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Posts Tagged ‘Genesis 18:25’

God Makes Life Make Sense

September 11th, 2013

“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV.

The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and healing you need.

My thoughts and comments today are that “God makes life make sense”

Life isn’t fair; serious disappointment waits for those who expect it to be. Today, September 11, is a stained date on America’s calendar when our stunned nation puzzled how crazed jihadists would rob hearts and homes of more than three thousand lives, guilty of nothing more than going to work that morning. Everything in our national grief cried, “Unfair!”

Unfair; everyone feels that way sometimes. Jesus told a parable about workers in a vineyard who agreed to a proper day’s wage for a full day’s work. Read Matthew 20:1-16 NLT. As the day progressed, other workers were needed and hired. But at the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said, “I wanted to pay this last man the same as you . . should you be angry because I am kind?” Matthew 20:14 NKJV. “Unfair,” seemed a legitimate complaint! Read Vs. 8-12. See Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT. With which worker did you first identify – the ones who got what they agreed to receive or the ones who received a grace they could not earn? We have more likely and more frequently been the latter. See 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV.

Probably one of the important questions of everyday life is: do you trust God to be fair? When he interceded for God to spare Sodom, Abraham affirmed his trust by a rhetorical question whose answer assumed to be obvious, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV. Of course, God will! He is righteous and cannot do less. And He will always do right by you.

“Unfair!” That’s a familiar exclamation or emotion anyone might say or feel.From a child’s earliest years there seems to be an innate sense of fairness, not so much in evidence when you are the one getting the best deal but certainly when someone else is and you are not. People never seem to outgrow the need to be first, have the most, the best, or the biggest; do we? When you don’t and someone else does – that you think deserves it less than you – your feelings scream, “Unfair!”

In their pain and tears, I have heard many good people say, “Life isn’t fair.” And they had every right to feel that way. The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and the healing you need. A good person struggles with hardships, while a lesser person lives carefree. A hard working person seems not to get a break; another stumbles into unbelievably good fortuneLife isn’t fair. But God is just – every time, all the time. See 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV.

The Psalmist anguished over the incongruity that the wicked prospered yet the righteous suffered. The inequities bewildered him; “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold . . when I saw the prosperity of the wicked . . Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” Read Psalm 73:1-28 NIV. There is a sanctuary for you where God makes life make sense. One day, the scales of justice are balanced, the wrongs made right, the innocent vindicated, the guilty punished.

My prayer for you today is that you trust in the goodness of a righteous God.

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Approval Ratings

October 12th, 2012

“Am I trying to win the approval of men, or of God?” Galatians 1:10 NIV

The quest of the human spirit for approval finds realization in the affirming love of God.

My thoughts and comments today are about “approval ratings.”

Even the youngest child seeks signs of approval from the most important people in their life, Mom and Dad. Whatever your age, you will not realize your full potential without your worth and abilities being recognized and affirmed. A person who lives with an approval deficit may seek recognition where they will least find it. When I was a young Dad, my stepfather, Warren – a father, church planter, and pastor of many years – gave me sound advice, “Every child needs lots of sincere ‘atta boys’ to grow up healthy and confident.” I have found that true of boys and girls alike, and plenty of adults as well. I am not sure you ever outgrow your need for others’ affirmation. Warren is a wise man and I saw his practical wisdom in the effect of his encouraging words in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Approval is an assurance you feel in your heart when affirming words are spoken by people who matter in your life. However, needing approval from others can become addictive with diminishing return. Paul recognized the subtle temptation to look more to men than to God, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I am still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ?” Galatians 1:10 NIV. Apparently, Paul once relied on the approval of men which was sometimes at odds with his obedience to God. Man’s approval can be difficult to earn, fleeting to keep, and woefully inadequate.

The common quest of the human spirit finds its fullest realization in the affirming, accepting love of God. “I care very little if I am judged by you . . indeed, I do not even judge myself . . it is the Lord who judges me.” Read 1 Corinthians 4:2-5 NIV. Leave your evaluation safely in God’s hands, with this confidence, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV.

I think any of us could admit to some conflicting mixture of motives in this regard. Everyone wants to be liked and desires others think well of them. Be careful. Be wise to the tyranny of others’ opinions, lest you acquire a need for their approval that is misdirecting. In politics, people in public office seem always to be worrying about “approval ratings.” Politically, they obsess over polls. There are endless opinion polls testing voters’ approval of political decisions and positions. In politics that may be unavoidable; in life that can be slavish.

There are times you cannot please men and God at the same time. When uncertain, please God. Whose opinion is most influential in what you do and why you do so? The approval of man is no easy achievement for the best of people, and can be fickle as well. Live with consideration and regard for others’ opinion, but live first and foremost for the Savior’s benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Ultimately, only the Lord’s approval really matters.

My prayer for you today is that you live with a secure knowledge of God’s approval.

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