God has an uncanny way of getting our attention…of controlling situations until suddenly we find the walls closing in around us. And most times, we’re there because of our own disobedience. We’re self-absorbed and engrossed in the idols of this world…or we’re preoccupied and fixated on what others think of us rather than God. Either way, we end up in dire circumstances with no way out. And as the old saying goes, “Sometimes you have to end up in the gutter to finally look up.” Jonah was running from the Lord in disobedience, when God got his attention by confining him in the belly of a fish for three days. Three long days to think about what he had done…three long days to repent, relent, and be restored. Have no doubt about it, if you’re running from the Lord today, He will get your attention sooner or later.
Today marks the 6th Anniversary of Safetypinlove.com! This Daily Devotional has become a labor of love for me and now spans across 129 countries around the world…reaching countless people for the Gospel. It has shown me in a real way that God uses common, ordinary people to do His work…and with Him, anything is possible. Looking back over the years, the lessons I’ve learned are many…for I’ve grown in discipline, obedience, and trust – Praise God! Thank you to all my friends that have been on this journey with me from the start…your encouragement and love have kept me going when doubt filled my head . Thank you to those around the world that have stumbled upon this site…know that it isn’t by chance you’re here…for the Holy Spirit has directed you to God’s Word and His Word never returns void. Finally, thank You Lord for Your faithfulness, for this is all for Your glory!
The important part of this Scripture is not what is said, but rather the space of time between when the building of the Temple stopped and it was restarted. For it was 16 years that no work was done at the building site. How many people do you think looked at the Temple foundation year after year and considered all the work a loss? We will all have setbacks in life…times when our forward motion is hampered or even stopped for a season… and we don’t know why. This delay is not a time to declare defeat…for with God, any setback is only temporary in His timetable. And if we have faith and persevere, any delay will have success in the end.
I love how Webster’s Dictionary defines nagging…to find fault incessantly, to complain or constantly scold. That’s what this Proverb is addressing…a contentious wife who is always finding fault, clashing verbally over often petty matters, and demanding the last word. No wonder her husband is out in the garage or in his man cave hiding out. No one wants to live in that kind of environment. And elsewhere in Proverbs, we find this interesting idea that coincides, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1)
The incident happened this Summer while extended family of mine were on vacation. My niece’s teenage son observed a group of teenagers encircled around a little boy…shoving him roughly from one teen to another…all the while taunting him. He felt compelled to step in, so he quietly walked up, put his arm around the boy and asked what they were doing to his little brother. He stood there, firmly telling them to stop and leave… using his sheer size as intimidation…until the gang broke up and moved off. As this young man got done recounting this story to me, I asked him why he thought kids bully others. His insight I thought was remarkable. He told me kids who bully are filled with anger and hurt, and they take out that pain on others. I can dare say as adults, we all fall into two camps…either we were once bullied as a child…or we were that bully. But now with Social Media, the cruelty that can be inflicted by those just wanting to be mean is enormous. As school starts for the year, have a discussion with your kids around the dinner table about bullying…all that it encompasses…and how it feels to be bullied. That just because someone else is cruel doesn’t mean you have to join in. And that being a good friend and loving one another will make a difference.
The Apostle John was warning of false teachers infiltrating the early Church with their deceptive ideas…for they were denying the key fundamentals of Christianity…that Jesus Christ came to earth taking on human flesh – that He was all man and all God. He also warned of their denial of the resurrection – that Jesus was crucified, buried, but rose to life on the third day. So why should we be so surprised today when we hear preaching that just don’t sit well with us. Those same false teachers are alive and well and preaching a “type” of Jesus to the masses. But this corrupted concept of Jesus isn’t true, and doesn’t line up with the Word of God. And if we’d look at the many religions around the world, we’d see many that deny Jesus and His deity all together. But as John explains…the litmus test is simple. Test everything you hear against the Word of God… evaluate for yourself to determine the truth… Listen carefully to the Holy Spirit within.
A victim mindset builds an altar to all the bad things that have happened and worships there…harping on the past and paying more attention to it than to the future. A victim mindset is put in place early on when others show sympathy, so we continue to seek that support and favor…using our past to gain attention. Soon we are defined only by our past…and not of how God is moving in our present. A victim mindset chains us to the past… never able to move ahead, and break free. For every time those old hurtful memories are brought up and dwelled upon…we’re victimized again.