Archive for September, 2015

  

“My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Just when you thought that you’ve heard it all…

According to a report in the International Business Times on 8.28.15, two sisters in India, one of whom is only 15-years-old, have been “sentenced” to rape as “punishment” after their brother had an affair with a married woman. An unelected all-male village council in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, ordered that Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her teenage sister will also be paraded through the streets naked, with blackened faces, as they are made to pay the price for their brother’s alleged transgressions. And this is the norm for how this council has operated for years. Ugh

According to our text, God does bring punishment for sinful behavior, but never a heinous thing like this! Our God is a loving Father that desires for all His children to do right, like a good Dad should. While His correction fits the sin, it has an ultimate goal: not to bring suffering, but restoration of relationship. 

Good parents and right government should both have fair and firm corrective policies. You can’t love without it, otherwise you are only enabling. But I’m grateful that our wonderful Father cares enough to do it the right way and bring our hearts back home! You are loved! 

  

“The greatest among you must be a servant.” (Matthew‬ ‭23:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the notorious enemy at the Alamo, was a charming politician, but he was foolish in his ways. After being captured and allowing Texas its freedom, Santa Anna would be later released in 1837 by President Andrew Jackson, promising to never serve in politics again. That promise wouldn’t last. He would rise and fall numerous times in Mexico before eventually fleeing to Europe around 1855. He would die in Mexico in 1876 as a broken old man.

As the old saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is a dangerous thing when we entertain the thought of arising to places where we can have others do what we want them too. Selfishness has no place in leadership. The lust for power and control is a corrupting cancer that no one is immune to.

If God raises you up as a leader, follow His example to be a Servant-Leader. God will only allow us to lead if He knows He can trust us to do the job right. Be safe and usable to God! You are loved today! 

  

“They replied at once, ‘Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!’So they began the good work.” ‭‭(Nehemiah‬ ‭2:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

In 2003, Austin Hatch and his dad walked away from a 2003 plane crash that killed his mother, 11-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother. Then in 2011, Hatch experienced a sickening case of déjà vu. His dad was flying the family to its Michigan summer house in June 2011, when the small, single-engine plane plummeted nose-first into a garage along a residential street north of Charlevoix Municipal Airport, killing Hatch’s father and stepmother and critically injuring him.

It would be easy to quit life at this point, but not Hatch. He had signed a basketball scholarship with the University of Michigan prior to the accident, and was determined to use it. After a two month coma and two years of rehabilitation, Hatch got to briefly realize his dream: playing basketball for the Michigan Wolverines in the spring of 2015! He had fought back from the bottom to reclaim his life!

Just as Nehemiah helped his people to rebuild Jerusalem from utter ruin, so did Austin Hatch. And so can you! Life was never meant to be easy and rebuilding can be tougher, but God will help you put the pieces back together again. Just try! You are loved today!

  

“Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.” ‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭119:49-50‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Kashmir Singh, an Indian national, was convicted in the late 1970’s of spying and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in Lahore, Pakistan, but the government stayed his execution shortly after. For 35 years, Singh lived on death row until 2008, when he was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf. An emotional Singh spoke in an interview regarding his time at the Kot Lakhpath jail: “Hope keeps us alive. If there is no hope, then it would be difficult to live.” 

Hope is powerful indeed. As Christians, our hope comes from the Lord. Sometimes it comes straight from the pages of His Word, the Bible. Sometimes God gives it to us in another way, maybe through a situation or through a fellow Christian. But in one way or another, God makes Himself available to us in the form of His promises.

If God has given you hope through a promise that is yet to be fulfilled, remind Him of it. He’s not forgetful, but always working according to His plans for us. Reminding God of His words can help bring them to pass because He rewards our persistent cries! You are loved today! Live expecting!

  

“When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.” ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Usain Bolt proved his dominance in the 100m and 200m, bringing two gold medals back to Jamaica. But with his personal achievements came his personal praises: “It’s what I came here to do. I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live…I’ve got nothing left to prove. I’ve showed the world I’m the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself.”

There’s nothing wrong with being praised for doing a good job. But when egos do the talking, it makes it hard for others to cheer too. Even when someone is truly that spectacular at something, boasting will come back to haunt them. 

Self-hatred and arrogance are both deadly traps. You are never as bad, or good, as you think! The greatest praise we can hear comes from our Heavenly Father! He’s ready to applaud your actions! You are loved!