply. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Be driven to understand Jesus. Know that He will make Himself known.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Greater Than Solomon

Do you seek knowledge? Do you seek wisdom? Are you listening for it? Are you paying attention? Are there people in your life you consider to be wise? Do you take their messages to heart? Have you considered listening to the words of Jesus?

Most of us have or had someone who is/was older and wiser in our lives. They are the one we go to for advice. We trust they will think through the situation, looking at it from all angles. We trust they will provide wise guidance or ask questions to cause us to come to the best solution.

We may have followed their guidance in the past and it worked out just as they said. On the other hand, perhaps we have ignored their guidance and it worked out just as they said to our own detriment. Sometimes we learn to follow guidance from the wise through our own failure.

It has been said that the Bible provides us guidance for living. Though that is true, it falls short of the full breadth of wisdom in the Bible. Jesus came bearing not just wisdom for this life but for eternal life. Yes, Jesus provides principles to live by in His teachings and parables. But He also gives a warning for those who deny Him and good news to those who will listen to Him.

Solomon is often called the wisest of the kings of Israel. He wrote a large portion of Proverbs, the wise sayings. It is great advice for this life. But notice what Jesus says in today’s passage. He is wiser than Solomon. It is no wonder. Jesus is God incarnate. If we believe that, we should be listening to Him.

I pray we all choose to listen to Jesus. I pray we read His words and listen to His guidance and good news. I pray each one of us will spend time absorbing and understanding what Jesus teaches us. Seek knowledge. Seek wisdom. Read Jesus’ words. Hear His guidance. Understand His wise counsel. Live for eternal life.

Matthew 12:42 “The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.”

Godly Wisdom

How well do you listen? How well do you see? Are you an observant person? Are you attentive to the tone a person uses? Do you pay attention to their body language? Do you understand what is being communicated?

There are times we are very attentive. And there are times when we have checked out of the conversation. We may listen attentively for a portion of the conversation but become bored with it and start daydreaming or thinking of something we deem more important.

We may have taken a class or lesson to learn how to be a better listener. We may know how to be a good listener. But that isn’t always the issue, is it? The issue is our desire to listen. We may have no interest in what the person is saying. The topic doesn’t interest us. Or the person doesn’t interest us. Or we believe there is something more important we should be doing.

It all comes down to priority. The same is true when we listen for God. If we do not make it a priority, we will not hear Him. If it is not a priority to understand His Word when we read it, we will skim over it but not comprehend it. God desires us to listen closely to His guidance. He is providing us life-giving knowledge and wisdom.

Being attentive to God’s guidance and direction illuminates our understanding. Making listening to God a priority increases our understanding. As we understand God’s Word more, we increase in wisdom. Increasing in Godly wisdom improves our lives.

I pray we all choose to listen for God’s guidance. I pray we make listening to or reading God’s Word a priority. I pray each of us will seek to increase our understanding and Godly wisdom. Listen attentively. Seek understanding. Make Godly wisdom a priority. Listen for His guidance.

Isaiah 51:4-5

“Listen to me, my people;

hear me, my nation:

Instruction will go out from me;

my justice will become a light to the nations.

My righteousness draws near speedily,

my salvation is on the way,

and my arm will bring justice to the nations.

The islands will look to me

and wait in hope for my arm.

A New Thing

Are you looking for something new in your life? Would you like for there to be a change in a positive direction? Have you made attempts only to run into roadblocks? Will you open your eyes to see what God is doing in your life?

We often yearn to make changes in our lives. We long to improve our lives. However, far too often we take action to do so based on our shortsighted human perspective. Our approach to satisfy the immediate or near term wants.

God also has a plan for the short-term, but His short-term plan prepares for and leads into the long-term plan. His plan takes steps today that sets us up for tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and next decade. He has a plan to do something in our lives if we will only follow His plan.

We may wonder how God knows what steps to take. So quickly do we forget. God has seen all of history already. He has seen all possible choices we may choose. We pray for God to change our situations, while He sets situations to cause us to follow Him. Our last option to choose Him comes on our deathbed.

God is doing a new thing every day of our lives. We merely need to be observant, see what He is doing. He may not be doing what we desire. But He is doing what He sees needs to be done to draw us to Him. After all, He desires all of mankind to come to Him, to save everyone. He is willing to do whatever it takes, short of forcing us. He sent His Son to die for us to make it possible for each of us to be saved.

