There’s both a white vase and two black profiles, but one of them stands out depending on the way you see things.
This same principle applies when we read the Bible. We read it from a certain perspective. It may be a preconceived notion we have. It may be through a filter of how we’ve come to understand a certain passage. It may be a perspective we were taught. If we’d never read the Bible and pick it up one day, we’ll see things through our own experiences, sensitivities, fears, orientation to life and our notions of God.
In Numbers 11 we read of one of the complaints the Israelites brought against God and Moses during their sojourn in the wilderness. They asked for meat; however, as we discussed in Part 1, they already had meat. Their true sentiment stemmed from discontent and a rejection of God’s provision.
As true today as it was then, when we reject God’s provision, we end up pursuing our own agenda. As a result we are presented with opportunities to either turn back or continue with our own way of living. In this case the Israelites’ choices led them away from the blessing of God and into separation from God’s presence.
Did they realize what they had done and what the implications were? Hindsight is wisdom’s teacher. Based on their experience, I realized I had to change my own course. (more…)
I had always received things from God in terms of their value for others, not fully embracing their value for myself. There had to be a practical reason for everything, including the talents and desires God gave me. As an example, although I wanted to take voice lessons, I found it difficult to get motivated, because I didn’t know what I would do with the singing once I learned how. It wasn’t enough that I just wanted to learn to sing.
One day in casual conversation, I found that a friend of mine spent a lot of time growing bamboo. My first question was, “What’s the commercial market for bamboo?” (more…)
God has promised us so many blessings in His word. Many of these are conditional – that is, they require something of us in order for God’s full blessing to be released. Some of the most familiar are the “be-attitudes”: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:7-9)
There are three promises I’ve decided to make a pursuit of mine in recent years — promises of blessings that require my action. These are probably some of the most explicit promises of blessing in the Bible, yet possibly some of the most overlooked. I began pursuing these three within a few months of each other. Not too long afterward I felt showered in unexpected blessings. (more…)
The Sabbath – we think of the Jewish day of rest, or maybe any day when we’re not working, or the day we attend church. Yeshua says of the Sabbath, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath is one of the blessings God made for mankind to enjoy. He practiced it Himself on the seventh day of creation. Was God tired? Had all the work He’d done on the first six days worn Him out? I can imagine it could, but no — God created it along with the world and its inhabitants as a gift to man, animals and the land.