Remember. Return. Rehearse.

God originally chose the Jews, through whom He planned to save and bless the entire world. But all who believe in Him today—Jews and Gentiles—are vessels in which He wants to share His hope. When we ask Jesus to be our Savior, the new life He gives us is our pure offering to Him.

How does God want to use you to make His name great among the nations? His mission begins in our homes and neighborhoods. But we must also work and pray for God’s mission worldwide.

God didn’t mince words as He spoke through his prophet in the Old Testament book of Malachi. How does this message relate to us today? Listen as Pastor Cliff Purcell shares the Word of God: Remember. Return. Rehearse. (Sept. 23, 2018).

 

Ticktock

Sometimes I think I’m younger than I am. (No, I’m not sharing my age!) Exercising, helping out with Young Adults Sunday School class, and having my own teenagers certainly brings zest and a sense of humor (minus the crazy pull-my-hair out moments!) But neither my kids—nor the mirror—lie: My glory days of youth can only be glimpsed through the rearview mirror.

Like it or not, we can’t slow down the clock.

As I read the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy I’m reminded of the consequences of our choices. God reminded His people that in order to ratify His agreement they must choose the path of obedience. While seeds of rebellion reap severe calamity, a personal decision to obey would reap benefits in their lives. Likewise, our choices determine our outcomes. When we choose to follow God, we’re not the only ones who benefit. Our relationships with others also reap the benefits. But choosing to abandon God’s ways not only harms ourselves, but also those around us.

In a prayer, Moses reflects on God’s dealings with His people (Psalm 90). He remembers that God is completely unrestricted by time as he contrasts His eternal nature with man’s frailty. I like The Message translation of vs. 12-17:

“Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—and treat your servants with kindness . . . . Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we’ll skip and dance all the day long. Make up for the bad times with some good times; we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime. Let your servants see what you’re best at—the ways you rule and bless your children. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!”

(bible.com)

When God Tells The Truth

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” ~Psalm 25:5

Although the ancient book of Malachi in the Old Testament was written about 430 B.C., its message is still relevant today. The prophet Malachi was a post-exilic prophet to Judah, along with Haggai and Zechariah. While Haggai and Zechariah rebuke the Jews in Jerusalem because they failed to rebuild the temple, Malachi confronts the people with their neglect of the temple, along with their profane false worship.

The book of Malachi bridges the Old Testament and New Testament and is four chapters short. The literary style uses powerful questions by God and his people. If you haven’t already read this book, I encourage you to do so as you evaluate the focus of your life and depth of devotion to God. Although this book might make us squirm as it confronts people’s sins, it is also steeped in God’s grace: forgiveness, hope and restoration.

In the following podcast, Pastor Cliff Purcell sets the stage for God’s message in Malachi. You may find it here: When God Tells the Truth (Sept. 9, 2018). Blessings!

Eternal Life

Trust is all about relying on the promise of what another person or thing can do (what you think they can do). God wants our complete trust in Him for all of our needs. He desires for us to continually acknowledge Him and stay in close fellowship in Him. It is easy to trust in lies because it makes us feel good, but this gives false hope.

What does God have in store, both now and after death, for those who trust, follow, and stay faithful to Him? Listen, as Pastor Cliff Purcell shares this awesome truth: Eternal Life? (Sept. 2, 2018).

Trusting God

Spinning around and around, Annie, my daughter, and her friends whooped and hollered as I pushed the merry-go-round faster and faster. The fun and excitement would squelch any apprehension some of the girls had due to their first sleepover. It was my daughter’s ninth birthday. This would be her best party yet! Pizza and an outdoor movie would come next before camping under the stars in our backyard.

But as the spinning came to a halt, so did the girls’ smiles. Sadie was the first to speak. “I think I’m going to puke!”

One by one, the girls slumped down on the ground before coming to a unanimous decision. “Could you please take us home?”

What choice did I have? I’d be known as the barbaric mom by insisting they stay the course. I was sure the girls viewed me as a monster mom as they silently crawl back into our van. I did my best to mentally assimilate my words to their parents for the change of plans while hoping these pale-faced friends’ stomachs would settle soon.

While Annie and her friends laugh about that evening now, it was no laughing matter at the time!

All of us experience daily change of plans that stretch the most patient among us. But what about the big surprises that jolt our world? The unexpected diagnosis from the doctor, an unforeseen emergency, a financial crisis . . . the list goes on.

The temptation is to analyze the problem from every angle until we come up with a plausible solution. But what about the times when our circumstances spin out of control, making the bravest of us weak-kneed, sick to our stomachs and gasping for air?

Not to diminish problem-solving, or simplify the stress, pain, or need for support from others, but I believe the first step should be going to God in prayer. Because He is all-powerful, all-sufficient, and loves us more than we can imagine, we can lean in and put our full weight of trust on Him.

The following Bible verses are a few of my favorite passages that speak of the benefits of trusting God.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” 1 Peter 5:6-7.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:9

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you,” Psalm 9:10.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you,” Psalm 84:11-12.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Do you have a favorite verse about trusting God, or experienced a time God helped you through a crisis?