Sunday Collectives 9/26/16 – 10/2/16
There seems to be countless Bible reading plans, books on the best ways to read the Bible and thousands of devotionals to guide us through such an endeavor. The first thing we would say is that the Bible is not a book to be quickly devoured, a novel to be placed lightly by the bedside table, nor is it a self- help book to which we run to find the nearest answer to solve our ongoing dilemmas or today’s pressing problem.
By Chad Bird
There was a certain rich man who was decked out in the finest clothing. Every day was a feast. His closest friends gathered round about him, delighting in his company, and he in theirs. This rich man led the best of lives, had the best things in this world. He was a blessed man.
And this rich man’s name was Lazarus.
Seeing, we do not see. Our eyes are busy deceiving us 24/7, like two liars sunk into our face, calling black white and white black.
Does God discriminate?
What does it mean in Romans 3 when Paul writes, “For there is no distinction?” This is the question answered by Joe Franks as he quickly reviews the first three chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Bottom line, it matters not if one is pagan or pious, immoral or moral, irreligious or religious, a church-abstainer or a church-attender, all men are law-breakers, all men are under the curse of God, and all men only have one possible Savior.
By Lynn Cowell
“Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” 1 Samuel 23:7 (NIV)
Stuck somewhere between numb and exhaustion, I stared out the window. Lord, how did I end up here? Please forgive me.
I had grown up hearing, “Pray for God to open a door.” So when it came to my job, I had done just that. I prayed, I believed and before I knew it, there wasn’t just one, but an entire hall of open doors.
I live in a small town.
I love that everywhere I go I see someone I know. But at the same time I hate that everywhere I go I see someone that knows me.
The people sitting behind me in the drop off line at school watching me wrestle my reluctant child out of the car are the same people that I may have accidentally cut off that morning. And the people that saw me at the store in my pajamas buying cheap wine and Cheetos after a bad day are the same people who see me stuffed into my bathing suit at the public pool. There is no hiding.
There are times when it is profitable to hide. Joseph ran from the adulterous wife of Potiphar. Elijah ran from the Ahab and Jezebel who sought his head. Paul taught his readers to flee from the devil and his temptations, and David taught his students to hide God’s Word in their hearts. Even Jesus told parables for the purpose of revealing truth to some while hiding it from others.
Then there are times when it is horrible to hide. We do wrong and harm ourselves when we hide ourselves from the scriptures, from the God of grace, and from our brothers and sisters.