No Good Deed

As we continue in our journey through 1 Peter, we get a reminder today that even though our best deeds often don’t go unpunished, that shouldn’t slow us down on our journeys after Jesus. Instead, the suffering we face for doing good is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to advance the Gospel in ways we won’t otherwise get. Let’s talk today about suffering and serving Jesus.

No Good Deed

I heard a news story the other day about a man named Paul Gaylord. Ever heard of him before? I hadn’t either. That’s okay, though, because he lives in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Paul has a cat named Charlie. Back in 2014, Charlie went missing for a few days. Now, if you have cats that are not strictly inside cats, you know that’s not so unusual. Cats do their own thing. Outside cats occasionally grace their owners with their presence, especially if they are hungry, but otherwise can sometimes vanish for a little while. Eventually Charlie came back. Unfortunately, Charlie was not quite in the same condition as when he left. His face was swollen up and he was clearly having some trouble breathing. Being a conscientious pet owner, Paul jumped into action. He forced open Charlie’s mouth and eventually figured out that there was a dead, rotting mouse lodged in his throat. I know…gross! Well, Paul got the mouse out, but as a reward for his troubles, Charlie bit him on the hand and broke the skin.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:49-50

“When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke with them and said, ‘Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever experienced that moment where your hero became human? Some people have; some people haven’t. It’s a tough moment if you’ve lived it. You were looking up to someone as a model for how you wanted to be living your own life and then they did something to reveal they were nothing like you thought them to be. That can be devastating to a person’s entire worldview. Now, I hope you’re not expecting me to somehow say this is somehow Jesus. It’s not. Ever. But what we see in this next part of the story of Jesus’ walking on water reminds us of how good and wise the Scriptures are. They keep our focus on picking the right heroes over the wrong ones.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 2:17

“You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, ‘How have we wearied him?’ When you say, ‘Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and he is delighted with them, or else where is the God of justice?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have your kids ever worn you out? If you are a parent, then the answer to that question is almost assuredly a resounding, “Yes!” That’s just part of the journey of parenthood. The older kids get, the more they begin to look for ways they can assert their growing sense of independence. Unfortunately, that sense of independence does not develop as fast as a spirit of wisdom and discernment regarding the prudence of the choices they make. That is, they may think they’re good, but they still need their parents for guidance and direction. This, of course, creates a tension that can be pretty draining. Well, if you are a parent who has felt this before, you can rest assured that you’re not alone. Not only are there other parents who feel the same way from time to time, but so does your heavenly Father.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 1:1

“A pronouncement: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.”
— ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭1:1‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

While it’s popular today to talk about eating dessert first, I am more of a save-the-best-for-last kind of guy. I’d rather slog through the tough stuff at the beginning so I can sit back and savor the best stuff with even more time to enjoy it. Well, as our journey through the minor prophets comes near to its end as we land on the final book of Malachi, we have saved the best for last. Here’s a little preview of coming attractions.

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Digging in Deeper: Daniel 6:4

“The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Everyone has a skeleton closet somewhere. That could be an anthem for our times, couldn’t it? We live in a day of mistrust and cynicism, especially toward our political leaders. We have seen elected official after elected official sacked by scandal. We have seen leaders who we all figured were scandal-ridden live down to our expectations. We have seen no-name figures gain a name for themselves because of some scandal. We have even seen folks who held character and integrity out as reasons to elect them fall to scandal, often on the very point of their character emphasis. My friends, this should not be. 

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