Verify Installation
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The culture around us and our own hearts tell us to pull it together, put your best foot forward, and not let people see your weakness. The story of Sarah (and her husband Abraham) shows us that our weakness is meant to display his glory, that we don’t have to pretend or attempt to take control, and that nothing is too hard for the Lord.
In this world it is easy to go with the flow. It is easy to ignore or gloss over sin when it seems that everyone around us is doing the same. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a faith that was stronger than the beliefs and actions of those around them. They knew that no matter what else happened, their God was in control and would be with them everywhere they went. Even into a fiery furnace.
What made Joshua so courageous? Why did Moses change his name to mean "The Lord Delivers"? It was because of the promises of God. Joshua had repeatedly seen tangible demonstrations of God's faithfulness over his lifetime and he believed God's promises of faithfulness to come. That promise would eventually bring us Jesus, the one who would lead God's people into the true and eternal promised land.
Rahab was a prostitute. Most would have written her off. But God welcomed her in. After hearing the stories of God's redemption and victory over his enemies, her heart melted in faith; and her faith bore the fruit of action as she welcomed the spies into her home. Just like in her day, God is on the move; and you can be included if you take hold of Christ. Truly, if there is room for Rahab in God's family, there is room for you too.
God’s grace in the past is meant to inspire confidence to persevere as we look at our present realities. Caleb had a front row seat to God miraculously delivering the Israelites from slavery and leading them to the front step of the Promised Land, and he was ready to move forward with God. Like Caleb, we can keep our confidence in Christ by continually rehearsing his past grace to us.
Waiting is hard. After all, you're here and you would rather be there. There seems so much better than here. But God has you here for a reason; and in this time of waiting He is doing something in you. The story of Hannah helps us learn what to do when waiting is hard.
Sometimes when we look at the various Bible characters in the Old Testament we think of them as "superheroes" we could never be like. But the story of Daniel gives us a window into how we can live in the plain, mundane moments of our lives. Far from being just a story of deliverance from the lion's den, Daniel shows us what it means to be a man of integrity in a world of hostility.
Life is a series of moments. Some of these moments are bigger than others. Some are what we could call "defining moments" when we must speak up, take action, and intervene, even when it costs us something because people's lives are at stake. Sooner or later, God will give us moments like these. The question is: Will we have the courage to act? Will we be brave enough to speak? Will we seize our "Esther moments?"
David and Goliath is one the most famous stories in all of the Bible. We love it because it carries with it the idea of the massive underdog overcoming insurmountable odds to win. And we love it because it inspires us to have courage like David to go and "Face Our Giants." But what if we got the story all wrong? What if we missed the point? What if David never viewed himself as an underdog? And what if David is more than just an example but a pointer to a greater Deliverer?