In Real Life
Ever been so caught up in a situation that the obvious answer is missed? Hagar too, but God reveals!
Have you ever tried putting together a toy or piece of furniture without closely reading the directions? If you are like me, the final product is bound to be wobbly and have some flaws. Paul encourages the church in Rome that a life of faith is filled with peace hope and love. In faith and in life, there is some assembly required – and it is always best to follow the directions.
This week we will learn how Psalm 8 teaches us to avoid frustration and discouragement.
Have you ever been frustrated when you see something being done the wrong way? It might almost make you want to take away their chance to do it. Psalm 8 tells us how God asked us to care for his creation. Perhaps we do not always do it right. Does God get frustrated? Maybe, but he doesn’t take that responsibility away – he loves us too much. Instead, he keeps himself available to teach us.
Acts 17:21: The distance between trains and walkways of the London Tube is just one of many gaps to be found in life. Paul learns there is a gap in understanding about God with the Athenians he meets. Their thirst for knowledge became the bridge Paul needed to close that gap. Open-mindedness is a catalyst to personal growth. However, those opposed to new ideas generally will only expose themselves to like-minded thinking. Many Athenians believed in God through Jesus and joined with Paul to tell others because of their willingness to learn new things. What could you learn about life and God if you were willing to mind the gap?
Acts 7:58: Difficult people are available in every aspect of life – work, school, family, society, maybe even home. We often wonder how we can make life easier while this person is part of it – ignoring does not work as someone else will fill the void. We cannot control the actions or attitudes of others; we do control our response. An encounter with Jesus changes people. Sometimes it takes a moment of crisis, or perhaps it is simply a moment of clarity. Regardless, change can occur. What will be your response when change in others occur? Skepticism? Avoidance? Acceptance?
Acts 4:13: It has been said that one should not judge a book by its cover. Doing so robs of the great story stored on the pages within. Faith in Jesus turns common and castaway people into something extraordinary. Please don’t let your perceptions prevent you from learning, or sharing.
Acts 1:8: New destinations sometimes need new routes, even in familiar territory. Understanding the bigger picture helps grasp the journey’s purpose. Likewise, we can get caught up in the details when reading Scripture. It helps to take a step back and see where God is leading you – and what blessings are available along the way. The key is knowing where you’re going – and having the correct starting point.
Acts 2:14: Blunders on the field can put the team behind, making the outcome seem hopeless. Courage and perseverance can overcome many setbacks when you trust the right example. Peter, one of Jesus’ core crew, found himself at a disadvantage due to some mishaps he brought on himself. He found his courage by trusting Jesus and waiting for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Just as things seemed to be falling apart, Peter comes through with a clutch hit that wasn’t just a home run, it was the grand slam! As life comes at you hard, where do you find your courage?
Matthew 28:16-17: “Fear, uncertainty and doubt” is a common catchphrase originating from deceptive marketing tactics. Succumbing to these emotions slows us from making the best choices – and delays the potential available for us. Alas, we all fall prey to it at times. It is natural! Some of the people closest to Jesus had doubts too. They witnessed many supernatural occasions involving Jesus – things he told them would happen, and things he explained afterward. Yet, some doubted when they saw him alive after he was killed. Jesus told them beforehand what to expect and they still hesitated. They allowed misinformation to steal the joy of worshipping Jesus in the moment. This Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Will you allow the messages of the world to mislead you? Or, will you trust what is most reliable and worship our savior and our Lord?
Matthew 27:45-46: Things may seem bleak now, but hope lies just ahead. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” this is Dickens’ opening line to one of the greatest novels. These words present conflicted emotions! How can things be both? For us, holding on to hope in the face of darkness seems difficult. This week we learn how Jesus turns dark times into light. How the worst of times lead to the best ones – and why.