In Leviticus 19:15 it states, ” Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” We tend to have our own very personal prejudices and biases…comfortable preferences that have been ingrained in us by our culture, family, and past experiences. But that doesn’t mean they are fair or just. All our decisions must be based on God’s decrees and Laws, rather than our feelings.
At just the right time, God works the impossible. It’s known as a “but God ” moment…a great reversal in a dire situation . Over 40 times in the Bible it’s stated…things are going one way, but then at the most definitive moment, God intervenes, and the inconceivable happens. There have been “but God” moments in all our lives if we just think about it…times when we were at our bleakest, only to have the Lord intercede on our behalf… doing the unimaginable.
When God is seemingly hidden…when He’s working behind the scenes and not in obvious ways for you, what do you do? Do you walk and seek Him with faith or cower in fear? Is it with trust that you face down the challenge, or is it with trepidation? Despite the fact you may not see God working, do you move ahead with confidence and certainty, or draw back with concern? A lot of our Christian walk has to be done by the determination of sheer faith…faith that God’s still there…and still in control.
In ancient Greco-Roman Society, slaves were looked upon as a commodity…but often it was slaves that served in stations of great responsibly, with rank and privilege. Fast forward to modern times and the common work place. Your approach at work will speak louder than any Bible verse you have taped up at your desk. Your manner of helping others without an ulterior motive will shine brighter than any religious plaque . When you honor God in the everyday grind by being that positive, giving individual…(even when the boss isn’t watching)…you show others what it’s like to be Christ-like. Like the ancient slaves, you have been given great responsibility in your workplace…it’s to be an ambassador for Christ, and a lover of people.
We all want the very best for our children. We also may want them to succeed in areas where we didn’t…like Sports. But just because that “mini-me” looks like you, doesn’t mean he has any desire to be the football , basketball, or baseball star you weren’t back in the day. Pushing kids into activities they aren’t excited about will only exasperate and infuriate everyone. Each one of our children are unique individuals, with God- designed gifts, talents, and passions. By building on their strengths, we can foster what the Lord wants for them, rather than what we’d like to live vicariously through them.
Let’s look at this verse from the perspective of different generations. Read this verse to a young child and they’ll readily agree that they need to obey Mommy and Daddy…but the dance starts in the application of this into everyday living. As children grow, so does their autonomy. We draw a line in the sand and they push their big toe across it…just to see what happens! Let a teenager read this verse and you’ll probably get eye-rolling and an argument of every point…like, what exactly is the definition of obedience? And does everything mean “everything”? Finally, we read this as a parent or Grandparent, having gained a wealth of experience, wisdom, and insight… and we say, “Yes, Amen!” to this verse. For all those past experiences and circumstances have drilled into us the importance of obedience… not only to our parents, but to God.
I cringe inwardly every time I over hear a married couple bickering in public. It hurts my heart to hear a husband belittle his wife, and she return it with a volley of sharp and biting comments. The type of love in this verse that the Apostle Paul is talking about is a love rooted in the mind and will of the person, and means to value, esteem, prize…to treat as precious. The fastest way to embitter a person is to make them feel devalued, worthless, and unappreciated.