Daily Bible Reading

Act like it!

Christians should be the happiest, most joyful people on the plant. There are some who call themselves Christians that may balk at that statement, but it’s the truth. There are no scriptures in the Bible that would indicate that Christians must be a solemn people, prone to frowns and fits of self-deprecation.

So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.”

Romans 8:15 (NLT)

Everything that I’ve found in scripture that speaks of how we should act as children of God indicates that we should stand out from the crowd—not because we are miserable, but because we have something that everyone else does not. Our faces, our actions, our attitudes, our responses should reflect the Spirit of God that lives on the inside of us.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)

Romans 8:9 (NLT)

2017-08-05 15.17.05
Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver #89, Duron Carter, tossing a pass to my nephew.

I was recently at a CFL football game with my sister and her two boys. We had passes that allowed us down on the field before the game while the players were warming up. Even though our team doesn’t win nearly as often as we would like them to, we’re still big fans and cheer them on. So there we were cheering on some warm-up catches when one of the best receivers in the league tossed a pass to my nephew. My nephew (who plays football) managed to throw back a decent spiral, got a smile and a wave from the player. It was a special moment. We made sure everyone knew he’d caught the only pass from that player that day. Both our words and our actions indicated that this kid was something special.

If a single pass from a professional football player can make our day, how much more should the fact that we have been made heirs with Christ reflect in our lives?

With all the noise and distraction around us, it can get difficult to remember who we really are. That’s why it is so important to take the time to listen to the voice of the Spirit within us.

For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.

Romans 8:16 (NLT)

God hasn’t left us on our own. Just like your last name is a perpetual reminder of who you are, who you belong to, and where you came from, the Holy Spirit within us is there to also remind us of who we are, who we belong to, and where we came from.

Listen to that voice that God put in you. You are a child of God. A child of the King. Brothers and sister of Christ. Heirs of the Promise and so much more. And it’s okay to act like it. Our membership in the Kingdom of God is something to be celebrated and shared.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 78-81, Romans 8:1-18

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Daily Bible Reading

My family

My mother has recently taken up our family tree. Through Ancestry.com, she has been able to trace our lineage back to the 16th century, debunking some commonly touted family legend and lore in the process. It’s good to know where you come from. We’re fortunate enough to have come from a line that could boast a modicum of wealth—this has greatly increased the amount of information my mother has been able to uncover the further back she traces.

Other lines of the family tree have not proved as fruitful. It would seem that, the less you have, the less important you are, and the less likely you were to have your name recorded for posterity’s sake.

In 2 Samuel, in David’s final address as king, he speaks of his family.

It is my family God has chosen!
Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me,
His agreement is eternal, final, sealed,
He will constantly look after my safety and success.

2 Samuel 23:5 (NLT)

Did you know that we, the Church, have a share in that agreement? That covenant that is eternal, final, sealed? Our names have been recorded in the Book of Life.

God made a promise to David that, so long as his descendants served Him, his line would be on the throne forever. If you read through the super-exciting genealogy in Matthew 1, you will see that Jesus is a direct descendant of David—on both his mother, Mary, as well as Joseph’s side. When anyone accepts Christ as Lord and Saviour, we are also then accepted into the family of God.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Romans 8:16-17 (NKJV)

We are a part of the chosen family David spoke of! God has made an everlasting covenant with you. His agreement is eternal, final, sealed.

No you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.

Galatians 4:7 (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: 2 Samuel 23-24, Luke 22:31-53

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When the promise dies

Death is not something most people relish. It is not something we want to be associated with. We don’t want to be near it. But is it as much a part of us as life is. We will all eventually experience physical death. Most of us will have people close to us die. Death is inescapable.

My great-grandmother was an incredible woman of God. As she came close to the end of her years on earth, she said she would often spend her days in the company of angels. At almost 101 years old, her eyesight had faded, but she could still see the outline of an angel sitting in her rocking chair keeping her company as she prayed for her family.

Years before she kept constant company with angels, she birthed a son. She was on in years. In fact, my mother was already on the scene. She had an uncle just a few months younger than her. Wesley was born with Down’s Syndrome in addition to several other serious physical conditions. But he lit up the room.

I never knew Uncle Wesley. He died before he ever really lived. But he had a happy childhood. He loved and was loved. How do I know? I’ve heard the stories. I’ve looked at pictures. I’ve watched him wave to the camera on the old film from a trip to Disneyland. But the promise of life was never fulfilled for him.

The Bible gives an account of another boy who lost his life too early. In 2 Kings 4, we see Elisha forming a bond with a Shunamite woman and her husband. For all the couple did for him and his servant, Elisha gave the promise of a son to the childless couple.

Sure enough, a year later, the woman had a son. The boy grew, but one day in the fields, something went terribly wrong. The boy collapsed and, after being carried home, died in his mother’s arms. The promise was dead.

Did the woman wail and rail against God? Did she run out and slander Elisha for his failed promise? Did she shut herself off from the world? No. She laid the boy on the bed in the room she had prepared for Elisha and set out to find the man of God.

To make a long story short, the woman brought Elisha back with her. Elisha did his thing and the boy woke. The promise was not lost.

I wish I could say that Wesley, too, enjoyed the promise of a long life on earth, but he did not. The promise in his life lives on in the stories that have been told for generations. He lives on in the memories of those who loved him.

So what happens when our promise dies? Do we give up and mourn or, like the Shunamite woman, do we close the door on death and go seek out life? I think we too often give up too easily. We see death as finite. Death was not enough to keep a mother from seeking God. She knew a promise had been made and she was going to be sure that the one who made the promise kept it.

What promises have you lost? What will it take for you to get them back? Instead of giving up so easily, go after it.

For he performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him.

Job 23:14 (NKJV)

If He promised it, He will perform it. Don’t just trust in the promise. Trust in the One who made the promise.

Daily Bible reading: 2 Kings 4-5; John 4:1-30