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Fear of the Lord

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It’s that time of year again when all the tv channels are showing scary movies. We love to be frightened. It gets the adrenaline going and definitely makes us feel alive at least until the monster gets us! I love a good scary movie but it must have a good story line and a happy ending. Actually it may be the popcorn and snacky snacks I love the best.     One good tip to watching scary movies is try turning off the sound when you know the worst part is coming. Makes a huge difference when you don’t have the musical score building up your anticipation, fear, and anxiety.     Today’s verse talks about the fear of the Lord. But it’s not the kind of negative fear that makes us want to run for our lives. It’s the opposite, as most things are in his kingdom. It will actually make you want to run towards him! In this verse fear is better translated as awe. We stand in awe and wonder of God. We see him as majestic, beautiful, holy, awe inspiring.     When we have a correct view of God we …
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Hide and seek is such a fun game that kids of all ages always enjoy. Everyone hides and one person is the “seeker” who goes around looking for everyone else. The first one found becomes the next seeker. There are probably thousands of variations because kids like to make rules to their advantage like what exactly is home base, does the seeker have to touch you first, etc. Turns out that the older the kids the more rules that are created!     Now that we are older the game has changed. The goal is to seek out what we think will bring us happiness. It can be hiding in a bottle of alcohol or maybe it’s in illicit relationships or just maybe it’s at the gym getting pumped up, or maybe it can be found working day and night until some elusive measure of success is found.     When we set our hearts to seeking things that we think will bring us satisfaction or recognition we will always be disappointed because the goal changes all the time. In fact once we achieve some goal another one p…

The Generous Life

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I think most people know that you will reap what you sow. Some call it Karma, what goes around comes around. Not only do most people know this for the most part they believe it to be true. If this was really the case then wouldn’t we only sow seeds of kindness, forgiveness, mercy, grace, etc?     So often we end up sowing some bad juju and then we are shocked, enraged, even mortified when we get back a harvest of what we actually planted! In fact we believe this truth so much so that when somebody does us wrong we say it or at the very least think very loudly in our minds, “You deserve what’s coming to you.” That’s actually one of the things we love about action movies. The payback scenes are so powerful because we can all relate.     Truth be told if we all got what we really deserved there would probably be way fewer people on this blue marble we call earth. Today’s verse focuses us on the positive aspects of being generous. We tell ourselves that once we get rich we will be ge…

Relationships

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One of the big reasons people love church is the relationships that are formed. Unfortunately that’s also the reason many people hate church. Relationships can be difficult in church or anywhere else. We sometimes avoid going to certain places simply because of the people. He knows how difficult we can be. We all have our bad days.     When you look at this list of seven things that God hates you’ll discover that they all deal with relationships. Our relationships are very important to God. How we treat others is the subject of six of the Ten Commandments. Jesus, when asked which was the greatest commandment, answered that to love God with all our being was the first and greatest. Then he went on to add what he was not asked about. He said the second was equally important.     In other words the second greatest commandment was just as important as the first and these two cannot be separated because if you are doing the first one right then the second flows naturally out of it. Th…

Upside down

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I’m not a big fan of upside down pineapple cake. I love cake and pineapple but somehow when you turn it upside down and bake it together it just doesn’t seem right. There’s also that frustrating thing they do at the drive up window at Dairy Queen when you get an Oreo Blizzard and the person right before he hands it to you flips it upside down in an effort to show you how thick and creamy it is that nothing spills out! I find the whole exercise less amusing. I think I once said, “Can you not do that?” I didn’t get a reply. Lol, I know I have some deep seated issues that probably go back many generations!     Often when we talk about the kingdom of God we refer to it as an upside down kingdom. If you want more then give away what you have. If you want to be the greatest be a servant. If you want to save your life you must be willing to lay it down. The thing is that it all seems like crazy talk until you start living it out and find it actually works. We give up our lives for so ma…

Hope

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Hope, when you think about it is hard to nail down exactly. It’s expecting something, usually good, to happen in a preferred future. As kids we were always hoping for the good gifts at birthdays and Christmas. As teenagers we hoped that cute girl or guy would notice us. As young adults we had hopes of getting a good job. As married couples we hope for our first home together and hope to start a family. Middle age comes with hopes of getting those kids through college, paying the mortgage and dreams of being empty nesters. As older adults we hope for a good retirement and good health to enjoy it all. Ultimately our hopes are usually based on our own hard work and expectations. When we talk about hope as described in the Word of God it’s something more powerful. Our hope is soundly based on the promises of God. We believe him because he has a long track record of delivering on his promises. It hard to place our hopes on someone who just never comes through. As we examine God’s promises …
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Believe it or not we have a strange problem when it comes to love. We’ve defined it in terms that go above and beyond what God intended. Some of that problem has to do with how we actually interpret the word. Unfortunately the English language is poor at times to convey properly the meaning of some words.     There is a huge difference in the meaning of the word ‘love’. I love Whataburger and I love a thick juicy steak and I love my wife and kids. It just won’t do! In today’s culture we have overextended the use of the word. We use it to cover the sin and shame that people sometimes engage in and call it love. We’ve twisted to allow what God does not. We use it to approve of unbiblical behavior.     Then as if that were not enough we look down on anyone who would dare use it to stop immoral behavior. Gods word tells us that love is obedience to Gods word. Love is not a license to sin. Love is not this huge blanket that just covers whatever everyone wants to do just because they h…