Perhaps it would be wise to reflect on the words of G.K. Chesterton. He said that before we remove boundaries that have guided civilization for centuries, perhaps we should consider why they were placed there to begin with.
Women today are losing wars we should be winning. Families are hurting. Children lack direction. Marriages have a 50% fail rate. Communities grow more fragile by the day. Our culture groans. Who is this woman of valor and what can we learn from her? Surely we’ve never needed her more than now.
Does Satan prowl around the world looking for a weak, disturbed loner? He is not omnipresent. He can’t be everywhere. Only God can. Satan is a creature. God is the Creator.
But, as with Judas, the devil searches for a vulnerable person to be his instrument for destruction. When he finds such a person, he pounces and enters his heart.
And the greater the destruction, the happier he is.
In many ways, there is no stronger nation in the world than the United States of America. In spite of its blemishes, it has historically been a continual force for freedom and good in the world.
But America will become inept if divided. That’s why I’m convinced that the dark spiritual force behind this present division is the evil one. He doesn’t want us to forgive injustice and racism and work toward a common good. He doesn’t want leaders who will speak words of life and blessing to motivate our nation to come together.
No, the devil wants division. That’s his goal.
Please know that I believe Jesus will return one day. He said so. It will happen. Also, I realize that Jesus’ followers do need to observe the times and seasons, as he commanded (Matthew 16:3). Yes, there are hints Jesus has given us about his return---especially in the increasing intensity of disasters, wars, and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6). I do acknowledge that John began the book of Revelation by stating that people are blessed when they try to understand the end times (Revelation 1:3).
However, call me skeptical when confronted with this specific prophecy. Why do I feel like this?
hillingly, Jesus said that people who experience tragedy are no worse sinners than those who don’t. He defused the common misconception teaching that disaster is God’s recompense for sinning. Then he continued to his most important point.
Jesus exposed the eternal reality that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). No one but God is good (Luke 18:19). All will one day face the judgment seat of God. And unless there is repentance, Jesus said, you too will perish.
Hope exists because the sun came up. Hope flourishes in the hearts of heroes---as evidenced in Houston, Florida, and Mexico. Will you ever forget the numbers of people in Houston driving their boats and rescuing people standing on roofs, waving desperately for help?
You will never discover true, internal, and eternal identity in your work. It will only be found in believing in Jesus’ invaluable gift of grace and eternal life. When you receive him as Lord and Savior, you hear his loving and priceless words, “You are my beloved son or daughter, in whom I am well-pleased.” You know you are loved no matter how hard your work or how much you accomplish. It stifles coveting. It guards against greed.
Why did I write From Superficial to Significant? It’s because I wanted to try to define true greatness in God’s eyes. I wanted to give people an opportunity to understand what God desires of them. In the book I share ten fundamentals of greatness from God’s perspective. When they are rightly practiced, I believe God’s heavenly applause grows.
Your workplace matters to God because people matter to God. Therefore, there are people in your workplace who need Jesus’ touch and love. You may be the only person in the world who can love them with Jesus’ love. That’s why you are where you are.
Around the globe, people question with greater frequency, “Is World War III on the horizon?” People in the western United States are asking, “What if this happens?” and try to think through precautionary measures.
Some people are wondering if we are near the end of the world as we know it.
If this is in your mind as well, here’s how I would counsel you.
A horrific hurricane. Relentless rainstorms. Catastrophic flooding. Loss of many lives---in one case an entire family. Property damage in the multiple billions of dollars. An estimated 30,000- plus left homeless. An agonizing rebuilding process that will most likely last for years looms on the horizon. A collective, painful sigh engulfs an entire region.
Which causes some to question God: What about Houston? Why did this happen? If you are good, why put so many people through this painful disaster?
God knows how the human heart loves to build monuments---and then start worshiping the monument! I think that’s why he instructed Moses to go to a private place and die unnoticed (Deuteronomy 34). He didn’t want people following him there to build a monument to him. God wanted people to worship their Creator, not a monument constructed for a creature.
I once had the privilege of hearing Condoleeza Rice speak. She was addressing racism in America today. She reflected that, in her opinion, America was birthed as a nation with an ugly defect: racism. From our moment of conception birth, she said, our Constitution didn’t refute it. Ironically, racism, white supremacy, and slavery were permitted to exist even as our nation declared freedom from tyranny.
How about you? Would you dare trust God in your pain? Would you believe that without pain, there is no eternal gain? Would you choose to know that all pain here is light and momentary in comparison to the glory and beauty of what’s yet to come?
This reality can be yours. You may be right around the corner from an unexpected phone call or text that will forever change your life. You may be a few moments away from an encouraging word that will keep you moving forward. You may be within a day of meeting someone who will offer you an opportunity that gives you hope. You may be a minute away from God doing an incredible miracle for you.
Leave vengeance to God. He does it better than you do. Your retaliation will only increase future hostilities. It will have no end. Leave it to God. He loves justice. It’s an important part of his character. It will happen. Have faith he will do it.
What else have I learned about people? They love to tear you down to build themselves up. Many people are inherently insecure. If they can criticize you, it makes them feel more important. That’s why they post only positive comments and photos about their lives on social media. They want you to think all is fine and be envious. They’ll then forever critique you to make themselves look good.
Please, no matter what you are going through, choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). Seek Jesus’ love for you. He didn’t come to condemn you, but to love you (John 3:17). He came from heaven to earth to give you abundant life, not death (John 10:10).
Also, please don’t forget this truth: Jesus formed his church to be a community of hurting people seeking hope together. Find a good one today. Find a Bible study group you can join. Though you are saved by grace alone, you were never intended to live the Christian life alone.