Daily Bible Reading

It’s tough

In 1992, four and a half year old Jordy became the youngest person ever to make it on to Billboard’s Hot 100 with his dance hit, Dur dur d’être bébé. Loosely translated, It’s tough to be a baby, the song described the trials of being a toddler. Don’t touch this. Don’t touch that. Get your finger out of your nose. Sit still.

We all know that being a baby isn’t as rough as Jordy described. All a baby has to do is cry a bit and Mommy or Daddy come running to change their clothes, feed them, bathe them, cuddle them. While there are a lot of rules to learn as a child grows up, never again in their life will they have so much done for them.

Sometimes, we can be like a baby trying to convince the world how tough it is to be us. But you just don’t know what I’m going through. I feel like I’m the only one! While I don’t want to belittle anyone’s pain or suffering, you’re not the only one.

Take a firm stand against [the Devil], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

1 Peter 5:9 (NLT)

There are times when we can get so caught up in our own pain and search for sympathy that we completely ignore the fact that we have family members that are going through the very same thing. They could use some of that comfort we’re trying so hard to find. And when we, like an infant, cry out for satisfaction, those same people look on and shake their heads. We are never alone in our pain and we are not the only ones deserving of compassion. Not only that, but God has already poured out on us all that we need.

In his kindness, God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)

When we look at our suffering—no matter what it is—in the light of what Jesus already endured, it pales in comparison. None of us are ever alone in our suffering. All over the world there are Christians who also endure hurt, pain, suffering, and persecution. Instead of seeking out sympathy, perhaps we would be better off giving it and sharing in each other’s suffering, helping each other through our trials until such a time as God restores, supports, and strengthen us.

It doesn’t have to be tough.

Daily Bible reading: Ezekiel 40, 1 Peter 5

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Daily Bible Reading

Harmony

It doesn’t take a musical genius to know when an instrument is out of tune or someone in the orchestra hits a wrong note. It’s obvious. It stands out. It’s not right. But when it all works together—every instrument in tune, in harmony—it’s a beautiful thing.

HARMONY: the just adaptation of parts to each other, in any system or composition of things, intended to form a connected whole; concord; agreement

That same basic principle of harmony works in our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit works in us to be sure that we remain in harmony with God.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows that the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)

We can have a relationship with God and go our own way. Later on in Romans 8, Paul talks about how nothing can separate us from God’s love. We can accept salvation, accept God’s love, and go about our business. But why would we want to? Why would we want to live a life in discord with our Heavenly Father? Just like an out-of-tune orchestra, our lives, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will always be off. Something won’t be quite right.

But when we take advantage of the Helper God has sent us, that’s when the music happens.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28 (NLT)

On its own, this verse is often taken to mean that, as Christians, everything will always be great! Anyone who has been a Christian for more than five minutes can tell you that’s simply not true. Just because God works for our good doesn’t mean that it will always feel good. There is a reason that this verse follows a verse about being in harmony with God’s will. God works for our good. Meaning that God works things out for our good according to His will, not ours.

Is it always easy? No. Does it always feel good? No. Is there still a divine plan for our lives? Of course!

For God knew is people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn with many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.

Romans 8:29-30 (NLT)

When we get our spirit in harmony with God’s Spirit, we put ourselves in a place to be used greatly by Him. We put ourselves in the centre of His will and His love.

Why would you want to play solo when you can harmonize with the entire orchestra?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 82-84, Romans 8:19-39

Daily Bible Reading

Shout out

For my fourteenth birthday, my dad took me to a professional hockey game. I was stoked. I’d never been to an NHL game. We had great seats which made up for the fact that the game was awful. But what made the game was the fact that, somehow, my mom had managed to get a call in to the arena beforehand and, in between periods, there on the big screen was a big giant happy birthday to me! No one knew who I was, but I saw it. My dad saw it. And I told everyone about it. It’s pretty awesome to get a shout out like that.

But a happy birthday on the jumbotron is nothing compare to what Jesus has promised us.

And I assure you of this: If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I, the Son of Man, will openly acknowledge that person in the presence of God’s angels.

Luke 12:8 (NLT)

Jesus has promised us the ultimate shout out. At what cost to us? Only that we publicly acknowledge his lordship in our lives. Sounds pretty easy to me.

This day and age, though, public acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as Lord can make the atmosphere a little (or a lot) tense. But then you have to ask yourself this: is quietly going about your life never letting anyone know you’re a Christian for fear of persecution worth losing out on Jesus declaring you his brother or sister openly in the presence of the angels? Probably not.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to having a personal shout out from Jesus on the jumbotron of Heaven.

Daily Bible reading: 1 Samuel 1-3, Luke 12:1-34

Daily Bible Reading

Brother, sister, mother

What does your church family look like? Is it just your blood family sitting in the row next to you? Perhaps some extended family as well? Or is it the church in it’s entirety?

This last Sunday, the young adults in our church did me proud. With no encouragement from myself (or anyone else that I know of), they instigated a church-wide invitation to go out for lunch. Folks that might not normally dine together met up at a restaurant and shared a meal together.

This is what church family is. It is the young and old, married and single, leaders and followers getting together to get to know each other and to enjoy each other’s company. The purpose of the church body, aside from spreading the Gospel is Christian fellowship. It is to extend your family beyond the boundaries of your home and to include those who may not have family at all.

Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!

Matthew 12:50 (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: Genesis 38-40, Matthew 12:22-50