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Showing posts from August, 2008

God gathers

"In that day," declares the LORD,
"I will gather the lame;
I will assemble the exiles
and those I have brought to grief.
I will make the lame a remnant,
those driven away a strong nation.
The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion
from that day and forever.
Micah 4:6-7
We look around today at spiritual fellowships and we wonder where God is in them. Jesus famously said, "I will build my church". Now, if he is doing that today, there must be some data on the how and the who and the what of it in the book.
God gathers the lame. God really cares about people who are sick, or infirm.
God assembles the exiles. Many people love God and believe the Bible, but don't do church. Many people have stopped going to church but still carry Christ in their hearts. Some people have been banished from the church by church people. Everyone who's been to church has been hurt there, but many people choose to go away. The Lord wants to gather these p…

Memorial

Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day.

Joshua 4:9

After the tribes of Israel crossed over the Jordan river into the promised land, they made two memorials made of piled stones. One was up and outside the river, but the second one was smack dab, in the middle of the river. What can we make of the second memorial and why was it necessary?

The double doing of the memorial to God bringing them across the river calls serious attention to this event. The second one gives impact. Important and real important to remember.

When the Jordan was low or dry for natural reasons, there the stones would be reminding them that God dried it up once so the people could cross over. Seeing the memorial in drought times would also remind them of God's provision. When the Jordan's waters were high, but clear; the memorial would remind them that God…

on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him

Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it.2 Corinthians 2:7 (NIV, TMB)

We need to be encouraged to forgive and restore those among us who fall into sin. The one who has fallen needs to repent, yes; but often we don't embrace the repentant one and restore them.

Some notes on this from others:

"Forgive and comfort him: They were just as wrong in withholding forgiveness and restoration to the man when he had repented as they were to welcome him with open, approving arms when he was still in sin. The Corinthian Christians found it easy to err on either extreme, either being too lenient or too harsh... Paul told them to do more than forgive, he also told them to comfort." (David Guzik)
"There may be a judicial forgiveness which is hard, and leaves the soul always consciou…

making it into the next season

I've been reflecting that the time we're in is like a team that's going into the fourth quarter of a good, but tiring game. Victory nor defeat is assured. The whole team has to hang in there and fight to have a chance of winning.

What's the counsel from scripture?

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

This little verse says everything you need. What it says in plan English is:

Stay in the place of prayerBe vigilantAnd take communion continually We need to keep ourselves positioned in prayer. Distraction might be our worst enemy right now. All prayer is not constant talking out loud either. Prayer is staying connected, staying available, staying awake to God.

Being watchful is also about staying focused but also about staying sober. Sober mindedness is to keep the fog out and not be be carried away by things that take you away from prayer focus. A vigilant watchman is passionate about keeping watch.

The third one …

what will happen

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

Psalm 14:7

This is what I believe the future holds: salvation, restoration, and rejoicing.