Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:19

“He replied to them, ‘You unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are a parent, have you ever finally lost it with your kids? I’m not talking about a time when you fussed at them and they settled down from whatever tiff they were working out among them. I’m talking about a time when you finally blew your top. They had been at each other’s throats and argumentative with you over an extended period of time. You tried to be patient at first, but that ran out an hour ago. You upped the ante to sterner warnings and assurances of punishment if the chaos didn’t abate and that failed to take. At last you just erupted at them. Everybody got yelled at. Everybody’s feelings were hurt. Everybody was then sent to their rooms to sulk for the rest of the day and probably forever. My take is that if you haven’t hit that particular parenting milestone, one of three things is true: Your kids are too young and haven’t quite gotten to the age where that kind of thing starts happening; your kids are too perfect and you need to check to make sure they haven’t been replaced by body doubles; or you are Jesus. Actually, scratch that last one. As this passage reminds us, even Jesus hit His frustration max on occasion. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We could all use just a little bit more listening lately, couldn’t we? And yet, here I am speaking…well, writing anyway. But I tend to write like I talk (as perhaps the audio gives away), so I guess I’m speaking. I’ve actually had the opportunity lately to be a part of a few different conversations on recent events. I’m grateful for that. I’ve learned much and also had reaffirmed some things I thought to be true beforehand. May I share some of that with you?

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Morning Musing: Micah 7:1

“How sad for me! For I am like one who — when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest — finds no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If there’s any one word that is most often used to describe the Old Testament prophets, what do you think it would be? For me some words like judgmental and mean come to mind. That’s the kind of characterizations I often see them given in the culture at large. If there was a single word that was most used, though, it would be the word angry. That word is common. But is it right? Maybe not. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Jonah 4:10-11

“So the Lord said, ‘You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you care about most? Don’t just go with the first thing that comes to mind. What is the thing on which you’ll spend the most money? To what do you give the bulk of your time? About what do you get the most worked up in the shortest time? The answer to those questions will point you in the direction of what is truly your greatest concern. What we see here at the end of Jonah is a glimpse at what is most important to God.

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Digging in Deeper: Jonah 4:1-3

“Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. He prayed to the Lord: ‘Please, Lord, isn’t this what I thought while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster. And now, Lord, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever gotten mad about something God did? That’s kind of an odd question, I’ll grant you, but think about it for a minute. Maybe God did something good for someone you deemed undeserving. Perhaps He allowed someone you love to go through a season of suffering or die. It could be that someone else didn’t get what you thought they deserved for something they had done. Whatever it was, there are times in our lives when we get mad at God. Jonah certainly was here. What do we do in these times?

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