Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 4:14-16

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens – Jesus the Son of God – let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Confession time. Okay, we’ll just make it introspection time. That’s a little easier to do while you’re reading a blog by yourself. Have you ever struggled with a pattern of sin? I’m not talking about a sin you committed once and moved on. I’m talking about something you did once, then a second time, then a third time, and suddenly found yourself locked in a pattern where you kept coming back to it in spite of your best efforts and desires to quit it entirely. I suspect you have. That is, unfortunately, a trait humans of all shapes and sizes share. Even if you don’t accept a generically Christian definition of sin, you have some standard of right and wrong to which you’ve subscribed and which you violate on a consistent basis. How do you manage to break out of that? With grit, grace, no small amount of determination, and the reminder that you’re not alone in your efforts. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When God was creating the world, everything was good. Again and again this refrain echoes across the unfolding drama of creation. Each thing God makes He pronounces good. Then He gets to us and says it is very good. It’s really a beautiful picture. That’s chapter 1. In chapter 2 we get a more intimate look at the story of creation focused in on the creation of people. There, once God has created all of the world and just the man something suddenly changes. God says, “It is not good.” And what is the thing that isn’t good? It is not good for the man to be alone. We were not made to do life on our own. And while marriage is one way to make sure we don’t have to try it, this morning I want to talk about another, equally valid and more broadly available option (since not everyone is called to marriage): friendship. And I want to do this through the lens of a recently concluded Netflix series. Here’s why you need to watch Alexa and Katie.

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Morning Musing: Proverbs 18:24

“One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Another day and another reason to be thankful. Today we’re going to be talking about something you really can’t do without, but which far too many folks are trying. Much research has shown the negative impact of a lack in this area. We live in a world today, though, where the very essence of this thing is misunderstood and twisted in ways that make having it in place in our lives much more difficult than it should be. So what is it? Here goes…

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Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 18:1

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”‬‬ (ESV) 

“I just need some time to myself.” Have you ever heard something like that before? If you’ve been through the preteen and teenage years the better question might be how many times do you hear that per day. Have you ever said it yourself (other than when you were a teenager)? What prompts such a declaration? Often it comes because we’ve had a bad day and want to be alone so we can lick our wounds in private. And, that’s okay. Being by ourselves isn’t a bad thing. Being isolated, on the other hand, is a problem. 

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Morning Musing: Romans 1:11-12

“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever tried to do a job for two people all by yourself? That’s no easy feat. Depending on the exact nature of the task, it may be impossible. The fact is, life was not meant to be done alone. Even if we happen to be physically capable enough to handle most of it, relationally and emotionally we’re going to run into trouble. Life is better with company.

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