I pray we all see what God is doing in our lives. I pray we see beyond our immediate wants. I pray each one of us choose to follow God’s plan for us, starting by asking Him to help us see it. Seek what God seeks for you. See what God is doing. See how He is preparing you. Reflect on what He has done. Choose to follow His plan for you.

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things;

do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.”

Being A Good Samaritan

What does it mean to be a good neighbor? Does it mean to help the person who lives next door with their yard? Does it mean to give a child a ride to a school function?

It can mean those. But what is the example Jesus gave us? He used the example of someone in dire need. Someone who needed medical attention or die. He used people who were mortal enemies of one another.

There is nothing wrong with assisting those who live in our neighborhood. There is nothing wrong with giving a child a ride. But that is not all Jesus calls us to do. He calls us to go beyond the comfortable. He calls us to help the homeless, destitute, those with deep needs.

We have been blessed with homes, vehicles, jobs or retirement, family, friends, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus expects more from us. After all, He said, “everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded” (Luke 12:48).

Yes, much is expected from us. We have been blessed richly. The neighbor who needs our help may reside in our city, town, or county. Our neighbor needs compassion, love, mercy, and someone to walk along with them.

Jesus has given us an example of being a good neighbor. Will we follow His teaching, His example? Or will we continue to remain in our comfort zone?

I pray we all decide to follow Jesus’ example. I pray we get out of our comfort zones. I pray each one of us will choose to be a good neighbor to whomever we find in need. Be compassionate. Be loving. Be merciful. Be willing to walk with others. Follow Jesus’ teaching. Be a good neighbor.

Luke 10:36-37 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Beat the Heat

What are we doing to stay out of the hottest place ever recorded for eternity? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Are you allowing God to transform you into the person He created you to be? Or, are you holding on to your selfish, self-center, hateful, grudge holding, angry, antagonizing, finger pointing, gossiping, on and on behavior that is in direct opposition to God?

It’s hot outside! I’ve heard that often over last few days. I’ve also heard, “I don’t like being hot.” Oh, really … ?! Are you sure about that? What are you doing to not be hot? As Americans, we all want our air conditioning running at peak performance in our homes. We want the restaurants and stores we frequent to have good air conditioning. We certainly seem to be doing a lot in this world to stay cool.

We might want to consider showing one another a little grace. After all, not one of us is perfect. We all need grace. A person who shows grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, acceptance, peace, joy, contentment, and share Jesus with those around us. Yup, me too. We all need to continue to let go and allow God to transform us. We all need to stop holding on to our selfishness. We all need to very carefully read Jesus’ words in today’s Scripture.

I pray we all let go of ourselves and allow God’s Spirit to fill us. I pray we allow God to change us into the person He created us to be. I pray each one of us will demonstrate grace toward one another. Beat the heat. Correct your behavior. Correct your attitude. Allow God to make the changes. Take on the attitude of Christ.

Matthew 5:22 “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister, will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

Fulfill the Law

Are you a letter of the law kind of person? Do you believe following the rules to the “T”? Do you get angry when others do not follow the rules? Do you make up your own rules? Do you restrict the law more than it was originally intended?

We all like to follow the rules or laws to one degree or another. Some of us are more attentive to them, while others are more willing to bend or stretch them. But following the law can be a bit confusing or difficult due to the complexity of the many laws.

But Paul tells the church in Rome there is an easy way to not only obey but fulfill the law. It is simple, yet also difficult. We are to love our neighbor. That is where the rub comes in. Our neighbor isn’t just the person who lives next door but every person we encounter.

Loving people we disagree with is hard. Loving people who perform horrible acts is hard. Loving people from another culture is hard. Loving people who fight against us is hard. Sometimes, loving family members is hard. So, how can we love our neighbor?

We can only love as God loves by allowing Him to take control of our lives. We must give up our preferences and desires. We must ask Him to open our eyes to see everyone as He sees them. When we see the other person as God sees them, our perspective changes dramatically.

Loving our neighbor does not mean we must agree with them nor that we must approve of their actions or attitudes. We can love someone without being in full agreement. We can love someone without approving their behavior. But we can only love them as God loves them when we allow God to take control of our lives.

I pray we all choose to fulfill the law. I pray we choose to allow God to take control of our lives. I pray each one of us will choose to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Fulfill the law. Love your neighbor. Allow God to take control. See others as God sees them. Love as God loves.

Romans 13:8-10 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.