Small Group Devotionals
One of the most difficult things to do at times is "nothing". We are people of action and if things do not happen, we make them happen.
One of the most difficult things to experience in life is rejection. And one of the most painful rejections is when your family rejects you because of your faith. Jesus knew this kind of pain because both His family and community rejected Him and His teachings.
In my life, I've lived through several economic recessions, personal upheavals and family challenges in the last 35 years of marriage and ministry. These experiences have taught me several key lessons about living through hard times.
Concerning fathers Solomon says, "Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers." Proverbs 17:6
In Proverbs 13:24 Solomon says: "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently." In just a few verses, God's word lays out four very important principles to guide parents in the difficult task of disciplining their children:
KA-BOOM... KA-BOOM...KA-BOOM went the deafening sound in the garage as Paul, my oldest son, zinged shot after shot off of the dent covered wall serving as his target. Hockey players need to practice shooting and I couldn't blame him, even if my garage wall was full of holes, since I was the one who told him the story of the 10,000 slapshots.
Have you ever wondered why God required the Jews to give 10% of their wealth as an offering or "tithe" in the Old Testament (Lev. 27:30-32)?
A while back an artist named Allan Bridge died. He was what they called a "concept artist." People whose art is not necessarily paintings or sculpture. They refer to their work as "living art." Live people used in a store window as mannequins is an example of concept or living art.
At the beginning of his ministry, Aaron the brother of Moses and head of the priestly family was commanded to maintain the "burnt offering", Lev. 6:8-13. This sacrifice was to remain on the altar every night and all night so that there would always be a sacrificial offering to preserve the bond between God and His people.
I believe all of us battle the debt demon and he has paralyzed many of us to the point where most of our time and effort and stress come from fighting off the Demon of Debt.
I've often been uncomfortable in leading a prayer with the words "I love you, Lord." After all, who am I to say these words to such a one as God?
The majority of us have an employer or supervisor of some kind who oversees our work. In this passage, Paul reminds us that we have a specific responsibility to provide a witness of our faith to this person.
In Canada, months go by with minus zero weather. The lakes freeze over so hard that you can easily drive a truck across them without any danger. For this reason, a fleet of "icebreakers" keep the flow of traffic moving through rivers and across the Great Lakes – no matter how frigid the temperature.
I saw one of those billboards the Marines put out for recruiting purposes. You know the ones that say 'we don't take applications, just commitments.' It reminded me when my son left for the Marines.