In the Book of ECCLESIASTES, we are told to how to have our hearts occupied with joy, but here in America, our world view is generally occupied with the lusts of the heart and the cares of this world. We continually seek a bigger house, a newer car, a better job, better friends, new spouses, and the spotlight for our success at achieving the “American dream.”
Recently, I was reading in the Book of JUDGES about the story Samson is probably most remembered by – losing his hair, his strength, and ultimately, his life (Judges 16). There were a few things I noticed about this story that struck me differently this time around, specifically, the blinding nature and effects of Sampson’s sin.
When Jesus finishes teaching his Sermon on the Mount, He asks His disciples to feed the crowd. Understandably, the disciples balk at the idea of feeding 5000+ people with food and money that they simply don’t have. Jesus’ response? Let’s take a look.
In the Book of NEHEMIAH, Nehemiah sees the devastation of Jerusalem and grieves, but he doesn’t stop there, or doubt God’s goodness – he prays for it. Nehemiah goes from grief to action.
It sounds counter intuitive, but stepping out in faith means ignoring earthly wisdom. Being wise is certainly a good and godly trait (hello PROVERBS), but when God asks for faith, it probably won’t make conventional sense.
Throughout the Book of DANIEL, we see Daniel’s name change from Daniel, to Belteshazzar, and then back to Daniel. It’s important to note the change, so that we can then go back and uncover the reason for the change – Daniel’s faith in God.
The name Jacob means ‘Deceiver’ and eventually he has his name changed by God to Israel, which means ‘God Contended’. Until recently, I had not realized how important Jacob’s name, and the transformation of his name, are to the story. After teaching the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel of the LORD to our 3-4 year old class at church, here are some things I learned along the way.