World View

Worthless Things

leaky-bucket_356x237Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:37

Every time I come across this verse, I cringe; and I must pronounce myself “guilty” when it comes to “looking at worthless things.” It might be a vapid television movie I wasted two hours on; a series of Facebook posts about Grumpy Cat, stupid pet tricks, or other silly stuff; a poorly written novel I picked up to pass some idle hours on a plane; a fashion magazine I read in the doctor’s office that’s filled with pictures of half-starved women wearing ugly, overpriced clothing; or a tabloid news story I perused in the checkout lane at the grocery store containing the latest Hollywood gossip. Frankly, the modern world is full of “worthless things,” and I am too often guilty of letting my eyes linger over them and, even worse, letting them infect and influence my soul while drawing me away from more worthy pursuits.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples, Part 1 - John 17:6-9

Prayer for the Eleven ...
In this section of the true Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is now praying for his inner circle of disciples, the eleven who remain with him in the upper room. Judas Iscariot has already departed the Last Supper to betray him and the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is yet to be, an agony that He well knows He must face in order to be glorified.

These eleven, plus Matthias and Paul, would soon be transformed from disciples to Apostles, the Sent Ones, the builders of the church and the wardens who would advance the Kingdom of God. Jesus begins His prayer for His disciples by saying, “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world” (17:6). He states, “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours” (17:9). Later in this prayer, Jesus prays for those who are yet to hear and believe; they will do so because of the foundational ministry of the Apostles (17:20) that will be carried forth by future disciples.

A Prayer Factory

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

Praying in the midst of life
“I never started out to write a book on prayer. I simply discovered that I’d learned how to pray. Life’s unexpected turns had created a path in my heart to God; God taught me to pray through suffering.”

If you are a typical Christian who feels your prayer life is not what it should be, then you may find little comfort or encouragement in these words by pastor Paul E. Miller in his book A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World. For while you may desire a more effective prayer life, you aren’t foolish enough to ask the Lord to send you hard times so you can reach that goal.

Illegal Immigration: The Christian Thing to Do (Part 2)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Last week, we considered why many Americans (81 percent) are angry with the Obama administration over the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are being allowed to cross our borders and stay here at taxpayer expense.

Illegal Immigration: The Christian Thing to Do (Part 1)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Where Americans stand
Americans are a divided lot. Democrats vs. Republicans. Conservatives vs. Liberals. Abortion supporters vs. pro-lifers. Gun-owners vs. gun-control advocates. Marriage traditionalists vs. same-sex marriage supporters. There is little we seem to agree on these days.

At least, this was true until the latest scandal to hit the nightly news: the flood of illegal immigrants crossing our southern borders. According to a recent poll, 81% believe that this is a crisis which our government needs to address ASAP; and a whopping 77% want the problem addressed in the same manner – by sending illegal immigrants back home. They only differ in the question of how long it should take between their arrest and their deportation – from immediately to an indeterminate “only when it’s safe.”

Calling All Watchmen

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-19

Ezekiel’s task
In 593 BC, a priest living in exile in Babylon was given a task to perform: the task of a watchman. That priest, Ezekiel, was told to warn the exiles in Babylon (just as Jeremiah was similarly warning the people living in Jerusalem) regarding the coming judgment on Judah. Between the time he was commissioned and the day a fugitive from Jerusalem arrived to announce the city’s fall in 586 BC, Ezekiel was mute: he could not speak anything other than the words of warning and judgment God gave to him (Ezekiel 33:21-22).

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