Morning Musing: Luke 15:14-16

“After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one would give him anything.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever considered someone to be irredeemable? It’s easy for us to do. When someone does something terrible enough, our first instinct is to write them off. Or, when someone falls into a pattern of troubling behavior long enough, the ones who have tried to help them out of it for a long time finally throw up their hands and give up on them. Sometimes, when another person just irritates us enough, we pass a final judgment on their character as terrible, and that’s the end of their story as far as we are concerned. How many marriages have ended with the stated reason given being “irreconcilable differences”? In all of this, we begin to believe a lie: That person or situation will never change. This is certainly a tempting lie to believe, but a convincing lie is still a lie. Let’s talk about the truth this morning.

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Morning Musing: Mark 14:29-31

“Peter told him, ‘Even if everyone falls away, I will not.’ ‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said to him, ‘today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ But he kept insisting, ‘If I have to die with you, I will never deny you.’ And they all said the same thing.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever made a promise you couldn’t keep? Perhaps it wasn’t your fault. You had every intention of keeping it, but the circumstances of life made it impossible. That’s bad enough. Have you ever made a promise, though, you couldn’t keep, and you insisted on making it even when someone else warned you that you wouldn’t be able to keep it. You took the warning as a personal challenge. You made the promise, fully intending to keep it, just to show them they were wrong. Except they weren’t. Peter did that with Jesus, and this morning I want to talk with you about it and what it means for us.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 13:1

“On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, to wash away sin and impurity.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do you behave toward your kids and make the decisions you do when they have done something wrong? “Because they’ve done something wrong,” you might be tempted to answer quickly. Yes, but why? What is the goal of your actions and decisions? Is it punishment? Retribution? Revenge? Sometimes that seems to be the intended goal of God’s actions and declarations in response to sin in the prophets. But here, Zechariah points us to something even better in His crosshairs: restoration.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 10:11

“The Lord will pass through the sea of distress and strike the waves of the sea; all the depths of the Nile will dry up. The pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

History is linear. It is unidirectional. It is going somewhere. We may not be able to see where from any single point along the way, but yesterday was not the day before and the day before that was different still. This wasn’t always thought to be the case. For a time it was fashionable science to hold that the universe was cyclical–it had been expanding and contracting in an endless cycle since eternity past and would continue like this on into eternity future. Then some smart folks looked a little harder and realized that the universe actually started at a single point and has been expanding ever since. Some religious worldviews today still believe that history is cyclical. But it’s not. History moves in one direction. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t repeat itself.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 10:6

“I will strengthen the house of Judah and deliver the house of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them, and they will be as though I had never rejected them. For I am the Lord their God, and I will answer them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you even seen someone do a project halfway and then quit? Sometime when you want a chuckle, google “that’s not my job memes.” You’ll be treated to a series of pictures of times when someone obviously did exactly what they were asked to do and not a scintilla more, even though the situation clearly required just a bit more to be made truly right. Well, when it comes to God’s restoration of the people of Israel–and us–He never quits until the job is totally complete.

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