In moving through these songs of ascents, one can imagine the pilgrim. He has sung various songs, traveled along the path, and has approached Jerusalem. He is starting now to think about going home again. He might be thinking, "This is wonderful. I am hearing the Bible. I am singing to God. We are offering sacrifices to our Lord. I am in prayer to Him. I feel close to God right now." (18 Minutes/4500 Words)Read more
The Dangerous Place of Halfway
The halfway point of any work for God is a dangerous place. Nehemiah and the people who had a mind to work got to their halfway point rather quickly. But for them to complete the wall of Jerusalem in only fifty-two days they would need to get past the danger of halfway. (1 Minute/400 Words)Read more
5 Ways Jesus’ Work Allows Us Freedom Before God
Zachary was terrified. He knew the Day was fast approaching, and he didn't feel ready for it, not in the slightest. Once each year, he had to go in. He knew it was a privilege, but he was scared. As the months ticked by, Zachary could feel the tension in his shoulders. So many in Israel would have coveted his role, but he knew they'd be a bucket of nerves if in his shoes. (13 Minutes/3300 Words)Read more
Ephesus' Victory Today
Over a million dollars worth chucked into the fire. New Ephesian converts took their magic books and paraphernalia, demonic stuff that it was, and destroyed it all. Someone took the time to count up the street value — 50K in pieces of silver, worth over a million in modern times. (2 Minutes/500 Words)Read more
Worship God Through The Daily Grind
The ancient Israelite approached God with blood sacrifice, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22). One offering, however, was different. The grain offering came not from Israel's flocks, but from their crops. (3 Minutes/450 Words)Read more
Paul shifts his exhortations for the workplace from the slaves to the masters, from the working class to management. “Do the same to them,” he says. He had just written to the slaves to respectfully obey their masters, as to the Lord. Masters are to do the same. But how can a master obey their servants? How does a leader obey the laborers? (3 Minutes/500 Words)Read more
How to Combat Mission Fatigue
A point comes in any church's life where atrophy sets in. The passion and joy and labor begin to dry up as people begin to grow discouraged in the mission. Soon, the fight, and what they were fighting for in the first place, is forgotten. Life -- it's busy, after all -- swallows up fruitfulness. The church becomes an afterthought. The mission is replaced with routine. (5 Minutes/1000 Words)Read more
The church, for every generation, consists of all types of people. Some have been enslaved, others have been upper class. Some have been laborers, others have been thought workers. Some are from the working class, others from the "ruling" class. But for every level of humanity Christians have found themselves, none is as disadvantaged as the owned slave. (2 Minutes/400 Words)Read more
How To Respond To The Brevity Of Life
Inhale, then exhale. The lungs expand and retract, the good stuff in, the bad stuff out. All day long, during sleep, while awake, your body breathes. You do it without thinking. A breathe occurs, and you do not remember it; its brevity is astounding. (5 Minutes/700 Words)Read more
Ease Today, Pain Tomorrow
“An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.” (Proverbs 20:21 NLT).
The wings strain. Push. Press. Push. The caterpillar has become a butterfly, but the struggle to extricate itself from the cocoon is violent. Force exerted. Energy expended. Pain, real and true. With all strength spent, the wings function. No more crawling along. A flier is born.
The proverb above communicates the idea well. Too much success, influence, or wealth without any struggle often leads to pain in the end. It is better, in the end, to fight, battle, and struggle your way to success.
I only want to work in my area of passion, says one. I want to find deep fulfillment in my work, says another. I want…I need…I wish…I hope. But I must die. You won't discover your passion if your life is not tested with hard work, devotion, and submission. We find fulfillment through sweat, struggle, and pain.
We must not forget that we are not our work, our influence, or our life’s successes. We are children of God, walking on the dust of the earth, surviving by grace. He walks with us through all we think mundane. But does he? Does he not love our work, our breaths, our perspiration? We ought not to think he is disinterested in the daily grind of life. He loves the process, the growth, the building up of strength.
If you are young — sure — find your passion. But also find work and labor. Find faithfulness and struggle. Find the joy which comes from paying the bill and feeding the belly. Sleep the slumber of the hardworking man or woman and you might discover passion isn't everything. Living out your dream is not everything. It can be hazardous to get it too early in life, the proverb says. Spill some blood. Shed some tears. Drip some sweat. And watch the living God make you fly.