Rocket Attack by Hamas – Ashkelon, Israel
“All the peoples of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does as He pleases with the army of heaven and the peoples of the earth. There is no one who can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ ”
As we move into the 2nd month of the year, I pray this past week you gave thanks for all your circumstances and you had time to reflect on the Matchless Name of Jesus Christ. There is power in His name as He resides “in” us, otherwise Ephesians 3:20 would not be true:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
The photo above: I will be brief….. I pulled that image from a Reuters. I know I sound like a broken record and as awful as this war is and that we must pray continuously for all these people, we have to stay in the Word and know without a doubt, all these events are serving God’s purpose perfectly. The opening verse above could also be stated:
“Whatever has been determined by God must happen. It is unable to be stopped and is above any legitimate criticism.”
I have attached another short teaching from R.C. Sproul below. In 7 minutes, he touches on the life of Joseph and Moses and gives such a clear picture of God’s sovereignty. Make sure you check it out……..
IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
You guessed it…… It was that time again to have my Mulberry trees trimmed. After the first day (this past Monday), I asked the foreman if he could gather this crew in my backyard. I wanted to get a photo of all of them and also had something I wanted to share with them. He was happy to do it. After the photo they stayed in that position while I shared my Catholic background and testimony of surrendering my life to Jesus Christ “under that very tree.” I got quite a reaction out of them. I gave each one of them the Million Dollar Gospel of John, Steps To Peace with God and Are You a Good Person in Spanish. Plus I gave each one of them a significant tip for their great work that day! I explained that Steps To Peace with God was the Gospel that I never knew at a Catholic. One of the young men that spoke very good English, said he would explain everything I shared to all the guys. The next day he wanted more of the tracts. We are now staying in touch and exchanged contact information. Maybe you will get to meet him at Zion!
A week ago last Saturday, my wife and I attended the retirement party for Evelyn (center) who had faithfully worked for the EPA for 42 years. Her son Phillip was the Master of Ceremonies and his best friend Kyle was also in attendance. Evelyn was also my Committee Chairman when I was Scoutmaster of Troop 256. She did an amazing job and was very tough in a good way! She knew the importance of our personal motto….. taking boys and turning them into “Honorable Men.”
At her retirement party it was emphasized several times in the evening, that her 42 years was totally due to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God Bless you Evelyn.
Longing for His Return,
Men: The timing of this devotional is now! We are seeing this false statement currently played out in living color: “The moral gyroscope of our own conscience proves more reliable than the outdated commandments of God” …….. whoa
Learning from the Nations – Red Book Day 32
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”
1 – “A politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends.”
Tonight, the Men’s Winter Retreat in Halifax, PA begins.
Please pray for the speakers, the men attending and logistics ….. Thanks Guys!
Men: In light of what’s going on in the world, this is a great refresher!
(YouTube 7 Mins)
If you haven’t listened to this, set some time aside this weekend…….
Zion Speaker Panel / Question And Answer / Sunday
Here Is A Link to the recording.
Check out these men. I will tell you a cool story about them next time…….
Don’t miss the comment: “Each man discipled the man next to him”
Top 7 Things People Seek from the World ……
Instead of Only Seeking God
Wealth: The pursuit of material possessions and financial security can become an idol, as Jesus warned in Matthew 6:24: “You cannot serve both God and money.”
Power: The desire for control and authority over others can lead people to pursue positions of influence, but Jesus taught that true greatness comes from serving others (Mark 10:42-45).
Fame: Seeking recognition and praise from others can become an idol, as Jesus warned in Matthew 6:1-2: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Also, John 5:44 is a terrifying verse: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”
Pleasure: The pursuit of sensual pleasure and immediate gratification can become an idol, as Paul warned in Philippians 3:19: “Their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
Knowledge: The pursuit of intellectual knowledge and understanding can become an idol, as Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 8:1-2: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The one who thinks they know something does not yet know as they ought to know.” This is the first item mentioned in Jeremiah 9:23 (wisdom)
Relationships: The pursuit of human relationships and companionship can become an idol, as Jesus warned in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”
Success: The pursuit of achievement and recognition for one’s work can become an idol, as Jesus warned in Luke 12:15: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
It’s important to note that these things in and of themselves are not necessarily bad, but when they become the primary focus of our lives instead of seeking a relationship with God, they can lead us astray.
Men, this is Really Good! (3 Min Read)
See People as People
Several weeks after the September 11th terrorist attacks, I had a heart-wrenching conversation with a manager of one of the restaurants in the World Trade Centers.
He told me, “I can’t get over the grief that I never saw the 250 people who worked for me as people. They were waiters, chefs, busboys, hosts, event planners—but they weren’t people to me. And over the last three weeks, I’ve gone to funeral after funeral and sat with their moms and dads, husbands and wives, and children and heard the stories of their lives. Now they are people to me, but now they’re gone.”
He wept as he told me that story. I wept as I listened. It’s hard not to get emotional thinking back to that story today, 22 years later.
And it’s hard not to feel guilt. I think this attitude is typical of many of us. I know it’s true for me. I often don’t see people as people.
It’s the barista whose job it is to create my perfect coffee order. It’s the supermarket assistant who is there to speed up my process on the self-checkout scanner. It’s the waiter who exists to get me my delicious meal without any delays or mistakes.
Do you see people as people? Or are they functions to assist you in creating a day that is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible?
If you want to shine as a light in this world, pray that God will give you the eyes to see people as people. Slow down, look into their eyes, and remember that this is a human being created in the image of God, who has a heart, an eternal destiny, a story, a desire to be loved, with legitimate fears and concerns, and hopes and dreams.
Then, adjust your schedule or make sacrifices to bump into these people more frequently. That could mean going to the same place at the same time so you can interact with the same person on their regular shift pattern. Maybe that means shopping differently to build relationships with people who live or work in your neighborhood.
Sadly, too many of us are chasing an ever-growing to-do list as we try to build a kingdom of created delights, which causes us to rush past people, or worse, use them to make life as efficient, convenient, and pleasurable as possible.
Lastly, ask questions. Simple questions are a great starting point: How are you doing today? How has your week been? What do you have going on this weekend? What are you most excited about? How are your kids doing in school?
I was at a restaurant once, and the man dining with me said to the waiter, “We’re a group of people who like to pray before we eat. Is there anything we can pray for you?” The waiter was taken off guard, stumbled, and said, “Uh, I don’t think I really need anything right now.”
But then he came back five minutes later. “Actually, I think I could use your prayer. I just found out my girlfriend is pregnant, and I’m terrified. I have no idea how to be a father. Would you pray for me?”
What a fantastic opportunity! And it was so simple. My friend saw the waiter as a person, not a function, and he asked a simple question.
Then, go back again and again to develop a relationship and wait for the opportunities that God gives you as a result.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:36–38).
A Prayer for Today: God, would you help me to see people as people and not as cogs in the machine of my day to make my life more comfortable and easy? Would you provide me with opportunities to engage with the people you have placed in my life and when those opportunities arise, would you give me the courage to lean in and ask questions of them? Would you help to make my heart sensitive and caring to others that you might use me in whatever way you want. Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Paul David Tripp