Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Life at Work

Ever seen the geyser “Old Faithful” in Yellowstone National Park? I haven’t yet, but I will. We will join the millions who have visited the site fully expecting to see the eruption, and we leave without being disappointed. Author Wallace Fridy wrote about the dependability of Old Faithful and how we can learn from it:

“Old Faithful” is not the largest geyser, nor does it reach the greatest height. Nevertheless, it by far the most popular geyser. Its popularity is due mainly to its regularity and dependability. You can count on Old Faithful. Nothing in life can take the place of faithfulness and dependability. It is one of the greatest virtues. Brilliance, genius, competence – are all subservient to the quality of faithfulness.”

Paul wrote about our reliable God, reliable words, teaching reliable men, and rearing reliable children. We are called to be faithful, dependable, and reliable. You will grow, your family will thrive, and you will bring glory to God in wonderful ways as you develop this virtue. You may not attract millions of visitors, but you will have a following. Lead them to faithfulness. That’s Life at Work!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

God Said He Was Coming

God said he was coming.  I mean he said he was coming.  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Is 7:14).  Matthew explains the fulfillment of this prophecy in the context of Jesus of Nazareth (Matt 1:18-23).

He lived among us for a while - that is, in our world, among people; so we say that he was here.  But, we also say that when we’ve lost a dog or our little brother whom we were supposed to be watching.  “He was here,” we say when people or animals are missing.  The idea is that we know where he was a little while ago.  We’re not sure where he is now.

Not so when we say about Jesus, “He was here.”  When he came he was “God with us.”  When he left, he promised, “I will be with you always.” We can talk about Jesus as if he is here, because he is.  Though we don’t see him, he is here.  He is with us when we eat the Lord’s Supper, he is with us as we make disciples of the nations, and he is with us as we live out his teaching concerning life in the kingdom.  That’s Life at Work!

Life at Work

"It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:31-32).

Hosea (not his real name) was getting a divorce. His wife begged him not to send her away. She wanted to work it out. "Don’t you love me?" she asked. "Don’t you know this will wreck the kids?"

Hosea responded, "Look, were divorcing. That’s it. But I promise, we’ll do it right. I’ll give you a certificate of divorce like the law requires."

It was like Deuteronomy 24:1-2 was printed bigger than the rest of the Old Testament. Maybe it was just the phrase "certificate of divorce" that was so large in the eyes of many Jewish men. "If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house…"

The Jews were using that verse as much as unbelievers use the "don’t judge" verse today. They were so accustomed to using it, in fact, that some among the disciples said "If we can’t divorce, we shouldn’t even get married."

Their idea of doing marriage right was being sure to divorce with the right forms. Jesus stressed that doing marriage right means staying together. Only in extreme circumstance could you divorce. The Jesus Perspective is that marriage was designed to last a lifetime.

Are you thinking about getting out so much, and the possibility or impossibility of divorce so much, that you are not giving your marriage the energy it needs? Quit trying to find the right way out. Refocus on staying in and getting better. That's Life at Work!

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Worst of the Worst Couples

Life at Work
Ahab and Jezebel were the worst of the worst couples. They beat out Samson and Delilah. They were worse than Bonnie and Clyde. They were incredibly evil! Here are some things that were true about them that we should guard against in our own lives.

First, they trivialized sin. At the beginning of the story about this couple (1 Kings 16:29), it is said about Ahab that he was worse than any of the wicked kings before him and he trivialized the sins of his fathers. He not only did what they had done, he spoke about it and acted in such a way that it seemed he thought nothing of being wicked.

Second, they created an atmosphere for wrongdoing. For centuries the city Jericho that had been destroyed by the Israelites when they entered the land of promise lay desolate as a testimony to God’s power – and as a testimony to belief in the curse inherited by any who would rebuild it (Josh 6 ). Hiel rebuilt Jericho at the cost of his sons. Ahab and Jezebel made it easy to think of evil and practice evil in Isreal.

Third, they encouraged greed in each other. Jezebel couldn’t wait to get Naboth’s vineyard for her husband, though killing Naboth was the mean to getting it done. Ahab couldn’t wait for Jezebel to do it for him. They had so much, but wanted more. It was their murderous greed that ended their reign for good.

You wouldn’t take their names. Don’t act like them. Remember the cost of sin. Create an atmosphere or righteousness where you live, work and play. Encourage contentment instead of greed. You don’t have to be the best of the best. Do what pleases the Lord. That’s Life at Work.